The North Sardinia Circle Tour

The North Circle: a road biking tour that includes all the highlights of north Sardinia in one loop

TOUR CODE: TNSCT-23

Date 1

Starts on: Oct 7, 2023
Ends on:Oct 15, 2023
Type:Scheduled

9 days

Starts in: Arzachena
Ends in: Olbia
Activity level: challenge
Total elevation:11,126 M
Total distance:667.9 KM
  • Olbia
  • Olbia
Fly in/out

€ 1879

Guided group tour

Start: Oct 7, 2023

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

what's included

Accommodation

5 nights at 4-star | 3 nights at 3-star

Meals
Three dinners; all breakfasts.
Support level
Guiding; van assistance; mobile workshop; spare bike, bars, gels and electrolytes available on purchase; group transfers from/to Olbia 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 Olbia airport to Arzachena € 80 p.p.; individual departure transfer from Olbia to Olbia airport € 30 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 340 p.p.; bike rental.

€ 999

Self guided tour

start: April to October

what's included

Accommodation

5 nights at 4-star | 3 nights at 3-star

Meals
Three 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 Olbia airport to Arzachena € 80 p.p.; departure transfer from Olbia to Olbia airport € 30 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 340 p.p.; bike rental; luggage transport (€ 799 + 10 per pax).

€ 1559

Supported tour

start: April to October

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

what's included

Accommodation

5 nights at 4-star | 3 nights at 3-star

Meals
Three 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 Olbia 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 Olbia airport to Arzachena € 80 p.p.; individual departure transfer from Olbia to Olbia airport € 30 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 340 p.p.; bike rental.

Get inspired

The North Circle: a road biking tour that includes all the highlights of north Sardinia in one loop

Giovanni Lamieri, tour designer at SardiniaCycling

The North Sardinia Circle Tour takes place in seven stages. This special tour is designed to highlight the outstanding features of northern Sardinia. It is also incredibly versatile as a self-guided tour. You can start from the airport in Alghero and finish there. Or you can start at the airport in Olbia and finish there. Or you can start in Alghero and finish in Olbia or vice versa. These options are also a possibility for a guided tour, just tell us what suits you best and we’ll tailor it to your specific needs. However you decide to experience this tour it contains a lot that we consider 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 of course outstanding cuisine. The following is a description and the cost of the standard seven-day North Sardinia Circle Tour.

Resources

Our Route

Day 1: Welcome to Sardinia

Arrival in Olbia, transfer to accommodation in Arzachena. Dinner at a four star hotel.
Accommodation:
4-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast, dinner

Day 2: From Arzachena to Castelsardo

From Costa Smeralda, riding along the hills of northern Sardinia, and passing through the famous landscapes of the Aggius valley, you come to the medieval town of Castelsardo. This is a very well preserved historical city, thanks to the fact that it’s perched atop a promontory high above the sea that has protected it from attacks and destruction over the centuries. Today, Castelsardo is a well-known tourist destination with all the services imaginable available for you. There’s a marina and beautiful beaches and small inlets perfect for a pleasant summer holiday. But rituals and traditions such as the famous Festa di Lunissanti mark the everyday life of the town, characterized by the industrious work of basket-weavers, fishermen, and farmers. You’ll love it! Accommodation in a four-star hotel.
Distance: 96.9km
Elevation gain: 1,414m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 4,30h
Accommodation:
4-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 3: From Castelsardo to Alghero

Alghero is another medieval town, and an extremely interesting one. And that's your destination today. This time you ride westwards on the beautiful coastal road very close to the beautiful and outstretched beaches of the Asinara Gulf. Some kilometers after Porto Torres, the main industrial settlement in the north, you change direction and ride southwards. Before arriving in Alghero, you can take in the magical views offered by the Argentiera and the Porto Conte Regional Park as well as enjoy Capo Caccia, a protected the marine area. This is a stage with a lot to see! Accommodation in a three star hotel.
Distance: 100.5km
Elevation gain: 778m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 4h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 4: From Alghero to Santu Lussurgiu

On this stage, you’ll experience the special connection between the coastline and mountains in Sardinia. You start from Alghero and ride south to Bosa on one of the most renowned coastal roads on Sardinia. The medieval village here is one of the best preserved on the island. And it’s worth visiting. Enjoy an unforgettable ride through the narrow streets and stop for a quick meal in the heart of this old town. It's simply special. Bosa is the place where you leave the sea behind you. A long climb into the inner mountains of western Sardinia takes you to the historical city of Santu Lussurgiu. A Sardinian traditional dinner awaits us. Accommodation and dinner in a three star hotel.
Distance: 85.4km
Elevation gain: 1,956m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 5h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast, dinner

