Sardinia is mostly famous for its beaches, but it also offers mountains and forests of stunning beauty. The best way to explore Sardinia's hidden gems is by mountain bike.
Just by looking at the map you will realise how wild Sardinia is: you can cycle for hours or days without meeting anybody. Some of the mountains, although not very high, are very tough, ideal if you want a challenge. In any case, you are never too far from the sea, but you will be very far from crowds, cars, etc.
The weather is ideal for cycling: it is never too cold or wet, although it might be too hot in July and August.
One of my favourite places to cycle is the vast forest around Monte Arcosu, west of Cagliari, where there is a WWF reserve protecting, among others, Sardinian deers.
If you want to organise a trip, you can try Ichnusa Bike (www.ichnusabike.it): they will provide assistance for every aspect of your trip (from bike hiring to accommodation).
It is the oldest part of town and the highest. Its walls nad bastions are mostly still intact. You can start by climbing the stairs of one of the two remaining marble-white watch towers, Torre di San Pancrazio (Saint Pancras' tower). From the top of the tower you have a full view of the old town, which looks like a boat on the sea. After that you can wander in the narrow streets of the town that has changed little since the middle ages. You will find many artesan workshops and scenic views. You can then end your walk in one of its cafes: I recommend Libarium Nostrum, close to the other watch tower, Torre dell'Elefante (Elephant Tower), where you can sip your drink with a stunning view of the sunset on the eastern lagoon from an old fortified bastion overlooking the lagoon, the sea, and the old Stampace neighborhood.
You will see it from every point of the town. Local buses from central Largo Carlo Felice.
Tapa is a cafe/delicatessen that only sells organic and vegetarian products. They bake their own bread, which tastes fantastic: being Italian my family is very picky about bread, but Tapa's bread never let us down. Interestingly, they mostly use local-sourced rye to bake bread.
They also do very good organic fairtrade coffee, and their own soups, ciabbattas, sandwiches and, mostly recommended, cakes.
Staff are very friendly and nice. You can dine inside, or even outside on the pavement, weather permitting. The cafe has a very "east-side" unpretentious look, but the quality on offer is not matched by more pretentious cafes in the city centre - so it is worth visiting Dennistoun on the east side to eat at Tapa.
21 Whitehill St, Glasgow;
tel: 0141 554 9981
This traditional pub in the Merchant City, Glasgow has a very nice and relaxed atmosphere. No background music, the emphasis is on conversation. Very good pub food at more than reasonable prices. There is also a restaurant on the first floor, with a good variety of game, and they even offer accommodation. A very friendly and relaxed place to meet friends and make some new ones.
16-18, Blackfriars St, Glasgow
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