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Italy

Sardinia - Coast to Coast

Self-Guided Road Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$1,685 P.P.
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For this tour across Sardinia we’ve chosen a beautiful route that alternates between gentle coastal roads, vast plains, steady climbs and thrilling descents. We take you deep into the heart of this magical island.
Starting in the south-west of Sardinia, near Montevecchio, you’ll set off through hills carpeted with lush green maquis vegetation, towards the coastal hamlets of Marina di Arbus and Porto Palma, where your coast to coast adventure officially begins.
You’ll ride through olive groves and vineyards, unique and fascinating archaeological sites and lush green oak woods as you head off into a spectacular mountain landscape.
Highlights along the way include a challenging but rewarding ascent into the stunning Gennargentu Mountains and spectacular ride through the "Tacchi" of Ogliastra - dolomitic limestone mountains whose name derives from its similar shape to a shoe heel. From day 5, as you cycle through Seulo and Ulassai to the coast, yourwill be riding through the "Blue Zone",where the locals on average have the highest life expectancy (along with the 4 other blue zones) in the world.
If you have a day or two to spare why not extend your trip with some trekking or sea kayaking. We’d love to help you experience Sardinia from the water, and we’re able to organise guided kayaking excursions with one of our local team if booked in advance, please contact us for further details.  
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Highlights

  • Riding the roller-coaster road below Mount Arcuentu to the west coast
  • Exploring the UNESCO heritage site of Su Nuraxi at Barumini
  • Taking a dip in the emerald waters of Sardinia
  • Cycling through the Sardinian “Blue Zone”
  • Dining on delicious home cooked food, washed down with tasty local wine!
  • The stunning descent to Bari Sardo on the East Coast

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We kept having favourite days – it seemed that each day superseded the last in terms of experience. We genuinely loved each day for different reasons!

Ian, UK

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival: Cagliari / Transfer to Montevecchio
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Dinner

Following your arrival in Cagliari you will be met and transferred (approx. 1 hour) to Montevecchio, an abandoned mining town just below the Arcuentu mountain range, three quarters of the way down the island.

You should arrive at your accommodation with plenty of time to discuss the details of your tour with your Skedaddle Representative, before sitting down to your first Sardinian meal.

Day 2
Costa Verde Loop Ride
40 Miles / 65 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner
  • Ascent: 800 Metres Approx.

Your first ride is a journey through varied landscapes, a true taster of what Sardinia has to offer and a great start to your challenge. Setting off from your accommodation, you will start this adventure with a great route which contours the Montevecchio mountains, taking you to Marina di Arbus Beach and offering superb vistas of the volcanic plug of Mount Arcuentu. Here your coast to coast adventure officially starts and you have plenty of time to absorb the remarkable landscape around you, with the emerald blue sea surrounded by hills carpeted with lush green maquis vegetation.

Heading north you will keep close to the coast before turning east and riding past the lagoon of Marceddi, where pink flamingoes can be spotted. The small town across the lagoon is famous for its shellfish. Pedalling through the Campidano Plain will not require much effort, as you ride past vast cultivated fields and little farming estates.

On reaching Guspini a gradual climb leads you back to Montevecchio, riding past the abandoned mine which once was a thriving community. Settling back at the accommodation you can relax by the pool enjoying the sunset and more delicious food.

Day 3
Montevecchio to Barumini - (Campidano Plain and the Rolling Hills of Marmilla)
43 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 850 Metres Approx.

Leaving the Costa Verde, the first section contours the hills before descending into Arbus and the lower Campidano Plain that you will cross heading eastwards.

Taking a narrow country lane below the Castle of Monreale, you will arrive at St Maria delle Acque. Once a Roman thermal settlement, it is now one of the few remaining spa areas in Sardinia. A further short ride will take you to Sardara. Here, a stop to visit the remains of a pre-historic well, temple and adjacent museum will give you an insight into the Nuraghic Bronze Era, an ancient civilization unique to Sardinia.

Cycling onward on narrow country roads now brings you over the rolling Marmilla hills, offering great views of the expanse of agricultural land, olive groves and vineyards of this fertile part or Sardinia. Finally riding into Barumini, you have reached today’s destination.

Day 4
Barumini to Laconi
31 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 850 Metres Approx.

Following breakfast and with only a short day ahead of you today, you should have plenty of time pre-ride to visit the most important archeological site on the island, the Nuragic Fortress of Su Nuraxi and the near by museum. Keen to get going again, you’ll set off on today’s ride taking a superb selection of winding roads over the Marmilla Hills, riding past olive groves, vineyards, small farms and sleepy villages. The route takes you past the lake of Barroccus before you ride up to the sleepy hill town of Laconi.

Day 5
Laconi to Seulo
47 Miles / 75 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner
  • Ascent: 1,750 Metres Approx.

With the whole day to reach your next destination, you have some time in the morning to wander the back streets of Laconi and visit the lovely gardens surrounding the Aymerich Castle. Leaving this quiet town behind, you take a winding road through lush oak woods, gradually climbing on a car-free road through the Gennargentu range in the very heart of Sardinia.

Your ride will take you through the mountain villages of Meana Sardo, Atzara and Belvi. The landscape will have now altered and is relatively barren and wild, with the sky filled with birds of prey, circling the thermals in search of their next meal. The unspoiled 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. Shepherds trails and huts litter the landscape and villages perch over steep-sided valleys.

