The mountains in northern Sardinia pre-date the Alps and Apennines and offer some gentle walking amongst some of the most remote scenery in Western Europe.
See what's planned
- Enjoy a variety of strolls on secret Sardinian footpaths and islands.
- Discover off the beaten track trails with our knowledgeable local walking guide, Claudio.
- Relax into the laidback pace of life at our harbourside hotel.
The coast of northeast Sardinia, including the Costa Smeralda (the Emerald Coast) ranks amongst the most beautiful stretches of coastline in Europe. Each twist and turn of the coast reveals superb beaches, turquoise seas and intriguing rocky countryside.
Until recently much of Sardinia, the second largest Mediterranean island, was used for both the Italian and American military. As a result, it has not yet been developed with the intense seaside resorts seen in most of Europe’s holiday hot spots. Now the armed forces have left we have the opportunity of walking along coastlines that are still as nature intended and into areas of low mountains – just some 500 metres in height – but with rock structures and trails that few other hikers will either follow or even know about.
This holiday has been designed by working closely with our passionate local guide Claudio who, along with your RWH leader, will be leading our walks. Claudio knows the area intimately – not just the paths unmarked on the ground or on any map, but the history of the area, the flora and fauna.
Those who choose to go in the spring will be stunned by the beautiful flowers. Some of the walks will head into the hills near Claudio’s home in San Pantaleo, where we will also visit the famous Thursday market. Some will go along the coast, some wind their way through the hills to the coast. We walk along paths lined with tamarisk, myrtle, rockrose and other plants and shrubs characteristic of the Mediterranean ‘macchia’. Inland and higher up the rocks have been beaten by wind and rain into strange shapes. We also take the ferry across to the island of La Maddalena, then continue across the causeway to the island of Caprera where Giuseppe Garibaldi spent the last 18 years of his life.
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect place to retire to!
- Return flights from Gatwick to Olbia (Charter or Easyjet)
- Airport transfers
- En suite accommodation with breakfast
- Dinners taken in local restaurants
- English speaking local walking guide
- All local transport costs.
What's not included?
- Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
- Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary tips
- Optional excursions
- Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)
This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
Our bottom line is happy travellers, and to that end we trust our tour leaders to use the itinerary below as a basis for providing you with a great holiday. We expect our leaders to make adjustments to the itinerary if the weather, group ability or other local conditions make that necessary. There are normally more options available to our leaders than those listed below and one or more of these options may well be chosen. All distances, heights & timings are approximate.
Welcome to Sardinia
Hotel del Porto
We fly into Olbia and transfer 45 minutes to our comfortable hotel on the coast in Cannigione. Depending on arrival time we take a walk through the town to orientate ourselves. Just 500m from the hotel is a welcoming sandy bay for those who enjoy swimming. Then immediately opposite the hotel is a marina where leisurely walks can be taken to wander around the boats and enjoy views out to sea.
On our first evening and each following evening we eat either at our hotel, the Hotel del Porto, or at local restaurants when we have the chance of meeting with local people. All our breakfasts are of Italian style and taken at the hotel where there is an indoor eating area and outside seating offering marina views.
Golfo Aranci to Capo Figari
Today we meet our local guide, Claudio, who will accompany us on all our walks. A forty-minute coach ride brings us to Golfo Aranci. From here a coastal track leads to a viewpoint at Capo Figari to overlook the scenery and cliffs of the peninsula. The trail passes the “English Cemetery” where a young British seaman is buried along with other seamen from wrecked ships. Leading on from this nostalgic site we take a steady hill path up to a semaphore station where the first microwave trials were undertaken. Returning down to the coast there is a sandy cove where we can take a swim and relax with our picnic lunches before returning to the hotel.
San Pantaleo to Razza di Giunco
Hotel del Porto
Day three explores the most intriguing of the granite mountain areas close to the nearby village of San Pantaleo. Claudio walks us along tree-lined trails – including cork oaks – past mesmerising rocky outcrops and then down to the coast. Here there is the chance for a swim and a break to soak up la dolce vita at a beachside café.
Pitrizza, Porto Cervo & the Costa Smeralda
Hotel del Porto
Today Claudio gives us an insider’s view of the coastal playground of the world’s richest people at Porto Cervo on the “Emerald Coast”. Here there are luxury yachts in the marina, grand dwellings and pleasurable coastal walks. Our route follows inland tracks and walks to tiny coves and beaches.
Hotel del Porto
Your Ramblers Walking Holidays leader will provide advice about options for the day. You can visit a nearby archaeological site, visit the town of Olbia, take a cruise boat trip around the neighbouring islands, wander around Cannigione and enjoy the beaches or take a coastal walk with the tour leader.
San Pantaleo Rocks
Hotel del Porto
No tour is complete without an opportunity to see regional produce and crafts. So, for day six we visit our local guide Claudio’s village of San Pantaleo for the Thursday market. Following this our walk starts with a tree-lined trail to reach rocky outcrops at 500m where there are panoramic views of Sardinia’s highest mountains, the splendid coast with its islands, the countryside and the small towns of Arzachena, Cannigone (where we stay) and down to San Pantaleo. After our walk we return to San Pantaleo to view the village and take refreshments in a local café.
We visit the market in San Pantaleo (il mercatino as it is known locally), where you can buy everything from upmarket pottery to rustic cheeses brought down from the hills. We then head east, walking the hidden trails to one of the beaches on the Costa Smeralda, once more passing a through a landscape of large rocks, cork oaks and rural houses.
