Sardinia: Sacred & Secret

$7950

Sardinia is a land of contrasts. The coastline is full of calm, cerulean-blue bays and spotless beaches, while the interior boasts a rugged, unforgiving beauty. Its historical towns and cities are steeped in history and have played a huge part in mediterranean culture, but riding in the countryside offers a rare kind of peace and seclusion. Known in Italy as a summertime playground of the rich and famous, it is also synonymous with shepherds and a bygone agrarian lifestyle.

In short, it’s the kind of place you need to experience for yourself, because everyone will take home something different. It might have the population of a medium-sized city, but when it comes to art, history, and cuisine, it packs the kind of punch that would knock out most large countries. And, of course, the landscape is stunning. This point-to-point adventure will explore the best that this incredible island has to offer, and introduce you to a completely different side to Italy. There will be beaches, mountains, delicious local food, incredible hotels, quaint old villages and medieval towns – and mile after mile of unforgettable riding.

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Dogma F10 Disk bike rental with SRAM RED eTap 11-speed WiFLi components and daily bike wash
  • One Giordana FRc custom inGamba cycling kit
  • Daily post-ride massage from a professional soigneur
  • Laundry service for cycling clothing

 

*Pre/post-trip lodging is not included

**Beverages ordered by guests beyond normal amounts and away from group activities will incur additional charges

Trip at a Glance

Start Location:

Alghero

Finish Location:

Alghero

Days Riding:

7

Group Size:

8 – 12

Total Distance:

605km

Total Elevation:

9,055m

Longest Day:

Day 3. Alghero to Stintino. 120km

Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 2. A dive in the ocean. 2,057m

...

Day by Day Breakdown

1

Sardinia Shake Out Ride

Our warm up ride takes us to Capo Caccia and the caves of Neptune, the ancient Roman God, where we leave the bikes behind for a few minutes and descend to sea level to explore this fantastic grotto that was discovered by a local fisherman in the 18th century. After that, we ride back to Alghero, the most beautiful town in Sardinia, which was founded in the year 1102 by the Doria family of Genoa and which later became a Catalan colony under Peter IV of Aragon in 1354. It's the only Italian town where the Catalan language is still spoken and where traces of the Aragonese architectural style can be seen in the 16th century cathedral. It was also the start city for the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia, so cyclists are always welcome.
2

A dive in the ocean

Our loveably eccentric guide Giorgio is an expert on Sardinia, and he says this is his favorite ride anywhere in the world. In his words: "106 km of poetry with about 50 facing the sea." Skirting the stunning coastline, we'll to Bosa, a beautiful town founded by the Phoenicians and later developed by the Romans. Like the rest of the island, it also has distinct Spanish characteristics, dating from the days when it was ruled by the House of Aragon.
3

Alghero to Stintino

Today's route is long, but not difficult. It is, of course, full of interesting things to see, not least the ghost town of Argentiera, a former mining village. The coast around Stintino is regarded as home to some of Italy's most stunning beaches, so we'll take a swim at the beach of la Pelosa.
4

Alghero to Castelsardo

A bit more climbing today, with three major ascents along the way to Castelsardo – where the last little climb to the hotel is a bit of a killer! Close to the city of Sassari, the second largest city on the island that, over the course of its 900-year history, has been controlled by the Giudicato of Torres, the Pisans,the Sassaresi themselves in alliance with Genoa , the Aragonese and the Spanish. Unsurprisingly, all of them have contributed to the city's rich historical and artistic heritage.
5

Castelsardo loop

Today we will do a loop around Castelsardo , where archaeological excavations have showed human presence in the area since before the times of the island's ancient Nuragic people, almost 4000 years ago. After the fall of Western Roman Empire, the monastery of Nostra Signora di Tergu was founded nearby, but the current town originates from the castle built herein 1102 by the Doria family of Genoa. The ride will take us east to Isola Rossa, a seaside resort, which gets its name from the red colour of a small island opposite the village. Originally a fishing village with his characteristic pink granite rock, white beaches, and dense Mediterranean vegetation, it is not to be missed!
6

Castelsardo Loop

One more hilly day, but trust us, it's worth it. We'll head away from the sea, inland, where the roads are perfect and almost always deserted. The tiny village of Bortigiadas will be the major climb of the day, where we should start to see the ocean again, along with the castle of Casteldoria, built in the 12th century.
7

Castelsardo

A short ride to wrap up the trip, the first 10km today will be flat, with views on the ocean, before a gentle climb gives us the opportunity to have one more look, if the weather is clear, at Corsica, Sardinia's neighboring island, to which it is actually connected, geologically. Both are aligned along a mountain belt rising 3,950m from the seafloor.

PINARELLO DOGMA F10 DISK

FRAMESET:

Pinarello Dogma F10 Disk

COCKPIT:

ZIPP Service Course SL

GRUPPO:

SRAM RED eTap 11-speed WiFLi

PEDALS:

Speedplay Zero or your own

SADDLE:

fi’zi:k Arione, Antares, Aliante, Donna, Vesta or your own

WHEELSET:

Zipp 302 Carbon Clinchers

TIRES:

Vittoria Corsa CX

BOTTLE CAGES:

Elite Custom Race

BIDON:

Elite Corsa Team

COMPUTER:

Garmin Edge 820