Raid Sardinia (Cagliari to Alghero)


  • Raid Sardinia Challenge: A spectacular route with quiet roads, wild & unspoilt mountainous heartland, and stunning coastlines
  • 6 days on the bike: 930km and 16,100m ascent, av. 155 km & 2500-3000m ascent/day
  • Climbs including the island’s top peaks of Monte Bruncu Spina (1557 m), Monte Limbara (1338 m), and the breath-taking coastal views en route to Passo di Genna Silana (1008 m) and Cala Gonone
  • Comfortable and friendly 3* and 4* hotels with delicious Sardinian cuisine
  • All evening meals & wine included
  • 2 customised support vans with attentive, proactive and fun guides
  • Experienced and passionate service from Marmot Tours

Days on the bike

6 days

I've looked around at a lot of tours, and I don't think any tour comes even close to the value you deliver.  I definitely plan to be back again and do another tour, and hopefully bring some other Canadians over!

Ryan Lutz


The island of Sardinia is a perfect setting for a Raid Challenge. Not only is it incredibly easy on the eye, with a network of quiet roads allowing us to probe the remotest areas of the island but it also has a great professional cycling history.  It’s the birthplace of Astana’s Fabio Aru winner of the Vuelta a Espana 2015, so evidently served him well as a training ground, plus was a haunt for professional cyclists in the 1960’s and 70’s; Eddy Merckx won in the Giro di Sardegna a number of times.

Sardinia features beautiful mountain scenery, dramatic countryside, fantastic weather conditions, white sandy beaches and vast, sparsely populated mountainous areas with almost traffic-free roads. Its unspoilt rugged and wild heartland and stunning coastal roads makes the perfect location for a challenging Raid route created for our Marmot Tours clients.

We have designed a challenging route starting on the SE Coast near Cagliari and taking you on to discover the most varied Mediterranean landscapes, touching on all the highest mountains of the island.  From the rocky peaks and deep canyons of the karstic formations of Ogliastra and Supramonte in the Gennargentu Massif, to the huge granite boulders of Monte Ortobene and Monte Limbara, you will traverse ancient archeological sites, pasture lands and quiet mountain villages in the island’s wild and solitary interior before reaching the stunning West coastal road near Alghero and finishing in Bosa Marina.

In case you’re wondering “What’s the difference between Sardinia and Corsica?” (something we’re often asked), we posted a blog to answer this question (in two parts, in fact – there was a lot to say!). It’s a great read and we hope it helps you decide which of these Mediterranean isles is best for you and your two wheels. You can read Part I & Part II by following these links.

We also wrote a blog on Raids (21/03/19) which gives a thorough run down on the history and format of a Raid – you can check it out here.

For more information on the holiday please see our Trip Notes and for the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check

Departure Dates & Prices

Single Room Supplement
28th Sep - 5th Oct
Single Room Sup. £280.00

We are pleased to offer some tempting discounts on the basic trip cost (not including extras such as single rooms or bike hire):

  • Book & pay your deposit more than 6 months in advance of the start of your holiday for our 5% Early Bookers discount
  • Be rewarded for your loyalty by receiving a 10% discount from your 3rd Marmot trip onwards
  • Get a group of 10+ people together for a 10% Group discount

Please note that there is a maximum 10% discount on any holiday.



Day 0: Travel out

We offer included airport transfers at scheduled times from Cagliari Airport (CAG) in the south of the island to our 4* start hotel with swimming pool and private beach, just 30mins east of Cagliari.

Full travel advice and airport transfer timings (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.

Meet your guides, assemble bikes, enjoy the hotel facilities, eat a delicious dinner and get ready for the start of your Raid!

Day 1: Cagliari to Sadali (160km with 2000m ascent)

Start your Raid by undulating around the stunning SE coast road to Villasimius, your first control spot and a good place for a coffee. From here, meander through a rugged landscape dotted with olive & eucalyptus trees. After 90km you follow the river Flumendosa, into the mountains  through constantly changing and spectacular scenery. Your destination is the mountain settlement of Sadali, where Veronica and Battista offer you a warm welcome and you can enjoy incredible views from the terrace.

