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Sardinia is one of the world’s five places where an unusually large number of people live to a 100 or longer. Learning about the lifestyle of this Italian island (and maybe picking up some secrets to longevity) is just an added bonus to an already spectacular coast-to-coast journey! Over the course of 8 days, you’ll explore both lush mountains and coastlines, remote mining villages and charming towns, and all that at your own pace—because this is a self-guided journey. All the gorgeous vistas and landscapes come at a price, though, so make sure you’re ready for a bit of a challenge, the climbs can get pretty demanding! After a day’s riding through vineyards, olive groves, oak woods, towering sand dunes, and much more, you’ll end your days with delicious dinners and a glass of wine.

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  • Ride into the heart of Sardinia

    Going coast to coast, take your time pedaling through the island’s stunning mountains

  • Thrilling descents await

    Your legs will go into overdrive for some climbs, but the views and the flowy descents will make it all worth your while

  • One of the most unique places in the world

    As one of the world’s five Blue Zones, make sure to get a good glimpse into the lifestyle of Sardinians

Itinerary

This self-guided cycling journey through Sardinia is an 8-day ride deep into the heart of the island. With access to navigation tools, with luggage transfers and accommodation booked, you can set off at your own pace to explore this outstanding Mediterranean island. You’ll go from coast to coast, and discover everything in between—remote mining villages, towering sand dunes, archeological sites, lush woodlands, and so much more. And it’s not just the organizational aspect of this trip that makes it so appealing—you’ll be able to stop for a coffee whenever you feel like it, take a break to soak in the incredible views, and ride as fast or as relaxed as you wish. Let your next vacation be in Italy!

  • Following your arrival into Cagliari Airport, you will be transferred to Montevecchio (approximately 1 hour), an abandoned mining town below the Mount Arcuentu range. Have dinner and get some rest for tomorrow!

    Meals: Dinner
    Accommodation: Small hotel, agriturismo, or guesthouse

    Montevecchio mines in Sardinia
  • Today’s ride is a journey through varied landscapes, a great intro to what Sardinia has to offer and an exciting start to your challenge. Start your adventure with a route contouring the Montevecchio range, offering superb vistas of the fertile Campidano plain and scattered abandoned mining ruins. Leaving the small town of Arbus behind you, the freewheeling descent towards the sand dunes of Piscinas offers more spectacular scenery as well as a deeper insight into the mining history of this unique coastal area.

    Reaching Piscinas Beach will be your official start to your coast to coast adventure across Sardinia, and you have plenty of time to absorb the remarkable landscape. Around you, the towering sand dunes of Piscinas, surrounded by hills carpeted with lush green Maquis vegetation. Heading north this time, you will keep close to the coast before heading east and riding below the volcanic peak of Mt Arcuentu. This loop ride will take you back to your accommodation where another fine meal of fresh farm produce and plenty of wine will be waiting for you!

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Cycling: 31 miles / 50 km
    Elevation gain: 950 m / 3,117 ft
    Accommodation: Small hotel, agriturismo, or guesthouse

    Spiaggia di Piscinas, Italy
  • Heading eastwards, the first section of today’s ride is another freewheeling descent down to the Campidano plain, the largest and most productive in Sardinia. Today your riding will take you through some busy Sardinian towns, such as Guspini, a little town with medieval origins.
    Crossing the Campidano plain won’t require much effort, as you ride past cultivated fields and little farm estates. Taking a narrower country lane below the castle of Monreale, you’ll arrive at St Maria delle Acque, once a Roman bath settlement, it is now one of only a few spa areas left in Sardinia.

    Another 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 Nuragic Bronze Era, an ancient civilization unique to Sardinia. Following a break in Sardara, you’ll cycle to the most important archeological site on the island, the Nuragic fortress of Barumini. With your hotel nearby, this is an ideal stop allowing time to visit some sights tomorrow.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 34 miles / 55 km
    Elevation gain: 550 m / 1,805 ft
    Accommodation: Small hotel, agriturismo, or guesthouse

    Su Nuraxi, Barumini, Sardinia
  • Following breakfast, with only a short ride ahead today, you’ll have some time to visit the Archeological site of Su Nuraxi and the nearby museum. When you‘re ready to hop on your bikes, you’ll set off on today’s route taking in a superb selection of winding roads over the Marmilla Hills, riding past olive groves, vineyards, small farms and sleepy villages.

    You’ll have plenty of time to absorb the Mediterranean atmosphere and perfumes as you gradually ride up towards the sleepy hill town of Laconi. Your final destination for the day will be a family run B&B in the center of Laconi, where you will have time to explore the beautiful park and castle before dinner.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 19 miles / 30 km
    Elevation gain: 550 m / 1,805 ft
    Accommodation: Small hotel, agriturismo, or guesthouse

    Sardinia cycling in the hills
  • Before setting off today, take a stroll around the back streets of Laconi and pay a visit to the lovely gardens surrounding the Aymerich Castle. When you‘re good to go, leave this quiet town behind and take a winding road through lush oak woods, gradually climbing on a car-free road towards the Gennargentu range in the very heart of Sardinia. Reaching the 1,040-meter pass, you will have climbed one of the highest points of the trip!

