Tour profile / level 2
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 you 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 more undulating roller coaster, with a few challenging sections rewarded with stunning coastal views and delicious ice cream in the next village! Coastal roads will overlook long stretches of sandy beaches and remote coves. The climbs are never too steep or long and the roads generally have little traffic.
Day 1: Cagliari - Villanovaforru
Individual arrival to Villanovaforru. The rest of the day can be spent organising bikes and going through your route notes ahead of your week of cycling to come, before enjoying a delicious meal prepared by your host.
Day 2: Villanovaforru Rundtour, approx. 62 km
Leaving your accommodation, you’ll start the day with a gentle descent to the lower plains of the Marmilla, a hilly region which extends from the outskirts of Cagliari towards Oristano. Cycling inland, you’ll head towards the Giara, a high volcanic plateau, populated by hundreds of wild horses. Nestled below it are the villages of Tuili and Barumini. Allow plenty of time to stop and visit the impressive Nuragic complex of Barumini. Riding on you can make a short stop to admire the rose window of the charming granite Church of St. Maria, before cycling past the remains of the 12th century Castello di Marmilla, perched on a hill beside the hamlet of Las Plassas. From here you’ll head back towards Villanovafforru, cycling through rustic towns. Be sure to stop at the Enoteca winery, where you can sample some of Sardinia’s finest wines, and regain your energy for the last stretch back to your hotel in Villanovafforru.
Day 3: Villanovaforru - Gonnosfanadiga, approx. 50 km
Leaving the hills behind, you will venture down to the Campidano Plain, the biggest of the island, making your first stop in the town of Sardara. Cycling on across the plain, you will pass the hot spring area just below the Castle of Montreale. From here, Pabillonis is your next stop, famous for the production of saffron. Heading westward, Gonnosfanadiga is nestled below the rocky eastern spurs of the Iglesiente region and is known for its olives and olive oil. Back into the hills, just below Mt Linas, making your way to your accommodation, a delightful agriturismo offering legendary home made pasta, home-cured meats, cheeses and of course olive oil, with wine included.
Day 4: Gonnosfanadiga - Nebida, approx. 50 km
Leaving the agriturismo today you’ll cycle towards the coast. Today starts with an incredible 15 km descent, with spectacular mountain views surrounding your route! Cycling along the beautiful sandy beach of Portixeddu, you’ll have the time to stop for a swim before continuing your cycle south. The lesser-visited hamlet of Buggerru, once a thriving mining coastal town, now survives mainly on fishing and so with fresh fish being brought into the small port daily, it’s the perfect place to stop for lunch and enjoy some fresh, local delicacies. Jumping back on your bike, the road will take you along the remote coastal route towards the towering limestone cliffs of Masua, a free climbers heaven. Your accommodation and dinner will be in Nebida, an unforgettable village perched on the cliffside offering mesmerising views of the Mediterranean sea.
Day 5: Nebida - Insel St. Antioco, approx. 45 km
From Nebida you’ll continue south down the coast, leaving the rugged limestone behind and heading towards the lower lands and the islands of St. Pietro and St. Antioco. Giving your legs a rest, you’ll catch a ferry first to the island of St. Pietro, where you’ll discover a new landscape and culture from those you’ve experienced so far. The town of Carloforte on the island was founded by the coral fishers of Genoa, who moved to the island from Tunisia where they had lived since the middle of the 16th century. With its pastel coloured houses set along narrow cobbled lanes, this makes it an interesting place to pootle around, maybe stopping for a fine meal at one of the town’s delicious fish restaurants. Don’t miss the island’s famous fresh tuna! Another short ferry journey will take you across to the island of St. Antioco, where a short ride will take you to the town itself.
Day 6: Island St. Antioco - Porto Teulada, approx. 70 km
It is worth spending a few hours to wander and visit some of the hidden archaeological sites of St. Antioco. The development of the area in fact goes back to the Nuragic times. Leaving the island by the causeway across the bay of Palmas, you’ll carry on cycling towards the Sulcis mountains, riding through the fertile gentle hills around Trattalias and Santadi. Here you’ll have the chance to try out some of the local wines at the Cantine di Santadi winery. 5 km south of Santadi, the carsic caves of Is Zuddas are one of the island’s many spectacular natural sculpture museums. From here the road winds its way 13 km to Teulada, passing some remote farming hamlets and at points affording some great views across the south coast.
Day 7: Porto Teulada - Pula, approx. 50 km
Your final day’s riding will take you along a roller coaster road towards Pula, your final destination for this trip. The Costa del Sud is a wonderful 20 km spectacle of twisting, turning road above rugged cliffs that plunge into the deep blue sea. Cala Tuerredda is one of the most stunning beaches along this coast, protected by two impressive promontories and with emerald blue waters it’s like something out of a picture book. From here the road climbs away from the coast, dropping back toward the long sandy beach of Chia. The next section follows the main road north, along a quiet coast road, finally reaching the little town of Pula, where your trip officially comes to an end. Spend your evening wandering around this charming town, before trying out one of the many brilliant restaurants.
Day 8: Pula
Individual departure or extension.