The province of Nuoro covers most of the centre of Sardinia and spreads across to the east where it has a large coastline and a small portion of the province straddles across to the west where it has a short coastline. It has the provinces of Sassari and Olbia-Tempio to the north, Oristano to the west and Cagliari and Ogliastra to the south. This Sardinian province provides some of the most beautiful, natural and wild landscape to be found anywhere in the world. This is one of the least populated areas in Europe which is, interestingly, famous for its large numbers of inhabitants over the age of one hundred.
Inland, the landscape is mountainous with the Gennargentu range having the highest mountain, Punta La Mormora which is just over 1.8 metres high. Two other mountain ranges of importance in this region are Monte Albo and the Monte Ortobene. The rest of the internal landscape is hilly with forests of oak and cork wood.
Due to intense karst activity (Karst topography is a geologic formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock) there are many caves, some of which are extremely beautiful. One of the most famous and the largest is the Grotta di Ispinigoli which houses the tallest stalactite-stalagmite compound in Europe. In fact, at around 38 metres, it is one of the tallest in the world. It also has a 60 metre deep hole known as Abisso delle Vergine (abyss of the virgins) which leads to a 12 kilometre stretch of caves connecting Ispinigoli to another grotto called San Giovanni Su Anzu.
There are many natural rivers, the Cedrino, Posada and Tirso being the main ones. Near the town of Gavoi there is a large, artificial lake called Lago di Gusana which contains 60 million cubic metres of water.
The town (and provincial capital) of Nuoro has a lovely old town with many beautiful and historic buildings. For art and history lovers there are some excellent museums and galleries such as the four storey Museo dell'Arte di Nuoro and the National Archaeological Museum.
Other towns and villages worth a visit are the old town of Olinea with its white houses and ruins of a medieval castle, Orgosolo which is famous for its politacal murales and the village of Orosei with its beautiful Arab style church, San Giacomo Maggiore.
As with all of the other provinces of Sardinia, there are many areas with archaeological finds, the most notable being the Nuraghe village of Serra Orrios which is the largest and best preserved in Sardinia.
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