- Climbing up to the Capo Sperone lighthouse to mark the start of our journey… and looking out from Capo Mannu over the med to mark its end!
- Riding scenic gravel roads along the Cabras Lagoon
- Checking out the UNESCO heritage Nuraghic site of Barumini
- Scaling the exciting gravel tracks of Monte Grighine
- Enjoying the stunning scenery of the rugged coast of the Sinis Peninsula
- Eating fantastic home-cooked food, washed down with honest local wine!
Following your arrival into Cagliari, we’ll take a 90 minute (approx) transfer to the village of Calasetta on the island of Sant’Antioco in the southwest of Sardinia. Depending on arrival times, we’ll hopefully have time to head to the beach, before meeting up again for our bike fitting and welcome meeting, and our first Sardinian meal.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
After setting off from our accommodation we’ll ride south along the coast to the very tip of the island of Sant’Antico. Here we’ll climb up to the lighthouse of Capo Sperone where we’ll enjoy the panoramic view on the island’s coast and hilly inland. We then descend onto the cape itself, which marks the true start of our Cape-to-Cape journey. Our route then takes us along quiet roads and gravel tracks north again to the town of Sant’Antioco and past the Roman bridge that once connected the island to the Sardinian mainland.
After crossing the bridge we’ll ride through the local salt works to the Porto Botte Lagoon. Along the way we should be able to spot flamingoes feeding in the shallow water, as well as many other species of wetland birds. Cycling on gravel tracks and along sandy beaches we’ll arrive at Porto Pino. After a short break to admire the beautiful white beaches, we’ll cycle the last short stretch along the Porto Pino Lagoon to our accommodation in Sant’Anna Arresi, where we’ll have the time for a cold beer before sitting down for dinner.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
After breakfast this morning we say goodbye to the village of Sant’Anna Arresi, climbing up the rolling hills behind the little town. Our route goes up and down through wooded areas and cultivated fields and past abandoned hamlets to finally descend towards the hamlet of Barrancu Mannu and the forestry building of Pantaleo.
Here we’ll stop for lunch setting up a legendary Skedaddle picnic under the tall trees surrounding the forestry building. After lunch we’ll set off for a long steady climb up the smooth gravel road traversing the forest of Gutturu Mannu, first taking us down to the little chapel of Santa Lucia and then onto our evening’s accommodation. Tonight we’ll be staying in a cosy agriturismo nestled at the edge of the Campidano Plain.
After a well-deserved shower we’ll have some time to relax with a beer or a glass of local wine before sitting down for a delicious, traditional Sardinian meal.
- Meals: Breakfast
Back on our bikes after breakfast, we’ll be heading off this morning on dirt roads that criss-cross the plain in front of us. First we’ll cycle past the dam on the Cixerri River, marking one of Sardinia’s many artificial water basins. From here we’ll head northeast again on flat agricultural terrain to San Sperate’s open-air Museum Village. Here we’ll stop for a coffee and take some time to admire the many murals adorning the village walls.
From San Sperate we’ll continue north inland, slowly making our way over more undulating terrain. An occasional stretch of bumpy dirt road may well test our gravel biking skills! Soon after we’ll reach the neolithic burial grounds of Pranu Efis, a magical place to be explored at our leisure while a picnic is prepared for us under the pine trees.
The afternoon’s ride will take us into the Marmilla hills and today’s destination, the village of Barumuni, near the archaeological site of Su Nuraxi. Built over 3,500 years ago, this three storey fortress will enthral any contemporary architect.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Leaving Barumini we’ll continue our journey north climbing up to the basalt plateau of the Giara di Gesturi, created by volcanic eruptions over 2 million years ago. From here we’ll make our way to the opposite side pedalling first on rocky single tracks and then on smooth dirt roads, through lines of low cork oaks. With a bit of luck we’ll spot some of the free roaming Sardinian horses typical of the area.
After descending the Giara we’ll continue our journey in the Marmilla Hills on narrow secondary tarmac roads and fast rolling double tracks passing through the villages of Genoni, Assolo and Mogorella where we’ll stop for a well-deserved picnic.
After lunch we’ll tackle the main climb, not only of the day, but of the whole holiday, as we slowly make our way up the gravel roads of Monte Grighine. From the top of the mountain we’ll be able to see all the way to the coast of the Sinis Peninsula and the end of our route. A fast descent will see us arrive in the valley again, from where a beautiful dirt road will take us to the little town of Fordongianus, known for its Roman remains and thermal baths. The thermal baths will not let you in the pool without a swimming cap and flip flops! So put them in your suitcase to be sure you don’t miss out!