Day 5: From Santu Lussurgiu to Fonni

This is a real mountain stage. It takes you up to the highest mountain village in Sardinia. After 30 km, you enter the wildest area of Sardinia, called Barbagia. This region is considered the heart of the island, for thousands of years it is here Sardinians took refuge from the invasions of other mediterranean cultures, and an area where tradition and true Sardinian pride live on. You can almost breathe it and you shouldn’t miss it. Here, you ride through very small villages such as Neoneli, famous for the Neoneli’s tenors. This is a male quartet which sings the so called 'Su cantu a tenòre', a style of polyphonic folk singing characteristic of the Barbagia region and today it's a proud member of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The more you climb, the deeper you get into Sardinian tradition. For instance, you pass through Tonara, a village famous for the production of delicious Torrone nougat. Sardinian nougat is known and loved by many for its delicious taste and top-quality natural ingredients. Fortunately, you will need some extra calories at this stage of the trip. From Tonara we climb up Tascusì pass topping out at 1250m. Your legs will get a well earned respite on the descent before the last hill on the way to Fonni, where we overnight. Accommodation in a three star hotel.
Distance: 98.2km
Elevation gain: 1,980m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 4h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 6: From Fonni to Cala Gonone

Leaving Fonni, we ride southwards and soon we climb over Correboi pass (1250m) and head down a long descent on a quiet and panoramic road that will take us briefly out of the Barbagia region. As we approach to the very wild Ogliastra mountains we bend decidedly towards the coastline and after a lovely up and down section, we take another super long and winding descent with a spectacular view of the southeastern coastline. It is impossible to go quick here: every hairpin calls for a photo! The small town of Talana is a good opportunity for a coffee stop before we turn left and ride towards the SS125, the ancient and iconic road that once was the only connection between south and northeast. Now we have quicker roads to do the job, and the SS125 is a cyclists paradise. You'll discover why. At the end of another long descent on the SS125, we find our destination: the tourist resort of Cala Gonone. Time to take a swim! Accommodation in a four-star hotel.
Distance: 94km
Elevation gain: 1,634m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 4,30h
Accommodation:
4-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 7: From Cala Gonone to Bitti

There's a spectacular way to get out of the Cala Gonone cove, however, as in life, the best things seldom come easy. We need to climb up a steep old road carved into the white limestone. After this tuff start your legs will get some time to recover. We will cross the SS125 again on our way to Galtellì. A stop here is like looking back in time. Galtellì has been awarded the Touring Club Italiano’s orange flag rating for excellence. The streets of the old town centre, its traditions and sensations helped inspire Nobel Prize winning author Grazia Deledda when she wrote her book Canne al Vento. Quite soon after Galtellì we encounter the main climb of the day before passing through two typical Sardinian villages Lula and Orani. Shortly after Orani we will reach the daily destination: Bitti. Dinner and overnight at a four-star hotel.
Distance: 71.9km
Elevation gain: 1,518m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 4h
Accommodation:
4-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast, dinner

Day 8: From Bitti to Olbia

Hopefully your smartphone's memory card still has some space left, as today will give you plenty of great photo opportunities. You ride to the north to close the Circle. Right from the beginning the scenery is gorgeous: you'll ride along the very large limestone and extraordinarily white range of Monte Albo. Many of the peaks of the limestone bastion are over a thousand metres high; Mediterranean scrub is all around and evergreen. After a long descent, you'll find the valley of the Torpè lake. Contained within a the Tepilora Regional Nature Park: almost eight thousand hectares of unspoilt forests, trails, springs, rivers and ‘dunes’. After some more hilly roads the final descent, of this challenging and unforgettable tour, brings you to Olbia. Overnight at a four-star hotel.
Distance: 120.3km
Elevation gain: 1,871m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 5h
Accommodation:
4-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 9: Goodbye Sardinia

Transfer to Olbia Costa Smeralda 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: Olbia
  • DEPARTURE AIRPORT: Olbia
  • Transfer time from Airport to hotels is about 25 minutes on landing, 15 minutes 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: Olbia. 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. North Circle Bike Tour 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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