Sardinia: Rugged and Unique
11 days 10 nights
10 nights Half Board accommodation
from £1,952 per person (sharing a twin/double room)
Guided: minimum 6 people
6 - 16 June 2017
Custom dates for groups of 6 or more
8 Stages / 1 Rest day
Total distance short route: 672 km Total climb 9400 mts
average mileage: 84 km/day
average climb: 1175 mts/day
Total distance long route: 777 km Total climb 11200 mts
average mileage: 97 km/day
average climb: 1400 mts/day
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean. Its Northern shores are a haven of luxury resorts but most else is largely unspoiled by mass tourism. This tour takes place along the South, East and West coasts and across the mountainous inland for a different approach to experiencing this exciting Island. The rugged coastal routes, the forests in Barbagia and passes of Gennargentu burst with scents and colors of the Mediterranean. The few tough climbs are rewarded with winding descents followed by swims in the emerald sea. Our tour includes carefully selected restaurants that will showcase the original local cuisine and a remarkable selection of wines such as the red Cannonau and the white Vermentino.
our price Includes:
- 10 nights Half Board in Agriturismo and 3 and 4 star hotel accommodation
- Transfers from and to Cagliari airport
- Baggage transfers throughout the tour
- On-call assistance
- Daily maps and cue sheets
- Cycling guide
- Full van support throughout the tour
Arrival Cagliari airport (easy connections with Rome, Milan or other major European cities)
We meet you at Cagliari airport for transfer to the Agriturismo located near the Muravera beaches. Before our typical Sardinian dinner we will wash away the jetlag at the beach.
Stage 1: Muravera loop 63 km - total climb 600 mts or 118k - 1400 mts
The first ride is set along the island’s southern coast where the rolling, twisted road offers striking views at every turn. The longer option includes inland climbs and the two routes then meet in the charming resort of Villasimius where we have lunch.
Stage 2: Muravera 92 km - 600 mts
Except for a few entertaining bumps toward the end of the ride, this second stage is mostly flat. We ride in the Ogliastra region, famous for its olive oil, then cross a few tiny villages and stop in Tertenia for lunch. After the short climb to Genna Cresia, a winding downhill journey takes us back to the coast. The hotel for the next 2 nights is on the beach in Torre di Barì.
Stage 3: Torre di Barì loop 72 km - 1000 mts or 122 km - 2000 mts
Today we learn that Sardinia is rugged mountains as well as gorgeous beaches. This first taste of the Gennargentu mountains takes us to Gairo where we can choose between two courses. The longest rises through the Montarbo forest, crosses Ussasai and summits to Passo Arqueria where a wild highland opens up to scenery dotted by rock pillars (Perdas), similar to Monument Valley. For 40 km there are very few human signs and the lonely road ends on the shore of Lake Flumendosa. We will need to fasten our seat belts for a technical descent through the woods. The shorter course summits at Passo Sarcerei and the two meet in Lanusei where we have lunch. From here a long, landscaped descent leads us back to the beach.
Stage 4: Torre di Barì - Cala Gonone 82 km - 1200 mts
The first 20 km are an easy warm-up for the long climb to the mountains of Parco del Golfo di Orosei with a cappuccino break in Baunei. The Genna Cugina Pass opens to a spectacular highland with further breathtaking views until we summit at Genna Silana where we have lunch. From here it's a 25 km dive with granite walls on one side and the abyss of the Gorropu gorges on the other. A tunnel bored into the rock leads into the enchantment of Cala Gonone and its bay. The hotel for the next 2 nights is on the beach.
Rest day in Cala Gonone
There is so much to choose from to enjoy this relaxing day, like trekking and some great swimming to the secluded beach of Cala Luna in the morning, a visit to Nuoro for some local shopping and wine tasting in Oliena.
Stage 5: Calagonone - Aritzo 112 km - 2400 mts
This is the toughest stage of the tour. The first climb starts just outside the hotel door with a climb that leads to Dorgali. We encounter an easier terrain to Oliena where we tackle the Supramonte mountain and reach the muralled walls of Orgosolo. Then we ride deep into the forests of Barbagia, touching the 1000 mts mark in Fonni. Here we stop for an energetic snack with local specialties followed by long miles up and down the wooded hills and across stone villages until we summit at Arcu de Tascussi, the highest point of the tour. A long descent takes us to an old summer resort renowned to the locals, where we stay the next 2 nights in a prestigious hotel. Our hosts are very dedicated to their Sardinian heritage so we can expect the dinners to be unforgettable.
Stage 6: Aritzo loop 63 km - 1200 mts
This short ride is completely set in Barbagia. As you will notice from the town signs written in the Sardinian language, we will ride in the very heart of Sardinia starting with an easy climb across Tonara, famous for its nougat, then to S'Isca de sa Mela Pass. Descending we cross Sorgono and Atzara finishing just before Meana. We climb to Sa Casa Pass to descend with plenty of time to enjoy the hotel’s pool and visit the town.
Stage 7: Aritzo -Torre dei Corsari 100 km - 800 mts
After the previous days’ tough riding, today is most welcome with an easy ride to Sa Casa and the last pass of the Gennargentu. From here the going gets pretty fast as we wind through Laconi, our descent be briefly interrupted by a short climb to Morgongiori where we stop for lunch. We touch the western coast at S. Antonio Santadi with a few rolling miles within the enchanting Costa Verde and end at our hotel on the beach.
Stage 8: Torre dei Corsari - Fontanamare 88k - 1600 mts
Our last ride begins in the rolling hills, lusty vegetation and deep blue sea of Costa Verde. As we move inland we start the easy climb toward the oddly shaped peaks of Monte Arcuentu, ending at the old mining town of Montevecchio. We enter the Sulcis district, brightly coloured thanks to the mineral richness of its land. This area, named Metalla by the Romans, is now an open air museum of industrial archeology. The road takes us down to Arbus and a gentle incline to Passo Bidderdi is rewarded by a breathtaking descent to the beaches of Buggerru where we take a coffee break. The last climb starts at Cala Domestica and ends, with the last mile at over 10%, at Montecani. The next, steep descent will appear to be as though diving directly into the emerald sea. The ride ends at Fontanamare beach and after a refreshing swim we drive to the hotel in central Cagliari. We visit this charming city by way of some shopping and an unmissable aperitivo as we prepare for an unforgettable farewell dinner.
After breakfast we transfer to Cagliari airport for the journey back home.
- Lunches, beveages and dinners
- Single room supplement of £278
- Transfers from and to airport other than Cagliari
- Bike hire: from £186 (includes cycle computer, repair kit, pump, lock)
- Gratuities and items of a personal nature
- Bicycle case storage
For groups of 6 or more:
All our cycling itineraries can be customized to your specific tastes and requirements.