Epic Sardinia Classic

A six-stage tour that combines some of the most challenging and rewarding roads in Sardinia

TOUR CODE: E-CL23

8 days

Starts in: Chia
Ends in: Santa Maria Navarrese
Activity level: challenge
Total elevation:10,964 M
Total distance:621.3 KM
  • Cagliari
  • Cagliari
Fly in/out

€ -

Guided group tour - ON REQUEST - PRIVATE GROUP TOUR

Small group minimum 6 riders | Private groups, any size on requested dates

what's included

Accommodation

6 nights at 3-star | 1 night at 4-star

Meals
Four dinners; all breakfasts.
Support level
SardiniaCycling cycling guides; mechanical assistance during the stages; epic's commemorative t-shirt; mobile workshop; spares bike, bars, gels and electrolytes available on purchase; group transfers from/to Cagliari airport. Luggage transport. 10% discount on bike rentals.
Not included
Flight tickets; extras in hotel, etc; drinks during the dinner; city tax (if any); travel insurance; individual arrival and departure transfer; bike rental.
On request

Individual arrival transfer from Cagliari airport to hotel in Chia € 70 p.p.; individual departure transfer from Santa Maria Navarrese to Cagliari airport € 250 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 240 p.p.; bike rental.

€ 999

Self guided tour

start: April to October

what's included

Accommodation

6 nights at 3-star | 1 night at 4-star

Meals
Four dinners; all breakfasts.
Support level
Detailed briefing. Access to SardiniaCycling App with all the information regarding your tour, the itinerary, points of interest as well as all the documentation for your trip. Telephone assistance during your stay. 10% discount on bike rentals.
Not included
Flight tickets; extras in hotel, etc; drinks during the dinner; city tax (if any); travel insurance; arrival and departure transfer; bike rental; luggage transport.
On request

Arrival transfer from Cagliari airport to Chia € 70 p.p.; departure transfer from Santa Maria Navarrese to Cagliari airport € 250 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 240 p.p.; bike rental; luggage transport (€ 650 + 10 per pax).

€ 1499

Supported tour

start: April to October

Small group minimum 6 riders | Private groups, any size on requested dates

what's included

Accommodation

6 nights at 3-star | 1 night at 4-star

Meals
Four dinners; all breakfasts.
Support level
Detailed briefing. Access to SardiniaCycling App with all the information regarding your tour, the itinerary, points of interest as well as all the documentation for your trip. Van assistance; mobile workshop; spare bike, bars, gels and electrolytes available on purchase. Group transfer from/to Cagliari airport. Luggage transport. 10% discount on bike rentals.
Not included
Flight tickets; extras in hotel, etc; drinks during the dinner; city tax (if any); travel insurance; individual arrival and departure transfer; bike rental.
On request

Individual arrival transfer from Cagliari airport to hotel in Chia € 70 p.p.; individual departure transfer from Santa Maria Navarrese to Cagliari airport € 250 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 240 p.p.; bike rental.

Get inspired

A six-stage tour that combines some of the most challenging and rewarding roads in Sardinia

Giovanni Lamieri, tour designer at SardiniaCycling

Epic Sardinia consists of six stages with elevation profiles and routes that test and highlight the capabilities of a dedicated cyclist. Make no mistake. It’s designed to maximize cycling enthusiasts’ expectations of what top-of-the-line cycling is all about. But when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Epic Sardinia was designed without regard to commercial concerns. The only focus was on putting together only the nicest, wildest most special roads: those we love most. The result was... Epic. And because it was designed to challenge and reward dedicated cyclists, Epic Sardinia has become a commercial success too. Epic Sardinia takes place in incredible natural settings featuring long stretches, tough climbs, short punchy ascents, flat roads and false flats as well as long winding descents. The 2021 edition starts in Cagliari and finishes at the beautiful beach at Santa Maria Navarrese. At its end you’ll have ridden along the world famous Sardinian western coast and up and down in the glorious Gennargentu, the highest mountain range on Sardinia. Epic Sardinia is a fully assisted stage tour: our support vehicles escort all of the stages, with drinks, bars and gels and, of course, water. Mechanical assistance and spare wheels are guaranteed from the very first to the last kilometer of each stage. The only difference from a Pro-Tour race is that Epic Sardinia is not a race. There are coffee and food stops planned and there's always the possibility of jumping in the van to shorten a ride, if needed. And as a little extra, a photographer follows the group taking shots of the cyclists and of the memorable views that’ll prove you completed the tour. Ride at the pace that best suits you! Epic Sardinia is a challenging event, but it's not a race. Some ride quicker than others, some slower. Guides will be a constant reference for each small group: no one is left alone. We take pride in ensuring the entire group safely reaches the destination together each day. Is there a group especially for women? No, but women generally represent about half of the riders. We also have female guides follow the groups as well. Our focus, however, is to have all of the riders finishing the main climbs and the stages together regardless of the group they’re in. We believe that comradery contributes to the magic of cycling! And that's why the Epic is so – Epic.

