This article is a detailed days ride of Sardinia, Italy.
Riding Day 3: Pula – Arbatax (~450 km.)
Although leaving the sea at Pula was hard, it is time to go. Todays target is Arbatax and I have over 450km road to cover, some of which are the most twisty roads on the island.
From Pula through Cagliari, although there is some very nice scenery, the road is not all that impressive, some nice sweepers along the coastline, but that’s just about it. As you pass the intersection point of SP17 and SS554 to the west of Capitana, it becomes more fun.
You will have a good ride until you reach Villasimius. I have entered the cape area to take some nice pictures of the division of the sea and the lagoon by the beach, but unfortunately I had my road tires on and the road does not take you to where you wish it would. There are some off-road trails that lead to places if you can manage, but some of the areas I tried to enter were signed “no-entry – military zone”. I think it is the light-house or they have a radar, I am not sure but I gave up on the idea and took a brief lunch break at the marina restaurant.
The road will keep you interested until the intersection of SP98 very close to Sant’Elmo. From Sant’Elmo all the way north until the intersection of SP125 and SP11, where you are pretty close to Albarax, it is pretty much a smooth and hassle free ride. Not much to see or enjoy along the road.
As I entered SP11, I have followed the route that passed through Jerzu, Taquisara, Ussassai, Sadali, Lago del Flumendosa (very nice scenes), Villanova Tulo, Aritzo, Belvi, Asuai and Desulo. By this time, you are on road SP7 and it is a delight to ride on it. Further down south, it will take you through a mountain pass called Passo del Carreboi. Nothing major about it, if you are expecting the passes in the Dolomites (Dolomiti), but still…
It was around 18:40 when I passed through the Passo del Carreboi and due to the rain clouds and the shorter day light time, the dark was setting in. One major thing about this road is, there are cows and their droppings so be aware and pay special attention to the blind corners.
The SS7 will merge with SS389var and have some nice fast sweepers all the way until SS198. From there on until Tortoli, it is all twisties again; pretty nice ones too…
If you decide to stay in Tortoli, it is a major town, so a lot of bars, cafes as well as B&B and Hotels are present. It seemed like a more social option, but I have read and heard so much about Albarax, I decided to go further to coastline.
Overall, you need an early start for this route, it is more than 450 km in total and the last bit is very energy consuming if you are in to performance riding. You will like it when you hit the sack after a few glasses of local vine and some seafood 😉
Arbatax may be another good location to camp and do sorties. All the major roads are close. There are hundreds of motorcyclists staying and riding in the region. East coast is more preferred by the motorcyclists due to its roads. The guides on the internet will tell you that the east and northeastern regions are the best and highly preferred by the tourists. The sea is a few degrees colder than south but you will not regret camping around Arbatax for a few nights. Most of the riders I have talked to camp here for about 5 to 7 days just ride around during the morning and enjoy the sea or the comfort of their hotel pools under the sun in the afternoon.
You may find the next days ride below: