Cycle Tour in Sardinia (Long)

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  1. Cycle Touring in Sardinia.

    An Account of a Tour of Sardinia March 4th-12th inclusive, 2003.

    Introduction.

    I and my wife Mary are experienced cycletourists. We do little else for holidays and this tour was
    approximately my fortieth. Neither of us had been to Sardinia, but I had been to Corsica 3 times and
    was curious. Ryanair fly there from London Stanstead and we could go, but to my astonishment, I
    found very little useful on the web about it, and almost nothing on Usenet. When I posted queries
    people asked me to write an account and here goes. It must be long, and to those who complain, as
    some will, about its length, I say, how come I never see anything useful from you? Professional
    complainers never post anything useful.

    The journey.

    We flew from Cork to London with Ryanair. For Americans and others, Ryanair is an extremely
    successful, aggressive, no-frills Irish airline which flies to small airports mainly, to keep down
    costs. It always charges for bikes with little insurance on them, but it's a chance you have to
    take. Per leg, it charges 22 Euro per bike, so our bikes cost us 176 Euro alone, but the fares were
    so cheap it was still good value. Ryanair do not check your baggage through any connection so you
    have to recheck in. I could not find out about whether there was any left-luggage in Stanstead
    airport so we booked into the Stanstead Hilton overnight (expensive) as we had an early-morning
    flight. There is in fact a left luggage which opens from 4am to midnight, so it would have been
    fine. Check into a cheaper place is my advice as the Hilton is a RIPOFF.

    We only take off pedals and turn bars. This I believe is the safest way to transport or ship as the
    Yanks say, a bike. Putting in a box is a recipe for a large elephant to be plonked on top of it.

    Anyway we reached Alghero with a slight delay and after a sandwich in the airport, we were on our
    way, at about 2.30pm local time.

    First thing I noticed was a noise from my front wheel, like a creak, worse when I stood up. I
    eventually discovered that all my spokes were loose (it was years since I made that wheel) and I
    tightened them all and hey presto.

    For the tecchies, we both were on Dawes Galaxies with bar-end shifters and triples. I had 46,36, 26
    and 11-28, 8 speed, and Mary 42,32,22, 11-28 7 speed. I had Continental Top Touring 37c on back and
    28c Michelin Select Kevlar on front. Can't remember what Mary had except 28 cs.

    You need triples here if you are an ordinary person. It's almost all seriously hilly.

    I used 2 Ortlieb backrollers and old large Ortlieb handlebar bag and a Carradice Saddlebag in which
    I keep picnics and stuff like that, but is mostly empty.

    Mary has an all in one pannier outfit by Sporthouse, an Irish bag company.

    Note:

    This tour was done in early March and price and traffic information has to be seen in that light.
    Also, we got freak excellent weather so that must be considered.

    Sardinia is about 9000 square miles, three times the size of Corsica. If you look at maps you will
    see relatively little Green road (road marked scenic) on its maps. This is bullshit. 90% of the
    roads in Sardinia are scenic. It is beautiful all over and very varied from place to place. The
    reason I imagine that Michelin mark more green in Corsica is that Michelin is a French company?????
    The roads to aim for are the minor roads which are numerous. These are almost all excellently
    surfaced and we only came across one unsurfaced section in our whole tour. Avoid the dual
    carriageways or busy trunk roads. Sardinians drive very fast on these. They by and large drive
    slowly on small roads. They drive aggressively in big towns like Sassari. This advice may not apply
    to high-season but I would advise anybody against touring here in high season as it would be too hot
    and too busy. Corsica is rightly famous for the smell of its countryside, the maquis. This is caused
    by numerous herbs. Sardinia has much the same smell in many places. It's lovely.

    Food.

    Sardinian food is basically Italian, and they eat an antipasto, a first course like pasta, which
    despite Americans' belief is not pawsta but past-a, and a second course of meat or fish, usually
    bare and baldy, but you can order chips (freedom fries!) and vegetable etc. You often get a salad
    and much bread is served as a matter of course. You will not be able for dessert!. Pizzerias usually
    have proper pizza ovens which give gorgeous pizzas, but they only serve pizzas at certain times!

    It is excellent cycling fare, but gets boring for me. I'd rather German, French, Spanish, Irish or
    Scottish cooking, for the greater variety, but I'm an omnivore and even ate horse one night
    (standard Sardinian fare).

