Views of Sardinia's coast

Wild Sardinia: Self-Guided Walking along the East Coast

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Moderate
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Trip code: 
LKU
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Coastal Walks
Min age:
16

Hike one of the wildest islands in the Mediterranean

The island of Sardinia has long been known for its dazzling sandy beaches and clear crystalline sea, but only recently have its many unspoilt natural and cultural treasures received more attention from nature lovers. It is still possible to wander the island's many spectacular trails, enjoying the peace and quiet of a true hiker's paradise. This trip takes you to the heartland of the wild Supramonte region along Sardinia's east coast. Here the sheer limestone cliffs are covered by wildflowers and the fruits of strawberry trees drop down vertically into the blue Mediterranean sea, and sandy beaches open up on to vertiginous gorges.

Highlights

  • Spectacular east coast of Sardinia
  • Wild nature, ancient cultures & stunning beaches
  • Fine traditional cuisine and local wines
  • The underground village of Tiscali
  • The Su Gorropu gorge

Key information

  • 6 nights in 3-star hotels and equivalent agriturismos, all rooms en suite.
  • 5 days point-to-point walking with luggage transfers
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Self-guided trip, min. age 16 yrs

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation)
  • All luggage transfers
  • Route notes and maps

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request)
  • Single accommodation (available on request) Compulsory supplement

5

Terrain:

Varies between manmade paved tracks, mule paths, tarmac and gravel

Day by day breakdown
Day 221.0km/13.0miles
Day 324.0km/14.0miles
Day 413.0km/8.0miles
Day 514.0km/8.0miles
Day 613.0km/8.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Oliena
to
Santa Maria Navarrese
  • Day 1

    Start Oliena.

    Make your own way to Oliena. Depending on what time you arrive at the hotel, there may be time for you to take a short walk around Oliena or up to the high plateau of Punta Sos Nidos. In the evening you will enjoy a nice dinner based on local specialties in your hotel's restaurant.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Today's walk is through a wild limestone landscape, with time at the beautiful Su Gologone spring. Walk back through vineyards or take a transfer.

    This morning you will walk through a wild limestone landscape, beneath the towering walls of the Supramonte's highest peaks. This vast area is an isolated land of shepherds, shaped by deep gorges and inaccessible peaks that are home to a rich fauna of eagles, mouflons, foxes, wildcats, and wild boar. From the mountain's flanks there are airy views across the high belvederes and karst plateaux of the Supramonte and into the fertile valley of Oliena. At the end of the walk you are rewarded with the beautiful clear waters of the Su Gologone spring, an opening in the limestone that is the only source of running water in the area. From this point you make the pre-arranged transfer back to your accommodation to enjoy the vistas from the terrace and a delicious meal from the hotel.

    Walk approx. 11km (ascent 150m/descent 600m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Starting from the Nuragic temple of the Sacred Spring, walk through the underground village of Tiscali, with an optional walk to the Su Gorropu Gorge.

    After a short walk, you begin to ascend through a wide, dry stream bed, crossing from side to side over thin tracks and boulders. After reaching the crossing point of which you'll return to later you then begin to ascend Monte Tiscali. The underground village of Tiscali, in a depression at the top of the mountain, is perhaps the most scenic archaeological site you will ever see! Then, through a beautiful gorge called the 'Steps' (Scala) of Surtana, you descend to the lush valley of the Flumineddu River. In the evening you will enjoy a hearty dinner and have plenty of opportunity to taste the heady local 'Canonau' wine.

    Walk approx. 13km (ascent 400m/descent 150m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Visit Dorgali, well-known for its artisan traditions, then head down towards the Codula Fuili Gorge glimpsing dazzling white beaches as you walk.

    A short transfer from your hotel (unless you are staying in the centre of Dorgali). Doragli is well known for its artisan tradition of wood and leather working.

    Then, from the town, you climb up to the saddle of Monte Tuili where you can admire the whole of the Supramonte. You cross the saddle through an old rock•]hewn tunnel and then start walking down towards the Codula Fuili Gorge. While walking through the fragrant Mediterranean maquis you will marvel at

    the fractured vertical cliffs of the gorge and be able to glimpse the dazzling white beach of Cala Fuili. Along your route you also have the opportunity to visit the remains of a tall nuraghe, situated on a natural panoramic terrace.A small path then takes you along the coast to the little village of Cala Gonone where you will have plenty of time to relax on the beach and have an ice cream or refreshing drink before taking the local bus back to Dorgali where you can be picked up for your private transfer (optional) back to the hotel. In the evening you can relax with a nice aperitivo on the hotel's panoramic terrace before having yet another great dinner based on local specialities.

    Walk approx. 13km (ascent 400m/descent 600m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Transfer to the mediaeval church of San Pietro and walk alongside magnificent gorges towards the bay of Cala Goloritze, where a refreshing swim awaits.

