Current as of: July 23, 2024 - 04:24

Walking in Sardinia

Walking in Sardinia Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Italy
  • Programmes: Walking & Trekking
  • Activity Level:

    3 out of 7 - Moderate

  • 8 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 16+
  • Trip Code: TES
  • Carbon Footprint: 19kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Discover one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean

Sardinia is a natural marvel with crystalline waters, golden beaches and undulating limestone ridges. Based in the Dorgali area, we explore the forest-framed coastline of the east and rugged mountains in the west, walking through valleys, gorges, peaks and turquoise bays. The island is also a place of great historical interest. We explore some of it with a visit to monolithic monuments built by the Nuragic people, one of the most interesting prehistoric civilisations in the Mediterranean.

At a Glance

  • Seven nights at the four-star Hotel Il Quercieto
  • Four days walking, one day sightseeing
  • Altitude maximum: 2,985ft (910m); average: 1,315ft (400m)

Highlights

  • Take picturesque walks through one of the most beautiful Mediterranean islands
  • Enjoy inviting sandy beaches
  • Discover ancient Nuragic monuments
  • Stay at a family-run hotel with an excellent restaurant

Is This Trip for You?

This trip has been rated Activity Level 3 (Moderate). For more information on our trip gradings please visit our Activity Level Guidelines page. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to contact us.

This is a moderate walking week with free time to relax and enjoy the excellent local food and wine. All walks take around five to six hours and require a moderate level of fitness. Walking is on a variety of dirt tracks, gravel and paved routes. There are also rocky sections that may require scrambling; in less visited areas, paths may be overgrown and rougher underfoot. Expect a few steep ascents and descents.

If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip, please do not hesitate to call us. Walking hours stated in the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the group’s pace.

Summer temperatures in Italy can be quite high. In very hot weather, it may be necessary to amend the itinerary.

Group

A UK Exodus leader will accompany the group on all programmed activities.

Adult min age: 16

Min group size: 5

Max group size: 16

Itinerary

Map TES

Land Only

  • Start City: Dorgali
  • End City: Dorgali

Flight Inclusive

  • Start City: London
  • End City: London

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Fly to Olbia; transfer to Dorgali

Our week begins at Hotel Il Quercieto in Dorgali. In the evening, our guide will hold a welcome meeting to discuss the week ahead, give advice on the local area and answer any questions.

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2
Take an old path around Monte Tului with beautiful views of the Gulf of Orosei
Walking in Sardinia

We start with an orientation walk, talking an old path that winds around Monte Tului (3,005ft/916m) and offers some of the best views of the Gulf of Orosei to one side, and the mountainous interior around Dorgali on the other. The walk should take around five hours.

Distance covered: 8mi (13km)

Ascent: 1,969ft (600m); Descent: 1,969ft (600m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3
Walk along the Gorropu Gorge, the deepest natural canyon in Italy; free time to paddle on the Flumineddu River
Walking in Sardinia

Enjoy sweeping views on a drive above the Flumineddu Valley, before arriving at Gorropu Gorge, also known as the Grand Canyon of Europe. Its narrow, vertical walls reach 655ft (200m), making it the deepest natural gorge in Europe. Appreciate all its glory on our walk, which takes around six hours. There is a chance to paddle in the river, if conditions allow. This evening, there is the opportunity to enjoy dinner in a restaurant in Dorgali centre – payable locally.

Distance covered: 9mi (15km)

Ascent: 1,362ft (415m); Descent: 1,378ft (420m)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4
Explore the Nuragic village of Serra Orrios; relax on an idyllic sandy beach; local wine tasting
Walking in Sardinia

Today we learn more about the Nuragic people, considered the most accomplished yet mysterious civilisation in the Mediterranean. We start with a drive to the Giants Tomb, a megalithic grave site from the Bronze Age, before visiting the Serra Orrios archaeological complex, home to a fascinating collection of stone hut ruins.

We then have time for a quick coffee stop before driving to Cala Orsala. This is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, surrounded by rocks, pinewoods and lush Mediterranean scrub. We have lunch on the beach (weather permitting). Next up is a visit to the Grotta Ispinigoli, a cave home to the longest stalactite-stalagmite column in Europe. We finish the day in style, heading to a winery (cantina) for a tasting and short talk about the local wines.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5
Free day; explore the Dorgali archaeological sites, take a self-guided walk or hit the beach

Today is free to explore the archaeological sites of the Dorgali region, take an optional self-guided walk or simply relax by the beach and enjoy the leisurely Sardinian lifestyle. Horse riding can also be arranged (the price and all details to be agreed locally with the hotel). Alternatively, take an optional boat trip to the Bue Marino Grotto (weather permitting).