The Maddalena Islands
Hotel del Porto
We have saved the best until last, with a visit to the Maddalena islands. Following a ferry crossing from the mainland to the town of La Maddalena we continue by bus to the neighbouring island of Caprera, the island to which Giuseppe Garibaldi retired. Here we visit Fort Arbuticci with an exhibition of Garibaldi’s life, then continue along paths with views overlooking the coast. At the sandy cove of Cala Caprarese there is the chance to swim in the emerald waters. Leaving the cove our trail leads through a wooded area before taking transport back to La Maddalena where we enjoy a café refreshment stop and a chance to view local products – including skilfully crafted items made from cork – in the town’s shops.
Arrivederci... or rather Adiosu! in the local Sardo language. Time to wave goodbye to northern Sardinia as we return to Olbia for our flight back to the UK.
Walks & Excursions
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator.
We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by
us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price,
non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or
additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Currency in Italy
The currency in Italy is the Euro.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Tour Leaders & Local Guides
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Local guides add a lot of value to a holiday. Our walking guide, Claudio, is very experienced on the walking trails of this area and can add local information on the villages, markets and towns of the region. Having both a local guide and a RWH group leader, you will be in good hands.
Your Travel Details
We fly from London Gatwick to Olbia with Easyjet or by charter flight. The transfer from the airport to our hotel takes approximately 1 hour. Local walks transport while in Sardinia will be by hired transport and boat.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Regional Flights (R3). We offer regional flight options on this holiday and there will be one or two transfer vehicles between the airport and hotel to minimise any waiting time at the overseas airport on the outward or return journeys.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
Passports and Visas
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport.
Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents
and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to
ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply
with, such requirements.
General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel
and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday cost. We will have breakfast at our hotel, and plan to eat at local restaurants in the evenings, but may also eat at the hotel's restaurant, which specialises in sea-food.
Footwear & Kit List
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
- Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
- Lightweight quick-drying trousers
- Walking T-shirt/shirts
- Walking socks
- Fleece or jumper
- Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
- Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
- Swimwear (if appropriate)
- Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
- Day sack liner
- Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
- Basic first aid kit
- Walking poles (should you find them useful)
- Sit mat
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
- Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
- Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
- Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
- Holiday money
- Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
- Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
- Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
- Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
- Your travel insurance details
- Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
- Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
- A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
- Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about
Electricity in Italy
Electricity in Italy is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is
filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter
such as a Water-to-go bottle available from
Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go
for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website
at www.watertogo.eu and
enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the
discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us
to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information
Maps, Guidebooks & More
We suggest the following books may help you in planning your holiday:
Lonely Planet: Sardinia
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Sardinia
The Rough Guide to Sardinia
Sunflower Guides: Sardinia Car Tours & Walks
The Sardegna Turismo website at www.sardegnaturismo.it/en can also offer practical and useful tips.
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:
Find out more
Visas and Passports
No Visa Required
Avg. Rain: 18mm
Avg. Rain: 14mm
Avg. Rain: 23mm
Avg. Rain: 26mm
Avg. Rain: 19mm
Avg. Rain: 9mm
Avg. Rain: 2mm
Avg. Rain: 3mm
Avg. Rain: 24mm
Avg. Rain: 41mm
Avg. Rain: 39mm
Avg. Rain: 38mm
Staying Healthy On Holiday
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility
to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on,
and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure.
Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for Italy
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Italy.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not
insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately
insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to
participate in our local walking and other activity programmes
without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you
for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region)
and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue)
and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness
or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities,
included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally
the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your
insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance
once your holiday arrangements have started.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information
on security and local laws for travellers, together with current
passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware.
Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible
precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays
of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches.
Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day,
and we recommend that a money belt is used.
Italian Laws & Customs
In some Italian towns and cities you may be fined for dropping litter and in some towns or cities it’s an offence to sit on monument steps or to eat and drink in the immediate vicinity of main churches, historic monuments and public buildings. It’s also an offence to enter or bathe in public fountains.
In May 2019, the Municipality of Capri introduced a law forbidding the use of any disposable plastic objects such as bags, cutlery, plates, cups, food packaging, trays, straws on the island of Capri. Violations can incur a fine of up to 500 euros.
Illegal traders operate on the streets of all major Italian cities, particularly tourist cities like Florence, Venice and Rome. Don’t buy from illegal street traders. You could be stopped by the local police and fined.
It is illegal to remove sand, shells or pebbles from coastal areas in Italy. Doing so may result in heavy fines. It’s also forbidden to collect various species of flowers, plants and herbs from mountain and wooded areas. For more information, check with the regional authorities of the area you’re visiting.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations.
Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence
of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups
not only gives you an up close and personal experience of
your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate
environment. We feel that the most important starting point
to protect the environment is to be out in it.
For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able
to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives.
Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose
aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries
we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long
term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less
developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way.
See our website for more information and details of some of the
projects we support.
Staying In Touch
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for the future. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature
of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change
to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and
your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your
attention to any significant change.
You may wish to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.
Ramblers Walking Holidays
Our office is open and our Sales & Reservations team are available to speak to you from:
- 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
Please quote your Booking Reference number and Tour Code whenever contacting us.
We wish you an enjoyable holiday!
Our holiday walking grades
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
Discover more about our walking grades