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The Definitive Guide to Olbia, Sardinia

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Guide to Olbia, Sardinia

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Olbia, Sardinia , your go-to resource for planning the perfect trip to this stunning Italian destination. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with everything you need to know to make the most out of your visit to Olbia, Sardinia. From the best time to visit and how to get there, to the top attractions, accommodations, and local cuisine, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history buff, or simply looking for some relaxation on the beach, Olbia, Sardinia offers something for everyone. So, let’s dive in and start planning your dream trip to Olbia, Sardinia!

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About Olbia, Sardinia

Located in the Gallura sub-region of Sardinia, Olbia is a vibrant city with a rich history. Originally founded by the Greeks in the 4th century BC, it has been ruled by the Byzantines, the Pisans, and the Spanish. Today, it is a bustling city with a population of around 60,000 people.

The geography of Olbia, Sardinia is characterized by its stunning coastline and mountainous terrain. The city is surrounded by beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters that make it a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts. With its mild Mediterranean climate, Olbia, Sardinia is a great place to visit year-round. However, the best time to visit is during the summer months when the weather is warm and sunny, and the beaches are at their best.

As you explore Olbia, Sardinia, you will discover a wealth of history and culture. The city boasts a number of historical landmarks, museums, and art galleries, providing a glimpse into its fascinating past. From the ancient ruins of the Nuragic civilization to the Renaissance-era architecture of the Basilica of San Simplicio, there is something to interest everyone.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the great outdoors or simply relaxing on the beach, Olbia, Sardinia has something to offer. With its stunning natural beauty, it is a popular destination for hiking, biking, and water sports. And if you’re looking for a little nightlife, the city has a variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.

Overall, Olbia, Sardinia is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of Sardinia.

Olbia San Simplicio - Villa Rental Sardinia

Getting to Olbia, Sardinia

Olbia, Sardinia is easily accessible by air, sea, or land. The most convenient way to reach Olbia is by air, flying into Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport, which is located just a few miles outside of the city center.

If you prefer to travel by sea, you can take a ferry from the mainland to one of the ports in Olbia, Sardinia. The ports are well-connected to the city center and offer scenic views of the Mediterranean Sea.

For those traveling by land, the city is well-connected to the rest of the island by a network of highways and roads, making it easy to drive or take a bus to Olbia. Taxis are also available for those who prefer not to drive. No matter how you choose to travel, it’s important to research and plan your journey ahead of time to ensure a smooth and stress-free trip.

olbia city center - Villa Rental Sardinia

Getting Around Olbia, Sardinia

Getting around Olbia, Sardinia is a breeze due to its well-connected network of highways, roads, and public transportation. Here are some options to consider:

Renting a car is the most convenient way to explore Olbia and the surrounding areas. There are several car rental companies located at the airport and in the city centre. This option provides you with the freedom to explore the beautiful Sardinian countryside at your own pace.

Public Transportation

Olbia has a reliable bus system that connects the city centre to the surrounding areas. You can purchase tickets at the bus station or on board the bus. This is a cost-effective way to travel in Olbia, and the buses run regularly, making it easy to plan your itinerary.

Taxis are readily available in Olbia, and can be hailed on the street or booked in advance through a taxi company. This option is more expensive than public transportation, but provides a more comfortable and private experience.

Walking and Cycling

Olbia is a pedestrian-friendly city, and many of its attractions can be easily reached on foot or by bike. This is a great option for those who enjoy a leisurely pace and want to take in the sights and sounds of the city. Additionally, there are several bike rental shops in Olbia if you don’t have your own bike.

Whether you prefer the convenience of a car rental or the cost-effectiveness of public transportation, there are plenty of options for getting around Olbia and experiencing all that this beautiful city has to offer.

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Accommodations in Olbia, Sardinia

Olbia, Sardinia offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly apartments, there is something for everyone. As well as a large section of quality villas to rent in Olbi a , some popular options include:

  • Hotels: Olbia, Sardinia has a variety of hotels ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. For a truly luxurious experience, check out the Grand Hotel President or the Hotel Panorama. If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, Hotel Cavour is a great option.
  • Resorts: If you’re looking for a more all-inclusive experience, consider one of the many resorts in Olbia, Sardinia. The Geovillage Sport & Wellness Resort and the Hotel Ollastu are both great options.
  • Apartments: For those who prefer a more homey feel, apartments are a great choice. Some popular options include the Appartamenti Porto Rotondo and the Residence Regina Elena.
  • Bed and Breakfasts: There are also plenty of bed and breakfasts in Olbia, Sardinia. Some of the top-rated options include B&B Chiara , B&B Pithecusa, and B&B Dolce Morfeo .

Some of the best areas to stay in Olbia, Sardinia include the city centre, the beachfront, and the surrounding countryside. When booking accommodations in Olbia, Sardinia, keep in mind that prices can vary depending on the time of year you’re visiting. During the high season (June-August), prices tend to be higher, and availability can be limited. It’s always a good idea to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

olbiabeach - Villa Rental Sardinia

Olbia’s Beaches

Olbia is a popular travel destination for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. If you’re planning a trip to Olbia, be sure to check out these stunning beaches:

Pittulongu Beach

Located just a few miles from Olbia, Pittulongu Beach provides breathtaking views of the Gulf of Olbia. It’s a long, sandy beach that offers plenty of space for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Cala Brandinchi

Nestled in a small, secluded cove, Cala Brandinchi is one of the most picturesque beaches in Olbia. Its turquoise waters and white sand make it a perfect spot for a relaxing day at the beach.

Spiaggia Bianca

If you’re looking for a more adventurous beach experience, take a short boat ride to Spiaggia Bianca on the island of Tavolara. This beach is known for its white sand and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular spot for snorkeling and diving.

Bados Beach

Located just a few miles from Olbia, Bados Beach is a family-friendly beach with shallow waters and a playground for children. It’s a popular spot for families looking to spend a day at the beach.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the beach or an adventurous water sports experience, Olbia’s beaches have something for everyone. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and beach towel!

badosbeach - Villa Rental Sardinia

Top Attractions in Olbia, Sardinia

Olbia, Sardinia is a treasure trove of beautiful attractions that are guaranteed to leave you in awe. From historical landmarks to natural wonders, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Basilica di San Simplicio

One of the top attractions in Olbia, Sardinia is the Basilica di San Simplicio, a Romanesque church that dates back to the 11th century. Located in the heart of the city, this church is a must-see for anyone interested in history and architecture. With its intricate design and ancient architecture, the Basilica di San Simplicio is a sight to behold.

Costa Smeralda

Costa Smeralda is another popular attraction in Olbia, Sardinia. This stretch of coastline is known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters. You can spend the day sunbathing on the beach or try your hand at water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving, and windsurfing. The beaches are well maintained and offer a range of amenities, including restaurants, cafes, and bars.

National Archaeological Museum of Olbia

The National Archaeological Museum of Olbia is another must-visit attraction in Olbia, Sardinia. This museum boasts an impressive collection of artifacts that date back to the Nuragic period. You can learn about the ancient history of the area and admire the beautiful sculptures, pottery, and other artifacts on display.

Isola Tavolara

Isola Tavolara is a stunning island located off the coast of Olbia, Sardinia. The island is a haven for nature lovers, with its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. You can take a boat tour around the island, hike to the top of the mountain for breathtaking views, or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.

Medieval Castle of Pedres

The Medieval Castle of Pedres is a magnificent castle located in the heart of Olbia, Sardinia. This castle dates back to the 12th century and is a testament to the rich history of the area. You can take a guided tour of the castle and learn about its fascinating history, including its use as a defensive fortress during the Middle Ages.

These are just a few of the many amazing attractions that Olbia, Sardinia has to offer. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or just relaxing on the beach, there is something for everyone in this beautiful city.

138 castello pedres olbia - Villa Rental Sardinia

Things to Do in Olbia, Sardinia

Olbia, Sardinia offers a plethora of activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or someone seeking relaxation, there is something for everyone.

Outdoor Activities

Olbia, Sardinia is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. You can explore the city’s stunning natural beauty by hiking and biking its many trails, or take a boat tour to the nearby islands to soak up the sun and enjoy the crystal-clear waters. For those seeking a thrill, there are plenty of water sports to enjoy, such as windsurfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.

If relaxation is what you seek, Olbia, Sardinia has plenty of options to help you unwind. The city is home to many spas, where you can indulge in a massage or enjoy a thermal treatment. You can also spend the day lounging on one of the many beaches in the area, such as Pittulongu or Porto Istana.

For those who love to shop, Olbia, Sardinia has many local markets and shops to explore. You can find traditional Sardinian handicrafts, as well as fashionable clothing and accessories. The Mercato di Olbia is a must-visit, offering a variety of souvenirs and local products.

Olbia, Sardinia’s vibrant nightlife scene is not to be missed. You can enjoy live music at one of the many bars or dance the night away at a club. For a more laid-back evening, take a stroll along the beach and enjoy the warm Mediterranean breezes.

No matter what your interests are, Olbia, Sardinia has something for everyone to enjoy.

club 1869222 640 - Villa Rental Sardinia

Olbia, Sardinia Cuisine

No visit to Olbia, Sardinia is complete without savouring the local cuisine. The city is renowned for its fresh seafood, savory stews, and handmade pasta dishes. Some of the must-visit restaurants in Olbia, Sardinia include:

  • La Tavernetta : Indulge in the authentic flavours of Sardinian cuisine, including succulent roasted lamb and zesty seafood dishes.
  • Ristorante Il Timone :  Treat your taste buds to classic Italian cuisine, including homemade pasta, fresh seafood, and delectable meat dishes.
  • Trattoria Toscana : Delight in the rich flavours of Tuscan cuisine, including delectable pasta dishes, savoury meat dishes, and decadent desserts.

When dining out in Olbia, Sardinia, it’s important to keep in mind that the local cuisine can be rich and hearty. It’s always a good idea to pace yourself and savor the flavors and aromas of the local dishes. Some of the local specialties that you must try include:

  • Pane Carasau:  A thin and crispy flatbread made with durum wheat flour. This bread is perfect to accompany any meal.
  • Culurgiones:  Delicious handmade pasta stuffed with ricotta cheese, potatoes, and mint. It is served with a tomato and basil sauce.
  • Porceddu:  A traditional roasted suckling pig dish that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
  • Bottarga:  Dried and salted fish roe that is grated and used as a seasoning in pasta dishes or served on top of bread.

Olbia, Sardinia cuisine is a reflection of the local culture and history. The local chefs create dishes using fresh and local ingredients, making every meal a unique and authentic experience.

Bottarga - Villa Rental Sardinia

Insider Tips to Explore Olbia, Sardinia Like a Local

If you want to have an unforgettable experience in Olbia, Sardinia, follow these insider tips from locals and experienced travelers:

Visit the Local Market

Olbia’s local market is a bustling hub of activity where you can find a wide variety of fresh produce, cheese, and other local products. It’s an excellent place to sample the local cuisine and get a taste of the Sardinian culture. The market is open every morning except Sundays, and it’s located in the heart of the city.

Explore the Charming Old Town

The historic center of Olbia boasts many beautiful buildings, including the Romanesque church of San Simplicio. Take a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets and alleyways that are lined with colorful houses and shops. You’ll be captivated by the charming atmosphere that makes Olbia so unique.

Rent a Boat to Explore the Coastline

One of the best ways to experience the stunning coastline of Olbia is by renting a boat. You can explore secluded coves and beaches that are inaccessible by road. You can rent a boat at the marina, or you can hire a local guide for a more personalized experience.

Visit the Local Museums

Olbia has several museums that showcase the history and culture of the region. The Archaeological Museum and the Museum of the Sea are both worth a visit. You’ll learn about the fascinating history of Olbia, Sardinia, and the Mediterranean region.

Attend a Local Festival

Olbia hosts several festivals throughout the year that celebrate the local culture and traditions. The La Cavalcata Sarda and the Festa di San Simplicio are two of the most popular events. These festivals are a great way to experience the vibrant local culture and traditions of Olbia.

By following these insider tips, you’ll be able to experience Olbia, Sardinia like a local. You’ll discover hidden gems and experience the unique local culture that makes this destination so special.

Red Valley Festival 1 - Villa Rental Sardinia

Local Culture and Traditions

Olbia, Sardinia is a city that boasts a rich history and a unique culture which is evident in its customs and traditions. A must-see event is the La Cavalcata Sarda, a traditional horse race that takes place every May where riders showcase their equestrian skills. Another popular event is the Festa di San Simplicio, a religious festival that is celebrated every year in May in honor of the patron saint of Olbia. During this festival, the city comes alive with parades, live music, and street vendors selling local delicacies. Visitors can also witness the traditional costume parade, showcasing the traditional Sardinian garments, and the lighting of the bonfire, which marks the end of the festivities. These events are a great way to experience the vibrant culture and traditions of Olbia, Sardinia.

