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Italy

Sardinia - Island Flavours

Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$1,820 P.P.
Italy

Sardinia - Island Flavours

Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$1,820 P.P.
BOOK NOW
Cycling in Sardinia really doesn't get much better than this! Our Island Flavors tour will see us cycling in Sardinia’s south-west corner, a region bursting with variety; from expanses of vineyards, olive groves and oak wooded valleys, to high rugged cliffs dotted with Spanish watchtowers and splendid beaches, hiding secluded coves. This trip is a heady concoction of beautiful colors, perfumes and crystal clear emerald seas - there's no better way to explore Sardinia than by bike.  
Sardinia prides itself on the production of organic foods: cheeses, wines, countless varieties of breads, cured meats, saffron, juicy sun-ripened fruits and much more. Our cycling vacation here will take us on a journey of flavors, with the opportunity to stop and visit wineries, farms, traditional bakeries, fisheries and olive oil mills. Combine this with the prevailing scent of Mediterranean herbs and during this cycling vacation we'll have a true journey of the senses.
The tour combines undulating country lanes and coastal roads, with plenty of time to explore. Accommodation during the week will be in a selection of quality agriturismi, B&Bs and small hotels, serving delicious home made dishes that really showcase the tasty local fayre, washed down with delicious wine... what better hospitality could you ask for? 
Our Sardinia Island Flavors tour is run as a guided tour with several set departures throughout the year. However, if you enjoy a little more freedom and flexibility then please do check out the self-guided version. If you have a day or two to spare why not extend your trip with some trekking or sea kayaking? Our local team can join you for a days 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.

Highlights

  • Checking out the UNESCO heritage site of Barumini Nuraghe
  • Enjoying the long descent to Fluminimaggiore and Masua
  • Sampling local specialties at Carloforte, on St Pietro island
  • Riding along the Nebida coastline and marvelling at the view of Pan di Zucchero
  • Experiencing the friendliness and hospitality of the Sardinian people
  • Discovering the white beaches along the south-west coastal road

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This was truly the trip of a lifetime – we enjoyed every minute! From the moment I first called Saddle Skedaddle to inquire about the trip and on throughout the process the service was prompt, friendly and excellent.

Barbara, USA

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Cagliari Airport - Transfer to Gergei

Following your arrival into Cagliari airport, we’ll meet you and make the 45 minute transfer to our accommodation in the village of Gergei. The rest of the day will be spent organising bikes and going through the route with your guides to make sure all is well for the week ahead, as well as getting to know the rest of the group.

Day 2
Gergei to Sardara
37 Miles / 60 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 500m

Leaving our accommodation, we’ll start the day exploring the plains of the Marmilla, a hilly region which extends from the outskirts of Cagliari towards Oristano. Since Roman times, this fertile part of the island has been the centre of cereal cultivation as well as olives and grapes. Today, bread making in this region still follows ancient recipes, with exceptional results! Here we will visit the archeological site of Barumini and nearby museum. This Nuragic site is the most important on the island. Built in the Bronze Age, around the 15th century BC, this fortress and its surrounding village demonstrate an incredible architectural feat: massive basalt blocks of rock, built up into three storey towers, internal staircases, outlook posts,courtyards and even an ancient sauna!

Cycling north west we’ll then curve around the Giara, a high volcanic plateau, populated by hundreds of wild horses. Riding on we’ll find ourselves cycling over rolling hills of vineyards and olive groves, leading us to the village of Collinas.

Leaving the hills behind, we’ll venture down to the Campidano Plain, the biggest of the island, making our first stop in the town of Sardara. The closeness to a hot spring area and the quality of its fresh water has made Sardara, and specifically its well, a sacred area since ancient times – it’s believed that Nuragic people venerated the water as having healing properties. Your hotel is set near the Roman remains of the old thermal baths. Time to enjoy the spa facilities before dinner!

Day 3
Sardara to Arbus
25 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 700m

Setting off from Sardara and its rural church of St Maria delle Acque, we’ll leave this thermal water oasis behind us and cycle on, across the plain, passing Pabillonis. This is an agricultural area and the fields around us may be growing artichokes, wheat or saffron, offering a tapestry of colours and perfumes.