Resources

Our Route

Day 1: Welcome to Sardinia

Arrival at Cagliari airport and transfer to Chia. Accommodation at three-star hotel and welcome dinner.
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast, dinner

Day 2: From Chia to Portixeddu

Big news! This year the start of the Epic Sardinia is in Chia, one of the most beautiful seaside locations in the southwest of the island. The south of Sardinia doesn’t feature high mountains or a great mountain range, but that doesn't mean that cycling is easy or without long climbs. Experienced cyclists know that multiple medium or short hills can be much more painful that a couple of long climbs. Well, on this stage we have everything, so we can compare. After a flat and false flat start, we have have an up and down section along the amazing south west coast road. The stage is split into two parts, each one featuring a special coastline segment: you'll understand why many think these are some of the best coastal roads in the world. The first and only long climb of the day starts just after we pass Gonnesa. It's a famous stretch, that can be difficult to ride without stoping. It is not just the grade, but also the spectacular views that beckon you to take a break. We wouldn't rate this stage as tough. There are many little climbs but they are often short and rarely steep. But as pro riders say, “it's not the course that makes for a hard ride, it's the riders.” So keep calm, Epic Sardinia is only at the beginning! Overnight in a hotel in Portixeddu, with an amazing traditional dinner.
Distance: 123.1km
Elevation gain: 1,547m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 5h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast, dinner

Day 3: From Portixeddu to Orroli

From west coast we ride into central Sardinia, crossing more than half the width of the island before reaching Orroli. Along the way the views, landscape and kind of cycling (pretty much everything) changes slowly but decidedly. We start the day with a long and winding climb. Each bend in the road seems purpose built for enjoying the sea from above. An unforgettable way to start another Epic day. From there we start a long stretch across grain fields in the flats of central western Sardinia, before the second part of the stage, that is made up of rolling hills and short climbs up to the old village of Orroli. Accommodation and dinner are in an Albergo diffuso. The location is very typical and the meals are some of the best traditional food you can get in Sardinia.
Distance: 109.1km
Elevation gain: 1,952m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 5h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast, dinner

Day 4: From Orroli to Villagrande Strisaili

This third stage survives the big changes introduced in this newest Epic Sardinia – there’s no point in throwing out a winner! From Orroli we ride towards and across the wildest Sardinian region, called Barbagia. We ride towards the north and after a spectacular and winding descent we get to the lowest point of the ride: the Lower Flumendosa lake. From here we begin the longest climb of the day with the view of the lake on our right side. After a small flat section, we face the second proper climb of the day: seven kilometrs, but with an easy gradient. With the majority of the climbing behind us we get to enjoy a real gem among the Sardinian roads: the old SS389 that winds along the eastern aspect of Gennargentu mountain range. It's a very remote and wild segment, there aren't many roads like it in Europe. Every time we ride it, we experience the true privilege of being cyclist, as we can take our time and enjoy all the beauty and freedom that our sport can grant. All good things must come to an end, luckly the end of this wonderful road is close to the 4-star hotel: a very quiet and comfortable accommodation with dinner.
Distance: 87.1km
Elevation gain: 1,996m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 5h
Accommodation:
4-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast, dinner

Day 5: From Villagrande Strisaili to Fonni

After years running a cycling tour operation we've ridden all over the island. So when asked the inevitable question, "Where is the nicest Sardinian climb?" you can trust our answer, the Talana climb. And after today you will be able to tell us what you think. To enjoy every single hairpin we need to go all the way down, nearly to sea level. In fact the ascent, that tops at 1100m on Monte Genziana, starts very low, at only 15m ASL. From there it's about 17km up, the first five km is a nice gradual warm up for when the climb appears like a wall in front of us, leaving a 'mere 12km', with average gradient being 6.9%: a piece of cake, and the only 'Hors Catégorie' climb on the island, for those who are more into the pro cycling stats. We suggest you dont go for a KOM, as the stage doesn't end at top, in fact we are just past halfway and there is one other long climb. However the road up to the Correboi pass: 10km at 3.6% grade, is practically a leg loosener compared to Talana. The top of Correboi pass - 1246m - is really spectacular as it's like a terrace with a view on both the east and the west. It's also close to our destination: a lovely hotel in the town in Fonni. Quality (and quantity) food and great comfort are your reward.
Distance: 92.9km
Elevation gain: 2,139m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 5h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 6: Fonni Loop