Planning Your Visit to Olbia, Sardinia

When planning your visit to Olbia, Sardinia, there are plenty of unique experiences and activities that you can enjoy. Whether you are traveling solo, with friends, or with family, Olbia has something for everyone.

Unique Experiences and Activities

Olbia is a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. A great way to experience all that Olbia has to offer is to participate in a cooking class or take a boat tour. These activities allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions, and provide a unique perspective on the city.

Traveling with Children

If you’re traveling with children, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy in Olbia. Take them to one of the city’s many parks, like the Parco Fausto Noce, which features a playground and picnic area. Alternatively, you can visit the Museo Archeologico, where children can learn about the history of the city and the island of Sardinia.

Traveling on a Budget

Olbia offers a variety of free attractions for budget-conscious travelers. One of the city’s main attractions is the Basilica di San Simplicio, a beautiful Romanesque church that is open to visitors free of charge. You can also enjoy a picnic on one of the city’s many beaches, like Pittulongu Beach or Bados Beach, which are both free to access.

No matter what your interests or budget may be, there is something for everyone in Olbia, Sardinia.

Practical Information

If you’re planning a trip to Olbia, Sardinia, there are a few practical things you should keep in mind. Firstly, the official currency is the Euro, and the official language is Italian. Although, many locals are fluent in English, especially in popular tourist areas.

In addition, it’s important to know that Olbia, Sardinia is generally a safe and secure city. However, it’s always wise to take basic safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings. It’s recommended to keep your valuables in a secure location, especially in crowded areas or on public transportation.

Transportation options in Olbia include buses, taxis, and rental cars. The public transportation system is reliable and efficient, with buses running frequently throughout the city and its surrounding areas. Taxis and rental cars are also readily available and are great options for exploring the city at your own pace.

Lastly, don’t forget to bring a universal power adapter if you’re visiting from outside of Europe. The standard voltage in Olbia, Sardinia is 230V, and the standard frequency is 50Hz.

Olbia, Sardinia is a beautiful destination that offers a unique travel experience. From its rich history to its stunning beaches and unique culture, Olbia, Sardinia is a hidden gem in Italy that is worth exploring. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventure-filled trip, Olbia, Sardinia has something for everyone.

Don’t miss out on exploring the must-see attractions, such as the historical landmarks, museums, and art galleries. If you’re more into outdoor activities, Olbia, Sardinia offers a variety of water sports, hiking and biking trails, and even a vibrant nightlife scene.

The local cuisine and traditional dishes are not to be missed , with a variety of restaurants to choose from. And don’t forget to immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions unique to Olbia, Sardinia, by attending one of the many festivals and events held throughout the year.

Whether you’re traveling with children or on a budget, Olbia, Sardinia has got you covered. With practical information on currency, language, transportation, safety, and security, you can plan your trip with ease. In summary, Olbia, Sardinia is a must-visit destination that offers a unique travel experience. Book your trip today and start exploring everything that Olbia, Sardinia has to offer!

Q.Who should visit Olbia, Sardinia?

A.Anyone interested in history, culture, and natural beauty should visit Olbia, Sardinia.

Q.What are the top attractions in Olbia, Sardinia?

A.The top attractions in Olbia, Sardinia include the Basilica di San Simplicio, Costa Smeralda, and Isola Tavolara.

Q.How do I get to Olbia, Sardinia?

A.You can get to Olbia, Sardinia by air, sea, or land. The most convenient way is by air, flying into Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport.

Q.What is the local cuisine in Olbia, Sardinia?

A.The local cuisine in Olbia, Sardinia is renowned for its fresh seafood, savory stews, and handmade pasta dishes.

Q.How do I get around Olbia, Sardinia?

A.You can get around Olbia, Sardinia by car rental, public transportation, taxi, or walking and cycling.

Q.Isn’t Olbia, Sardinia expensive to visit?

A.Olbia, Sardinia can be expensive during the high season, but there are plenty of budget-friendly options for accommodations and activities.

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Olbia, the best 7 things to do and see | Sardinia

travel to olbia sardinia

From the Basilica of San Simplicio to the Tomb of the Giants on Monte e' S'Abe: the best seven things to do and see in Olbia, Sardinia.

Nestled in the north-eastern area of Sardinia , Olbia represents the gateway to Gallura, as well as one of the most active and flourishing ports in the entire region.

Ancient capital of the Giudicato of Gallura, the city of Olbia still preserves intact numerous testimonies of a flourishing and ancient past, dating back more than 4000 years ago. From the nuraghe to the sacred well, from the necropolis to the castles, Olbia preserves an unparalleled heritage, scattered throughout the historic center and surrounding areas.

travel to olbia sardinia

I had the pleasure of visiting the city during the project “ Glimpses of Gallura ”, an itinerary through the most characteristic places of north-eastern Sardinia, and in this post I want to leave you the list of what, in my opinion, are “7 the best things to do and see in Olbia”.



The tendency to believe that Sardinia is only beaches and sea is as wrong as it is misleading. The historical and cultural heritage that lies behind the blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, which take on truly surreal colors on the island, is enormous. Olbia holds a large slice of it so much so that, in any itinerary of the best things to see in Sardinia, the city deserves a place of honour.

READ ALSO: The 4 lesser-known beaches of Sardinia

Historic Center of Olbia

The historic center of Olbia is concentrated around Corso Umberto I and the small squares that open up in the surrounding area, including Piazza Terranova Pausania, Piazza delle Terme and Piazza Matteotti. The streets, with attention to the smallest details, are full of bars, restaurants and shops that are usually crowded during the evening hours. A visit to the is recommended Parish of San Paolo Apostolo famous for its baroque style and colorful majolica dome. A fun way to explore the historic center of Olbia is to panoramic tuk tuk ride .

What to see in Olbia, Sardinia

If you want to enjoy an excellent aperitif in a typical and picturesque location, I recommend it Spirits Boutique by Emilio Rocchino. It is a cocktail bar located in the historic center that offers excellent quality drinks, such as those branded Mediterranean Vermouth Macchia and strongly inspired by Sardinia, its nature and its aromas (tasting the white Vermouth with Vermentino is highly recommended!).

travel to olbia sardinia

For lovers of good local food, however, we recommend two fun activities: the Sardinian pasta workshop with lunch and wine and the Sardinian tapas tasting prepared by the chef .

Basilica and Necropolis of San Simplicio

The Basilica of San Simplicio, with the Necropolis next to it, is located behind the Olbia station, a short distance from Corso Umberto I. It is the most important religious monument in north-eastern Sardinia, built in Pisan Romanesque style with an almost completely in granite. Under the altar of the Basilica are the relics of the Saint found in 1614 during excavations in the crypt.

READ ALSO: Itinerary among the Nuragic places of Gallura

The necropolis of San Simplicio is located in the area adjacent to the Basilica and is made up of approximately 450 tombs dating back to the Roman age, from 200 BC to 300 AD. The archaeological site is now the museum of Olbia. The standard cost of the ticket is 5 euros.

Archaeological Museum of Olbia

Built on the small Peddone Island, a stone's throw from the historic centre, the Archaeological Museum of Olbia illustrates the history of the city from prehistory to the 19th century. The structure dominates the port and, from its terraces, it is possible to enjoy panoramic views of the entire gulf.

READ ALSO: What to do and see in Santa Teresa Gallura

Inside the Museum there are finds of ancient ships, rudders from the Roman era, artefacts dating back to the Nuragic era, granite steles, ceramics and other evidence of the city. Entrance to the Museum is free (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays).

Tomb of the Giants on Monte e' S'Abe

The Giants' Tomb on Monte e' S'Abe is located south of the historic center of Olbia, within a green area full of mystery.

What to see in Olbia, Sardinia

It is a funerary monument dating back more than 4 thousand years ago which represents one of the many testimonies of the Nuragic civilization in Sardinia.

The Giants' Tomb on Monte e' S'Abe is 28 meters long, 6 meters wide and, when viewed from above, has the shape of a bull's head. Unlike similar prehistoric burials, here the deceased were buried collectively.

travel to olbia sardinia

Entrance to the Tomb is free and open.

Pedres Castle

Pedres Castle stands right in front of the Giants' Tomb on Monte e' S'Abe, on top of a hill reachable via a path of steps (about 7 minutes on foot). It is an ancient fort dating back to the Middle Ages which was built during the Visconti period of the Giudicato of Gallura in local stone. In ancient times it was used for defense against the Aragonese.

What to see in Sardinia, Costa Smeralda and Gallura

Entrance to Pedres Castle is free and open.

Sacred Well of Sa Testa

Among the best things to do and see in the surroundings of Olbia, a visit to the Sacred Well of Sa Testa stands out. Located in the hamlet of the same name, 15 minutes by car from the historic center of the city, the Sacred Well is another evocative place linked to the uses and traditions of the Nuragic civilization.

travel to olbia sardinia

It is an ancient sanctuary built between the 13th and 15th centuries BC which was used as a place to honor the water deities. It was in these sacred wells, in fact, that the Nuragic people performed the rituals linked to their religious cults. Entrance to the Sacred Well of Sa Testa is free.

Nuraghe Riu Mulino

The Nuraghe Riu Mulino is located on the top of a hill and, from its 250 meters above sea level, seems to dominate the whole of Cabu Abbas. It is one of the most famous Nuragic fortifications in Gallura, whose roots date back to 1200-1300 BC

travel to olbia sardinia

The Nuraghe is composed of a central tower, which once reached 5 meters in height, surrounded by a wall. It is supposed that its function was to control the arrival of enemy boats. In fact, when conditions are optimal, from Cabu Abbas it is also possible to see the distant island of Tavolara. Entrance to the Nuraghe Riu Mulino is free.


Due to its proximity to the coast and the presence of an airport that connects it directly with the main Italian and foreign cities, Olbia has become a very active and appreciated tourist place. Inside the historic center, and in the immediate vicinity, you can find different accommodation solutions, depending on your needs.

travel to olbia sardinia

My advice, however, is to move a few kilometers and opt for an option that allows you to enjoy not only the beauty of the city but also its surroundings and, above all, the beaches and the sea. In the hamlet of Pittulongu , a 15-minute drive from Olbia center, is the The Pelican Beach Resort – Adults Only , a structure in which I had the pleasure of staying during my itinerary in Gallura... finding myself more than happy.

travel to olbia sardinia

Silenzio, relax e comfort sono le parole d’ordine che regnano tra suites vista mare, piscina e spiaggetta private, ristorante, giardino, jacuzzi esterne e centro benessere con sauna, bagno turco e tutto quello che ci si può aspettare da una vacanza coi fiocchi. 

Note Well! The Pelican Beach Resort is located a 7-minute drive from Pozzo Sacro di Sa Testa, 10 minutes from Nraghe Riu Mulino, 20 minutes from the Tomb of the Giants on Monte e' S'Abe and Pedres Castle, 15 minutes from the airport of Olbia and 10 minutes from the historic center.

travel to olbia sardinia

Verónica Crocitti

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[…] Costa Smeralda” è l’aeroporto più vicino in quanto dista circa 10 minuti dal centro di Olbia e 15/20 minuti dalle prime spiagge accessibili. Esistono numerose compagnie che effettuano voli […]

[…] LEGGI ANCHE: Le migliori cose da fare e vedere a Olbia […]

[…] piccolo centro di San Pantaleo, altamente suggestivo, dista appena 18 chilometri da Olbia, 10 da Arzachena e 45 da Santa Teresa di […]

[…] LEGGI ANCHE: Olbia, le migliori 7 cose da fare e vedere […]

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Hikes & Tous to Live the Perfect Sardinia Experience

Olbia , on the north-eastern coast of  Sardinia , overlooks the gulf that encloses the  Tavolara  and  Molara Islands . Known all over the world thanks to the beauty of the glamorous  Costa Smeralda , it has some of the most famous resorts in the jet-set life like  Porto Rotondo  and  Porto Cervo .

The coastal territory of Olbia is among the most beautiful in Sardinia. In this area of  Gallura some of the most  beautiful beaches of Sardinia  are concentrated. A unique place to spend a deserved beach holidays in Sardinia.

How to get to Olbia?

travel to olbia sardinia

Olbia is one of the most well-connected cities in Sardinia, often chosen as the gateway to the island. The port of Olbia is the first in Sardinia for traffic. Millions of people pass every year on the ferries of the Grimaldi, Tirrenia, GNV and Moby lines that connect it to the rest of Italy.

There are two main ports in the area: Olbia port right in the centre of the city and the port of Golfo Aranci located at 13Km from Olbia.

