Sardinia: From Wild Trails to Secluded Luxury

Guided

from €From €3.300

Hike the wild, beautiful trails of Sardinia, reaching high elevation prehistoric sites and gorges, and descending to the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean! The grand finale? Enjoy a luxurious, leisurely day relaxing on an incredible sailing yacht as you cruise around the idyllic La Maddalena archipelago.

  • Length 8 Days / 7 Nights
  • Trip Type Sardinia
  • Activity Level Moderate to Challenging
  • Start / Finish Pedra Longa / Isola La Maddalena
  • Dates This trip is available as a custom, private departure on dates of your choosing from April to October

Highlights

  • Hike in two of the most beautiful areas of Sardinia, the Orosei coastline and the Supramonte Massif, where narrow gorges, imposing chalk rocks, wide plateaus, and hidden canyons run in an uninterrupted stretch of natural beauty toward the sea
  • Discover the transparent water and intense turquoise colors set off by white stone beaches and cliffs that make Sardinia so picturesque
  • Overnight in a variety of traditional Sardinian accommodations – boutique hotels, rifugios, and even a farmhouse!
  • Enjoy a full day excursion on a tall sailing ship, exploring the La Maddalena archipelago, hidden beaches, and crystal clear waters 

 

OVERVIEW

When most people think of a hiking vacation, they think of mountains. Maybe lakes and rivers. But beaches? Really? Well… that’s because they’ve never been to Sardinia!

On this active itinerary, yes you’ll hike through beautiful mountains, discovering cultural artifacts that date back before the Romans, but you’ll also drop down to secluded beaches, accessible only by foot or by private boat. In fact, many of your hiking excursions will end with time on the beach before transferring back to your hotel by boat! On our Sardinia: From Wild Trails to Secluded Luxury itinerary, you’ll explore the central eastern Olbia Coastline, the mountainous interior of the island, and the beautiful Costa Smerelda, or Emerald Coast, to its north, as well as the La Maddalena archipelago off the northern tip. You’ll be plenty active each day, with opportunities to swim and relax on the beach throughout. 

Sardinia’s east coast and interior comprise one of the last wilderness sanctuaries on the entire Mediterranean Sea. The landscape of the wonderful Supramonte Mountains on the east side of the island belongs to one of the most dramatic coastlines of the Mediterranean. White cliffs rise 800 meters (2,625') high out of the crystal clear blue waters of the Golfo di Orosei. Thousands of mysterious Nuraghe villages and towers, scattered over this island, tell us of ancient times and ancient cultures that once ruled Sardinia. And the pristine beaches here offer an unmatched beauty of crystal waters and pristine white pebbles and rocks that render the sea an unimaginable variety of turquoise colors, changing at different times of day, and depending on your angle of view. 

What’s more, you’ll experience a unique style of Italian cuisine, which feels both familiar, yet distinctly different. While seafood figures prominently in Sardinian cuisine (think rock lobster, scampi, bottarga, squid, tuna, sardines, and more!), suckling pig and wild boar are culturally more dominant, roasted on the spit or boiled in stews of beans and vegetables. Unusual pastas from malloreddus to fregula to pillus are here, just waiting to be discovered. Spices, mushrooms, cheeses, olive oils, local wine… exploring the island’s traditional cuisine never ceases to be extraordinary. You are sure to enjoy the Sardinian food and wine and hospitality of the local people, as much as you enjoy the trails and beaches!

On your last few days, you’ll explore an altogether different landscape to the north: the Sardinian Maddalena archipelago. This group of 62 islands and islets offers some of the most crystal clear waters in the entire Mediterranean. A road runs around the perimeter of the main island, offering 45 kilometers (27 miles) of breath-taking panoramas. Granite and porphyry mark out jagged areas, coves, inlets, and turquoise sandy beaches, while the inland areas are made of gentle hills. The best part? You’ll spend your final day here aboard a tall sailing ship, cruising along turquoise waters into hidden coves and pristine beaches, taking in the secluded luxury that is Sardinia! 

Day by Day

Day 1 ~ Arrive in Sardinia
Arrive at Olbia International Airport (OLB). Private transfer to your hotel in Santa Maria Navarrese (2.5 hour transfer, 150km / 93 miles). 

The hamlet of Santa Maria Navarrese is at the foot of a hill covered with olive trees, fig trees, locust trees, lotus trees, and dense brush. This coastal village is named after a small church erected in 1052 by the Navarre Princess, daughter of King Garcia Sanchez V.  She had likely fled her country because of a “love sin,” and is said to have wanted to thank the Madonna for saving her life during a shipwreck near the frightening "Monti Insani," now called Monte Santu. Today, Santa Maria has become a renowned seaside location.

