Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4595  
Length: 10 days
Arrive: Olbia, Italy
Depart: Olbia, Italy
Lodging: 9 nights in hotels
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Walking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Moderate hiking, cultural touring


  • Attend Sardinia's wildly colorful cultural festivals, with dancing, music, parades, and costumed participants
  • Enjoy hikes leading to ancient archaeological sites, including Tharros, dating from 800 BC, and Tomba di Gigante S’Ena è Thomes, a burial from the Bronze Age
  • Meet cheesemakers, artisans, learn culinary secrets, taste robust wines

A wonderful, intense experience. Stefano’s love for Sardinia, its food, history, and people made the trip.Gordon C.—Menlo Park, CA

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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.


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.

Take a step back in time for a wild cultural experience! Join veteran WT Trip Leader Stefano Baldi for a fascinating discovery of the captivating pagan festivals of Sardinia, wild spectacles that hold true to their Sardo roots, with 2,000-year-old rituals, allegorical reenactments, colorful parades, masked dancers, lively music, dancing in the streets, and spirited horse races. This is a chance to experience the real Sardinia—the deep “dark heart” of the interior, where few tourists venture, and where the locals proudly keep the oldest traditions. In the company of Stefano, whose irrepressible, exuberant nature is well known and loved by all who travel with him, we can’t help but get caught up in the action! Along with the festivals, we visit artisans in their workshops, learn the culinary secrets of making good pasta, see how the special bread—pane carasau—is made, and enjoy a wine tasting as we visit one of the most renowned wineries of the island.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Olbia / Sortilla de Tumbarinos

Our introduction to the heart of Sardinia begins with a hike to a shepherd's hut for lunch and a demonstration in the art of making Fiore Sardo, Sardinia's famous pecorino. In Gavoi, we attend the Sortilla de Tumbarinos, a lively local event where people attired in black clothes or robes, some with blackened faces or simple masks, roam around the town playing homemade drums accompanied by accordion and flute music.

Days 3-4
Countryside Hikes

Our hikes in the Sardinian countryside bring us to the Grotta di Ispinigoli, a deep cave linked to legends of human sacrifices in Nuraghic times. We also explore the Mamoiada area, with its beautiful landscape and “forgotten” archaeological sites, and learn about Sardinia's ancient past as we visit a Bronze Age tomb and the intriguing Museum of Mediterranean Masks, which displays the traditional masks used in Sardinian festivals.

Days 5-9
Pagan Festivals

We take the next few days to revel in the fun and excitement of Sardinia’s most fascinating pagan festivals, a chance to share a part of its fascinating ancestral history. At the Mamuthones carnival, we witness solemn parades of mysterious masqueraders in costumes of black sheepskins, heavy brass cowbells, and somber black wooden masks. We also take part in the Carrela è Nanti, where horses are ridden wildly through the narrow streets of Santu Lussurgiu in daring acts of bravery and skill; the Sartiglia, a reenactment of a medieval tournament on horseback, complete with reverberant drums and cheering crowds; and the carnival in Ovodda, culminating with a huge bonfire in the main square. Between festivals, we’ll enjoy short hikes along with the delights of Sardinia's traditional cuisine, and explore Romanzesu, an ancient Nuraghic village set amid centuries-old cork trees. Depart from Olbia on Day 10.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 2, easy to moderate, according to our trip grading system. Our hikes range from two to three hours in length and are mostly on easy terrain, with the occasional rocky trail. Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the U.S. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.

Although the rooms in our hotels and inns are not always of uniform or international size, our leaders try their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Feb 3-12, 2016

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016
$4595 (11-15 members)
$4995 (6-10 members)
Single supplement: $360
more on pricing

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodation
  • Welcome and farewell dinners and other meals as noted
  • A glass of wine or beer with dinner
  • Land transportation, transfers to and from airport on Day 1 and Day 10, entrance fees to museums and visitors sites, and sightseeing as noted in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

international airfare, transfers for independent arrival or departure, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2016 Departures

Meeting Place:
Olbia, Italy

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Olbia, Italy (airport code: OLB)
Olbia, Italy

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Olbia, Italy (airport code: OLB)
Suggested departure time: 1:00 pm or later

Santa Rughe

Santa Rughe

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Gavoi, Italy

Set near Lake Gusana and in the center of the small, yet lively mountain town of Gavoi, this quaint village B&B welcomes you with comfortable ...
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Locanda Tipica Sa Corte

Locanda Tipica Sa Corte

Days 3 to 5 (3 nights), Oliena, Italy

Past an arched wooden gate, a lovely B&B surrounded by a lush garden, greets you with authentic Sardinian charm. Rooms are simple in design with ...
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Hotels in Oristano

Days 6 to 7 (2 nights), Oristano, Italy

In Oristano, we stay at one of the following properties, based on availability:

Hotels in Ovodda

Day 8 (1 night), Ovodda, Italy

In Ovodda, we stay at one of the following properties, based on availability:

Hotel Su Lithu

Hotel Su Lithu

Day 9 (1 night), Bitti, Italy

Tucked in the folds above a small traditional town and overlooking the verdant valleys around Monte Albo rests the Hotel Su Lithu in its serene ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Stefano Baldi

Departure Dates: February 3-12, 2016

Stefano Baldi, of Tuscany, has led hiking trips in Europe for us for nearly 15 years. He has spent most of his life living in the beautiful rural countryside of Tuscany, except for a few years in Florence as a student. His love for nature led him to found an agricultural co-op with friends in the ...
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Sebastiano Leone

Departure Dates: February 3-12, 2016

Sebastiano Leone knows that traveling through Italy is always better when you’re being led by your senses. From guiding hiking and cultural trips that offer incredible views and insights to Italy’s colorful history, not to mention knowing the local hotspots to sip and savor authentic ...
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Client Comments

A wonderful, intense experience. Stefano’s love for Sardinia, its food, history, and people made the trip. Gordon C., Menlo Park, CA Only because of Stefano's experience and efforts was such a trip possible. Travelers could never duplicate such a trip for themselves. This is what sets Wilderness Travel apart. Jim H., San Luis Obispo, CA
This trip gave us insights into facets of Sardinian life that most tourists will never see. Judith T., Punta Gorda, FL