This Italian island is offering free accommodation to hikers under 35

There are hopes this scheme will attract young hikers to the island

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
Canyon in Sardinia
Photograph: Shutterstock

Hiking is having a bit of a moment right now, and brand new hiking routes are cropping up all the time across Europe – just check out this 7-day trail in northern Italy or this massive new route in Portugal

With so many to choose from, one Italian destination has launched a scheme to attract young hikers to its paths by offering up some free accommodation for those undertaking a famous route. 

The Cammino Minerario di Santa Barbara Foundation (CMSB) in Sardinia has launched a ‘Leg’s go in Cammino’ initiative to cover the cost of three nights of accommodation for every traveller under the age of 35 who embarks on the Santa Barbara mining trail. 

The route is a 500km path that meanders along clifftops, through oak forests and over sand dunes, and it’s divided into 30 stages, each around 16km long, taking around a month to complete. It’s named after the patron saint of miners, who the men would pray to before descending into the pits. 

Hikers embark in the small city of Iglesias on the southwest of the island and will pass the ruins of mines and deserted villages on their way – some of these date back to the industrial revolution, while others are thought to be from Roman times. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for the San Giovanni caves, the Marganai oak forests and the Piscina Irgas waterfall. 

There are 24 accommodation options included in the initiative (including B&Bs and campsites), averaging at around €25 each per night, meaning your savings will be around €75. To take part, you’ll need to get a ‘walker’s passport’ from the CMSB website, which costs just €5. This will give you three one-night vouchers to use when booking. 

It’s coming to an end for the summer season on June 15, but will be starting up again from September 15 and running until December 31, 2024. Time to invest in some hiking boots!

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