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Sardinia - Island Traverse

Guided Mountain Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

9 days

Prices from

$2,795 P.P.
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A fantastic north to south mountain bike adventure, traversing the lovely island of Sardinia. This is the ultimate place to place mountain bike journey and offers up dramatic riding through true wilderness. High rugged mountains, open plateaux, dense woods, waterfalls and streams all provide the backdrop for this challenging, yet rewarding, tour. 
This is a route for fit and experienced mountain bikers, with testing riding and long days across a variety of terrains.
During the trip we’ll take you through a variety of landscapes and along routes varying from well-beaten tracks to unused mule trails, tackling some superb trails which will test your biking skills and stimulate your passion for wilderness biking.
The journey begins in the northeast region of Sardinia, from the impressive slopes of Mt. Limbara, riding along ancient mule tracks through dense woods. 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 forested areas of Mt. Arbu, crossing streams, riding alongside lakes, winding up and down passes and meeting lone shepherds and their animals, where a brief stop for a chat normally ends up in a typical snack of bread, wine and cheese. 
Towards the southern end of the island, the landscape changes yet again and offers something different every day; vineyards, historic sites and daily challenges to look forward to. On the last biking day, we once more sample some of the island's best singletrack in the mountains of the South Coast, leading us to Cagliari our final destination.

Highlights

  • Blasting the singletrack downhill from Monte Albo
  • Biking through a constantly changing landscape
  • Fun downhill through a limestone landscape towards Cala Gonone
  • Panoramic 360° mountain views
  • Riding the singletrack below Perd’e Liana pinnacle.
  • Delicious home cooked food, washed down with tasty local wine

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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: Cagliari - Transfer to Lode
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Dinner

Following your arrival into Cagliari (CAG) in the south of the Island, we will transfer to the first nights’ accommodation near Olbia in the north. Once here we check into our hotel and after organising our bikes for the journey ahead sit down to our first delicious Sardinian meal

Day 2
Lode to Bidderosa
31 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 630 Metres Approx.

Your mountain biking adventure begins south of Olbia, near the small town of Lode in the limestone territory of Mt Albo. From our vantage point in the mountains we head down to the coast on one of the most beautiful singletracks on this part of the island, 6 km of real fun before a tarmac section leads us into the hills and onto a dirt track to the coast.

Our journey then progresses along the coast as we ride narrow trails and country lanes over granite hills to the sea. From here we continue south on a fun coastal roller-coaster ride though a dense pine forest towards Capo Comino promontory, passing huge granite rocky outcrops and some of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia along the way.

Next up, we’ll pass through the Bidderosa Natural Park famous for its lagoons and white sandy beaches. This will be your last chance to take in the stunning sea views, before heading to our overnight stay near Cala Liberotto and another succulent Sardinian dinner.

Day 3
Biderrosa to Cala Gonone
35 Miles / 56 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,030 Metres Approx.

With a less strenuous day ahead, we can allow a little bit more time over breakfast before we get ourselves on our bikes. Leaving our accommodation near Bidderosa, we follow the coastline on a mixture of off-road trails and singletrack, through a landscape of low Mediterranean shrub, lagoons and long sandy beaches.

Reaching the basalt promontory of Osalla, a short technical climb will lead us to a nuraghe (bronze-age dwelling) from where coastal views open up ahead of you. Down on the beach, a short singletrack from Cala di Osalla to Cala Cartoe will keep everyone entertained and hopefully on their bikes! We then head inland past the Ispinigoli caves towards Dorgali where after a short climb we embark on an amazing singletrack descent. Time permitting, we’ll stop off and visit the impressive Nuraghe Mannu, perched at the top of the Fuili Gorge.

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 and celebrate the ride so far in one of the bars.

Day 4
Cala Gonone to Villagrande Strisaili
41 Miles / 66 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 2,150 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. It then becomes tougher as the loose gravel track become steeper towards the end. Our reward is the 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, wild pigs and horses graze freely in a barren landscape of rock and pastures, as 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 to go before we arrive at the accommodation and a no doubt a chilled Ichnusa Beer.

