BIKE IN THE WILD. THE OGLIASTRA CROSS IS A MOUNTAIN BIKING TOUR THAT TAKES PLACE IN THE EAST
OF SARDINIA.

THE OGLIASTRA CROSS

north Sardinia circle tour
  • Starting location

    Bari Sardo, Italy
  • Final Destination

    Cala Gonone, Italy
  • Tour code

    OGC-21

Support levels

Self-guided tour

  • Accommodation

    2 nights at 4-star hotel | 1 night at Agriturismo | 3 nights at 3-star hotel

  • MEALS

    Three 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 Barisardo € 180 p.p.; departure transfer from Cala Gonone to Cagliari airport € 220 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 250 p.p.; bike rental; luggage transfer (€ 630 + 10 per pax - min 2 persons).

     

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The wild and the beautiful! Ogliastra Cross is a mountain biking tour that takes place in the east of Sardinia. Nothing like this is available on any other island in the Mediterranean, and certainly not in continental Europe. This unique adventure will create enduring memories for even the most seasoned cyclists.

Starting from the Gulf of Arbatax, it leads up through the mountainous regions of central Sardinia (both the granite massif of Gennargentu and the arid plateaus of Supramonte), before descending through limestone canyons, down to the sea of the central eastern coast, with its beautiful caves, white sandy beaches and turquoise sea.

Along this tour you will experience this beautiful and continually changing scenery in absolute serenity. Finding Mediterranean forests  oak, pine and chestnut, as well as bizarre rock formations and harsh high plateaus. You can expect to find horses, donkeys, pigs, goats, and wild sheep grazing freely, and birds of prey circling overhead. Humans are scarce, as this is the least populated region of Italy. However this is where, more than 4000 years ago, the sophisticated Nuraghic civilization developed. The remains of which, impressive stone fortifications known as Nuraghe, have survived the millennia.

From beginning to end, the tour explores this beautiful region following mostly two track roads, but there are sections of single track that test your bike handling and will get your heart pumping. The tour loops through central-eastern Sardinia, up into the mountains of Ogliastra including Gennargentu National Park and ends at the inaccessible coves on the coast between Baunei and Dorgali. Despite the remote nature of the tour accommodation is always very comfortable and in most cases is in small towns or little villages.

The tour is relatively easy, with distance averaging 43km and daily elevation gain of around 1000 meters. We have designed the tour to be suitable for e-bikes (which are available from our fleet), with recharging possibilities on longer stages. The hotels offer simple but tasty Sardinian cuisine, as well as the island's high quality wines.

Our Route

Day 1: Arrival day

Arrival at airport (Cagliari, Olbia or Alghero). Transfer to Barisardo. Dinner and overnight in Barisardo.


DAY 2: RIDE TORRE DI BARì TO JERZU

40.4km | 1,191m | 467m | 3,15h

Here we go! We leave the picturesque beach of Barisardo and its Aragonese tower behind us: the adventure begins. We ride along the sea before pointing westwards toward the mountains of the Ogliastra region. This first stage includes two climbs. The first, rather short and easy, comes after a long flattish stretch of countryside roads near the seaside villages of Bari Sardo and Cardedu. The second climb starts in the bottom of the Cannonau-wine valley surrounding the Pardu river. It's challenging, but has stunning views of the sea and the mountains of Ogliastra. Midway up, we come to the little town of Jerzu. It's a famous wine town and its name is synonymous with Cannonau red wine for us Sardinians. A lunch stop here is a great idea, and an occasion to taste a glass of wine where it is produced. The hotel is not far. Dinner and overnight at hotel nearby Jerzu.


DAY 3: RIDE JERZU TO LANUSEI

43.2km | 1,120m | 1,270m | 4h

A truly scenic jewel is the regional park and the forests laying between Jerzu, Osini and Ulassai. A mixture of oak woods and Mediterranean scrub interspersed with the omnipresent Dolomitic stone. This is a haven for Sardinian wildlife. The beginning of the stage features a super fun section of single track that leads to the village of Ulassai, known for the amazing Grotta Su Marmuri that lies just past the town, we highly recommend a visit. Soon after this natural monument is another, the famous Scala San Giorgio, a deep canyon carved in the limestone that will introduce a series of easy up and downs through holm oak and pine forests. Set in this old forest is the archaeological park of Bosco Selene, which contains many remnants of the Nuragic civilization. From here its a quick descent to Lanusei, the main town on the Ogliastra mountains, where you will overnight.

Gennargentu National Park

Gennargentu National Park

DAY 4: RIDE LANUSEI TO VILLANOVA STRISAILI

47.1km | 794m | 1,129m | 4h

There's nothing better than riding to the top of a mountain if you want to have a clear view of what surrounds you, we will do just that today. Climbing out of Lanusei we will ride at 1000m along a mountain spine  that divides its east and west side. But the show is not over, we will climb up Mt Idolo. From its peak, of more than 1200m and highest point of the trip, we can admire the sea on our east, and the Gennargentu mountains on the west. We will slowly loose altitude while approaching the Bau Muggeris Lake (aka Lago Alto Flumendosa) and the family-run agriturismo where we will get a delicious home made dinner.


DAY 5: RIDE VILLANOVA STRISAILI TO BAUNEI

47.1km | 794m | 1,129m | 4h

From lake to lake. We leave the agriturismo on the Alto Flumendosa and ride through the Mediterranean macchia on a super long descent that takes us along the shores of another lake known as Santa Lucia. We then ride past cultivated fields before reaching the only climb of the day: from Triei to our destination the small mountain town of Baunei. The most important trekking and hiking destination of Sardinia. There are a few bars and small restaurants, some of them with a stunning view of the valley and the Arbatax gulf. The stage is not short, but it is quick enough to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the picturesque old town.
Overnight in Baunei at a 3-star hotel.

Gennargentu National Park

DAY 6: RIDE BAUNEI TO CALA SISINE

39.3km | 870m | 1,357m | 3,45h

Yet another day cycling through at least three completely different landscapes: from conifers and oak trees of the Baunei plateau, we ride across the dry and rocky Supramonte, then back to sea, on an amazing cove along the Gennargentu National Park coast.

Leaving the hotel in Baunei we climb up the hairpins that take us to the Supramonte Plateau. Once there, we have a chance to do a detour to Punta Salinas and enjoy an unique view on the coastline, before riding again on the main trail that leads to the Sisine cove. This easy descent, brings an end to the stage and leaves plenty of time to enjoy lunch at the small restaurant in the cove and a swim in the crystal clear waters.  After enjoying the beach you will catch the ferry to Cala Gonone, where we will stay overnight in a 4-star hotel.


DAY 7: FAREWELL AND DEPARTURE DAY

Transfer to Cagliari airport and end of services.

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Via Vittorio Emanuele, 43
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