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
This morning we’ll set off from Fordongianus, now heading west again towards the coast and the Sinis Peninsula. As we leave the village we’ll stop to admire the Romanesque church of Santo Lussurio before starting to climb gradually up on the wonderful panoramic gravel road leading up and down to the hamlet of Siapicia, located at the very edge of the Oristano plain.
After passing the village we’ll head to the valley of the Tirso River, now cycling through flat terrain in the midst of cultivated fields. Almost all of our cycling here is on smooth dirt roads, with a few stretches on secondary tarmac roads leading through the small agricultural villages of Ollastra, Zerfaliu and Zeddiani.
Our next stop is in the village of Riola Sardo, on the edge of the Cabras lagoon, where we’ll take a break in a little park for our picnic lunch. Suitably fuelled, we’ll continue riding along the edge of the lagoon where we hope to spot several species of wetland birds, including large flocks of flamingoes!
Next on our route is Cabras, the main center of the Sinis Peninsula, steeped in history and the production capital of Sardinian bottarga (mullet roe), locally known as the Gold of Cabras. We may well take a short breather in town for a last coffee or an ice cream, before riding the last section to our accommodation located a couple of kilometers out of town.
- Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Today, the grand finale of our gravel cycling adventure will take us on a loop ride of the beautiful Sinis Peninsula. After breakfast we’ll head north, riding on smooth dirt roads through the fields lining the Cabras lagoon.
We’ll eventually turn towards the coast, leaving the lagoon behind us, heading for the pine forest of Is Arenas to then head south again along the coast. After a couple of kilometers we’ll arrive at Capo Mannu thus ending our journey from Cape to Cape. We still have a beautiful bit of cycling to do though, making our way south, pedalling on the clifftops and along the wonderful beaches of the Sinis peninsula.
Our journey finally ends at the archaeological site, and wide sandy beach, of Tharros where we’ll celebrate with a refreshing dip in the Med and a cold beer in the local beach bar.
- Meals: Breakfast
We have a relatively early start to the day for our return journey to Cagliari after breakfast.
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 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.
The beauty of a journey across an island is the continuously changing landscape offering new experiences and challenges as the days go by. The majority of our riding will be on compact gravel and dirt roads which will be combined with sections of quiet secondary tarmac roads some of which will have varying surface quality. Along the way we’ll mix the routes with fun sections of smooth and rocky single track and quite gravel tracks.
At the coast we will encounter loose beach trails and on occasion we may ride some bumpy and/or possibly muddy sections. On reaching the rolling hills of the Marmilla region the gravel roads will become rockier and we’ll find the surface of the tarmac roads slightly less forgiving than on other parts of the route.
As we bike further into the heart of Sardinia, we enter a more mountainous region, ascending Monte Grighine on good compact, but often steep gravel roads. Along our journey we’ll also be biking through dense oak wooded mountain slopes and valleys and will enjoy the occasional steep climb and fast descent. You can find more information on riding on gravel surfaces here in our Guide to Gravel Trails
This tour is designed to be ridden most comfortably on a gravel bike. If you are bringing your own bike then we recommend tyres to be set up tubeless with a minimum width of 38mm and with some steep uphill sections, we suggest a wide range of gears. The route may also be suitable for cross country mountain bikes fitted with minimally treaded XC tyres.
Gravel Riding Grade
Distances generally between 45-60 miles / 70-95 kms per day.
For gravel and off-road riders with experience, good fitness and a decent level of skill.
Some features that may be experienced more frequently in a higher-grade tour.
The gravel trails encountered are a mix of vehicle width and non-technical singletrack.
Trails can vary more in width and in surface type.
You will need to choose your line more carefully and might need to move from one side of the trail to the other to find the smoothest line and the best grip/least rolling resistance.
If you’re bringing your own bike, we would recommend a minimum tyre width of 38mm.
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 regularly ride off-road, although you’re not necessarily into full-on mountain biking. You enjoy getting into the countryside and getting away from roads and traffic. You’re happy with climbing and descending off-road on vehicle width trails. The occasional cheeky section of singletrack with some roots or rocks to navigate over and around doesn’t worry you. You’re likely to own your own gravel bike, cyclocross bike or mountain bike. You might have tried one of our Grade 2 or 3 mountain bike trips or higher-grade road trips.
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.
Dates & Prices
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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.
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A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in hotels / 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)
H) Financial Protection through ABTOT
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 and other attractions en-route
I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure days
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.
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