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Italy

Sardinia - Coast to Coast

Guided Mountain Bike Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,595 P.P.
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A brilliant place to place mountain bike holiday in Italy, offering great fun for bikers of all ability from fit cyclists with some off-road experience to advanced riders looking for a relaxing holiday. The route alternates between dirt tracks, remote mountain roads, fun singletrack trails and quiet asphalt roads. With steep climbs and thrilling descents this is a journey deep into the heart of Sardinia. Overall the trip requires a reasonable level of fitness rather than technical ability.
Starting near Arbus, at the agriturismo famous for its delicious home made food, we set off east taking us past an ever changing landscape of olive groves and vineyards, lush green oak woods and into breath taking wilderness mountain scenery. During our journey, every day will offer the opportunity to visit places of cultural interest such as the Unesco heritage site of Barumini, or lesser known historical remains.
This mountain biking holiday in Sardinia culminates with a lovely descent through the mountains of Ulassai to the stunning west coast of Barisardo. After a well deserved swim and spot of relaxation, time to celebrate our great adventure with a celebratory dinner, sipping wine and watching the stars shining over the Med. 
If you can’t find a date to suit or want to go it alone, there is a self-guided mountain bike option and a self-guided road option too. We book all the accommodation, take you to the start point from the airport, transfer your luggage and then provide you with routes and itinerary for the trails.
If you have a day or two to spare why not extend your trip with some trekking or sea kayaking. Our local team can join you for a day’s guiding or we can provide the information and equipment to allow you to enjoy the routes self-guided, just give us a call for further info.
 
 

Holiday Highlights

  • Visiting Piscinas Beach – the highest sand dunes in the Med
  • Checking out the UNESCO heritage Nuraghe of Barumini
  • Riding varied biking trails in real remote mountain areas
  • Eating fantastic home cooked food, washed down with local wine!
  • Enjoying the stunning scenery of the limestone mountains around Ulassai
  • The satisfaction of crossing spectacular Sardinia by bike

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A truly great holiday! There is so much I could write about what made the holiday special but I would need to write a whole book.

Carolyn, Blackburn

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Cagliari - Transfer to Arbus
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Dinner

Following our arrival in Cagliari, we take an 80 min (approx) transfer to Sulcis-Iglesiente, a mountainous region 3/4 of the way down the island. We take a road that winds through open plateaux and extensive plains dotted with small towns, before reaching the hilly region below the Monte Linas range; our tranquil home for tonight, which is used by Skedaddle for all of our mountain biking weeks on the island. We arrive at our accommodation in plenty of time to sit down to our first Sardinian meal, freshly prepared by our host.

Day 2
Arbus to Guspini (Mining Towns & Piscinas Dunes)
28 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 700 Metres Approx.

Today’s first ride is a journey through varied landscapes, a loop ride giving a true taster of what Sardinia has to offer and a great start to our holiday. Starting from the agriturismo we head out towards the coast in order to ‘officially’ start our coast-to-coast adventure. The view is breathtaking: ahead of us, the towering sand dunes of Piscinas stretch across the horizon, surrounded by hills and carpeted with lush green Maquis vegetation.

As we descend towards the coast, we will pass abandoned mining dwellings and machinery, the only testimony of a once thriving community. Reaching the coast, we will have time to absorb this remarkable landscape of sand dunes and go for a swim before heading back onto our bikes for the next fun-filled off-road section.

We will follow the coast north for a while, before heading eastwards, taking a well-marked trail which will cross a stream no less than 21 times. After a gradual climb, we pause in Montevecchio for refreshments before taking a fun trail down through the mines. The last section leads us to Guspini and our accommodation for the night.

Day 3
Guspini to Barumini (Campidano and the Hills of Marmilla)
31 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 600 Metres Approx.

We continue our journey across the island taking cross-country undulating lanes through the Campidano plain, making our way towards the ancient Roman remains of the Sardara hot springs.