  • Ferry Civitavecchia to Olbia from 92€
  • Ferry Genoa to Olbia from from 80€
  • Ferry Leghorn (Livorno)-Olbia from 60€
  • Ferry Leghorn (Livorno) – Golfo Aranci from 60€

The international airport of Olbia-Costa Smeralda is just 3 km from the city centre which connects the main European cities. You can fly into Olbia with EasyJet, Transavia, Lufthansa, Eurowings and many others airlines.

Search for a cheap flight

Is Olbia worth visiting?

travel to olbia sardinia

Many visit Olbia only in passing, moving to other nearby areas. A shame not to visit this lovely town on the coast as it has some very interesting places that are worth visiting.

  • Olbia Old Town: very interesting to take a walk through the streets of the old town. Walking along Corso Umberto, you can see many elegant buildings and many small shops and bars. Very interesting are the Town Hall and the Archaeological Museum built on a small isthmus near the port. Nearby the Church of San Simplicio, the oldest in Olbia. A ride on the Ferris wheel allows you to see Olbia from a nice view.
  • Archaeological sites: the Gallura region has many remains of the Nuragic civilization. Lots of archaeological sites that are worth visiting. Among them: the sacred well Sa Testa, Nuraghe Riu Mulinu,
  • The beaches : the whole east coast has beautiful beaches with turquoise waters. Near Olbia you can enjoy few of these beautiful beaches. Among many, we suggest you: Pellicano beach, Mare Rocce, Pittulonghu north of Olbia. Li cuncheddi and Porto Istana on the south side.

What to do in Olbia

As a purely tourist resort, most of the activities involve tours and excursions of the coast. However there is so much to get discovered in the inland, such as cultural trips and wine and food tours.

Olbia and Gallura are the land of Vermentino , the Sardinia white wine. For this reason, many events take place in the area like the Myrtle festival in Telti and the Vermentino festival in Monti .

travel to olbia sardinia

TOP Places to visit in Olbia

  • Pedres Castle
  • Tomb of the Giants Su Monte ‘e S’Abe
  • Pittulongu beach
  • Porto Istana beach
  • Tavolara Island

Best Activities in Olbia

travel to olbia sardinia

An area rich in excellent local products, unspoiled places and dream beaches. There is no chance of getting bored in Olbia. You can chose between many tours to book online powered by Viator .

Olbia Wine Tour

Tuk Tuk Wine & Food Tour in Olbia

Guided tour of the cellars and the vineyard around Olbia. The guides will give you all the information you need during the tasting of local wines and typical Sardinian products.

travel to olbia sardinia

Mini-Fun city tour of Olbia by tuk tuk

The tour includes a journey of the narrow streets of the historic center. The Basilica of San Simplicio, Corso Umberto, Piazza Matteotti and Piazza Regina Margherita. The main streets of the city, the Roman aqueduct and the Roman cistern.

travel to olbia sardinia

Kayak in the emerald sea in Cala Suaraccia

Kayaking and snorkeling tour to the small islands and marine park around Cala Suaraccia. Discover the marine park and meet wild herons, gulls, and cormorants. Dive into the crystal clear water of a lonely bay.

travel to olbia sardinia

Top Things to Visit in the Costa Smeralda Sightseeing Tour

This tour will take a small group of people to discover many interesting sights of the amazing Costa Smeralda. Don’t forget your swimsuit!

travel to olbia sardinia

Boat Tour and snorkeling from Porto Rotondo

Swim in the water and admire the marine life. You will do snorkeling accompanied by a qualified instructor. Tour includes a boat itinerary departing from the Porto Rotondo pier.

Where to stay in Olbia

In Olbia there is the possibility to book in private apartments, country villas or central hotels. The variety of accommodations suitable for all types of budgets. 3 places where you can spend your dream holidays in and about Olbia powered by

travel to olbia sardinia

DoubleTree by Hilton Olbia

15 minutes walking to the old town. lovely pool area to relax and have a drink. The friendly staff will take care of you during your stay. Get the best prices and offers on

travel to olbia sardinia

Hotel Panorama

Perfectly located to get the most of your time in Sardinia. Very nice panorama from the roof-top terrace where to relax and enjoy the sea-view. Get the best prices and offers on

travel to olbia sardinia

Kkult Boutique Hotel

Amazing roof-top pool with an incredible view to chill out and have a drink. Great location near bars and restaurants. Get the best prices and offers on

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travel to olbia sardinia

Costa Smeralda: best things

🏖️Sardinian Beaches

Your Travel Guide to the Best Beaches of Sardinia, Italy!

About Olbia

🧭 You are here: Home » Beaches of Sardinia » North East Sardinia » Olbia

Despite its popularity of primarily serving as a northeastern port and airport town for passers-by heading to and from the Italian island of Sardinia, Olbia has quite a bit to offer its traveling visitors. With an extremely long and rich history, inexpensive but tasteful restaurants, and exciting museums scattered throughout, it is, in fact, quite a gem of Sardinia well worth the visit. It is believed that the Phoenicians were most likely the first to settle in Olbia until later conquered by Rome, only to be attacked by the Vandals around 450AD. This small region of Sardinia saw many years of back-and-forth power until finally, it returned to its original Greek name of Olbia and its re-christening by Italy fascists to make it what it is today; a beautiful and enriched town with much to offer. Whether you have a few hours or spend a day or two in Olbia, you’ll find plenty to see, do, and discover while there. Check out the town’s two churches and archaeological museums for historical enrichment before going to the town’s most popular hub, Corso Umberto. Here, you can wander about its vibrant and lively shop-lined street that leads up to the beautiful waterfront boasting a fantastic sea view. As you continue, you’ll soon find yourself in the more laid-back Piazza Margherita, where charming old stone buildings can be seen and explored. You will find that although many areas like that of Corso Umberto, as mentioned above, attract the most tourists, the authentic charm to be discovered lies within an exploration of the more hidden piazzas. On a clear and sunny summer day, not much is better than taking a stroll through some of its many back alleyways only to find hidden trinkets and treasures along the way. If you decide to pay a visit to Olbia, you’ll indeed find it a trip worth remembering.

Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport

Olbia Airport officially is named Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport and is the second largest airport in Sardinia. It’s a modern airport with 40 check-in desks and ten boarding gates. It offers a broad range of services, including a large parking area right in front of the terminal, a parking section for the disabled, a luggage storage service, a VIP Lounge, a Meeting & Business Centre, ticketing services, ATMs provided by Banco Di Sardegna and Banca Intesa Sanpaolo , 10 Mbps WiFi coverage throughout the airport, a shopping mall, and free charging points for smartphones and tablets. A direct flight to Olbia Airport from London, United Kingdom, will take about 2 hours and 20 minutes. From Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport, you’ll get easy access to the Costa Smeralda, which is the most famous area for which Sardinia is most famous. For example, if you’re willing to drive for half an hour or so after your flight, seaside villages such as Porto Cervo, Porto Rotondo, Golfo Aranci, and San Teodoro are within easy reach. All these places are located within a 30-kilometer range from the airport. The car rental terminal at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is easily accessible on foot. It is located near the arrivals building, just outside the terminal, at a distance of about 50 meters. From the airport, you can easily reach the train station, located in the town center of Olbia, by taking shuttle bus number 2 or 10.

  • ✔ Use the Google and Booking map below to explore the area.
  • ✔ Fill in your holiday dates to get an accurate view of available accommodations near Olbia.

Where to Stay in Olbia - Our Top Picks

  • A 4 star Boutique Hotel in Olbia, 2.2 kilometers from the center of town (about 1.4 miles.)
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The Jazz Hotel is a four-star boutique hotel in Olbia, just a few kilometers from the city center and very close to the airport. It offers a great base from which to explore the surrounding area. Featuring many nearby beaches, this is also an iconic spot while the hotel itself is designed in a very luxurious, bright and comfortable way. In many instances, the large outdoor spaces and enormous pool are highlights for guests, but then the surrounding scenery can often make this the case. Featuring several sun loungers and umbrellas, the terrace is indeed a relaxing setting while the pool is equipped with hydro massage jets. As for food, the hotel restaurant Bacchus Ristorante offers some very exquisite flavors of Sardinian cuisines, prepared by one of the best chefs on the island. Each room at the Jazz Hotel is contemporary in design and equipped with all the necessary amenities for a comfortable and relaxing stay. These rooms are also spacious with charming furnishings and private bathrooms. Aside from satellite TV, the rooms have access to free Wi-Fi, and many even have their very own private terrace with stunning views of the city below.

Geovillage Sport & Wellness Resort

  • A 4 star Resort in Olbia, 3.7 kilometers from the center of town (about 2.3 miles.)

The Geovillage Sport & Wellness Resort is a four-star hotel located in the center of Olbia and a short distance from the most beautiful beaches of the Costa Smeralda. Furthermore, the most popular attractions are also just a few minutes away including the towns of Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo. Being a spa resort, guests at the Geovillage Sport & Wellness Resort are treated to an excellent wellness program, which features a traditional Mediterranean bath, Turkish bath, whirlpool tubs, sauna, and showers. However, aside from the spa, guests will also have free access to the sports center which is also equipped with tennis courts. At the same time, the swimming pool is particularly impressive with lounge chairs and parasols. As for food, the charming restaurant at this resort serves up the most delicious local and International dishes and has a wide selection of the finest Italian wines. Tavolara, which is the main restaurant, is set in a rather large area while the menu consists of incredible choices which earned this eatery a Michelin Star. Simply put, Tavolara is one of the best restaurants to visit during a trip to Olbia. Incredibly, the resort has more than two hundred elegant and well-appointed rooms. Each of these rooms is relatively spacious and features a private bathroom along with flat screen TV, armchairs, Wi-Fi, and a safe. From standard, suites and garden villas; there is also a nice selection of rooms to suit every budget.

DoubleTree By Hilton Olbia

  • A 4 star Hotel in Olbia, 1.2 kilometers from the center of town (about 0.7 miles.)

The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel is located right at the heart of the city. In fact, this four-star hotel in Olbia is set adjacent to Parco Fausto Noce, the central park, which offers stunning views in the midst of luscious scenery. While Costa Smeralda Airport and many beaches are just a few minutes away, you can rent a car from the hotel to make life a little easier. As for facilities, the hotel is equipped with a seasonal outdoor pool and wellness center. Furthermore, you can enjoy a round of golf at the nearby Pevero Golf Club, and a bike rental is a popular option for those who want to keep active. In this sense, Double Tree by Hilton is not only extremely comfortable but also a great option for anyone wanting to keep active in the midst of their trip to paradise. Tilibbas Restaurant is the in-house restaurant which serves the most delectable Italian cuisines at the Double Tree. Whether you prefer healthy salads, fast food or gourmet options, the restaurant has something to tickle any palate, and the kid's menu never fails to delight families. It must also be said that the food is often the subject of compliments regarding feedback and online reviews. Afterward, you can also unwind at the Flamingos Bar, which offers an exquisite range of local Italian wines. And then there are the rooms and suites which feature a contemporary design. Each room is equipped with modern amenities which certainly add to the relaxing ambiance of this Olbia hotel. Aside from a flat-screen TV and Wi-Fi, there is a convenient, safe, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer and a private bathroom filled with toiletries. On the other hand, the suites feature an ample sized walk-in shower with whirlpool and a rather spacious Queen Size bed.

Hotel Panorama

  • A 4 star Hotel in Olbia, 0.4 kilometers from the center of town (about 0.3 miles.)

Hotel Panorama is a four-star hotel located in the center of Olbia and only a few steps from the main shopping districts. The archaeological museum and tree-lined promenade are also nearby, while Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport a very short drive away. That being said, there are enough amenities in this particular accommodation to ensure that the location is not the primary highlight of a stay in this hotel in Olbia. Featuring an in-house spa and wellness facility, Hotel Panorama is considered by many to be the ultimate escape in Olbia and somewhere to pamper the soul. This wellness center is open for all guests to use and features massage along with a wide range of spa treatments. Interestingly, one of the most impressive features of the hotel is a rooftop garden which offers a beautiful terrace that opens up to panoramic views of the city. As you might expect, this is a perfect place to enjoy a drink at sunset, but for the health-conscious and active visitor, there is also a gym and fitness room in the hotel. As for the rooms, Hotel Panorama features a large number of single rooms which are brightly decorated and home to a spacious private bathroom. Double Standard rooms are also available, but there is still a King Size option which is by far the largest. Aside from comfortable beds, each room is furnished with a comfortable seating area, flat screen TV, air conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. Either way, Hotel Panorama is one of the more affordable and best value hotels in Olbia.

The Pelican Beach Resort & Spa - Adults Only

  • A 4 star Boutique Hotel in Olbia, 6.9 kilometers from the center of town (about 4.3 miles.)

