Sardinia Round Tour
- National Archaeological Museum
- Castello Quarter (Saint Remy Bastion and Virgin Mary Cathedral)
- (free time)
- Hike to the Devil’s Saddle
Overnight stay in Cagliari
- Sounding Stone Museum
- Nuraghe Su Nuraxi
- (lunch in restaurant)
- Hike in the Giara di Gesturi
Overnight stay in Oristano
- Tharros archaeological site
- Holy Well of Santa Cristina
- (lunch in restaurant or farmhouse)
- Murats Museum
- Biru ‘e Concas’ Menhirs Park
Overnight stay in Nuoro
- Sardinian Ethnographic Museum
- Hike to Gorropu Gorge
Overnight stay in Nuoro
- Cruise in the Gulf of Orosei
- Wine tasting
Overnight stay in Nuoro
- (lunch with local shepherds)
- Ispinigoli Karst Cave
- Tomb of the Giants of S’Ena ‘e Thomes
Overnight stay in Nuoro
- Castle of Pedres
- (lunch in restaurant)
- Hike in the Valley of the Moon
Overnight stay in Castelsardo
- Santa Maria del Regno Church
- Nuraghe Santu Antine
- (lunch in restaurant)
- Domus de Janas of Sant’Andrea Priu
Overnight stay in Alghero
- Nuraghe Palmavera
- Cooking class at a farmhouse (+ lunch)
- Porto Conte Park
Day 1 – 25 April (15 km)
at 9 am: Meeting with the guide and start of the group activities
We begin our tour in Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, at the National Archeological Museum, the most important archaeological museum in Sardinia. Spread across four floors, it displays a wide collection of archaeological findings that retrace the history of Sardinia from prehistoric times to the Byzantine period.
Next, we will visit Castello (Casteddu ‘e Susu in the Campidanese language), the main historic district of Cagliari. Located on a hill a hundred meters above the sea, it was fortified in the thirteenth century by the Pisans after they defeated the army of the Judicatus of Càlari and destroyed their capital Santa Igia. Since, the Castello district has hosted successive rulers of Sardinia, such as the Aragonese and Piedmontese.
Castello is defined by a system of perimeter walls, towers – which include the Tower of the Elephant and San Pancrazio Tower – and bastions. Saint Remy Bastion, a symbol of the city of Cagliari, is undoubtedly the most elegant and fascinating. Accessible via a monumental staircase and surmounted by a triumphal arch, it leads to a large panoramic terrace from where you can admire the city and its splendid gulf.
While walking along the picturesque streets of the Castello Quarter, we will stop by the Saint Mary Cathedral. Originally built in the Pisan Romanesque style, it was later renovated in the Baroque and the Neo-Romanesque styles.
At the end of our mark we will reach the Devil’s Saddle for an easy hike (around 3-hour hike). Another city landmark located on the evocative promontory of Sant’Elia, it overlooks the entire gulf and Poetto beach, the quintessential beach of the citizens of Cagliari.
Day 2 – 26 April (165 km)
We will start our day at the Sounding Stone Garden of the famous Sardinian artist Pinuccio Sciola, located in the lively town of San Sperate, which is famous, above all, for the murals that embellish the facades of houses.
We will then move to the historic landmark of Barumini to visit the prestigious Nuragic village of Su Nuraxi, a human settlement that dates from the 15th century BCE and lasted over a thousand years. Given its size and complexity, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. A complex nuraghe, it consists of 4 mighty corner towers joined by a wall, and contains a central tower with three overlapping chambers almost 20 meters high. During the Iron Age, the complex was enlarged and the initial structure was surrounded by a further curtain wall consisting of 5 towers.
The village, which arouse around the nuraghe, is composed of about fifty huts built on a circular plan using large dry-walled boulders which would have been covered by conical wooden and branch roof. According to Giovanni Lilliu, the archaeologist who discovered the village, the number of huts might have reached 200 units and could have accommodated a population of almost 1000 inhabitants.
We will finish our day with a relaxed excursion, of around 2 hours, to the lush Giara plateau to admire its hidden gems, such as nuraghi and little wild horses.
Day 3 – 27 April (180 km)
While similar to other holy wells, it is nonetheless remarkable due to its excellent state of conservation and accurate geometric shapes, as well as its majesty, featuring a staircase composed of 25 steps and a 7-meter high thòlos chamber containing the well.
We will then travel to Samugheo to visit the Murats Museum, dedicated to the ancient tradition of textile craftsmanship, and finally stop in the countryside of Sorgono to see one of Sardinia’s most extensive menhir parks, the Biru ‘e Concas.
Day 4 – 28 April (100 km)
On our fourth day we will first visit the prestigious Sardinian Ethnographic Museum in Nuoro. Visiting the Museum is like travelling through time to an imaginary rural village in Sardinia, deeply devoted to its land and the cycles of nature, where scenes of everyday life like housewives making bread or shepherds making cheese, are suspended forever inside large glass dioramas.
Moreover, you will be drawn to the precious jewels, tapestries and carpets, as well as hundreds of different types of traditional bread.
The collection of archaic men’s clothes and the rich and diverse women’s clothes, both the ‘everyday’ and the ceremonial, is a strong point of the museum. They represent different clothing types from across the historical-geographical regions of the island.
We will then move to the foot of Supramonte, where we will make a challenging hike up the extraordinary Gorropu Gorge (around 6-hour hike).
