Departure: late spring
(Guided by Simon Tancred, Hidden Italy)
This guided walking tour of Sardinia is a rare chance to immerse your self in Italy’s “forgotten island”. Explore Sardinia’s pristine natural beauty. Stone megaliths binds the island together from north to south. Cuisine is full of flavors not used elsewhere. The Sardinians are hard-working but have a knack of making you feel at home. Our tour starts in Cagliari, 4 nights on a tiny island just off the southern coast, 4 nights in the mountains of the interior and finishes with 2 nights on the Costa Smeralda. Hidden Sardinia: Guided Walking Tour is your chance to explore Italy’s best kept secret.
Photos courtesy of Simon Tancred, Hidden Italy
Day 1 – Our exploration of Sardinia starts with two nights in the capital Cagliari, a buzzy but relaxed port that DH Lawrence likened to Jerusalem, “a strange and rather wonderful city”. We stay in a classic 4-star hotel on the edge of the old town, a short walk from the harbor and the castle. Dinner will be at a fine seafood restaurant nearby. (Dinner)
Day 2 – We will be taken on a guided walk through the historical center of Cagliari, including a visit to its extraordinary archaeological museum and finishing with a light lunch on the bastions with spectacular views over the city and the surrounding coast. The evening is the option of joining me at one of my favourite restaurants – a rambunctious family-run osteria near the port, pure Sardinia! (Lunch)
Day 3 – Today we drive south, past lagoons filled with pink flamingos, around some of the most pristine and beautiful coastline in Europe. On the way we will stop lovely walk along the coast, picking up tracts of a Roman road before finishing at beach classified as one of the ten best beaches on the island. We’ll have a picnic lunch on the walk. (4 kms, 1.5 hrs, Grade 1)
We then continue on to the southern tip of Sardinia, taking a short hop by ferry to a very small island, staying in a lovely harbor town side (virtually car-free), our base for the next four nights. After settling into our hotel, the evening is free to explore what I feel is one of the most pleasant Italian towns I have been to in years. (Lunch)
Day 4 – This morning we walk from the village across the north tip island, following a winding trail that takes us down to a tiny bay where we’ll have lunch (8 kms, 2 hrs, Grade 1).
After lunch you’ll have the option of a second walk south to another beautiful bay or getting a lift back to town. (7kms 2.5hrs, Grade 1)
In the late afternoon you’ll be taken on a guided tour around the town to explore its fascinating history before having an aperitivo and an alfresco dinner at the town’s best restaurant. (Lunch/dinner)
Day 5 – Today we will take a boat trip around the island, exploring its beautiful coastline, visiting an historic tuna fishery, having a light lunch on board and having plenty of opportunity to swim along the way. Dinner is in a small family restaurant in town. (Lunch/dinner)
Day 6 – This morning we hop back to the mainland and after a spectacular drive above the south-western cliffs we take a walk following an undulating trail through the macchia (Mediterranean scrub) over a ridge and down into a valley (where we’ll pause for coffee and to visit a splendid dripstone cavern) before following sections of a Roman road up to a ridge and then down to the well-preserved remains of a Phoenician/Roman temple, standing alone in a green valley. (12 kms, 3 hrs, Grade 3)
After a picnic lunch we’ll head back to our base, stopping to visit the larger neighbouring island, which has a grander history than our base, for a gelato. We hop back across the channel to our base, where the evening is free. (Lunch)
Day 7 – Today we leave the island, cross back to the mainland and drive across the plains, stopping to visit one of the most extraordinary Bronze Age sites in Sardinia, a 4000 year-old citadel recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
From here we drive up through the spectacular Gennargentu Mountains, stopping for lunch, before crossing through the Supramonte, rugged limestone mountains, which until 20 years ago were Sardinia’s ‘badlands’, an infamous hideout for the islands now extinct bandits.
We will stay for the next four days in arguably Sardinia’s most celebrated hotel, a 60 year country house in the heart of the walking country. Dinner at our base. (Lunch/dinner)
Day 8 – Today you’ll be picked up from the hotel by two jeeps by local guide Fabrizio and his colleagues and driven up to the mountains above the town, the Supramonte, which is the north tip of the Gennargentu range. Starting at 1200 metres you will walk to the highest peak Punta Corrasi, 1463 metres, to enjoy the spectacular views over half of Sardinia, where you’ll have a delicious picnic lunch of local produce, before heading back to the base. (15 kms, 5 hrs, Grade 3, it is possible to shorten this walk). (Lunch/dinner)
Day 9 – Today you get back into two jeeps with Fabrizio for a remarkable day exploring the heartland of Sardinia: rugged mountains, isolated villages and ancient traditions. This will include visits to the famous murals of Orgosolo (a bandit stronghold not that long ago); lunch with some local shepherds and a visit to fascinating local museum. (lunch/dinner)
Day 10 – This morning Fabrizio will take you on one of the area’s classic walks heading up a long valley behind our hotel, before climbing up to Mt Tiscali, a ridge where the remains of two prehistoric settlements are hidden in a huge limestone cavern – a completely stunning and unexpected sight. (14 kms, 4 hrs, Grade 2)
After a barbeque lunch, we’ll head back to our hotel, time for a swim in the pool and an aperitivo before dinner. (Lunch/dinner)
Day 11 – Today we leave the mountains behind us and head north to one of the most celebrated bits of coastline in Europe, the Costa Smeralda, which has been a ‘jetset’ destination since it was developed by the Aga Khan in the 1960s. After lunch in Porto Cervo, the ‘capital’ of the coast, we’ll drive to our base for the next two days, a lovely resort on a quiet bay overlooking the coast. Dinner will be at the hotel’s terrace restaurant. (Dinner)
Day 12 – As a finale to our visit, we will enjoy a day relaxing on the hotel’s two yachts, crossing the bay to explore the small archipelago that makes up the northern tip of Sardinia, including visiting an exquisite small bay with a beautiful beach that the locals nickname ‘Jamaica’ for its transparent water and brilliant white beach. Lunch will be served on board. In the evening we will have our farewell dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. (Lunch/dinner)
Day 13 – After breakfast, we’ll transfer you to nearby Olbia an hour’s drive away which has an airport and a port with ferries back to mainland Italy: to Genoa, La Spezia, Livorno (Tuscany) and Civitavecchia (Rome).
CALL NOW to BOOK 415-331-3791
Space is limited
Cost $5200.00 USD per person
Based on twin share, single supplement applies
*Subject to change due to currency rates
CALL NOW to BOOK 415-331-3791
Space is limited