Itinerary in Sardinia by car?
Hello! I participate in Mala para Dois (“Bag for two”) magazine as a special guest, be sure to read my first post (“A safe trip, advice for those going to Italy for the first time!”) and the posts in the section Car travel in Italy, where every month I will write about a car tour in an Italy region. Did you like the idea? So be sure to follow me! Well, let’s go to our post today, Itinerary in Sardinia by car? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Costa Smeralda by drone
(Source: Francesco Pignataro)
Are we ready for this trip?
We start by renting a car at the airport, which in our case will be in Olbia and, from there, start our tour! Read also TRAVELING BY CAR IN ITALY, EXAMPLES OF TOURS.
1) Itinerary in Sardinia by car? FIRST DAY
First day (arrival at Olbia airport and rental car). The first day will be dedicated to arriving at the airport and renting a car. To relax from the trip, I recommend stopping at one of the countless beaches that surround this city, a well-deserved lunch break at some typical Olbia restaurant and then a visit to this small town in general. Seek accommodation in a B&B, have dinner and then rest a lot to be refreshed and relaxed the next day.
2) Itinerary in Sardinia by car? SECOND DAY
Second Day (Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo, Palau, Santa Maria Teresa di Gallura). Early in the morning, and after a good breakfast, we head north to Porto Cervo, and what opens before our eyes, after leaving Olbia, is incredible. The landscapes are magical, the blue sea and the green of the Mediterranean forest reveal themselves before our eyes, one curve after another. Get carried away along the many narrow paths that lead from the main road to the sea, to enjoy the coast, which only anticipates what this land will offer. Once you have tasted the sea and the Sardinian sun and feel refreshed, perhaps with a good sandwich, take a moment to Porto Cervo, the real center of the Costa Smeralda.
Capital of the Costa Smeralda
The undisputed capital of the Costa Smeralda, born from the genius and inspiration of Prince Aga Khan, its port is one of the largest and best equipped in the Mediterranean region, and is home to the famous Costa Smeralda Yacht Club, which organizes important regattas. In summer, Porto Cervo is an extraordinary parade of boats, yachts and celebrities. Each day is a continuous succession of commitments to the international jet set, sporting events, parties, or games at the Pevero Golf Club.
After Porto Cervo, we continue along the coast, between the Mediterranean and the white rocks typical of this region, which will take us to Palau. From here, we continue around Capo Orso: a majestic granite formation that, due to atmospheric agents, took on a shape that in fact resembles a bear. The climb to this promontory has a breathtaking panorama and once you get there, in the “bear”, we will find ourselves in front of what many consider one of the most beautiful views in the Mediterranean. At this point, I suggest that you spend the night in one of the many establishments in the area, but do not move away from Palau, because the goal of the third day will be the Archipelago of La Maddalena.
Santa Maria Teresa di Gallura
It is precisely from Palau that boats leave to take us towards these wonderful places. Once the theme of the evening is resolved, we can visit Santa Maria Teresa di Gallura. If we get there at sunset, we can enjoy the view of the sea and the white cliffs of Bonifacio tinged with a fiery red that reaches our soul.
3) Itinerary in Sardinia by car? THIRD DAY
Third Day (Archipelago of La Maddalena – Castelsardo). Leaving the port of Palau early in the morning, on one of the many boats that offer day trips to discover all the charm of Maddalena National Park, I am sure you will spend a spectacular day on a succession of white-sand beaches, small islands and rocks that protrude from the crystalline sea.
The emotions you feel during a trip like this are very intense and leave an indelible mark on the mind. When you return to Palau, around 5:00 pm, stop for a moment in Castelsardo village, which will also be the place where we will spend the night. The road that leads us to the final goal of the day is full of personality, flanked by nuraghi and sheep, and will lead us to a more genuine, more real, less widespread Sardinia than we have seen so far.