    The landscape will have now altered and is relatively barren and wild, the sky filled with birds of prey. The unspoilt nature of this area makes it a fascinating area for naturalists, walkers, and cyclists. It is an area that most vividly reflects the ancient character of the island. Shepherd trails and huts litter the landscape and villages perch over steep-sided valleys. Tonight’s accommodation will be on the outskirts of the town of Seulo. In these mountain villages, there’s a high concentration of people living well into their 100s! Spend your evening immersing yourself in their way of life and maybe learn a few of their secrets.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Cycling: 31 miles / 50 km
    Elevation gain: 1,060 m / 3,480 ft
    Accommodation: Small hotel, agriturismo, or guesthouse

    Local in Sardinia talking to cyclists
  • A combination of climbs and descents will take you through another day of exhilarating landscapes and deeper into the heart of Sardinia. Using mountain roads, you’ll have fun exploring the Montarbu range, as you move towards the fascinating mountain peak of Perda Liana. Once more the vistas of the surrounding mountain ranges are outstanding, with the highest peak in Sardinia, Punta Lamarmora (1,868 m), constantly in the backdrop.

    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 an afternoon descent towards Lake Flumendosa, one of the biggest reservoirs in Sardinia. Contouring the lake, you’ll soon reach your next accommodation in the town of Ulassai. Whilst you’re in the Blue zone (region where people are claimed to live longer than average), it might interest you that Sardinia is unique among these zones as the only location where the ratio of male and female ultra-centenaries is just about even. Other blue zones have the proportion of around 5 women to 1 man.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 34 miles / 55 km
    Elevation gain: 1,100 m / 3,610 ft
    Accommodation: Small hotel, agriturismo, or guesthouse

    Cycling in the mountains of Sardinia
  • Today you’ll experience the grand finale of your cycling adventure with superb riding through the wild and rugged landscape of the Supramonte of Dorgali. Leaving the agriturismo, the initial part of the day will involve skirting the Urzulei range, averaging 800 m, until you reach the high plateau just above the town of Talana. Here you’ll be in for a surprise! More climbs and descents will take you through Urzulei and finally Genna Silana pass.

    You are now in true wilderness. The Supramonte limestone rocks will be towering above you, whilst wild boar and horses graze in the lush meadows. It’s here that your cycling reaches its thrilling climax, as you enjoy the final 25 km of superb downhill, surrounded by rocky pinnacles, centenary juniper trees and abandoned shepherd huts, taking you all the way to the town of Bari Sardo. There are many places in town where you will be able to enjoy your final Sardinian feast, wine and music.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Cycling: 27 miles / 45 km
    Elevation gain: 200 m / 660 ft
    Accommodation: Small hotel, agriturismo, or guesthouse

    Two cyclists coastal riding in Sardinia
  • Depending on flight schedules, time is set aside to wander around Bari Sardo or to simply laze on the beach, before you are met and transferred to Cagliari Airport (approximately 2 hours) for your return flight home.

    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? Let us know if you’d like us to join you for a day’s guiding, or we can provide you with information and equipment to discover the area on your own.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Two cyclists relaxing on the beach
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Meet your guide

Saddle Skedaddle
5.00
Saddle Skedaddle
Saddle Skedaddle was founded by a couple of MTB pros (Paul and Andrew) while trapped in a snowstorm during their year-long biking adventure in Chile. They believe travel should move you and that there’s no better way to see a place properly—its people, culture, and natural wonders—than by bike. Saddle Skedaddle currently runs tours in 36 destinations, offering adventure junkies incredible places to tour on two wheels.
5.00 (2 reviews)
Paul (source: Guide’s website)

Just amazing! Well organised, great back-up, fantastic venue and testing cycling service provided by Saddle Skedaddle. Second holiday we have done with Skedaddle and cannot fault any part of the service.

Rebecca (source: Guide’s website)

Definitely worth it to explore a new country where our language skills are minimal, to have tried and tested cycling routes, and to have the peace of mind that the local Skedaddle representative is on the end of the phone if there are any problems. So difficult to choose a favourite day! Most days had some amazing cycling and some very special moments and views.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • 8-day self-guided cycling tour in Sardinia
      • Accommodation for 7 nights in 3-star small hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses (shared twin or double ensuite rooms)
      • Breakfasts and some dinners (detailed in the itinerary)
      • Local representative (with bike delivery and welcome meeting)
      • Navigation app for holiday information and navigation
      • Luggage transfers
      • Airport transfers
        • On scheduled arrival day from Cagliari Airport (CAG)
        • On scheduled departure day to Cagliari Airport (CAG)

