Remarks on Mountain Biking in Sardinia

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During summer holidays 2002, 2004 and 2010 we went for gorgeous beach and bike holidays in Sardinia. On this page I summarize our experiences about mountain biking in Sardinia. Topics are:

All data supplied here is valid for summer 2004. Most likely, there will be only very view updates on this page in future. For questions please send an email to Ralf.

Have fun

Kirsten & Ralf

Sardinian style of MTB

Sardinia is for sure still one of the most unspoiled MTB resorts in the populated parts of Europe. Marvelous cliffs and mountains combined with caribbean beaches and lonely bays make it a perfect place to ride. Away from the coast in the woods you meet much more pigs than people. MTB is easily possible from April to November, though July and August generally seem to be unpleasantly hot.

But remember, that the real bike fun away from asphalt seems to be achievable for experienced bikers only. For a new comer or trekking biker it might be hard to get much pleasure. Some reasons are: challenging route conditions, almost completely missing sign-posting, very aged or missing mapping and absent support infrastructure. Think about, if you plan to go for ride.

Resorts

I guess, you can go for MTB in any area of the Island. After some Internet research and my holidays I want to point out some resorts (listed from north to south), which seem to be very worthwhile for bikers. The recommended bases are more or less unspoiled, relaxed and affordable places, with sufficient support infrastructure.

  • North west coast
  • North east coast
  • Limbara mountains in Gallura: good to reach from almost all northern hot tourist spots
  • Supramonte: Golga su Gorrupu, Cala Luna and Pt. Ginnirco make nice destination, which easily can be reached from Cala Gonone or Santa Maria in Navarese
  • Gennargentu mountains: stay in Oliena or Cala Gonone
  • Desulo
  • Barbagia di Seulo: go for Perda Liana or Lago alto Flumendosa and stay in Santa Maria in Navarese or Torre di Bari
  • Sarrabus mountains: head out for the "7 Fratelli" or Burcei while you stay in Costa Rei
  • Iglesiente: no detailed information

Remarks

Orientation: is pretty hard in Sardinia. Sign-postings are missing in almost any region of the island. Good maps are pretty hard to get. There is one map series, that covers the whole island. These are the Italian military maps of IGM. But take care: they are hard to read. In addition many of them are outdate (15-30 years old, during that time the infrastructure change totally, so the maps are not very helpful). Still, you might be able to buy them online. Other maps and the shops, that supplied them, are mentioned below in section Resources.

Security: In general I felt pretty safe on the island. Neverthless our car was broken open, but it was clearly our fault. We left the car unattended at a picnic area beside a small street in the woods. A ranger station was about 500m away, but out of sight. And it was weekend: the rangers told us that especially in the south, bored kids tend to go into the woods on weekends or holidays and break tourist cars, when nobody is around. Hint: leave your car in small villages, or where people tend to be around all the time.

Spare parts: we cruised the island for about 2 weeks and never got a bike shop in sight. So I suggest you to take all you need for breaksdowns ... or enjoy your holidays eventually at the beautiful beaches. ;-)

Resources

  1. Internet: list of web sites with mountainbike tours in Sardinia

  2. Book: "Mountain Bike Sardinia"
    Peter Herold, Amos Cardia, Davide Deidda. Versante Sud Verlag, 2011.

    I am currently reading it. 70 rides. Including overview maps, profiles, detailed descriptions, code for download of GPS tracks. English.

  3. Book: "Mountainbiken auf Sardinien"
    Dino Corda, Susanne Kiefer. Delius Klasing Verlag, Siekerwall 21, D-33602 Bielefeld, 2004.

    First impression: mainly nice but easy rides, quite some asphalt, covers the whole island. 22 rides. Including profiles, classifications, overview maps, detailed descriptions. German.

  4. Book: "Mountain Bike Guide -Sardinien Gallura-"
    Susi Plott, Günter Durner. AM-Berg Verlag, Burgfeldstr. 71, D-82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 2003.

    First published in April 2003, I have not used it yet, you need to evaluate it yourself. First impression: rides are mainly easy going, a lot of asphalt. 21 rides. Including profiles, classifications, overview maps, detailed descriptions. Bilingual: German and Italian.

  5. Book: "Sole, Sale, Salita"
    Guida alla Mountain Bike in Sardegna. Antioco Porcu, Enzo Pascalis. Publishing company Saredit, Viale Armando Diaz 29, I-09100 Cagliari, 1991.

