Your Sardinia/Corsica (Sardegna/Corse) trip has been designed to take full advantage of two extraordinary islands rich in natural beauty, history and culture while participating in a variety of bike rides & excursions. Delight in the contrasting flavors of Italy and France as we blend together an intriguing multicultural mosaic of classic coastlines, archaeological marvels, alpine beauty and distinctive architecture. Explore the north of Sardegna before we ferry through the archipelago en route to Corsica's rugged mountains' rosy cliffs. Enjoy your traverse along the island's backbone, where we pass towering peaks within the intoxicating fragrance of Mediterranean myrtle and later glide along its quaint ports and bays.
Day 1: Medieval Sardinia & Sea Grotto
Depending on your arrival we will set off on a warm-up ride out to the Capo Caccia where we visit the Grotta di Nettuno. Its opening is only one meter high and soon inside enormous columns rise up out of the water within these picturesque concretions of giant chambers and mysterious caverns; all formed by the continual movement of the sea on the limestone rocks.
Alghero historical center, surrounded by the impressive medieval defense walls, is where we enjoy our first night's grand welcoming dinner. This fascinating port town's ancient roots can be traced back to the Neolithic period. The Romans eventually arrived in 238 B.C. when the whole territory experienced a certain amount of growth. Eventually Pisa, then the Aragonese, and later the Catalan colonies all left their mark. You are sure to feel as if you step back in time as you wander through the narrow cobbled streets of sandstone buildings.
Lodgings: A beautiful seaside resort just outside Alghero where we have easy access to town and the outstanding coastal biking paths.
Day 2: Nuraghe & Seaside Castle
Today we ride through Sardegna's interior and into the "Valley Nuraghe". We glide past small villages, wheat fields and wild flowers as we explore this ancient home to the island's original inhabitants. After visiting the more important landmarks we glide along th beautiful coast and into the village of Castelsardo, one of the islands best kept medieval monuments. Set on a rock overlooking the sea, town was built around the castle in a strategically high position as a defense from possible attacks from the sea.
Lodgings: In Castelsardo at an impressive cascading seaside hotel with sea view rooms and only 500 m from the town center.
Day 3 & 4: Costa Smeralda & Magdellena Island
Gallura is a prevalently mountainous region, situated in the north east of Sardinia. The land is rich in granite rock which dates back over 300 million years. We will engage in two days of cycling here and exploring the many treasures available in this fascinating corner of the island.
Although Gallura region is renowned throughout the world, above all for the exclusive resort of Costa Smeralda with its enchanting rocky headlands and splendid beaches, the whole territory is a marvelous series of sandy beaches, bays; an oasis of natural beauty.
Along the Paradise Coast we ride to Santa Teresa, with an optional hard loop to the hilltop town of Tempio Pausania. The region is known for its fine handicraft, above all for the production of cork, weaving and the working of granite, but it also boasts a tradition of fishing, hunting and the production of Vermentino, a local white wine. Wine tasting?
The next morning we ride to Palau. It is here that with the passing of time, the wind and sea have smoothed and shaped these rocks into unusual animal forms, which are so striking they seem to have been modeled by artists. The most enchanting of these rock formations that we will visit is Capo D'Orso, which resembles a bear. A ferry then takes us to the island of Maddalena, known for its beautiful coastline, the pink sand, "faoni" crabs and the mussels; after a light seafood lunch in the town of La Maddalena, we return to Santa Teresa.
Or we engage in further exploration of the renowned Coasta Smeralda (Emerald Coast), the island's upmarket "Riviera". Also known as the holiday playground of rich Italians and international jet-setters. Here marinas filled with sleek yachts line the coastline, which also sports plenty of lovely beaches nd rocky coves, the white sand offset by pinkish granite rocks and lush blossom-filled landscape.
You may want to save room for dinner when you get the chance to sample the delicious types of pork meats (salami, sausages and ham), as well as various local specialties (ziminu, suppa cuata, mazzafrissa, pulilgioni), which have been prepared by the people from Gallura for generations.
Lodgings: Family run 3 star on the Coast.
Lodging: Family run 3 star on the Coast..
Dinner: free night out.
Day 5: Mesmerizing Bonifacio
We board the ferry to the magnificent port of Bonifacio, Corsica. Ideally the dolphins lead the way as we hop the archipelago within the Straits of Maddalena. As we approach our destination we skirt the immense coastal white walls whose layered formation juts out over us and on which the old town of Bonifacio is towering.
The much-photographed Haute Ville, a maze of narrow streets flanked by tall Genoese tenements, rises seamlessly out of sheer cliffs that have been hollowed and striated by the wind and waves, while on the landward side the deep cleft between the peninsula and the mainland forms a perfect natural harbor. A haven for boats for centuries, this inlet is nowadays a chic marina that attracts yachts from around the Mediterranean. Once you passed the door of the drawbridge, the old town, where the dialect remains the Genoese and not the Corsican, closes on itself. For Bonifacio has kept its aspect of origin, or it has just about kept it; Bonifacio is also full of boutiques and cute shops, and your guides will lead a tour along the cliffs or to secluded bays.
On arrival we enjoy a spectacular bike ride through unspoiled "maquis" (brushland) and explore the lovely world renowned beaches at Piantarella and Santa Manza. This could also be a day of hiking if you would prefer.
Lodging: 3 star Inn located in Bonifacio.
Dinner: At Andiamo’s favorite trattoria
Day 6: "The Green Heart "
After a short transfer up a very windy road, we arrive in Zonza, the "green heart" of the island. Our morning hike offers fantastic unique views of the seven-needled Col de Bavella and passes through lush, high pine forests and plateaus reminiscent of the French Alps. By far this is one of Europe's most breathtaking regions. For lunch we have arranged an abundant tasting of the island specialties, which include several varieties of salami, cheeses and organic vegetables as well as beers and wines. After lunch we bike down through forests, vineyards and small villages to the coast. Before we get to our home for the night, the beach town of Propriano, the stone village of Sartene is very much worth visiting.
Lodging: In Ajaccio
Day 7: Prehistoric Corsica
We bike within a continual bellevue through evergreen hills and ancient villages to Filitosa, The
island's (and one of Europe's) most intriguing prehistoric site dating back to the megalithic period.
A local guide leads us through the remarkable ruins.
Small, twisty roads bring us along the coast to the gorgeous little village of Porticcio.
If you like we venture into Ajaccio for a visit to the Napoleon museum and dinner.
Lodging: In Porto
Day 8-9: Outstanding Coastal Beauty
We follow the coastal road up to Porto. One of the most beautiful rides on Corsica!
Our first stop is the ancient Greek town of Cargese.
Then we ride through the breathtaking landscape called "les Calanche", bizarre and wild formations
of red porphyry -rock created by erosion.
Ancient Eucalyptus trees line the road down to the bay of Porto. Because of the colors, the size of
the bay and the different attractions, this is one of the most beautiful towns on Corsica.
On day 9 we make the appropriate transfers to ferry terminals or airports.
*Meeting/departing your tour by ferry from France or Italy:
Links to ferries and schedules:
Flights to or from mainland Europe :
Please call our office at 1.800.549.2363 for suggestions. There are several low cot carriers flying into and out of Sardinia. Leaving Corsica is easiest/ least expensive into and out of major cities in France.