It was one of those cool, rainy evenings when Lisa and I spontaneously decided – as we always do – to defy the cold and to chase the last summer days before we were forced to accept that autumn had finally set in. Only two hours by plane separated us from summerlike temperatures, a new culture and the next adventure. Therefore, we agreed on travelling to Sardinia in mid-October.
As per usual, for our five-day trip we met at the airport and, as we are used to travelling with only hand luggage and on a low budget, it was clear to us that we needed to take a tent with us! This time, we brought the flying tent to be even more independent on our daily hunt for the best spot to see the sunrise and sunset.
After checking in, boarding, taking off, landing and picking up the rental car, we were ready for our next adventure. We left Olbia during wonderful weather and went straight to the first beach to get in the holiday mood. In the parking lot, we were intercepted by a friendly parking attendant who asked for a few euros before we were allowed to continue our descent to the sea. We were rewarded with a white beach and crystal-clear water. Despite our traveling experience, we immediately believed that we had found the most beautiful beach of Sardinia (or even of the whole of Europe!) At this point, we didn’t have the slightest idea that we were mistaken and we would find this out in the upcoming days…
Next, we took the ferry from Palau to the island La Maddalena and then eastward to the uninhabited island of Caprera. We drove around one part of the deserted island and quickly realised that this was the place to spend our first night. We found the perfect conditions in a small bay: a gorgeous panorama view, little wind and a few trees where we could hang up the flying tent.
Even though it was our first real attempt at setting up the tent, we managed it in no time and were ready for the first night of our trip. When setting up and dismantling the tent, we thought that every step was logical and simple, and it’s even quite fun to set up one’s home that fast.
As Lisa and I had packed independently, we both had a sleeping mat (“Term-a-rest”). However, Lisa decided for a low-quality summer sleeping bag in combination with the underquilt, whereas I stuffed my high-quality down sleeping bag into my backpack. After a night amidst nature we noticed that there was a little condensation in the tents. In the following nights, we opened the air vent at the top of the tent (we’d realised a little late ;)) and from then on, the tents were dry every morning. As the night temperature was between 12 and 15 degrees Celsius, we never got cold in the night. Moreover, all our initial doubts with regards to sleeping comfort soon disappeared – sleeping on your back or side was actually very comfortable.
After breakfast, the tents were quickly stowed away in their bags and we went back to Palau by ferry and, from there, we drove on to Capo Testa. During a hike of roughly 3.5 hours, we passed a wild turtle and rugged rock formations in the valley which are, to this day, still occupied by hippies. We then hiked along the coast to the lighthouses where we found an isolated spot with a view of Corsica, which was perfect for a picnic. Once again, we spent our second night in our flying tents, only a few metres from the sea and, despite the strong wind, we felt stable and fell deeply asleep to the sound of the sea.
Then we went to the east coast where we spent a comfortable day on a few beaches before we went on the hunt for an ideal spot for camping in the evening. We visited a few bays until, rather late, we found the perfect spot. As it was already dusk, we decided to hang up one tent and to set up the other one on the ground. We wanted to happily jump into our tent after sunset; however, our plan changed at short notice. There are plenty of wild boars on Sardinia and, when we heard grunting close by, we quickly tightened the second tent between two trees to avoid an unpleasant encounter. We also attached our backpacks to the trees so that our provisions would remain intact in case the boars came prowling, before we finally managed to get into the tents.
After a breath-taking sunrise the next morning, we continued our journey south. We drove along an impressive pass road which we shared not only with other cars and motorbikes but also free-running goats, sheep, horses and pigs. After some time, we reached the Golgo plateau. From there, we took a narrow hiking path between olive trees and rock walls down to Cala Goloritzé, a further highlight of our trip.
After recovering and also being slightly overwhelmed by this unique piece of nature, we then drove to Cala Fuili as we had heard in the afternoon that wild camping there was great. There is a famous climbing area in this bay and, as there wasn’t really an opportunity to hang up our tents, we set them up on the beach.
As we basically had a clear view, we opened the rain protection and, through the mosquito net, we were able to spot the first stars after sunset, and, a little later, the milky way as well. Falling asleep with this view whilst hearing the murmuring of the sea was an indescribable feeling. Early in the morning, we got up to watch the sun battling through the clouds when we noticed that we had a surprise visitor – instead of the first climbers, a goat decided to keep us company and watch the sunrise lying between our tents.
After this special morning it was, unfortunately, time to set out for Olbia, so we spent our last day in Sardinia on beaches between Cala Fuili and San Teodoro and camped in a camping area at night. The airport wasn’t far from there and the next morning, a plane took us not only back to Austria but also back to our “real” life – after five days of summer, sun, nature and many invaluable travel experiences.
Sardinia is definitely worth visiting due to its impressive nature, paradise-like beaches and pleasant weather, even in October. As wild camping is actually forbidden, it was sometimes not easy to find an ideal spot for the tent that was not too exposed. The flying tent turned out to be a nice and really cool alternative to the normal tent, particularly when travelling by rental car. We think that the pack size is a little too large when going on a hike for several days, especially with the underquilt.
We had a problem (or not enough patience) with the seal of the mosquito net on both ropes and so we just stuffed a piece of clothing in the remaining hole which kept the insects out. Sometimes we stored our backpacks in the trees or left them in the car. For two nights, however, we took our luggage with us into our tent, which was not a problem in terms of space. Moreover, the underquilt can be used well as an additional blanket and it keeps you warm if the tent is set up on the ground. The simple unzipping of the rain protection and the view of the star-lit sky, the sleeping comfort and the fast set-up and dismantling time make the flying tent the perfect companion for a trip – it’s worth testing the versatility of this tent yourself.
Text & Photos Lisa Anna Rösler & Lisa-Marie Jagarinec