Saturday, June 22, 2024

The beautiful island where you can stay for free – but there is a catch

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Sardinia is an Italian island known for its white sandy beaches, turquoise sea and blistering temperatures.

The popularity of its coast has also made it an expensive destination, particularly during the peak holiday season.

However, Sardinia has more to offer than its beaches – particularly for tourists who love to hike.

One stunning trail taking people through wilderness and heritage sites can be found in the southwestern area of the island.

Keen for people to explore this area along the Mining Trail of Santa Barbara, the Cammino Minerario di Santa Barbara Foundation (CMSB) is offering free accommodation to tourists ready to tackle the 500km path. 

The only catch is that the offer is extended only to the under-35s, who need to obtain the Cammino Minerario di Santa Barbara membership at €5 (£4.22) in order to be eligible.

The CMSB’s “Leg’s go in Cammino” initiative offers a free stay of up to three nights to each hiker in one of the 24 inns, campsites and B&Bs linked to the foundation.

Hikers eligible for the offer are sent token vouchers to use to make reservations along the trail, mindful their reservations have to be made on consecutive days. 

The organisation’s initiative runs until 15 June before pausing during the hottest summer months and resuming between September 15 and New Year’s Eve.

The mining trail, which would take around a month to be completed in one go, is divided into 30 stages of different intensity, taking hikers through ancient mule tracks, abandoned rail tracks, villages, archaeological sites and outstanding views.

Starting from the city of Iglesias, the path also offers lush views of the coast and walks through the local forest where deer and other animals can often be spotted.

One of the stages also takes hikers to the Piscinas beach, a long sandy beach surrounded by huge dunes.

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