Heading westward, Gonnosfanadiga is nestled below the rocky eastern spurs of the Iglesiente region and is known for its olives and olive oil. If the timing is right, a stop at a local cafè and patisserie will allow us time to sample some of the local traditional cakes made from almond paste and saffron. Leaving the plain it’s time to get into a smaller gear as we head back into the hills, just below Mt Linas, before reaching our accommodation for the night, a delightful agriturismo offering some superb homemade pasta, home-cured meats, cheeses and of course olive oil and wine included. What better way to finish off a good day on the bike?

Day 4
Arbus to Nebida
28 Miles / 45 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 800m

Leaving the agriturismo, we’ll cycle on towards the coast. A superb 9 kms of gentle downhill riding with beautiful mountain views is the perfect start to our day. Cycling along the long sandy beach of Portixeddu, we’ll have time to stop for a brief swim before continuing.

The little hamlet of Buggerru, once a thriving mining coastal town, is now trying to survive on few resources: fishing and the odd traveller who ventures this way. In Buggerru we’ll have the opportunity to visit one of the coastal mines, Galleria Henry, which has been opened up to the public as part of an Industrial Archaeological itinerary of this fascinating mining area. Cycling on, the road takes us along the remote coastal route towards the towering limestone pinnacles and cliffs of Masua. This is a free climber’s heaven, with excellent routes starting from sea level towering up to the sky. We’ll pedal onwards to breathtaking Nebida!

Day 5
Nebida to St Pietro Island and St Antioco Island
25 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 400m

From Nebida we’ll continue riding south down the coast, leaving the rugged limestone behind and heading towards the lower lands and the islands of St Pietro and St Antioco. We’ll have the chance to give our legs a rest as we catch a ferry across to the island of St Pietro.

The town of Carloforte, on St Pietro, was founded by the coral fishers of Genoa, who moved here from Tunisia where they had lived since the middle of the 16th century. Their influence is felt in the architecture of the island as well as the cuisine. With its pastel coloured houses set along narrow cobbled lanes, Carloforte is a fascinating place to stroll around. The island is well known for its fishing community, in particular tuna fishing. Since ancient times, fishermen have awaited the arrival of schools of tuna that stream by along the same route, not far from the islands. You are free to please yourself for your lunch break, choosing one of the lovely fish restaurants or a delicious panino from one of the many bars. Another short journey on a ferry will take us across to the island of St Antioco, where a short ride will take us to the town, and our accommodation for the night.

Day 6
St Antioco Island to Teulada
43 Miles / 70 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 550m

It’s well worth spending a few hours visiting some of the hidden archaeological sites of St Antioco. The development of the area in fact goes back to the Nuragic times, but only truly thrived when the Phoenicians founded it as “Sulcis” in 259 BC. Worth a visit is the Punic Necropolis and Tophet, as well as the Catacombs below the Church of St Antioco.

Leaving the island by the causeway across the bay of Palmas, we’ll carry on cycling towards the Sulcis mountains, riding through the fertile, rolling hills around Trattalias and Santadi. As we cycle past vineyard after vineyard, it will become obvious that we are entering the vine region of the Carignano grapes. Here we’ll have the chance to try some of the yummy, local wines at the Cantine di Sa Mesa. From here the undulating road winds its way 8miles/13kms to Teulada, passing some remote farming hamlets and at points affording some great views across the south coast.

Day 7
Teulada to Pula
35 Miles / 55 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 550m

Our final day in the saddle will see us cycling along a roller coaster road towards Pula. The Costa del Sud is a wonderful 20 km spectacle of twisting, turning road above rugged cliffs that plunge into the deep blue sea. There are many outlook points and small sandy coves to stop and enjoy the sea. Cala Tuerredda is one of the most stunning beaches along this coast, protected by two promontories; the emerald blue colours are breathtaking.