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Italy
      • Bikes (rental available at an additional cost)
      • Single supplement (available at an additional cost)
      • Meals not listed in the itinerary
      • Personal clothing and equipment
      • Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities, etc.)
      • Entrance fees to museums and other attractions enroute
      • Local tourist tax — to be paid locally, amount varies
      • Guide gratuities — optional
      • Travel and medical insurance — optional
  • Fitness and experience
    This Sardinia self-guided cycling tour is ideal for those who cycle frequently, as you’ll come across some long and/or steep climbs and varying terrain. Daily distances vary between 19-34 miles (30-55 km)—you can check out day-by-day distances and elevation gain in the itinerary. It’s preferable that you have some experience of riding on uneven or unpaved ground. In general, it’s expected that you’re fit and healthy, ready to take on an achievable challenge.

    Terrain and roads

    You will be cycling across an ever-changing landscape, along different types of terrain, offering new challenges as the days go by. On the first cycling day, close to the coast, the tarmac road gives way to smooth dirt and heads inland.

    Later in the week, you’ll enter the mountainous region of the island, ascending into higher territory. Every day you will be climbing through stunning landscapes, with the gradients never being too steep.

    Mostly you’ll be riding on quiet, sweeping smooth roads during your Sardinia self-guided cycling tour. A gradual 15.5-mile (25-kilometer) descent to the east coast from Silana pass (1,000 m / 3,280 ft) is the perfect end to your ride in Sardinia!

    Short sections of the route see you riding on gravel roads. Therefore, a hybrid bike for this tour is recommended (not suitable for road bikes). An e-bike is a good option as well, to help with the longer distances, daily climbs (particularly on days 2, 5, and 6 with daily elevations of around 1,000 m), and may also help to manage the heat during the hotter months of June and September. E-bikes are generally heavier than hybrid bikes, which is worth bearing in mind if needing to lift the bike up / down steps or over cobbles in some of the towns.

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Bike — available to rent
      • Helmet — available to rent
      • Comfortable, season-appropriate riding or athletic clothing, preferably moisture wicking or synthetic material
      • Padded shorts
      • Peaked helmet
      • Sneakers or sport shoes
      • Breathable outside layer or jacket
      • Sunglasses
      • Plenty of water, water bottle or hydration bladder
      • Daypack with snacks
      • Biking gloves are optional but recommended
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • Indeed you can! If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own, you can rent one with your guides for this Sardinia self-guided cycling tour. Rental bikes will be provided with a pannier rack and one pannier bag, a phone mount, a water bottle holder, a puncture repair kit (with a spare inner tube), a bike lock, and bike pump.

    These bikes are typically Giant Roam hybrids (or equivalent). If a small frame is needed, you will most likely get Liv Roves (likely to have a low, step through frame).

    Electric bikes are also available to rent, these bikes are typically Giant Explore E+, AnyTour E+3, or Velo de Ville e-bikes (or equivalent). Let us know upon booking if you’d like to rent a bike.

    A helmet can be provided locally on request, please let us know if you’d like to rent one upon booking.

  • A self-guided tour is an independent exploration without a formal guide leading the way. Instead of being part of a group with a tour leader, you will navigate the tour yourself, using resources provided by the operator, such as maps, guidebooks, audio guides, or digital apps.

    By going on this Sardinia self-guided cycling tour, you’ll have lots of things arranged for you, making your cycling experience a lot less stressful and a lot more enjoyable:

      • accommodation at small hotels, agriturismi, and guesthouses (shared twin or double ensuite rooms)
      • all breakfasts
      • airport transfer on arrival
      • app for information and navigation
      • luggage transfers
      • local representative for a welcome meeting

    After you get transferred to Montevecchio and once you’ve talked to a local representative, the self-guided tour starts! Keep in mind that your guides offer support along the way should you need anything.

  • Group sizes and pricing

      • For this Sardinia cycling self-guided tour, the maximum group size is generally set to 14 participants.
      • It takes a minimum of 2 people for this self-guided tour to operate.
      • Sardinia cycling self-guided tours can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Children as young as 10 are able to go on trips with a legal guardian. They may be able to participate on a case-by-case basis.
      • If your group has riders under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
  • The starting point of your Sardinia self-guided cycling tour is Montevecchio, approximately 1 hour away from Cagliari Airport (CAG). Once you land at Cagliari Airport, your guides will organize a transfer for you (included in the price) and take you to Montevecchio.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance.

    With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • A non-refundable $250 deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 2 months (60 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.

      • If the Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to sixty (60) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, the Client will forfeit the deposit.
      • For cancellations thirty (30) to sixty (60) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the trip price.
      • If you cancel your booking less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the departure date, Client is not entitled to any refund.

    If you need to cancel the trip, please contact us in writing. If you wish to transfer a booking to another person, please write to us at least seven (7) days before your trip. Administration charges may arise.

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