4) Itinerary in Sardinia by car? FOURTH DAY
Fourth Day (Castelsardo – Stintino – Alghero). Awakening is always magical if you are in a place like Castelsardo. The visit to your “Su Casteddu”, perched on a cliff, overlooking the sea, will take us back in time: steep narrow streets filled with tangled fishing nets, a pungent fishy smell, this is the soul of Sardinia. It involves us and presents the real Sardinia, its culture and its traditions. It is not difficult to find remnants of the Middle Ages, the history and beauty that make up Castelsardo, not by chance considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
The City and its Walls
In addition to glimpsing the fabulous views that the old city has to offer, you can enjoy a stroll along the walled city, now restored, which also guarantees easy access to the sea. The best time to see it is at dusk: the sun has a special charm and on pleasant days, with a calm sea, it is possible to see the entire Gulf of Asinara and Corsica. Wandering through these streets overlooking the sea, we will start the day in the best way. After visiting the city, we will continue on our way to Stintino, another special place in Sardinia, whose charm has escaped the invasion of tourists, you will enjoy a beach and a sea of almost unreal colors.
Although the large number of tourists will make it more difficult, we need to find a parking lot and a place on the beach. We finish the day on this beautiful beach and then head to Alghero in the late afternoon where, thanks to the wide availability of facilities, we will spend the night. Once installed, Alghero awaits us! In this city, stopped in time, with architecture visibly influenced by Catalan culture, enjoy a drink on one of the many terraces spread out along the majestic walls, and then dine, at sunset, a large plate of spaghetti made from roe.
5) Itinerary in Sardinia by car? FIFTH DAY
Fifth Day (Capo Caccia – Bosa). We get to the fifth day of our trip, and it is one of those days where things to see and do are so many that the alarm will go off early and our first stop will be Capo Caccia. On the previous day, arriving in Alghero, we could see the white cliffs that plunged straight into the blue sea of Sardinia. These rocks are the first target of this fifth day. From Alghero, to the top of the cliff, the road extends between beautiful landscapes and well-preserved archaeological sites, and is characterized by typical nuraghi, distributed throughout the island and to which, in fact, we recommend at least one visit.
Arriving at the top of the limestone massif Capo Caccia Promontory, we have to face the 656 steps of the “Escala del Cabirol” (“Roe deer Staircase”) which, insinuating itself on the cliff, gradually takes you to the beautiful Neptune Cave. Each step will be a deep emotion, a vertiginous descent in a blue sea whose waves break on the white cliffs dominated by a beautiful lighthouse. After visiting the caves, we head for the elevators, not in a hurry, enjoying every moment, every gust of wind. Certain emotions must be experienced to the end. Despite the effort, at the end of this path you will feel a little sad for leaving this whole show behind.
It is time to resume the journey, towards Bosa. From this moment on, we will visit this part of Sardinia that is only dotted with tourist flows, but it is certainly not devoid of attractions, such as the 45 kilometers of road that connect Alghero to Bosa. This is the first of the unexpected shows that this part of Sardinia will give us: meander at a high altitude, on a green coast, overlooking the sea. Nothing around, just nature, the sea and desert landscapes, some sheep here and there, next to the apparently abandoned houses.
In Bosa, you will have a great surprise. Situated on the banks of the river Temo, the colors of its houses and the imposing castle that dominates it will amaze you. It deserves a pleasant walk followed by a visit to the Spanish tower, located on the beach side of Bosa Marina, where you will enjoy a beautiful sunset. Even though the fifth day ends, Sardinia has many more places for us to discover.
6) Itinerary in Sardinia by car? SIXTH DAY
Sixth Day (S’Archittu, Is Aruttas, Penisola del Sinis, Orgosolo). We left Bosa to head further south, at the first stop of the day, S’Archittu, a nearby town where, as the name suggests, you can contemplate a majestic natural arch carved by the sea inside a limestone ridge: the white Rock and the blue sea will mesmerize you.
Penisola del Sinis
Then, we will continue towards the Penisola del Sinis where it is worth a long stop at Aruttas beach (“grains of rice”, a name that comes from the similarity of white sand with grains of rice). Here we will enjoy a wonderful sea associated with a quiet beach and away from the crowd of Stintino. When we are relaxed enough, we return to Capo San Marco, the tip of the Penisola del Sinis, where we will visit the archaeological excavations of Tharros, that date back to the time of the Phoenicians. To end the day, we head to Cabras and, from here to the national road that crosses Sardinia, arriving at Orgosolo, where we will stay.
