Gone Bike About



 


Cagliari – Vilasimius – Dorgali – Orgosolo – Bosa – Oristano – Iglesias – Cagliari




See map

   
Our traditional Easter holiday led 
us to Sardinia this year. With April 1st being the official 
campground opening date, we flew down, fully loaded with great plans of 
leisurely coastal rides and camping at 20 degrees Celsius. Easy Jet from 
Basel to Cagliari was an easy, no frills, no stress option.
   



Bastione San Remy

Cagliari, the main port 
town in the south, with a population of under 400.000 has a certain 
Spanish flair to it, reflecting 400 years of Spanish rule. The centre is fairly compact and can be easily 
explored in a day.
   


Cagliari

   
Leaving town on a beautiful cycle 
path east bound along the pre-season beaches, was easy, but somewhat drab. We presume in summer, 
this looks a whole lot more happening.
   
After about 30km, we hit a beautiful 
coastal road, while the famous Mistral
wind
hit us! Record wind speeds of 55 knots (102 km/h) were recorded that very
day, coming in gusts from the NW, leaving us at its total mercy. There 
were times when Darina was pinned to the railing hanging on for dear 
life, but we did live to tell the tale…



You were warned!

   


Beautiful coastal scenery



Costa Rei

   



Costa Rei ahead

   


Buttercups and mimosa all the way!

   


Villaputzu’s campground was open!
Chiuso 
was the name of the game on the east coast. Campgrounds, shops and towns 
had still not emerged from hibernation, even though temperatures were 
hovering around 20°C. B&Bs often came to our rescue.
 
The 60km stretch from Tortolí to 
Dorgali
was one of our highlights. A couple of passes brought us up 
to 1017m, with spectacular panorama views of snow-capped ridges, the 
Mediterranean, grazing sheep and goats, pine forests and sheer cliffs.
The road itself is quite a feat of engineering.



Orientale Sarda (Route 125)

   


It’s all downhill from here, we hope!
   


 
 



Route 125

   


Cala Gonone
Our second highlight was Cala 
Gonone
, just 10km from Dorgali. This beautiful bay boasts numerous 
secluded beaches with pink sand, lapped up by turquoise water to a 
backdrop of limestone and sandstone cliffs, a climbers’ paradise.
The 
Blue Marina
limestone cave is accessible by boat and well worth the 
trip.
   


Caletta Fuili


Cala Gonone

   
A typical breakfast in 
Sardinia consists of coffee, bread, jams/local honey and a variety of 
cakes (when you’’re lucky!).



Breakfast goodies

   


Spaghetti Vongole
Dinner, on the other hand, was a real treat with antipasti, pasta, seafood and 
the occasional mixed grill to satisfy any cyclist’s hunger splendidly.
   
With 4 sheep per head of population, 
we were a tad disappointed that there wasn’t more lamb on the menus. We 
did however enjoy the local pecorino sheep cheese.



Where’s the lamb?

   


Dessert
Seadas are typical for dessert: deep-fat-fried pastries, filled with ricotta cheese, 
and served 
hot with local honey.
   
Following local advice, we headed 
inland to experience the real Sardinia. Unfortunately, the weather 
turned sour. The Mistral was back and we not only froze, but we also got 
wet! Again, some fabulous roads and great scenery dampened the blow.



Kurt, the shepherd

   


Cork trees



Spring is in the air!

   


During the early Bronze Age,
Sardinia was settled by the Nuragic people, who left behind all
s orts of interesting stone ruins. Towers, burial grounds and settlements 
are dotted around making for some interesting breaks from the saddle.
   


Settlement ruins from the early Bronze
Age

   
Orgosolo, famous for its bandits and outspoken locals, is now a showpiece of 
murals criticising political systems, war, the police and anything else 
that ruffles their feathers.



Mural in Orgosolo

   



Orgosolo mural

   


Welcome to Orgosolo!
Being one of the most-visited towns
in Sardinia, on account of these murals, it’s a shame that they haven’t managed to harness their energy into organising an effective 
rubbish-collection system. The whole town is circled by sacks and sacks 
of refuse dumped on the roadside. This is quite an issue all 
around the island.
   
Highlight number three was Bosa 
on the west coast. What a colourful little treasure of a town, with a 
great sense of aesthetics and pride. Built on a river with an arched, 
stone bridge, overlooked by an imposing castle, Bosa is a real treat 
after a few days of non-descript villages.


Bosa

 



   


South bound
From here we headed south on the
west coast
back towards Cagliari. On this coast, the mountains are 
not as high, but that didn’’t stop the engineers from bringing every road 
up and down every hill possible! Although the cycling was strenuous, the 
views were rewarding.
   



There’s no shortage of holiday homes in Sardinia

   


 
   



Flamingos near Oristano

   
The Costa Verde boasts 
the highest sand dunes in the Mediterranean and our explore afforded us the adventure of 
two river crossings.



Costa Verde

   


On yer bike!

   


Store house ruin
The whole area is dotted with 
reminders of Sardinia’s mining past in the form of colourful 
ruins of old store houses, sifting factories and rusting machinery, as 
well as beautifully restored office buildings and residences. The 
history of mining in Sardinia predates Roman times, lead and silver 
being the main minerals exploited.
   



Deserted mine landscape

   


Director’s residence, Ingurtosu



Slag hill

   
We still had a spectacular coastline down as far as
Nebida
, where we turned inland and were blown all the way to 
Cagliari. Cheers, Mistral!



Nebida

   


Views from Nebida
   


Pan di Zucchero, Nebida
   


Sardinian flag
Sardinia is certainly a cyclists’ (and bikers’) 
paradise. It has a great variety of landscapes, fabulous roads and 
considerate drivers. With less wind and a few degrees more, we would 
even go back! On a more positive note, the Mistral was great training 
for our up-and-coming summer holiday. Watch this space!