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Italy

Sardinia - Island Traverse

Guided Electric Mountain Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$2,855 P.P.

ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN BIKE TOUR

If you love mountain biking let us show you the thrills of an e-MTB adventure. On this specially designed holiday we’ll be making the most of everything an e-MTB has to offer, with incredible climbs as well as fun descents. Hire one of our quality e-mountain bikes and experience the buzz of a pedal-assisted ride. Remember to select your e-MTB hire when you book a holiday with us.

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In 2024 we return to the east coast of Sardinia with electric mountain bikes enabling us to link together all our favourite routes for a fantastic north to south journey traversing the very best of the island's spectacular east coast.
If you love journeys, this is the trip for you as it is the ultimate place to place mountain bike holiday and offers up dramatic riding past stunning secluded coastlines and vast mountain spaces. Coastal views, high rugged mountains, open plateaux, dense woods, and coastal lagoons all provide the backdrop for this rewarding tour. 
The journey begins in the northeast region of Sardinia, near Siniscola on the coast and some awesome riding takes us south following the coastline along coastal paths, well-beaten country lanes, sandy beaches and pine forests.
As the days progress, we reach the wildest area of Sardinia, the Supramonte di Dorgali and its breathtaking soaring limestone peaks. The journey continues via the “tacchi” region of Ulassai, riding alongside lakes, winding up and down passes, and with shepherds and their animals the only company we are likely to encounter on these wild trails.
Towards the southern end of the island, the landscape changes yet again and offers something different every day; vineyards, wetlands rich with birds, historic sites and daily challenges to look forward to. We've chosen to ride these routes on electric mountain bikes which allow us to confidently tackle even more remote trails and greater distances with enough energy still in the legs to enjoy the ride right up to the welcoming front door of our accommodation each night. 

Highlights

  • Enjoy a mix of biking from coastal to mountain routes
  • Fun downhill through a limestone landscape towards Cala Gonone
  • Riding ridgelines on the Urzulei range with 360 views
  • Delicious home-cooked food, washed down with tasty local wine
  • Riding through the “Blue Zone”
  • Refreshing dips in the irresistible clear blue sea

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It was worth it in every way – the biking was the hardest thing I’ve ever done (but enjoyable) on a beautiful island with great guides and very good company.

Alex, UK

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Olbia (Transfer to La Calletta)
Non Riding Day

Following our arrival in Olbia we transfer to La Caletta which boasts a huge white beach just above the northernmost tip of the Gulf of Orosei. On arrival we’ll have time to meet our guides and set up our bikes before sitting down to enjoy our first delicious Sardinian meal and a refreshing glass of local wine.

Day 2
La Caletta to Cala Gonone
44 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 900 Metres Approx.

Today’s journey beings gently heading south along relatively flat terrain along long sandy beaches. We won’t be on flat for long though, as a mix of forest roads and single track takes us up into the limestone region of Dorgali and onwards to our destination of Cala Gonone.

After our initial start, a fun coastal roller-coaster ride through a dense pine forest towards Capo Comino allows for great views as we pass huge granite rocky outcrops and some of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia along the way. This area is well known for its remote beaches: each one more stunning than the next.

Next up, we’ll take on some fun, flowing trails as we pass through the natural reserve of Bidderosa, famous for its lagoons and white sandy beaches. For our next stop we head inland briefly to Orosei, where we can grab ourselves a well-deserved break and enjoy a coffee or ice cream.

After another coastal stretch has warmed us up we head inland for the final leg of the day past some bronze age nuraghe dwellings and the Ispinigoli caves. The final singletrack descent to the coast and Cala Gonone is a special treat and ends today’s ride in style. Tonight’s accommodation is at a small hotel close to the sea front. With the evening meal taken in town, it’s time to try out one of the many excellent restaurants.

Day 3
Cala Gonone to Villagrande Strisaili
44 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 2,000 Metres Approx.

From Cala Gonone, we embark on a challenging day’s riding, leaving the coast behind and gradually climbing into the oak forest of Givine.

The climb is initially on paved road, through some stunning limestone mountains. A challenging loose gravel track with some steep uphill sections is more than rewarded with a great technical singletrack on the opposite side leading onto a tarmac road, from where we climb up gradually to the Genna Silana Pass at 1017 m.

A coffee stop at the little café at the pass is a must before we head off onto our next off-road section into the Supramonte di Urzulei.

Here it feels like entering the wild west where wild pigs and horses graze freely in a barren landscape of rock and pastures, and birds of prey soar in the thermals above our heads. After a last glimpse of the east coast in the far distance from our panoramic viewpoint (1,350m) our fast descent on a stony, loose gravel trail leads us to the oak forest below.

A final 10km of ups and downs brings us to our accommodation and a no doubt a refreshingly chilled Ichnusa Beer.

Day 4
Villagrande Strisaili to Ulassai
25 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,500 Metres Approx.

This morning, the artificial Lake Flumendosa perched high up in the mountains is soon ticked off the schedule as we head towards the rocky peak of Perda Liana. Climbing gradually, the natural monument of Perda Liana will edge closer before we finally reach its base. From here we easily reach the panoramic viewpoint from where the highest mountain ranges in Sardinia, as well as the ranges to the south we’ll be crossing in the next few days are all visible.

Moving on we have a fun challenge as we ride down a steep fire break and enjoy a descent on forest trails which leads us to the forestry land of Monte Arbu National Park. Here there is more forest singletrack before a gravel road takes us to river valley of the Niala Natural Park nestled under the ‘Ogliastra Tacchi’, whose large limestone peaks are covered by dense oak wood.

After climbing up from the little river we head to Gairo Taquisara from where an abandoned railway line takes us to Ulassai. Located at the bottom of a limestone cliff with views to the sea, this small mountain village is a great place to end the day.