The Pelican Beach Resort and Spa is a stunning boutique hotel in Sardinia which offers the perfect mix of relaxation, facilities, and comfort. Located on a stunning beach near Olbia, the hotel is also nicely positioned for a romantic getaway while the “Adults only” tag is sure to appease those yearning for some peace and quiet. In many ways, peace and quiet are precisely what you will find at this hotel, for the tranquil gardens and onsite spa treatment facility never fail to delight guests. Whether you seek the sauna or an hour-long massage, the Spa is open daily while the luscious gardens and swimming pool feel particularly private given the tranquil nature of the resort. At the same time, there is also a stunning beach right next to the resort and in many cases; this is a genuine highlight for visitors. After all, what better way to start a morning than to walk out onto the beach? Stretching its way around a pristine lagoon, the beach is immaculate and very quiet which can also be attributed to the remote location. As for the rooms, you will find all the modern conveniences at the Pelican Beach Resort including satellite television and a private balcony while the very vibrant or bright decor of the room is often the subject of five-star feedback. Featuring stunning bathrooms, particularly large beds and ample space; the standard of these rooms is consistent throughout the hotel and yet another reason to rest assured that this is one of the most romantic hotels in Sardinia. The resort is also home to one of the finest restaurants in the region which serves everything from staple Sardinian dishes to delicate seafood. With friendly staff and a beautiful outdoor seating area, this is also an excuse for guests to stay at the hotel without any need to venture anywhere else. This hotel for couples offers the perfect getaway and the ultimate romantic hideaway in Sardinia.

Things to Do in Olbia

Visit the basilica di san simplicio.

One of the most popular things to do in Olbia is to visit the Basilica di San Simplicio, a world-renowned monument in Sardinia. This medieval monument houses some of the most beautiful Italian works of art, including a valuable statue of the patron saint for which the church is known. Standing proudly beneath the altar, this wooden structure was restored during the 19th century at which point it was discovered by an archaeological excavation team. Considered to be among the best preserved Romanesque churches in Sardinia, the Basilica di San Simplicio is a must see regarding things to do in Olbia. Furthermore, the church is the host of the largest annual festival in Olbia, the Festa di San Simplicio. This popular festival takes place in honor of the above-mentioned patron saint. Built in either the 11th or 12th century, the church was erected on the same site of an earlier church which was also dedicated to the same patron saint, San Simplicio, who is a martyred bishop. Finally, you can find the church at the heart of the city center, right at the corner of Fausto Noce and the San Simplicio Streets.

Strolling along the Corso Umberto

The Corso Umberto is a charming cobblestone street in Olbia that runs through the central Piazza Regina Margherita in the old part of town. Some of the most exciting things to see in Olbia can be found here. Strolling along this street, you will encounter a large number of restaurants with outdoor seating areas which serve the most exquisite Sardinian delicacies. As you might expect, these provide the perfect spot to enjoy something to eat while watching the world go by outside. At the end of the Corso Umberto, the road turns to the right and heads toward the Cagliari. Here you can stop to take in the San Paolo Apostolo church, one of the oldest churches in town which dates back to medieval times. Interestingly, the church has a beautiful dome features a colorful majolica that stands out amongst the buildings in the town center. Meanwhile, a few steps away from the church, you will find the famous San Simplicio Basilica.

Visit Tomba dei Giganti Su Monte 'e S'Abe

The Tomba dei Giganti Su Monte 'e S'Abe, also known as the Tomb of Giants of Su Monte e S'Abe, is another one of the interesting things to see in Olbia. In fact, these tombs come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, scattered all over the island. So far, there are thought to be more than eight hundred tombs which have been discovered. Just like the giant tombs in nearby Gallura, the Tomba dei Giganti Su Monte 'e S'Abe was built in two main stages of construction. On the top of the chambers, there is a stone cairn while others have cup-shaped entrances similar to those of the ancient tombs in Ireland. The Tomba dei Giganti Su Monte 'e S'Abe also consists of two different forms. Slab types are uncut slabs buried on end and arranged side by side while the central slabs are unmodified, aside from its entrance, which is cut from the base. Either way, these impressive specimens are some of the most enchanting sights and things to do in Olbia.

Go to Parco Fausto Noce

Spanning an impressive eighteen hectares and located in the heart of the city, Parco Fausto Noce is the ideal place to slowly but surely stretch your legs while enjoying time away from the busy city. Reachable by public transport and with four entrances, the park is crammed full of Mediterranean flowers, tree-lined pathways, and picnic spots. Elegant fountains and pretty waterfalls are located throughout the park bringing welcome relief from the summer heat as does the cool breeze that makes its way from the nearby sea. Take a slow but steady walk around the wide pathways that weave here and there and stumble upon the amphitheater that is home to many concerts and events throughout the year. Let your little ones blow off a bit of steam in the children’s playground. Sit on one of the benches that overlook the park while your kids enjoy climbing ropes, swinging on the monkey bars and using up all of their energy. The playground itself is quite large which is a blessing as it tends to get busy during the summer months, but when your children have had their fill, they can always watch the athletes train at the nearby stadium that’s also located in this beautiful park.

Visit the Museo Archeologico

One of the best things to do in Olbia is without a doubt paying a visit to the Museo Archeologico that’s found near the port. This contemporary museum displays some stunning pottery, Roman amulets and inspiring pieces from the Nuragic civilization which lasted from the 18th century BCE to the 2nd century BCE. The museum is shaped like a ship with hanging walkways and portholes. It is often lit up in an array of colors during the evening to make it look even more mysterious. Even if you’re not the world’s biggest archaeology fan, you need to take time to walk around the museum. It will help you understand more about Olbia’s impressive and often violent history that’s helped shape the city and made it what it is today. Stumble across the ruins of a Roman ship that’s found on the ground floor and see ancient masts and cargo ships while you learn about the sinking of 11 ships that ended the Roman’s reign in Olbia. Gaze upon funerary items and amphorae that date back to the middle of the first century. Enjoy the Herculean sculptures and learn all about how the area was occupied by the Greeks from 630 – 520 BCE. Brightly lit and full of amazing exhibits, the museum is both exciting and astounding. The Museo Archeologico is open Wednesdays to Sundays 10 AM – 1 PM and 5 PM – 8 PM.

More Places to Visit Near Olbia

Isola maddalena, murta maria, porto ottiolu, olbia restaurants - where to eat, l'essenza bistrot (seafood, italian food).

L'Essenza Bistrot is a gourmet restaurant in Olbia, located at via delle Terme, right at the heart of the city. As a Michelin star restaurant, L'Essenza Bistrot is famous for serving the most mouthwatering Italian and International dishes, renowned for great flavors and rich textures. Furthermore, this charming restaurant receives many online reviews for the most impeccable service. Local produce and seafood also feature prominently on the menu here and among the most popular dishes is the marinated salmon served with fresh pickled vegetables and citrus mayonnaise. And then there is the Amarone risotto, Artichoke chiusoni, Sea bass fillets, grilled prawns with asparagus and Roe-dear fillet, each of which has earned high praise from various customers. For lunch, the restaurant opens at noon, and it stays this way until late but either way, you can expect to be greeted with a very stylish, cozy and welcoming interior. Interestingly, L'Essenza Bistrot has been recently remodeled so that the interiors consist of stonewalls and wooden beams which add to a rather warm ambience.

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Officina del Gusto (Italian Food)

The Officina del Gusto is a Michelin star restaurant and is among the best places to eat in Olbia. Situated in the middle of Olbia within the Piazza Matteotti, the restaurant is also easy to get access to, whether you are coming from the airport, train station or the harbor. As for the menu at Officina del Gusto, this consists of a wide range of authentic Italian dishes. In fact, the popular mixed starters consist of Soufflé, Beef Carpaccio, and Patty Cakes. Seafood starter comprises of the freshest shrimps, sea bass and cuttlefish. They also serve the most delectable rice and pasta courses. Main courses are prepared using organic vegetables grown in their vegetable garden. Their customers also adore the desserts on their menu. It consists of a wide range of cakes, including cream cakes and fruit tarts. Furthermore, Officina del Gusto is set in a charming building featuring a beautiful facade. Featuring a warm and cozy furnishing, the interiors are well decorated in a country style theme. During summer, the restaurant opens up an airy terrace where guests can dine amidst a beautiful ambiance enriched with live music.

Bacchus Ristorante (Italian Food)

The Bacchus Ristorante is another Michelin star restaurant at the Jazz Hotel , a beautiful hotel located in via degli Astronauti, Olbia. With a varied menu of Italian and International dishes, the Bacchus Ristorante is the perfect place to have lunch, dinner, coffee breaks and snacks. As for the food at Bacchus Ristorante, the enticing menu is often changed from one season to another, offering dishes made from the freshest and finest quality of local produce. With this in mind, the hotel chef is also known for preparing these dishes with painstaking detail and with a keen eye for style. With intense and rich flavors, these foods perfectly embody a true Mediterranean cuisine. Bacchus Ristorante has a wonderful ambiance, and the friendly staff is often the subject of excellent online reviews. Outside, you can choose to dine on a beautiful terrace with scenic views, but as already mentioned, the colorful interior makes this the perfect place to enjoy lunch or dinner regardless of where you choose to be seated.

Olbia Nightlife

Spirits boutique.

  • ☎ Telephone: +39 347 733 6805

Spirits Boutique is a cocktail bar at the heart of Olbia nightlife. Located on a narrow street in the center of the historic town, this classy bar has a relatively lively atmosphere when busy and a wide range of cocktails from which to choose. From rum and vodka to whiskey and vermouth, all the top spirits are on offer, and bartenders often delight customers with their colorful creations. The cocktail menu at Spirits Boutique is constantly evolving, and they take great pleasure in adding to this list every year. You will also find a small selection of meals available in the evening and aperitifs to enjoy in between their signature drinks. In terms of decor, the interior is rather simplistic and traditional in its own way. Spirits Boutique is a great spot to sample local cocktails and experience a fun night out in Olbia.

New York Café 

  • ☎ Telephone: +39 0789 184 0556

New York Café is situated in the center of Olbia and has a big reputation accompanying the big name. Although the cafe serves coffee and snacks during the day, you should find that this is one of the livelier places for a night out in Olbia after dark. You cannot miss this spot on busy nights as locals spill out of the bar and onto the narrow alley on which it sits. The New York Café is also a popular spot for all ages and one that “keeps it local“ with the simple design inside. Online reviews mention the favorable prices, and there is a small deli counter from which they serve snacks with drinks. While you can find cocktails and spirits on the menu, this cafe is most famous for its lineup of beers and wines. The friendly staff is also worth a mention; this is one of the local hotspots for Olbia nightlife.

Devil Kiss is a rock bar and a lively spot for a night out in Olbia. It’s also hugely popular with locals and often cited as the best live rock music venue in town. At the same time, online reviews quickly highlight how the music isn’t ”too loud” and even lightens as the night progresses. Their drinks are also reasonably priced, and they have a good menu with various beers and Sardinian wines. Devil Kiss is a lively bar that never fails to delight if you are looking for the upbeat side of Olbia nightlife. The bartenders are excellent and enjoy the music, and the brights on the bar add to the atmosphere. This particular bar is also located a little off the beaten path and filled with characters from every imaginable background. Indeed, for something alternative and a great night out in Olbia, Devil Kiss will surely rock you! 

Via Dante 10

Via Dante 10 is a lounge bar that is very popular for sandwiches, pizza, and seafood during the day. While you will also find aperitifs in the evening, the drinks take center stage, and the bartenders are especially good with cocktails. Craft beers are also on the menu, alongside a list of Sardinian wines, but the signature cocktail list draws most of the attention. Whether it’s rum or whiskey, the cocktails are trendy as they always seem to impress. With the large courtyard, you can expect plenty of space, and the tree and waterfalls help create a beautiful ambiance outside. It’s true; this is probably one of the more upmarket venues amongst the Olbia nightlife, with impeccably dressed staff and some rather fancy decor. However, Via Dante 10 also offers a quieter vibe than some other bars around town and is an excellent option for those not wanting to go too crazy on a night out in Olbia.

Beaches Near Olbia

Le vecchie saline, pittulongu beach.

Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog

The Perfect One Week Sardinia Itinerary And Travel Guide

By: Author Lotte

Posted on Last updated: February 17, 2024

Categories Italy

the-perfect-one-week-Sardinia-travel-itinerary-phenomenalglobe (1)

Sardinia is a beautiful Italian island in the Mediterranean sea. It's a great holiday destination, with incredible beaches, interesting history, and of course delicious food (think pizza, pasta, gelato, and more).

Sardinia is a perfect place for a road trip, check out this detailed one week Sardinia itinerary below for inspiration!

