Sardinia, Italy

Selvaggio Blu - Trekking Sardinia's Wild Blue Coastline

This unique route has a lot of historical context dating back to the 20th century. Many years back it was an old mule track used by Sardinian shepherds to cut oak trees for charcoal. They used the charcoal for heating back in Italy. These shepherds had to use a lot of climbing skills to chase their goats along the epic exposed coastline between the steep rock walls and many trees. On the difficult sections the shepherds would use make-shift ladders out of juniper logs (or iscala ‘e fustes), which is remarkable considering the conditions they had to face. Today, there are steel cable along these difficult sections but a rope is used to safely access these points. This is why an IFMGA Mountain guide is used to guide this trip.

As there are no huts along this trek, the trip involves camping under the star lit sky on small remote beaches and caves. A light sleeping bag and a sleeping pad are needed for this camping experience. Food arrangements are made by the guide in advanced and will be delivered by boat each evening so you’re well-nourished and hydrated for each day.

Day Itinerary

  • Saturday 13th October – Sardinia arrival. We first meet in the Albergo Santa Maria hotel in Santa Maria Navarrese. Prior to dinner there is a briefing about the trip. The first night is spent at the hotel.

  • Sunday 14th October

    From the hotel we start the trek on an easy trail to ease into the trip. The trail is in the trees above sea level and takes less than a total of two hours to get to Pedra Longa. Pedra Longa is a 150m rock spire that marks the start of the Wild Blue Trek. Whilst there, we have some time to stop for a quick swim on the Forrola beach, before starting the first real climb up the switchback leading to Cengia Giradili. At this point, we approach a wide ledge that splits Punta Giradili in half. This is famous for its unique steep multi-pitch climbing routes on its SSW face.

    The aim is to get to the Ovile Us Piggius, this is a typical sheepfold that was restored recently. A small walk to the Ginnirco sheepfold on an easy dirt road gets us to our first overnight stop.

    On average this takes about 5 hours to hike. 12km with 800m+ of Vertical height gain.

  • Monday 15th October

    This day is the most challenging and longest part of the trek. It is a bright and early start from the camping spot as we hike across difficult rocky ground between oak and wild strawberry trees until we reach the first technically challenging section of the route called the Bacu Tenadili.

    At this stage we put on our harnesses and rope ourselves together to start the ascent on the steep rocky ground. After that, the trail eases off as we approach Porto Pedrosa on the water’s edge. During lunch time there’s a chance to cool off with a relaxing swim. By this point of the trek there’s still 4 hours walking time until we reach the night stop.

    The terrain gets easier for the rest of the day but it’s still a long walk. However, it’s worth it for the amazing views down to the water from the steep cliffs. More spectacular views are open to see from Punta Salinas, with great scenery of one of the most famous rock spires in Sardinia; Guglia di Golorize. After that there’s only one more hour of descent to go before we reach our overnight stop in Cala Goloritze, a stunning beach, which has also been a UNESCO World Heritage since 1996.

    Dinner will arrive by boat along with supplies for the following day.

    Nine hours hiking, 17Km, 800m+ and 1100 – vertical gain.

  • Tuesday 16th October

    Today’s climb is the Su Ledere ‘e Goloritz route. We set off on the route form the beach up a steep scree slope until we reach a rope section, set up by experienced guides, on a white rock slab over hanging the beach of Goloritze. Next up we move onto the hanging tree spot called “The Springs”. After this point, we use some fixed ropes to get across three steep exposed landslides until we reach the incredible Golden Cave 100m above the sea. This is the rocky spur that divides Goloritze from the forest of Ispuligi.

    From this section we have some short section of Via Ferrata that were fixed on in 2014 to pass a short but steep part of the route.  After this we then go onto a wide trail along the hillside that was opened by the charcoal workers until we finally reach Cala Mariolu. Of all the beaches on the Ogliastra coast this is considered one of the most beautiful.

    Five hours, 6km, 300m+ 300 – vertical

  • Wednesday 17th October

    The day starts with a steep section that’s aided by rope, from the Cala Mariolu beach, up a rugged couloir that’s 100m uphill. The couloir was named Su Acchissolu ‘as Crasbas by the locals. The path is actually used by goats as well to get to the beach when they need to cool off from the heat.

    From there we use a narrow track to reach safer terrain until we re-join the original Wild Blue Trek Route. We next reach our first abseil of four today! As we do this we go through some spectacular caves above the sea to reach Bacu Mudaloru. We take a break here for lunch. In the afternoon we go through some vegetation, past some wild exposed sport and climb through some small holes in the rock. The Grotto del Fico is our last abseil destination which is a 20m cave above sea level. This is where we set up camp for the night.

    Six to seven hours, 9km, 600m +600 – vertical gain.

  • Thursday 18th October

    Our last day of trekking starts with us re-joining the original Wild Blue Trek route by hiking up the Bacu Su Feliau. From there we reach the mule tracks coming from the Ololbizzi sheepfolds. From there on we can enjoy a beautiful panoramic hike to the Ovile Piddi gorge followed by two long abseils that will take us down to the woods above the Cala Birala beach.

    Next up is some easy walking through to the Oronnoro forest and then Plummare before we use steel chains to climb over two rock slabs. The Cala Sisine beach is a 10 minute hike and is a chance to have one last swim and a picnic for lunch. Usually when the food comes out a family of wild pigs pay a small visit!

    A 45 minute boat ride takes us back to Santa Maria Navarrese where we can enjoy looking at the route we have conquered from the sea. We return to the hotel for a well-earned relaxing shower and a celebration dinner.

    Six to seven hours, 14Km, 500m+ 500- vertical gain.

