Sardinia Blue Zone

Sample Itinerary

DAY 1

Accommodation

Hotel Miramare

Lively Cagliari

We’ll meet at Cagliari airport and catch a shuttle to our first hotel. After you check into your room, we’ll reassemble and take an early evening urban walk through beautiful Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, called in Sardinian language “Casteddu” (the Castle), because of its fortified district overlooking the sea, where we’re welcomed with a refreshing glass of Vermentino, the most famous of Sardinian white wines, overlooking the bay from the coolest terrace in town. Cagliari it’s a lively city, an undiscovered Mediterranean jewel that deserve to be discovered, because of its long history that keeps track of what’s happened in the Mediterranean: Nuragic Sardinians, Phoenicians, Punics, Romans, Byzantines, Barbarians, Genoans, Spanish! Dining in its old “Marina” district, a melting pot place, it’s an experience that will let us discover an unique cooking that has its roots more into the Spanish culture than Italian. Seafood, meat, lots of veggies, it’s something that will surprise us. Cagliari cooking is quintessential Mediterranean, with lots of fresh fish, seafood, sea urchins, handmade pastas, local olive oil, and grapes (both the elegant, red Monica and the yellow-white Nuragus). Our unforgettable meal is the entrée for our culinary journey of Sardinia

DAY 2

Activity

Walking

Accommodation

Antica Dimora del Gruccione

Distance 5 km

The Sinis Peninsula

Our day will start with a shuttle until the Sinis area, a peninsula that overlooks the west coast, characterized by wetlands inhabited by pink flamingoes, and shining white beaches. The main village is Cabras, a very laid back place that reminds of Mexico, with a long tradition of lagoon fishing. The town hosts couple of the most interesting heritage attractions of Sardinia: the ancient Phoenician settlement of Tharros and the mysterious “Giganti di Monte Prama”, giant sandstone statues representing nuragic warriors dated back 9th BC, even before Greek statues. We’ll explore it with a walk along its stunning sandstone cliffs, to admire all the patches of blue of the Sardinian sea. We’ll have lunch by the beach tasting the local grey mullet and its Bottarga, a Phoenician dish that is still alive in Sardinia. Our day ends in Santu Lussurgiu, a pretty village built on a dormant volcano. A young but talented chef will introduce us to his cooking with dishes that reinvent Sardinian tradition and celebrate local ingredients.

DAY 3

Activity

Walking

Accommodation

Antica Dimora del Gruccione

Distance 8 km

Volcano Hiking and Slow Food, Sardinia Style

Today we’ll hike the slopes of Montiferru, a dormant volcano now covered in thick oak forests and thousand-year-old olive groves. Our trail follows the ridge of the Montiferru, the Iron Mountain. We’ll pass the ruins of an ancient castle and walk through a network of natural tunnels formed by oaks and Mediterranean shrubs. In Cuglieri, we’ll taste the village’s famous olive oil at the Peddio family mill, where the olives are single cold pressed to retain maximum flavor and health benefits. We’ll discover the taste of the area with an home made lunch in Cuglieri, hosted by Pina and her Family in her small Trattoria. Afterwards, we’ll return to Santu Lussurgiu, where we have time to visit shops displaying the town’s craftwork, especially Sardinian knives and handmade horse tack and riding gear. Before dinner, chef Riccardo will give us a cooking class in the Slow Food tradition. He’ll explain the importance of protecting Sardinia’s biodiversity and local food varieties—as well as traditional ways of cooking and the all-important power of pleasing the palate. Among the Slow Food–specialty foods of this region are casizolu (cow cheese) and bue rosso (red beef). During dinner we’ll have a special performance of canto a tenores, a quartet of men singing ancient Sardinian harmonies heard nowhere else in the world. Between the fantastic food and the music, you’ll feel truly at home on this island.

