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Trek the Selvaggio Blu Trail in Sardinia

Tackle Italy's most challenging trek – a 40km trail with 4200m of vertical gain, five abseils and two via ferratas over five days

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Trip Ref #10596

Trek the Selvaggio Blu Trail in Sardinia

Tackle Italy's most challenging trek – a 40km trail with 4200m of vertical gain, five abseils and two via ferratas over five days

DURATION
6 nights
LOCATION
Italy
ANNUAL LEAVE
5 days off work
SEASON
Apr-Jun, Sep-Oct
GROUP SIZE
Up to 12 people
MEETING POINT
Cagliari Airport
ACCOMMODATION
Classic

Mountain hut · Wild camping

OVERALL RATING

4.9

Based on 12 reviews
DIFFICULTY
Tough

No previous climbing or abseiling experience is needed, but you must be fit and prepared for exposed hikes on difficult mountainous terrain

Test your limits with thrilling climbs, scrambles and abseils as you traverse vertical sea cliffs

Hike across impenetrable forests, teetering rock arches and narrow chasms on this wild and adventurous route

Take a dip in the crystal clear waters of Cala Sisine and Cala Golotizè, and cruise along Sardinia's dreamy coastline

Immerse yourself in the wilderness and camp under the stars, by beaches, caves or abandoned shepherds’ huts

Day 1

Welcome to Sardinia!

Touch down in Cagliari Airport and transfer to Sardinia's eastern coast. Your home for the night is a secluded mountain hut on the Golgo plateau, tucked into the Mediterranean scrub and surrounded by wild mountains. Settle in and meet your mountain guide for a trip briefing and equipment check. Time permitting, you may be able to stretch your legs with a short hike around the grounds of the hut, visiting a typical sheepfold and an ancient Sardinian megalith, built by the Nuragic civilisation thousands of years ago. This evening you'll feast on mouthwatering Sardinian specialities, before getting some rest ahead of your epic adventure.

Day 2

Into the wild: Pedra Longa to Ovile Ginnirco

Hiking

6hrs · 8km · 870m up · 180m down

Fuel up on breakfast and take a short off-road transfer to Pedra Longa, named after the imposing rocky spire emerging from the sea and the official start point of the Selvaggio Blu ('Wild Blue') trek. From here, you'll leave civilisation and fully immerse yourself in some of the wildest and most impenetrable landscapes Italy has to offer. Set off along a relatively easy panoramic trail and get the first glimpse of the glittering sea. Continue up the steep rocky ledge of Punta Giradili, one of Sardinia’s finest sea cliffs. From the top, the views over the Arbatax Gulf and the peaks of the Gennargentu hinterland will take your breath away. Set camp in the forest, and tuck into a bountiful Sardinian dinner.

Day 3

Vertical heights: Monte Ginnirico to Portu Pedrosu Cove

Hiking

7hrs · 8.5km · 280m up · 1020m down

Grab breakfast and pack your picnic lunch before handing your overnight gear to the local team, who will transport it to the next camping spot for you. Test your stamina as you hike on the edge of a 200m cliff, high above the sea. Following the Capo Monte Santo crag, descend to the Bacu Tenadili canal before climbing up again on the other side with the use of some ropes, assisted by your expert guide (grade III climbing). Power through a steep, zig-zagging trail – eyes peeled for the rare Eleonora's Falcon – until you reach the beautiful limestone fjord of Portu Pedrosu. Jump into the water for a refreshing swim and enjoy another magical camping spot.

Day 4

To Arcu Su Tasaru via Goloritzè Beach

Hiking

10hrs · 11km · 1200m up · 780m down

Lace up your boots and get ready for your most challenging day. Cross the Porto Cuau cove and hike towards Punta Salinas, overlooking the Orosei Gulf – fringed by limestone cliffs. Follow ancient shepherds' paths, traversing a canyon of ancient holm oaks and junipers. A steep descent will lead you to the famous crystal clear waters of Cala Goloritzè, a white stretch of beach overlooked by the iconic Punta Caroddi, a 128m rock needle which has become a mecca for international climbers. Tackle a 30m section of via ferrata with spectacular views, continuing on until you reach Su Tasaru, where you'll camp for the night.

Day 5

An adventurous route to Bacu Padente

Hiking

8hrs · 7km · 770m up · 970m down

Rise early and get ready to tackle the next exhilarating stage of the Selvaggio Blu. You'll cross some difficult terrain, which includes a section of abseiling (23m). It is, however, incredibly beautiful as you'll explore some of the hidden gems of Sardinia's East coast and experience its primordial beauty. You'll be tackling exposed passages with dizzying views over the emerald sea, glimpsing unforgettable views of limestone cliffs and white beaches. Tonight, you'll set camp near Su Padente Canyon and celebrate your efforts with a fantastic meal in the wilderness.

