Bicycling Sardinia - Alghero to Cagliari

Bicycling Sardinia - Alghero to Cagliari

The Italian island of Sardinia is renowned for its rich history, colorful handcrafts, and endless miles of undisturbed beaches. Our tour gives you a chance to discover this Mediterranean jewel that is often overlooked by American tourists. Spend 11 days exploring breathtaking coastal roads, pedaling ancient forests, and hiking to ruins that predate Roman civilization by more than 1,000 years - all while enjoying traditional Italian meals and wine. Other highlights are a visit to an excavated Roman town, a fabulous shepherds' barbecue, and swimming in pristine waters.

Come early and combine with Cycling Corsica Plus! Beaches and Bonifacio and save $400 per person!

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
May 26-Jun 5, 2019
USD$4995
USD$650
3 More to Guarantee the Departure. 
Sep 29-Oct 9, 2019
USD$4995
USD$650
1 More to Guarantee the Departure.

* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

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Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 11 Days
  • Total Distance / 552 - 596 km (341 - 368 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 69 - 75 km (43 - 46 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level / 4.0
  • Countries / Italy
  • Begin/End / Alghero/Cagliari
  • Price / From USD$4995
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  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Quiet country roads, Spectacular mountain vistas, Great food, great coastal bicycle rides, Traditions dating back to pre-Roman times, Cabras Archaeological Museum, guide hike, mask museum
  • Includes
    11 days, 10 nights, 7 dinners with wine, 1 lunch & 10 breakfasts; Cabras Museum; hike day; and the usual (see below).

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Arrive / Depart
    Alghero Airport (AHO) / Cagliari-Elmas Airport (CAG)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    60km / 1231m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.5
    3
    61km / 565m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.0
    4
    45km / 174m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    5
    87km / 1647m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 5.0
    6
    85km / 1101m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 4.5
    7
    Hiking day
    difficulty level 3.0
    8
    85km / 1395m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 5.0
    9
    108km / 854m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 4.5
    10
    74km / 829m
    Hilly
    difficulty level 3.5
    11
    Last day

    Tour Level Note: Rolling terrain along the coast with more sustained climbs on the days we cross the island from west to east. Grades are quite gentle, rarely, if ever, above 8 percent.

    **We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: Tour begins in Alghero, Italy

Highlights: Seaside Alghero, Catalan & Gothic architecture

There are plenty of ways to get to Alghero including international air connections or by boat from Genoa to Porto Torres. Alghero was a Catalan outpost and has a dialect that is still a mix of Catalan and Italian. Our seaside hotel is a 15 minute walk from the historic town center. We'll fit bicycles this afternoon and recommend an easy test ride before our special welcome dinner tonight.

Distance: Test Ride.

DAY 2: Bicycle Alghero to Tresnuraghes

Highlights: Scenic coastal riding, the town of Bosa

We'll follow the coast south toward Bosa this morning. Take your time and enjoy the roller coaster ride this morning as the reality of this mountainous island sinks in - you're actually cycling suspended between the sea and mountains! Bosa is our first stop and we recommend you take time to explore this fascinating town before enjoying lunch here. A final climb through small coastal vineyards brings us to a plateau dotted with tiny traditional villages. Since Roman times, the Sardinians have never really lived by the sea as pirates and bad weather were more common at sea level.

DAY 3: Bicycle to Cabras

Highlights: Two-night stay, traditional basket makers, small Sardinian villages

We remain inland today, visiting the towns of Flussìo (famous for its home-made baskets) and Tinnura (famous for its murals) on our way to Cuglieri, a village which still makes olive oil from trees planted by Spanish noble families in the 16th Century, we'll fly downhill to a beautiful beach for a refreshing swim and lunch. A flat ride brings us to our hotel this afternoon.

  • Distance: 61 km (38 mi)
  • Gain: 565 m (1853 ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 3.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Rest day, Roman ruins, optional ride to the beach

Highlights: Optional ride to the Roman ruins of Tharros, explore hidden beaches and bays

Today is a day off the bikes for those who prefer to relax. Or we'll offer an optional ride to the Phoenician and Roman ruins of Tharros on the coast, where you can enjoy a relaxing swim at the beach. Those with an urge for exploration can spend the entire day cycling to all the little bays and beaches along this wild coast. Your return ride will bring you by salt marshes inhabited by fish and pink flamingoes. Try some famous "bottarga" (fish roe) made in this area, either on pasta or on pizza!

  • Distance: 45 km (28 mi)
  • Gain: 174 m (571 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Bicycle into Sardinia's mountains to Tonara

Highlights: Woolen rugs of Samugheo, ice cream in Sorgono

We head deep into Sardinia's interior today. Our route follows the Tirso River to Fordongianus, an important ancient Roman city, and then heads up to Samugheo, known for its knotted white woolen rugs. After lunch and/or a gelato stop in Samugheo, continue climbing to Atzara and Sorgono, where the summit (900+ meters or 2880 feet) awaits. Our destination is the small mountain town of Tonara, famous throughout Italy for its honey and egg-white "torrone" (nougat) and its artisanal bellmakers that help herders keep track of sheep, goats and cattle.

