One Island, Two Wheels
Having recently returned from a week of cycling along the Camino de Santiago, I was looking forward to my second Exodus adventure on two wheels. This time in my home country – despite what some Sardinians may say!
Located closer to Africa than Italy, the island of Sardinia makes for a perfect year-round cycling destination. In May, I found it delightful with hot temperatures softened by the Mistral winds blowing in from the Alps.
Away from the fashionable Costa Smeralda resorts – renowned for those infamous ‘bunga-bunga’ parties - our trip took us to the island’s southwest coast where we found Sardinia’s most idyllic beaches and wildest scenery.
To reach the start point I flew to Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, where I met my fellow travellers and our local leader before transferring to our hotel in the heart of the Sinis Peninsula. After collecting our bikes, we pedalled off led by our enthusiastic guide Michele. The very Sardinian Enrico followed close behind with his orange van and fresh fruit stockpile.
The trip started with a leisurely ride around the Sinis wetlands, whose lagoons are home to large colonies of flamingos (as well as a wealth of other birdlife but I’m no ornithologist!). We then moved on to the ancient Phoenician site of Tharros and after a stroll around its costal ruins, it was off to the beach for a dip in the Mediterranean and an afternoon nap.
As we made our way south, the rest of the week was one highlight after another!
To start with, we rode along the winding roads of the wild Green Coast, accompanied by the intoxicating perfume of the Mediterranean maquis. A short ferry journey took us to the charming islet of San Pietro where we sampled its much-loved tuna and relaxed on a secluded beach before re-joining the ferry to the equally unspoilt island of Sant’Antioco.
Back on the mainland, it was time for a ride along the staggering Costa del Sud. This rugged stretch of coastline lapped by crystal-clear waters provided the highlight of the trip for many. For me, the best moment came on day four as I watched the evening sun melt into the horizon from a cliff-top bar in the old mining village of Nebida. The golden vista over the sea certainly made the punishing ascent to get there worthwhile!
All in all, this trip had everything a fair weather cyclist like myself could ask for: challenging rides with a few steep climbs coupled with time to relax and explore the local towns, unforgettable ever-changing scenery, delicious food and a fantastic bunch of travellers to share the experience with!
By Anna Dambrosio, Exodus Product Manager