Day 6

Trek, climb and abseil to Cala Sisine

Hiking

6hrs · 8km · 620m up · 860m down

The final push! Today's final stage will involve another demanding section as you traverse unforgettable wild scenery and mountaineering passages. You'll tackle four roped descents (from 25m to 45m), as well as a 40-metre section on a via ferrata. Your efforts will be repaid once you reach your final destination and the end point of the trek: the dreamy cove of Cala Sisine. Set by the rocky promontory of Punta Plummare, the beach is a top contender for one of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia. Enjoy a celebratory dip in the crystal clear water, then toast your epic achievement with a farewell dinner at a nearby campsite, where you'll spend the night.

Day 7

Aaaand relax...

Sailing

1.5hrs

Congratulations, you've completed the hardest trek in Italy and had one of the most unforgettable adventures of your lifetime. Spend the morning relaxing with a well-deserved lie in, or soothe your muscles with a reinvigorating swim at Cala Sisine. Explore the beach or just hang out before you embark on a 90-minute boat ride along the coast you just traversed by foot, passing pristine coves and secluded beaches. Your transfer will depart from Santa Maria Navarrese mid-afternoon, and will take you back to the airport in time for your evening flight home. Arrivederci!

Included

Guides

Certified, English-speaking mountain guide, plus a local team for logistical support

Accommodation

1 night in a mountain hut, 5 nights wild camping

Meals

Munch on tasty meals throughout

Transfers

Airport transfers and everthing in between

Porterage

Jeeps to transport your overnight luggage and camping gear during the trek

Equipment

All your climbing, via ferrata and abseiling kit, plus camping gear (excluding sleeping bag)

Permits

Local park fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Visas where required

Day 1

Mountain hut · Multi share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 6

Wild camping · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Without doubt, meals will be a highlight of the adventure. The trek is fully sported by a fantastic local team who take care of all the food preparation, along with kit and luggage porterage. In the morning you'll enjoy a good breakfast which usually includes a choice of tea, coffee, milk, homemade cakes, bread, butter and local jams. You'll also be provided with a packed lunch before setting off for the hike, usually featuring freshly baked bread with a choice of cured meats and cheese, vegetables and fruit. Each evening at the camp, you are in for a treat with a range of delicious Sardinian specialities, including appetisers (cheese, cured meat and roasted vegetables), a main course (meat, pasta) and side dishes – the perfect way to refuel after a challenging day of activity. In addition, you'll be able to enjoy complimentary wine, liqueurs and sweets.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request this on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Altopiano del Golgo

You'll spend your first night at the welcoming and friendly mountain hut Rifugio Cooperative Goloritzé, the official base of the Selvaggio Blu trek. You'll be sleeping in small bungalows (usually accommodating 2-4 people) with shared bathrooms and showers. In the evening, you can relax and socialise with your fellow adventurers in the small bar and restaurant, which serves typical local specialities and delicious local wines.

Wild camping

For five nights of the trip you will sleep under the stars in twin-share tents in the Sardinian wilderness, far away from any sign of civilisation. All your camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, mattress, overnight luggage, cooking kit, water, etc.) will be transported by a local team using a 4x4, so you won't need to carry this with you on the trek, however you will be expected to pitch your own tent. Your local guide can assist where needed.

Upgrades

For solo travellers wanting their own personal space, you can request your own private tent for five nights (subject to availability). The solo upgrade is not available at the mountain hut due to limited capacity. See Optional Extras for prices.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Cagliari Airport

13:30 on Day 1

Ends

Cagliari Airport

18:00 on Day 7

Transfers

A group airport transfer is included on Day 1 which will depart Cagliari Airport around 13:30. It will take just over two hours to reach the mountain hut located in the Altopiano del Golgo, halfway between Cagliari and Olbia. Your return transfer will arrive at Cagliari Airport at around 18:00 on Day 7, so you'll need to book flights departing from 20:00 onwards.

It will be difficult to use public transport to reach the start point of the trek independently if you chose to travel at different times or from/to Olbia, so we strongly recommend taking advantage of the set group transfers from/to Cagliari.

Private transfers can also be arranged on request – see Optional Extras for prices.