Day 5 – 29 April (80 km)
A cruise along the suggestive coast of the Gulf of Orosei is scheduled for this day. We will daydream between enchanting bays set among high cliffs covered with Mediterranean scrub, and we will take a chance to dive into the transparent sea, characterized by colors more intense than a swimming pool.
A local wine tasting will end the day with a bang.
Day 6 – 30 April (120 km)
In the morning we will explore the lively village of Orgosolo which, thanks to its murals, is an essential stop-over when in the Barbagia region. Equally essential is a typical lunch with local shepherds, where we will indulge meats and local cheeses, all accompanied by the excellent local cannonau wine.
From Orgosolo, we will visit Ispinigoli Cave, important for an imposing limestone column almost 40 meters high. Afterwards we will visit the wonderful Tomb of the Giants of S’Ena ‘e Thomes, one of the largest and best preserved in Sardinia.
Day 7 – 1 May (250 km)
After three days in Barbagia, we move to the north of Sardinia, where in the morning we will climb to the ruins of the medieval Castle of Pedres, a fortification and judicial residence until the 13th century, from where we will be able to admire the imposing island of Tavolara.
We will continue further north to Santa Teresa di Gallura to make a short excursion to the peaceful Valley of the Moon, between rocky walls of unusual shapes and hidden little bays.
Later in the afternoon we will arrive in the medieval village of Castelsardo to visit its fascinating old town.
Day 8 – 2 May (180 km)
We begin the second to last day at the Romanesque church of Santa Maria del Regno in the charming village of Ardara in the Meilogu region. In this church, which features the largest polyptych retable in Sardinia, the judges of Torres took oaths, married, and were buried.
From Ardara we will continue towards Torralba, another town in the Meilogu, to visit the nuraghe of Santu Antine, (nicknamed the king’s house), a masterpiece of Nuragic civilization. It is a three-lobed nuraghe, consisting of a wall of three towers and a central mastio, which initially rose between 22 and 24 meters. During the Bronze Age, the mastio, was the third tallest structure in the Mediterranean, after only the Pyramids of Giza and the Nuraghe Arrubiu.
Next, we will travel through the countryside of Bonorva to visit the Domus de Janas of Sant’Andrea Priu and admire its frescoed walls, painted after the Romans turned it into a rupestrian church.
In the evening we will move to Alghero, a city full of charm, situated among natural and architectural beauty, and the final destination of the tour.
Day 9 – 3 May (60 km)
The last day of the tour features another gem in the archaeological heritage of Sardinia: the nuragic village of Palmavera, which comprises one of the most important sandstone limestone nuraghe on the island, recently restored.
We continue on to a cooking class, which will culminate with a rich lunch, so that you can grasp the secrets behind the preparation of some of the typical dishes of our land.
The tour ends with an exploration of the Porto Conte Regional Park, rich with vegetation and commanding breathtaking views.
Around 5 pm: end of the group activities
The price covers the following services:
- 8-night stay in double/twin room and breakfast at 3 and 4-star hotels at the locations listed in the tour summary;
- Lunch in restaurant on Days 2, 3, 7 and 8;
- Packed lunch on Days 4 and 5;
- Lunch with local shepherds on Day 6 (vegan option available);
- Lunch in farmhouse on Day 9;
- Dinners at hotels on Days 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7;
- Activities and entrance fees for all the attractions listed in the tour summary;
- All bus transfers to the locations and attractions included in the tour;
- English speaking guide for the whole tour;
- Emergency medical expenses, baggage and personal belongings insurance (coverage cap: 500 Euros, deductible: 50 Euros);
Price of a single supplement is 200 Euros;
- Lunch on Day 1 (allow around 15-20 Euros);
- Dinner on Days 1, 6 and 8 (allow around 20-30 Euros per dinner);
- Arrival and departure transfers to and from the airport;
- Tourist tax (if applicable), payable directly at the hotel;
P.N.: If you require the accommodation at the hotel on the night before the beginning of the activities (24 April) as well as a one-way transfer to Alghero airport at the end of the activities on the last day of the tour, please let us know in time in order for us to make arrangements in due time.
The following prices apply:
– Accommodation and breakfast in double/twin room at a 3-star hotel in Cagliari: 40 Euros per person;
– Accommodation and breakfast in single room at a 3-star hotel in Cagliari: 60 Euros;
– One-way transfer by coach to Alghero airport: 9 Euros per person;
Group size: 14-18 people;
Daily activities run from around 9 am until 6 pm every day;
In the event of adverse weather conditions, attractions included in the tour can be exchanged or replaced by other attractions among those suggested by the guide;
As an active tour that includes excursions, visits to archaeological sites located on countryside terrain, and stopovers at beaches, it is recommended that guests bring appropriate clothing and footwear (e.g.: hiking shoes, waterproof jacket, bathing suit, sun protection);
No previous experience is needed to attend this tour, however we’ll be crossing some steep inclines at some point while walking and hiking, therefore a decent level of general fitness is required;
- You will be expected to maintain social distancing while doing the activities;
- Please bring hand sanitizer and face masks with you;
- Masks are not needed while hiking but please wear one in any enclosed environments, or while standing and walking in crowded areas;
- Transfers included will be in larger buses than usual to ensure a reasonable amount of space among passengers while in the vehicle;
For the latest updates on COVID-19, please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website www.viaggiaresicuri.it, or contact the number 0039 06 491 115.