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Sardinia - Wild Island of the Mediterranean
19th September 2020 - 3rd October 2020 (15 days)
Sardinia is a large island off the coast of Italy. With a rugged and mountainous interior and a beautiful coastline with turquoise waters this is a wonderful place to explore by bike. Our route goes down the spectacular east coast with its hidden coves and golden beaches before we head inland to cycle through the mountains.
The interior harks back to a bygone era with its shepherds and high mountain villages. It remains largely untouched with some of the longest continuous settlements and culture in Europe. It had a unique bronze age culture known as the Nuraghic, their stone built remains called Nuraghi are still dotted throughout the landscape and our route takes us past many of the more fascinating ones. These high areas are covered in cork oak forests which are still cultivated and cared for as they have been for hundreds of years. Experience a "lost in time" world with winding mountain roads, wonderful views and a warm traditional welcome.
All breakfasts and dinners are included, along with luggage transfer.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager David Goodworth
- Grade Challenging
- Booking Status Places Available
- Accommodation Hotel & Guesthouse
- Board Basis Half Board
- Travel Arrangements Land Only
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Luggage Transfer
- Holiday Ref 03536
Saturday 19th September
Meet at Olbia airport for the transfer to our hotel in the centre of Olbia. After a look around Olbia and sampling our first ice cream we will assemble bikes and then have dinner. Bike bags can be left at the hotel until our return. Stay 1 night. Meals: D
Sunday 20th September
Today we cycle south to Santa Lucia, a picturesque fishing village with beautiful beaches and dunes, passing the Tomba dei Giganti Su Monte e s'Abe (tomb of the giants). Finished in the Nuraghic era it is a 28m long tomb similar to long barrows in England. 62km (700m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Monday 21st September
Continiung south we stop at Galtelli, a mountain village with spectacular views and a Romanesque cathedral. Our route then takes us through the mountains before descending to Cala Gonone on the coast. 65km (800m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Tuesday 22nd September
Today we cycle through the mountains along the spectacular Orientale Sarda road, cut out by Piemontese coal merchants during the 19th century. Then on to Santa Mara Navarrese, a pretty coastal village. 75km (1,650m total ascent). Stay 2 nights. Meals: B D
Wednesday 23rd September
A free day to explore the golden beaches and sparkling blue coastal waters. There are many cafes and bars close by and it's easy to sit and watch the world go by. Meals: B D
Thursday 24th September
Leaving the coast we zig zag up through the mountains, passing through Gairo Sant Elena where the entire village was moved when it was threatened by landslides, and then on to Ulassai. 66km (1,900m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Friday 25th September
Today's ride to Orroli passes though Jerzu with its spectacular pinnacles of rock. As we get closer to Orroli we pass the Nuraghic site of Arrubiu Nuraghe, a complex site built from red stone around a 14th century BC central tower. 63km (1,050m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Saturday 26th September
A shorter ride with more downs than ups allows us to visit Nuraghi Nuraxi, one of the most famous Nuraghic sites dating back to the 13th century BC, then on to the pretty rural village of Barumini. 33km (370m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Sunday 27th September
Today we start to head back north on the western side of the Gennargentu massif and pass Textile di Aritzo, an impressive 975m pinnacle of rock. Overnight in Tonara where hazelnuts, walnuts and chestnuts are traditionally used when cooking. 67km (1,600m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Monday 28th September
Our route goes around Tonara which is wonderfully green and covered with hazelnut, walnut and chestnut trees. Tremendous mountain views face us as we cycle towards Oliena, our overnight, which is very close to the capital of the region, Nuoro. 73km (1,400m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Tuesday 29th September
We bypass busy Nuoro, following a rural route through villages and farming communities. Our destination is beyond Bitti in the wonderful cork oak forest at Agriturismo Calavrina, a farmhouse guesthouse. 61km (1,500m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Wednesday 30th September
Now in the heart of the sheep farming area, our route takes us through traditional villages with shepherds tending their flocks. This is also an important historical area with several important Nuraghi and Roman sites along the way. 76km (1,120m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Thursday 1st October
Today we cycle to Tempio Pausania which lies at the foot of Monte Limbara. It is in the heart of the Gallura culture and the historic town centre is built of granite block buildings, often with wrought iron balconies nestling in tiny streets with different views at every turn. 67km (1,000m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Friday 2nd October
We cycle back to Olbia with twice as much down than up. We should arrive early in the afternoon for a final ice cream and with time to pack up our bikes. 54km (740m total ascent). Stay 1 night. Meals: B D
Saturday 3rd October
After breakfast transfer to Olbia airport where the tour ends. Meals: B
Meals: B = Breakfast D = Dinner
Accommodation & Meals
Apart from one night, we will be staying in 3-star hotels sharing en-suite double or twin rooms. The other night will be spent in a farmhouse guesthouse which has more basic facilities and where sharing a triple or four-bedded room may be necessary. Single rooms are available but please indicate if you will accept occasional sharing. In the event of an odd number of individual participants expecting to share, one person may sometimes be accommodated in a single room at no extra charge. Breakfast and dinner are included and will be taken at the accommodation or at a nearby restaurant. Vegetarian and vegan meals will be available if noted under Special Requests on the Booking Form. Non-meat eaters should indicate if they will eat fish.