Travel options

There are regular direct flights to Cagliari from airports in London and Europe. Alternatively, you can also search for indirect flights via Rome or Milan – it’s often easier to search for two single flights (with connection in Milan or Rome) rather than a return.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Twin-share tent
  • Inflatable mattress
  • All your abseiling, climbing and via ferrata equipment (helmet, harness, via ferrata kit and ropes)

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack (preferrably waterproof or with rain cover) put your tent, sleeping bag, and spare clothes in to. When filled with all your items, this bag should weigh no more than 15kg
  • Daypack (30 litres)
  • Waterproof liner for kitbag or rucksack/drybags

CLOTHES

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Trekking shoes with a hard sole
  • 5 or 6 t-shirts and changes of underwear
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts (bear in mind these may get damaged on the rocky passages)
  • Trekking socks
  • Swimwear and light towel
  • Hat, glasses, and sun-cream
  • Something to sleep in
  • Sandals

SLEEPING

  • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner
  • Sleeping bag (all season)
  • Travel pillow or pillowcase

OTHER

  • Knife, fork, and spoon plus a plate and a cup for meals
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent (strongly recommended!)
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch with spare batteries
  • Reusable water bottle x2 (1.5-2 litre)
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Optional Private Tent Upgrade (5 nights)

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Tent Upgrade (5 nights)

Private Arrival Transfer Cagliari airport - Rifugio Cooperativa Goloritzè

Payable Before Departure

Private Arrival Transfer Cagliari airport - Rifugio Cooperativa Goloritzè

Private Departure Transfer S. Maria Navarrese - Cagliari airport

Payable Before Departure

Private Departure Transfer S. Maria Navarrese - Cagliari airport

Monica

Loved the experience- I’m not a hiker so this one was new for me and my partner. It’s a difficult trekking trail but I’d say no previous experience is needed other than a positive attitude and the willingness to keep moving. The terrain is very rocky - so hard sole shoes are a must.

Matthew

Brilliant trip and Ivan the local organiser, guide and expert on the many dark and occasionally lighter tales of Sardinia was fantastic. There are some tiring sections and challenging scrambles for someone not used to them but that makes it all the better when you finish each day. You do need to be someone who's fairly fit and willing. There's plenty of abseiling and some short climbs that would be simple for some but were great for me. The description given is accurate and doesn't under or overstate things. Some of those ledges can feel pretty exposed until you get used to them but you're in great hands.

Lenka

This has been the best trip I have done with MBA so far. The trek is quite demanding so you need a good level of fitness to be able to do this, and a good head for heights. But ah the views, they are stunning! The group of people I was with was amazing and Ivan a perfect host, funny and informative. The food was great and I enjoyed the simple back to basics lifestyle. We swam every day and laughed every night, I did not want the trip to end. Fantastic experience

Bethany

Would 100% recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys the outdoors and hiking. I loved every minute, from the abseiling to the daily swims in the sea. Each day was well organised and Ivan's great sense of humor, knowledge and expertise made him an excellent tour guide.

Simon

The Selvaggio Blu will demand a lot from you, but it’s worth it. Enjoyed the wide range of scrambles and abseiling, with the chance to swim on the trail’s magnificent beaches each day. Make no mistake though; you’ll be roughing it in the woods each night. Ivan is a tremendous guide who went out of his way to make sure we saw and experienced the best of the trail. This trip is a grind, but a worthy one. Happy I completed it and would recommend Selvaggio Blu to anyone seeking a challenge!

Maeve

This is a brilliant trip for anyone with a decent level of fitness, head for heights and lust for adventure. It's tough with lots of scrambling and some via ferrata and abseils so perfect if you're looking for something challenging. I loved the opportunity to swim every day at a cove or beach along the way.

Suzanne

Great trip, challenging, especially if not much experience of rock climbing and/or scrambling, but could manage it without. The swim every day helped!

Ben

Great trip, Ivan the guide is excellent. Good fun with the group. Loved the wild camping and the hiking. Loved the food. I couldn't rate it more highly.

Poppy

This trip is an absolutely incredible, once in a lifetime, challenge. Ivan is a fantastic host who shares stories and local knowledge throughout the trek. Expect long days of trekking along stunning coastlines, awesome abseils and daily swim stops in the Mediterranean. The trip is well supported while still feeling completely wild and cut off, and the camp sites are great (expect late night visits from the local pigs!). I cannot recommend this trip enough.

Mike

Very challenging, would be impossible save for incredible professionalism of Ivan the guide, a true adventure and definitely a great trip

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 105kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

The Selvaggio Blu (translated as 'Wild Blue' in English) is an extreme adventure, often referred to as the most challenging trek in Italy. It's more than just trekking - it is a mountaineering and wilderness experience. The itinerary was developed in 1988 by two Italian guides, and it follows the coastline over the mountains and sea cliffs of Sardinia's Baunei area. The trail crosses thick forests, hidden caves and deep canyons, making it necessary to abseil, climb and walk along exposed paths. There are now many variations of the original trail, but on this trip you'll follow the original trekking route – including its technical sections – as it offers the best panoramas and the most rewarding experience.