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Walk around the prehistoric Tiscali village, built inside a cave; visit the Su Gologone springs

Today we visit the mysterious Nuragic village of Tiscali – not much is known about its origins, nor the people who lived there. It seems to have been populated before the Nuragic era but archaeologists put its main period of activity between the second and first centuries BCE. The dwellings are virtually invisible until you are at the vast cavity in which they are built. This has led some to postulate that people returned here to hide from the Romans.

We also visit Su Gologone, described as a natural masterpiece, where karst has been sculpted by rushing water as it exits the gorge. The water is tinged green or blue, depending on the angle of the sun, and an astonishing 130 gallons (500 litres) of water per second comes crashing out of the chasm into this mini oasis.

Distance covered: 7mi (12km)

Ascent: 1,411ft (430m); Descent: 1,575ft (480m); Activity hours: 5

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7
Explore caves and cliffs on a walk from Cala Luna beach; free afternoon
Walking in Sardinia

We start the day with a boat trip to Cala Luna, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. Here there will be time to explore the large caves and, as this is a popular spot for rock climbing, we may get to see some enthusiasts put their skills to the test. The walk back to Cala Gonone taks us through a vast forest and along deep gulleys, with occasional views of the coast. At the end of the walk at Cala Gonone we will have time for a very welcome drink and the opportunity for a swim before we return to Dorgali.

Distance covered: 6mi (10km)

Ascent: 1,017ft (310m); Descent: 1,017ft (310m); Activity hours: 5

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8
End Dorgali

Our Sardinia trip comes to an end after breakfast. Say a fond farewell to Hotel Il Quercieto, before beginning your return journey home.

Meals included: Breakfast

Ascents, descents and distances: All ascents, descents and distances listed in the daily itinerary have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders, in many cases with satellite-based mapping software. However, different GPS measuring devices can give differing results, particularly on winding paths or in mountainous terrain. Measurements stated throughout these Trips Notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Accommodation

Hotel Il Quercieto, a family-run hotel near Dorgali

Walking in Sardinia

Il Quercieto is our host for this walking adventure in Sardinia. It’s a relatively simple hotel but run by a local family who have created a home-from-home feel and serve delicious, hearty meals.

The hotel itself is adorned with locally crafted wooden furniture and contemporary regional artwork while facilities include a bar, restaurant and terrace. We’ve found our groups tend to gather on the terrace with a drink post-walk and pre-dinner, an ideal time to reminisce about the day’s adventures.

Additionally, the hotel is within walking distance of Dorgali, a small town specialising in crafts and ceramics, where there are shops, restaurants and bars. It’s also a 10 to 15-minute bus ride to the beach, where you’ll also find a row of restaurants and cafes.

Worth knowing

  • An indoor pool is available (access costs €10, to be paid at reception, depending on pool capacity)

Single supplement from £ 330

Food & Drink

All breakfasts, five lunches and five evening meals are included. In the itinerary, we state which meals are included on each day.

  • Breakfast: Buffet including cereals, yoghurts, fresh fruit and cold meats.
  • Lunch: Large paninis (filled with cold meats/cheese), cake and fruit.
  • Evening meal: Three-course meal with soup/salad for starters; meat/fish for main course and local dessert.

Popular Sardinian specialities include roast suckling pig, excellent seafood dishes, and local wines, such as vermentino, nuragus, cannonau and monica. Mirto, which is made from the leaves of the myrtle plant, is Sardinia’s after-dinner liqueur.

Although meals mostly consist of meat/fish, the hotel staff endeavour to meet specific dietary requirements. Please advise us before departure so the hotel has sufficient time to prepare.

Transport

A private minibus will be used for transfers and local transport will be used for organised excursions. All travelling is on reasonably good roads. Weather permitting, there is also a boat ride on Day 7.

