Summertime in Sardinia
If you want to have a water-ful, beach-ful and sunny summer holiday, Sardinia offers much more than your expectations. Yes, I am talking about an autonomous part of Italy which is the second largest island of Mediterranean Sea. It`s even bigger than Cyprus consisting of two countries. Sardinia is divided into 8 regions with a total population of 1.7 million. It has 5 airports, 3 of them are international, and 2 are for internal flights.
In order to plan your holiday in Sardinia, you should decide which regions you will be visiting. The island is quite big, almost 5 hours from north to south and 3 hours from east to west by driving. Intercity transportation is not well developed, so I recommend you to hire a car. Hiring a car can cost you around min. 60 EUR/day in high seasons, however you can benefit from early bookings.
High season in Sardinia refers to July and August. If you have chance, you can schedule your holiday on June or September. Don’t worry temperatures will be quite high also in these months. It`s Mediterranean.
You have two ways to reach to Sardinia: plane or ferry. There are direct flights to Sardinian airports, from several European cities. Or you can take a ferry from the mainland, Italy. Again your decision where to spend your holiday is important. Our choice was east and northwest coasts.
We took a ferry from Rome`s Civitavecchia port to Sardinia`s Olbia port. It takes 5,5 hours. You have two company choices : tirrenia or moby. Our choice was Tirrenia. When you purchase a ticket from company website, I recommend to do it much earlier than your departure. Tickets can be as expensive as 100 EUR for one way. Moreover, when you are selecting options, you have deck, seat and bed options on the ferry. Choosing a deck is fair enough as there is no need to pay double to a seat option.
But you should know a trick. Be one hour earlier at the port and get yourself into the ferry. Because all people do so in order to grab a seat in the lobby. Otherwise you can find yourself lying on the hall. Be early at the port and get to the ferry as early as possible. You have everything you need on the ferry, a card game room, a restaurant, two snack bars, medical service, a casino, etc. But pay attention that prices are much higher than standard. So it is better to prepare your sandwiches for the ferry. This is how all the others do.
When you arrive in Olbia, a shuttle will take you to the exit. Also a shuttle takes you to the ferry in Civitavecchia port in Rome. After shuttle take off, you have 3-4 kms to Olbia centre. You can take a bus, a taxi or simply walk to the centre. Walking with a luggage can be very exhausting, though.
Olbia is a small town, trying to be a touristic destination, but remains only a pass-way to other cities. There are seriously not much to do for a tourist. Big ferries and cruises unload their passengers in Olbia and this is the only precious time for a local shop to attract tourists. Otherwise you go up and down between 2 hand-made souvenir shops and few restaurants and pubs.
In case you d like to rent a car in Olbia, I recommend Europcar. There is a smiling, a bit crazy but helpful lady there. As always, early booking helps a lot for having reasonable prices. Ask for your Fiat Panda, 500 or Smart and start the engine for Olbia roads.
We got on our Panda and travelled for a week in Sardinia, experiencing 8 different beaches that are all unique. And that`s for sure there are dozens of beaches out there we did not have time to visit. Before deciding your roadmap, have a look at below websites. Then check out our recommendations 🙂
- Charming Sardinia
- Sardinian Beaches
- Sardinia Top 5 Beaches
- Mio My Italy
- Just Sardinia
- Charming Italy
- The Guardian
- Beach Lover Diary
- Huffington Post
We have read all these websites and blogs before our holiday. But in fact, you have limited time to travel through hundreds of beaches. So we selected 8 for ourselves.
Our first stop was La Cinta, on our way from Olbia to Orosei. It`s damn crowded, especially on July. There are a bunch of bars and wooden restaurants. The sand is pure white. You share the sea with many others but still it`s pretty clean. It`s a sandy beach. #4 in our beach list.
Budoni is very close to La Cinta, though it is much less crowded. You jump into into the fresh sea without worrying to share it with hundreds of others. It`s #3 in our list.
Marina di Orosei
Orosei is a special town on the east coast of Sardinia. Its architecture, local people, all types of sea food make the town worth visiting. We stayed in a marvellous old stone building : Albergo Diffuso Mannois. If you ever visit Orosei, this is the unique place that you should make your stay. #5 in the list.
Oasi di Bidderosa
It`s a national park under UNESCO protection which is on the very north of Golfo di Orosei. Daily allowance is up to 120 cars so you should better reserve your place prior to your visit. You pay 12 EUR per car and 1 EUR per person to enter the national park. You make 4 km.s until the beach passing through a wild forest, a lake and a hill. And at the end, you reach to the virgin-land. Bidderosa was our #2 among all the beaches we visited.
It`s 20 minutes from Alghero city center to go to Maria Pia beach. The beach is surrounded with hundreds of pineapple trees. Unfortunately there is a leak from surrounding buildings to the sea that makes it dirty. #8 in beach list.
Dreamland. Wonderland. Maldives of Sardinia. #1 of our beach tour. If possible, swim in every inch of deep blue sea.
One reminder : Beach side is pretty crowded starting from early morning, so keep yourself on the `rocks` side.
When you are in Alghero, do not miss Bombarde. #7 in the list.
When you are in Alghero, this is the beach, as well. It`s only 1 km away from Bombarde. Try both. #6 in beach list.
BONUS: Civitavecchia is the port city of Rome. When you are going back to Rome from Sardinia, stop here and get into the cold sea.