Day 5
Ulassai to Tertenia
33 Miles / 53 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,350 Metres Approx.

Today we head back to the east coast, leaving behind the mountainous and rocky landscape of the dramatic “Tacchi di Ulassai”. Our day’s riding takes us towards the vineyard region of Jerzu that produces the delicious Cannonau wine that Sardinia is so well known for. More undulating routes and country lanes through the day lead us further towards the coast, and the lower fertile hills of Cardedu and its long sandy beach.

After a well-deserved swim and spot of relaxation we continue south to the little cove of Coccoroci on an easy section of road before climbing steeply on a track with a final off-road switchback descent towards Tertenia beach. The accommodation is not far from the coast and dinner is another fabulous meal of fresh local produce.

Day 6
Tertenia to Muravera
37 Miles / 60 Kms Appprox.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 800 Metres Approx.

Our route today takes us through a change in the landscape as beautiful granite mountains come into view. We begin with a cheeky climb on a dirt road that we have grown accustomed to. Then, we’ll descend deep through a valley past vineyards, where we can stop along the way to explore archaeological sites dating back to Nuragic times.

After we have put our archaeology brush away, we’ll jump back on our bikes and head back towards the coast, riding along the ridge of a hilly range with spectacular open views of the coast. We’ll take another fun roller-coaster ride descent down before arriving at our destination for tonight: Muravera.

Muravera is a bustling town, known across the island of Sardinia for its aromatic citrus fruits.

Day 7
Muravera to Costa Rei
22 Miles / 35 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 300 Metres Approx.

Our final day of riding is upon us. We will leave Muravera on a section of country dirt roads through plentiful orange groves that take us out to lagoons with pink flamingos. We’ll experience fun trails as we explore Capo Ferrato and its secluded coves on our way to the lighthouse.

We’ve planned a great morning of riding before ending our traverse near Costa Rei beach. We’ve allowed for plenty of free time this afternoon to enjoy the beautiful beaches and cool off in the crystal clear waters so after a delicious locally sourced lunch there will be plenty of time to relax and enjoy the coast.

We re-group this evening for a last celebratory meal of the tour, again plenty of delicious local fare that we’ve come to expect from our north to south journey.

Day 8
Departure from Cagliari
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

Our trip ends this morning as we transfer towards the capital Cagliari and the airport for our flights home.

If you have a day or two to spare why not extend your trip with some trekking or sea kayaking exploring more of the rugged coastline, sea caves and white sandy beaches. 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 from north to south is the continuous changing landscape and variety of terrain, offering new experiences and challenges each day.

Sardinia is predominantly mountainous and hilly, composed of large plateaus and massifs crossed by deep valleys with rushing streams. As the mountains reach the coast they alternate with flat marshy lands with long sandy beaches, the result is a daily succession of climbs and descents interspersed with some flat sections riding on a variety of terrain.

Starting in the north east, the terrain will alternate between dirt country roads, coastal trails and forest tracks with sections of riding along sandy beaches. 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 tracks and cross streams, biking through dense oak woods and over open mountain passes. The occasional tarmac road will help link these sections together.

As we ride back closer to the east coast, mountains give way to hills and country lanes through vineyards and fruit plantations, again through marshland and finally reaching the long sandy beach near Costa Rei.

This is holiday is E-MTB only. For more information about riding an electric bike on our holidays please click here

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Mountain Biking Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 4 : Challenging

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

For regular mountain bikers who have a good level of fitness

Routes with frequent moderate to 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?

As well as keeping a good level of fitness you are also an experienced biker and enjoy riding more challenging trails. You usually ride most weekends and can cover between 30 and 50 miles over a full 8-9 hour day (with breaks). The routes you choose generally include more challenging 1-2 hour long climbs perhaps with sharp switchbacks and sections of large and loose rocks. You are comfortable riding most trails including sections of technical or exposed singletrack with some testing obstacles such as drop offs and steep downhills. Our grade 4 trips should suit you.

For more information about the grading of this holiday in particular, please check out the terrain section which will give you some specifics of what to expect on this tour.

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Guides superb and really made the holiday with their endless enthusiam, humour and hard work.

Ben, UK

Dates & Prices

Secure Your Holiday With A Deposit

Book now with a $250 deposit and nothing more to pay until 60 days before departure. Choose a date to start your booking and see all prices, including bike hire and single room supplements.

Select a date to view prices and book
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
05/10/2024
Return Date
12/10/2024
Duration
8 days
Price
$2,855.00

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) GPX files available on request

G) Airport transfer on scheduled arrival day from Olbia airport (OLB)

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

I) Financial Protection through ABTOT

What's not Included Cross

A) E-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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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.

The Essentials

Travel Options

This tour starts in Olbia and finishes in Cagliari.

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday and both transfers, from Olbia airport (OLB) and back to Cagliari airport (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

We use a range of small 3* hotels and where possible we opt for agriturismi (small rural guesthouses). Our carefully selected hosts will ensure you are greeted with a warm welcome at the end of a day’s ride.

Bike Hire

The rental bikes for this holiday will be pedal assisted Electric Mountain Bikes (pedelecs).

The bikes are very good quality mountain bikes featuring disc brakes and good quality components. The motor systems will be from a reputable brand such as Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha or Brose. We have both hardtail and full-suspension models available to rent.

We can include a helmet and all necessary spares for the trip. Please make sure you request helmets at the time of booking.

If you choose to bring your own e-bike, please contact us so we can discuss the bike specification and ensure it is suitable for the tour.

You are welcome to bring your own saddle with you, but we do recommend using the flat pedals the bikes come with, as there might be some sections that need walking and hence SPD shoes are not recommended.

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