Swept Away in Sardegna
A Seaside Adventure on Italy’s Most Exotic Island.
Sardinia (or Sardegna) boasts over 2,000 km of pristine shoreline. Within this diverse coastal landscape, you’ll view high cliffs diving into the turquoise sea, stretches of white, sandy beaches, and miles of salmon-colored rock formations. Within the island’s interior lies another world: canyons dotted with ancient mountain villages, forests flocked with chestnuts and cork trees, and golden fields filled with herds of sheep. On this cycling vacation, you’ll stay in lovely seaside hotels and dine on fresh seafood and Sardinian specialties. With its rugged countryside and ancient heritage, Sardinia is a bit on the wild side…but that’s what makes it so alluring: a land and a culture that will surely capture your spirit and your heart.
The towns and cities of Sardegna, especially those along the coast, have a rich tradition of fish and seafood, while inland, they are known for game and farm produce. Over the centuries, the mixing of these traditions has evolved into a unique gastronomic experience. On this bike tour you’ll discover how this combination of tastes and cooking styles excites both the palate and the imagination.
- Peaceful pedaling along the turquoise Mediterranean
- Al fresco barbeque with modern-day Sardinian shepherds
- Glimpses of rare animals including eagles, wild sheep, and griffin vultures
- Cycling through spectacular limestone mountains and along stunning ocean-side cliffs
- Feasts of savory and cool, crisp white wines
- Stay at charming seaside hotels and enchanting country inns
- Dine at renowned Ristorante Andreini in Alghero
- 05/17/14 - 05/26/14
- 06/14/14 - 06/22/14
- 09/13/14 - 09/22/14
- 10/11/14 - 10/20/14
Day by Day
Day 1 — Alghero warm-up ride
We meet at the hotel at 12:30pm for a light lunch and introductions followed by bike fittings and a quick spin to the Sanctuary of Valverde for a map review and an overview of our tour. For our first night’s feast, we'll find that there are many homemade pastas and wonderfully seasoned foods to enjoy at renowned Ristorante Andreini!
Day 2 — Loop to Capo Caccia
Today we cycle north, to the beautiful area of La Fertilia, as far as Capo Caccia, where we have the chance to visit one of the most amazing caves in Europe, The Grotto of Nettuno. The erosion of the calcareous rocks, mostly done by the rainwater, formed this cave. Return by bike to Alghero, and enjoy some time around town checking out the local crafts made out of Red Coral.
Day 3 — Bosa
Today’s ride follows the spectacular coastline to Bosa, a natural oasis for rare birds like the reed warbler, the kingfisher and the griffon vulture. You’ll pedal along Bosa’s rocky shores, whose natural ebony cliffs are fortified by ancient landslides that jut out into the Mediterranean. Stop in the Bosa Marina for lunch and stroll around the town. Sites worth seeing are the local cathedral, the Malaspina castle, the museum of “sas conzas,” and the old tanneries used in the 18th-century for local typical craftwork.
Day 4 — Cuglieri and Caterina di Pittinuri
The sweet scent of juniper berries and wild olives will help invigorate today’s ride. In Cuglieri, find yourself surrounded by mountains, woods and rivers. After repeated raids in the 9th-century, this old city was abandoned, and then rediscovered and founded as a new city, Curulis Nova, now called Cuglieri. The area is a magnificent archeological site, home to sarcophagi and the remains of a basilica with three naves. Once a religious center on the island, this will surely be a grand stop for the day.
Day 5 — Fordongianus
Today, after a rolling bike ride by the sea, leave the coast and enjoy a flat terrain en route to Fordongianus, passing by Paulilatino, in the heart of Sardegna. This area is dotted with pastures and remote villages, where you might get caught up in a traffic jam of sheep. Out hotel boasts a spa, perfect for some massage or why not simply relax by the pool sipping a cocktail before a well-deserved dinner?
Day 6 — Lago di Gusana
Today we ride inland to Barbagia, a rugged landscape rich in living traditions. The silence of these untouched mountains will give you the impression that time has stopped. The name “Barbagia” comes from the Latin word “barbaria,” used by the ancient Romans to reference the once secluded areas inhabited by ancient “barbarians.” As your animal adventures continue in this ancient area, be on the lookout for more rare animals, such as wild boars and eagles. Sorgono has been an important town since the Roman times, and it is the birthplace of a very popular, local wine called Mandrolisai.
Day 7 — Oliena and Su Gologone
We wend our way on bicycle toward the mountains of Gennargentu today – from Sorgono to Mamoiada and Orgosolo – before arriving in the attractive village of Oliena, famous for the local cannonau wine called Nepente. A part of the area known as Mamoida is popular for the eerie masks of the Mamuthones, which are often on display and populate the streets during festivals and celebrations. We also visit the town of Orgosolo on our bike ride - known as the village of murals.
Day 8 — Mount Corrasi Hike
Today we’re taking a day off the bike to hike and enjoy the beautiful area called the Supramonte. The hike up to the top of Mount Corrasi includes a bit of climbing, but is rewarded by fascinating views and vistas over the valley. We’ll enjoy a barbecue in the mountains with local shepherds and learn how these shepherds make cheese. In the afternoon, opt to visit the area of Su Gologone or relax at the hotel. Delight in a cooking demonstration in the hotel’s restaurant before heading out for dinner on your own this evening.
Day 9 — Villasimius
We ascend from 328 to 3,280 feet towards the Genna Silana pass, and then back down to sea level on what is sure to be one of the best bike rides of your life. This zigzagging road carved into the ridge of a mountain chain slowly climbs high above a plunging river gorge – and the descent toward the coast is even more dramatic! We’ll pass by Dorgali, a major agricultural center well known for its locally produced products, and then head out toward a beautiful and remote place on this mysterious island, where you’ll have a bit of a climb before reaching the coast. A 1.5-hour afternoon shuttle will allow us to avoid the “orientale Sarda,” the Southeastern main road and bring us to our hotel by the beach in Villa Simius.
Day 10 — Arrivederci!
After breakfast we will transfer you to Cagliari where you can catch a flight or ferry to the mainland. The shuttle takes 1.5 hours and we will leave around 9am.
- Bike rental equipped with odometer, map case, handlebar and seat bags and bike pump
- Ciclismo jersey and water bottle
- Shuttles during and at end of tour
On The Tour
- Cycling clinics
- Hiking on Mount Corrasi
- Visit to grottos of Nettuno near Alghero and at museum of eerie masks of Mamoiada
- Traditional sardinian music
- Cooking and cheese making demonstration
Accommodations & Meals
- All accommodations and breakfasts
- 7 dinners
- 2 lunches
Here’s a sampling of some of the amazing places you’ll stay on your journey.
For a full listing, request a detailed itinerary!
This beautiful seaside hotel faces the splendid Riviera del Corallo (Riviera of Coral), with a spectacular view from the promontory of Capo Caccia (Cape Caccia). Its close proximity to the city center and the Grotte di Nettuno (Neptune's Caves) make it a perfect choice for Alghero.
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Grand Hotel Terme e Spa
This hotel offers a spa and a pool to soothe your tired legs after a day of riding, right in the heart of Sardinia.
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This hotel lies at the foot of Supramonte, a mountain steeped in folklore. It is a large, white villa that blends perfectly with the surrounding landscape of juniper trees and wild olives. With a swimming pool and views of the horizon, this hotel combines quality service, comfort and tradition.
View their website