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Italy

Sardinia - Coastal Explorer

Guided Road Cycling Holiday

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

£1,525 P.P.
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Famed as Italy’s most exotic island, Sardinia is blessed with a fantastic network of well-surfaced and traffic-free roads, just perfect for road cycling. The island has a stunning coastline which we will explore thoroughly throughout our journey, taking in the beautiful sandy beaches, emerald green waters and jaw dropping ocean views as we ride all the way to its most southern point.
Starting in the north of the island, the early stages take us along the high-rising coastal cliffs towards Bosa and through the lush cork oak forested Montiferru mountains. Moving south we head into the low marshlands of Cabras and the Sinis Peninsula, crossing the Arborea Plain and onto the mountainous Costa Verde, Sardinia's famous "Green Coast".
After visiting the San Pietro and Sant'Antioco islands we will ride along the beautiful south coast before our journey ultimately draws to a conclusion in the quaint fisherman's village of Pula.
Sardinia doesn't just abound in natural beauty, it is also steeped in culture and history and our route presents many opportunities to stop and visit ancient sites such as Roman baths, Carthaginian settlements and rural churches.
We stay in a wide variety of consistently high standard accommodation during the holiday, ranging from independently run small hotels to traditional, family managed agriturismi.
Choose from one of the scheduled dates published below to join a guided tour, or, if you enjoy the freedom and flexibility of going it alone, opt for our self-guided version.
Extensions, to participate in additional activities such as trekking and sea kayaking, are available, either as self-guided options or accompanied by qualified members of our team. Call us for further details on availability, rates and equipment rental.
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Holiday Highlights

  • Riding the stunning coastal road from Alghero to Bosa
  • The ride to Montiferru through its oak forest
  • Sampling delightful Sardinian foods with a vast variety of local wines
  • Enjoying the view of Pan di Zucchero on the Nebida coastal ride
  • Sweeping down the long descent to Fluminimaggiore and Masua
  • Glimpsing the white beaches which hug the south west coast road

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Excellent! A challenge, fantastic scenery, brilliant places to stay and total confidence in being looked after. This more than fulfilled any expectations, thank you!

Kath, Cheshire

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Cagliari / Alghero
Non Riding Day

Following arrival at Cagliari Airport we will transfer north to the ancient walled city, Alghero. The journey will take approximately three hours, after which, we will prepare the bikes and relax a little before dinner. Due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean Sea, Alghero was built around a fortified port and its small winding streets make a great place to explore.

Day 2
Alghero to Tresnuraghes
40 Miles / 65 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,000 Metres Approx.

Before bidding farewell to Alghero and setting off on our journey south, we’ll take a small detour along the medieval fortifications of the old Catalan-influenced town and then head through some of its ancient narrow streets.

Once out of the city we’ll join the coast road and head down towards the town of Bosa via a roller-coaster of high cliffs, little rocky bays and ancient watchtowers. It’s not unusual to see rare birds as we ride this section, including griffon vultures which can often be spotted perched high up on the cliffs or flying overhead.

We arrive in Bosa along the River Temo passing the traditional fishing boats moored along the riverbank, ancient tanneries reflecting in the water and the colourful pastel tones of Bosa ahead reaching up towards the Malaspina Castle.

Our final section continues along the river to Bosa Marina before climbing gradually towards Magomandas and then finally our destination for today, Tresnuraghes, a small quiet village on the high plateau. With spa and swimming pool facilities, there is time to relax before we head out for dinner.

Day 3
Tresnuraghes to Santu Lussurgiu
47 Miles / 75 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 1,200 Metres Approx.

Leaving Tresnuraghes, we head inland along the plateau passing through the village of Sennariolo. The road undulates past stone-walled farm holdings, fields of grazing sheep and olive groves as the towering Montiferru mountain range lies ahead of us. Upon reaching Cuglieri we’ll be ready for a coffee break and, if time permits, a short walk through the village’s narrow cobbled streets up to the basilica and the viewpoint above the town.

Our destination for today is the charming village of Santu Lussurgiu, situated on the south-east side of the mountain range, and to reach it we have two options. We can either take the coastal road (70km) or, a more direct route which winds through the woods and barren rugged slopes of the Montiferru. The guiding team will discuss the alternatives and make a decision depending on the weather conditions, preferences and progress on the day. Whichever option we take, a delicious picnic lunch will break up the ride, either on the coast or in the shade of the woods near the natural water springs of San Leonardo.

We’ll arrive in Santu Lussurgiu in time to explore the traditional cobbled streets before settling into our accommodation in an ancient mansion where our hosts pride themselves on their hospitality, offering a fine and special meal, in the context of a warm and homely environment.

Day 4
Santu Lussurgiu to Torre dei Corsari
65 Miles / 110 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 400 Metres Approx.

We leave Santu Lussurgiu’s cobbled streets via a lovely, gently-descending road that leads us to the coast and the wetlands of Cabras, a natural habitat for many species of birds and famous for merka and bottarga, local delicacies of smoked mullet and mullet roe, which the local fishermen still source using a unique and ancient method.

We’ll make a short detour to the Sinis Peninsula, where we can observe the Roman-Punic remains of Tharros and some early Paleo-Christian remains. The peninsula was a strategic location for the Romans for both exploration of the Mediterranean and also as an access to the interior of Sardinia in search of minerals and land to exploit. Not far from Tharros we find more Paleo-Christian churches; the churches of San Salvatore and San Giovanni di Sinis reflecting the simplicity of the times in which they were built in their design and architecture.