One week Sardinia itinerary

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). We're very grateful when you use our links to make a purchase:-).

A week in Sardinia: map

You can find our Sardinia one-week itinerary on the map below, including the highlights and accommodations we stayed at.

Sardinia road trip map

Click here for the interactive map.

One week in Sardinia itinerary

  • Day 1: Explore Alghero and take a cooking class .
  • Day 2: Go for a short drive north and swim in the turquoise waters around Spiaggia della Pelosa.
  • Day 3: Take a boat trip around the La Maddalena Archipelago and admire the yachts at Porto Cervo.
  • Day 4: hike Tiscali mountain .
  • Day 5: visit the ancient nurarghe Losa and relax at Spiaggia di Is Arutas.
  • Day 6: explore Oristano and wander the ruins of Tharros.
  • Day 7: stroll around the cobblestoned streets in colorful Bosa and return to Alghero.

What is the best time of year to go to Sardinia

The best time to visit Sardinia is April – June, and September – October. During these months the temperatures are between a comfortable 18°C and 26 ° C.

And while April is too cold to swim, the abundance of beautiful wildflowers more than makes up for it!

July and August are very hot and also the busiest months on the island, with high accommodation prices and crowded beaches.

September is when we visited the island of Sardinia, we had beautiful weather and no rain. October usually sees a bit more rainy days, however, the beaches are (almost) empty and there are several festivals during this month.

Winter in Sardinia is moderate with temperatures usually between 11-14 °C. If you don't mind colder weather, this can be a good time to visit. There will be very few tourists and there are good bargains to be found for (fancy) accommodation.

That being said, there are parts of Sardinia that get the occasional snowfall (such as the mountains of Gennargentu) so do your research if you plan to visit Sardinia in winter.

Plan your trip like a pro with these tools: ✈️ Find the best flight deals on . ? Get the best car rental deal for your road trip on . ?️ Find your dream accommodation on or Agoda . ? Book the best tours via Get Your Guide , Viator or Klook . ? Plan your journey with the  Lonely Planet . ?️ Travel safely and get reliable travel insurance from Safety Wing .

How to get to Sardinia

La Maddalena Archipelago

The easiest way to get to Sardinia is by plane as there are daily direct flights from lots of cities in Europe . Sardinia's three main airports are:

  • Alghero Airport
  • Cagliari Airport
  • Olbia Airport

It takes around 3 hours to travel from Alghero or Olbia to Cagliari. Therefore, it's worthwhile choosing your flights carefully to maximize your time in Sardinia. For example, you could fly into Alghero Airport and depart from Cagliari.

Flight prices are dependent on your travel dates. But you can generally expect tickets to be more expensive during summer and cheaper in the off-peak season.

Check the best ticket deals on

How to get around Sardinia

Panorama of mountain road on Sardinia

Sardinia is a large island and public transportation is very limited. Getting around by bus is a time-consuming and tedious process, which is why I highly recommend renting a car to explore the island (but before check my guide to driving in Sardinia ).

We also rented a car for our trip to Sardinia and it's the best way to explore the island!

Having your own wheels gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace and to visit all the places in Sardinia you want to see.

Keep in mind that the roads on Sardinia aren't always in the best condition, with lots of twists and turns. That's why we only averaged around 50 kilometers a day.

Not to say you can't cover more ground, but there are lots of interesting sights in Sardinia and you'll also need plenty of time to admire the splendid views along the way!

I especially loved the coastal road from Bosa to Alghero, which offered stunning views of the Capo Caccia. Be sure to include this road in your Sardinia trip itinerary.

Coastal view Sardinia Italy

Driving on Sardinia

Let's get one thing straight: traffic regulations don’t exist in Sardinia . Well, at least they seem to be more of a suggestion than actual rules.

The local residents raced over the winding roads, while we were keeping the recommended speed, meaning we created more than one traffic jam behind our car.

How much does it cost to rent a car in Sardinia?

Renting a car in Sardinia is surprisingly affordable! We rented ours via Rentalcars and paid €215 for a week: €175 for the rental fee and €40 for insurance against damages. Plus, we spent €95 on fuel.

Things you need to know about renting a car in Sardinia

Where to stay in Sardinia

travel to olbia sardinia

We stayed at six different accommodations, you can find all of them in the table below. I booked all our accommodations online via Agoda and Booking before our trip.

Further down in the post you can read more about our personal experience with these accommodations.

Note: Prices for these Sardinia accommodation options are dependent on the time of year and how far in advance you book. Therefore, the prices mentioned above are a rough indication of the price per night to help you compare the different options. Press ‘click here' under book to see the latest prices on Booking and book ahead to get the best deal.

The hotels and apartments listed in the table above are all nice accommodations that I would gladly stay in again myself.

That being said, these accommodations were pretty basic. Clean and comfortable? Absolutely! But simple, no-frills hotels.

Best resorts in Sardinia

If you're looking for more luxury, these 3 excellent resorts in Sardinia might suit you better:

  • Bajaloglia Resort : this 5-star resort offers the best views over Castelsardo. It's perfect for couples looking for a quiet and luxurious stay in one of the most beautiful bays or Sardinia. Click here to book .
  • Hotel Cala di Volpe : this luxury hotel prides itself on its beautiful interior design and impeccable service. Surrounded by a lush, green Mediterranean landscape, you'll slip into holiday mode in no time… Click here to book .
  • Baglioni Resort Sardinia : this secluded resort offers a private beach inside the Tavolara Marine Reserve. Views are absolutely breathtaking and the staff will go out of their way to make sure you have an unforgettable stay. Click here to book .

travel to olbia sardinia

Is Sardinia expensive to visit?

No, traveling to Sardinia doesn't have to cost a fortune. In fact, my husband and I traveled to Sardinia on a fairly low budget.

In total, we spend €1000 for a week , which comes down to an average of €143 per day (for the two of us together). This includes all expenses for accommodation, transportation, food, and activities.

To give you an idea of the prices, an espresso generally costs around €1, a pizza is €5-8 and you can get a scoop of the most delicious gelato for only €2.

Also, to cut costs, we bought breakfast and lunch in a supermarket (bread, tomato, cheese, pepper, and salt, delicious!) or at little bakeries.

For dinner, we mixed up eating out and cooking ourselves. To celebrate our anniversary, we ‘splurged' (restaurants in Sardinia are still cheap compared to the Netherlands) on an excellent dinner at this restaurant , which was totally worth it.

1 week in Sardinia: 10 things to do

Sardinia should be on any Italy bucket list or Italy itinerary . It's a beautiful island with a lot of history and beautiful villages.

Sardinia is the 2nd largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and a week won't be enough to explore everything it has to offer.

Most Sardinia attractions in this post are located in the north of Sardinia. However, I've added several must-visit places in South Sardinia under the ‘more things to do in Sardinia' section' further down this article.

If you also want to explore the South, I recommend spending at least 2 weeks in Sardinia because there is so much to see!

1. Explore Alghero

Alghero historic center cobblestone street

Start your 7 days in Sardinia in Alghero, one of the larger cities on the island though still very walkable.

With its charming historic center, narrow cobblestoned streets, boutique stores, and excellent restaurants and bars it's easy to spend a day in Alghero and a great place to visit on your first day.

Alghero highlights, besides strolling around the centro storico , are the impressive Sea Walls built in the 16th century, La Piazza Civica, and of course the Cattedrale di Santa Maria, one of Alghero's landmarks.

A trip to the nearby Grotta di Nettuno, located in Capo Caccia, is one of the best things to do in Alghero, though I don't particularly recommend this tour during summer as it gets very busy.

Outside of peak season, this impressive cave with spectacular stalactites and stalactites and other rock formations is definitely worth a visit!

An excellent evening activity in Alghero is taking a cooking class . A local host will teach you how to prepare a four-course meal with typical Sardinian dishes using local produce.

After your hard work, you get to enjoy these dishes accompanied by a glass of local wine, a perfect way to end your Alghero itinerary.

Click here to book your Sardinia home cooking class !

2. Take a swim at Spiaggia della Pelosa near Stintino

Spiaggia della Pelosa Stintino

On your second day in Sardinia, head to La Pelosa, one of the best beaches in Sardinia .

This Spiaggia (Italian for beach) can be found on the Stintino peninsula, in the north of the island. It's approximately a one-hour drive from Alghero.

The crystal clear water has an absolutely stunning blue color and you don't even need a snorkel to see the fish dart around in the water!

We crossed the water to a tiny island about 10 meters from the coast, which had a little beach and just a few people on it.

To get to this beach, we picked our way over the slippery rocks with a bag full of valuables, probably not the smartest thing to do without a dry bag.

Luckily we got across without falling into the water and drowning all our electronics. In any case, La Pelosa is a lovely place to spend some time.

3. Hop on a boat trip around La Maddalena Archipelago

La Maddalena Archipelago Sardinia

On the next day, it's time for one of the most popular Sardinia tourist attractions: a boat trip around the Maddalena Islands .

The Maddalena Archipelago consists of seven larger islands:

  • La Maddalena
  • Caprera island
  • Santo Stefano
  • Santa Maria

Only La Maddalena, Caprera, and Santo Stefano are inhabited. The largest town is Cala Gavetta on Maddalena Island.

There are also many small uninhabited islands in the archipelago, clear water in all shades of blue and fantastic beaches such as Cala Coticcio (Caprera) and Cala Lunga (Razzoli).

One of the highlights of any boat tour around La Maddalena is Spiaggia Rosa which means pink beach . It can be found on Budelli Island and is probably one of the world's most beautiful beaches.

However, you can only admire it from afar as disembarking here is strictly forbidden. And with good reason, before these regulations were established people often took shells and sand as a souvenir, wreaking havoc on the natural environment.

Booking a Maddalena boat tour

A boat tour in the Maddalena archipelago is one of the most popular day trips in Sardinia and rightly so. It's a fantastic experience around some of the most beautiful scenery the island has to offer.

You can book a boat tour online , which I strongly recommend when traveling in the high season (July and August).

If you are traveling outside peak season there is availability on most days. There are several tour operators in the harbor, so it’s usually not a problem to book on the day itself.

Most tours start around 10 am and finish around 6 pm. There are several itineraries but most tours have 3 or 4 stops on the different islands of La Maddalena.

Click here to book a Maddalena Archipelago boat tour online

Parking at Palau (departure point of the boat tour)

A little word of advice, reserve enough time to park your car! There is a real problem shortage of decent parking lots and it can be quite expensive the closer you get to the harbor.

We parked a little outside the city center, which was free and just a short walk to the harbor.

4. Wander around Porto Cervo

Porto Cervo is located in northern Sardinia in the area that's called the Costa Smeralda (the Emerald Coast). This small town is one of the most expensive resorts in the world.

We felt a bit out of place amidst the billionaires relaxing on their luxury yachts in their expensive clothing. Still, it's a good place for a morning stroll and an (expensive) cup of coffee or gelato.

5. Hike Tiscali Mountain

Valle di Lanaittu on Sardinia

One of the most unique places to visit in Sardinia is the Nuragic village of Tiscali, hidden in the mountains.

It's estimated that these ruins date back to the first millennium BC. You can either visit Tiscali village independently or j o in this excellent full-day tour (includes transport, lunch, and a knowledgeable guide).

Getting to the village requires a two-hour hike in the beautiful Valle di Lanaittu , be sure to carry plenty of water as you'll be climbing a lot and a large part of the track is exposed.

Click here to book a hiking tour of Tiscali mountain and village .

6. Visit the ancient Nuraghe Losa

Nuraghe Losa Sardinia

Nuraghi are a strange phenomenon and are only found in Sardinia. Basically, they are ancient fortified towers built from large rocks.

There are around 1100 spread around Sardinia in various conditions; some are in very good condition while others are almost completely destroyed.

We visited Losa (admission €5 per person), one of the largest and the most complete nuraghe in Sardinia , complete with watchtowers and a spiral staircase inside the main building.

Losa is an impressive structure and one of the best-preserved archeological sites. In my opinion, it's one of the best places to visit in Sardinia if you're interested in history.

I personally find it incredible these massive constructions were built so many years ago without any modern equipment.

7. Relax on Spiaggia di Is Arutas

Quartz sand on Spiaggia di Is Arutas Sardinia

Spiaggia di Is Arutas is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia (and there are more than 15 of them !) The beach is made up of tiny quartz fragments, similar to grains of rice, in colors ranging from green to white and delicate pink. 

This makes Spiaggia di Is Arutas a unique beach to visit and definitely one I recommend putting on your itinerary for Sardinia.

Note that during the summer months the beach can be packed so it's best to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Bring a snorkeling mask and explore the underwater world, or go for a swim in the crystal waters.

8. Explore Oristano

While you'll be spending most time exploring the sights around Oristano, the village itself is also worth a visit.

