Ultimate Sardinia

You won't miss a single top road on this challenging cycle tour!

TOUR CODE: ULTS-23

Date 1

Starts on: Apr 22, 2023
Ends on:Apr 30, 2023
Type:Scheduled

9 days

Starts in: Alghero
Ends in: Pula
Activity level: challenge
Total elevation:14,034 M
Total distance:804.2 KM
  • Alghero
  • Cagliari
Fly in/out

€ 1699

Guided group tour

Start: Apr 22, 2023

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

what's included

Accommodation

8 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 Alghero airport; group transfers from 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 Alghero airport to Alghero € 25 p.p.; individual departure transfer from Pula to Cagliari airport € 60 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 325 p.p.; bike rental.

€ 999

Self guided tour

start: April to October

what's included

Accommodation

8 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 Alghero airport to Alghero € 25 p.p.; departure transfer from Pula to Cagliari airport € 60 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 325 p.p.; bike rental; luggage transport (€ 725 + 10 per pax).

€ 1449

Supported tour

start: April to October

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

what's included

Accommodation

8 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 Alghero airport to Alghero; group transfer from Pula 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 Alghero airport to Alghero € 25 p.p.; individual departure transfer from Pula to Cagliari airport € 60 p.p.; supplement for single accommodation € 325 p.p.; bike rental.

Get inspired

You won't miss a single top road on this challenging cycle tour!

Giovanni Lamieri, tour designer at SardiniaCycling

We have frequently been asked by our guests if we could combine all (or most) of the top roads on the island into one tour. For many years we answered that due to the size of the island (the perimeter is 1850km) this was very difficult, especially given the time constranits most our guests have. Finally, we have tackled this challenge and put together a route that squeezes most of our, and our guests' favorite roads into a single week of cycling. We've called it 'Ultimate Sardinia'. North to south, west to east. Ultimate Sardinia is a challenging tour made up of long stages with notable daily elevation gains and takes you from the northwest of the island (Alghero) to the very south (Pula) in seven unforgettable stages. What should an ultimate tour of Sardinia include? Historical towns, like Alghero and Bosa; amazing coastline roads, such as the famous stretches along the northwest and southwest coasts; the traditional Sardinian inland villages; the mountains of the Barbagia region, rich in tradition and Sardinian pride; the amazing central-east with its Gennargentu Park; the wild southwest with its old mines and the gorgeous beaches. We have managed to connect all these highlights with roads that you will not soon forget. As usual, at Sardinia Cycling, route, accommodation, food and wine are selected carefully as a part of the tale we tell, so that we can say this is not just a travel through the land, but also through its varied traditions, culture, food, wine and even language. The Ultimate Sardinia is the tour for dedicated cyclists that want a once in a lifetime experience of the island. Fair warning, however, after you are finished we are sure you will become one of our numerous repeat guests that can't stay away from Sardinia and its amazing roads and warm local hospitality. So maybe we'll have to change name to this tour! How does Penultimate Sardinia sound? Yes, you can do it either guided or self guided with luggage transfer.

Resources

Our Route

Day 1: Welcome to Sardinia

Arrival at Alghero airport, transfer to Alghero, check-in and welcome.
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 2: From Alghero to Santu Lussurgiu

On the opening stage, you’ll experience the special connection between coastline and mountain rides in Sardinia. You start from Alghero and ride south to Bosa on one of the most renowned coastal roads on Sardinia. The medieval village of Bosa is one of the best preserved on the island and it’s worth visiting. Enjoy an unforgettable ride through the narrow streets of the old town and stop for a quick meal. After lunch you leave the sea behind you as you head inland. The approach is trough the smooth hills of the Nurra region, up to Cuglieri. From there you continue climbing into the mountains of Montiferru. You finish the day descending into the small gem of Santu Lussurgiu, a small medieval town where a Sardinian traditional dinner and a very comfortable accommodation await you.
Distance: 85.8km
Elevation gain: 1,967m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 5h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast, dinner

Day 3: From Santu Lussurgiu to Fonni

We ride deep into the core of Sardinia, the region called Barbagia: an area of Sardinia that has had the least external influence and so preserves - with pride - its strong traditions. The stage is split into two different parts. The first half is quite easy: downhill in the beginning, then flattish as we head towards the center of the island riding eastwards. The second part is much harder: after the bridge over Tirso lake, we start a series of long and progressive climbs that take us from the western to the central portion of the Gennargentu mountain range, within the Barbagia region. We'll ride through many small, lazy villages as we approach the most important centers of Barbagia, such as Tonara - known for superb nougat - and eventually Fonni, a winter holiday resort in the heart of a Med island. A comfortable accommodation at three-star hotel in Fonni.
Distance: 103.8km
Elevation gain: 2,294m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 5h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 4: From Fonni To Posada

