In order to reach Olbia, from Sassari we take the SS131, road which winds its way through the part of Northern Sardinia known as the Logudoro, a territory still miraculously untouched by mass tourism. Here the land is exceptionally fertile thanks to the volcanic soil and the waters of the artificial lake Coghnias, a large expanse of water resulting from the damming of the river of the same name. The first part of the journey along this old state road is characterised by a series of heart stopping bends around the imposing Scala di Gioccia (spiral staircase) Mountain, close to the town of Muros. Not surprisingly perhaps, this section of road is often used for important motor races.

In the vicinity of Codrongianus we come across one of Logudoro's great artistic masterpieces: the Church of the Santissima Trinità della Saccargia. This ancient abbey, situated just 16kms from Sassari, has a single nave and transept with three apses, the largest of which adorned with a Romanesque fresco representing Christ Benedictory surrounded by angels. Beneath the figure of Christ is that of the Virgin Mary and the apostles whilst, in the lowest section of the monumental fresco, five scenes of the life of Jesus are depicted. The fresco, thought to be the work of artists from the Pisa School, dates back to the 13th century.

Another of the area's religious buildings which merits a visit is that of the Church of S. Maria del Regno, fine example of the Romanesque-Pisan style which proliferated here in medieval times. The basilica is located on the outskirts of Ardara, town which in the middle ages served as capital of the 'Giudicato' of Logudoro. The economy of Codrongianus, like that of the other towns in the area, relies heavily on sheep farming and agriculture and thus a stop to taste the excellent lamb and goat meat, roasted and seasoned with herbs, is albeit obligatory.

At this stage, we head in to the very heart of the Logudoro, travelling through the lush green countryside surrounding the lake of Coghinas, the most important in the whole of Northern Sardinia in terms of capacity, and around which great expanses of olive groves and vineyards now grow. To taste: local specialities including an infinite variety of cheese, olive oil and, of course, lamb.

Once beyond the town of Oschiri and the Nostra Signora di Castro Sanctuary, visitors have the occasion to admire the Monti di Alà mountain range, the 1000meter high slopes of which covered in thick vegetation and providing a veritable paradise for nature lovers and mountain bikers. Nearby lies Alà dei Sardi, a town which boasts one of the most buoyant economies and lowest unemployment rates in the whole of Sardinia thanks to its flourishing building, granite quarrying and cork industries.

Our journey draws to a close in Berchidda, a mere 15 minute drive from Oschiri, famous for its excellent Vermentino wine and as host town for the annual August "Time In Jazz" festival, organised by the celebrated Berchidda-born jazz trumpeter Poalo Fresu. Berchidda is an attractive little town which has developed along the southern slopes of another important mountain range of the Logudoro, that of Limbara which in 1979 gave its name to one of Sardinia's numerous regional parks.