    Breakfast is pretty useless. They eat pastries and bread for breakfast and no protein. You cannot
    cycle all morning without some protein in my experience, so bring a tin of fish, or some cheese to
    breakfast and you will be okay. The coffee is a bit of a problem to those who like a big mug. If you
    ask for a big American coffee you will get about 50 ccs. The normal size is about the size of a
    large teardrop, but strong.

    We went for tea at breakfast, for volume.

    If you are a vegetarian you can survive but if you are a vegan, forget it, and you will not have the
    strength for Sardinia anyway!

    Accommodation. Not a lot anywhere, but okay off season. Going to small places, make sure that the
    hotel is open and that a room is available. No B&Bs. Hotels are dearish, about 55-80 Euro for a
    double. Rooms are good. Breakfast may or may not be included. Eating out is variable in price. Can
    be dearish, but mostly cheap, like 20 euro each, but not deserving of more as the cooking is really
    basic and easy to do. Shopping in supermarkets, outside big tourist areas is really cheap. You can
    get a good picnic (often your only reasonable chance of lunch inland) for 2 for 5 euros, or less.
    Sardinians are nearly all very jolly, very friendly and polite. Very few speak English, some speak
    French. I found it easy to understand the gist of what they were saying as I did Latin in school,
    and I speak French and so much of English is Latin/Italian/French derived. I cannot speak it, though
    apart from a few phrases. For Italian speakers, I understand that they speak their own Sardinian
    dialect, though I feel that it is losing out to "correct" Italian.

    Vital words.

    Camera = room. Lette matrimoniale! = double bed. Duche = shower. Televisiore
    = television. Quant'e (Kwantay) =m how much. Conto = bill. Pan = bread. Piu
    (pew) = more. Colazione (colatseeohne) = breakfast. Dove (dohvay)= where. Birra (beerah) = beer.
    Vino = vino. Rosso, bianco. Aqua frizzante, gasato = fizzy water. Water is really cheap, beer is
    cheap, and so is wine. House wines are mostly excellent. If you order a beer for 2 they usually give
    you a large bottle (660cc) and 2 glasses.

    Night life.

    A problem. Small places are dead at night. Italians are very light drinkers. They are very
    disciplined. You will find no pub life like in Germany, Spain, Ireland, England. The odd bar is
    open, but they usually close at 9.30. I heard no Sardinian music on the radio. The first thing I
    heard was U2. I nearly vomited. Those semitalented chancers are so successful around the world.
    There are Irish bands who are way better who never made it, not to mind Irish traditional music,
    which all told, is the best there is. As I'm typing this back in Cork, Ireland I'm listening to
    gorgeous Sardinian folk music from a CD I bought there. I never heard anything like that on radio or
    TV there. Whole world cultures, including those of Britain and America itself are being wiped out by
    American and British shite which impresses the youth all over the world. It's a shame but I and
    nobody else who cares does not know what to do about it.

    The tour.

    Day one (half day). 25 miles. Sunny, about 17C. Flattish.

    The road from the airport is flat,

    We went towards Fertilia and then out to Capo Caccia. We hoped to see the famous Neptune's grotto
    here but it was closed. This entails an enormous descent on steps to this famous cave. Before you
    reach this Cape, while climbing, you will see a little diversion to a Panoramic point. Go there.
    There is a breach in the rock and a fantastic sea view of huge rocks. It's only a tiny diversion.

    The view from Capo Caccia is big. The climb to it is steepish but not too long. We had coffee at the
    coffee shop there, a chat with 2 young Italians and cycled back to Alghero. Found the Hotel San
    Francisco which is the only one in the old town.

    Don't go there. For what you get, bad value and hopeless breakfast and a bed with faulty springs
    which kept me awake all night. It cost 70 Euro for the 2 of us.

    By the way, nearly all hotels only show Italian Tv, which has numerous channels, mostly hopeless.

