News, views and guidebooks for walking, trekking and cycling
Following a difficult summer exploration trip to the island of Sardinia, Paddy Dillon returned to complete the research for his latest Cicerone guidebook, Walking In Sardinia. But, this time in winter…
Paddy said “I won’t forget my first trip to Sardinia, in early summer, with soaring temperatures. I had to start before sunrise, and finish in the middle of the day before the sun caused me to spontaneously combust. The best part was catching the air-conditioned buses back to my lodgings. I vowed that my next trip would be in winter.
So, returning to Sardinia in winter, it was pleasantly warm by the coast, refreshingly cool at higher altitudes, and quite chilly on the highest mountains. I like a lot of variety in my walks, and that includes the weather as well as the landscape. My focus was on the highest and wildest parts of Sardinia, from the limestone cliff coast of Ogliastra, through the barren uplands of the Supramonte, to the rolling whaleback mountains of Gennargentu. The most popular walks in Sardinia are found in these places, but you’ll have the place mostly to yourself.
Sardinia has long boasted of being rugged and beautiful, abounding in historical interest spanning thousands of years. From the point of view of walking, people used to struggle, following clear paths and tracks that expired on rocky slopes, or terminated in thorny macchia. On my first visit I had to agree, and I spilled more than enough blood, sweat and tears trying to find paths that actually went anywhere.
Then my luck changed, and I found a brand-new signpost planted in the ground. I discovered that an intricate network of trails were being cleared, restored, signposted and waymarked. More than this, they were all being featured on detailed maps available free of charge. And so, dear reader, you are among the first in the world to hear about this, so enjoy Sardinia this winter, safe in the knowledge that the paths you follow are actually going somewhere!”