From here the road climbs away from the coast, dropping back toward the long sandy beach of Chia. A short detour to the right will take us to Chia tower, from where we can enjoy a spectacular view of the long stretch of Chia beach and the islands. The next section follows the main road north, along a quiet coast road, finally reaching the little town of Pula, where our trip officially comes to an end. The excellent gelateria in the main town square, which serves home made ice-cream, is a well deserved treat and reward after this long journey of flavours.

We’ll have the evening free to wander around the town and try out one of the many quality restaurants.

Day 8
Departure Form Pula - Transfer to Cagliari Airport
  • Meals: Breakfast

A relatively early start to the day for the 45 minute journey to Cagliari airport. Depending on flight schedules, we’ll hopefully have some time for a wander around the city; the perfect place for those last minute goodies or to put your feet up in one of the many plazas sipping a last glass of vino rosso.

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 from Pula? 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.

Alternatively if you are looking for some city life and culture, we can arrange a guided cycle tour of Cagliari.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The tour alternates between countryside and stunning coastal views. You’ll be riding primarily on well-paved roads, except for a few short sections of dirt road that lead to your accommodation. You’ll be riding in a region which combines rolling hills and long flat stretches, passing olive groves and vineyards. Towards the coast the riding becomes a more undulating roller coaster, with a few challenging sections. Coastal roads overlook sandy beaches and remote coves. The climbs are never too steep or long and the roads generally have little traffic. We recommend a hybrid bike for this tour, but the route is suitable for a road bike if preferred.

cycling-in-italy-leisure-scenery-sardinian-sea.jpg

Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 : Moderate

Distances generally between 20-45 miles / 32-72 kms per day

For the leisure cyclist with a good level of physical fitness

May include some steeper, cheeky climbs

Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc).

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?

Although you may not cycle everyday, you do keep yourself relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on your bike at the weekend. Your preference is perhaps for flatter terrain but you don’t mind tackling some hills, and the occasional steep climb if you can take it at your own pace. For those happy to tackle some ups and downs, and possibly some sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc) we’d recommend our grade 3 trips. We’d generally expect those on a Grade 3 trip to have a decent level of physical fitness and be comfortable with some longer days in the saddle.

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Our expectations were met and surpassed in most cases. The personal touch was evident in communications leading up to our trip. Very much appreciated.

Julie, 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
25/04/2021
Return Date
02/05/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$1,820.00
Start Date
09/05/2021
Return Date
16/05/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$1,820.00
Start Date
06/06/2021
Return Date
13/06/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$1,820.00
Start Date
26/09/2021
Guaranteed
Return Date
03/10/2021
Duration
8 days
Price
$1,820.00

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 hire (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

C) Single room (available if required, on request)

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) Ferry tickets between the islands of St. Pietro and St.Antioco (approx €15): 2 tickets – From Portoveseme to Carloforte (Island of St Pietro), then from Carloforte to Calasetta (Island of St Antioco)

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

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Group airport transfers are included in the cost of your cycling holiday. To join the airport transfer, you’ll need to arrive into Cagliari airport (CAG) before 10.35 for a 11.00 transfer. At the end of the tour, we will transfer the group to Cagliari airport; estimated arrival time of 09.00 – please consider this when booking your return travel and allow enough time to check in for your chosen flight.

Although there are no direct flights from North America to Cagliari there are a variety of options with a stop in a larger Italian airport such as Rome or Milan. Like the majority of flights from North America to Europe your outbound journey will involve travelling overnight

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules available for your trip. Please check with us before booking any flights, to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your cycling holiday and to ensure your flights fit with our scheduled transfers. Please note – If you make travel arrangements that fall outside of the above time 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 hire. These bikes are typically Giant Roam hybrids (or equivalent). If a small frame is needed we will provide Liv Roves. Occasionally mountain bikes will be provided with semi slick tyres adapted for road use.

We can provide a helmet locally on request, please let us know if you’d like to hire when you make your booking.

Hire bikes will be provided with a pannier rack and 1 bag, a tool kit, a bike lock and a bike pump. Your guides will be carrying everything else you’ll need, including all necessary spares.

Please note that if you request woman specific bikes (sloping), models might be different.

We have electric bikes available to hire on request. It may take us a day or so to confirm availability so please let us know as soon as possible if you’d like to take this option.

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