Sardinia Cycling Holiday
- Self-Guided 7 Nights
- Arrival - Alghero
- Departure - Olbia
- Difficulty - Medium - Challenging
- Price - From €1330
- Dates - Year Round
This cycling holiday tours the Northern part of Sardinia, one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the finest cycling destinations in the world. Starting in the stunning historic city of Alghero and finishing on the world famous Costa Smeralda, this holiday follows quiet country lanes, incredible coastal roads and dramatic National Park scenery.
Along the way you stay in fine boutique accommodation, visit beautiful empty beaches and explore historic monuments ranging from pre-Roman Nuraghic sites, to Medieval castles and walled towns. You can sample the fine cuisine, with both Italian and Sardinian dishes among the most delicious in Europe, and also enjoy the local Cannonau wine.
There are two route options each day, meaning that you can make the holiday as challenging as you like. Shorter routes are rolling, while the longer routes visit some of the higher mountains - including Monte Limbara, the highest road in Northern Sardinia. This tour follows a unique route, especially designed to fulfil our strict criteria regarding accommodation, quiet roads, places of interest and much more.
Day 1 - AlgheroThe holiday begins in the beautiful town of Alghero. We will pick you up from the airport or train station and transfer you to the hotel on the edge of the old town.
Alghero is one of the most interesting and charming towns in Sardinia. Having been inhabited for over 4000 years, its architecture and culture contains Roman, Visigoth, Catalan and Italian influences. The strongest of these is Catalan - still the language spoken by many in the town - and locals often refer to Alghero as little Barcelona.
The delightful historic center is protected by a city wall and numerous ramparts, while on the edge of the town you will find a large marina area and town beach.
Day 2 – Bosa Coastal RoadThe first day in the saddle is one of the most spectacular, hugging the rugged coastline the whole way as you head south towards the town of Bosa. The scenery is really spectacular, with stunning views throughout the day, and the quiet, rolling road is a delight to cycle. There is the option to extend the route to the Capo Caccia lighthouse, a fine viewpoint to the north of Alghero.
Both routes finish in the historic town of Bosa, which is dominated by the 12th century Serravalle Castle. Bosa also is home to a small but bustling old town and several great beaches on the edge of the town.
Short Route: 49km
Long Route: 87km
Day 3 – Route of the NuraghiToday we head inland, enjoying the scenery on the gentle climb to Montresta. Montresta is famous for its murals which adorn the walls of much of the village and make for a colorful spectacle.
The route then continues further inland, passing several ancient Nuraghi sites. The Nuragic civilization is the oldest recorded in Sardinia, predating the Phoenician, Greek, Carthiginian and Roman invasions. The Nuraghi are known for building large stone buildings, some of which are still standing today. On this route you will see several of these, dating back up to 4,000 years. The Nuragic civilization continued into Imperial Roman times, but disappeared around the 2nd century AD.
In the evening you will stay in a delightful country cottage in the Valle dei Nuraghi region.
Short Route: 56km
Long Route: 86km
Day 4 – Lago del CoghinasToday you head west, continuing on beautiful rolling roads through the central part of Northern Sardinia. The lack of traffic and great scenery make for a really enjoyable day on the bike, as you ride along roads lined with picturesque dry stone walls.
On the route you pass several more Nuraghic sites and have fine views of the nearby Acuto Mountains. On the longer route you can even ride up to Monte Lerno, one of the highest passes in the area. The day finishes near the large Coghinas Lake, one of the most important reservoirs on the island.
Short Route: 52km
Long Route: 86km
Day 5 – Monte LimbaraThe route today begins by riding around Coghinas Lake, before following a rolling route through the Balasacia Mountains. This quiet, twist road has gentle gradients and is great fun to ride. The more adventurous can do the longer route which extends to the stunning Monte Limbara. At nearly 1,400m, this is the highest climb in Northern Sardinia and is a known training spot for local professional Fabio Aru. The views from Monte Limbara make it well worth the climb, with an incredible 360 degree panorama offering a unforgettable vantage point.
The day finishes nearby the town of Sant' Antonio, known for its local cheese production. You stay in a fine retreat situated on the edge of a lake.
Short Route: 57km
Long Route: 84km
Day 6 – Green Sardinia & Palau (38-59km)The route today begins by visiting one of the most famous and best preserved Nuraghe on the island - the giant's tomb at Coddu'Ecchiu. From here you leave the mountains of Central Sardinia behind, and head towards the rolling green hills that characterize the north-east of the island. The landscape offers picture-perfect views throughout the day.
