With its stark beauty, crystal clear waters, golden beaches and undulating limestone ridges, it’s easy to see why Sardinia is considered one of the Mediterranean’s finest gems. Based in the Dorgali area, we explore on foot the idyllic forest-framed coastline of the east and the rugged rocky mountains in the west, walking through valleys, gorges, peaks and spectacular turquoise bays. In addition to its serene natural beauty, Sardinia is also a place of great historic interest and during the week we have the chance to visit the famous monolithic monuments built by the Nuraghi peoples, one of the main prehistoric Mediterranean civilisations.
Activity Level: 3 (Moderate)
This is a moderate walking week with some free time to relax and to enjoy the excellent local food and wine. All walks take around 5 to 6 hours and require a moderate level of fitness. Walking is on a variety of dirt tracks, gravel and some tarmac. There are also rocky sections that may require some scrambling and in less visited areas be aware paths may be overgrown and rougher underfoot. A few steep ascents and descents should be expected. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to call us. Walking hours stated in the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.
Our week begins at the Hotel S'Adde in Dorgali. In the evening our guide will hold a welcome meeting to discuss the week ahead, give advice on the local area and answer any questions.
We start with an orientation walk, talking an old path that winds around Monte Tului (916m) and offers some of the best views of the Gulf of Orosei to one side, and the mountainous interior around Dorgali on the other. The walk should take around 5 hours.
On our drive above the Flumineddu Valley, we enjoy the sweeping views before our arrival at the Gorropu Gorge - also known as the 'Grand Canyon of Europe'. Its high, narrow, vertical walls reach 200 metres making it the deepest and roughest natural gorge in Europe. Over millions of years, the Flumineddu River has eroded the landscape to create the incomparable natural beauty of the gorge. We can appreciate it in all its glory during our walk, which takes around six hours. There is a chance to paddle on the river if conditions allow. This evening, there is the opportunity to enjoy dinner in a restaurant in Dorgali centre - payable locally.
We begin with a drive to the site of the Giants Tomb, the Sardinian megalithic gallery grave that was built during the Bronze Age by the Nuragic civilization. We then continue on to the site of the Serra Orrios, one of the most famous of the Nuraghe villages. The Nuraghes, cone tomb-like towers positioned around the island, are the symbols of Sardinia and of its unique ethnicity. The Nuragici people, who built these towers, are considered the most accomplished, yet mysterious civilisation in the Mediterranean. We explore the archaeological complex of Serra Orrios with its circular huts dating back to the Bronze Age. After this, we have time for a quick coffee stop before driving on to Cala Orsala. This is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, surrounded by rocks, pinewoods and lush Mediterranean scrub. Weather permitting, we will have lunch on the beach. Next up is a visit to the 'Grotta degli Ispinigoli' home to the longest stalactite-stalagmite column in Europe. We finish the day with a visit to a wine factory (cantina) for wine tasting and a short talk about the local wines.
Today is free to explore the archaeological sites of the Dorgali region, take an optional self-guided walk or simply relax by the beach and enjoy the leisurely Sardinian lifestyle. Horse riding can also be arranged for you (price and all the details to be agreed locally with the hotel); alternatively, you can take an optional wonderful boat trip to Bue Marino Grotto (weather permitting).
The Nuragic village of Tiscali is fascinating, and not much is known about its origins, nor the people that lived there. It does seem that is was populated even before the Nuragic era but archaeologists put its main period of activity as between the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.
The dwellings are virtually invisible until you are at the vast cavity in which they are built. This has led some to postulate that people moved back here to hide from the Romans.
We also visit Su Gologone, described as a ‘natural masterpiece’, the result of karst being sculpted by rushing water as it exits the gorge. The water is tinged green or blue, depending on the angle of the sun and an astonishing 500 litres of water per second come crashing out of the chasm into this mini oasis.
We start the day with a boat trip to Cala Luna, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. Here there will be time to explore the large caves and, as this is a popular spot for rock climbing, we may get to see some enthusiasts put their skills to the test. The walk back to Cala Gonone taks us through a vast forest and along deep gulleys, with occasional views of the coast. At the end of the walk at Cala Gonone we will have time for a very welcome drink and the opportunity for a swim before we return to Dorgali.
End Hotel S'Adde in Dorgali.
Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.
Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. As this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available from our customers, but here are the comments that have been received from previous Exodus travellers.
A good varied walking itinerary in excellent weather, good way to see and experience Sardinia. The family run hotel was excellent and provided a good range of local cuisine.