    Day 2. Alghero-Oristano, via Bosa. Sunny. Very hilly. 69m

    We took the coast road to Bosa which was very quiet, very hilly and scenic. Big views. Road way up
    off sea in places. Very up and down. Triple stuff in areas. Big drop down to Bosa. Lunch in Bosa in
    super restaurant just 2 left on turn inland. Three courses, excellent quality, cheap. There is then
    a climb after a while. We took the wrong turn (first one marked Modolo and Tresnuraghes). Don't. It
    was very hilly getting back on route. Eventually reached Tresnuraghes. From there very hilly and
    slow to Cuglieri, a run-down looking town. Noticed that the farmland here was divided by stone and
    stone and tree walls, like in Ireland. Called bocage in Normandy. Must be very old system. In
    Sardinia you will see a lot of old stone remains of the Nuraghic civilisation. These are tombs etc.
    dating to about 800 B.C., before the Phoenicians and the Romans. After Cuglieri, big long fast
    descent to coast and then less interesting up and down to Oristano. There we found Hotel Isa which
    despite the nonsense in the Rough Guide to Sardinia (a poor book) was excellent. There we got a
    superb dinner (tourist menu), several course including wine, for 15 euro each. Spotless comfortable
    hotel. A good but hard day's cycling.

    Had thought of going down to Tharros on the coast where there's a famous ruined town from
    Carthaginian and Roman towns, but you cannot do everything. Later on in tour I met British couple
    who had and they were eaten alive by midges. We encountered no insect problem ourselves on our trip.

    Day 3.

    Oristano- Tonara. 47.5 m. Very hilly. Hard, Sunny.

    Getting out of Oristano was very busy initially but after a few miles the traffic died away. It was
    initially boring but before Fordongianus we started a long descent and the scenery was superb from
    then on. It became very uphill. Had lunch in a perfect place after Busachi where we had bought a
    picnic, of ham, tomato, bread, cheese and fizzy drinks. In the shop we met a retired local who had
    been a cruiseliner captain who was married to an Australian. Lovely people. Just above the village
    is the ideal picnic spot. Continued on, up and up, but none of it severe except through the village
    of Sorgono (700m altitude). We had intended going to Fonni, the highest village in Sardinia, but
    phoning ahead with the mobile phone (essential modern touring equipment) we discovered that both
    hotels there were closed and stayed instead in the Hotel Belvedere in Tonara (930m). We were the
    only guests. It was a lovely hotel and the waiter Giorgio spoke English (he was a former cruiseliner
    waiter). We ate well and I tried horse. They like this, and also eat donkey. The horse tasted just
    like beef to me. My wife tried a bit but found it acidy. Her mind, I thought.

    Day 4.

    Tonara-Tortoli. Raining am, sunny pm. 61 miles. Scenic. Hilly

    Mist/rain was down initially. Descended a lot to Tiana and then long climb to Fonni. At bottom,
    lovely reservoir lake. Long climb but good gradient. Not steep. Could not see our noses at Fonni,
    because of mist. Had excellent panninis in pub. In inland Sardinia you will see a lot of old ladies
    dressed in black, some wearing shawls. Old Sardinia still lives. Proceeded along fabulous mountain
    road (mist was gradually lifting) with trees still with autumn foliage to passo di Caravai (1118)
    and then the higher Arcu de Carabai (1246). Snow along edges of roads here. I've been up dozens and
    dozens of mountain passes in my time, but I loved these. The main road goes by tunnel, hundred of
    feet under the second. We descended on spectacular road and proceed to Villanova Striasiali along a
    winding mountain road with wild pigs, goats etc. Lovely. Depending on where you are in Sardinia you
    will see Cork oak, vines, olives, cattle (all thin and hardy looking) and lots of different types of
    trees. There are almost no conifers. Briefly onto main road (which I think is fairly new) to turn
    left again and begin the huge descent to Tortoli (700m descent). Check your brakes before this as
    some is very steep. You'll need them. We avoided the main road. This minor one was really a big
    road, with lots of villages etc. and superbly surfaced. Very spectacular. Checked into and ate in
    Hotel Victoria. Ok. Food not great. Tortoli not attractive but biggish town. Maybe we didn't find
    the right bit. Lovely English speaking receptionist.

    Day 5.