The ride finishes along the coast, ending in the small town of Palau, home to a great beach and a unique rock formation known as 'The Bear's Cape'. Here you stay in a luxurious spa hotel.
Short Route: 49km
Long Route: 86km
Day 7 – La Maddalena & Costa Smeralda (26-55km)The final day in the saddle offers two route options, but we strongly recommend to do the longer route (which is easier today than on previous days). This route begins by catching a ferry the short distance to the islands of Maddalena and Caprera - a stunning National Park. Here you will ride around both islands, taking the dramatic causeway which links the two, and enjoying some of the finest scenery on the entire Mediterranean Coast. The island of Caprera was the home and burial place of the 'Father of Modern Italy' Guiseppe Garibaldi.
After returning by ferry to Palau you will ride along the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), an exclusive strip of coastline which is home to several beautiful sandy beaches. The day finishes in another exquisite spa hotel near to the town of Arzachena.
Short Route: 24km
Long Route: 62km
Day 8 - Costa SmeraldaThe holiday comes to an end after breakfast.
You are free to explore the delights of the Costa Smeralda some more before we transfer you to Olbia in time for your onward flight or ferry.
Prices & Dates
|Price (per person)*||Single Supplement||Bike Hire (Optional)|
|Jan-May & Oct-Dec||€1330||€350||€100|
|June / September||€1390||€410||€100|
|July / August||€1570||€510||€100|
*Based on two people sharing a double or twin room. If you would prefer to stay in a single room, the single supplement is applicable.
Guided TourGroups of six people or more contact us to arrange a private guided tour starting on any date.
The following is included in the tour:
- Seven nights accommodation in double, twin or single room with en-suite. Please see price list for details of single supplement.
- Transfer to and from the arrival/departure point
- Continental breakfast every day
- Luggage transferred between hotels
- Detailed maps and route information for each day, with clearly marked points of interest.
- Route extensions every day for those of you who wish to cycle
The following are optional extras available for an additional charge:
The following is not included in the tour
- Lunches and Dinners
- Any transfers not stated above
- Travel Insurance
- Entry to any attractions (e.g. museums, churches) except were explicitly stated
- Tourist taxes. These are payable directly to the hotel and, where applicable, cost between €1-2 per person
- Ferry to La Maddalena. This 15 minute crossing costs €7.90 for a return trip and several ferries leave each hour throughout the day. Timetable and full details on how to catch the ferry are provided.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please browse through some of the frequently asked questions about this cycling tour. If you have any further questions, or would like any more information, please contact us and we will answer by email.
How far do I cycle each day on this tour?
There are two options on each day, one shorter route and one which is more challenging. The shorter route averages around 50km.
The longer route is over 80km most days and also contains more climbing. Both options start and finish in the same place, so it is possible to choose each day which route you prefer to take.
In addition, there are optional extensions available each day in case you wish to cycle further.
How difficult is this tour?
This is rated as medium difficulty. That means that it is suitable for a first time cycling holiday, but is slightly more challenging than our easiest tours. The minimum daily distances are fairly low and the route is mostly undulating with some sustained climbs at lower gradients.
Apart from on the final day, there are no hills longer than around 2km, and there are no steep sections. A reasonable level of cycling fitness is required; however, a few weekend rides in the weeks before the holiday should be enough to allow most cyclists to comfortably complete the route.
The tour, however, can be made more challenging by including the daily route extensions. These are entirely optional, but include more sustained and difficult climbing inland from the coast.
How busy are the roads?
The vast majority of this tour is on narrow country lanes and through Natural Parks. Avoiding busy roads and finding the most scenic quiet routes is one of our main considerations in designing a tour.
There are a couple of very short transition sections on slightly busier roads, but these do not last long and cars in this region are extremely respectful of cyclists.
Why do you not follow the coast the whole route?
There are a couple of main reasons why we do not follow the coast. Firstly, several sections of the Sardinian Coast are quite busy with traffic, making them not so enjoyable to ride.
Secondly, we believe the inland routes are the most scenic in some parts of the island, and enables you to see the many different sides of Sardinia.
Nevertheless, there is still over 150km of riding along the coast on this tour, so if you love the sea you will still get plenty of time to enjoy it!
Can I personalize or change aspects of this tour?