The bast holiday we have had with Explore or Exodus
A well planed and well lead interesting trip
We saw many historical and cultural aspects of Sardinia that were a complete surprise to us and these were a bonus. The planned walks were stunning in their scope and very ably led by Albert, our tour leader. The weather was variable and greatly impacted on the activities so re scheduling was necessary; having said that, we missed nothing in the end. Being flexible is part of travel.
The walk on the first day was cold and very windy and I was unsure what to expect - but after that we were lucky with perfect sunny weather. Every day was very different with some challenging walks and very interesting archaeology. The countryside was very green with colourful flowers and the sea very blue. The sea was pretty cold in early May but a brief swim was very refreshing in the clear water. The hotel was family run and very friendly with hot showers and homely food. Our leader Albert was great - although it would have been nice to have learned a bit more about Sardinian culture. Our group spanned 30 years in our ages - which made for a really good mix of people. I really enjoyed Sardinia and this holiday.
Sardinia proved to be a surprisingly beautiful island with good walks and a fabulous coast. The hotel is very good with excellent food and very friendly staff. We were blessed with great weather which I'm sure influenced my enjoyment. The group was also lovely but that's my experience almost every time with Exodus. If you happen to have Albert as your guide you will indeed be fortunate - a more caring, competent and sociable leader would be hard to find. Personally I would drop the 'tourist day', hence only four stars.
One of the best trip leaders I’ve seen in almost 20 holidays with Exodus; lovely family run hotel; amazing gelato and great walking.
We had a super time on this holiday. Sardinia is a beautiful island, the walking was very enjoyable and the hotel used was perfect for this trip.
This was an excellent trip! The walking was quite hard occasionally because of some rocky terrains but I am in my 60's and not the fittest for my age ....so no problem! The weather was very changeable- I believe more than usual- so waterproofs are a must in September. The sights we visited were stunning! Tiscali and the Stalactites were amazing. Our guide Alexis was superb. He clearly takes his job very seriously and has a good knowledge of the region. He is also very sociable and humourous. Like all holidays a lot depends on the group...this group were exceptionally nice. I can really recommend this holiday if you want a good mix of interesting archeological sights and walking. The food and wine was rather good too!
From the initial booking of the holiday to arrival in Sardinia, from the first greeting of our Exodus Rep to the final goodbye, Exodus delivered. We were well fed (Italian like to feed you, and you'd certainly not go hungry at Hotel S'adde), we were organised, informed and cared for. Our Exodus Rep was knowledgeable of the area, he had scoped out restaurants, bars and gelato establishments and was available to assist and make our trip relaxing and enjoyable. Sardinia delivered on many fronts too, exciting landscapes, mountain tracks, beaches and caves, boat trips, wine tasting and local cuisine - it has something for all. For us the holiday was made memorable because of the location and because of the group of people also on the trip, always someone interesting to talk to. So well done Exodus, another excellent holiday delivered - in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger 'I'll be back'
Another superb Exodus trip. A great way to explore a beautiful country. Sardinia is an idyllic place with amazing beaches & stunning mountain scenery.
The walks have a nice mix of challenging and easy with lovely views and points of interest. The additional sight seeing and wine tasting really added to the trip. The only thing that let it down a bit was the location of the hotel. The hotel itself is ok but there is nowhere nice to sit when we got back from the walks, the little terrace with uncomfortable chairs doesn't count, and there is nothing really to do in Dorgali. This meant we all just retired to our rooms until dinner which was a bit boring. Also the breakfasts and lunches were very dull. A hotel in Calla Gonone for example would be much better. Then guests could go to the beach and have a swim in the sea after their walks and on the free day
A late May departure found the sun shinning and temperatures up to mid 20s plus which is the top end of my comfort zone for hill walking. We were very lucky to follow a wet spell of weather that brought the spring flowers out in profusion. Walks are not long but can be challenging due to the rocky terrain, so not one for the novice. Highlights were: The archaeology of the Nuragha people The clear deep blue sea for swimming Hotel S'Adde that was so welcoming, clean spacious rooms, plentiful good food and wine, and endless hot water! A trip to Orgosolo to see the street art/murals on the free day
A special mention must go to the Hotel S'Adde for their warmth and hospitality in general but for their food in particular. I have dietary requirements and I usually expect to eat a limited range of food (and/or have to remind staff at every meal), especially when in a small town off the beaten track. But Michaela and her team had my diet nailed from day 1 and went above and beyond to produce fantastic, appetising alternatives every time. Frankly, you should have this as a USP in your marketing of this trip!