    Tortoli, Nuoro. A killer, marvellous scenery, sunny. 60m

    On gorgeous morning headed North and then west at Lotzora towards Talana. Lovely quiet road. After
    about 14 km from Tortoli and long climb with hairpins, very spectacular proceeded, with bits of 10%
    or worse, through Talana (700m) to the top (this is a new road I think) at Passo de Baccu di Tomano
    (1076m), at about 30km. The view, to borrow an Americanism, was awesome. You could see this huge
    mountain expanse down to the coast. At the top the mountain to the west were snow-covered. This was
    a tough climb. No doubt about it.

    From there a road proceeded west and North to eventually come out a few km before the tunnel on the
    main road north to Nuoro. It is not on older maps. It was superb. Just fantastic scenery. It
    reminded me of gorgeous bits of Sierra de Gredos in Spain. There were pigs, and cattle sitting on
    the road and almost no traffic. Traffic signs with shotgun blasts through them!.

    Headed on main road through tunnel which is lit and about a mile long, and then took the minor road
    which parallels it to Mammoiada. This was a marvellous road, lovely scenery, no traffic.

    By and large the signposting in Sardinia is very good, except that distance is rarely mentioned.
    Here however leaving the town, where straight ahead appeared to be the best option a sign to the
    left said Nuoro, where we were going. We took it and it brought us to the dual carriageway. We
    decided to take it as going back was too much. It brought us on a huge bridge over the valley of the
    river Prune. This was screened by slats, but we got off and had a look on both sides. A Stunning
    view on both sides. On the East side a gorgeous valley and on the West huge rolling hills spotted by
    various lovely trees, like something from a medieval painting. View of the tour. If you take this
    road, do look without getting yourself killed. The slats are I suppose to stop drivers admiring the
    view as they would undoubtedly crash. The traffic into town was not heavy at that time. When we
    approached Nuoro there is a straight ahead option of a tunnel or a right turn. We opted for the
    right turn but in retrospect we thought the other would have been much more direct. Nuoro is a big
    sprawl of a place with highrise buildings. We eventually found a reasonable hotel as it was getting
    dark. This was our hardest day cycling wise. It was also the best in my opinion. The name escapes
    me. It was comfortable but because there was a large party in the restaurant, we and the other
    guests had to eat in a small breakfast room. This was not really a problem but the menu was
    restricted and the food poor.

    Day 6. Nuoro - Olbia 71m. Easy cycling for the only time. Downhill or flat.

    The next day we headed out of town on the main dual carriageway towards Olbia. We had considered the
    northern route on minor roads but it appeared too long and we were advised against it. Next time
    I'll try it.

    The main road descended very much as Nuoro is at about 700m. After about 20 miles I spotted that the
    old road was following us at the side, and rather than wait the 10 miles or more to the next
    junction, we climbed over the fence and slid our bikes down. Bliss!. NO traffic, lovely scenery and
    a good surface. The traffic on dual carriageways in Sardinia is really fast, 80 mph or more and
    scary. On minor roads they nearly all drive slowly. It was Sunday and we'd bought no picnic and
    nothing was open in Siniscola except a really posh icecream parlour. We had to make do. To show how
    cheap Sardinia CAN be, we had 2 coffees, 2 Cokes, 5 fancy cakes and a large icecream for 9 Euro. It
    would certainly cost twice that on the Costa Smeralda and in many European countries. Outside town
    we had a couple of tins of fish to give us some protein. For those of you who are not experience
    cycletourists, you CANNOT keep going all day without it. It evens out your blood sugar spikes.
    Otherwise you'll have to keep snacking all day and will get fat. The road we followed was the SS125.
    Here and there we had to guess the way for lack of signs, but the guesses were on each occasion
    correct. Keep your eyes peeled. On one occasion we came to a T junction, no sign. Turn right and
    shortly left was correct. Later another, one leading towards the village of I think Posada. Right or
    left? Left towards village seemed right. It was. This road continued to Olbia through a string of
    quiet villages (? because of Sunday) to Olbia. We had a snack in one of them. The weather was balmy.
    The traffic increased towards Olbia. The scenery along here was periodically nice. We reached Olbia
    and checked into the Hotel Plam. Don't. It's too noisy early in the morning. We found a really
    brilliant pizzeria, the Ristorante Pomodoro with all buzz, a proper pizza oven and so on. I had a
    fantastic pizza, Pizza Sarda, with cheese and chorizo and other ingredients. For starters we had
    very nice and cheap seafood entree with various shellfish, prawns etc. Very nice. Mary's pizza was
    something different and not quite as delicious as mine, I thought, though she thought it great.
    There is more of a buzz in Olbia in the centre than the other towns and we had a drink in a nice bar
    and a chat with the barman before heading back to bed.

