Sardinia: 7 day Italian love affair!
Io amo l’Italia, translated to english means I love Italy!
Honestly, Italy, and you’re likely to read this more than once on our blog, has to be our favourite country. Sure we have specific destinations within other countries that we love and may say was our favourite destination, but Italy is something special. Each and every region has its own unique history, specific local delicacies and Sardegna certainly lives up to that expectation!
Having realised that we were nearing the end of our two years living in London, we decided to be a bit selfish and actually finish work up a couple of months earlier than anticipated to truly take advantage of what we had on our doorstep. There was no way that we could pass up one last tour of the Italy, having committed to around 2 weeks, we decided on Milan, Lake Como and Sardinia as our departing Italian love affair.
Given the length of our Italian adventure, below is a summary of the various locations we stopped in around the island, with specific links to the detailed posts where we captured our memories.
Our flight from Milan was with EasyJet to Alghero Airport in Sardinia. Having arrived around lunch time we picked up our Renault Twingo hire a car from Maggiore, which we booked through rentalcars.com, quickly checked it over for any damage but were lucky enough to have given a near new and completely undamaged shiny beast. Having spent the morning in airports and the flight, we excitedly drove towards our first stop in the northwest of the Sardinia, in the area of Stintino, La Pelosa!
It was an incredible start to our island holiday, crystal clear water, vitaminSEA (and of course D) with plenty of much-appreciated sunshine after a relatively luke warm (too chilly) Lake Como. Honestly, the water here was absolutely stunning and it rivalled some of the best beaches we have seen to date, we couldn’t wait to see what else Sardinia had in store for us!
Having spent a very relaxing afternoon we made our way down to Oristano, on the west of the island where we spent our first night.
For a detailed review on day one, please check out our separate blog: Day One: Alghero to La Pelosa, finishing in Oristano
After our day one experience, we couldn’t wait to get in the car and explore the next beach that the Western side of Sardinia had to offer. After a quick 25 minute drive with absolutely no traffic, we arrived at San Giovanni di Sinis which was even more beautiful than La Pelosa on day one, which we didn’t think was possible!!
The water was perfect and there were fish swimming everywhere, but be careful as they bite (or nibble..) at your ankles!! There was even a sighting of a sea snake near some rocks as well as a regular (I guess?) snake in the garden, but Jenna was quick to get away from both!!
After yet another day of relaxation, we started the journey to Cagliari which is where we spent the next two nights. Having spent the majority of the day at the beach, followed by a drive we arrived late afternoon at the T Hotel, which might I add, was incredible. We decided to have dinner at the hotel that night and our little Sardinian delicacy tasting experience was quite an experience. We have a full review and short video on the Hotel in the linked review if you’re interested in visiting Sardinia.
Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia and is your fairly typical Italian town with a Castello district and old town with very narrow streets and plenty of pizzerias to choose from and in my opinion, a great place to base yourself for the multitude of beaches, restaurants and general surroundings.
For a detailed review on day two, please check out our separate blog: Oristano to San Giovanni di Sinis, finishing in Cagliari
Our third day consisted of visiting both Spiaggia di Cala Cipolla, as well as Tuerredda Beach, but most importantly … on our drive towards Spiaggia di Cala Cipolla we noticed a lake to the side of the road FILLED with Flamingos, yep that’s right – Flamingos!!! We couldn’t believe our eyes.. having missed the opportunity we made sure we stopped at the lake on our way back to Cagliari. I should add that I’m glad that we had a little rental car as we had to take our little Twingo off-road driving around the edge of the lake to get as close as possible to these long-legged creatures!
Both of the beaches we visited were incredible but the highlight for us (especially Jenna) was seeing the hundreds of Flamingos!!!
When we got back to Cagliari we parked our car near the Castello district, walked around and had a nice meal at one of the local restaurants before soaking it up in the T Hotel Spa later in the evening!
For a detailed review on day three, please check out our separate blog: Sardinia Day Three: Cagliari, Spiaggia di Cala Cipolla, Tuerredda Beach and Flamingo watching
Day four was one of our busiest days in Sardinia, trying to cover as many beaches as we could in the south east corner of the island. We stopped into Spiaggia di Porto Sa Ruxi, Spiaggia di Campulongu, Villasimius, Spiaggia di Porto Giunco and Punta Polentis. Needless to say, we were exhausted but glad we managed to see each of these to avoid the risk of having beach envy!!
We had around a 1.5-hour drive to Arbatax which is where we stayed for the night.
For a detailed review on day four, please check out our separate blog: The south eastern corner of Sardinia through to Arbatax
One of the top recommended beaches to visit in Sardinia is Cala Mariolu and Jenna was adamant she was going to see that beach… which is only accessible via boat! So, the only way for us to see this was to book a day tour with a local boat company, Nuovo Consorzio Marittimo to see this amazing beach, along with Cala Luna, Grotta del Fico and Grotta del Bue Marino.
After an incredible day exploring the coastline of the National Park, we started our very long 2.5-hour drive to Olbia which is where we spent the last two nights. One critical tip, which we will expand on in the detailed blog, is how you should follow Google Maps for your directions instead of the local street signs!!! Trust me – not a mistake we would want anyone else making!
For a detailed review on day five, please check out our separate blog: Arbatax Boat Day Trip to Cala Mariolu, Grotta’s and heading up to Olbia
Our last full day in Sardinia (which was incredibly sad!). We drove to the northern point of the island and visited a beach called Rena Bianca, Santa Teresa Di Gallura. I only have one thing to say about this place – INCREDIBLE!!
Honestly, we actually planned on visiting another beach and literally couldn’t leave this place, I even endured the walk back up the hill to top up our parking ticket to get us through to just after 5 pm! The beach is a well-protected bay, water crystal clear (which seems to be a consistent theme), the fish didn’t bite (yes, that IS a bonus in Sardinia!) and there are even nice coastal walks to stay healthy but also give you a different perspective of your surrounding and appreciate the fifty shades of blue.
For a detailed review on day six, please check out our separate blog: Day Six: Olbia to Rena Bianca
Our last day in Sardinia, with limited time we drove towards the nearby beaches around Golfo Aranci. These beaches were lovely, but honestly, none of them compared to the ones we saw throughout the week. It was still a good way to spend the morning before having to collect our bags and head to the airport, which is luckily only a 15-minute drive from Olbia!
For a detailed review on day seven, please check out our separate blog: Sardinia Day Seven: Olbia and Golfo Aranci
How to get there:
Taking our own advice, we did some research for the cheapest (but more importantly convenient) flight and found a bargain with EasyJet. The flight from Milan was around 80% cheaper than a comparable flight directly from London. Clearly, London is a longer flight, but we booked our flights from London – Milan – Alghero airport for a combined cost similar to a single flight from London – Alghero!
Having circled the island of Sardinia, rather than returning to Alghero for a return flight, we booked a separate direct flight from Olbia – London.
There are plenty of alternatives and the many airlines will have multiple flights a week to Sardinia during the summer months, but I really would recommend spending 10-15 minutes having a look at potential flight combinations to sneak in another little getaway!
Where to stay:
We stayed at various hotels and an Air B&B during our time in Sardinia.
Oristano: Hotel Mistral 2. Hotel blog coming soon!!
Cagliari: THotel. Please see our separate blog on the T Hotel.
Arbatax: Arbatasar Arbatax Hotel. Hotel blog coming soon!!
Olbia: We chose an Air B&B option!
Where to eat:
For tips on where to eat in each of these amazing towns, please check out our separate reviews linked above.
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If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.
“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” – Wendell Berry