DAY 4

Activity

Walking

Accommodation

Hotel Su Gologone

Distance 3 km

Barbagia, the Heart of Sardinia

Today we’ll head inland to witness Sardinia’s prehistoric past, built by Bronze-Age Nuragic people. The underground, sacred-well temple of Santa Cristina is an extraordinary piece of 3,000-year-old Nuragic architecture shaped like an upside-down pyramid with basalt-block steps down to a venerated well. Through a small, astronomically aligned opening in the conical ceiling, moonlight shines on the water once every 18 years. Next, we enter the Barbagia region—a rugged, isolated region that the Romans never succeeded in conquering. Fortified by Sardinia’s highest mountains, Barbagia is the home of a fierce, proud, yet hospitable people. For insight into their traditional customs, we’ll stop in the small village of Mamoiada and visit the Museo delle Maschere (Carneval Mask Museum). Lunch at a nearby winery called Cantina di Sedilesu. Afterwards, we’ll travel through Cannonau vineyards, olive groves and flocks of sheep—all surrounded by the soaring Supramonte limestone crags and cliffs. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at the most symbolic hotel of the island, the gorgeous Su Gologone,nestled in the countryside of Oliena. This is the perfect place to taste the local variety of Cannonau grape called Nepente, which contains high levels of healthy polyphenols. We’ll also enjoy a superb Barbagia-style meal created from the farm’s fresh produce.

DAY 5

Activity

Boat ride

Accommodation

Hotel Su Gologone

Majestic east coast

The coastal Ogliastra province is easily Italy’s most photogenic region in terms of natural, wild beauty. We’ll drive to Sardinia’s eastern coast, where the Supramonte range dives straight into the impossibly blue sea, we’ll take a boat along the coast heading south. We’ll be thrilled by an incredible landscape, where the mountains end right at the sea, and small stunning coves opens up along this unspoiled coastline. Limestone is the king of the area, its white shining rock is covered by a majestic oak trees forest, a place that sounds not real, because of its secluded beaches. As we sail south, our captain will tour us through small coves and grottos, and perhaps we’ll catch sight of a rare monk seal. The first beach is the heavenly, crescent-shaped Cala Luna beach, where we can swim or just enjoy one of the world’s best beaches. Cala Luna was the film location for Swept Away (both the 1974 Italian version, written and directed by Lina Wertmüller, and the 2002 remake directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Madonna). Here, an elegant boat awaits with our lunch. We’ll feast on dishes such as fritto misto (seafood and vegetables dipped in batter and fried in olive oil), mussels, pasta ai frutti di mare (seafood pasta) and a young, crisp Vermentino white wine that pairs perfectly with fish.

DAY 6

Activity

Walking

Accommodation

Hotel Nascar

Distance 4 km

Ogliastra vineyards and vignerons

The Ogliastra province produces its own Cannonau wine, so next we visit the Moreno house and farm to learn the family secrets for making this rich, heavy red that’s full of heart-protective procyanidins. After a walk on the vineyards, the Moreno family will be our hosts for an unforgettable wine tasting and lunch overlooking the gorgeous countryside. We’ll have the chance to know the everyday life of a young farmer and his family, that choose to live from agriculture, bringing into the wine making his own skills. Before lunch we can try to prepare the Culurgiones, a local half moon ravioli filled with potato and mint, each one looks like a piece of art, because of the technique required to close the pastry by fingers.

DAY 7

Activity

Cycling

Accommodation

Hotel Miramare

Distance 3 km

Costa degli Angeli and Cagliari by day

Final catwalk of your tour is the beautiful Costa degli Angeli with its gleaming white beaches, imposing cliffs and 16th Century Spanish towers overlooking the sea, until the glistening Cagliari. Our day will start with a visit to the local San Benedetto Market, a place that is quintessentially Sardinian, where you can buy, or just taste, freshest food of the island. The place is busy and you can experience the many characters of this town. We’ll hike till the most famous landmark of the town, the “Sella del Diavolo” (The Devil’ saddle) looking all the city and its lagoons where a huge colony of the elegant pink flamingos made base all year round. We’ll have a farewell dinner at one of Cagliari’s wonderful restaurants.

