The trail starts right from Olbia harbor, then quickly leaves the city, taking the main road, via Roma, southbound, following the directions to Cagliari. After a roundabout and a bridge in the vicinity of the city's stadium, take a right turn towards the suburbs until reaching the beginning of the old road to the village of Enas.
This road leaves the urban area passing under the Olbia Beltway, then flows for some kilometers through an almost flat countryside.
The narrow country road is enclosed on its sides by ancient stone walls, beyond which lay beautiful meadows and pastures, interspersed with pictoresque wind-twisted oaks. Further on, the trail passes near a horse riding school, flowing parallel to a narrow railway, which will cross, becoming unpaved, passing under a low underpass, approaching the dismissed rail station of Enas.
The gps track takes again an underpass, that this time crosses the Olbia-Sassari highway.
If You have arrived in Olbia the evening before departure, and need a place to stay, the optimal solution would be to start right-away riding the Transardinia, then after having passed this crossing, ride for 5 more kilometers (you will be on the via-Monti detour), on the country road that flows parallel on the right side of the highway until reaching the Agriturismo Desole, which is located exactly 15th kilometer from the start of the stage 1 track, in the Su Canale whereabouts.
A group of bikers at Olbia Harbor, ready to hit the Transardinia trail.
After the underpass, the trail flows on an unpaved road along the left bank of Palasole creek. There will be still some flat land, before hitting the first hard climb of the day.
There it is, the road goes up and down for 1 kilometer, then, after a bridge, starts climbing along the San Paolo di Monti pilgrim route.
Until few years ago the san Paolo di Monti climb was fully rideable, there was no need to put your foot down. Lately, some erosion due to years of severe rain, spolied the trail, and on some short sections the riders will have to get off the bike and push. This is a very challenging climb and will put on test your phisical shape and equipment, if you overcome this first though effort without too much hassle then You will be up to the Transardinia.
When on the top of the hill the trail takes a right turn on an asphalted country road. We are at 400 meter elevation on the Monti Plateau.
At the intersection with ss 389 road the trail continue for another 500 meters towards Alà dei Sardi, then turns right on a paved country road.
After some kilometers, the asphalt turns to gravel, then the road takes you to the entrance gate of the Regional Forest Park of Monte Olia, The gate most likely will be closed, that is not a problem as is allowed to bikers to step over it and enter the Park.
Follow the gps track along the beautiful fire roads that cut across The Forest Park. The itinerary, leaves the Park, after passing near its Headquarters. After the bridge over the S'Eleme River, turn right on the narrow paved road that takes to Badde suelzu, an ancient shepherds village, from there a winding a dirt road quickly will take quickly with a shrp climb, at the foot of Alà Dei Sardi Mountain. There will start the second, steady, long climb of the day, on a winding fire road, after becoming a concrete road approaching the peak, Punta Giommaria Cocco at an altitude of 1006 meters.
From the Top, you will enjoy a eye-opening 360 degrees panorama over all North-Eastern Sardinia, from the lake of Coghinas, The Limbara mountain, to the to the limestone Island of Tavolara and the mountain of the Montalbo di Lula.
A Wondrous granite rock carved by Mistral wind. Alà dei Sardi.
After conquering the peak, the trail descends on the southern face of the ridge, on a mule track. The summit of Alà mountain is wild and scenic, interspersed with natural wonders, granite rocks carved by the Mistral, which had given them the most curious shapes.
In Sardinia,the Mistral always blows strong, and sometimes fuels raging fires very difficult to control. As you will notice,the top of this mountain is still suffering from past fires and only bushes are left where before there had been a forest.
The mule track becomes a winding, steep, concrete road that in few minutes will take you to Alà dei Sardi, village inhabited by sheperds, granite workers and cork harvesters. This village is in the middle of a vast plateau, endowed with good quality granite and cork oak precious woodlands, they are a vital source of income for the local villagers. tI only takes few minuts to do a tour of the village, pedaling the narrow streets enclosed between ancient houses bulit with the local granite stone. It may also be the right time to take a break and relax at one of the local cafès.
The trail, leaves Alà dei Sardi, taking the direction to Buddusò, then turns to the left, getting on the road that from the soccer field goes towards the countryside. In few kilometers, you will be again on a forest track, this time entering the regional forest park of Alà dei Sardi.
Cork Oak woodlands. Alà dei Sardi.
The trail passes near a small lake, in a place called Ianna de Sercula, there you will take a large fire road that cuts through the forest eastward , in front of you, the peak of Punta sa Donna, the last climb of the day. once you get over you will find yourself right above the Mamone agriturismo.
It is your last effort for the day, but it will be soothed by the astonishing view of the landscape all around you, the tree line of the forest being the horizon line, interrupted only by marvelous granite peaks.
After having passed the Forest Park house of Crastazza, there will only be two more kilometers left to reach the last summit, once there the trail takes you through a gate into the property of the agriturismo Ertila. There still a short twisted descent to ride, that will take you fast to the entrance of the agriturismo Ertila di Mamone, run friendly by the patron Pigotzi.
Tested July 2009
Go to Day 2