  • Distance: 87 km (54 mi)
  • Gain: 1647 m (5402 ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 5.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 6: Bicycle to Su Gologone

Highlights: Coastal mountains of Sardinia, resort hotel with pool, traditional masks of Mamoiada

We start the day with a well-earned downhill before climbing to the friendly town of Gavoi and our lunch stop in Mamoiada. We'll regroup for a brief visit to the traditional mask museum to learn about the haunting masks that dominate traditional festivals before continuing on through the center of Sardinia's historic "bandit" region, Orgosolo in the Gennargentu (silver) mountains. Our destination is the serene mountain resort hotel of Su Gologone, nestled under the imposing white limestone mountain Supramonte.

  • Distance: 85 km (53 mi)
  • Gain: 1101 m (3611 ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 4.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Hike to Nuragic Village

Highlights: Visit to prehistoric Nuragic village, shepherds' barbecue

Leave your cycling shoes behind today as we enjoy a hike to some of the ruins and rock dwellings of the ancient Nuragic civilization that once inhabited this area. After our hike, we'll share a barbecue in the mountains with local shepherds. An early return to our hotel allows for serious rest and relaxation at the swimming pool before dinner together.

DAY 8: Bicycle Su Gologone to Arbatax

Highlights: Spectacular limestone mountains, rugs and olive oil of Dorgali

Hold on to your helmets! We go from 100 meters (328 feet) to 1,000 meters (3280 feet) and then back down to sea level as we cycle through some of the most spectacular limestone mountains in the Mediterranean basin. You'll want to stop in Dorgali to see the rugs, traditional gold filigree jewelry, and Sardinian ceramic designs before a long but gentle scenic climb brings us to the top of the pass. From there it's downhill to Arbatax our home for the night.

  • Distance: 85 km (53 mi)
  • Gain: 1395 m (4576 ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 5.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 9: Arbatax to Costa Rei

Highlights: Wild countryside

Today's ride is long, but with gently rolling terrain through the villages Tertenìa, Villaputzu and Muravera. The scenery is bucolic with views of the mountain range that separates the valley we are riding through from the sea. We'll enjoy glimpses of the Tyrrhenian Sea toward the end of the ride, one of the two seas that flank mainland Italy (the other is the Adriatic Sea between Croatia and Italy).

  • Distance: 108 km (67 mi)
  • Gain: 854 m (2801 ft)
  • Terrain: Hilly
  • Day Level: Day Level 4.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 10: Bicycle Costa Rei to southern coast of Sardinia

Highlights: Coastal riding, Villasimius, Cagliari

We cycle to the south coast of Sardinia near one of the most famous beaches in Cagliari. We recommend stopping in Villasimius for a midmorning cappuccino and cornetto, a great ice cream, or just to have a walk on the famous Poetto beach, Cagliari’s closest beach. We'll pedal into Cagliari to our hotel for our final evening and dinner together.

The May 26 departure will stay at the Hotel Flora. The September 29 departure will stay at Regina Margherita.

DAY 11: Tour ends in Cagliari, Italy

Highlights: Cagliari

After breakfast, we'll say goodbye. If time allows stay a few extra days in this Mediterranean paradise.

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Tour begins in Alghero, Italy

Lodging: Villa Mosca

Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1 at the Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into the Alghero-Fertilia airport (AHO).

Flying into Alghero and continuing to the Day 1 Hotel

  • Taxi - From the Alghero airport to the Day 1 hotel (15 min, Euro 30).

Taxis will be waiting outside of the arrivals terminal. If taxis are not waiting, call Consorzio Taxi Alghero taxi company (+39 079 97 39 795). 

Day 11: Departure Information

Tour ends in Cagliari, Italy

The tour ends on the final day after breakfast.

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio.

We recommend flying out of Cagliari (CAG)

  • Taxi from the Ending Hotel to the Cagliari Airport (15 min/Euro 15-20).
Or
  • Train from Cagliari to Cagliari-Elmas; runs every 20 minutes, no pre-purchase necessary. (10 min/EUR 1.30)

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike will be equipped with: a men's or women's saddle, a quick release style seat post adjustment, rear rack and expandable pack, pump, patch kit, spare tube, cable lock, cyclometer, rear lights, a water bottle cage (or two) and a water bottle (or two) and in some cases a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • We had an amazing 11 days and couldn''t be happier.

    Sherri D., Big Sky, MT - September 2017
  • Dear ExperiencePlus!
    What a wonderful surprise! After a long day of biking in Sardinia, we checked into our room at Su Gologne and discovered a wonderful basket filled with delicious treats from you all. Thank you for making our honeymoon extra special. We truly enjoyed the bike tour. Jay and I are planning next year's tour. Thanks again!