Tonight’s accommodation is on the outskirts of the town of Seulo and dinner will be at your accommodation. In these mountain villages, you will find a high concentration of ultra-centenarians! Nuoro Province was the first event identified “Blue Zone,” where people live well into their 100’s. You’ll spend your evening immersing yourself in their way of life (and maybe learn a few of their secrets). While you’re here, make sure to sample the delicious homemade pasta and wine of the region.

Day 6
Seulo to Ulassai (or surrounding area)
40 Miles / 65 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 1,500 Metres Approx.

A combination of climbs and descents will take you through another day of exhilarating landscapes and even deeper into the heart of Sardinia. Utilising mountain roads, you’ll have fun exploring the ‘Tacchi di Usassai’ and Montarbu mountain range, as you edge your way towards the fascinating mountain peak of Perda Liana. You will be passing a few small sleepy mountain villages and once more the vistas of the surrounding mountains are outstanding. 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 as you cycle along.

The morning climb is rewarded by the view of Perda Liana and an afternoon descent towards Ulassai. Whilst you remain in the bluezone hot spot you may be interested to know, Sardinia is unique among the blue zones as the only location where the ratio of male and female ultra-centenaries is just about even. Other blue zones the proportion is around 5 women : 1 man!

Day 7
Ulassai (or surrounding area) to Bari Sardo
22 or 40 Miles / 35 or 65 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 200 or 750 Metres Approx.

Today is the grand finale of your road cycling adventure with superb riding and descent to the coast of Bari Sardo.

You have two options today depending on if you wish to head straight to the coast or take in some more great mountain landscapes before your final descent.

If you opt for the longer ride – leaving the accommodation the initial part of the day will involve riding up towards the Sardinian natural monument, the pinnacle of Perda Liana before winding through the forest area of Villagrande and Lanusei. The gradual winding descent towards Bari Sardo takes you past vineyards and with great views it’s a great way to end your last day riding.

If you opt for the shorter ride, your leave Ulassai winding down the valley, past Jetzu and it’s vineyards. A meandering route through gentle countryside will take you to Cardedu and the coast of Bari Sardo, your final destination.

Here you stay at our well-appointed hotel and this evening and you can enjoy a final stroll to the beach for sunset from the coastal tower before heading to dinner.

Day 8
Departure: Bari Sardo / Transfer to Cagliari
Non Riding Day
  • Meals: Breakfast

Depending on your flight time, hopefully you can set aside time in the morning to wander around Bari Sardo or simply laze on the beach. Once you‘re ready we will pick you up and transfer you to Cagliari airport for your flight home (approx. 2 hours).

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. 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 and type of routes, offering new experiences and challenges each day. Starting from the west coast the landscape is hilly, generally with good quality tarmac and car free roads. Heading inland you’ll be riding along country roads surrounded by vineyards and gentle hills.

As you ride further into the heart of Sardinia, you’ll enter the mountainous region and ascend into higher territory. Gradients are never too steep or rough, but rather smooth sweeping roads.

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Road Cycling Grade

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

Average distances around 40 – 60 miles / 70-90 km

A moderately difficult tour

Slightly tougher than a Grade 2 but not as difficult as Grade 3

Occasional challenging 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.

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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The final day was my favourite, the descent was a fitting end to a great adventure. A great holiday!

Roger, UK

Dates & Prices

Daily departures available. The season prices below are per person and are applicable for all start dates between and inclusive of the stated dates.

2024 25 Mar – 30 Oct (excluding dates from 09 Jun – 31 Aug)

Season 1 – $1880 03 Apr – 08 Jun / 10 Sep – 30 Oct

Season 2 – $2075 25 Mar – 02 Apr / 01 Sept – 09 Sept

Alternatively for a great value holiday choose one of our scheduled departures below.

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
13/04/2024
Return Date
20/04/2024
Duration
8 days
Price
$1,685.00
Start Date
28/09/2024
Return Date
05/10/2024
Duration
8 days
Price
$1,685.00
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
8 days
Price
$1,880.00

Whats Included Tick

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 either in person or via video call)

D) Access to the navigation app for holiday information and navigation

E) Luggage transfers

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

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

H) Financial Protection through ABTOT

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/archaeological sites and other attractions en-route

I) City tax to be paid at each accommodation in cash (amount varies)

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

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Your tour starts in Montevecchio and finishes in Bari Sardo.

Airport transfers are included in the cost of your holiday. We ask that you fly into and back from Cagliari airport (CAG). Please aim to arrive between 09.00 and 16.00 and depart between 12.30 and 19.00.

If you are joining one of our scheduled departures We will provide arrival and departure times, along with suitable flight options, as and when more flight schedules are released.

Please check with Skedaddle before making any travel arrangements.

Please note If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time windows there may be an additional charge for your transfers.

Accommodation

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

At the very beginning and end of the season tourism tends to be quiet and, although that means some of the facilities aren’t at full capacity, you will have the routes largely to yourself and can experience the island away from any crowds.

If you would like us to check out accommodation upgrade options for you, please contact us for details.

Bike Hire

If you have opted to rent, your bike will typically be a Giant Defy or Contend with Giant/Liv Avails (alu frames) for those preferring a women’s specific frame. They are great bikes with good quality components, mechanical disc brakes 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 if you use clip-in pedals.

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