A lovely place to place self guided mountain bike vacation in Italy, that alternates between dirt tracks and quiet asphalt roads, steep climbs and thrilling descents. This is a journey deep into the heart of Sardinia, requiring a reasonable level of fitness rather than technical ability.
- Piscinas Beach – The highest sand dunes in the Med.
- Checking out the UNESCO heritage Nuraghe of Barumini
- Cooking at Laconi with Don Peppe
- Riding varied biking trails in real remote mountain areas
- Good home cooked food, washed down with local wine
- The stunning descent to Cala Gonone on the East Coast
Really excellent trip, well organised so everything worked like clockwork!
- Meals: Dinner
Following your arrival in Cagliari, we depart by support vehicle to Sulcis-Iglesiente (approx 1 hour transfer), 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 Mount Arcuentu range; your tranquil home for tonight, and that used by Skedaddle for their mountain biking weeks on the island.
An early arrival at the accommodation means there’s plenty of time to sit down and enjoy the first Sardinian meal of the holiday, freshly prepared by your host.
- Meals: Breakfast, dinner
- Ascent: 600 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 your trip. Starting from the agriturismo you’ll head out towards the coast in order officialise the coast to coast adventure. The view is breathtaking: ahead of you, the towering sand dunes of Piscinas stretch across the horizon, surrounded by hills carpeted with lush green Maquis vegetation.
As you descend towards the coast, you’ll pass abandoned mining dwellings and machinery, the only testimony of a once thriving community. Reaching the coast, you will have time to absorb this remarkable landscape of sand dunes and go for a swim before heading back on your bikes for the next fun section off-road. You will follow the coast north for a while, before heading eastwards, taking a well marked trail which will cross a stream 21 times. With a last effort, you’ll ride back to Montevecchio and the agriturismo which again is your home for the evening.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 800 Metres Approx.
A fast forest trail will take you down past the Montevecchio mines, along a disused railway track to then ride across the Campidano plain, the largest and most important on the island. Taking undulating country roads, you bike across the plain, making your way towards the ancient Roman remains of the Sardara hot springs.
A brief stop in the town of Sardara to visit the remains of a prehistoric “Well Temple”, will give you an insight into Sardinian Nuragic Bronze Era.
The final section in the afternoon will take you into the Marmilla hills, passing olive groves and vineyards and small agricultural towns. Today’s destination is a friendly hotel located near the archeological site of Su Nuraxi, a short distance from Barumini.
Sitting in the “Piazza” with a cool drink, overlooking the village church and the old folk sitting around, what better way to end another great day on the bike?
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 450 Metres Approx.
With a shorter day ahead, you can spend a bit more time over breakfast and take the opportunity to visit the most imposing Archaeological Nuragic complex on the island: the remains of Su Nuraxi. Built over 3,000 years ago, this three storey fortress will enthral any contemporary architect! The museum in the town will further your insight into this unique Sardinian history.
Getting back on the bikes, you continue on your journey following a disused railway line and gradually edging your way up towards the lower slopes of the Gennargentu range.
Your final destination for the day is a small family-run B&B located in the town of Laconi where you will have time before dinner to explore the beautiful park and Aymerich Castle.
- Meals: Breakfast, dinner
- Ascent: 950 or 1,400 Metres Approx.
Today is a challenging day as you will be climbing on road to a 1040 metre pass through the Gennargentu range in the very heart of Sardinia. Leaving Laconi you continue your journey, gently climbing 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 unspoilt nature of this area makes it a fascinating area for naturalists, walkers and cyclists alike. It is an area that most vividly reflects the ancient character of the island. Shepherd trails and huts litter the landscape and villages perch over steep sided valleys.
An enthralling fast-winding off-road descent will take you close to the village of Gadoni and over the Flumendosa River before the final ride on a tarmac section to Seulo and tonight’s accommodation. Yes you’ve guessed it, lots more delicious home made pasta and wine to be sampled!
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 1,000 or 1,200 Metres Approx.
A combination of off road and road biking will take us through another day of exhilarating landscapes and deeper into the heart of Sardinia. Utilising mountain trails, you’ll have fun exploring the Montarbu range, as the route edges towards the fascinating mountain peak of Perda Liana. Once more the vistas of the surrounding mountain ranges are outstanding, with 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. You might even be lucky enough to spot Royal Kites, vultures, rock thrushes and pipits while cycling along.
The morning climb is rewarded by an afternoon descent towards the Natural Park of Santa Barbara near Villagrande Strisaili. From here it is just a short distance until reaching your next accommodation.