Wander around the Centro Storico , grab a cup of espresso at one of the cafes, visit the beautiful Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta and snap a picture of the Statua di Eleonora D'Arborea.

When visiting during lunchtime or in the evening, there are plenty of places to eat in Oristano. Trattoria Portixedda and Blao Ristorante are some of the best restaurants and serve fresh seafood as well as typical Italian dishes.

Ristorante Fronte Mari Sardinia

9. Visit the ruins of Tharros

Tharros is a historic site where you can explore the ruins of a former Roman town founded in the eighth century BC.

The signage around the site is pretty good and you can read about the history of this former capital of the Judicate of Arborea.

At the site, you will find the remains of several temples, Roman baths, an amphitheater, and some other constructions.

Allow yourself an hour or two to wander the ruins of Tharros and imagine what life must have been like millennia ago…

10. Stroll around beautiful Bosa

Colorful Nostra Signora di Regnos festival in Bosa, Sardinia.

I loved Bosa, a beautiful village situated on the west coast of Sardinia by the Temo River (the only river in Sardinia).

The houses are painted in various bright colors and the narrow streets feel almost like a labyrinth. There are little coffee and gelato bars everywhere and the overall atmosphere is really friendly.

The castle up on the hill is worth a visit, mainly for the spectacular views over the main town and the sea. We were lucky to visit on the last day of the Nostra Signora di Regnos festival.

During the festival the village looks even prettier because of all the colorful flags, palm tree leaves and little altars build for the Virgin Mary.

travel to olbia sardinia

More things to do in Sardinia

If you've got more time available, consider adding these activities to your Sardinia travel itinerary as well.

Dolphin-watching and snorkeling tour

Dolphins at Bay of Islands

The waters around Sardinia are rich in marine life, such as dolphins and whales. Join a boat tour from Olbia and watch dolphins swim free near the boat in their natural habitat.

Enjoy snorkeling among colorful fish and explore limestone caves and cliffs.

Click here to book a dolphin-watching tour

Go scuba diving

If you love the underwater world as much as I do and got your PADI, this full-day diving trip in the Gulf of Orosei is a great option.

You'll be doing three dives, under the supervision of an experienced dive master, in the clear waters just off the coast of Cala Gonone.

Diving at the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia - Anti Gravity Divers

Click here to book your scuba diving trip

Spend more time on the east coast of Sardinia

If you've got a few extra days in Sardinia and love white beaches, the east coast of Sardinia is perfect for you. This part of Sardinia is simply stunning, each bay more breathtaking than the previous one.

Base yourself in fancy Baglioni Resort (see picture below), explore San Teodoro village, take a boat trip to Tavolara island and relax on pretty Cala Brandinchi.

travel to olbia sardinia

Explore Cagliari

Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia and is known for its historic center. You can easily spend a whole day exploring its cobblestoned streets and narrow alleys.

Here are some of the best places to visit in Cagliari:

  • Castello: this medieval town is part of Cagliari and dates back to the 13th century. It's situated on a 100-meter-tall hilltop and overlooks the rest of the city. Don't miss the Archeological Museum, Cagliari’s Cathedral and the iconic Torre di San Pancrazio and Torre dell’Elefante.
  • Stampace: the oldest district in Cagliari where you can find the Roman Amphitheater, the lovely Botanical Gardens, and plenty of excellent restaurants and bars.
  • Villanova: go shopping in this colorful Cagliari neighborhood. Pick up a souvenir such as local olive oil or ceramics and visit the imposing San Saturnino Cathedral.

Join this walking tour with a local guide to learn more about the history of this beautiful historic city on Sardinia.

Admire the famous pink flamingos

These beautiful creatures are called Sa Genti Arrubia in Italian and have lived on Sardinia for generations. The Molentargius pond near Cagliari is one of the best places to see them.

You can visit the Natural Park independently or join this fun 2-hour bike tour . Read more about the pink flamingos of Sardinia here .

Budget accommodation in Sardinia

Accommodation in Sardinia is plentiful and there is something to be found for every budget. Below you can read more about the places we stayed during our trip.

Alternatively, you can check for more hotel options in Sardinia.

Accommodation in Alghero

We stayed at Alghero 4u Guesthouse . Max, the host, was very friendly and showed us around the apartment.

He also gave us a map of the city and recommended a pizzeria which turned out to be excellent! Budget accommodation with everything you need and in a good location, 10 min walk to the center of Alghero.

It's a bit noisy, we didn't mind, but if you are looking for a quiet stay this isn't for you (you share the kitchen and bathroom with other guests).

Price indication: €60

Click here to book Alghero 4U Guesthouse

Accommodation in Isola Rossa

A beautiful sunset on Sardinia

We spent one night in Isola Rossa Appartamenti . The view from the veranda was beautiful, looking out over the sea and a beautiful sunset. The apartment was quite big and very clean.

The bed was comfortable, however, linens are not included. Bring your own bed linen and towels or pay an additional fee for a linen pack.

Also, there was a kitchen but no soap or sponge to wash the dirty dishes.

Click here to book Isola Rossa Appartamenti

Accommodation in Palau

Costa Serena Sardinia

The location of Costa Serena Village is absolutely stunning, with a beautiful view of the bay. The apartment itself is basic but clean and has good cooking facilities.

Please note that the swimming pool and shop are closed during the low season.

Price indication: €140

Click here to book Costa Serena Village

Accommodation in Sos Alinos

Cala Liberotto Hotel Residence

The absolute best thing about Cala Liberotto Residence is the outside kitchen, how cool is that! The rest of the apartment is nice as well, with a comfortable bed and a big clean bathroom.

Price indication: €120 per night

Click here to book Cala Liberotto Hotel Residence

Accommodation in Nuoro

travel to olbia sardinia

In Nuoro, we stayed at Terry's House . Very friendly staff who gave us excellent advice about Mastro Pizza. The room has a very comfy bed, a modern and clean bathroom, and excellent Wi-Fi and.

Please note that there is no private parking available (but lots of public parking).

Price indication: €65 per night

Click here to book Terry's House

Accommodation in Oristano

travel to olbia sardinia

Everything about Sa Domu e Crakeras was fantastic, from the warm welcome with local wine and homemade cookies to the location (in the city center of Oristano) to the room itself, excellent!

The room is very clean, the bed really comfy, the bathroom is new with a large shower and the air conditioning is a nice extra.

The ‘courtyard' looks really cute but is also convenient for parking the car. Highly recommended!

Price indication: €60 per night

Click here to book Sa Domu e Crakeras

Sardinia road trip itinerary: in conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed this Sardinia travel guide and it has inspired you to road trip to Sardinia.

If you have any questions about putting together the best itinerary for your Sardinia vacation, leave a comment below, send me a message or take a look at my custom itinerary planning service .

This post was updated in February 2024.

Planning a trip to Sardinia? This one week Sardinia itinerary will help you discover the best things to do on Sardinia (including travel budget information, where to stay and how to get around Sardinia). #Sardinia #Europe #roadtrip

Wednesday 26th of May 2021

How would you advise splitting the days between different areas of the island? Did you move to a new accomodation every day? Thanks!

Monday 31st of May 2021

We moved to a different accommodation pretty much every day (we only stayed in Oristano for 2 nights). Driving was quite slow as many roads had so many twists and turns so I was happy not to cover too large of a distance each day. That being said, if you prefer driving a bit further during some days in exchange for not having to pack up your stuff every day, that is definitely possible as well.

For example, you could easily visit Bosa from Alghero. You could even base yourself in Alghero for a couple of days and explore Oristano, Spiaggia di Is Arutas, Tharros and Spiaggia della Pelosa as day trips. Hope this helps!

Enjoy your trip:-) Lotte

Friday 15th of December 2017

Thank you for your willingness to share. We intend to be in Sardinia in April. We'll stay in Olbia for seven days. Do you have any suggestions for this kind of trip? Thanks again, Rita.

Monday 18th of December 2017

You are most welcome, I love writing about my travels:-). About your question, if you have a rental car you could easily visit Porto Cervo. You could also make a cruise around the Maddalena Islands. Depending on how far you want to drive you could also visit Nuoro (should be around 1,5 hour from you). And of course there are lots of small beaches around the East Coast which are yours to discover;-). Enjoy your trip!

Sunday 15th of October 2017

Hi brilliant story of your trip and helpful I wondered what time of year did you go and also is it quite cheap to eat in restaurants ? Thanks Sarah

Thank you, happy to hear that:-). I was on Sardinia at the start of September (2014), just after peak season. I was surprised how affordable eating out is. Obviously it depends where you go but a pizza is about 10 euro and we paid around 50 euro (including wine) for our fancy dinner at Ristorante Fronte Mari. Hope this helps! Enjoy your trip,

Katie McCraith

Thursday 13th of April 2017

Your trip sounds fantastic :)! Where did you hire your car from?

Friday 14th of April 2017

Hi Katie, it was a really nice road trip! I rented a car via Hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions and enjoy your trip:-).

Wednesday 6th of January 2016

Fijn, zo'n helder overzicht! Het is toch altijd lastig inschatten hoeveel een reis gaat kosten.

Thanks Aniek:-) Ik vind het ook altijd prettig om te weten wat de gemiddelde dagelijkse kosten ongeveer zijn. Alhoewel je het natuurlijk zo duur kan maken als je zelf wilt;-)

Sardinia, Italy

  • Ferry Tickets
  • Destinations

Olbia is located on the northeast coast of Sardinia and is one of the largest cities on the island. On Ferryhopper, you will find useful information about must-see places, beaches, local delicacies and ferries to Olbia. Take a look at our travel tips, available ferry routes, and book your tickets with just a few clicks !

The lighthouse of the Bocca island seen from the coast

The imposing lighthouse of Isola Bocca near the port of Olbia

Vacation in Olbia

Olbia is a coastal city surrounded by a stunning palm-lined waterfront. It’s known for the magnificent Basilica of San Simplicio and its miscellaneous origins . From Greeks to Nuragics and Romans, the Sardinian city hosts several archaeological findings from different eras.

The historic center of Olbia is filled with picturesque, stone-paved alleys and beautiful little squares to enjoy your coffee opposite the city's imposing buildings.

Also, it is the perfect destination for nature lovers as it is full of greenery and hiking trails. You can take the Punta Ruia hiking trail leading to breathtaking scenery between cliffs.

So, if you are looking for a place for a weekend trip with families and friends, Olbia is great combining heavenly beaches and stunning landscapes.

Being a rather popular destination and a starting point for visiting the famous Costa Smeralda during the summer, the best time to visit Olbia is from April to June. The temperatures are mild, allowing you to move around the city with ease and comfort.

How to get to Olbia

Olbia is one of the main connection points between the island of Sardinia and the Italian peninsula. The fastest way to get to Olbia from the mainland is from the following ports by ferry : Genoa, Livorno, Piombino and Civitavecchia. For more information about schedules and tickets, you can take a look at the ferry routes to Olbia .

Alternatively, you can reach Olbia by plane . The closest airport is located only 7km from the center and offers national and international flights (including France, Germany and the Netherlands).

There is also the option of taking your car . However, there are no motorways in Sardinia and driving can be challenging. Therefore, we recommend you to take a train or a bus from Sassari, Cagliari, Oristano, Golfo Aranci and Nuoro for a more comfortable and carefree trip.

Buildings in the historic center of Olbia on the coast

The seaside of the impressive historic center of Olbia 

What to do in Olbia

Olbia is a blend of dazzling beauty and exciting archaeological findings . You can visit some of the most beautiful Nuragic complexes in Sardinia and the Tomb of the Giants, both testifying the city’s flourishing past.

However, Olbia is not all about the remains of the past! Walk along the beautiful promenade leading to Corso Umberto , the city’s main road with shops and sidewalk cafés. Go window shopping and then enjoy your aperitif in a bar before dinner.

We said dinner, didn’t we? Sardinian cuisine is rich in unique flavors, so trying traditional delicacies in vintage restaurants near the historic center is a must. 

Between delicious treats, museums and archaeological sites, a break to relax by the sea is the perfect getaway! The coast of Olbia extends for about 100km, so you're free to choose between the most impressive beaches of Sardinia.

And yes, there is more to do in Olbia! Thanks to its location, Olbia offers beautiful views. Enjoy a wonderful view of the city from Monte Pino, go hiking and try outdoor activities! Have you ever tried bird watching ? The Gulf of Olbia is rich in fauna and a great place to observe birds, even flamingos!

Beaches in Olbia

Olbia is a stretch of coast full of enchanting beaches, ideal for those looking to strike the happy medium between social life and relaxation.

