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Rugged limestone mountains, deep boulder-strewn gorges, Bronze Age villages and idyllic coastal trails are the locations for scenic and exciting hikes on this Sardinian walking holiday. Explore the natural beauty of the east of this wild and unspoilt island staying at both a welcoming farm-stay in the tranquil interior and contemporary hotel on the stunning Gulf of Orosei coast.
Explore Tour Leader
4 nights comfortable agriturismo
3 nights comfortable hotel
Moderate and Challenging
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Our trip begins in the Arrivals Hall at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB) at 5.15 pm. If you would like to join the complimentary airport transfer today, the latest time your flight can arrive is 4.45 pm. (Please note that the SAR08OCT23 departure only starts in the Arrivals Hall at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB) at 11.00 am and the latest time your flight can arrive is 10.30 am). We will travel together as a group to our base for the next 4 nights, the welcoming, family-run Agriturismo Canales, a journey of around an hour and 15 minutes.
Nanni and Lina's farm-stay occupies a tranquil setting overlooking Lake Cedrino, with views to the mountains beyond. The agriturismo's small restaurant serves up tasty cuisine including typical Sardinian fare such as hearty pasta dishes made with the local Gnocchetti and Seada, a sweet semolina fritter flavoured with pecorino cheese, lemon and honey.
Agriturismo Canales (or similar)
We begin our day with a short drive into the Lanaittu Valley to the Sa Oche Refuge where our walk starts. We set out from Sa Oche, initially along a wide gravel road which later narrows to a rocky footpath, as we climb up to the ancient site of the village of Tiscali, located in a depression at the top of the mountain of the same name. Invisible until you climb down into the depression, it's thought the village was built here for defensive reasons. A number of nuraghe dating back to the first millennium BC can be seen. The Nuragic civilization of Sardinia lasted from the 1800 BC (Bronze Age) to the 2nd century BC, with its name deriving from the nuraghe, a fortress-tower construction, the remains of which now dot the Sardinian landscape. The cult of water was an important element of the Nuragic religion and many well-temples and sacred springs were constructed. In the centre of the site a wide window in the rock opens out onto the Lanaittu valley below. We descend to Sa Oche by a different route, taking us through a narrow gorge with lush vegetation where, if we are lucky, we could spot wild boar or a family of wild mouflon sheep.
Today's Moderate grade 9.5 kilometre/5.90 miles walk is expected to take around 4 hours with a total ascent and descent of 580 metres/1902 feet.
Today's walk will take us to one the most spectacular viewpoints in Sardinia, offering panoramic views over the whole of the Supramonte Mountains and beyond. The Supramonte range is characterised by its rugged karst (limestone) topography from which rivers have carved out deep canyons and ravines.
After driving to the start point of our walk near the Hotel Monte Maccione, we climb up onto the barren limestone plateau that stretches between the peaks of Monte Corrasi and Punta Sos Nidos. We ascend Monte Corrasi first; at 1463 metres/4800 feet it's the highest peak in the Supramonte. The views from here are simply astounding, reaching from Punta La Marmora (Sardinia's highest peak)) and the Gennargentu Mountains to the west to the Oddoene Valley and the Mediterranean Sea to the east. After enjoying the view, we continue at first downhill and then uphill again to the summit of Punta Sos Nidos (1348 metres/4422 feet) for a great view down into the Valley of Oliena, hundreds of metres below. The final stretch of our trek takes us back to our starting point.
Today's Challenging grade 12 kilometre/7.45 miles walk is expected to take around 7 hours with a total ascent and descent of 1000 metres/3281 feet.
Today's walk is in the amazing Gorge of Gorropu, dug out by the forces of the Flumineddu River. After breakfast we drive along one of the island's most panoramic roads, to the trailhead of the path at the Genna Silana Pass at a little over 1000 metres/3281 feet. From here we walk along a steep gravel track leading slowly down to the canyon entrance, passing through the fragrant Mediterranean maquis, coloured by wildflowers and the red fruits of the strawberry trees. On arrival at the gorge, local guides will explain the nature and geology of this amazing canyon after which we set out to walk and explore this wonder of nature on our own. The further we hike into the gorge, the bigger the boulders we have to climb over and the narrower the passages we have to squeeze through, until we reach the point where the base of the gorge is only 5 metres/16.4 feet wide. From here we make our way to the gorge entrance and follow an easy trail along the river to our pick-up point near a bridge over the river.
Today's Moderate grade 10.5 kilometre/6.52 miles walk is expected to take around 5 hours with a total ascent of 65 metres/213 feet and descent of 800 metres/2624 feet.