We take a brief stop in the town of Sardara to visit the remains of a prehistoric “Well Temple”, giving us an insight into the Sardinian Nuragic Bronze Era. The next section in the afternoon will take us into the Marmilla hills, alternating between tracks and country roads, we ride past olive groves, vineyards, small farms and sleepy villages. The short climbs will be rewarded with fast sweeping downhill trails.

Today’s destination is a friendly hotel located near the archaeological site of Su Nuraxi, a short distance from Barumini. Built over 3,500 years ago, this three storey fortress will enthral any contemporary architect, so, showered and time permitting, we visit the sights. Eating at the hotel restaurant, we can enjoy a relaxing evening after another full day on our Coast to Coast journey.

Day 4
Barumini to Laconi (Valleys and Foothills)
28 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 800 Metres Approx.

Getting back on our bikes, we continue on our journey following a dis-used railway line, contouring the Giara Plateau and gradually edging our way up towards the lower slopes of the Gennargentu range. We ride past abandoned train stations and sleepy towns before embarking on a gradual climb up into the lower slopes of the Gennargentu. Biking along a forest road, we ride past a panoramic wooded area, ancient oak trees overlooking a landscape of green valleys and pastures.

Bypassing Asuni, and moving further into more remote territory, we enter a narrow valley with the overlooking castle of Medusa perched on a rocky scree above us. The mountain forest road climbs gradually, following the contours of the valley.

Our final destination for the day is an agriturismo known for its production of olive oil where our hosts Don Peppe and Mariarita will treat us to a delightful home cooked meal.

Day 5
Laconi to Seulo (The Flumendosa)
31 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 1,400 Metres Approx.

Leaving Laconi we continue our journey as we climb towards the Gennargentu, winding through lush oak woods before finally reaching higher ground. The landscape will have now altered and is relatively barren and wild and the sky filled with birds of prey circling in the thermals in search of prey. The unspoiled nature of this area makes it fascinating for naturalists, walkers and cyclists alike.

It is an area that most vividly reflects the ancient character of the island.

Today is quite challenging, taking us first towards the Flumendosa across the barren landscape of Santa Sofia, to then descend to the Flumendosa river, the most important in Sardinia. After a cheeky climb, a fun section of single track and forest trails leads us to the unique water fall of Su Stampu e su Turunnu.

Our final destination for today is an agriturismo set outside the village of Seulo, reaching it with one last push on the bikes from the waterfalls.

Day 6
Seulo to Ulassai
31 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 1,200 Metres Approx.

A combination of off-road and tarmac surfaces will take us through another day of exhilarating landscapes and deeper into the heart of Sardinia today. Utilising mountain forest tracks and trails we will have fun exploring the Montarbu range, through dense woods and into the limestone landscape of this region. A short detour takes us to a traditional shepherd’s hut by a natural pond, an ideal spot for our packed lunch.

Moving on re-fuelled, once more the vistas of the surrounding mountain ranges are outstanding with Perda Liana and the highest peak in Sardinia, Punta Lamarmora (1,868 metres), forever present in the distance. The silence is broken only by the sound of sheep bells, cows and goats. We might even be lucky enough to spot Royal Kites, vultures, rock thrushes and pipits as we cycle along.

To reach Ulassai we have different options depending on the group, all with great views of the rocky limestone formations characterising this region. Ulassai is one of the most popular rock-climbing areas of Sardinia, so you may spot some climbers as we cycle below the cliffs.

Day 7
Ogliastra
22 Miles / 35 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 450 Metres Approx.

Today is the grand finale of our cycling adventure with some off road biking towards the east coast, moving from the mountainous and rocky landscape of the “Tacchi di Ulassai”, towards the vineyard region of Jerzu and the lower fertile hills of Cardedu.

Leaving our hotel, we first stop to admire the canyon formations of the Scala di San Giorgio and then move onto Ulassai. The first part of the day will involve a lot of descending! The landscape will drastically change and we will be delighted by gentler landscapes of vineyards and farm holds. More undulating routes and country lane lead us to the coast where we finally reach the long sandy beach of Cardedu.

