Sardinia has ancient ruins, stunning beaches, pine forests filled with pigs, high plains with wild horses, lonely wind-swept coasts and lots of rock. Granite, limestone, and basalt outcrops can be found on the island. The quality of the climbing is super, with tufa crags, bouldery pocket pulling, seaside cliffs and bolted cracks (if you left your rack at home). The sport climbing rage took off in the 90´s and Sardinia´s popularity as a sunny Mediterranean destination was solidified. Today the five most interesting towns with bolted crags nearby are Cala Gonone, Isili, Villasimius, Domusnovas and the newly developed Ulassai.
With thirty warm seaside crags, Cala Gonome is perfect for late fall, winter, and spring. The town caters to tourists in the summer, with many campgrounds, pensions, shops and restaurants. In the off-season (October-March) most things are closed from 1pm to 5pm and it is better to drive to Dorgali to shop and eat. Cala Gonome is the one area in Sardinia that will not tolerate wild camping. Cala Gonome is reequipping some of the old routes in Cala Fuili canyon and Biddiriscottai cave.
Short powerful pocket pulling made this crag famous in the 90´s and the routes deliver great fluid movement in a fantastic setting. A discreet bivouac in the off-season, October till April is not a problem. In Isili, Narughe (great circular towers built-in the Bronze age) can be found, also at the UNESCO heritage site Su Nuraxi 20 km away. These medieval wonders are a must see!
The granite seaside crag on Capo Carbonara is located in the South East of Sardinia. There are thirty bolted cracks, corners, overhangs and slabs. The area is peaceful and warm but comes into the shade in the afternoon. The bird life on the Capo is plentiful and the seaside sounds melodic.
The newest addition to Sardinian sport climbing has about 500 routes, most added in the last three years. The ten crags sit at an altitude of 700 meters. The walls provide a good mix of sun and shade, which is perfect for hotter weather. Most of the walls are vertical, grippy and safely bolted for those of us that fear falling.
Tufas, caves, cracks, and vertical walls are found at the twenty different high quality crags in the area. There is also a 600 meter cave that connects two crags, Canneland and the Bronx which you can walk through. It has fantastic stalagmites, curtains and candle formations in it. Nearby is Pan di Zucchero, a fantastic place to spend the night in the off-season. Also the ruins of Tempio di Antes are located 25 minutes away.
Italy is filled with great food and after a long day of climbing I think a simple pizza is perfect. The warm wood fire oven is a welcoming place during the cool winter days but during the warmer spring/fall months opt for a take away (asporto a via). Ten minutes is all it takes to make and bake a pizza and costs 5-8 euros.