Pagan Festivals of Sardinia

Traditional Culture in the Heart of Sardinia
with Stefano Baldi
Repertory Trip: No Future Dates Set

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: TBA  
Length: 9 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.  Future dates have not been set for this trip, but you can see the “Itinerary at a Glance” and the “Full Detailed Itinerary” below (there may be small changes to the itinerary for the future departures, and prices will be finalized closer to departure). Contact us to receive early notification of the trip dates. These special trips fill very quickly once the exact dates are set!

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 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.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated a 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 US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.

Explanation of Trip Levels

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