Weather & Seasonality

Dorgali has a Mediterranean climate, usually warm in spring and autumn, with hot, dry summers. April, May, September and October are also warm with average daytime temperatures around 20C (68F). Rain is unlikely but possible throughout the year.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Start hotel: Hotel Il Quercieto, Via Lamarmora 4, 08022, Dorgali                                                                                                                                                                                                            Phone: +39 041 5384485
Recommended arrival time: You can arrive at any time today. There will be a welcome briefing in the evening, but if you miss it the leader will update you separately
Airport: Olbia Airport (OLB)

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is approximately just over an hours’ drive from the airport. Your options for this journey are:

Take an Exodus transfer
Exodus provides one group arrival transfer from the airport, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of a chosen flight from London, UK. You may join this transfer at no extra cost, provided you can be at the airport before the transfer leaves. Speak to your sales representative for the group arrival transfer times or to arrange a private transfer.

Make your own way
From Olbia, it is possible to reach Dorgali by public transport, which will cost approximately €20. Please check the Olbia Airport website for bus times. A taxi will cost about €140.

If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

There’s a group departure transfer to the airport for customers who Exodus booked onto a chosen flight to London, UK. Please speak to your sales representative if you wish to join. If the group departure transfer does not suit your flight time, speak to your sales representative to arrange an alternative transfer.

Flights from London, UK

We normally use the scheduled services of EasyJet or Meridiana (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly, we recommend you call your sales representative to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Due to EasyJet’s booking system, we can only purchase flights six months before your departure date. If you book your trip before this date, a booking confirmation will be sent to you advising that flights are subject to confirmation. We will then secure the flights as soon as they become available. In the case that flights are not available at the original budgeted cost once they are released for sale, a flight supplement will be charged. If the supplement exceeds 10 percent of the original holiday price, you will be given the right to cancel.

Please note that many destinations now require Advanced Passenger Information (API), such as your passport number, date of birth and nationality, to be added to your booking before departure. When booking Easyjet flights through Exodus your sales consultant will do this for you.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Dorgali
Location end: Dorgali

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Comfortable walking boots with good ankle support and a strong sole, ie Vibram. Please note, standard trainers (sneakers) are not suitable for the walks
  • Small daypack for camera
  • Large refillable water bottle
  • Sun hat, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

Please note, the tap water is safe to drink, which means all you need to do is bring a bottle to refill at the hotel. Please add this to your packing list as this will save on wasteful plastic bottles.

Optional Equipment

  • Umbrella
  • Walking poles
  • Swimwear

Practical Information

Visa

Italy

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Italy. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

• Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/italy
• Canada: www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/italy
• United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements
• USA:  www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Italy.html

Please note: it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times in Italy.

Vaccinations and Health

Italy

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis. Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

Ticks are known to be present in this region and can carry lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis and other diseases. Please take care to protect yourself. You can read more about ticks here.

If you’re a UK citizen, please note that your UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are still valid and offer the same cover as the Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

Italy's time zone: Europe/Rome (UTC +02:00)

Electricity

Italy's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins, European standard), F (two round pins), and L (three round pins in a row) – 230V, 50Hz

Walking in Sardinia

Money

Italy's currency: Euros (EUR)

ATM Availability

There is a cash point in Dorgali and major credit cards are accepted in most places we visit.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

For the lunch not included (on the free day), expect to spend €10-€15, depending on how many courses you choose. For evening meal not included (on the free day), expect to spend approximately €30 per person for a two-course meal (excluding drinks).

Local taxes: Many Italian cities have introduced a tourist tax for non-residents. The local administration oversees the tax, which will be collected by the accommodation provider at check-in or check-out. This fee varies depending on the hotel category, the season and number of days of stay. For this trip, please budget a maximum of €10 per person for the week.

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. As a guideline we recommend a contribution of €20 per client per leader. It is customary and appreciated to leave a small tip to the driver and the hotel staff at the end of the week.

People, Places & Planet

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a ‘total approach’ to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

We spend the nights in the family run hotel, Hotel Il Quercieto, where our visit ensures that we provide job opportunities and a chance for the local community to generate income through tourism.

A wine tasting session is arranged for clients to learn about local wines and a way to support local production. Clients can consider trying the Cannonau Doc Vigna di Isalle, a smooth local red wine, popular in the area and can be purchased from local suppliers.

As a trekking holiday, it allows easy access and flexibility for clients to interact with the locals, visit local cafes and bars, support local produce and craft to facilitate cultural exploration and experience what life is really like in Sardinia.

Water is especially important and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital to not cause too much waste from single use plastic bottles. Tap water in Sardinia is generally safe to drink hence, we strongly encourage clients to bring their own reusable water bottles to refill throughout the trip.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

 

Important Information

Water safety

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. You should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim. Open-water or wild swim spots should be treated with extreme caution. Information on how to keep yourself safe while swimming is shown here.

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.