Hiking The Selvaggio Blu
The Selvaggio Blu trail in Sardinia, is renowned for its beauty and difficulty. The route starts in Pedra Longa and follows a goats trail along the Sardinian coastline to finish at Cala Luna. Lush green Forrest, dramatic Tyrrhenian sea cliffs and turquoise waters all line this trail.
This multi-day trek from inversion consists of hiking, scrambling, free climbing and a little abseiling accompanied by camping under tarps, in a cave, tent and on a beach; whilst challenging fitness and endurance levels with the summer humidity and unpredictable rainfall.
Italy has been high on my bucket list for a long time. I would just love to explore this stunning country and it’s mass of hiking trails; from the glacier topped peaks of the italian alps to the coastal village of portofino or roaming to the medieval towns of tuscany. Sardinia was my first exposure to this gorgeous country.
It was the early summer, when we embarked on this trip guided by the amazing Tania Noakes and provided by Inversion Travel. Our first experience with Inversion Travel was in the Spanish Pyrenees Ice Climbing earlier that year. We loved the guys who ran this company and what they were offering so booked on to this trip too.
Overview of the Selvaggio Blu Trek from Inversion
- Day 1 – Arrive and greet
- Day 2 – Training, Rope Skills and Cala Ganone.
- Day 3 – Starting the trail with lots of Ascents and Descents to camp at a rocky gorge type area close to the water where additional water and food is delivered.
- Day 4 – Juniper wood via ladders and walkways along the trail and Sheppard huts. Includes some scrambling to then camp out at another clearing this time high up.
- Day 5 – Consists of more scrambling Ascents and Descents, abseiling and climbing (gear picked up the evening before from camping point) and sleeping in a cave.
- Day 6 – More trekking to arrive at Cala Sisine and camp overnight on the gorgeous beach
- Day 7 – Morning of trekking to Cala Luna before a boat ride back to Cala Ganone.
- Day 8 – Airport or onward travel
Cost: Approx. £895
My Experience of Hiking The Selvaggio Blu
The route is a multi-day trek which includes camping under tarps, in caves and on beaches as we spent the days navigating along the ridges and down steep gorges. After the first few miles the trail soon disappeared under our feet to become uneven terrain of boulders, shale and densely packed soil. It is renowned as one of the most challenging treks in the Mediterranean and we can see why.
I love rock climbing and hiking mountains but I have always had a phobia of heights. My way of overcoming this (temporarily in the moment), is to put myself in situations where I have o face it. One thing I wasn’t prepared for on this trip was inadvertently free climbing. We reached points where we had to traverse across a tiny ridge and climb up or down parts of the cliffs and were asked if we wanted to use equipment for this. All of our group including us were experienced hikers and climbers. We were all wearing large backpacks and hiking shoes but felt really comfortable without adding in ropes, cams and gear into the wall. There was secure foot placement (though narrow) and hand holds throughout.
On the trail there was selections of old wooden ladders, walkways and placements to create a traditional Juniper wood via ferrata. When we stepped on them there was an initial tentativeness as they let out creaking sounds. The combination of summer heat and unpredictably downpours added a little challenge maintaining comfort.
The food was provided on the trip with Tania bringing lots of variety of vegetables, fruit, cheese and cured meats that would keep for the first day. Fresh food and drink supplies were dropped at the camping points each day.
I, unfortunately, did not complete the entire trek and at the start of day 5 (the guide picked me and my husband up from the camping point). I was in large amounts of pain due to a flare-up from #endometriosis. I was due to start a new treatment, about 2 months treatment prior to this trip which ended up being postponed till the week after the trip. This was very frustrating but I listened to the guide and went with Robin (one of the owners of inversion who luckily was out on this trip ensuring everything ran smoothly for the first Selvaggio trip from them) and rested at a local campground for most of the day before stumbling around the town with my partner for our evening meal.
The next day (day 6) the swelling from my hips reduced a lot and I was able to move but just not too easy. We made the decision to make the most of the trip and go with the guide to meet the rest of the group at Cala Sisine to hang out and camp overnight. On the last day, the rest of the group finished their trek and we headed back to Cala Gonone to explore the town a little and then wait to meet the group at the hotel.
If you are planning to go on this trip:
- To prepare for this trip I went climbing and hiking on the English Fells (we aimed to do this once a week). At the time of this trip, I was regularly exercising in a gym and working in fitness and sport. I’d advise you to do this more often or ensure you are exercising.
- Bring plenty of blister plasters, thick socks and shoes with appropriate ankle support. Even the others in the group who had recently completed some amazing expeditions, found their feet blistering a lot, their ankles getting sore and their feet aching (not from the distance but the type of terrain).
- May want to bring glucose sachets due to the heat, the weather can cause you to burn through more energy, but you don’t want to be eating stodgy food or carrying perishables.
The Nearest Town To The Selvaggio Blu: Cala Gonone
According to the locals this town used to be very separated from the rest of Sardinia and almost inaccessible which explains why this place has a calm atmosphere and maintains it charm. It is close to Gennargentu National Park where the Selvaggio Blu trail is situated. This national park is also a haven for trad rock climbing, and secret beaches.
Cala Gonone is about 70 miles south of Olbia (where the nearest airport is) and takes <90 minutes by car. There is a golden sandy beach in the town centre and another few sandy beaches towards the direction of trail and national park.
Along the sea front was a collection of gorgeous restaurants. Both me and my husband love Italian and Sardinian food so he opted for a seafood pasta dish and I opted to try Troffi. I would Recommend the Road house blues restaurant on the sea front where we had our meal the evening of us coming back from the trek.
Hotel Cala luna has a beautiful rooftop bar (sky bar) and outdoor area on the sea front offering a range of cocktails, smoothies and light snacks. It also serves a great breakfast open to non guests downstairs and evening meal (although we didn’t try the meals here).
We camped one night at Cala Ganone Campsite (from 10 Euros per person), situated a bit further back from the seafront. There is also bungalows available here which are very affordable (from 50 Euros). It has facilities on site such as a pool, table tennis, leisure facilities and you can book excursions from here. There is also an onsite bar and pizzeria take away on site which was huge cost less than 5 Euros and was fantastic.
Don’t miss the Gelateria la Siesta Opposite the town beach steps for amazing Italian ice cream.
Activities to do in Cala Gonone
Sardinia is great for Mountain Biking and this area is no exception, with many trails available.
There are also archaeological sites not far from the national park of prehistoric Nuraghic civilisation.
The waters are pristine with lots of rocky coves make for great snorkelling or diving along this stretch of coast.
You can access the secret beaches, coves and gorges by boat trips available from Cala Ganone marina.
You can rent paddle boards and Kayaks from 25 Euros.