  • Friday 19th October

    Enjoy the sight of Sardinia and have a free day to relax after a long trek.

    One last night in the hotel.

  • Saturday 20th October

    We say goodbye to Sardinia! Transfer back to the airport for onward travel.

The price includes all guide fees and expenses for 5 trekking days, 3 nights 3* hotel accommodation on twin rooms sharing half board, 4 nights wild camping, delivery of food and water provisions each day, boat transfer back to Santa Maria Navarrese and the hire of the technical equipment if needed.

The price does not include flights to and from Sardinia, airport transfers to and from the hotel in Santa Maria Navarrese.  A cash payment needs to be made on arrival to our guide of 40-50€  for the purchase of all food provisions for the wild camping nights, this food will supply for breakfast, lunches, and dinners with water and other drinks available on request.  

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    • 50L backpack
    • Mid-weight sleeping bag (comfort temperature 5-10 Deg C), please ensure you bring a modern, lightweight, packable sleeping bag, not an old heavyweight one that will fill your rucksack in one go!
    • Sleeping pad (the closed-cell foam mattresses are enough, but if you’re looking for something more comfortable and still super light we recommend the NeoAir Xlite by Thermarest, which takes very little room inside your pack)
    • Climbing harness, a lightweight one that you might use for ski touring is more than suitable.  Please bring 2 big screw gate carabiners of your own.  The guide will provide any other items of climbing kit needed to each person.
    • Head Torch and spear batteries 
    • Mug, plate, and cutlery; should be lightweight and easily packable in your rucksack, Sea to Summit offer a great rage
    • Comfortable hiking/approach shoes with Vibram Sole, better if low ankle. You don’t need proper mountain boots (sandals or flip-flops for the night are useful but not compulsory)
    • Light Gore-Tex jacket
    • Light down jacket
    • Light-weight fleece 
    • 3 t-shirts we recommend a light color (not black) to help keep cool in hot weather  
    • Long hiking trousers
    • Shorts 
    • Underwear and socks – 3 pairs
    • Swimsuit
    • Buff or headband - good idea to bring one for sun protection 
    • Sun hat (a MUST!), beanie, sun lotion and sunglasses
    • Insects repellent and anti-itch cream
    • Light beach towel
    • 2 water flasks, 1L each NO water bladders!
    • Trekking poles - lightweight and that fold into 3 so they are packable e.g. Black Diamond Distance Series
    • Spare battery for charging the phone (every night, once at the beach, there’s phone service. A 10000mAh power bank is more than enough)
Selvaggio_Blu_coastline.jpg

Sardinia

Sardinia is the largest Italian Island in the Mediterranean, it's well known for its rocky coastline, rugged landscapes, mountainous interior and sandy beaches.  It's the location for our Selvaggio Blu, the Wild Blue Trek, along the remote and wild East Coast.

April and October are the best times to do this trip as its warm enough to walk mainly in shorts and a t-shirt but not the heat of the summer.  Average temperatures at this time of the year are between 18 - 23 degrees Celcius. 

  • It is a condition of booking that you are insured for your chosen activity and the cover must include medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, third party risks and rescue (including helicopter rescue). You are strongly advised also to take out cover against cancellation and curtailment.

    For UK residents Ski Club Travel Insurance may be a suitable option.

    For more details and to purchase a policy online visit http://www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk/
    If you need assistance arranging your personal insurance please let us know.
     

  • There are direct flights to Sardinia's Cagliari Airport (CAG) in the south of the island from London Stanstead with EasyJet and RyanAir.

    Travel time to Santa Maria Navarrese by road from here is 2 hours.

    RyanAir also run flights to Alghero Airport in Sardinia (AHO) daily.  This airport is in the NorthWest of the island, travel time by road is 2 hours 45 minutes.

    There are flights to Olbia Airport in the NorthEast of the island (OLB) direct from Manchester, London Gatwick, London Luton and Bristol all with EasyJet.  Travel time to Santa Maria Navarrese by road from here is 2 hours 40 minutes. 

    We suggest you aim to arrive at either Cagliari or Olbia airports and we can assist with transfer arrangements from there for you or as a group.  It's also possible to take a taxi for around 220€ per car.  There is a public bus service from Cagliari airport which will take around 4 hours to reach Santa Maria Navarrese.  Car hire is also an option from any airport.

  • We work with an Italian IFMGA Mountain Guide who has guided this route and trip many times before, he speaks excellent English.  The guide will provide all group safety equipment needed and arrange the food for the trekking days along with the boat delivery each afternoon. 

     

  • We guide this trip on a maximum of 1:6, we can run the weeks with up to 12 people and 2 guides.
  • Anyone looking to do this trek must fully understand the technical nature of the terrain and the requirement to be able to walk safely along narrow, exposed paths as well as scramble and move on Via Ferrate sections with no bother. You will be required to abseil in a few instances during the trip so a head for heights, sure-footedness and the ability to hike with a reasonably heavy rucksack on for anything from 4-8 hrs per day is essential. Anyone unsure of their level of experience and fitness should contact our sales team to discuss the requirements.
  • We stay in the comfortable Hotel Santa Maria in the town of Santa Maria Navarrese in the east of the island.  The hotel has spacious, comfortable rooms which either overlook their courtyard or garden, twins, double and rooms on single occupancy (for a supplement) are available.

    The hotel restaurant has a beautiful outside eating space where they serve wonderful local cuisine, they also have a great wine cellar! 

    The hotel is airconditioned, has a small fitness center and beautiful gardens in which you can relax. There is wi-fi throughout the hotel. 

    You can view more details on the hotel here http://www.albergosantamaria.it/en/

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