By Inntravellers, James & Fiona Clarke, travelling in September
Day 1 From home to Sardinia: Depart on time, smooth flight with excellent views of Essex coast, Belgium, Alps and then over Mediterranean and soon going down Corsica coast and then down middle of Sardinia. About 90 minutes from Cagliari we arrive at hotel Sardus Pater.Wonderful views over Portixeddu towards Buggerru where we are going tomorrow. Sandy beaches stretch ahead. Very good supper on the terrace, of pasta dish, followed by fish or pork with salad, then panna cotta. All with local red wine.
Day 2 Yorkshire-on-sea: Excellent breakfast, also on terrace with stunning views. Pick up picnic, which is huge, and ready to set off at 09:30. Taken by road about 5 miles south to Cala Domestica, a pretty inlet with golden sand and azure sea. We enjoy our picnic looking out to sea. We eventually descend to Buggerru where we explore, have a Sardinian brewed beer which quenched the thirst. Opt to take bus back to Portixeddu and then walk last km off-road to the hotel. Some wonderful scenery and views in wonderful weather. The limestone, the quarry remains and buildings remind us of the Yorkshire Dales, but with a change of climate and moved to the sea! Supper is again on the terrace and we enjoy spaghetti with mussels, pasta with vegetables, tuna, beefsteak, panna cotta and millefeuille.
Day 3 Grand old Duke of York by the sea: Another fine morning with breakfast on terrace. We set off from hotel towards the sea. In typical style, Inntravel "marched us up to the top of the hill and then marched us down again". Whilst avoiding roads we are also treated to splendid views over the sea and farmland. We go down to the sea to look at a view point, before turning inland to again climb up, through a pass and then to get round deep valley. We see our end point from here and know we will be rewarded with sandy beaches and swimming. Finally pass through sheep farm and head to sea greeted by beautiful cove. We head down to some rocks for a base and to sit.We get picked up and head for about 30 minutes before arriving at Agriturismo Sa Perda Marcado. We have a very good meal of vegetable salad on biscuit, bean and rosemary soup, followed by 'internal' lamb (we recognise as mainly liver), aubergine and tomato dish along with four cheeses! Finished with a marzipan sweet and limoncello cream. It is all absolutely excellent.
Day 4 Green with birds and beasts: We leave after good self-service breakfast. Yet again we get a huge picnic and with it we set off along the road to Ingurtosu, a deserted mining village. More obvious today is the amount of greenery and we spot many birds, including woodpeckers and hoopoe, and livestock, mainly sheep and some goats in large well-tended flocks. The track is open and undulating and very easy walking as we pass through many abandoned mine buildings and relics. The vegetation includes arbutus – strawberry tree, and cork oaks. On turning a corner we see a Sardinian deer on the road ahead, quickly it moves into the trees and we see a few others in the hillside as well. We walk the final 15 minutes to our next hotel, La Miniera Fiorita, an old mine building now refurbished into a rural hotel. Warmly greeted and shown swimming pool and room. Dinner is at 20:30 and we are very ready for it. Meat, cheese, courgette, pepper and beans in lemon oil all excellent. Followed by sausage pasta then goat in red wine and fresh tomato, finally fruit. All served with red or white wine and water.
Day 5 Herculean effort rewarded with fine views: We are picked up at 09:30 and driven about 10 minutes to start of our walk. We set off to climb Mount Arcuentu (the mountain of Hercules – a dormant volcano). We round the summit and are the rewarded by fantastic east views of contrasting plain. Very interesting volcanic rock forms everywhere. We descend and as we reach the town we spot six Sardinian deer ahead of us. They are wary but did not run away so got excellent views. We head back to hotel for a welcome beer and to freshen up. We sit with Swiss and enjoy aubergine, sun dried tomato, carrot, meat and cheese anti-pasti, followed by ravioli with lemon & ricotta filling, beef and potato stew again with fresh tomatoes and finish with fruit. All washed down with red or white wine. Another delicious and enjoyable evening.
Day 6 Downhill to the sea: As we are starting at about 350m and heading to the sea it must be downhill! And so it is, a few short climbs, almost all relatively easy on the feet. Often a few butterflies, plenty sign of deer and cork oaks. The walk follows the river, dry, which we cross frequently. Finally we cross a 'iron ore red' river, Rio Rosso. After another excellent picnic (La Miniera has been the best, meat and cheese and plenty of fruit) we return to the road and head to our final hotel, Residence Sciopadroxiu.The site is among eucalyptus trees, with six apartments, in which we are located. The restaurant and bar is about a five minute walk away. I have excellent spaghetti pescara, which has mussels, clams, calamari and crab units shell and F has clam spaghetti, also very tasty. Follow with chicken and pepper, calamari, mixed salad and chips. Panna cotta and tiramisu finish it off. Very enjoyable.
Day 7 Sun, sea and sand: After breakfast we head down the dusty track about 2.5km to the sea. We enjoy the sun, sea and sand, before heading to the beach cafe where we again 'refresh' this time with beer and bruschetta for lunch, which is delicious. Restaurant full again tonight. We have mixed seafood salad, ham and melon followed by wood fired pizza. All excellent. More chilled vino rosso and a complimentary Mirto liqueur, made from myrtle in the surrounding countryside.
Day 8 Home: Awake in good time to pack and have breakfast. We get to airport in plenty of time.
A very good holiday. Very interesting landscape, very remote and every day was dry and sunny with temperatures of 25-27°C.
All photos by James & Fiona Clarke