Sardinia, despite being the second largest mediterranean island, only counts about 1,6 million inhabitants, making it one of the italian regions with the lowest population density. Add that this island has never been a destination for the mass tourism. You have the recipe that allows Sardinia to the preserve its "off the beaten track" status. Chilometers of coast line with no human settlement, forests of mediterranean vegetation, the mines abandoned buildings absorbed by the nature. And again the silences, the colours, the scents, and the people, the food, is an endless list.
An island that quite rightly has been defined a small continent, thanks to the crazy variety of ever changing landscapes in such a small area.
Sardinia is the perfect destination for all types of active tourism be it cycling tours or hiking tours:
- Spectacular sceneries set in a truly unspoilt landscape,
- Mild Mediterranean weather that allows comfortable outdoor activities all year round,
- Well protected environment, low population density and hardly no development of heavy industry,
- Absence of motorized traffic on roads.
These factors are what make Sardinia one of the best cycling destinations in Europe, and the quiet roads also mean your active holiday will be safer. During the guided cycling and walking tours, our guides will introduce you to the best that the area has to offer. Even if you prefer to explore the routes independently, it is very easy to find the authentic side of Sardinia. Sardinia is a land that is very rich in traditions which are still strongly felt by the local population. There is never any shortage of surprises during our cycling or hiking tours. You can often find yourself in the middle of a village festival or a religious procession where men, women and children dress in traditional Sardinian clothes. The Cabras San Salvatore is celebrated in the first week of September with a barefoot race, and guests have the pleasure becoming part of the crowd that flocks in from all over Sardinia to enjoy this moment. During the carnival period before Easter, horse rides like the Sartiglia in Oristano or Sa Carrela Annanti in Santulussurgiu involve tourists, who are dragged in from the audience to become one with the local population.
When taking breaks from the walking or cycling tours in small local bars, Sardinians never fail to ask cyclists if everything is ok or if they need a hand with their bikes. They rarely speak English, but always have a friendly smile. This is particularly common in places less affected by mass tourism: areas where Dolcevita also offers cycling and walking tours. One example among many is the tour of the abandoned mining areas. Sardinia is one of the most ancient lands in Europe, and is rich in minerals that were previously exported throughout Europe and the world. Whole towns and mining villages were founded during those years but are now abandoned, creating a picturesque backdrop to the dunes and beaches of the Costa Verde.
What eat in Sardinia
Food is one of the highlights of Sardinia. What should you eat after day spent on a walking or cycling tour? It's a legitimate question. There are many things you should sample at mealtimes, but for appetisers we especially recommend the many local meats, cheeses, octopus, seafood and the unforgettable bottarga di muggine from Cabras. Bottarga is Sardinia's caviar, and is produced with the best salted and dried mullet roe around.
As in all of Italy, many different types of pasta are featured in the first courses. Carbohydrates are essential for cyclists and walkers, as they are slow to burn and provide the energy needed to spend the entire day on the road or hitting the pedals. If you want to try something unique, ask for "is culurgiones", a kind of ravioli with ricotta and wild chard or potatoes: when served with red sauce or butter, sage and pecorino, they won’t disappoint.
One of the most famous meat dishes in Sardinia is roast pork, which is strictly cooked on a spit over hot coals. This tasty protein is important for tackling the tough stretches during an active holiday.
The dishes are different on the island of Carloforte, which have different origins, as does the local language, and the local cuisine there is characterised by couscous dishes with pesto sauce. Don’t miss out on the dishes made with the tuna caught in Sardinia from late May to October.
Sardinia enjoys a mild Mediterranean weather that allows comfortable cycling all year round. The most popular times of the year are spring and autumn. In spring you will find blooming flowers, sharp colours, and amazingly bright skies. Water at sea is fresh, days are long and and peaceful.
For plant lovers, spring is the perfect time to book a cycling or walking holiday in Sardinia. Over 60 wild orchids and about 350 endemic species comprise the more than 2400 entities that make the island a magnificent garden, and one of the most beautiful areas in Italy for outdoor activities.
In September and October you will find the pastures turned brown and yellow by the summer sun, and very warm water at sea, allowing for splendid swims during the cycling or at sunset, when it takes an endless, magic time to the sun to dip below the horizon.
The best cycling and hiking holiday
The element that makes hiking and cycling tours in Sardinia truly unique is the sea. Cycling tours and paths allow you to discover one beach after the other, immersing yourself in the different colours of the Sardinian coast. These range from the pink of the granite in the north to the ancient rocks of Sulcis, the dark basalts that frame most of the island’s areas and the astonishing quartz grains found on the beaches of Oristano.
All this can be found on one island - Sardinia!
Dolcevita Bike Tours manage different kinds of cycling and walking tours:
All the cycling and hiking tours can be:
- Self guided
- Short breacks
- Centre based