Cycling in Sardinia

Cycling in Sardinia

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the spectacular south-west coast
  • Cycle past white quartz beaches and towering sand dunes
  • Visit Phoenician ruins and ancient mines
  • Enjoy the superb coastal scenery

Trip Summary

Plunge into the wild yet romantic beauty of south-western Sardinia and cycle beside empty beaches and sandunes in total freedom and at your own pace. The terrain is rugged in parts, with high cliffs ascending from the coast, interspersed with long sandy beaches, grass covered dunes and breathtaking views. The ride commences through the fascinating Sinis wetlands, home to colonies of pink flamingos, white quartz beaches and the Phoenician ruins of Tharros. At Costa Verde you'll encounter some of the wildest scenery on the island before pedalling on to some of the highest sand dunes in Europe, many up to 50m high. Your self guided cycling journey will also take you to the fascinating abandoned mines of Ingurtosu and Planusartu, the golden beaches of Portixeddu and the impressive Pan di Zucchero cliffs before descending to Fontanamare. The trip concludes with sensational cycling along the beautiful Costa del Sud, with its gleaming white beaches, and a visit to an ancient Phoenician settlement.

Suitability

This tour is graded moderate (grade 3) with daily cycling distances between 40 and 57km (25 and 35.5mi). There are 3 mainly flat easy stages, 2 undulating stages and 1 stage that is more hilly. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. It is considered suitable for cyclists with a good level of fitness. *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list.

Itinerary

Make your own way to Cabras, where you will meet with our local representative for an explanation of the route and bike delivery (this is at 5pm on Saturdays only). If you can’t arrive before this time all information will be left at the hotel for you. If you have booked the trip to arrive on a day other than Saturday, everything will be left awaiting your arrival. Cabras is a small town with a lot to see and do, and is located near a splendid lagoon which is sometimes home to flamingos.

Meals:  Nil

Start your trip with an optional loop of the fascinating Sinis wetlands, where you can see colonies of pink flamingos in season (Spring) and quartz beaches, and reach one of the most beautiful spots on the island: the Phoenician ruins of Tharros. Local wine production is mainly a sherry-like Vernaccia and you may be able to visit a cellar along the way. Cross the medieval historic centre of Oristano to reach Arborea, where you stay overnight. Approx. ascent/descent: +/- 185m/607ft

Meals:  B

Today you cycle to Piscinas beach through the natural beauty spots of the Costa Verde, which has some of the wildest scenery on the island. Initially there is a flat 12km/7.5mi section across reclaimed farmland to the colourful fishing village of Marceddi. Rice, fruit and vegetables are grown here for the “cucine” (kitchens) of the island. From here the route becomes more undulating, with sand dunes over 50m/164ft high, some of the highest in Europe, skirting the beach. It is possible to be collected here (on request only) and driven up to Arbus, or you could take the steep but spectacular inland route directly to the village by bike. Overnight in Arbus in an agriturismo or family run hotel. Approx. ascent/descent: +1000m/3280ft, -580m/1902ft

Meals:  B

This leg takes you back into the ancient mining past of Sardinia, as you pass the fascinating abandoned mines of Planusartu and Acquaresi. A descent takes you to the golden beach of Portixeddu, from where you continue via the looming mass of the Pan di Zucchero cliff. You can admire the old ore washery 'Laveria Lamarmora' at Nebida, where you stay overnight in a cosy 'locanda'. Approx. ascent/descent:+765m/209ft, -1070m/3510ft

Meals:  B

Start the day with a beautiful descent to Fontanamare, followed by an undulating coastal ride to Portoscuso. Here you board a ferry (at own expense) to Carloforte on Isola di San Pietro, where the locals still fish for red tuna. There is time for a short tour round the island, exploring sandy coves and rocky headlands with tiny hamlets, before taking another ferry to the equally unspoiled island of Sant'Antioco, to end your day in Calasetta. Note that it is not possible to book the ferry in advance. Approx. ascent/descent: +290m/951ft, -435m/1417ft

Meals:  B

This morning you can laze at the beach or take a short ride to explore the island's coves and beaches, green (or golden in the summer!) meadows and little villages. Cross back to the mainland to cycle through vineyards and olive groves and savour the peace and quiet of the rolling plains of Sulcis. You can visit the Pisan sanctuary at Tratalias, one of the most important monuments from the Sardinian Romanesque period. Rugged mountains once again rise inland. Continue to your hotel at Sant'Anna Arresi / Porto Pino. Approx. ascent/descent: +150m/488ft, -65m/214ft

Meals:  B

Your last cycling day is at the beautiful Costa del Sud, with its gleaming white beaches, unspoiled natural landscape and imposing cliffs: Cape Malfatano with its a 16th century tower, and Capo Spartivento. A short detour leads to the beautiful beach of Su Giudeu in Chia, and at Nora you can visit the ancient Phoenician settlement. Overnight in Pula. Approx. ascent/descent: +530m/1738ft, -590m/1935ft

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes extra, payable locally - allow €10-15)
  • Luggage transfer
  • Rental bike with panniers, repair kit, bike computer and water bottle (electric bike available on request - supplement applies), helmet on request
  • Welcome meeting and information pack including route notes & maps per room booked
  • Emergency hotline
  • Optional transfer at the end of day 3 to Arbus

What's Not Included

  • Dinners, lunches & beverages
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip
  • Ferry tickets to Carloforte and Calasetta - allow EUR10 per person for each ferry
  • Local taxes (allow €10-15)

Upcoming Travel Dates

Reviews

A good fairly challenging route through south west Sardinia encompassing quite different scenery each day. Minimal road sharing with cars and Sardinian drivers very good with wide clearance for cyclists.

M. Robertson, Camperdown, NSW, 04 Jul 2019

AT A GLANCE

Duration:8 Days
Countries:Italy
Starting Point:Cabras
Finishing Point:Pula
Activities:self guided cycling
Grade:moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:CSR
Prices From:GBP£955 Per Person
Single Supplement:GBP£180  Click for more information
single traveller surcharge:GBP£300  Click for more information
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.