Here are the 10 best beaches in Olbia:

  • Cala Banana : the beach is named after its lunette shape resembling a banana. Cala Banana has a sugary white sand, tiny pearly pebbles and crystal-clear waters. With a low seabed, the beach is a great spot for snorkeling and perfect for families with young children.
  • White beach : it's one of the most popular beaches of Sardinia located just 12km from Olbia. It is surrounded by white sand, deep blue waters and wild lilies. There, you can find umbrellas, sun-loungers and showers. After taking a dip, enjoy a coffee or a snack from the bar located close to the shore. 
  • Pittulongu : the beach is also known as Puntale Lungo. It’s a splendid and extensive crescent-shaped beach of white sand and clear, shallow waters. You can also find various hotels, restaurants, pizzerias and mini-markets in close distance.
  • Bados : it's located in front of the homonymous tourist village. The beach is divided into a free and equipped area. The beach is sandy with gorgeous emerald waters offering umbrellas and sunbeds. There is also a bar with cool drinks and snacks, ideal after taking a dive.
  • Li Cuncheddi : it is popular among surfers and is in the area of Capo Ceraso. Li Cuncheddi beach is known for its landscape and unspoiled nature. It has golden sand and turquoise waters.
  • Salina : it’s only a few minutes from the city center. The Salina beach has a long stretch of coast with reddish sand, ideal for beautiful walks. It is very popular with surfers and water sports enthusiasts.
  • Poltu Manzu : it's a small, beautiful, secluded coast. It is a favorite local spot and quite serene. It has golden sand, crystal clear waters and deep seabed. Surrounded by unspoiled nature and devoid of services, it is ideal for relaxing. Bring some snacks and water with you and spend the day near the sea.
  • Doctor’s beach : it's a little corner of paradise surrounded by greenery and fine sand. The crystal, turquoise sea is great for snorkeling enthusiasts. The beach does not offer any services, so you should bring your own umbrella, some snacks, and water.
  • Sas Enas Appara : this wild and unspoiled beach is divided into 3 parts . It has fine sand, rocks and crystal-clear waters. It can be reached by sea or along a 10 minute-walk following the Punzutu path.
  • Porto Istana Bay : the bay is a set of 4 beaches separated by small rocky strips. Its turquoise shallow waters are perfect for children. Various services and activities are offered, such as windsurfing, canoeing, and jet skiing.

The bay of Porto Istana in Olbia

The beautiful bay of Porto Istana

Sightseeing in Olbia

Olbia is rich in places of historical, cultural and naturalistic interest that testify to its ancient past.

Among the most beautiful attractions to discover in Olbia we recommend:

  • The Church of St. Paul , with its impressive colorful dome glistening in the sunlight
  • The Basilica of San Simplicio , with the underground necropolis preserving more than 400 tombs from the Roman age
  • The Punic walls , the only surviving evidence of the Punic-Roman era in Olbia
  • Corso Umberto I , the main street of the city filled with shops and cafés
  • The Archaeological Museum , in the shape of a timeworn ship dedicated to the rich history of the port and city
  • The Sacred Well of Sa Testa , a legacy of the Nuragic civilization
  • The Riu Mulinu nuraghe , one of the best known Nuragic fortifications outlooking on Cabu Abbas
  • The Roman Aqueduct , the best-preserved aqueduct in Roman Sardinia
  • The Pedres Castle , dominating the city of Olbia for almost 800 years
  • The Tomb of the Giants , a 4,000-year-old megalithic monument
  • The Fausto Noce Park , featuring many species of the Mediterranean flora

What to visit around Olbia

If you decide to stay a few more days in Olbia, we suggest you visit some areas of the north-eastern coast of Sardinia. The stretch that reaches Santa Teresa Gallura is full of places surrounded by unspoiled nature, perfect for excursions.

Among the most interesting we point out:

  • Palau and the Maddalena National Park : Palau is most famous for the spectacular beaches in Sardinia and for being the getaway to the Maddalena archipelago. It is also the best place for diving enthusiasts with heavenly reefs! While exploring the underwater world of Palau, you can also visit the Maddalena National Park, a protected nature reserve including 60 beautiful islands.
  • Santa Teresa Gallura : it is a seaside village located 60km north of Olbia overlooking the Straits of Bonifacio and Corsica. With azure blue water and stunning ocean views, it is home to some of the best Blue Flag beaches of Sardinia.
  • Berchiddeddu : you can find this ancient village just 15km away from the city of Olbia. As soon as you reach it, you feel the magical atmosphere between winding streets and houses surrounding the main church. Berchiddeddu is famous for producing excellent local cheese and honey and tasting is a must.

Tip : take advantage of the boat tour to discover the archipelago of La Maddalena with a direct departure from Olbia! Spend the whole day in the corner of paradise, taking dives and playing beach volley.

The Riu Mulinu nuraghe in Olbia

The ancient Nuragic complex of Riu Mulinu in Olbia

Nightlife in Olbia

Olbia has a lively nightlife for every taste. During the winter, you can enjoy your drink in the city center’s aperitif bars and nightclubs. In the summer,  the waterfront welcomes the nightlife by hosting live concerts. Enjoy your cocktail in one of the various beach bars and seaside clubs or watch a movie in an open-air cinema under the stars.

If you’re visiting the area in the summer months, you can also head towards the towns of Porto Cervo, Porto Rotondo, San Teodoro or Baia Sardinia, home to the most beautiful nightclubs on the Costa Smeralda.

Food in Olbia

The cuisine of Olbia is simple and tasty, with strong flavors and aromas inspired by the sea and land. Meat, seafood, pecorino and ricotta cheese, herbs and honey are some of the main ingredients composing an explosive symphony of flavors hand in hand with a glass of Vermentino wine .

Here are some of the most delicious local delicacies to try during your stay in Olbia:

  • fregola (handmade couscous with mussels and clams)
  • culurgiones (pasta stuffed with potato, pecorino cheese and mint)
  • chiusoni alla Gallurese (pasta dumplings with salami, cherry tomatoes and pecorino cheese)
  • mazza frissa (sour cream mixed with bread flour)
  • orziadas (crispy fried sea anemones with potato cream)
  • Gallura soup (made with beef broth, ciabatta bread, cheese and parsley)
  • sweet ravioli (pasta with ricotta cheese, cinnamon and vanilla)

Tip : in Olbia, around mid-May, locals celebrate the Feast of San Simplicio , an event dedicated to music and traditional food. When you’re there, walk towards the stalls of Fausto Noce Park and try the sandwich with the salsiccia , the delicious, spicy italian sausage! 

Traditional Italian pasta culurgiones stuffed with tomato

A traditional Sardinian dish of delicious culurgiones with tomato sauce

Tips for Olbia

Here are 4 tips that we hope will be useful to you during your stay in Olbia:

  • Olbia is great to explore by bicycle . Therefore, don’t miss the opportunity to try the Olbia Bike , a bike-sharing service active 24 hours a day. In addition to the low cost, it is also a fun way to get around the city and avoid traffic at the same time!
  • In Sardinia, it may not always be very hot in summer due to the mistral. So before you go, you better grab a sweatshirt  and put it in your suitcase!
  • Olbia and Sardinia could be quite expensive in the high season. However, by booking well in advance , you can save money and have a wider choice of accommodation.
  • In spring, towards mid-April, the city celebrates the Olbia Spring festival lasting almost 10 days. It is dedicated to outdoor sports, a great way to welcome spring and enjoy nature!

Useful information for Olbia

Olbia offers its visitors various things to do and see. Most restaurants and shops are located in the city’s heart. The hub of Olbia develops around Corso Umberto with cafes, bars, museums and many attractions in close distance. 

In regards to your accommodation in Olbia , we recommend that you opt for the downtown area as it’s full of alternatives between hotels, pensions, guest houses and Bed & Breakfasts. However, finding something near the port is preferable if you intend to leave by ferry the following day. 

Alternatively, if you plan to spend only a day in the city of Olbia, you can stay in the heart of Costa Smeralda . The towns of Arzachena and Cannigione are close to mesmerizing beaches and the prices are lower than in the city center.

As for health care, there are several hospitals both in the city and in the province of Olbia. In addition, the tourist medical guard service is active throughout the summer in an emergency.

If you decide to explore the coast of Olbia by car, you should keep in mind that most available parking lots are not free. Prices start around €1.50 per hour.

Tip : if you can find a parking space in the streets adjacent to the beaches, we always recommend that you pay attention to the signs.

Important phone numbers for your stay in Olbia  

Here are some useful contacts to keep within reach during your trip to Olbia:

  • Olbia-Golfo Aranci Port Authority: +390789204179
  • Olbia Police Station: +390789550700
  • Tourist Information Center: +39078952206
  • John Paul II Hospital: +390789552921
  • Olbia Tourist Medical Guard: +390789552266
  • Radio taxi services: +39078924999
  • ASPO urban transport bus: +3907895553800
  • European emergency number: 112 

White house with green shutters in the historic center of Olbia

Enchanting colorful house in the historic center of Olbia

Transportation in Olbia

In Olbia, you can easily get around on foot or by bus . Most of the streets are pedestrian, making it easy to explore the city quickly.

The bus network is very efficient with city buses also reaching some beaches. For example, the ASPO company offers the Spiagge Express service , an exclusive bus line connecting the center of Olbia with Pittulongu beach at the cost of €5 for a round trip.

However, a scooter or a car is the most comfortable way to explore the area around the city of Olbia. You can take your vehicle on the ferry or rent a vehicle when you reach the city. That way, you can discover the beautiful places of Gallura from top to bottom with ease and comfort.

The port of Olbia

The port of Olbia is one of the most important and busiest ports in Sardinia, welcoming more than 1 million passengers annually.

The port is divided into 4 areas . The main area is Isola Bianca and is equipped with 8 docks for ferries and 3 for cruise ships. At the Isola Bianca Maritime Station, you can find ticket offices, bars, restaurants, a left-luggage office and a shuttle bus service for internal port transfer.

If you plan to reach the port of Olbia from the train station, you can take the city bus route 9 or catch a taxi (at the cost of approximately €15 ). If you are traveling by plane and start your journey from the airport, you can take buses 2 and 10 to take you to Olbia's port.

If you want to go to the port by car, you should keep in mind that finding parking could be a challenge. We, therefore, recommend that you leave your vehicle in the guarded parking lots in the area, offering low rates.

Ferries and hydrofoils at the port of Olbia

Ferries departing from the port of Olbia

Olbia ferry: schedules and tickets

The port of Olbia is connected with the Italian cities of Rome (Civitavecchia), Genoa, Livorno and Piombino.

There are 4 ferry companies that operate the routes to Olbia: Grimaldi Lines , Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV) , Tirrenia , and Moby Lines . They offer up to 79 weekly crossings with ferries and hydrofoils . Depending on the port of departure, the rides can last from 5 to 12 hours.

Here you can find more information about all the ferry connections to Olbia:

  • Civitavecchia - Olbia ferry : the crossing from Civitavecchia to Olbia connects Rome to the north-eastern coast of Sardinia. There are up to 25 weekly trips with an average duration of 5 to 7 hours , depending on the ferry operator.
  • Genoa - Olbia ferry : one of the most popular ferry routes is from the port of Genoa to Olbia . There are about 17 weekly connections available with crossings of 10 to 12 hours .
  • Livorno - Olbia ferry : the connection from Livorno to Olbia usually serves about 28 times a week . The ferry route takes around 7 hours .
  • Piombino - Olbia ferry : the Piombino - Olbia ferry route includes 7 weekly connections lasting around 5 hours .

Take a look at our Map of ferries with all the connections to the port of Olbia and start planning your trip right away!

Where to book ferry tickets to Olbia online?

On Ferryhopper, you can find all connections to Olbia, compare prices and companies, departure times and book your ferry tickets online with ease . The Sardinian city invites you to dive into the waters of the Costa Smeralda, between coves and breathtaking landscapes!

Olbia ferry timetable

View the complete ferry schedule from and to Olbia for the upcoming week. Find up-to-date trip information, including departure and arrival dates and times, ferry operators and ticket prices.

Frequent ferry connections

  • Civitavecchia
  • Cinque Terre

Nearby destinations

Olbia has direct ferry connections to 4 ports :.

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Le Saline Beach

Visit Olbia

Located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Olbia has an appealing assortment of attractive beaches. The coastal setting offers surfing, diving and a variety of other water-based activities. The sea may be the center of activities, but Olbia also features numerous cultural pursuits including museums, ancient churches and shipwreck treasures.

Within a few minutes’ drive of the city center are miles of white-sand beaches. Surf, snorkel and scuba dive at Porto Istana. Canoe, windsurf or rent a sailboat at Lo Squalo. Other beaches with a variety of watersports include Mare e Rocce, Spiaggia dei Sassi and Il Pellicano. Bados Beach is ideal for families with children because of its shallow sea bed.