Moving on, we ride through the flat agricultural region of Arborea, where most of Sardinia’s milk and vegetables are produced. Arborea town, built during the Mussolini era is a sharp contrast to the traditional Sardinian towns. Reaching Marceddi, a fishing hamlet on the southern side of the fertile plains, we stop for lunch and a short break, before crossing the Marceddi lagoon. Here if we are lucky, we might get to spot some flamingos before settling back on the coastal road for the final, short rollercoaster ride to Torre dei Corsari, our home, right on the coast and an ideal setting to chill out after another great ride.

Day 5
Torre dei Corsari to Portixeddu
43 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 1,000 Metres Approx.

Today our exploration of the coast will take us into the Costa Verde region, as we ride through lush green Mediterranean macchia overlooking the ever-opening sea vista. We stop at Portu Maga to take a coffee break while we admire the views of rugged coastline and long sandy beaches. From here we head inland, riding below the Monte Arcuentu volcanic range and into the mining area of Montevecchio. Here, we might, if we are lucky, spot a Sardinian deer or two.

A gradual climb will then lead us to Arbus and on to our final 9km descent to Fluminimaggiore and the long sandy beach of Portixeddu. Here there is time for a dip in the sea and a drink at the local bar before heading to the hotel, a short pedal away from the coast, where we will enjoy dinner.

Day 6
Portixeddu to Calasetta
43 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner
  • Ascent: 1,000 Metres Approx.

More long sandy beaches and rugged promontories accompany us as we continue down the coast. We’ll take a ferry* to Isola di San Pietro (St Peter’s Island) and the small town of Carloforte, unique for its Genoese and Tunisian influences where, for lunch, we can sample some of the finest fish cuisine in the Mediterranean. Another ferry will take us across to the island of Sant‘Antioco, famed for its ancient settlements and catacombs under the town. A final few kilometres riding through cultivated fields leads us to our hotel.

*Approx 12 Euros per person including bike carriage for both ferries.

Day 7
Calasetta to Pula
62 Miles / 100 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 750 Metres Approx.

Although we may feel a little sad to have reached our final day on the bikes, there is still plenty to be happy about as we have a beautiful day ahead us, discovering one of the finest stretches of beach on the island. With the expanse of blue Mediterranean water permanently at our side, the traffic free road leads us past many beautiful coves and rugged rock formations until we reach Pula, our final destination, and the perfect setting to celebrate our achievement.

Day 8
Departure: Pula / Cagliari
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast we transfer to Cagliari Elmas Airport (CAG) for return flights.

Alternatively, those who have opted to fly back from Alghero will be dropped off at the bus station to connect with bus transfers to the north of the island.

For those spending extra days in Sardinia, activities such as trekking and sea kayaking, are available, either as self-guided options or accompanied by qualified members of our team. Call us for further details on availability, rates and equipment rental.

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The Cycling

Terrain

Sardinia is a cyclists paradise, with excellent quality tarmac, wide roads, few cars and low urbanisation. You will be enchanted by the gradual undulating roads along the coast, passing watch towers, high cliffs and descending to long sandy beaches. As we leave the coast to ride towards the interior, the terrain becomes more mountainous, with longer gradual climbs, alternating with smooth flowing descents. Very short sections leading to the accommodation could be on gravel roads.

Sardinia-Coastal-Explorer-Guided-Road-Cycling-Holiday.JPG

Road Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 2 - 3: Gentle to Moderate

Average distances around 70-90 km with occasional challenging climbs

A moderately difficult tour somewhere slightly tougher than a Grade 2, but not as difficult as Grade 3

Some long days and significant climbs

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?

You’re reasonably fit and ride frequently at weekends, sometimes staying on the bike for a number of hours at a time. You do enjoy an occasional challenge and quite happy climbing but you‘re unlikely to be found daydreaming about ticking off all the famous cols of the Tour de France. That said the prospect of tackling a semi-serious to serious mountain pass doesn’t fill you with dread. You enjoy the social aspect of cycling and look forward to the occasional coffee-stop as much as the riding itself. You have good control of your bike and feel confident in your skills to ascend and descend safely. Whilst you find a full day in the saddle fulfilling, you’re not obsessed and as much as you are looking forward to the riding on your holiday, you’re also looking forward to a little local culture and cuisine. Grade 2-3 would be a good option for you.

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Great guides, lovely scenery, an interesting group and first class food and accommodation. I took a friend who hasn’t done a trip like this before and she loved it, we‘re truly hooked!

Ray, Norwich

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
16/04/2022
Return Date
23/04/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,525.00
Start Date
28/05/2022
Return Date
04/06/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,525.00
Start Date
03/09/2022
Return Date
10/09/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,525.00
Start Date
08/10/2022
Return Date
15/10/2022
Duration
8 days
Price
£1,525.00

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) Meals not stated in the itinerary

D) Travel insurance

E) Single room (available if required)

F) Personal clothing and equipment

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

H) Entrance fees to archaeological sites en-route

I) Ferry tickets on day 6 (approx €12)

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

K) Airport transfers from and to Alghero airport (AHO)

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Your tour starts in Alghero and finishes in Pula.

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

It may also be possible to fly into Alghero airport (AHO) and make your own way to the start hotel by taxi.

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 make sure 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

The majority of our accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be en-suite in 3* hotels or guesthouses.

Bike Hire

If you have opted to rent, your bike will typically be an aluminium framed Canyon Endurance road bike. They are great bikes with good quality components and generally come equipped with at least one bottle cage, a saddle bag and a small pump.

We can also include a helmet which should be requested at time of booking.

Please note that your bike will come with flat pedals as standard, so please do bring your own with you if you ride with clip-in pedals.

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