Silence amplifies the sounds of nature. The breeze cools the rhythmic pace. Wonderful landscapes flow by on easy roads. The mild climate goes hand in hand with discovering lands rich in history and culture and getting to know the communities that inhabit them. Quality facilities welcome you at the end of a day of riding. Authentic and delicious dishes recharge you so you’re ready for the next day. Sardinia has all the elements that a cyclist looks for in a holiday. Routes of varying difficulty offer a wide range of choices, from beginners to experienced cyclists. Approximately 2,700 kilometres of roads, mostly provincial, municipal and urban roads, cycle paths and disused railways will make up the 52 routes of the Sardinian Cycle Network, which will pass through one third of Sardinian municipalities, including over 700 points of historical and natural interest.
The itinerary along the northern coast can start from either the port of Porto Torres or Fertilia, Alghero airport. There are many attractions in the charming 'capital' of the Riviera del Corallo ('Coral Riviera'), known as Barceloneta because of its indelible Catalan ancestry: from the fortifications to the historic centre, from the beaches (Lido, Bombarde, Lazzaretto and Mugoni) to the Porto Conte-Capo Caccia park, dotted with cycle routes, as well as the neighbouring lakes of Baratz and Porto Ferro (in the Sassari area). Whether you arrive by boat or plane, a stop in Stintino is a must, where the cycle path leads to La Pelosa, a picture-postcard beach. Also not to be missed is an outing to the Asinara National Park, whose themed cycle paths guide visitors in the discovery of the island's environment and history. From Stintino, along the Nurra plain, you will arrive at Porto Torres. Thirty kilometres link the town, rich in Roman vestiges and famous for the basilica of San Gavino, to Castelsardo: the route skirts Platamona and Marina di Sorso, along the straight roads of provincial road 81 and state road 200. Then a succession of bends and undulations follow the jagged cliffs. The hamlet of Lu Bagnu is a prelude to the village of Castelsardo, perched on a rock.
The northern coastline runs along provincial road 90. First stop in Valledoria, which you can visit along a circular cycle route. Then the route becomes more hilly. The next stops are Badesi and the splendid Costa Paradiso, in the area around Trinità d'Agultu and Vignola, with jewel-like beaches such as Li Cossi. From here you will soon reach the village and coastline of Isola Rossa. A long straight road leads to Rena Majore, a sandy stretch in the Aglientu area, the perfect place for surfers, protected by a pine forest. The town of Santa Teresa Gallura, perched on the island's northernmost promontory, will start to appear. A visit to Capo Testa and Rena Bianca should not be missed. Santa Teresa and Palau, famous for its Bear Rock, are separated by 25 kilometres of breathtaking scenery overlooking the Maddalena Archipelago Park. From the port of Palau, you can set off to explore by bike: in an hour or so, you'll be riding through La Maddalena, while in the 'little sister' Caprera, linked by an isthmus, you'll be cycling through an unspoilt area devoid of buildings, apart from the Garibaldi Compendium, one of the most visited museums in Sardinia.
It only takes a few minutes in the saddle to get from Palau to Arzachena, where the windswept granite landscape will surprise you. Enjoy a trip to the Costa Smeralda (‘Emerald Coast’). You will cycle through the village of Cannigione and the tourist resort of Baja Sardinia, arriving at the inlet of Porto Cervo, a short distance from beautiful beaches such as Cala Granu and Capriccioli. From the dirt road you can enjoy the Gallurese countryside, fragrant with Mediterranean maquis, while the tarmac road - partly coinciding with the SS125 - runs through granite, cork and holm oaks. The itinerary continues over plateaus and unforgettable views. A challenging climb leads to the village of San Pantaleo. A narrow paved path leads to Razza di Juncu, then joins a wider dirt road that runs alongside Liscia Ruja. Finally, you’ll get to the smooth tarmac of Provincial Road 160 that runs alongside the Grande Pevero golf course. From the stations of Palau and Arzachena you can take a 'bici più Trenino Verde' (bike plus Green Train) tour to Tempio Pausania, in the heart of Gallura, where granite relief and stazzi (rural settlements) coexist in harmony. The route winds its way through the vineyards of the Arzachena countryside, passing Sant Antonio di Gallura, which appears like a mirage among the bends, on top of a hill.
The terminus of the coastal route is approaching. From Arzachena there are just 20 kilometres of state road 125 to Olbia, passing Porto Rotondo and Golfo Aranci and discovering a beautiful coastline, where the five beaches, Cala Sabina, Capo Figari, Cala Moresca, the Spiaggia Bianca and sos Aranzos, are worth a visit. Then into the main city of the north-east: don't miss the archaeological museum and the basilica of San Simplicio. A smooth stretch through the city connects the port, railway station and airport. From here you can set out to discover the Gallura hinterland. Head for Berchidda, the hub of vermentino wine and jazz, on the slopes of the Limbara massif. You will pass through Monti and follow the disused railway line to Calangianus, among cork oaks and bizarrely shaped granite rocks. Another five kilometres and you'll be in Tempio, perched more than 500 metres above sea level, where singer Fabrizio De Andrè once lived. After a break at its regenerating springs, other places in the heart of Gallura await you, such as Aggius, a village with centuries-old traditions, and Valle della Luna, a magical uninhabited place with rocks in human and animal forms.