A good level of fitness is required, as you'll be out for up to 10 hours a day in a difficult environment – moving over challenging terrain and ascending considerable heights. You must be confident walking on steep and very uneven terrain, scrambling and descending on scree. Having a head for heights and good balance is absolutely crucial, as you'll be traversing many narrow paths and exposed sections next to vertical drops. The route and terrain, therefore, requires great stamina, so previous trekking experience on difficult mountain terrain is preferable (although not essential). You'll be fully supported by a team of local guides who will take care of the equipment porterage for you, so you'll be hiking only with your daily backpack. You'll sleep five nights in the forest, away from any trace of civilisation or comfort, so an adventurous spirit and adaptability are crucial for the enjoyment of this unique experience.

You don’t have to know how to abseil. Your professional mountain guide will take care of all rope manoeuvres. You just have to relax and carefully follow their instructions. You also don’t have to be a trained climber, but you should have good balancing skills and be confident climbing easy sections of rock. The only essential requirement is that you are not overly afraid of heights, as along the trek you will often have to scramble on scree and leaning rock walls. More difficult climbing passages are equipped with fixed ropes and will require you to wear a harness and via ferrata kit (which will be provided by your host).

Your local guide knows the itinerary and routes very well, having led Selvaggio Blu for years, and holds a professional mountain hiking certificate as well as First Aid certifications.

Yes, you are free to come with your own your abseiling, climbing and via ferrata kit if you prefer (helmet, harness etc). Please contact your host to let him know, or if you have any specific questions.

Climbing shoes are not required and all climbing sections on this trek can be tackled with standard trekking shoes.

No. You'll need to have a larger duffel bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you to each camp spot, and then a small daysack to carry personal items during each day of hiking.

You can leave any excess luggage with your host at the mountain hut for the duration of the adventure and this will be delivered to you on the final day of the trip before you head to the airport.

Unfortunately, there are very few fresh water sources on the route, and they may be dry at any time. Therefore, the local team will be carrying drinking water containers which will be refilled each day at the wild camp spots. Please bring at least two 1.5-2L refillable bottles with you.

You would have to complete the daily hike to get to the final destination and camping spot, but if you wish to take a rest day and prefer to skip a stage of the trek, you can! Each day, a transfer will reach the group in the evening to deliver luggage and dinner, and another transfer in scheduled in the morning to bring breakfast and pick up your luggage again. After breakfast, you may decide jump on the 4x4 and get a lift to the mountain hut where you can take a day off at leisure. In the evening, you can then jump in the same vehicle and rejoin the group, continuing the trek the following day.

Yes, there is usually mobile reception on at least 70% of the route, with the exception of the camping areas on the second and third nights of the itinerary.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Due to safety reasons and challenging nature of the trek, the trip cannot run during the hottest summer months of July and August. From May to June and September to October the daytime temperatures in Sardinia range from 22–30°C and cool off to 13–18°C at night, making this the ideal season for hiking. Unseasonable weather is possible at any time of year, but your guide will be assessing the weather conditions daily and will plan the walking times, routes and schedules accordingly. Rain is uncommon, so you're sure to get a lot of sun.

If it’s just a case of drizzling rain you can wear a rain jacket and walk, occasionally you may have to wait for it to stop by seeking shelter in one of the many caves along the route. When camping, the local team can help by setting up a large tarpauline above the dining table, if needed.

In the case that the weather is seriously bad, your guide may decide to abandon the trail for safety reasons. In that case you'll reach your daily destination, but instead of camping you'll be transferred back to the mountain hut/base used on Day 1. You'll have dinner at the hut and sleep under a canopy or in a small bungalow. The following day you'll take transfer and, if possible, you'll start hiking from the point where the trek was interrupted.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

April 2024

Sunday • 21st April 2024

to Saturday • 27th April 2024
€1,520.00
4 Booked • 8 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 12th May 2024

to Saturday • 18th May 2024
€1,520.00
3 Booked • 9 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 26th May 2024

to Saturday • 1st June 2024
€1,520.00
4 Booked • 8 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 9th June 2024

to Saturday • 15th June 2024
€1,520.00
5 Booked • 7 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 15th September 2024

to Saturday • 21st September 2024
€1,520.00
2 Booked • 10 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 29th September 2024

to Saturday • 5th October 2024
€1,520.00
3 Booked • 9 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 6th October 2024

to Saturday • 12th October 2024
€1,520.00
1 Booked • 11 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Sunday • 20th October 2024

to Saturday • 26th October 2024
€1,520.00
12 Spots left
Guaranteed to run

Pay In Installments

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