    Day 7. Olbia to Santa Teresa di Gallura. 66.5m hard. Sunny all day again.

    Took initially complicated and busy road towards Golfo Aranche. This had a lot of roundabouts going
    to ports. After a few miles traffic petered out. Eventually went through an unlit tunnel but
    negotiated carefully this was OK. Near Golfo Aranche the view was extraordinary of island out to
    sea. And the road was not even marked as scenic! Turned left on coastal road before Golfo Aranche
    and went to cycle around the Costa Smeralda loop. Be careful here as some of the roads lead to dead
    ends. The Costa Smeralda proper is only about 10km. It is a VERY HARD AND HILLY ROUTE. Unless you
    go down into each little resort, (I didn't) it is ordinary except for one tremendous view from a
    high up position looking south. We picnicked here and took photos. I actually did an awful lot of
    photography on this trip, shooting 40 mins of digital video (all 3-6 second jobs) and more than 500
    digital stills. For teccies, the still camera was a Fuji s602. A very good camera but you have to
    watch infinity focus. If I were the person reading this my advice would be, having seen the great
    sea view (there is a stopping point), head back in the same direction. The rest is too hard for
    what you see, UNLESS you like looking at fancy resorty places. We headed for Arzachena and then
    cross country on a quiet and scenic road to Bassacutena. This had about 3 stiffish climbs. From
    there we took the road west again to Campovaglio. More climbing. Big granite quarries there. From
    there to within about 2 miles of the main road to Santa Teresa there was about 3 miles of
    unsurfaced road, hardpacked earth, all downhill. Had to take it easy on it. Saw 2 overgrown boys
    having fun racing on this surface. One a large British-registered Rolls Royce, the other a
    German-registered BMW M3. They never grow up! We eventually reached Santa Teresa Gallura on the
    hilly coast road, and the Hotel Marinaro. 55 Euro but 8 Euro each for a poor breakfast! This area
    of town was dead. We ate in a pizzeria which was not great. Can't remember the name but the
    lighting is that kind of old-fashioned ultraviolet stuff. On the way out of town the next day we
    discovered the nice main square and later the modern shopping district.

    Day 8. Santa Teresa di Gallura to Castelsardo. 53.6m. Sunny all day. Hilly.

    We went out first to Capo Testa. Very hilly and not worth it, though you have a good view of Corsica
    from there, easily seeing the white cliffs of Bonifacio. We had been there last year. Santa Teresa
    is a ferry port for Corsica. Bonifacio is a stunningly beautiful town.

    Back through town and out west along the coastal road. This was quietish and lovely. Went down to
    Vignola Mare Agnata to see if we could get lunch. There was a bar there with paninis, a table
    outside, a fabulous view of the beach and surrounds. Very small and pretty place. Barman spoke good
    French as he'd lived there so we had a good chat. Also had a chat with a couple of Italian tourists
    who were sitting in this blissful sunshine. A memorable spot.

    Back on the main road which was hilly. Lovely wild flowers, many of them unusual to us. We
    eventually reached the spectacular seaside town of Castelsardo. You have to see it. There's a
    citadel on top with multicoloured houses stacked beneath it. We stayed in a seafront hotel and ate
    in Ristorante Pinna, which is also a pensione. This wasn't cheap but was atmospheric and the food
    was excellent. Had seafood risotto for starters, superb, followed by pork chop for me and grilled
    chicken for my lady wife. The pork in Sardinia is superb, I think because the pigs are not penned
    but are running around. Bill for 2 with lots of wine etc. was 54 Euro. The owner who is called
    Angela is a great character.

    Day 9, back to Alghero.

