Sardinia is a big island and we won’t cover even half of it. But, this map shows the four main areas we’ll see. Right now we’re on the east coast in the Ogliastra area (right side of the map). We will end our trip in Cagliari, the capital city of Sardinia (Bottom of the map).
We used public transportation on the west side (train and bus). But, to get across the island and explore the smaller towns, we have a car for a few days here on the east coast.
Sardinia offers a wide variety of walks—from an easy stroll along the waterfront to a challenging hike in the mountains. Almost every town along the coast has the popular lungomare, a wide sidewalk that goes along the water. Often, this is where the evening passeggiata takes place. The Catalan town of Alghero has a long one that takes you past the marina full of interesting boats. It winds around the old town where there are plenty of outdoor cafés and restaurants with delightful views.
In the town of Laconi, in the center of the island, we found one of the nicest city parks we’ve seen. The park is on the edge of town, up against the mountains. Inside the park we found beautifully cared for trails that took us to the ruins of an ancient castle and then past several waterfalls. Many of the trees and plants have markers with the names of the species. They also had an ancient Lebanese Cedar that was planted in 1885. From the main park there are a variety of trails that lead up into the mountains for longer hikes. This would be a great spot to spend a few days hiking.
When we reached the east coast of Sardinia, we found some striking scenery and a more challenging hike. We are based in Santa Maria Navarrese, a small beach town near the port of Arbatax. We drove up into the hills behind the town of Baunei where we started a six mile hike towards the sea. We started higher in the hills and had to hike down a rocky trail that wound around the hills and back down to the sea.
Along the trail we ran into a few small goat herds with their little bells clanging. We also saw signs of wild pigs, cingale, that had been digging for truffles around the oak trees. On our way back, we ran into two rather large boars, but they quickly moved away from us and weren’t menacing at all. We also saw some wild goats with no bells around their necks.
Although the hike was not easy, due to the uneven trail and the steep descent, it was all worthwhile when we got our first view of the sea. It took awhile to finally arrive at the small swimming beach, but we were glad we prevailed. The Cala Goloritzè, as it’s called, is a small cove with coarse golden sand and smooth boulders. The water was a bit cold, but we soothed our tired feet and then relaxed in the last of the afternoon sun. Only two other groups were left when we got there. The water was that amazing blue mixed with turquoise that we had seen in the guidebooks. We could look north and see the colorful cliffs and most of the Ogliastra Coast.
As we gazed up at the amazing pinnacle rock, Punta Caroddi, Bob noticed that there were two rock climbers making their descent. The rock is a very steep, 469 feet. So, after watching them hanging from their ropes, near the top, we felt like our trek was more of a walk in the park.