It had been 6 months since the end of my New Zealand adventure and I was craving some time on the road again. Given the limited time I had for the trip and my love of pizza I decided that cycling across Sardinia sounded like the perfect option. So I bought a map, arranged a bike rental, packed a few essentials and off I went.
Cycling across Sardinia route
- Day 1: Arzachena to Santa Teresa Gallura, 53km (Strava day 1)
- Day 2: Santa Teresa Gallura to near Palmadula, 136km (Strava day 2)
- Day 3: Near Palmadula to Santu Lussurgiu, 108km (Strava day 3)
- Day 4: Santu Lussurgiu to Fonni, 85km (Strava day 4)
- Day 5: Fonni to San Vito with a little detour to Porto Corallo, 126km (Strava day 5)
- Day 6: San Vito to Dolianova, 109km (Strava day 6)
- Day 7: Dolianova to Sant’Antioco, 106km (Strava day 7)
- Day 8: Sant’Antioco to Pula, 81km (Strava day 8)
If you are limited on time here were my top 3 favourite parts of the trip:
- The stunning coastal ride from Alghero to Bosa on day 3. If you only have time to cycle for one day, do that one 🙂
- The hills in Barbagia (the mountain area of inner Sardinia) on day 4. I loved cycling through the small traditional mountain villages. And although some of the uphills were pretty tough the downhills that followed were just a-ma-zing!! This area is still unspoiled and much less touristy than the coastal parts of the island. My favourite village was Fonni with its beautiful wall paintings.
- The stretch of coastal road between Porto Teulada and Chia (apparently it has been recognised as one of the most beautiful coastal road in the world!) on day 8. Make sure you stop for a swim on one of the small beaches along the way, you’ll feel like you have the ocean to yourself.
Cycling across Sardinia gear list
A little note before I get onto the gear list. I decided to cycle with a backpack (to avoid buying bike paniers) but in retrospect I should have definitely gone for paniers. Cycling with a backpack is not that comfortable. Plus it makes you feel like a turtle.
Below is a list of the gear I packed for my “cycling across Sardinia” trip. One thing I would definitely recommend adding is Chamois cream to avoid or at least to reduce chafing (because believe me, it’s painful!). A lesson learned for me 🙂
Initially I was going to take my own bike to Sardinia but to simplify the logistics I decided to rent a bike locally. I ended up using the bike rental company SardiniaCycling and the service was excellent; I definitely recommend them. The great thing about SardiniaCycling is that they have 3 bike centres on the island (Cagliari, Alghero and Costa Smeralda) and you can pick up your rental bike from one centre and drop it off at another one.
Other tips if you are considering cycling across Sardinia
- Avoid the high season (June-August), first of all it will be really crowded plus it can get super hot. September/October are perfect months for cycle touring in Sardinia.
- If you are looking for a good map: Sardinia map
- Learn a few words of Italian before leaving, many locals (especially in the less touristy areas) don’t speak English.
- Bring a tub of Chamois cream.
- Most shops (especially in the small towns) close between 1 and 5pm for the siesta so if you need food make sure you buy it before 1pm (or you will starve like I did one the first two of days 🙂 )
- Great B&B: Campi Elisi B&B. I stayed there at the end of day 2 and it’s beautiful. It’s a big house in a stunning location in the middle of nowhere (you have to cycle on gravel roads for about 5km to get there) and the owner is super nice. If you are in the area of Palmadula, definitely consider staying there for the night.