Day 5
Villagrande Strisaili to Ulassai
32 Miles / 52 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,300 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 you’ll be crossing in the next few days are all visible.

Moving on we have a fun challenge for you as we ride down a steep fire break. Continuing on, a ‘carefree’ descent on forest trails 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 rail way 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 6
Ulassai to Armungia
47 Miles / 75 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1,630 Metres Approx.

Our journey continues south with an easy start to the day, descending into the river valleys below the town of Ulassai before winding back up. The unspoilt nature of this area makes it a fascinating spot for naturalists and bikers alike. It is an area that most vividly reflects the ancient character of the island. Shepherd’s trails, huts and ancient Nuraghi litter the landscape and villages perch over steep sided valleys.

Leaving the village of Perdasdefogu behind us (after a coffee stop!) we ride along the Quirra Plateau. The landscape changes yet again as we ride up and down the valleys across this vast plateau, with the highlight of today’s ride the long sweeping descent from the plateau to the Flumendosa River. After crossing the river a short climb on a quiet secondary tarmac road takes us to the town of Armungia where we settle into our accommodation.

Day 7
Armungia to Dolianova
25 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 1,200 Metres Approx.

Today we’ll continue our journey through the mountains of the Sarrabus region. The first 10 kms from Armungia take us on a roller coaster ride on wide gravel roads through the lush countryside

The following sections see us riding a mountain road contouring the peaks of Mt Genis, taking us up to about 800 m above sea level.

After lunch we head downhill for a few kilometers and then up on a challenging gradient. The last climb is a classic Skedaddle challenge with a 33% gradient. The reward though is a 360° view of the whole range of mountains we’ve crossed during our Sardinia Traverse right back to our first day’s riding. We end the day a few kms later via a beautiful singletrack that takes us to the outskirts of Dolianova where we stay for the evening.

Day 8
Dolianova to Cagliari
28 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 500 Metres Approx.

A Grand Finale on our last riding day as we ride through pine forests on a series of singletrack trails that whilst not overly technical are nevertheless great fun!

After another delicious lunch, we continue towards Cagliari, our final destination after eight days of challenging riding. Which ever thrilling route we take it’s down to the south coast and the beach where we celebrate our achievement.

Our accommodation is a short ride away in town, mostly on cycle paths, with a celebratory meal on the cards to celebrate our epic biking journey through Sardinia!

Day 9
Departure: Cagliari
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

Following breakfast it’s sadly time to head to Cagliari Elmas Airport (CAG) for return flights. Depending on flight times, there may be the option of exploring Cagliari prior to checking in for your flights.

If you have a day or two to spare why not extend your trip with some trekking or sea kayaking exploring the picturesque coastline and sandy shores which stretch along the coast to the east of Cagliari. 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, resulting in a truly challenging adventure. Sardinia is predominantly mountainous and hilly, composed of large plateaus and massifs crossed by deep valleys with rushing streams. The result is a daily succession of climbs and descents on a variety of terrain.

The riding involves wonderful stretches of steep and fast downhill on loose gravel, dirt roads or fun singletrack; but not before earning it with daily climbs, often made quite demanding by loose stones and rocks on the trail.

Short sections of technical twisting singletrack may comprise of tight corners, “steps”, rocks, roots and rocky drop-offs. The singletracks are often very narrow and pass through typical Mediterranean vegetation, including thorny bushes. We therefore recommend baggy shorts and possibly light long sleeves.

mt-limbara-mountain-biking-holiday-in-sardinia-traverse.jpg

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.

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

Ben, UK

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
17/09/2022
Return Date
25/09/2022
Duration
9 days
Price
$2,795.00

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 starts in Lode and finishes in Cagliari.

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday and both transfers, from 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

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 full suspension bikes, typically a Merida One-Twenty 400 (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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News, Reviews & Stories

12 hours in… Cagliari!

Welcome to Cagliari! Find out more about the charming capital of Sardinia...

Sardinia Biking: Sneak Peek

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