Published on: 15 December 2016 | Last updated: 23 December 2019
At a glance
Moderate. There are no really big climbs, but there are quite a lot of smaller ones.
This section of route is on quiet roads.
Entirely on surfaced roads in good condition.
The route is very easy to follow using the normal road signs.
You couldn’t wish for a better introduction to Sardegna. The route starts off on the bastioni of Alghero, before heading out onto a gorgeous stretch of coastal road that takes you to Bosa. Bosa, with its castle, and pretty centro storico is one of the island’s most attractive towns.
- the glorious coast road between Alghero and Bosa
- Bosa with its castle and colourful centro storico
There are only a couple of beaches on this section of the route: the Poglina beach a few kilometres from Alghero, and the beach at Bosa Marina.
Map and altitude profile
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Alghero to Bosa
If you’re in a hurry you can follow the road as it skirts round Alghero’s centro storico, but the most scenic option is to follow the bastioni (the defensive seawalls). Parts of the centro storico are a pedestrian zone however, you can ride along the bastioni as always, you need to apply common sense and discretion. If it’s crowded, you may need to get off and walk at the narrow points.
To get up to the bastioni without having to carry your bike up the steps you need to turn right onto the Banchina Dogana quayside and then turn left through the Porta a Mare (there are no-entry signs on the Porta a Mare - but also a cyclist-pedestrian sign). Turn right into the Piazza Civica which takes you past the Duomo (Cathedral) and then turn right again in front of the Duomo and onto the Via San Erasmo. Just a little further on (after the Movida restaurant) is a piazza where there’s a ramp that takes you up to the Bastioni Magellano. The piazza is shown on the map as the Piazza San Erasmo but seems to have been renamed the Piazza Pasqual Gal.
On a clear day you can see from the walls across the golfo to the Capo Caccia.
You can follow the bastioni to the Torre Sulis where you pick up another cycleway which takes you to the Mirador Giuni Russo at Calabona on the edge of town. From here you need to pick up the SP105. It’s a truly beautiful coastal road that threads its way between the sea and a high escarpment that runs parallel to the coast. The day I rode this way the peaks were shrouded in cloud, but according to the map they rise 600 or so metres above the road.
The road heads inland and climbs to just over 100m altitude before descending again down to the coast at the Spiaggia di Poglina.
On this section the real star of the show was the wildflowers and the foliage of the macchia. Silvery greens, blues, orange, and yellow gorse. Mind you, there are some dramatic rock formations along the way — in particular, there’s one that looks like a gargoyle high above the road. Credit to the local authorities, rather than simply demolish it they have built a cantilevered shelter to protect the road from rockfalls.
At about 21 km from Alghero the road starts its final climb going from about 150m to 367m, levelling off about 15 kilometres from Bosa. As you climb, you should, on a clear day, be able to see all the way back towards the Capo Caccia. A kilometre or so further on, at the border with the Provincia di Oristano the road becomes the SP49.
Look out for the Torre Argentina on your right as you descend towards Bosa. If you are heading for Bosa itself, don’t cross the bridge over the river into Bosa Marina, but instead bear left —following the signs for Bosa. This will take you along the pretty riverside, and you should, on your right-hand side, catch your first sight of the town itself with its castle above it.
Bosa is known for its houses painted in bright jaunty colours. I don’t know why it is, but places like Bosa are definitely an exception (the only other place I’ve been to that you could compare with it is Burano on the Venetian lagoon). In general houses in Italy are painted in very safe conservative colours — I once watched a comedian on a prime-time television show doing a whole story about the bitter row in the condominium about what shade of terracotta to paint the building. When you come to a place like Bosa it’s as if the cork has been taken out of the bottle and the result is full-on exuberance.
Bosa is definitely on the tourist circuit, but it’s still the sort of place where the local boys kick a football around the main square or tear round it on their bikes. Some parts of the centro storico feel pretty poor and run down.
It’s worth the climb up to the Castello Malaspina (also known as the Castello Serravalle, or more simply as the Castello di Bosa) for the view from the castle walls over Bosa and beyond. Don’t miss the Capella Palatina with a beautiful cycle of 14th century frescoes that is unique in the island.
You can ride up to the castle if you have enough energy left — although I wouldn’t even think about trying to ride through the centro storico itself. In summer the castle and chapel are open every day from 10:00 admission is 5.50€ (check times and prices: Castello di Bosa opening hours and prices).
Places to stay
Hotels and B&Bs etc
There are hotels and B&Bs at Bosa (and nearby Bosa Marina). In Bosa I stayed at the very reasonably-priced B&B Sa Rocchitta.
Find and book places to stay with Booking.com
Booking.com pages for places on this section of the route:
About these links
If you use these links to book accommodation Booking.com will pay me a small part of their commission. This helps support the costs of producing this site.
I use Booking.com to find and book places to stay when there are no campsites in the area. The large majority of hotels and many hostels are now on ‘Booking’. I like it because it means that I can get almost-instant confirmation. The rating system is also a reliable guide to the quality of the accommodation.
I’ve never had a problem finding places to keep my bike —even if it’s a cupboard or store room. I always use the ‘special requests’ field on the booking form to tell the hotel that I’m travelling with a bike, which gives them the opportunity to let me know if there’s a problem.
Many properties offer free cancellation but it’s a good idea to check the conditions as these vary from property to property.
So far as I know, there are no hostels on this section of the route.
Transport and services
The nearest rail station to Bosa is at Oristano with services to Olbia and Cagliari.
Articles in this series
- Sardegna West Coast: Introduction
- Sardegna West Coast: Part 1: Alghero to Bosa
- Sardegna West Coast: Part 2: Bosa to Is Arenas
- Sardegna West Coast: Part 3: Is Arenas to Oristano
- Sardegna West Coast: Part 4: Barumini and Genna Maria
- Sardegna West Coast: Part 5: the Costa delle Miniere
- Sardegna West Coast: Part 6: the Costa delle Miniere
- Sardegna West Coast: Part 7: the Costa delle Miniere
- Sardegna West Coast: Part 8: the Isola di San Pietro
- Sardegna West Coast: Part 9: Calasetta to Pula