7) Itinerary in Sardinia by car? SEVENTH DAY
Seventh Day (Orgosolo, Orosei and return to Olbia airport). This is the last day of our trip, and we will visit Orgosolo, the city of murals, which may not give a good impression at first sight. Red-brick houses that seem abandoned, clothes hanging a little “everywhere”, the signs , apparently of perforation made by bullets of all sizes, but do not be fooled by impressions, entering the city, an unexpected landscape opens up before our eyes.
Suprammonte and Orosei
We will find murals on every corner, denouncing and witnessing current events, the representation of the traditions of Sardinia people, or simply a form of decoration, but all fascinating and full of meaning. This small town, mistakenly ignored by tourism, deserves a visit and is the ideal starting point for excursions to Suprammonte. Once the visit to the city of the murals is over, we proceed to Orosei, a pleasant village, where you can have a pleasant stay, something to eat and to entertain yourself in small souvenir shops. Then we concluded our wonderful journey through Sardinia, and we are moving towards Olbia airport, where we will arrive before 9:00 pm, time to return the car and return to our reality!
Sardinia “On the Road”, the many faces of the island
Sardinia needs no introduction, but there are different ways to visit it. It is an incredibly rich and varied island, and this “seven days on the road” route leads us to discover many aspects. Sardinia is an Italian island, which attracts millions of tourists every year, from all over the world, thanks to its stunning landscape of mountains and idyllic beaches. This region doesn’t just have big yachts, luxury stores and elegant parties, it’s not just the Costa Smeralda, it’s much more, it’s the breathable culture of a people.
Specific Routes for Cars
However, few are aware of the existence of specific car routes that allow you to live a different type of vacation, traveling the length and breadth of this beautiful island, to discover beautiful places. This route, at the same time concentrated and intense, is designed so that you can enjoy, in seven days, both the Sardinia best known for tourist routes, and the one that is not so much known, as it is more on the margin.
The Roads of Sardinia
So, why not do it in your car? Before organizing the trip, we have to consider that Sardinia is devoid of highways. The road network is composed exclusively of express roads that can reach the main places on the island. The main road is the SS 131 Carlo Felice, which connects Cagliari to Sassari and Porto Torres. A secondary road through which you can easily reach Olbia. Walking along this path, we will cross the island from north to south, finding spectacular places on our way.
On a short route: Olbia, Porto Cervo, Palau, S. Maria Teresa di Gallura, Arcipelago della Maddalena, Castelsardo, Stintino, Capo Caccia, Alghero Bosa, S’Archittu, Penisola del Sinis, Orgosolo, Orosei, Olbia.
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Tips for enjoying Sardinia
Keep in mind, however, that a car vacation requires you to spend many hours driving and can be stressful. Take frequent breaks. Never run out of things: always have water and food with you (there are very few service stations in Sardinia), take the time to stretch out and visit places calmly. Following these simple rules, you can organize a trip that promises an unusual, innovative and unforgettable experience, to discover a little bit of a paradise that never ceases to surprise its visitors, including local ones.
How to get to Sardinia?
1) How to get to Sardinia? BY TRAIN
The railway infrastructure in Sardinia covers a total of 400 km of lines, about forty stations. They are part of the complementary network: the Cagliari – Oristano – Macomer – Chilivani – Olbia line, and the “dorsal Sarda”, which crosses the entire island from north to south. The Olbia – Olbia M.ma / Ilha Branca line completes the region’s railway infrastructure, with a direct connection from Olbia to the sea, in addition to the Porto Torres – Porto Torres Cristóvão Colombo line.
Did you know?
Trenitalia is the main Italian company dedicated to the management of rail transport. Find out here “What is the difference between trains in Italy?“. Buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?”.
2) How to get to Sardinia? BY AIRPLANE
There are six airports in Sardinia, as listed below:
- Alghero-Fertilia Airport;
- Cagliari-Elmas Airport;
- Decimomannu Airport;
- Olbia-Costa Smeralda Airport;
- Oristano-Fenosu Airport;
- Tortolì Airport.
Also read our posts about Airports in Italy:
- HOW TO GO FROM THE ROME AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF ROME?
- HOW TO GO FROM THE MALPENSA AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF MILAN?
- HOW TO GO FROM VENICE AIRPORT TO VENICE CENTER?
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Itinerary in Sardinia by car? This route was made with different goals for each day, different accommodations each night; from this trip, you may not come back rested, but enriched, your mind and heart will be full of energy and with a sense of well-being that only a land like Sardinia can give.
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