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In your hiking era? Sardinia is giving away free nights to under-35s on this historic trail

A view of the Mediterranean from a Sardinian cliffside.
A view of the Mediterranean from a Sardinian cliffside. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Euronews Travel
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This cammino comes with the perk of three free nights in charming campsites and B&Bs.


The Santa Barbara mining trail in Sardinia weaves through sand dunes, oak forests and cliffs high above the Mediterranean. 

It also follows in the footsteps of miners, and unlocks part of the history of this stunning Italian island. 

To help young visitors get better acquainted with Sardinia - beyond its beaches - the Cammino Minerario di Santa Barbara Foundation (CMSB) is offering free accommodation to under-35s who want to hike the 500 kilometre trail.

Here’s what you need to know.

How can you get free hiking accommodation in Sardinia?

If you’re interested in stretching your legs and resting your head for free in sunny Sardinia, you’ll need to act fast.

CMSB’s ‘Leg’s go in Cammino’ initiative runs until 15 June. After pausing over the peak summer months, it starts up again between 15 September and 31 December 2024.

Divided into 30 stages with an average length of 16 kilometres, the hike would take around a month to complete in total. 

The foundation is only offering three nights' free accommodation to each hiker , but it’s certainly enough to give travellers a leg up. And access to some charming stays - ranging from inns and campsites to B&Bs, with breakfast included. 

To take part, you will need to get a ‘walker’s passport’ from the CMSB website for a membership fee of €5. Hikers will then receive an email with three token vouchers to be used when making reservations along the trail, choosing from 24 options linked to the foundation. 

Most of them have rooms to share with other hikers, at a usual rate of €25, so you stand to save about €75.

What is special about the Santa Barbara mining trail?

The cammino is named after the patron saint of miners, who the men would pray to before descending into the dark pits.

This gritty history is juxtaposed against the lush skylines of the island. Starting in the small city of Iglesias in the southwest, walkers follow the gravel paths, mule trails and abandoned railway tracks that nature is now busy reclaiming. 

Each of the cammino’s 30 stages takes you past the ruins of mines and deserted villages, backdropped by beautiful coastal stretches.

Not all these remnants are from the Industrial Revolution; some of the cart tracks date back to Roman times.

Other highlights include the breathtaking San Giovanni caves, majestic Piscina Irgas waterfall and Marganai oak forests.

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