The Foresta Demaniale di Marganai (Marganai State Forest) is part of the “Parco naturale di Monte Linas, Marganai-Oridda, Montimannu” (Natural Park of Monte Linas, Marganai-Oridda, Montimannu), as it is considered area of landscape interest.
The vast forest (3,650 hectares in the eastern and northern sectors) is crossed by numerous paths, many of which are very suggestive. Long forest dirt roads and paths run through the old mining villages of Arenas, Malacalzetta, Baueddu, Reigraxius, and wide cart tracks climb towards the peaks of Punta San Michele and Punta Campu Spina.
Inside, there are waterfalls and caves of considerable naturalistic interest such as the Grotta di San Giovanni (San Giovanni Cave) and Su Mannau, as well as paleontological evidence and archaeological monuments such as the Punic-Roman temple of Antas.
The vegetation is characterized by holm oak, cork oak, and yew forests, while the understory is rich in vegetation: holly, strawberry tree, mastic, thyme, lavender, and cistus.
Among the animal species, we find hedgehogs, foxes, wild boars, wild cats, imperial crows, golden eagles, kestrels, peregrine falcons, martens, deer, and mouflon sheep. The presence of griffon vultures and Bonelli’s eagles is also reported.
The park area can be accessed through a road that leads from the entrance of the city of Iglesias to the “old Marganai station” or from the SS 126 Iglesias-Guspini, turning towards the village of San Benedetto and then continuing on the road that leads to the “Case Marganai” location.