We leave Fonni and ride north toward the largest town of central Sardinia and one of the administrative capitals: Nuoro. The first 50km have a descending trend and despite two climbs, you lose about 1000m of elevation. From there we begin the first of the two main climbs of the day: 12 kilometres to Orune, and later a an amazing climb along the - extraordinarily white - Molte Albo mountain range. Many of the peaks of that famous limestone bastion are over a thousand metres high; evergreen Mediterranean scrub is all around. After a long descent, you'll find the valley of the Torpè lake and nowadays a natural park oasis: almost eight thousand hectares of unspoilt forests, trails, springs, rivers and ‘dunes’ in the territory of Bitti, Lodè, Posada. Posada is another historical village that features a nice old town and one of Sardinia’s best preserved medieval fortresses - Castello della Fava - that rises up from the village and is rife with ancient mysteries and legends. Sounds amazing, doesn't it? That's why Posada is also the place where we've arranged for your accommodation in a three-star hotel.
Distance: 130.6km
Elevation gain: 2,116m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 6h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 5: From Posada to Santa Maria Navarrese

We leave Posada and ride southwards on a very easy first part of the stage. We cross through the village of Irgoli before we reach Galtellì. A stop in this awesome old town, will immerse us in the history of the island. Galtellì has been awarded the Touring Club Italiano’s orange flag rating for excellence. The streets, traditions and sensations of the old town center inspired the author and Nobel Prize Grazia Deledda when she set her book Canne al Vento here. After a good cappuccino we keep riding to the south. Soon after after Dorgali we reach the main climb of the day: it's about 20km long and it will take us atop Genna Silana Pass. Unfortunatly for KOM hunters the Strava KOM was set during 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 entertainment of your Strava followers - almost certain to end in failure. All levity aside, after reaching the top you will be rewarded with a lunch stop right in front of the Gorropu gorge, the deepest canyon in Europe. A thrilling descent will take us back to the coastline, at Santa Maria Navarrese. Another glorious day of cycling ends in a comfortable accommodation at a three-star hotel.
Distance: 111km
Elevation gain: 1,706m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 5h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 6: From Santa Maria Navarrese to Orroli

Mark this day in the calendar: this is the Queen stage of the tour. Today you will accumulate nearly 3000m of climbing with more than a third of that coming in one early stretch, the Talana climb. After years of riding in Sardinia we can say with without hesitation that this is the nicest and one of the toughest climbs we have here. 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 suddenly appears like a wall in front of us, leaving a 'mere 12km', with an average gradient of 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. The Talana is painful for the legs, but also a joy for the eyes: the views will take your breathe away. But the show is not over as this stage features also the incredible Mont'Arbu road, another 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. After this memorable stretch of asphalt, a few more downhills and ascents separate us from our destination: Orroli and it's family-run Albergo diffuso where we will have a nice typical dinner.
Distance: 123.6km
Elevation gain: 2,891m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 6h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast, dinner

Day 7: From Orroli to Portixeddu

What we like best - as cyclists - are those days on the bike where you get surprised by dramatic changes of setting. Today is one of these days! Leaving Orroli, the first 60km are on easy rolling hills, as soon as we cross the SS131 - the main Sardinian highway - we meet a long, totally flat section, crossing the cultivated feilds of the central western Sardinia. Riding through Guspini signals we are once again entering a mountainous region. This is the ancient mining region of southwest Sardinia: an area exploited for diverse minerals from the time of the Phoenicians until the 1970s, and thus neglected by tourism. Since the closure of the mines, nature has worked to reclaim much of this land. Mass tourism didn't develop here due to the lack infrastructure and... well, you just need to wait and see the amazing outcome of this historical process. From Guspini on, we cycle through one of the wildest areas on the island and end the ride at an awesome beach in Portixeddu. Today you'll again sleep by the sea, at a three-star hotel in Portixeddu.
Distance: 120km
Elevation gain: 1,443m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 5h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast, dinner

Day 8: From Portixeddu to Pula

If someone were to ask me one road to include in a dream cycle tour, I would struggle between the west coast road that cuts through the old mining region between Fluminimaggiore and Nebida, and the long southerly stretch that goes from Porto Teulada to the awesome sandy beaches of Chia. Rather than choose I have combined them to create the last stage of the Ultimate Sardinia. You will start and finish the day riding these remarkable undulating coastal roads. The middle of the section is easy on flat roads or rolling terrain. It's hard to describe what you'll see without piling up adjectives, and to do so does this stage a disservice. We truly believe this stage should be on every cyclists bucket list. This series of up and downs will bring you past beaches, cliffs and coves with the stunning turquoise sea as your constant companion. The trip ends in Pula, where the last hotel is! Dinner will be a great occasion to do something that often happens at the end of our trips: arguing about which stage was the best. You will find that this can be just as strenuous as the queen stage of the tour.
Distance: 129.5km
Elevation gain: 1,618m
Riding terrain: hilly
Riding time: 6h
Accommodation:
3-star hotel
Meals:
Breakfast

Day 9: Goodbye Sardinia

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: Alghero
  • departure airport: Cagliari
  • Transfer time from Airport to hotel on arrival is about 15 minutes. On departure is about 50 minutes.

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: Alghero/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. The Ultimate 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.

More Trips

Number of days: 9

The North Sardinia Circle Tour

The North Circle: a road biking tour that includes all the highlights of north Sardinia in one loop.
Number of days: 9

Ultimate Sardinia

You won't miss a single top road on this challenging cycle tour!
Number of days: 8

Epic Sardinia Classic 22

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

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