This was my first Exodus trio and I loved every minute of it. Having the opportunity to walk in rugged terrain with fabulous views and generally great weather, and being cheerfully cared for in a comfortable hotel made it a week to remember
If you want to see Sardinia this trip is exactly right. Not only does Exodus practice their usual active holiday but there is also an opportunity to see the coastal and inland caves, the beaches, the Nuraghe villages and archeological musea. The group leader was fantastic and knows how to accommodate to everyone's needs. The hotel is simple but served some very nice Sardinian meals: lamb, fish and pizza. The walking category 3 in this case is for the regular hiker. Non walkers should take an alternative program.
An excellent place for serious walking on mountain terrain, with sea and beaches within easy reach.
Was on the 16th Sept. departure for Walking in Sardinia - proved to be a good time of year 25*C and plenty of sun but also some shade and gentle breeze. Lovely time to arrive as it was the weekend of the annual Dorgali festival, with small groups of singers and musicians touring the streets, street stalls, wine tastings etc. etc. Nice atmosphere and the town felt safe to wander any time of day. Local people were polite & helpful. Walks were on the strenuous side for me - but I enjoyed the challenge and on the few occasions I needed advice or assistance it was available immediately from our leader and/or other members of the group.
Excellent walking in an unspoilt, wild part of Sardinia. Walks are varied and interesting and reasonably hard going. If you like craggy, rocky landscapes with lots of up and down, this would suit you. Also enjoyed the cultural day visiting archeological sights, it made a good contrast and I was keen to find out more about bronze age Sardinia.
A well organised and enjoyable trip with varied walks in scenery and technicality. We were never left hungry as the Hotel S'Adde catered very well for us with packed lunches and evening meals.
Excellent organisation and hotel. great food
A good mix of walking, site seeing and free time (however not many options on the free day).
Dorgali is a lovely small Italian town, very friendly, as is the family-run Hotel S'Adde. Great walking country, with mountains, excellent views, and ancient sites of the Nuraghi people.
Varied walking with plenty of opportunities for personal choice in an incredibly beautiful part of Sardinia. The alluring combination of mountains, white beaches and turquoise seas was incredible. The walks provided challenges in length and technical skills with some great fun scrambling along the routes.
This trip has the right mix of walking and free time. Two days walking, a sightseeing day and a free day and then two more days walking. As we arrived early on the Saturday and departed in the afternoon the following Saturday it felt like a longer holiday than a week. I loved the countryside, olive trees, farmland, mountains, incredibly beautiful beaches and crystal clear water, fascinating caves, lovely people, very kind and hospitable people. The family who ran the hotel were very welcoming and obliging and made our stay very special. The food was excellent and we were very well catered for.
A very full week with excellent walking....possibly too much food!!!!
A lovely Island. Great scenery,food and wine. The walks to the Gorge and to Tiscali were very interesting and well worth the effort. I enjoyed to day sightseeing, we ended up on a beautiful almost deserted beach. The hotel was very comfortable, with excellent food, the only downside was the lack of any outside gardens to relax in after the days activities, though there was a terrace.
Great walking, stunning views, amazing blue sea ... and way too much food!!!
An excellent trip with variety, it ticked all my boxes with great mountain scenery and walking, archeology, lovely beaches and at that time of year (Spring) a mass of coloured flowers everywhere.
Fantastic walks, all of them interesting, excellent guide and lovely food
This was an excellent holiday with some interesting terrain and a few historic site as well as a couple of relaxed days without any long walks and time to ourselves.
Amazing landscapes, mountains and beaches. The hotel was comfortable and the food was great.
For anyone with coeliac disease, this trip is perfection. You get wonderful food, and lots of it. I managed to put on weight in spite of the energy expenditure, which was considerable!
The Sardinia trip certainly makes walking more interesting, due to quite a bit of clambering over large stones and boulders. I thought that this made it much more fun than the usual tramping whilst admiring a view - and there was also some archaeology, to do with the pre-Roman Nuragic people.
A really lovely holiday - a fabulous, friendly family hotel, great food, fantastic scenery and some very good walking. I would recommend this holiday to anyone who likes good coastal walks.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
This 7 night guided walking holiday includes:
All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 1 wine tasting and 5 dinners
All accommodation (see accommodation section)
All transport and listed activities
Tour leader throughout
Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
How to book:
|16th Apr 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|30th Apr 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|7th May 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|14th May 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|21st May 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|28th May 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|4th Jun 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|18th Jun 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|27th Aug 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|3rd Sep 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|10th Sep 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|17th Sep 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|24th Sep 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
|1st Oct 2022||US$2179||Tour only: US$2179||Check availability|
This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus
7 nights 3-star Hotel S'Adde, all rooms en suite
8 days land only/ flight inclusive
4 days centre-based walking, 1 day sightseeing
Altitude maximum 910m, average 400m