    We went back along coast road, then through Sorso to Sassari. This is the second city of Sardinia
    and really busy. Follow signs for the centre, then "tutti directioni". You eventually come to a V
    just after an agricultural vehicle sales place on the right. Take the left. This turns right back on
    itself and after about 3 km take the right for URI and you're on the right road. This is a lovely
    quiet road. Follow signs for Alghero. It has several stiffish climbs. You will eventually come into
    Alghero on a flattish road. The second time we stayed in another and better hotel in Via Sassari. 80
    Euro. Can't remember name. Had balcony. Went to eat in Ristoranti Mazzini. First of all were put in
    a section by ourselves and after being told that this that and the other were off the menu, the
    waiter came back again with

    Ristorante Paco. This was expensive and superb and we had great fun with two northern English
    couples. The northern Englishman is full of fun and so unlike the great mass of his southern
    brethren who are as much fun as prolapsed haemorrhoids. I had a superb starter of mixed smoked fish
    and roe, with mascarpone cheeze and toast, and a chicken dish for main course.

    The next day we cycled to the airport which is only about 10k and home.

    Allow good time for a change in Stanstead as the security there is slow and you have to
    re-check in there.

    There it is. No punctures or mechanical problems apart from initial front wheel problem.

    Is Sardinia worth cycling in. Yes, yes and yes.

    Basic advice.

    Stay on small roads of which there are lots, have a good range of gears, learn a little Italian,
    prepare to picnic for lunchtime and bring a camera. DO NOT GO THERE IS JUNE JULY OR AUGUST AS YOU
    WILL BE FRIED AND IT WILL BE TOO BUSY.

    It's as good as Corsica, and that's a big recommendation from me.

    Anybody who is about to complain about the length of this, remember, it is a service to cyclists,
    and it took me about 2 hours to type it and I didn't have to do it but when I posted queries about
    it people asked me to do this.
     
    Tags:


  2. On Sat, 15 Mar 2003 08:11:34 -0000 in rec.bicycles.rides, "Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Anybody who is about to complain about the length of this, remember, it is a service to cyclists,
    > and it took me about 2 hours to type it and I didn't have to do it but when I posted queries about
    > it people asked me to do this.
    >
    we certainly did, and thank you very, very much! it sounds like my kind of holiday!

    i hope that you can put the narrative on a web site with some of your digital photos. i've been
    lusting after a new digital panorama camera that i can't afford (about 15,000 euros,
    http://www.spheron.com/products/PanoCam/panocam12.html ) and every time you mentioned a panoramic
    view i wanted to see photos.
     
  3. Tbgibb

    Tbgibb Guest

  4. In message <[email protected]>, TBGibb <[email protected]> writes
    >In article <[email protected]>, "Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee"
    ><[email protected]> writes:
    >
    >>An Account of a Tour of Sardinia March 4th-12th inclusive, 2003.
    >
    >Not too long. Thanks for posting. Did you notice many camp grounds?
    >
    >Tom Gibb <[email protected]>

    I've been to Sardinia three times and my trips differ from Garry's in that we've twice taken our
    caravan and used campsites as bases for day tours on rigid MTBs. We're unladen so hills are less of
    a problem than for tourists. Campsites tend to be on the coast so rides almost always go steeply up
    in the morning and steeply down in the afternoon! The camping infrastructure is excellent in the
    coastal areas although the season only extends from April until late September in most places. We
    were there last September and several of the sites were nearly deserted.

    Highlights for me that Garry didn't get to include the following (in no particular order):

    Cannigione - about 8km from Arzachena. Notable really for the campsite at Isuledda, a large affair
    with all the necessary facilities including bungalows to rent. Some pleasant beaches nearby. Ice
    cream in gelataria on the town harbour is excellent. Possible to cycle north on road towards Palau.

    Costa Smeralda - Garry's right to say that there's not a lot for cyclists here although a visit to
    the harbour at Porto Cervo gives an impression of how the rich and famous live in their massive
    yachts, a ride to the lighthouse on Capo Ferro was a minor scenic diversion and the beach area at
    Baia Sardinia is quite pleasant. The main road, though, is much busier than you would guess from
    looking at the map.

    La Maddelena - Small island accessible by ferry from Palau. Beautiful. Possible to cycle all the way
    round and over. Neighbouring island of Caprera reachable by causeway is the site of Garibaldi's
    house, now a museum. Lots of American cars because Maddelena appears to be a (naval?) base. Good ice
    cream in main square of La Maddelena town.

    Camping I Gabbiani - On an isthmus off the road from Palau to Santa Teresa Gallura (marked
    L'Isuledda on maps, not to be confused with one in Cannigione). Another large site, facilities not
    quite as good as Cannigione although I would recommend the restaurant. Apartments to rent. Lots of
    Germans who come down with camper vans laden down with windsurfing gear. This is windsurfing heaven
    with two safe bays and reliable winds. Plenty of windsurf hire opportunities.

