Sardinia: Wild and Blue

A Trek Along an Untouched Mediterranean Coast
Repertory Trip: Next Offered May 2016

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: TBA  
Length: 10 days
Arrive: Cagliari, Italy
Depart: Olbia, Italy
Lodging: 4 nights in hotels, 4 nights in shepherds' refuges, 1 night beach camp
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: 8 hiking days on moderate to strenuous trails, some steep sections, 4-6 hours a day, optional swimming
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Highlights

  • Witness Sardinia’s traditional pagan winter festivals—a glimpse into the past
  • Visit artisan workshops, enjoy a cooking workshop, taste fine wines
  • Hike across the rural landscapes of Sardinia’s inner mountains


I had a wonderful time. I am so glad I pushed my boundaries and did this trip.Debbi O.—Prospect Heights, IL

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Repertory Trip

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years.  The exact dates have not been finalized but we expect they will be in May 2016. The “Itinerary at a Glance” and the “Full Detailed Itinerary” are available below. Please note there may be slight changes to the itinerary for future departures. Contact us to receive early notification of the trip dates. These special trips fill very quickly once the exact dates are set!

There’s a corner of Sardinia that is utterly wild and untouched, where the sapphire waters of the Mediterranean lap the shores of golden 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!

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
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.

Days 4-6
Cala Goloritze / Cala Sisine / Margine

A coastal hike brings us to Cala Goloritze, 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.

Days 7-10
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.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 4+, moderate to strenuous, according to our trip grading system. Our hikes range from four to six hours in length and are mostly on rough terrain, with some exposure and ascents and descents of as much as 2,950 feet. You carry only a daypack with trailside essentials (water, camera, etc.) during the day, but you should have good mountain hiking experience and wear sturdy, well-broken-in hiking boots for maximum comfort on the trail. Along the way we explore several beaches; swimming is optional (but highly recommended). At this time of year, the water is at its warmest and the summer crowds are gone.

We stay a few nights in hotels, but the majority of our lodging is extremely rustic—either camping in tents on the beach or in ovile (shepherds’ refuges) with dormitory-style accommodations (four rooms for four people each with bathroom; or two large rooms accommodating 10 people with outside bathroom). There is no running water along this wild stretch of coast, so showers are not always available.

Explanation of Trip Levels