DAY 8

Departure

Arrivederci!

After breakfast and last view of Cagliari marina, we'll shuttle you to Elmas Airport.
Poetto, the beach of Cagliari
A Nuraghe in Ogliastra Region

Essential information

Overview

Sardinians greet each other by saying, "A kent’annos" — “May you live to be a hundred.” Descendants of a mysterious ancient people, Sardinians are twice as likely to become centenarians than other populations. Could the answer be Sardinia’s Slow Food-style cooking? Its heart-healthy red wine? The outdoor exercise that comes with shepherding? A visit to this Mediterranean island, where people treat food with sacred respect, reveals the secrets of longevity.

Included

7 nights in 4-star hotels
7 breakfasts
7 dinners
7 lunches
A cooking lesson
A guided visit of Cagliari
An evening of traditional singing (canto a tenore)
An olive oil tasting
Two guided visits to archaeological sites
Boat Excursion with lunch on board
Lunch at a vineyard
Local tour leader

This is a sample Tour

ANYTHING CAN BE MODIFIED TO FIT YOUR WISHES. PRICE IS I S AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST AND VARIES BY THE NUMBER OF TRAVELERS AND TIME OF YEAR.

Will the tour suit me?
Level Active
Nights 7
Total lenght
Activity Hiking
Formula Guided

Day to Day

1CagliariD
2Walking at Sinis Peninsula5 KmB L D
3Volcano Hiking in Santulussurgiu8 KmB L D
4Barbagia and Supramonte3 KmB L D
5The Majestic east coastB L D
6Ogliastra vineyards and vignerons4 KmB L D
7Back to Cagliari3 KmB L D
8ArrivederciB

Legenda: B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner;

Sample the best of Sardinian food—from fresh seafood to hearty meats and cheeses
Sample the best of Sardinian food—from fresh seafood to hearty meats and cheeses
Day 2, 4, 6
Santulussurgiu, Oliena, Ogliastra
Discover mysterious Nuragic archaeological sites, including a sacred well and 3,500-year-old stone tower
Discover mysterious Nuragic archaeological sites, including a sacred well and 3,500-year-old stone tower
Day 4
Santa Cristina
Listen to the ancestral sound of canto a tenore singers
Listen to the ancestral sound of canto a tenore singers
Day 3
Santulussurgiu
Visit vineyards and wine cellars to taste the heart-healthy Nepente and Cannonau di Sardegna
Visit vineyards and wine cellars to taste the heart-healthy Nepente and Cannonau di Sardegna
Day 5
Ogliastra
“Great tour. Am recommending to as many friends as possible and looking at the possibility of doing again next year. Great tour guides and the route was amazing. It was fantastic that all riders were able to feel challenged as much as they wanted to be, could enjoy great food and company.”
Jason May, 2015
“Gian Mario and Nico *made* the trip for us. It was so much more fun & beautiful & personal & special than I ever could have imagined! We felt like they did 100%+++ to help us experience how special Sardinia is. Mille Mille Mille Grazie!!!”
Lisa October, 2015
“Being met and transferred by professional and passionate tour operators who convey your luggage to each destination, having fabulous meals prepared from local produce cooked with love by Sardinian's and enjoying the company of fellow travellers each night from around the world was the highlight of our trip.”
Jeff July, 2016
“Sardinia Grand Tour guides share their passion for their island - be it on a bike, hike, snorkel - or over a bottle of wine. From the beauty of the island to the charm of the natives and the flavors of their local foods..... all EXCELLANTE!!!! An EXTRAORDINARY experience!!!”
Lory June, 2016
“Everything was fantastic. Thank you so much for the trip of a lifetime. Very much enjoyed getting to know all of you at SGT. I love your salads at lunch!”
Bill October, 2015
“The Best thing of the tour? Gian Mario, Marcello and Simone!!!”
Emanuela May, 2015
“The guides and their willingness to accommodate our every request! Loved them. Also, the routes we rode --- particularly enjoyed the ones along the coast.”
Mia October, 2015