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Bikepacking the TranSardinia – the quiet Italian island life

Tristan Bogaard

Bikepacking the TranSardinia – the quiet Italian island life

Bike Touring Collection by tristanbogaard



30:40 h

223 mi

26,150 ft

When you think of Sardinia, do you think of white beaches, crystal clear water and Italian food? So did we, until we got to know this special Italian island better by bike. Together with our friends Sam Rice (instagram.com/adventuresbycycle) and Becky Norman (instagram.com/becbycycle) we rode from Olbia, in the north of the island, to Cagliari in the south. Which, by the way, is pronounced Kal-jarie.

Created in 2009, the original TranSardinia stretches 450 kilometres (1,476 ft) across the island. Along the way, you get to know the quiet Italian life on your bike as you traverse the forests, mountains and valleys. The unpaved roads are beautiful, but sometimes a bit rocky. The stones are so sharp and there are many prickly plants that you can flatten your tyre along the route. But the risk is worthwhile, this route is high on our list of favourites.

In this Collection, you find my daily reports, photos and Highlights along the route. Below this text is also a video series that you can watch. The films give a good idea of the route and how we fared. It was made even more fun by the fact that Sam and Becky joined for the trip. We definitely recommend riding this route with your cycling friends.

If it fits into your budget, the relatively low prices in Sardinia give you the opportunity to opt for a little more comfort and allow you to stay a little longer to rest. You could also extend your stay before or after your trip for some more city life. We camped most nights during our trip and stayed a few days longer in Cagliari at the end.

Here are a few more general tips for the TranSardinia:
- Bring wide puncture-resistant tyres, preferably above 48 millimetres. A suspension fork will give you more comfort, but it's not a must.
- Set aside part of your budget for gelato, delicious Italian ice cream, sweets from the baker and intensely delicious coffee. Sardinian cuisine is wonderful and simply not to be missed. But, take a stove with you as you won't find many restaurants. Cafes are plentiful.
- Take extra water and a bladder with you that you can refill along the way. Depending on your speed, it can be quite a challenge to find water at the right time.
- Follow our version of the route. The original route is not easy to cycle everywhere and you encounter many fences. By making some adjustments, our route is a little easier. We added quiet asphalt roads here and there, a bit more infrastructure and village life instead of the remote passages of the original route.
- If you still want to ride the original TranSardinia route, you can download it here: komoot.nl/tour/621287751.

Here is the first video to give you a taste of this beautiful island.

On The Map


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Bikepacking the TranSardinia

209 mi

23,075 ft

22,800 ft

Last updated: August 7, 2023

Tours & Highlights

  • Stage 1: Cycling the TranSardinia

    15.5 mi
    8.3 mph
    1,500 ft
    650 ft

    Day one of our TranSardinia adventure! Belén and I already spent a few days in Olbia, where we rested up from our Corsica trip and waited for Sam and Becky to arrive. They did so on a beautifully sunny day, and after we picked them up from the airport we headed for the start of the TranSardinia route

    by tristanbogaard

  • 01:23
    6.40 mi
    4.6 mph
    1,400 ft
    1,200 ft

    Day two of our TranSardinia adventure! The first night out camping seems to always decide what the rest of the trip is going to be like–one with ample great places to pitch our tents and spend peaceful nights under the stars (so little light pollution!). We'd slept well and woke up to a beautiful sunrise

    by tristanbogaard

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  • 06:02
    35.1 mi
    5.8 mph
    4,475 ft
    3,700 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    A route hick-up presented itself after having some problems with Belén's derailleur and being forced to return to Olbia in search for a repair.


    You can watch the attached video in the collection introduction to see what we did, but I made this suggested connection between day 2 and 4, so you can still

    by tristanbogaard

  • 03:02
    21.1 mi
    6.9 mph
    2,025 ft
    3,450 ft

    Day four of our TranSardinia adventure! We'd gotten back on the road from our route hick-up and derailleur issue, and camped out on the grounds of a small church hidden in a patch of forest. I encourage you to watch the video in the introduction of this collection to see what that wonderful evening was

    by tristanbogaard

  • 03:07
    23.1 mi
    7.4 mph
    3,775 ft
    1,700 ft

    Day five of our TranSardinia adventure! The night had been really peaceful, and we woke up to the sound of goatbells and with a blue sky above us... this was bound to be a fantastic day on the track. However, after completing the second half of the climb that we'd started the evening prior, there wasn

    by tristanbogaard

  • 02:47
    17.4 mi
    6.3 mph
    2,500 ft
    2,250 ft

    Day six of our TranSardinia adventure! I think I can say with certainty that this day was a favorite among the group. We mostly followed the orginal TranSardinia route and encounter an exceptional quality of gravel paths, something that felt truly unique to Sardinia. The elevation gain was going to be

    by tristanbogaard

  • 02:57
    23.5 mi
    8.0 mph
    2,225 ft
    2,350 ft

    Day seven of our TranSardinia adventure! Starting with a flat tire, we were off to a good beginning of the day. I mean, you can expect to have at least a few flats each on this trip, so it's no big deal if you're well prepared.


    The riding surface was pretty good for the first 8 kilometers, with a raging

    by tristanbogaard

  • 02:14
    24.6 mi
    11.0 mph
    1,300 ft
    2,950 ft

    Day eight of our TranSardinia adventure! Waking up with some Dirtbag coffee, porridge and the sound of goatbells felt like a pretty Sardinian way to start the day–you'll definitely be encountering plenty of animals to keep you company on your travels through this island :)


    Feeling adventurous, we walked

    by tristanbogaard

  • 02:19
    15.6 mi
    6.7 mph
    2,150 ft
    2,825 ft

    Day nine of our TranSardinia adventure! Throughout our now more than a week-long tour, we'd always found a lot of fruits and veggies along the way, but this morning topped off the experience with some fresh pomegranate seeds for the group porridge. Super delicious!


    The track we followed immidiately proved

    by tristanbogaard

  • 03:13
    23.0 mi
    7.2 mph
    4,150 ft
    1,650 ft

    Day ten of our TranSardinia adventure! Starting off at the little churchyard that was our refuge for the night, rain seemed to chase us for a while. But as we climbed our first ascend, the clouds stayed quiet and the sun even popped up in between for a little bit–just when we sat down for our morning

    by tristanbogaard

  • 01:46
    18.1 mi
    10.3 mph
    650 ft
    3,400 ft

    Day eleven, the final day of our TranSardinia adventure! We woke up enveloped in a blanket of fog, that cleared for a turqoise orange sunrise and left us speechless atop our viewpoint hill. Sam brew some Dirtbag coffee, Bec an Belén spoke of our trip together, I dartled around the place to shoot photos

    by tristanbogaard

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    223 mi
  • Duration
    30:40 h
  • Elevation
    26,150 ft

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