We'll see how the Gennargentu can be sweet, offering low inclines for most of the ride. But we'll also see that it can be bloody hard, if you don't respect the last climb to the Bruncu Spina col, to conquer the highest road on the island. We start from the Agriturismo near Fonni at 1100 m above sea level for an anticlockwise loop. After a long descent, we come to the first two climbs of the day, neither of which are particularly long or steep. The longest climb of the whole tour begins right before Tonara and continues all the way up to the intersection at Tascusì pass (1250m). This is a second category climb and is nearly 23 km long, with an average incline of 3%. Don't worry as we plan a stop in the middle, at Tonara, to enjoy a coffee and some blocks of the world famous Torrone of which this town is proudly a renowned maker. Leaving Tonara with the pockets full of Torrone, we're ready to complete the climb up to the pass. From there, we can enjoy a short descent before the last challenge: the final climb up to the 1560m of Monte Bruncu Spina, where the ski facilities are located. No time (nor weather) for skiing, we ride down back to where we started the day. After a glorious ride, we’ll spend another night at the same hotel in Fonni.
Distance: 99.8km
Elevation gain: 1,987m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 5h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 7: From Fonni to Santa Maria Navarrese

Back to the Sea could be the title of the sixth stage. For those who think that this will be easy, well, it’s not. During this stage we’ll experience some of the most fascinating and known hills. Leaving Fonni we ride downwards towards the eastern coast. In the middle of the descent we will enjoy a stop in Orgosolo and grab a cappuccino among the world famous mural paintings that are visited by thousand visitors every year. The last climb of the tour is not far. It begins after the town of Dorgali and in about 20km will take us atop Genna Silana Pass. Unfortunatly for KOM hunters the Strava KOM was set durring a stage of the 2017 Giro d'Italia. Mentioning is not just a joke: as on that day in 2017 it wasn't just 150 of the best pro riders racing up this climb, but there was also a massive tailwind. This makes any attempt to break the record - for the pleasure of your Strava followers - almost certain to end in failure. All levity aside, after reaching the top at your own pace you will be rewarded with a lunch stop right in front of the Gorropu gorge, the deepest canyon in Europe. While your legs maybe happy to know all the climbing is over we hope your heads and hearts will disagree as this means the end of the tour is near. We have one last fun and long descent before we get to our destination: the lovely resort of Santa Maria Navarrese. We’ll overnight at a three-star hotel near the beach.
Distance: 119.1km
Elevation gain: 1,626m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 5,30h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 8: Goodbye Sardinia

Group transfer to Cagliari airport and end of services.





Map

Travel arrangements

We suggest the following arrival an departure locations and the earlier flights will help us arranging transfers or other services like bike rental formalities, bike fitting and all services that are provided individually.
  • landing airport: Cagliari
  • departure airport: Cagliari
  • Transfer time from Airport to hotels is about 55 minutes on landing and 2h on departure.

Packing and Weather

Sardinia is a region known for mild Mediterranean weather. It generally features warm, dry weather which makes these rides particularly enjoyable. The spring and fall can see the highs range from the 18s to 25s (Celsius), while the lows are generally between 14 and 18. Summer highs are generally between 28 and 25. We always recommend bringing along riding layers and even a bit of rain (might happen in Spring and Fall) gear so you can keep riding comfortably throughout the day.

Transfers

Sardinia Cycling arranges group transfers from and to the closest airport for the trip: Cagliari. Individual transfers can be also planned and the cost might depend from the departure or arrival location, from the transfer time and it can also be influenced by the presence of bulky luggage, like a bike case. Other transport option is public transport. About this last opportunity, we suggest you using Google Maps and select 'public transport' from and to your selected destination. In any case, we're ready to help you selecting the quicker, smoother and most cost effective solution.

Go Custom

Sometimes your trip on Sardinia simply isn’t long enough! Extend your stay for the best vacation possible. If you wish to spend a few days in our lovely island either before or after your trip, and need assistance making those plans, we're available help. Self guided and supported trips can be extended too and that can happen in any intermediate location along the itinerary: we can help selecting the best one!

Terrain

One thing riders learn soon is that Sardinia is hilly. The terrain is varied, with gradual and short, or very long and progressive climbs throughout the week. Epic Sardinia is best suited for our 'Challenge' riders. The routes have been designed to avoid busy roadways, that are very rare in a large a scantly populated island. However, very little urban riding and short sections of busy roads are unavoidable in Sardinia.

HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?

See our FAQs page for answers to common questions.

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Number of days: 9

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Number of days: 9

Ultimate Sardinia

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