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Hiking in Sardinia: An Unforgettable Adventure on the Italian Island
Sardinia, an island famous for its stunning beaches and vibrant resorts, is also a paradise for hikers. With its diverse landscapes and environments, Sardinia offers a plethora of hiking options, making it perfect for both beginners and expert trekkers alike. This article will guide you through some of the best hikes in Sardinia, taking you through the lush vegetation, abundant mountains, and breathtaking coastal trails that make this Italian island a hiker’s paradise.
Sardinia’s Hiking Seasons
Before we dive into the finest hiking trails, let’s talk about the best time to hike in Sardinia. Spring (late March to May) and early autumn (September to end of October) are considered the most favourable times. The weather during these periods is typically mild and the natural surroundings are in full bloom, offering hikers an optimal experience.
1. Sella del Diavolo Hike – Cagliari
The Urban Treasure
Situated close to Cagliari, the capital city of Sardinia, the Sella del Diavolo hike is a must-visit for every hiker visiting this beautiful island. This trail is relatively short and easily accessible, yet it promises an unforgettable experience with its stunning seaside views.
Beginning at the scenic Calamosca beach, you’ll get to admire a breathtaking view of the watchtower and lighthouse below. As you make your way to the top of Sella del Diavolo, the view expands to encompass the Gulf of Cagliari and Poetto Beach, the largest and most popular beach in Cagliari. This trail is classified as an easy hike making it perfect for families.
This hike can be tackled year-round. The cold winter months and the hot summer months both offer unique experiences, making this a versatile and enjoyable hike throughout the year.
2. The Roman Road to Su Cordolinu
A Walk Through Ancient Paths
If you’re a beginner at hiking or not feeling particularly fit, fret not! The Roman Road to Su Cordolinu is here for you. This hike isn’t just perfect for novices, but it is a stunning hike that everyone will enjoy.
The trail begins at Pinus Village, a quaint summer residence about an hour’s drive from Cagliari. The trail follows an ancient Roman Road along the Sardinian coastline that will take you out to Su Cordolinu island. If you wish to extend the hike, consider walking a little further to see the magnificent Spanish watchtower at Chia Beach.
Start the hike between 10 and 11 am and pack plenty of water, food, and snacks as there are no vendors, kiosks, or drinking fountains along the way.
3. Hike from Cala Cipolla to Capo Spartivento Lighthouse
Hiking from Cala Cipolla to Capo Spartivento Lighthouse is one of the best hiking in Sardinia for those who appreciate stunning coastal views. This hike, located in the southern part of Sardinia, promises a unique experience through its beautiful landscapes and historical sites.
Starting from Cala Cipolla, a small beach south of the more famous Chia, this trail follows the coastline and passes through some of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia. The trail ends at Capo Spartivento Lighthouse, built in 1856 and now converted into a luxury hotel.
4. Masua Pan di Zucchero Hike
A Journey through History
The Masua Pan di Zucchero hike is an absolute must for history lovers. This hike takes you along an ancient mining route, allowing you to explore the rich history of Sardinia while enjoying the stunning natural beauty around you.
The trail begins in Masua, a former mining village, and takes you along the coast where you can admire the impressive Pan di Zucchero cliff. Along the way, you’ll come across remnants of the mining past: old buildings, machinery, and tunnels. The trail ends at the beautiful beach of Cala Domestica, where you can relax and take a refreshing dip in the sea.
5. Is Cannoneris hike
Into the Woods
If you are a fan of lush, green forests, the Is Cannoneris hike is the perfect choice for you. Known as the “Sardinian Amazon,” Is Cannoneris is one of the largest and most important forests in Sardinia.
The hike begins in the small village of Is Cannoneris, located in the southwestern part of Sardinia. The trail takes you through a dense forest of cork oaks, holly oaks, and other Mediterranean vegetation. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some of the local wildlife, including deer, wild boar, and various bird species.
6. Sa Spendula hike
Sa Spendula is a beautiful waterfall located near the town of Villacidro, making it a perfect destination for those who love the calming sound of cascading water.
The hike to Sa Spendula begins in the town of Villacidro, located in the southwestern part of Sardinia. The trail takes you through a dense forest, and after a short walk, you’ll reach the beautiful waterfall of Sa Spendula. Here, you can take a break, enjoy the view, and maybe even take a refreshing dip in the pool at the base of the waterfall.
7. Gorropu Canyon hike
The Grand Canyon of Sardinia
The Gorropu Canyon is one of the deepest and most impressive canyons in Europe, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in geology or simply looking for a unique hiking experience.
The hike to Gorropu Canyon begins in the village of Dorgali, located in the eastern part of Sardinia. The trail takes you through a rugged and rocky terrain, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Once you reach the canyon, you can explore its depths, admire the towering rock walls, and marvel at the power of nature.
8. Cala Goloritze hike
A Hidden Gem
Cala Goloritze is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia, and the hike to reach it is just as breathtaking. Located in the northeastern part of the island, this beach is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for any beach lover.
The hike to Cala Goloritze begins in the Golgo Plateau, a beautiful and rugged area known for its unique karst formations. The trail descends steeply towards the coastline, offering stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and the azure sea. Once you reach the beach, you can relax on the white sand, swim in the crystal-clear water, and explore the nearby caves.
9. Monte Arcuentu
The Volcanic Giant
The hike to Monte Arcuentu is a unique experience that lets you explore one of the most remote and wild areas of Sardinia: the Costa Verde.
The trail to Monte Arcuentu is uncomplicated and ideal for beginner walkers. The path is steeper with some rocks section and brass plaques. This trail is also a pilgrimage destination, and the plaques mark the Via Crucis stations. The heterogeneous rocks have created an alternation of peaks and towers that, together with the large trees, contribute to make the climbing environment unique.
10. Waterfalls of Piscina Irga
The Hidden Oasis
The Waterfalls of Piscina Irga, located near the town of Villacidro, are a true hidden gem. Although there are not many waterfalls in Sardinia, this one stands out for its beauty.
The path to get to the waterfalls is a mixed path, you go from the dirt road to the rocky uphill to end with a very slippery descent. It takes no less than an hour and a half to get to the waterfall. You’ll come across two different types of trail. The red and white, with the CAI technique, which indicate the path 113 – and also the 109, whose first part is in common with the 113. The total travel time was one hour and three quarters.
Sardinia is a hiker’s paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, the island is sure to have a trail that suits your skill level and interests. So lace up your hiking boots, pack your backpack, and set out on an adventure through the stunning landscapes of Sardinia! Remember, while hiking in Sardinia, always respect the natural environment and follow the trail markers to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. Happy hiking!