We say goodbye to the agriturismo this morning and head for the coast to experience a different side of Sardinia. En route we'll stop at Dorgali, a small agricultural town known for its crafts and ceramics. Travelling on to the coast by public bus (our luggage is transferred by private vehicle), our next 3 nights will be spent at a hotel in the seaside village of Cala Gonone on the Gulf of Orosei. This is a laid back place where life gravitates towards the long seafront promenade with a scattering of bars and restaurants and a gently shelving beach.
The rest of the day is left free. You may choose to take a break from walking to relax on the beach at Cala Gonone or nearby Cala Fuili or catch a boat further along the coast to visit various other remote and beautiful beaches and caves.
Hotel Cala Luna (or similar)
We catch a public bus inland this morning, to the trailhead close to Dorgali. We follow a track that connects Dorgali and Cala Gonone, passing through a short section (less than 200 metres/656 feet) of tunnel blasted through the rock. The tunnel is wide enough for a vehicle to pass through and light enough not to require torches so claustraphobia isn't an issue. The trail then ascends with great views all the way to the top of Monte Bardia (881 metres/2890.5 feet) from where there's a long and gradual descent to the coast. The trail is rocky and quite steep in parts.
Today's Challenging grade 11 kilometre/6.83 miles walk has a total ascent of 485metres/1591 feet and descent of 960 metres/3149 feet.
We catch a boat south to Cala Sisine this morning and enjoy fabulous coastal views of the limestone cliffs and turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Cala Sisine is an unspoilt sandy beach in a gorgeous cove from where we start our trek along a section of the renowned Selvaggio Blu trail. The Selvaggio Blu (Wild Blue) is a multi-day trek, abseiling and climbing expedition that runs for over 50 kilometres/31.07 miles along a stretch of Sardinia's remote limestone east coast. But don't worry - the section from Cala Sisine to Cala Gonone that we hike involves only walking! The rocky trail undulates up and down the cliffs from Sisine to another beautiful beach, Cala Luna at nine kilometres from where there's an option to return to Cala Gonone by boat. For those wishing to continue, it's another 5.5 kilometres/3.41 miles on to the end of the trek, the beach at Cala Fuili , a 20 minute walk back to our hotel.
Today's Moderate grade 14.5 kilometre/9.01 miles walk is expected to take approximately 5.5 hours with a total ascent of 845metres/2772feet and descent of 910 metres/2985.7 feet.
Departing Cala Gonone we drive to Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB) where we will arrive about at 3.00 pm and this is where the holiday ends. The earliest time you should book a flight to depart today is 5.00 pm. (Please note the SAR 08OCT23 departure only will finish at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB) at 9.00 am and the earliest time you should book a flight to depart today is 11.00 am.)
Total distance : 58 kilometres
April/May and October/November are pleasantly warm. June/September are the hottest months. Showers are common in Autumn.
2 Pin Round
Agriturismo Canales - Kayaking on lake - €10 per hour Cala Gonone - Boat trip Cala Luna to Cala Fuili - €5 pp Cala Gonone - Boats to other beaches - €22 pp
Bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. The weather conditions in the mountains can be changeable, and it can become cool especially early and late season so make sure you bring warmer layers. Tops made from wicking materials which keep you drier and warmer are recommended as a base layer, and walking trousers are preferable to trousers of heavier material such as jeans. A waterproof jacket is essential at all times in case of rain and wind. -Breathable wind and waterproof jacket (you may also wish to bring waterproof trousers) -T-shirts -Long sleeved tops -Sunhat -Warm hat -Gloves -Long trousers -Shorts (if you prefer to walk in them) -Swimwear -Midlayer Fleece/pullover -Socks (liner and thicker pair)
We recommend you bring lightweight walking boots, make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Also trainers or sandals for relaxing and general wear. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.
One main piece and a daypack.
-Sunglasses -Sun cream -Small Torch (with spare batteries and bulb) -Walking poles -Personal first aid kit - On each walk a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials. -Insect repellent -Small waterproof dry bag (for items such as your mobile phone) -Reusable water bottle (minimum 1 litre) - Get 15% discount on a Water-to-Go bottle www.explore.co.uk/about-us/responsible-travel/water-to-go-discount-with-explore -Lunch box/Tupperware (for packed lunches)
Bus, Boat, Ferry
The first four nights of the trip are spent at the family-run Agriturismo Canales. Nanni and Lina's farm-stay occupies a tranquil setting overlooking Lake Cedrino and with views to the mountains beyond. The small agricultural town of Dorgali is around five kilometres away. The en suite rooms are simply furnished in a rustic Sardinian style. The agriturismo's small restaurant serves up tasty cuisine including typical Sardinian dishes. Hotel Cala Luna is a small hotel located just a few metres from the seafront in the laid back seaside resort of Cala Gonone. En suite rooms are furnished in a contemporary style. The hotel has a small gym and sauna and mountain bikes are available for guests' use free of charge. Its restaurant specialises in local seafood.
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
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