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Sardinia: Secret and Serene

Sardinia (Sardegna in Italian) is Europe’s best kept secret. Wild, unspoiled and uncrowded, it has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, gorgeous mountainous landscapes and scenic villages. Sardinia also has the world’s most important archeological sites. The preserved ruins of past civilizations dot the landscape the way strip malls do in other places. The Sardi people are unique, friendly and happy to have you there, and after meeting them you will always want to return.

On this active tour of Sardinia we will visit fascinating archeological sites from the Bronze age, the Roman era and even the Neolithic age set in serene, open landscapes; we will relax and swim on several beautiful beaches with the most crystal clear blue water you’ve ever seen, take a boat excursion to hidden sandy coves and sea caves (also a wondrously decorated land cave), explore the highlights of Cagliari including craft breweries, visit picturesque villages and wild parklands, take a wine tour and a cooking class, visit an outdoor living museum of Sardinian traditional life and costume, learn to make pecorino cheese which you will take with you, and enjoy fresh and unique local cuisine everywhere we go! No long drives, but the most incredibly scenic drives imaginable. A small luxury coach and Sardinian driver will provide our transportation.

Map of Sardinia Tour

September 21 – October 2, 2022


Per Person + Air Based on Double Occupancy
All prices in US dollars.  Payment in other currencies possible – contact us.

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Day 1: Welcome to Sardinia!

This evening we will meet at our hotel on a pedestrian street in the town center of Cagliari, then take an evening walking tour through Cagliari’s medieval streets and relax with refreshments and a view of the city at a famous outdoor bar in the ancient Castello district. 
Sleep in Cagliari (3 nights) / Walking: Moderate, some hills
Meals: Light dinner/drinks

Day 2: Pink Flamingos

In the morning we visit a local market where unique foods can be sampled, take a tour of one of Cagliari’s underground crypts and gorgeous cathedrals, and stroll through one of Italy’s top gardens set amongst Roman ruins. We enjoy some nice craft beers and a delicious lunch, followed by an afternoon trip to a gorgeous beach with sand dunes and a lagoon full of pink flamingos. This evening we will enjoy dinner at one of the locals’ favourite seafood restaurants in Cagliari.
Sleep in Cagliari / Walking: moderate, some hills / Bus: 1.5hrs
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Wild Horses

In the morning we take a guided tour at the fascinating Nuraghe complex in Barumini, ruins from the Bronze age Nuragic civilization. We have lunch at a great restaurant there before a breathtaking drive up the mountainside to the wildlife park Giara di Gesturi, where we take a self-paced walk in search of the wild horses that roam freely there grazing the fields of margarita flowers. We stop in at a cathedral in a quaint village nearby and then return to Cagliari to visit the Archeological Museum which will have great significance after visiting Su Nuraxi Barumini. We end the day at Cagliari’s greatest brew pub.
Sleep in Cagliari / Bus: 2 hours / Walking: Moderate
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Fresh Catch

Today we leave Cagliari and stop in the scenic village of Sardara, visiting an ancient site there, on the way to the ruins of the Roman village of Tharros on the tip of a scenic peninsula. We will have an adventurous lunch at a famous fishery-restaurant where you are served whatever scrumptious creations they make that day with the fish and seafood they have caught that morning. Sardinians have been catching fish and seafood on the little inlet there for millenia. After checking into our hotel in Oristano near its gorgeous cathedral complex, we will head out for an afternoon at a beach with the famous white quartz “rice sand”.  Dinner on your own this evening, if you’re still hungry after that lunch.
Sleep in Oristano (1 night) / Bus: 3 hours / Walking: Light
Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5: Ancient Mysteries

Today we visit a visit a very sacred and mysterious ancient site and an impressive nuraghe on our way to Bosa. Bosa is a waterfront hillside town where you’ll have the option of browsing the shops, relaxing by the water, and/or joining our scenic hike to the castle at the top and its 12th century Church of San Giovanni with some strangely amusing frescoes, and incredible views from the ramparts.  We’ll reconvene in the evening for dinner.
Sleep in Bosa / Walking: Moderate to Strenuous (your choice) / Bus 1.5 hours
Meals provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6: Country Cooking

In the morning we venture the scenic coastal mountainside road from Bosa to the Catalonian-influenced seaside town of Alghero. We will take a cooking class at a country casa and enjoy our lunch there with local wine, after which we return to Alghero, a great place for shopping or going to the beach. Dinner on your own in Alghero.
Sleep in Alghero (2 nights) / Bus: 2 hours / Walking: Light
Meals provided:  Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7: The Wine Region