    Terri & Jay R.
    Menlo Park, CA
  • A chance to discover a beautiful Italian island. The beaches are better than Hawaii, great food,friendly people and great cultural experiences. Oh and the bike riding is outstanding. Do not let the hills scare you away from this beautiful island riding opportunity. We had a great time on tour. Our only problem is that we feel so spoiled on tour we do not know how to adjust back to reality when we get home:-). Thank You for maintaining such high standards. It makes our decision on bike tour operators very easy...in fact, it is a no-brainer.

    Terry S., Weed, CA - September 2017
  • How would you describe this tour to a friend? Well worth doing. A good route with a nice balance of distance and climbing without being too hard.

    Antony G., Sydney, NSW, Australia - May 2018
  • One of the best travel experiences I have had. So much about the trip still resonates-the beauty of Sardinia, experiencing the history, crafts, food and especially the wine...

    Dee H., Watsonville, CA
  • This tour offered challenging rides, beautiful scenery and offered excellent cultural information about Sardinia. The new titanium bikes were great, the hotels exceeded expectations and the food was wonderful!

    Alice C., Lake Jackson, TX
  • A great trip from start to finish - everyone should do this trip. We did the Corsica and Sardinia trips back to back - awesome!

    Dennis D., Calgary, Alberta - September 2016
  • Challenging but very "doable"cycling. Great mix of rural and urban experience. Beautiful Mediterranean weather. Very interesting cultural exposure.

    Gordon B., Calgary, Alberta
  • The riding in Sardinia was awesome. The quality of the roads was great, with good climbs and marvelous descents. The routes were just beautiful.

    Steve M.
    Boulder, CO
  • Another great trip from Experience Plus! Roll on the next one!

    Heather B., Kirkcaldy, Scotland
  • It was amazing to do Cycling Corsica and Sardinia back to back. The riding in Corsica is second to none with its wild beauty and then to do Sardinia where even the mountains seem polished. There is such a contrast in these two islands that are so close together. This trip was without a doubt at the top of our list as the most fabulous trips we have done, which now number 17 in Europe.

    Sharon M., Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • This trip was the best ever; and I give it a 15!!

    Stu W., Boulder, CO
  • How would you describe this tour to a friend? There is no describing this experience to a friend. Unless you are doing the trip, no words can justify the wonderful experience.

    HIllary R., Scotsdale, AZ, May 2017
  • Everything was 100% - the usual ExperiencePlus! experience. You always do it so well and the attention to detail is second to none. Bravo.

    Jane C. & Jeff H., Lucca, Italy
  • How would you describe this tour to a friend? If you like great scenery with some unique cultural experiences and you enjoy hill climbs that may be long but are not excessively steep then you should consider this tour.

    Dan C., Morgan Hill, CA - September 2017
  • I enjoyed the group on the ride and the guides. The food was excellent. Overall I wanted to see a part of Italy that I thought would be quieter and simpler than other parts of Italy. I look forward to another trip.

    John W., San Diego, CA - May 2017
  • keep doing what you do! When ever we cycle abroad we will see what you have to offer because we know it we be exceptional.

    Ethne B., Woodside, SA, Australia - September 2017
  • Sardinia is my favorite tour. I loved the cycling, natural beauty, and the rich history and culture of the region.

    Mary Ann D., Pleasonton, CA
  • Dear Rick,
    The staff far exceeded all my expectations. From my experiences they set the standard for excellence. They were always there to help, to guide, and most of all, to make the customer feel special. Looking forward to our next trip.

    Phil B.
    Bolinas, CA
  • What was your favorite experience on this trip? It is hard to pick one thing. The scenery was great, the bell maker, rug weaver, basket weaver, olive press guys, ... the barber!!! Our off the bike trek to the Nuragi ruins. Food was wonderful! Great group of riders and tour leaders.

    Kay F., Ft Collins, CO
  • Loved this trip. Each day there was an activity or experience to look forward to. I think it was our best so far.

    Kathy E., Clarksburg, Ontario
  • Bikes were wonderful! Never had such a great bike furnished by a tour company. Beautiful scenery, great tour leaders, lots of fun. One of the best tours I have been on

    Marion C., Lake Jackson, TX
  • Amazing scenery, awesome roads, wonderful food, great people. A perfect tour!

    Jonathan L., Portland, OR - May 2018
  • Great experience! Great ride! Do it!

    Kathy K. and Bill B., Seattle, WA - May 2018
  • Great tour. The bikes were in perfect condition. The tour leaders met every need. Provided a lot of extras.

    Jean L., Granby, Quebec - May 2018
  • Unbelievable! Doing both Corsica and Sardinia back to back was the trip of a life time.

    Bruce T., Thornbury, Ontario
  • How would you describe this tour to a friend? Challenging, most scenic biking trip so far.

    Bob C., Philadelphia, PA
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