    Guide book on Mountainbiking in Sardinia. 26 rides, which cover the whole island. Including profiles, classifications, overview maps, detailed descriptions. Mainly in Italian, but includes an English Glossary and Introduction. Unfortunately out of stock in any book shop, though I found it in a public library in Munich. The book was partially translated to English and German and put to the Internet; but take care, the internet versions are lacking profiles and the detailed description.

  6. Book: "Gennargentu in Mountain Bike"
    Francesco Pintore, Carlo Deidda. Publishing Company Edizione della Torre, Via Contivecchi 8, I-09122 Cagliari, 1995. ISBN 88-7343-285-9

    Guide book on Mountainbiking in the Gennargentu. 10 rides, which cover the territory surrounding Desulo, the region with the highest mountains in Sardina. Including profiles, classifications, overview maps, detailed descriptions. Italian only. Book was available in the two shops mentioned below, as well at librisardi.it .

  7. GPS Map: "OSMC Reit & Wanderkarte"
    . opensource project, freeware, available only via Internet.

    The only up-to-date, easy available map that I was able to identify.

  8. Map: "Comunita Montana N. 9 NUORESE"
    Scale 1:50000. Il Supramonte, il Barbagia, il Gennargentu, gli Atipiani, Cala di Luna. Itinerari a piedi in mountain-bike e archeologici. Edited by Sipio Covan. R. Balzano edizioni. Publishing company Litografia Artistica Cartografica.

    Map on the region of Nuoro, including parts of the Supramonte, the Barbagia and the Gennargentu mountains. Very accurate and detailed. Basic overview and short descriptions about hiking and biking routes. The map was available in the two book shops mentioned below, possibly as well at InItaly.Com (website of Our heritage).

  9. Map: "Ogliastra"
    Scale 1:50000. Baunei - Santa Maria in Navarese. Carta escursionistica - trekking map. R. Balzano edizioni, zone industriale sett.6, I-07026 Olbia, Tel. 0789 52778. Publishing company Litografia Artistica Cartografica.

    Map on the terretory around Baunei. Accurate and detailed. Availabilty: same as the map listed above.

  10. Map: "Costa Smeralda"
    Scale 1:65000. S. Teresa di Gallura a Olbia e Bocche di Bonifacio. Carta turistico-stradale e nautica. Publishing company Litografia Artistica Cartografica, Firenze.

    Accurate and detailed. Availabilty: e.g. german bookstores like Geobuch im Munich (Rosental 6, D-80331 München).

  11. Map: "Parco del Gennargentu"
    Scale 1:100000. Parco Nazionale del Gennargentu e del Golfo di Orosei. Pianta e Guida. Publishing company Belletti Editore.

    Not too accurate and detailed. Covers a whole region. Availabilty: e.g. german bookstores like Geobuch im Munich (Rosental 6, D-80331 München).

  12. Book shop: "La Scolastica"
    Via Lamarmora 69, Dorgali. Across the road from the elementary school on the main street. Main resource for the book and maps mentioned in this section.

  13. Book shop: "Deposito del libro"
    I-08020 Cala Gonone, at the corner of Via Codula Gustui (the road with the post office). Here you can also get some of the print material, listed in this section.

  14. Boarding house/Camp site: "Agriturismo Nuraghe Mannu"
    Cala Gonone, Loc. Pranos. Tel. 0328-8685824.

    A view, but very nice camp sites and rooms 2 km above the village with beautiful vista. If you stay here, you can start tours to Gola su Gorruppu and Cala Luna directely from here and save 250 m elevation and some kilometers on asphalt.

  15. Camp site: "Mare Blue"
    Santa Maria Navarese near Tortoli. Tel. 0782/615041. Nice, basic campsite under pine trees, which seam the beach. 10 m to the beach. Good shoopping in Tortoli.

  16. Camp site: "Le Dune"
    Costa Rei. Caribean beach and water, more or less lonely, 300 m from camp site.

  17. Bike rentals and Guided Tours: "Gallarua Bike Point"
    Palau. Looks like an interesting resource for folks that enjoy not to be self-sufficient only. Check it out !

  18. Interesting Links:

    @ bike-board.net, germ. |

 

Last Update:
31.12.04 by Ralf Kohl