Thursday 24 August 2017

Rena Majore, Sardinia, Italy, Summer Fun-Run

Click here for route map
Length 4.3 km (2.7 miles), terrain: hilly, gain 44 meters

TIP: Be sure to bring your snorkel and cool off after the run with a dip among the rocks!
Snorkelers among the shoreline rocks
If you visit the Italian island of Sardinia, you'll probably hear that Rena Majore is the nicest beach on the island. It stretches-out, isolated on the northwest coast, full of lots of deep sand with additional rocks and cliffs rising all around, waiting to be explored and snorkeled. Add a few kiosks to refresh yourself with a cold drink and some tasty bar food, and -- to put it simply -- it's well worth the visit!
Rena Majore, southern end: great rocks to climb out there!
So, while you're there, strap on your running shoes and follow this short Summer Fun-Run. It will take you along the beach (come to think of it, you should take off your shoes for that part) and then follow the clifftops southwards to the next beach, Rena di Matteu, then head back again.

There are actually three little roads that lead to the beach: one at the north end, one in the middle and one further south. We'll assume that you drove the middle route and that you now find yourself standing on the rocky point used as a car-park which separates the beach into a northern half and a southern half. There's a dilapidated old fisherman's house, built of wood and stone, perched precipitously on the point. 
View north from starting point, with fisherman's house
Because this run is so short, let's add a loop along the northern part of the beach first, running on the compact sand near the water's edge. This is really a cool section: the first part is a little cove created by two rock outcroppings, used by snorkelers.

Then you come to a big dune at the north end of the beach. When you reach the end, turn around and head south again, trying to avoid colliding with the other beach-goers.
View towards southern beach
When you're back at the car park, after 1.5-kilometers, continue following the water's edge along the southern half of the beach. This section is also cool, with its pointy granite rocks marking the southern end of the beach.
Way up
When you come to the rocks, you'll see the trail going straight up the steep hillside. Head up there, then you'll be on the cliff trail, with its falling-down wooden railings. We'll now follow this trail south for another kilometer to the next beach, Rena Matteu. The cliffs roll up and down along the coast, lined with scrubby pines and junipers.
The cliff trail
There are constant views, so make sure you take it in. But watch your step! Some spots are very rocky and steep, better suited for hiking than for a run. But you decide how you'll approach those places.
Approaching Rena Matteu
The trail descends to Rena Matteu beach, where you run along the sand again to the southern end.

So now, just head back north, heading uphill along the cliffs, following the same rocky, beautiful, amazing way that you came.
On the way back: more amazing views!
Now that was one of the most beautiful trails you've ever been on, I'll bet!

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