    This morning you transfer from Dorgali along one of the most beautiful roads on the island, with great views over the Gulf of Orosei and the bare Supramonte peaks, to the medieval church of San Pietro on the high plain of Golgo, above Baunei. From here you make a great roundwalk through an amazing, almost ‘Far West’ landscape. Your walk will take you past the great sinkhole of Su Sterru, and a number of natural ponds. From the high plain you then descend towards the coast along the magnificent gorge leading to the little bay of Cala Goloritzè dominated by its tall rock needle of Punta Salinas reaching up to a height of over 75m. Here you have time for a refreshing bath in the crystalline water where, up until a few years ago, monk seals still swam around. After leaving this secluded cove navigation is simple as you ascend back the way you came. You will be picked up by your next hotelier of Santa Maria Navarrese. Here you will spend the next two nights in a lovely family?run hotel near the sea. This evening you will dine at the hotel restaurant.

    Walk approx. 14km (ascent 600m/descent 600m)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Discover the wild coast north of Santa Maria Navarrese, with a spectacular view across the bay of Arbatax, with its coastal lagoons and red basaltic rocks.

    Your last walking day is dedicated to the wild coast immediately north of Santa Maria Navarrese. After breakfast you walk from your hotel, through the village of Santa Maria Navarrese, to the trailhead of the path leading along the steep rocky coast in the direction of the limestone monolith of Pedra Longa. You will pass through fragrant Mediterranean maquis dotted with wildflowers and small shady patches of holm oak. During this part of the walk you will enjoy marvellous views of the spectacular coast of the Gulf of Orosei and the towering Pedra Longa. After arriving at the gigantic rock jutting out of the sea you can climb down to its base for some impressive views from below, before climbing up the quiet tarmac road to the mountain saddle dominated by the Monte Scoine and the Monte Oro. From here an incredibly panoramic gravel road takes you back in the direction of Santa Maria Navarrese. The view includes the whole of the bay of Arbatax with its coastal lagoons and red basaltic rocks, against the backdrop of the Ogliastra Mountain Range. At the end of the walk a short steep descent takes you back down to Santa Maria Navarrese. In the evening you are free to go out for dinner in one of the nice restaurants in the village.

    Walk approx. 13km (ascent 600m/descent 600m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    End Santa Maria Navarrese

    End of trip. After breakfast you transfer by public bus to Nuoro where you can travel to all the main towns of the island. On request a private transfer can be arranged for you.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Visas

Italy

No visa required for British passport holders.
Please note in Italy it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times.

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

In Sardinia, food is synonymous with family and tradition; a reason to spend time with your nearest and dearest and enjoy several courses over lunch. Breakfast is usually continental. Dinners are generally several starters such as proscuitto and Panu Guttiau (thin & crispy bread with olive oil, straight from the oven), followed by two courses. Recommended dishes include Malloreddus alla Campidanese (handmade pasta with pork based tomato sauce– made with only whole wheat flour and water; there is a version made with tomato sauce only for vegetarians), Culurgiones Ravioli (the filling changes according to the area of Sardinia; usually potato, cheese and mint) with tomato sauce, Fregula (pasta) with mussels and Bottarga (salted, cured fish roe) and Seadas (dessert): a large raviolo made of sweet pastry filled with sheep/cow cheese, fried and topped with warm sweet honey. You will find handmade almond sweets all over: Corigheddos, Acciuleddi, Copulette, Ameretti & Amarettoni. For wines, we recommend the red Cannonau with meat, and with fish try the lighter white Vermentino di Sardegna.

Weather

This area of Sardinia has a Mediterranean climate, usually warm in spring and autumn and hot, dry summers. April, May, September and October are also warm with average daytime temperatures around 20ºC. Rain is unlikely but possible throughout the year.

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 3 (Moderate)

This is a self-guided tour; you can walk at your own pace (we recommend taking your time and enjoying the sights and beautiful beaches of the area!)

Average daily walk: 17km (11 miles)
No. of days walking: 5
Terrain & route: The terrain and type of path will vary between manmade paved tracks, mule paths, tarmac and gravel. Most of the walks are on good paths but sometimes on steep terrain.
All walks take between 4 to 7 hours including lunch stops and require a moderate level of fitness. Please be aware that this area can be very warm, possibly exceeding 30 degrees in the summer.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with route notes so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. A representative will be there to meet you and will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain an emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Accommodation

Hotels & Agriturismos

6 nights in 3-star hotels and equivalent agriturismos, all en suite. The first two nights are spent in a well-located 3-star hotel near Oliena, with a wonderful panoramic view of the valley. Nights 3 and 4 are spent in a comfortable family-run hotel near Dorgali, in the valley of the Flumineddu River. The final two nights are in a cosy 3-star hotel in the little fishing village of Santa Maria Navarrese, walking distance from the sea.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration.
For a solo traveller there is an adttional charge to cover transfer costs.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed July 2017
    Charlie Newman

    Where the turquoise oceans were draw dropping and the terrain is as rugged as you imagine

    The walks on this trip vary from day to day but you are always treated to spectacular landscapes, seascapes and breath taking views.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's really exciting to go to a destination that is so well known for sandy beach holidays but you have the luxury of barely seeing anyone else because the walks are so discrete and un-touched. Sardinia's rugged mountainous terrain quite surprised me in a pleasant way. As it felt like we were the only ones walking on the whole island until you arrive at the finishing town and treat yourself to a Aperol Spritz or two!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have double checked your drop off and pick up arrangements for each day. It might be worth confirming each of these the night before in case you're wanting to be a bit more flexible as there isn't heaps of phone signal on the walks. Bus times often vary so it's worth checking these online either using hotel wifi or roaming 3G before you set off for the day.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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