Recently awarded the title of Best Island in Europe by Condé Nast Traveller, Sardinia seems to be revelling in the spotlight like never before. It’s a truly stunning destination, located in the centre of the Mediterranean with a seemingly endless coastline and an enticing culture filled with wonderful food and drink, rich history and heritage, and warm, welcoming people.
However, Sardinia has attracted the attention of cyclists for many years now. Its dramatic mountainous landscape, winding roads and often challenging terrain is very popular with road cyclists and mountain bikers alike. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular cycling holiday routes across the island.
This route is a great option for road cyclists of all abilities. Brunella Hills is a 30km ride with about 350m of climbing, making it challenging enough if you’re cycling at a good speed but manageable if you’re not quite ready for group pace.
An 8km warm-up gives you the chance to prepare for the 5km climb to the town of Brunella, situated in the Sardinian hills. On the way, you’ll enjoy spectacular views all around, particularly as the sun starts to set. After Brunella, you can reap the rewards of a long, twisting descent to Budoni, before enjoying a coffee in the town.
If you’re a seasoned mountain biker, Ottiolu Masts offers an enthralling 30km route with 650m of climbing. The climb is incredible yet steep in many places and may need to be walked at points. At the top, you’ll be able to savour stunning views before the technical descent which brings you into the port of Ottiolu – the perfect spot for a refreshment before your ride home.
Another road bike favourite is Porto Ottiolu, although this is better suited to novices and less confident cyclists. At 22km and only 150m of climbing, it’s an easier ride and allows you to explore the port of Ottiolu with dedicated cycle lanes for your safety and enjoyment.
There are plenty of places to stop on your ride, including cafes, bars and restaurants, perfect if you’re looking for a coffee break or something a little more filling. It’s not too demanding, so you’ll be able to see the sights a little more than with other routes further inland.
Another gem for intermediate to advanced mountain bikers. This 30km route with 500m of climbing is little known by tourists, which means it’s relatively quiet. It starts with a long, gentle climb before a fast and fluid descent which isn’t too technical and definitely a lot of fun. There’s plenty to see on the way up and the way down.
A road bike favourite of guests and guides in Sardinia. Siniscola Alpine has everything you want on a cycling route, including winding roads, steep climbs, fast descents, spectacular scenery and a coffee break in the middle.
The 70km route has a challenging 1,100m of climbing, so you’ll need to be fuelled and hydrated sufficiently before taking it on. An initial climb into the hills provides you with stunning views of the coastline and then a free-flowing descent into a gorgeous national park. It’s strenuous, so you’ll surely need a pick-me-up at the café along the route.