Cycling on San Pietro island is a great way to discover the island`s natural inland and coastal beauty and as the island has never been a destination for the mass tourism market the roads and tracks are almost always empty and safe to cycle upon, and being an island, it has fresh winds blowing in off the sea to keep you cool throughout the day.
With 51 square kilometres (19.7 sq. mi) it is the sixth largest island of Italy by area, most of which is undeveloped and accessible by bike. The 18 kilometres (11 miles) of its coasts are a mix of cliffs and sandy beaches. The western and northern parts are where you will find beautiful natural grottoes, ideal for swimming in, a few small beaches, and the steep hills that are ideal for mountain biking. The highest points on the island are the Bricco hill at (211 m) and Bricco Tortoriso at (208 m), both are worth the accent and provide stunning views across the islands interior and out over the turquoise Mediterranean Sea. This is also where you will find the oasis of San Pietro, which is a nature reserve, it has a wild and rocky landscape filled with scented flora and is home to the fast array of wildlife that resides on the island.
The eastern and southern parts are mostly flat, with tarmacked coastal roads that gently lead you from the town of Carloforte, past the salt pans reserve (where you will see flocks of flamingos, Egrets, Grey cranes and many other forms of wildlife) and directly to the many sandy beaches. Natural tracks also meander along the coastline, where you will find numerous enchanting coves and inlets that are ideal for taking a cooling swim and undisturbed picnic lunches. So, get cycling and enjoy the islands fresh sea air, its silence, endless colours of the sea and the scents of the island, that stay with you throughout your day.
The island has one-way and loop trails ranging from 6 to 34 miles long, from 10 metres to 211 metres in elevation and from easy to difficult that will transport you through wild and beautiful countryside.
Starting from the town of Carloforte it takes no more than ten minutes to find your first off-road trail. You can either choose to go south along the coast road which is relatively flat, from this route you will find trails that will take you along the coastline and onto the many beaches that are located to the east and south of the island, or take on one of the steep ascents from the town that will lead you directly up to one of the many plateaus that form the islands topography. From here there are many good tracks, some are wide and easy and others that require a bit more bike control and some good riding skills. Along these tracks, you will discover the rugged and inaccessible nature of the island, scenery that changes from intense Mediterranean scrublands filled with Aleppo pine forests, Oak and Juniper trees, and Maqui’s shrublands to beautiful and unusual rock formations carved by wind erosion, and jagged cliffs that plunge into the turquoise sea. Here you will also find a silence like no other. Absolute serenity.
It’s biking at a relaxed pace and an adventure that will stick in the mind of both mountain bikers and lovers of beautiful scenery.
On leaving the town of Carloforte and heading south, you will immediately pass the salt ponds, where you will see the flocks of Rosy Flamingo, common Kingfishers, Grey Herons, Little Egrets and many other species of avifauna that both live and migrate to San Pietro.
The roads are very quiet here, some days you will pass nothing more than the traditional three-wheeled pickups (called an APE) that locals use for transporting both themselves and local produce around the island. Because of this they are safe and you can cycle leisurely along the quiet coastal road whilst enjoying uninterrupted views of the turquoise sea, which at times is no more than 100 yards away, and the clean air, filled with the scents of the rich flora, such as, Rosemary, Heathers, Phillyrea, Cistus, Euphorbia, Broom, Myrtle, Strawberry, Phoenician Juniper, the rare Prickly Juniper, Thick-leaved Lesser Daisy, Rock Samphire, Seseli, Illyrian sea lily, and Aleppo pine, to name but a few! that grow wild along the roads edge. Along the coast, there are eight stunning beaches, with golden sand and crystal-clear water, beautiful coves and inlets, all of which a reachable by bike and where you can enjoy quiet picnic lunches.
If you wish to book a bike / electric bike or require further information please contact us by filling out the booking form below, or alternatively you can call us today on 00353 (86) 0626229 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be contacted within 24 hours to confirm availability or to propose alternative options that suit your needs