After you’ve settled in, you’ll have a trip briefing and equipment check before your trek.  Note that you will return to the same hotel at the end of your trek.  When you depart tomorrow, you will be able to leave any belongings that you do not wish to carry with you on trek to be stored at the hotel, and reclaim them when you return.
D… Hotel in Santa Maria Navarrese, Sardinia


Day 2 ~ Santa Maria – Pedra Longa – Rifugio di Ginnircu
Begin your trek today with an incredible hike along the islands coastline! From Santa Maria take a short private transfer to Pedra Longa – a rocky spire that is accessible via an easy and panoramic trail along the coast.  Pedra Longa is the most impressive spur on the isle, surrounded by an azure sea, which makes the cliff walls appear to fall more vertically into the water. The monolith appears in front of you as an imposing calcareous massif, composed predominantly of karst. Measuring approximately 120 meters (394') in height, the soaring shape has a large base and a rounded top; it has come to be known as the symbol of Baunei and all of Sardinia. 

From here, you’ll hike up the dolomitic ledge of Punta Giradili – its huge 750-meter (2,461') walls and peaks are considered by many as one of Sardinia’s finest sea cliffs.  Continue to Cuile Duspiggius, a fascinating sheepfold perched on the cliffs overlooking the sea and keep on your trail until you reach Ovile Bertarelli. An entirely self-sustained farmhouse and evocative example for the defense of Sardianian cultural heritage, Ovile Bertarelli is the winner of several awards for its valuable contribution to Sardinia's architecture. Enjoy a delicious typical Sardinian dinner, and spend the night outdoors, on the grounds of the farm.
(5 hours hiking, 14.7km / 8.7 miles, 934m / 3,064' ascent, 287m / 942’ descent.)

B,L,D… Farmhouse accommodation, Sardinia


Day 3 ~ Hike to Portu Pedrosu – Portu Quau
Transfer to Ginnurcu in the morning and start your hike to Capo Monte Santu, a rocky elbow teetering a thousand feet over the deep blue sea and continue walking along the edge of 200-meter (656') cliffs, high above the sea. From Capo Monte Santu, it is approximately four hours hiking to Portu Pedrosu and Portu Quau, two beautiful small fjords surrounded by grey limestone. Enjoy some scrambling in this area before returning by boat to Santa Maria Navarrese.
(6 hours hiking, 7.5km/ 4,349 miles, 123m / 404' ascent, 870m / 2,854' descent.)
B,L… Hotel in Santa Maria Navarrese, Sardinia


Day 4 ~ Iribidossili – Cala Goloritzè – Altopiano di Golgo
Transfer by car to Iribidossili and hike to Punta Salinas for a fantastic view of the Mediterranean Sea and the vertical limestone cliffs that fall into the Orosei Gulf.  A fast descent brings you to the astonishing Aguglia di Goloritze and on to the stunning white and blue cove of Goloritzè.

Cala Goloritzè is a small white sandy stretch of beach overlooked by the 128-meter (420') high Punta Caroddi, also known as Aguglia. It is the most photographed beach in the Ogliastra area of Sardinia – as soon as you lay eyes on it, you will surely understand why! The beach is covered in white pebbles, with clear water, visible to a depth of 30 meters (98'). Not surprisingly, it dedicated as an "Italian National Monument" in 1995.

Hike up to the Altopiano di Golgo and enjoy a Sardinian dinner.
(5 hours hiking, 11.8km / 6.8 miles, 653m / 2,142' ascent, 643m / 2,110' descent.)
B,L,D… Rifugio in Golgo


Day 5 ~ Golgo Serra ‘e Lattone – Grotta del Fico
Transfer to Altopiano di Golgo and hike to the Grotta del Fico (Cave of the Fig), passing by Bacu Mudaloru. The first part of the hike is on very steep, rocky terrain, transitioning to a beautiful forest along a ridge (530m / 1,739'). When you reach a high plateau, continue along a vertical ridge hiking and doing a couple of rappels. Descend with ropes 45 meters (148') down to the Grotta del Fico.

The Grotta del Fico is probably the most beautiful cave in Sardinia. You are sure to be amazed by the spectacular formations, lights and shadows that dance along the walls and in the water, and fresh water falls inside the cave. Beyond its beauty, it is important in both the history of Sardinian speleology (the scientific study of caves and other karst features) and wildlife research, specifically monk seals, who were last seen here in the early 1980s.  
(6 hours hiking, 13km / 8 miles, 751m / 2,464' ascent, 736m / 2,415' descent.)

Boat transfer to Cala Gonone and transfer to your hotel for tonight.
B,L,D… Boutique Hotel in the Oliena Region, Sardinia


Day 6 ~ Hike in the Lanaitho Valley & the Tiscali Nuraghic Site

Option: Lanaitho Valley & Tiscali
Enjoy a beautiful hike to the Lanaitho Valley in the Supramonte Mountains. This area is considered a paradise for all those who love trekking, wild flora, and fauna. Once inland, you will hike to the Tiscali Village. Nestled in a valley atop Mount Tiscali (518m / 1,699'), it is considered one of the wonders of Sardinian archaeology. Thought to have been built and inhabited between the 15th and 8th centuries BC, the village is set on the top of Mount Tiscali, in a huge hollow that was created by the collapse of a cave. 40 Nuraghic huts lie within. The village was entirely built along the walls of the hollow, so that it's impossible to see it if you do not penetrate inside. Some archaeologists think Tiscali must have been an untraceable shelter during the period of Carthaginian invasions.
(3-4 hours hiking, 4km / 2.5 miles, 100m / 328' elevation change.)