- Meals: Breakfast
- Ascent: 800 Metres Approx.
Today is the grand finale of your cycling adventure with some off road biking through the wild and rugged landscape of Cadula di Fuili in the Supramonte de Baunei. Leaving your accommodation, the initial part of the day will involve some road cycling to reach the start of the trail. The route will skirt the Urzulei range, averaging 800 metres, until reaching the high plateau of Genna Croce and Genna Silana at 1000 mt! You have guessed it! With only 25 kms left to the coast, it means a lot of down! You are now in the true wilderness of the Supramonte – limestone rocks tower above, and wild boar and horses graze in the lush meadows. It’s here that the biking reaches its thrilling climax, as you cycle through the forest of Givine, surrounded by rocky pinnacles, centenary juniper trees and abandoned shepherd huts.
This ancient mule track travels down towards the most impressive Sardinian coastline, first above Fuili Gorge, locked between high white cliffs, then down to Cala Gonone, a small seaside town in the Orosei Gulf.
After a richly deserved swim and spot of relaxation, it’s time to celebrate the great adventure. With many little restaurants and pizzerias with balconies overlooking the beach, there is no better way to finish the adventure 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 the trip.
- Meals: Breakfast
It’s a relatively early start to the day for the return journey to Cagliari (approx 3 hour transfer). Depending on flight schedules, time is set aside to wander around the city; the perfect place for those last minute goodies or just relax in one of the many plazas sipping a last glass of ‘vino rosso’ whilst you scribble down a few lines on those post cards you have been meaning to write all week!
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 Cala Gonone. 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.
You will be cycling on a variety of terrain offering new experiences and challenges as the days go by.
The trip starts on stony and compact sandy tracks, through lush Mediterranean shrub overlooking high sand dunes. You’ll follow mule tracks, forest trails, cross streams, dense oak woods and over open mountain passes.
The occasional tarmac road will help loosen the leg muscles, ready for the next off-road section. As you head east, the riding is along stonier trails and wilder landscapes.
Mountain Biking Grade
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 rides 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.
Our Skedaddle representative really went the extra mile! The food and accommodation throughout the holiday was great.
Dates & Prices
Daily departures available. The season prices below are applicable for all start dates between and inclusive of the stated dates.
2021 26 Mar – 30 Oct (excluding dates from 27 Jun – 27 Aug)
Season 1 – $1740 pp – 08 Apr to 21 Apr, 03 May to 26 Jun, and 28 Aug to 30 Oct
Season 2 – $1890 pp – 26 Mar to 07 Apr and 22 Apr to 02 May
2022 26 Mar – 30 Oct (excluding dates from 25 Jun – 31 Aug)
Season 1 – $1740 pp – 26 Mar to 14 Apr, 02 May to 24 Jun, and 01 Sep to 30 Oct
Season 2 – $1890 pp – 15 Apr to 01 May
Alternatively for a great value tour choose one of our scheduled departures below.
A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en-suite rooms) in small hotels / agriturismi / B&Bs
B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
C) Local representative (with welcome meeting)
D) Detailed route notes and maps
E) Luggage transfers
F) GPS device with pre-loaded daily routes
G) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Cagliari airport (CAG)
H) Airport transfer on scheduled departure day to Cagliari airport (CAG)
What's not Included
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/archaeological sites and other attractions en-route
I) City tax to be paid at each accommodation in cash (approx € 2 euro per day)
J) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days
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Celia, Oxford, UKExcellent!
Really excellent trip, well organised so everything worked like clockwork. Enjoyed self guided option and day sea kayaking at the end. Pleased to opt for no rest day in the middle and use that day at end.
David and Viv, County Durham, UKExcellent holiday!
The briefing provided on the way to the first hotel contained a lot of information, which is good, although it was a lot to take in fresh off the plane. The map book and associated maps/ directions were excellent – much better than we had dared to hope for from discussions in the UK.
Roger R, UKFantastic scenery
Excellent Holiday and the best day was from Suelo to Villanova Strisaili. Great climbs, fantastic scenery, some challenging MTB. The complete mountain biking day!
Elaine and Steve, UKGreat first ever guided cycling holiday
Our first self guided cycling holiday. It was great that both airport transfer drivers were friendly and helpful. The bags were always reliably delivered well ahead of our arrival. Nothing seemed too much trouble for the accommodation owners and the staff on the ground. Nice to have a pre-trip chat and mid-trip SMS to make sure we were going okay.
Janice, London, UKGreat service...
Our Skedaddle representative really went the extra mile – thank you!
The food and accommodation throughout the holiday was great!