Luggage will be transferred between hotels but there is no other vehicle support.
Passports, Visa & Health
British citizens must hold a passport that is still valid on the date of their return home. Holders of other passports are advised to check whether they require a visa. There are no compulsory health related requirements for UK residents, but you are strongly advised to check that your tetanus protection has not expired. You must also carry your European Health Insurance Card.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £1,445 is based on a minimum number of 10 people taking part in the holiday; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3. If there are insufficient bookings by 11th July 2020, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.
- Transfer to and from Olbia airport
- 14 nights hotel/guesthouse, sharing room
- 14 breakfasts, 14 dinners
- Luggage transfers between hotels/guesthouse
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from Olbia airport
- Drinks with dinner
- Lunches or refreshments during the day
- Entry fees at any attractions visited
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
- Single occupancy supplement (£240, subject to availability)
A deposit of £145 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £1,300 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 11th July 2020.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 11th July 2020
From 11th July 2020 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
Sardinia is an Italian province, its principle language being Italian. Isolated from the rest of Italy it has a very distinct dialect. Here the people still speak their ancient dialects making this a very different place to the Italian mainland. Looking at the map you may note that many words end in U, which s unique in Italy. The rugged eastern coast is an area of hidden coves and turquoise seas and the weather should still be warm enough for some swimming.
Rides & Rest Days
The wild interior of Sardinia is rugged and hilly and we will have quite a bit of climbing. However, the gradients are usually a steady 4-6% with occasional steeper sections. The roads are largely tarmac and in good condition but occasionally we many need to use short sections of unsurfaced roads to visit tourist attractions.
Rides will be at a steady pace of around 15-20kmph with plenty of stops, and they will have a leader and a backmarker. Although the tour is classed as challenging it should be suitable for reasonably fit regular riders.
Accommodation & Meals
Food will not necessarily be typical Italian and lamb is a mainstay. Sardinia also has its own wines which we will be sampling. Lunches will be picnics where possible.
There is no travel included in this tour, thus it is very important that you note that neither your Tour Manager nor CTC Holidays & Tours are responsible for you in any way until the appointed time at the designated meeting point. Should you fail to arrive at the appointed time for whatever reason, we will not be responsible for any additional expenses you may incur in order to meet up with the tour group. Before finalising travel arrangements to meet the tour, you should ensure that you have read and understood our booking conditions. Should this tour not attract sufficient bookings to reach the minimum operating size, we may cancel the tour at any time up to 10 weeks before departure. It is therefore recommended that you book fully flexible and refundable transport and accommodation, or wait until you have been told the tour will go ahead, as in the event of the tour being cancelled, we will not be responsible for any losses incurred.
There are regular flights from London and Manchester airports to Olbia. The times of the transfers from and to the airport have still to be agreed but your flights will need to be arranged accordingly.
The maximum number of participants will be 16 excluding the Tour Manager(s).
Weather & Clothing
Sardinia experiences Mediterranean weather, which is likely to be pleasantly warm at this time of the year (18-30º C). We may have some rain and you should plan accordingly with regard to clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses and other clothing.
Cycles & Equipment
A touring cycle, hybrid or lightweight ATB is suitable for this tour. You should ensure your cycle is well maintained, paying particular attention to wheels, tyres and brakes. A low bottom gear (e.g. small chainring the same size or smaller than the largest cog on your rear wheel) is recommended. If you are unsure about gears, please discuss with the Tour Manager. Mudguards are optional but show courtesy to those who are following you in wet weather. Lights are recommended but might not prove essential. New tyres are recommended of at least 28mm diameter. Participants will be expected to carry each day sufficient spares and tools to deal with punctures and minor repairs. A rack top pack or bar bag will be useful for carrying wet weather gear, spare clothing, camera, picnic lunch, extra water, snacks and a map.
Helmets are your personal choice. Hi-viz clothing is required in tunnels and at night.
Maps & Guides
You should carry a map in case you become separated from the group. The Touring Club Italia map of Sardinia is sufficient, but the Marco Polo series is better nowadays. A route book and GPX tracks will be sent out three weeks before the tour starts.
Travel Insurance & Advice
In addition to travel insurance, EU nationals should carry a European Health Insurance Card, obtainable from www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/. This enables you to take advantage of emergency medical services free or at a discount under a reciprocal provision that exists between EU member states. Your travel insurer may refuse to meet the extra costs of medical treatment if you do not carry this card.
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.