After a well deserved swim and spot of relaxation, it’s time to celebrate our great achievement! With our hotel right on the beach, there is no better way to finish our adventure together than enjoying another succulent meal, sipping wine and watching the stars glitter over the eastern Mediterranean sea…. Bliss! Accommodation for the last night is in a superb hotel overlooking the coast, ideal for a relaxing end to our journey.

Day 8
Transfer to Cagliari
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

We have a relatively early start to the day for our return journey to Cagliari. Depending on flight schedules, time can be set aside to enjoy the last moments by the beach.

If you have a day or two to spare why not extend your trip with some trekking or sea kayaking exploring the rugged coastline, sea caves and white sandy beaches which stretch both north and south from Bari Sardo. Our local team can join you for a day’s guiding or we can provide the information and equipment to allow you to enjoy the routes self-guided, just give us a call for further info.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The beauty of a journey across an island is the continuous changing landscape offering new experiences and challenges as the days go by. Starting from the west coast, the biking is characterised by stony and compact sandy tracks, through lush Mediterranean shrub overlooking high sand dunes, unique to this part of the island.

As we carry on our journey across the island, the terrain will alternate between countryside dirt roads through the Campidano plain and over the hills of the Marmilla region. As we bike further into the heart of Sardinia, we enter the mountainous region, ascending over the following days into higher territory. Here we follow mountain mule tracks, forest trails, cross streams, biking through dense oak woods and over open mountain passes.

The occasional tarmac road will help link these sections together, ready for the next off-road section. As we ride closer to the east coast, mountains give way to hills and country lanes through vineyards and fruit plantations, finally reaching the long sandy beach near Bari Sardo.

group-mountain-biking-italy-sardinia-experience-saddle-skedaddle.jpg

Mountain Biking Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 : Moderate

Distances of 25-50 miles / 40-80 kms per day

Aimed at regular cyclists who have a degree of off road experience

Some moderate and difficult technical sections

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

If you have some experience of off road riding on a variety of terrain, and would like to do more, a grade 3 trip could be for you. These holidays give you elements of our higher grade trips but at a manageable level with sections of singletrack (narrow trails wide enough for one rider) and shorter steep sections (both up and down) which require more bike handling ability. A day’s ride can see you on the trails for around 8 hours (with breaks) and covering between 25-50 miles depending on the terrain. If you’re generally fit and manage to ride regularly this could be the level for you.

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The guides could not have done more for us! Their knowledge, professionalism and assistance was outstanding. I would reccommend this trip to anyone!

Orla, Dublin

Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
14/05/2022
Return Date
21/05/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,595.00
Start Date
10/09/2022
Return Date
17/09/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,595.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in small hotels / agriturismi

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B-Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full tour service, including Skedaddle guides

D) Unless stated, at least one leader qualified in first aid

E) Support vehicle, for tired bikers and luggage transfers

F) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Cagliari airport (CAG)

G) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Cagliari airport (CAG)

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike rental (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Single room (available if required)

D) Travel insurance

E) Meals not stated in the itinerary

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

H) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en-route

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days

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The Essentials

Travel Options

This tour stars in Arbus and finishes in Bari Sardo.

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday and both the arrival and return transfers from Cagliari (CAG) will be co-ordinated with the group flight schedule.

We will provide you with details of suitable flight/arrival/departure schedules as flight timetables become available.

Please check with us before making any travel arrangements to ensure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your arrangements fit with our scheduled transfers.

Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the scheduled transfer windows, there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be ensuite in 2 and 3 star hotels, guesthouses or Agriturismi. This style of accommodation is a highlight of our tours here.

Set in idyllic surroundings, these locations retain their rural character, and at most Agriturismi your meals will be made from the produce (eggs, meat, and often wine and olive oil) that’s fresh off the farm.

They are comfortable, informal and a great way to experience the real Sardinian lifestyle.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to rent.

These bikes are typically very good hardtail mountain bikes from a major manufacturer, usually Canyon. Featuring front suspension, disc brakes and good quality components.

If you’d like to upgrade to a full suspension mountain bike instead, we also have this option available. Our full suspension bikes will typically be a Canyon Nerve or Canyon Neuron (or equivalent).

If you do decide to rent we can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please request helmets at the time of booking.

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