[Route Profile]

Day 2: Sadali to Lago di Gusana (144km with 3000m ascent)

As the stats suggest, today you explore the mountainous interior of the Western side of the Gennargentu National Park. Expect empty roads with good surfaces, huge views and remote villages. It is a challenging ride, taking in the Válico sa Casa (1042m) and the Válico S’Isca de sa Mela (920m) as well as the Arcu de Tascussi (1245m) with its welcome café. The main event of the day is  the climb up to the refuge of Bruncu Spina (1570m) on the highest surfaced road on the island. From here it is down hill all the way to your 4* hotel with swimming pool on the shore of the Lagi Di Gúsana.

[Route Profile]


Day 3: Cala Gonone (138km with 2300m ascent)

We start the day by climbing gently into the heart of the mountains on the ‘old road’ to Arcu Correboi (1246m). This lines you up nicely for a fantastic descent over the Válico Strisaili (893m) and down to the coastal plain. It’s a Raid so you don’t linger for too long on the flat before joining the magnificent Orientale Sarda road, built in the 1800’s and a feat of engineering. It climbs up to the Passo di Genna Silana (1008m).

Our destination is the hotel Bue Marino in Cala Gonone; a quiet coastal village once only accessible by sea. Luckily for you they bored a hole in the mountain and laid a fantastic series of hairpins guaranteed to deliver you to the coast with a smile on your face.

[Route Profile]

Day 4: Cala Gonone to Budduso (136km with 2400m ascent)

Reacquainte yourself with the fantastic hairpins of yesterday evening, leaving the costal melais of Cala Gonone behind you as you climb. From here you undulate down onto the costal plains that lead you to Siniscola, nestled at the foot of Monte Albo (820m); a massive white limestone ridge aka todays ‘nemesis’!

Ascend, with both mountain and sea views before  turning inland once again, ticking off the final few kms to the restaurant just over the summit.

Suitably fed and watered, meander with a downhill bias into the picturesque village of Bitti, famous for its Tenores (and nothing to do with Little Britain!), before climbing up into the cork plantations and along to our hotel.

[Route Profile]

Day 5: Budduso to Pattada (158km with 3000m ascent)

Monte Limbara (1338m), the highest point of the island, dominates the Northern end of Sardinia.  With 45 hairpins and gradients of up to 15%, this is, without doubt the toughest climb on the island, but the views are breathtaking and it is well worth the effort! Surrounding you are forests of cork oak trees and a rough rocky granite landscape – all with its unique rural beauty.

Unbelievably you end today just 10 km from where you started in a 3* hotel on the edge of the town of Pattada, known for its production of Sardinian knives (resolzas), though perhaps there are more suitable souvenirs to fly home with…

[Route Profile]

Day 6: Pattada to Bosa (158km with 2300m ascent)

Today you head west to the coast, but there are still a few cheeky climbs to be done before the end is in sight!  The Passo Masiénnera (986m) is fabulous, but the Passo b’Uccaidu (1045m) is sure to test the legs a bit.

The forest gives way to rolling farmland as we undulate through this very rural part of the island a high point, 500m above the coast road. You will be pleased to hear that the only way from here is down and the labyrinth of hairpins that awaits you is one of the most memorable delights of the trip.  The fun hasn’t finished yet though as you still have a 36km stretch of road described by Cyclist Magazine in Sept 2015 as “a rollercoaster, cresting rugged cliffs and skirting remote coves”.  You end your tour in the delightful town of Alghero, a historic and lively fishing town, with all the facilities to ensure a well-deserved celebration.

[Route Profile]

Day 7: Travel back

All good things must come to an end.  We drop you back to Cagliari Airport (transfer of 2hrs 45mins) with memories of a fabulous holiday.

Full travel advice and airport transfer timings (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.