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

THE EPIC SARDINIA


epic sardinia action
  • Starting location

    Chia, Italy
  • Final Destination

    Santa Maria Navarrese, Italy
  • Tour code

    EPIC-21

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Support levels

Guided tour

  • Accommodation

    4 nights at 3-star | 2 nights in an Agriturismo | 1 night at 4-star.

  • Meals

    All dinners; all breakfasts; quick lunch during stages: water, hydrolytes, fruit, pies, sandwiches.

  • 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; 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 € 60 p.p.; individual departure transfer from Santa Maria Navarrese to Cagliari airport € 220 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 230 p.p.; bike rental.

Self-guided tour

  • Accommodation

    4 nights at 3-star | 2 nights in an Agriturismo | 1 night at 4-star.

  • Meals

    All dinners; all breakfasts.

  • Support level

    Detailed briefing and a Road-Book containing tour details; GPS with preloaded stage routes; 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 € 60 p.p.; departure transfer from Santa Maria Navarrese to Cagliari airport € 220 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 230 p.p.; bike rental; luggage transfer (€ 630 + 10 per pax).

Supported tour

  • Accommodation

    4 nights at 3-star | 2 nights in an Agriturismo | 1 night at 4-star.

  • Meals

    All dinners; all breakfasts; quick lunch during stages: water, hydrolytes, fruit, pies, sandwiches.

  • Support level

    Detailed briefing and a Road-Book containing tour details; GPS with preloaded stage routes; van assistance; mobile workshop; spare bike, bars, gels and electrolytes available on purchase; epic's commemorative t-shirt; group transfers from/to Alghero 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 € 60 p.p.; individual departure transfer from Santa Maria Navarrese to Cagliari airport € 220 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 230 p.p.; bike rental.

Send us a quick inquiry

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. 

Our Route

Day 1: Arrival day

Arrival at Cagliari airport and transfer to Chia. Accommodation at three-star hotel and welcome dinner.

Day 2: Ride Chia to Portixeddu

123.1km | 1,547m | 1,541m | 5h

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.


Day 3: Ride Portixeddu to Orroli

109.1km | 1,952m | 1,462m | 5h

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.


Day 4: Ride Orroli to Villanova Strisaili

87.1km | 1,996m | 1,639m | 5h

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 hotel: a very quiet and comfortable accommodation. A swim in the nice pool among the lush vegetation, a few beers with the friends we've shared this adventure with: in other words the well deserved relax before a nice dinner.

The old and wild SS389, cyclists' paradise
Checking stage chart

Day 5: Ride Villanova Strisaili to Fonni

92.9km | 2,139m | 1,892m | 5h

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 agriturismo in the mountains outside the town of Fonni. Quality (and quantity) food and great comfort are your reward.

 


Day 6: Ride Fonni loop

99.8km | 1,987m | 1,990m | 5h

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 Agriturismo outside Fonni, and we’ll enjoy another superlative Sardinian dinner.


Day 7: Ride Fonni to Santa Maria Navarrese

119.1km | 1,626m | 2,750m | 5,30h

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.

Nibali and the team on the SS125


Day 8: Farewell and departure day.

Group transfer to Cagliari airport and end of services.

Resources

Similar Trips

THE NORTH SARDINIA CIRCLE TOUR

A RING THAT ENCLOSES ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS OF NORTH SARDINIA
This tour offers a lot that we call amazing and we’re quite sure you’ll agree with us. You’ll visit places offering coastline views of the Costa Smeralda and the hilly landscape of the northeast of our lovely island. And if that’s not enough you’ll experience the medieval heritage and Mediterranean lifestyle of cities such as Castelsardo, Alghero and Bosa. The tour also visits some of the most secret areas of Sardinia such as Barbagia and Ogliastra with their strong traditions, true Sardinian pride and, not least, outstanding cuisine.

THE DIAGONAL TOUR

WE CAN EXPLORE MORE, IF WE CROSS SARDINIA RIDING DIAGONALLY.
This is the tour for you who love acquainting yourselves with history, culture and traditions. It’s just the tour for those of you who want to discover the unique and beautiful Sardinia, a still unspoiled land. And this tour won’t disappoint road bike enthusiasts who like riding daily stages technically designed to enhance their passion for cycling. The whole journey is on perfect asphalt free of heavy traffic. On this tour you can enjoy cycling without a worry in the world. All overnights are in three or four star hotels, carefully selected to provide great comfort and quality food and drink.
  • I can't say enough great things about my experience with Sardinia Cycling! I've been on several cycling trips (some on BackRoads) and the service and attention was the best I've ever had. The entire team was outstanding. I booked a custom 5-day self-guided tour (Gallura short break) and from the first emails to reserving the trip the team was amazing. Giovanni spent a lot of time asking me questions about my route preferences (how difficult, distance, etc) and made adjustments to my itinerary as I gave him the details of what I wanted to to. I upgraded hotels, upgraded my bike, and they transferred my luggage to each place. Even though I am a woman traveling solo , I felt safe and supported by the team. John was really great delivering the bike and setting me up for success at the beginning of my trip spending extra time so that I felt comfortable. Then Andrea was who supported me during the trip - checking in on me and making sure I was enjoying the trip and delivering my luggage to the next destination and just overall giving great support and communication. One of the hotels had an issue, but Andrea handled it professionally and quickly and it was all settled even before I knew there was an issue. PURE Professionals. In addition, the whole team sent me separate messages along the way congratulating me on my long challenging rides -- these little touches make all the difference. I highly recommend this company and hope you have the cycling trip of your life like I did. Sardinia is so beautiful I don't want to leave. Thanks so much Giovanni, John, and Andrea for such an amazing experience!
  • Excellent experience. Highly recommend. Flawless bikes, impressive customer service.
  • A friend and I did a cycling tour in Sardinia in June 2021 with bikes rented from Sardinia Cycling in Cagliari. The bikes were top quality and absolutely brand new. John from Sardinia Cycling supported us with a lot of patience before arriving, answering to our many questions. When we arrived, the bikes were ready on time for us to leave straight for the train station, as we were on a tight schedule. On our return, John helped us with printing documents for the various Covid procedures for our departure. I totally recommend Sardinia Cycling for both their equipment and for the customer service.

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Please visit us or call us during the following opening hours or leave a voicemail message after the beep and we will call you back on our next business day.
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Via Vittorio Emanuele, 43
09045 Quartu Sant'Elena | Italy

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