    Capo Testa - Quite spectacular although I would agree with Garry that it's perhaps not worth the
    effort. Better to find a good restaurant for lunch in Santa Teresa!

    Tempio Pausania - Inland town (566m). Strongly reminiscent of Corsican hill towns, lovely central
    area. Road there via Viddalba and Aggius was very enjoyable especially the flatter section near S.
    Filippo. Return via Bortigiadas and Giuncana was also excellent.

    Valledoria - small seaside resort east of Castelsardo. Quiet out of season. We stayed at Camping
    International Valledoria (I think?) next to wonderful beach. Saw camping cycle tourists on this
    site. Site restaurant was good. Really enjoyed ride via Santa Maria Coghinas to Perfugas and back
    through Sedini.

    Alghero - Described in our guide book as the most beautiful town in Sardinia and it really is most
    attractive. Used to be Spanish which is evident from the architecture and some street signs in
    Catalan. Beach tends to accumulate a bit of weed. Camping La Mariposa is about 2km north of the town
    centre, rather small and busy (lots of British and Irish trippers with Ryanair). Small cabins
    available to rent. Further campsite north towards Fertilia but not visited (guidebook says untidy
    and plagued by midges). Strongly recommend restaurants Da Pietro and Dieci Metri, both for excellent
    seafood at reasonable prices. Lots of ice cream opportunities, best on last visit was at eastern end
    of square just above the harbour. Easy cycling north-west to Capo Caccia, harder uphill to Villanova
    Monteleone and back via Putifigari. Unfortunately we had money stolen in Alghero.

    Obviously the presence of Ryanair tends to attract tourists to the Alghero area although I know
    people who have flown in there and rented cars to get elsewhere. Our last trip was limited to the
    north because our ferry arrived and departed from Olbia (to Livorno). Previously we've flown (to
    Alghero) and ferried to Santa Teresa from Corsica. Some of the best scenery is on the east coast but
    we have never had time to go there and the beaches and campsites are often down steep roads off the
    main east coast route.

    I would guess that April, May, June and September are the best times to go. We've seen organised
    cycling parties in June. July and August would be much too hot and everything full to bursting with
    holidaying Italians.

    Guidebook: If you're lucky enough to read German then Sardinien by Hans Bausenhardt (published by
    Martin Velbinger) is an excellent, perhaps slightly alternative, recommendation. This guy has really
    been everywhere! (The whole Velbinger series of guides is good.)

    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  5. Very few, but some. Very little agristurismo and for its tourist industry, few hotels. I think that
    very many of the tourists have their own houses there.
     
  6. > This was expensive and superb and we had great fun with two northern English couples. The
    > northern Englishman is full of fun and so unlike the great mass of his southern brethren who are
    > as much fun as prolapsed haemorrhoids.

    Hi Garry, once I got to this point I decided to forward to Allan Nelson, from Cumbria. I know he'll
    be pleased.

    Some minor spell checking, if you let me. When it comes to oaks, cork gets no capital C.

    Cheers

    Sergio
     
  7. In message <[email protected]>, Sergio SERVADIO
    <[email protected]> writes
    >> This was expensive and superb and we had great fun with two northern English couples. The
    >> northern Englishman is full of fun and so unlike the great mass of his southern brethren who are
    >> as much fun as prolapsed haemorrhoids.
    >
    >Hi Garry, once I got to this point I decided to forward to Allan Nelson,
    from Cumbria.

    Please don't. Racial or regional stereotyping is something to be avoided, don't you think?
    --
    Michael MacClancy
     
  8. On Mon, 17 Mar 2003, Michael MacClancy wrote:
    > Please don't. Racial or regional stereotyping is something to be avoided, don't you think?

    I would agree with you. But, alas!, it is too late: I did it already. However nothing bad was meant,
    at least in my message. Besides, Allan is such a nice chap that he takes anything light-heartedly.
    Stay reassured, Michael.

    Sergio Pisa
     
  9. Not stereotyping, only fun.

    Mind you, ALL northern Englishman would agree with my assessment!!!
     
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