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Hidden Gems
Sardinia West Coast and Monte Linas 20

Walking in Sardinia: The West Coast and Monte Linas

Overview

The island of Sardinia has long been known for its nice sandy beaches and clear sea and is a popular summer retreat. Only recently, its many unspoilt natural and cultural treasures have gotten the right attention from nature lovers and walkers. And while the East Coast and Supramonte are gradually becoming popular among hikers, the Costa Verde in the west has a lot to offer, too.

The little-known range of Monte Linas is covered by dense oak forests and slopes gently towards the sea. It offers a rich flora and fauna (including the indigenous Sardinian deer), traditional villages and quiet paths that are a real hidden gem for the avid walker. The Sulcis region is famous for the Carignano, a red grape that can live with almost no water and is no more than a foot high from the ground because the strong winds don’t allow it to grow higher; almost every family still has a little vineyard to produce the Carignano del Sulcis, and after a sip you know why they still make it! The small islands of Carloforte and Sant’Antioco make the perfect final stops for this walking tour in Sardinia.

Highlights

  • A little-known part of Sardinia immersed in wild nature and an ancient atmosphere
  • Beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters
  • Local specialities and local Carignano wine

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Buggerru

Your trip starts in the small village of Buggerru, a village that was founded in 1864 as a mining settlement. After check-in at the hotel, take your time to visit the small town, you can relax by the beach or visit the “Henry Tunnel” an old mining site, a labyrinth carved into the rock that opens onto sheer views of the sea and rocky coastline.

  • Accommodation: Hotel 904 or similar in Buggerru

Day 2: Buggerru Circular Walk | 13 km

Today a very nice coastal walk is awaiting you. From Buggerru you start climbing along a secondary asphalt road overlooking the superb coast and the long beach of Portixeddu. (This uphill section can be avoided by organizing a private transfer). After 5 km of gradual ascent, the route starts its descent into the gorge towards the dunes and artificial pine forest planted to prevent the sand to cover the main street and only access to the town. Along the last section, you will walk through some military fortresses from World War II. After a scrumptious lunch in Portixeddu, you can take the bus to go back to Buggerru.

  • Walking for the day: 13 km, 4 hours ↑607 m ↓617 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel 904 or similar in Buggerru

Day 3: Ingurtosu to Scivu | 14.5 km

After breakfast, a transfer (about 30 minutes) will take you to the nearly-abandoned village of Ingurtosu from where you will start your walk towards the ruins of the ancient “Laveria Brassey” mine site. At some point today you may feel close to Charles Darwin when he arrived at the Galapagos in the 1830s – the dunes of Piscinas are the most extended desert area in Europe. For about 6 km there is just you, the sea, the sand and the wind! At the end of the walk, a short transfer will take you to the agriturismo where you are going to spend the next two nights.

  • Walking for the day: 14.5 km, 4-5 hours ↑50 m ↓280 m
  • Accommodation: Agriturismo Majori or similar in Fluminimaggiore

Day 4: Capo Pecora Circular Walk | 15 km

Today you are going back to the sea (Scivu beach), then you take a footpath inside the Mediterranean scrub, leading you to a panoramic viewpoint on Capo Pecora granite promontory. You will then proceed to walk on to reach the tiny village of Portixeddu, notorious among surfers for its famous beach of Portixeddu. A short transfer will drive you back to the agriturismo.

  • Walking for the day: 15 km, 5 hours ↑431 m ↓559 m
  • Accommodation: Agriturismo Majori or similar in Fluminimaggiore

Day 5: Portopaglia to Portoscuso | 14 km

Morning transfer (1 hour) to Porto Paglia, the starting point of today’s walk. It is a marked footpath (red/white signs) following a rugged and remote coastline. You follow a sandy footpath with stunning views of the cliffs. This walk is not suitable for people who suffer from vertigo since there are a couple of sections with no railings close to the cliff’s edge.

