There’s a corner of Sardinia that is utterly wild and untouched, where the sapphire waters of the Mediterranean lap the shores of white-sand beaches, and shepherds’ paths lead to ancient stone age sites. The only way to reach this spectacular landscape is on foot, as the shepherds do, or by boat along the enchanting sea. WT Trip Leader Stefano Baldi, whose passion for the unique cultures of Sardinia has led him to explore its most remote reaches, has handcrafted an extraordinary trek across this untamed landscape that will immerse you into an incredible world unlike any other. We’ll hike shepherds’ trails, discover mysterious ancient dwellings known as nuraghi, swim in isolated coves, camp on a secluded beach, and meet local shepherds as we stay in their shelters along the coast. The hiking is rugged, and our camps are basic, but the reward is an experience of a people, culture, and landscape that few would imagine still exist in Europe. And after five nights of rough but exhilarating living, we savor two fantastic nights in an exquisite boutique hotel, the Su Gologone, renowned for its stunning setting, beautiful design, and great cuisine. If this is your kind of adventure, join us for an absolutely unforgettable hiking and cultural experience to wild Sardinia!
I had a wonderful time. I am so glad I pushed my boundaries and did this trip.
— Debbi O., Prospect Heights, IL
Cagliari / Santa Maria Navarrese / Giradili
After meeting in Cagliari, we explore a fascinating defensive complex known as a nuraghe, a Bronze Age megalithic site particular to Sardinia, then head to Santa Maria Navarrese, a charming seaside town set on the shores of a turquoise bay of the Mediterranean. From here we hike a coastal path to Pedra Longa, where a huge karst monolith rises beside the sea, and take a boat ride along the coast to stop at Cala Mariolu, a beautiful pebbled beach, and swim in a gorgeous pool of clear blue water at the base of tall vertical cliffs. The next day, a dramatic hike brings us to Giradili, one of the most breathtaking sea cliffs along Sardinia’s eastern coast, and on to Ovile Irbiddossili (“shepherd place”) following a former mulattiera, a mule track used by charcoal gatherers and shepherds.
Cala Goloritzè / Cala Sisine / Margine
A coastal hike brings us to Cala Goloritzè, a tiny, secluded white pebbled beach that’s so beautiful it’s been declared an “Italian National Monument.” After a chance to swim and enjoy the transparent waters, we hike to a basic refuge with a welcoming atmosphere for dinner and overnight. The next days’ hikes lead through a forested canyon to a remote white-sand beach (where we camp overnight) and to a shepherds’ shelter that offers accommodation in dormitories built as “cuiles,” traditional round-shaped shepherd huts made from stones with juniper branches as the roof.
Gorropu Gorge / Tiscali
Heading inland, we hike steeply down into the Gorropu Gorge, an impressive limestone canyon that’s one of the deepest in Europe, and walk beneath its towering 1,300-foot walls past emerald ponds and boulders as large as houses. Another hike finds us in the Supramonte di Oliena, a mountain-and-highlands area that is home to Tiscali, a mysterious nuraghic village with round stone dwellings visible amid crumbling ruins. As a grand finale, we explore Mamoiada, the home town of Mamuthones, an annual February festival with pre-Christian roots and propitiatory rituals to ensure eventual good harvests, and enjoy lunch and wine tasting at Cantina Sedilesu, one of the best wine producers of Sardinia. Overnights on Days 8 and 9 are at Su Gologone, a lovely accommodation that’s ample reward for the rugged hiking and camping we’ve experienced the last few days. Depart from Olbia on Day 10.