In the morning we visit an incredible sea cave, which we reach by descending a stone staircase carved into the seaside cliffs. It’s a good thing that is before our wine tour that day!  We will have tastings and local snacks at a few great wineries and a walking tour through a lovely vineyard in Sardinia’s prime wine region. You may want to bring some bottles home. Dinner on your own in Alghero.
Sleep in Alghero / Walking: Short but steep! / Bus: 2.5 hours
Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8: Agriturismo

Today we return on the scenic coastal road to Bosa, taking a break at the marina there before heading to the east coast. We stop in Dorgali for lunch then take a walking tour in an incredible cave in the karst landscape with the tallest column formation known, and visit a nearby outdoor “living museum” where actors dress in traditional Sardi costume and demonstrate traditional life and culture. Afterwards we arrive at our hill-country farm stay where we have a tasting feast of completely locally produced foods and wine.
Sleep in Agriturismo near Dorgali / Walking: Moderate / Bus: 2.5 hours
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Ocean Adventure

Driving through a hole in the mountain, a panoramic view of the Gulf of Orsei suddenly appears, and we wind down the mountainside to Cala Gonone. From there we embark on a boat tour to several remote coves unreachable by road and have a guided tour through an enormous sea cave with colourful stalagmites and stalactites and Neolithic wall carvings. Lunch will be provided on the boat tour. That evening we return to our country farm casa.
Sleep in Agriturismo near Dorgali / Walking: Light / Bus: .5 hours
Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Highway in the Sky

Late morning, we drive the “highway in the sky” which traverses a mountainside with sweeping spectacular views, passing through the cliff-hanging town of Baunei and descending into Santa Navarrese. We stay next to the beach and a fantastic Sardinian restaurant. Optional boat excursion from Santa Navarrese to the Pools of Venus.
Sleep in Santa Navarrese / Walking: Light / Bus: 1.5 hours
Meals provided: Breakfast

Day 11: Wine and Cheese

In the morning we drive to the top of the mountains to find the island’s most prominent Neolithic site, Pranu Matteddu, built by the ancestors of the people who built Stonehenge. We will have a fascinating guided tour there. In the afternoon our destination is Dolianova where we will have a guided tasting of Sardinian cheeses and wines followed by making pecorino cheese with your own hands, after which we return to Cagliari.
Sleep in Cagliari / Walking: Light / Bus: 3.5 hours
Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 12: Arrivederci!

The tour is over after breakfast.  Whether you are staying on in Sardinia, continuing your travels elsewhere in Europe, or heading home, we wish you well!  Cagliari’s airport is easily reached by transit or cab.
Meals provided: Breakfast

The Fine Print – What You Get:

Not so much fine print: 
We believe in up front pricing, not a hard-to-read long list of extra costs.
Group Size: We run small group tours, less than half the size of a normal big bus tour. Our average group size is 12 travellers, plus a tour director and a driver.
Transportation: Transportation is by chartered coach. Transportation to and from airport is your responsibility. Cagliari is well served by transit and cab connections to the airport.
Activity level:  This tour is suitable to people with a basic fitness level. You will need to carry your own bags, climb hotel stairs, and keep a leisurely to moderate pace on city walking tours. This trip is suitable for adults. It is not suitable for young children.
Accommodations: We choose generally smaller, family-run hotels, in the 3-4 star category, that are close to the action, rather than large impersonal hotels in some industrial park outside of town. All rooms have private ensuite bathrooms with shower or bathtub. Most rooms are doubles.

  • Solo travelers: You may choose to pay extra for one of the limited number of single private rooms, or you can room with another solo traveler in the group of the same gender and skip the extra fee.  See the registration form for specific prices.
  • Couples: Couples will usually share a room with one double or queen bed (large King beds are not common in Europe).
  • Two friends traveling together: Two friends or siblings traveling together will be roomed together with two beds in a twin room. Note: some European twin beds share one headboard but they will always have separate sheets.
  • Triple room: A typical triple room will be one double bed and one single bed.

Sightseeing tours and attractions: This is the main reason you are in Sardinia, and we understand this! Led by your tour director, and local guides when appropriate. Entrance fees to all attractions are included. Most tour companies sell many of their attractions as expensive “optional excursions” which add up really quickly. Not us.

Meals: Breakfasts are always included. Note that because we stay in characteristic Sardinian hotels, breakfasts will reflect local preferences . Many lunches/dinners are on us – the rest are up to you. See itinerary for breakdown.

Gratuities: Unlike most tour companies who ask you to pay a “mandatory” tip to the driver and guide, with us tipping is not required it’s completely up to you!

Book Your Sardinia Tour Now!