  • Walking for the day: 14 km, 3-4 hours ↑380 m ↓386 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Don Pedro or similar in Portoscuso

Day 6: Carloforte Island Circular Walk | 12 km

Today you take the ferry to Carloforte, where you start the loop walk, climbing on secondary asphalt road towards the north side of the Island, where at the end of May, the local fishermen start the so-called Mattanza, a system of nets that for about 45 days capture tuna fish. Back in Carloforte, take a ferry to Calasetta on Sant’Antioco Island, then a private transfer will bring you to your Sant’Antioco accommodation.

  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 3 hours ↑380m ↓380 m
  • Accommodation: B&B Il Sentiero B&Bio or similar in Sant’Antioco

Day 7: Sant’Antioco Island Walk | 16.5 km

Today a private transfer takes you to Capo Sperone, then you walk back to Sant’Antioco, passing by the watchtower Torre Cannai and the beach of Maladroxia (a popular spot among surfers when the maestrale wind blows). The last section to the town is on asphalt road.

  • Walking for the day: 16.5 km, 5 hours ↑440m ↓380 m
  • Accommodation: B&B Il Sentiero B&Bio or similar in Sant’Antioco 

Day 8: Departure

End of the walking tour. You can reach the airport by public transport, or we can arrange a private transfer.

What to Expect

Accommodation

All nights are spent in charming farmhouses (‘agriturismo’) and nice 3-star hotels. All rooms have en-suite facilities. The places have been carefully hand-picked by us, and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

**What is an agriturismo? A combination of the words for “agriculture” and “tourism” in Italian — It is a farm-stay, but it’s also much, much more. Typically, an agriturismo is an independently-owned farm that the owners have decided to use partially for accommodation purposes, in a way similar to English or American bed and breakfasts. One of the best parts of staying in a traditional agriturismo? The food. An Italian agriturismo will usually serve guests food that was prepared from raw materials – vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, and often wine and olive oil – produced on the farm or from other local merchants.

Meals

Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant is available on the route, lunches and snacks can either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your accommodation or in the town where you stay overnight.

Difficulty & terrain

You will walk along lovely footpaths along the coastline and in the highlands. Sardinia is mainly made out of limestone cliffs, which means that you will need to be sure-footed because you will often walk on rocky and stony paths (read more about difficulty grades). The walks are poorly to moderately marked, often on uneven footpaths, small tracks amongst shrubs and, on a rare occasion, on narrow gravel or asphalt roads. On some days, you will be walking in a desolate area, with no springs or villages along the way. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available from 1 April until 25 July and from 1 September until 31 October, departing every day. Late spring, the early summer and the entire autumn are beautiful in Sardinia. It is too hot for walking in August. Without a doubt, the best time to see Sardinia is from April to June, when the spring flowers are in bloom, the weather is just warm enough, and the temperature of the Mediterranean allows for the first dips of the season. The months of September and October are also an excellent time to visit the region, while the temperatures are still mild. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

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By plane

Our recommended airport is Cagliari.

By train or bus

Arrival Buggerru: From Cagliari take the train to Iglesias (see Trenitalia), about 50-60 minutes ride (direct trains or with 1 change); from there you can take daily public busses to Buggerru via Fluminimaggiore (see http://www.arstspa.info/804.pdf).

Departure Sant’Antioco: You can take a bus to Carbonia (http://www.arstspa.info/801.pdf ) and then a train from Carbonia to Cagliari Airport (~1 hour) with Trenitalia.

Inclusions

Included

  • 7 nights in agriturismi and 3-star hotels as listed in the itinerary
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Luggage transport on the walking days
  • Private transfers as per programme (Days 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7)
  • Holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route notes and maps (digital copy sent by email and a hard copy delivered at the first hotel)
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches and dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Ferry tickets
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Local tourist tax & entry fees (payable on the spot)
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘Included’ in the programme

Options and Extras

  • Supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room / single use of a double room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights
  • Airport transfers

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