On the island of Sant’Antioco, especially near Calasetta, there are up to 60 species of different genera of native orchids that flower between January and April and continue to flower until June in some areas on main Island Sardinia.
Many of them are very rare and at risk of extinction because of the indifference of the masses who do not know about them and fail to appreciate and protect them.
Orchids are at the top of the evolutionary pyramid of flowering plants. Many scholars even think that they are still evolving, as new varieties are constantly being classified because new traits keep on appearing.
Native orchids have developed complex strategies to be attractive to pollinating insects.They disguise themselves as insects and emit pheromones that send sexual messages to male bees, bumble bees, wasps and flies attracted by their mimicry and vivid colors.
To see wild orchids, all you have to do is walk along the country roads in the midst of the Mediterranean shrubland, along unpaved roads that are nonetheless easy to walk.
In case of organised excursions, the guide of an experienced English-speaking guide will help you appreciate the distribution, traits and qualities of our native orchids in their natural environment.
The landscapes you cross on the hunt for wild orchids are gorgeous and full of other points of interest, from the plant life of the shrubland and the garrique, which changes color and scents with the season, rock quarries and stone sculptures, and then of course sea views that will take your breath away.
The wild herbs, small wildlife of beetles, caterpillars, partridges, small birds, birds of prey (buzzards, kestrels, lesser kestrels and hawks), and even foxes, make these walks an experience of delving into unreined, wild nature, without getting far from the town and its convenience and staying in total safety.
As Cà de Anna owners we organize touristic packages such as the “Wild Orchis Safari” including accommodation, transfer services and guides to allow lovers to see them in total safety and appreciating also Sardinian hospitality and good food. Click here to find out more.
Photos by Paola Parigi, Giovanni Paulis, Antonio Biggio, Gianni Canè.