In the afternoon, take a private transfer to the northern tip of Sardinia. From here you will ride a car ferry to Isola La Maddalena, followed by a short drive your hotel (total transfer time ~3 hours). Suspended between the main island of Sardinia and France’s Corsica, La Maddelena is an archipelago comprised of seven large islands and 55 tiny islets (isolotti). It features some of the most spectacular beaches in Italy, and some of the cleanest and clearest water. The archipelago takes its name from La Maddalena, its largest island where you will be staying, and from the National Park of which it is the administrative center.
B,L… Hotel on Isola La Maddalena, Sardinia


Day 7 ~ Island Excursion Aboard a Tall Sailing Ship
Today, enjoy an unforgettable journey cruising along the most picturesque locations and idyllic beaches of the Maddalena archipelago. Come aboard a tall sailing ship and set sail around the islands, exploring hidden coves and enjoying a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters. We will explore the shores Caprera, the second largest island of the archipelago and a national park, with no full time residents, as well as several smaller islands and islotti, depending on the tides and weather. A delicious freshly made traditional Sardinian lunch will be served on board our vessel.
B,L… Hotel on Isola La Maddalena, Sardinia


Day 8 ~ Depart
Breakfast and departure by private transfer to Olbia International Airport (OLB).
B…



Trip itinerary may vary based on weather conditions, fitness levels and abilities of participants, and/or the recommendations of your guide. More challenging hikes are available, depending on the interests and fitness levels of the participants.

Cost

Guided / Self Guided Combination Trip: 
From €5,800 (per person, based on 2 members)
From €3,850 (per person, based on 4 members) 
From €3,300 (per person, based on 6 members)
From €2,800 (per person, based on 8 members) 


Cost Includes

  • Airport transfers from/to Olbia International Airport (OLB)
  • Trip briefing
  • Logistics
  • 2 nights accommodation in 4-star hotel in Santa Maria Navarese
  • 1 night camping accommodation
  • 1 night accommodation in rifugio
  • 1 night accommodation in 4-star boutique hotel in the Oliena region
  • 2 nights accommodation in 4-star hotel on Isola La Maddalena, Sardinia
  • Meals as noted in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
  • English speaking Professional UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide for 4 days
  • Climbing equipment (karabiners, harness, and helmet)
  • Full day excursion on sailing ship, with lunch included
  • Private ground and boat transfers
  • Ferry crossing to/from La Maddalena island
  • Local tourist tax
  • Italian VAT tax

Accommodation

At Dolomite Mountains, we hand pick accommodations that best reflect the style of each region, to provide you with the most authentic experience of the unique cultures found in the different cities and towns where we travel. We work directly with the owners of each property, forging strong relationships to ensure you receive the best service and care during your stay. Regardless of whether it is a five-star luxury hotel or a cozy bed and breakfast you desire, we choose the best-in-class accommodations within each category, providing you stays at the most sought after hotels in each region. And, we always make sure you have access to inspired, regional cuisine!

More info

Want to learn more about Sardinia? Check out our Blog for articles including:

Group Trip Dates

Trip name   Trip dates   Min persons   Trip status   Price    
25-30 Jul
2017
4
Available
€ 1.040
27 Jul - 3 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1.310
8-14 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 1640
15-21 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 2860
16-21 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 1.040
16-20 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 930
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1640
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Limited space
€ 2860
2-8 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 2860
3-7 Oct
2017
4
Sold out
€ 930
3-10 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1640
10-15 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1.040
21-27 Feb
2018
4
Available
€ 2.390
26-31 Feb
2018
4
Limited space
€ 1.300
25 Mar - 2 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1600
25 Mar - 2 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 2.440
4-9 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1350
11-17 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 2.390
18-23 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 2.440
18-23 Apr
2018
4
Sold out
€ 1.300
17-22 Jul
2018
4
Sold out
€ 1.040
1-5 Aug
2018
4
Sold out
€ 930
7-13 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 1640
7-13 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 2860
8-12 Aug
2018
4
Limited space
€ 930
15-22 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 1640
25-31 Sep
2018
4
Sold out
€ 2860
8-12 Oct
2018
4
Limited space
€ 930
16-21 Oct
2018
4
Limited space
€ 1.040
13-19 Feb
2019
4
Sold out
€ 2.360
27 Feb - 2 Mar
2019
4
Limited space
€ 2.390
3-8 Mar
2019
4
Limited space
€ 2.440
10-16 Mar
2019
4
Sold out
€ 2.360
17-22 Apr
2019
4
Sold out
€ 2.440
18-23 Apr
2019
4
Limited space
€ 1.300
24-30 Apr
2019
4
Limited space
€ 2.390
16-21 Jul
2019
4
Limited space
€ 1.040
21-28 Jul
2019
4
Available
€ 1.890
7-11 Aug
2019
4
Available
€ 930
4-10 Sep
2019
4
Available
€ 1.310
7-14 Oct
2019
4
Available
€ 1.890
7-11 Oct
2019
4
Available
€ 930
15-20 Oct
2019
4
Available
€ 1.040