Absolutely! We have designed a tour that we feel strikes a great balance between cycling routes, accommodation and interesting towns. However, if, for example, you would like to do the tour
for a different number of days, stay in a different level of accommodation, or extend the route to a different location, we would be happy to discuss the options with you.
What is a single supplement?
Our prices are based on two people sharing a hotel room (in a double or twin room). For cyclists that wish to stay in their own room, the single supplement is payable.
The cost is made up of the extra cost of accommodation when the room is single occupancy and also the greater cost of the transfers (luggage and people) when it is not split between two or more cyclists. We have made every effort to keep this to a minimum wherever possible.
What are the arrival and departure points?
The tour begins in Alghero, home to one of three busy international airports in Sardinia. There are flights to Alghero from many international destinations, with the airline Ryanair in particular offering many options. It is also easy to reach Alghero from other places in Sardinia (such as Cagliari or Olbia) by public transport.
The departure point is Olbia. Home to the Olbia-Costa Smeralda airport, there are flights from here across Europe. You can also catch the daily ferry from here to Livorno, Genoa or Civitavecchia (Rome).
As part of the holiday, we will transfer you to and from the required airport or train station at the start and end of the tour.
What type of bikes do you provide?
For this tour we recommend both hybrid and road bikes; simply choose whichever you feel more comfortable riding. However, if you plan to do the longer route each day, then road bikes are probably the better option.
Please see our bicycles page for further details.
When can I do this tour?
This tour is available starting on any date throughout the year.
July and August are the hottest and busiest months on the island, so we would generally recommend avoiding these times of the year unless you are experienced riding in the heat.
What is the weather like on this tour?
Sardinia has the classic warm, Mediterranean climate - very similar to the nearby island of Mallorca. Winters are mild, summers are hot, while spring and autumn/fall are somewhere in between and perfect for cycling. Rainfall is low throughout the year. December, January and February are usually the wettest months - but even then, there is a good chance of having a completely dry week.
What are the altitude profiles for each day?
Below are the altitide profiles for both the shorter and longer route each day (the shorter one is always first). In addition to this there are optional extensions, with a lot more climbing available!
Please don't be put off by these profiles. Although they may look like something out of the Tour de France, the scale on the left is low and so the routes are not as steep or challenging as they may seem.
Please click on a profile to see it in more detail
We believe that the hotels that you stay in are just as important as the towns that you visit and the scenery that you ride through. On this tour we have chosen accommodation that
is of a high quality and is typical to the area.
In the larger towns, these are luxurious hotels set in a prime location for exploring the city. In the smaller villages we stay in beautiful rural cottages and Agroturismi which give you a real feel for the unique culture of Sardinia.
AlgheroIn Alghero you stay in a fantastic **** hotel situated a short distance from both the walled, historic center and the beach. This charming hotel has large rooms and is perfectly located for exploring the fascinating sights of Alghero.
BosaIn Bosa you stay in a small boutique hotel in the center of the old town, at the foot of the historic castle. From here you can explore the narrow Medieval streets, or relax with a coffee and an ice cream in one of the various piazze that are dotted around the town.
ThiesiIn Thiesi you stay in a very pleasant *** hotel situated on the edge of the town. Surrounded by delightful gardens and with an outdoor pool, the hotel offers a nice place to relax.
Lago del CoghinasHere you stay in a stunning rural cottage situated near to the Coghinas Lake. The hotel boasts a nice swimming pool, surrounded by beautiful terraces and also contains a fine restaurant, with typical home cooked Sardinian food.
Sant AntonioIn Sant Antonio we stay in a beuatiful country retreat, situated on the banks of Liscia Lake. The stunning location is supplemented by fine gardens and a wonderful swimming pool terrace. Here you can really appreciate the tranquility and beauty of rural Sardinia.
PalauIn Palau you stay in a **** spa hotel situated close to the beach. Offering large rooms and a wide range of facilities, this is another great hotel for both relaxing and exploring the surroundings.
Costa SmeraldaOn the Costa Smeralda you stay in another boutique spa hotel, which combines great facilities with a wonderfully relaxing environment.
To reserve a place on the tour, please follow the link below to continue to our reservation form.
Once we have received the form, we will be in contact to confirm the booking and to arrange for the payment of the deposit.
If you would like to do this tour in a group of more than six people as a guided tour, please contact us and we can arrange a private guided cycling holiday.