6 Sar­dinia

Bikes Etc - - TRAVEL -

Fabio Aru was born on Sar­dinia. He won plenty of races on the is­land be­fore leav­ing for main­land Italy, aged just 18, to try his luck amid the ranks of the pro pelo­ton where, you may have no­ticed, he’s been do­ing OK. If you visit Sar­dinia and ride in his tyre marks, it won’t take long to work out how his for­ma­tive years here turned him into such a for­mi­da­ble climber. More than 80% of the is­land is moun­tain­ous and hilly, with many peaks both­er­ing the sky at over 1,000m. The prospect of con­quer­ing the 1,127me­tre-high Monte Albo (or Monte Arbu, as the lo­cals call it) by bike is what en­tices many two-wheeled tourists to the is­land, al­though it’s hardly the only draw. Ex­plor­ing the ver­dant Flu­men­dosa Val­ley with its sap­phire-blue lakes and dra­matic vol­canic land­scape on the Is­land’s western side is also a mag­i­cal way to spend a week­end and cer­tainly prefer­able to cre­osot­ing a fence or wan­der­ing around Ikea. Oth­er­wise, head to the is­land’s west coast, we say – here you’ll en­counter empty roads, lime­stone ridges and deep gorges as well as won­ders such as the white cliff tow­ers of Pan di Zuc­chero and the Si­nis wet­lands, where you’ll en­counter colonies of pink flamin­goes. The cli­mate in the late part of the year also makes this a great op­tion with tem­per­a­tures still av­er­ag­ing 22°C/72°F in Septem­ber and 19°C/66°F in Oc­to­ber.

FLIGHT TIME: 2hrs 30 PRICE: Flights from ap­prox £85 re­turn to Cagliari MORE INFO: sar­dini­a­cy­cling.com

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