Pagan Festivals of Sardinia

Traditional Culture in the Heart of Sardinia
Repertory Trip: Next Offered February 3-12, 2016

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: TBA  
Length: 10 days
Arrive: Olbia, Italy
Depart: Olbia, Italy
Lodging: 8 nights in hotels
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Walking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Moderate hiking, cultural touring
2


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.

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.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Repertory Trip

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years.  It will be several years before this journey is offered again. Now is the time to go!

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

Days 1-2
Olbia / Sortilla de Tumbarinos

Our introduction to the heart of Sardinia begins with a visit to Romanzesu, an ancient Nuraghic village set amid centuries-old cork trees. After a hike in the lake and forest environs of 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  beautiful little town of Galtelli, with its well preserved historic center, and 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, and we are treated to the genuine hospitality extended to istranzos (foreigners); 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. Depart from Olbia on Day 9.

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

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered only every two to five years. This journey will not be offered again for several years. Now is the Time to Go!

2016
Feb 3-12, 2016

Trip Cost

Prices for this trip are being finalized. Contact us and we'll send them to you as soon as they are available. more on pricing

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% 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 9, 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 arriving to and departing from Olbia, Italy. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip and have reviewed your proposed air schedule with our office. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

Meeting Place:
Olbia, Italy

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Genoa, Italy (airport code: GOA)

Departure:
Olbia, Italy

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

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