When you want a break from the beach, explore the city. Visit the archeological museum to learn about Olbia’s early Greek foundations and to see exhibits from Roman and medieval shipwrecks. Study frescoes at the 11th-century Basilica of San Simplicio and the 18th-century Church of St. Paul. To discover more of Sardinia’s past, travel 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Olbia for the Nuraghic monuments of Arzachena. These ancient towers, burial sites and building ruins are between 3,000 and 4,000 years old.

Stroll along the narrow lanes of the city center that lead to Piazza Regina Margherita and Piazza Matteotti, two attractive squares bordered by shops, cafés and restaurants. Savor the delicious smells and tastes of Sardinian cuisine with its meats spit-roasted over herbs, mussel stew, roasted lobster and other local specialties.

Many visitors arrive into the busy port of Olbia by ferry or cruise ship. Alternatively, fly into the international airport that’s approximately 3 miles (5 kilometers) southeast of the city center. The city is compact and easily walkable. Alternatively, use taxis or rent a car or scooter, good options if you want to travel farther afield.

Olbia is also about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Maddalena Archipelago National Park, a group of islands that host rare animal and plant species.

Where to stay in Olbia

Olbia featuring street scenes

Olbia City Centre

Unique features of Olbia City Centre include the coffeehouses and waterfront views. Make a stop by Piazza Matteotti or Church of San Paolo while you're exploring the area.

  • Olbia Hotel Deals
  • Vacation Rentals in Olbia

Jazz Hotel

Reviewed on Nov 20, 2023

Grand Hotel President Olbia

Reviewed on Sep 1, 2023

Hotel Abi d'Oru

Reviewed on Oct 24, 2023

Apartment/ flat - Loc Muriscinu

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2023

Residence Stella di Gallura

Reviewed on Aug 10, 2022

Delightful villa in Sardinia

Reviewed on Sep 15, 2023

Check Olbia hotel availability

Popular places to visit, port of olbia.

Start your journey in Sardinia by exploring this busy transportation hub and the charming town that surrounds it.

Basilica of San Simplicio

See one of Sardinia’s most significant medieval monuments, home to beautiful works of art and Olbia’s biggest annual festival.

Portisco Marina

Explore the waterfront in Portisco with a trip to Portisco Marina. Wander the beautiful beaches in this relaxing area.

Rena Bianca Beach

If a restful vacation is part of your travel plans, Rena Bianca Beach might be the perfect place to seek out during your trip to Olbia. Discover the jazz scene and spas in this romantic area.

Isola Piana beach

Why not spend a lazy afternoon at Isola Piana beach during your trip to Olbia? Wander the beautiful beaches in this romantic area.

National Archaeological Museum of Olbia

You can enjoy some culture when you stop by National Archaeological Museum of Olbia in Olbia. Wander the beautiful beaches in this relaxing area.

Things to do

Olbia: sardinian pasta workshop, wine tasting, & local meal, olbia: moped hire, quad tour monte nieddu, reviews of olbia, 2/5 - disappointing.

This place seems dirty run down and not kept to the standard it should be. What a shame there is so much graffiti

Olbia was very nice , great starting point for other areas

5/5 - Excellent

Having lived around the world, one of my top vacation and cultural experiences. Island life with Sardinian hospitality. Fantastic water and sailing.

Friendly people ..a car is a must !

I was in Sardinia for a walking holiday so Olbia and visiting historical sites or going to beaches was not on my agenda.

  • Cities near Olbia

Romazzino Beach featuring rugged coastline and general coastal views

Golfo Aranci

Photo by Manish Gajria

San Pantaleo

Photo "Ala Dei Sardi" by ggalleri (CC BY-SA) / Cropped from original

Ala Dei Sardi

  • Places of interest
  • Port of Olbia Vacations
  • Pittulongu Beach Vacations
  • La Marinella Beach Vacations
  • Porto Istana Beach Vacations
  • Portisco Marina Vacations
  • Le Saline Beach Vacations
  • Bados Beach Vacations
  • Rena Bianca Beach Vacations
  • Tavolara - Punta Coda Cavallo Marine Protected Area Vacations
  • Isola Piana beach Vacations
  • Basilica of San Simplicio Vacations
  • National Archaeological Museum of Olbia Vacations
  • Ira Beach Vacations
  • Marina Maria Beach Vacations
  • Costa Corallina Beach Vacations
  • Centro Sub Portorotondo Vacations
  • Pellicano Beach Vacations
  • Sarrale Beaches Vacations
  • Piazza Matteotti Vacations
  • Medieval Castle of Pedres Vacations
  • Fausto Noce Park Vacations
  • Nuraghe Riu Mulinu Vacations
  • Giant's Tomb Su Monte 'e s'Ape Vacations
  • Mario Cervo Archive Vacations

Additional information about Expedia Group

The 10 Best Beaches Near Olbia, Sardinia [with Map]

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Nestled in northeast Sardinia on the Tyrrhenian sea, Olbia is known as Sardinia’s third city and gateway to the Costa Smeralda. Its charming setting, including a cute historic center and some heavenly beaches nearby, makes it a lovely stopover destination.

So whether you have chosen to visit Olbia for a few days or you are only in transit, you will want to take a look at the best beaches near Olbia and beyond, which I have selected for you. 

Let’s go! 🚀


Full List of the Best Beaches in Olbia & Around

Free olbia beaches map, visit sardinia.

Unlike Cagliari or Alghero, the town of Olbia doesn’t have its own beach, although its located seaside. But there are lots of beaches that are really easy and quickly reachable from Olbia, the nearest one being Pittulongu. 

I’ve listed below the 10 best beaches around Olbia, sorted by distance from the closest to the farthest: 

  • Pittulongu 
  • Le Saline 
  • Porto Istana
  • Doctor’s Beach
  • Porto Taverna
  • Cala Moresca
  • Spalmatore Beach
  • Cala Brandinchi

Alright, now let’s see each of these Olbia beaches in more detail! Keep reading below for more info on the beaches including photos and tips for accessing them properly. 👇

golf of olbia in sardinia

The Golf of Olbia

1. Pittulongu

Spiaggia Pittulongu is often referred to as Olbia’s main beach due to its proximity. In fact, it’s the main beach of the town of the same name, Pittulongu.

This long stretch of fine white sand is bordered by clear and shallow waters, perfect for kids who will be able to play safely. With Tavolara island as a backdrop, Pittulongu beach is also a wonderful place for walking with amazing views.

pittulongu is among the best beaches in olbia sardinia

However, its closeness with Olbia also makes it very popular among both locals and tourists who often come for the day or even for a few hours only. So if you are looking for quiet beaches near Olbia, Pittulongu may not be the best, especially on weekends.

🛣 Distance from Olbia city center : 8 kilometers / 5 miles northeast

🚗 By car : 15min drive 

🚌 By public transport : 25min with bus line 04 Via San Simplicio 6

🏄‍♂️ Beach amenities : Beach equipment rental (sunbeds, umbrellas, snorkeling gear), many restaurants and cafés nearby

2. Le Saline

Of all the beaches in the area, Le Saline is the one closest to Olbia airport. Not to be confused with the very famous beach of the same name, which is located northwest of Sardinia in Stintino .

Due to its strong winds and coarse sand, this beach is not much appreciated by tourists. But it has the advantage of being an ideal place to enjoy peace and quiet or to practice water sports. Kite surfing, sailing, canoeing, or snorkeling, you can do it all!

The bay of Le Saline, with its crescent moon shape and its lush vegetation, also offers a perfect setting for walkers.

🛣 Distance from Olbia city center : 10 kilometers / 6.2 miles southeast

🚗 By car : 15min drive southeast

🚌 By public transport : 15min with bus line 05 Mameli Casermette

🏄‍♂️ Beach amenities : Snack bar, beach equipment rental (umbrella and sunbeds)

3. Porto Istana

The beach of Porto Istana is a real postcard. With its fine white sand, its turquoise sea, and its breathtaking view of the island of Tavolara, this beach will delight young and old.

porto istana is one of the best beach olbia area has to offer

Max.oppo / CC BY-SA

Its easy access, its facilities, and its shallow, calm and transparent water make it indeed a very popular place for visitors.

With lots of multicolored fishes swimming in schools, Spiaggia di Porto Istana is a great beach to snorkel in Sardinia , so don’t forget your gear to watch them! 

🛣 Distance from Olbia city center : 13.7 kilometers / 8.5 miles southeast

🚗 By car : 20min drive southeast

🚌 By public transport : 25min with bus line 05 Mameli Casermette

🏄‍♂️ Beach amenities : Beach equipment rental (umbrella and sunbeds), kayaks, sailboats, windsurfers + snack bars, and restaurants nearby

4. Doctor’s Beach

Doctor’s Beach, or Spiaggia del Dottore, is a small spectacular beach surrounded by crystal-clear water, pink granite rocks, and beautiful green Mediterranean scrub. It’s one of the beaches located behind Porto Istana. 

However, it is a beach to be earned since you have to walk for about 15 minutes on a path in the middle of the scrubland to get to a first beach (Tre Sorelle) from where you have to keep walking for another 10 minutes along the sea to get there. The path is not too difficult, but wear proper shoes and bring sun protection.

Facing the beautiful islands of Tavalora and Piana, Spiaggia del Dottore is simply a paradise on earth.

🛣 Distance from Olbia city center : 14.8 kilometers / 9.2 miles southeast

🚗 By car : 24min drive southeast

🚌 By public transport : 50min with bus line 05 Mameli Casermette

🏄‍♂️ Beach amenities : None. If you plan on spending some time there, make sure to bring enough water, snacks, and an umbrella.

💡 Whatever you choose to come by car or by bus, you will need to walk for about 25min to reach it after parking or getting off the bus. 

5. Porto Taverna

Spiaggia Porto Taverna is definitely one of the most amazing beaches in northeast Sardinia. Like a postcard, this beach displays exceptional fine white sand and azure transparent water like nowhere else. But above all, it’s the beach with the greatest views over Isola di Tavolara. 

porto taverna is one of the best beaches olbia region has to offer

Located almost halfway between the seaside resorts of San Teodoro and Porto San Paolo , this beach appeals to everyone, young and old, but also to water sports lovers. 

This beach offers as a bonus a kind of atoll, a pond that hosts plenty of birds as well as flamingos that you can observe from the wooden walkway that crosses it.

🛣 Distance from Olbia city center : 19 kilometers / 11.8 miles southeast

🚗 By car : 27min drive southeast

🚌 By public transport : 45min with bus line 514 Nuoro Stazione ARST

🏄‍♂️ Beach amenities : Beach equipment rental (umbrella and sunbeds), pedal boats, food kiosks, and restaurants

6. Cala Moresca

Cala Moresca is a picturesque beach typical of Sardinia located on the Golfo Aranci, a peninsula northeast of Olbia famous for its pretty hiking trails. 

cala moresca is among the best beaches olbia sardinia has to offer

Carlo Pelagall / CC BY-SA

It’s a small cove of white sandy beach and fine, compact sand with some rocks at the ends of the bay and the beach. Here, the sea has several shades of emerald green, with a shallow seabed full of fish to watch.  

The surrounding nature is almost untouched and makes this beach a real show, and the view of the island of Figarolo is truly magnificent.

🛣 Distance from Olbia city center : 20 kilometers / 12.4 miles northeast

🚗 By car : 26min drive northeast + 15min walk from the parking lot

🚌 By public transport : 30min train using REG 5922 Golfo Aranci + about 35min walk 

🏄‍♂️ Beach amenities : None, so bring enough water, snacks and/or lunch, and an umbrella.   

💡 Available tours : Golfo Aranci – Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling Boat Tour

7. Spalmatore Beach

We have mentioned the island of Tavolara several times since the beginning of this article, it is finally time to talk about it and about its most iconic beach: Spalmatore Beach. 

Tavolara island is a huge limestone rock standing off the Olbia coast that dominates the horizon at more than 500 meters above the sea. Whatever the beach or the coastline you are in the Olbia area, you will see it.  

Spalmatore Beach, its most popular beach also known as Spalmatore di Terra, is a long stretch of white fine sand on the west side of the island. This place is an absolute pleasure to swim as the island is listed as a natural park.   

🛣 Distance from Olbia city center : 18.2 kilometers / 11.4 miles southeast

🛳 How to get there : You need to get to Porto San Paolo to take the ferry (about 15min to reach the beach) 

💡 Tours departing from Olbia : 4-hours Tavolara Boat Tour with Snorkeling

🏄‍♂️ Beach amenities : None, so bring enough water & whatever you would need for the time you will spend there.   

8. Cala Brandinchi

San Teodoro’s Cala Brandinchi is often listed as one of Sardinia’s best beaches . It’s even called Tahiti by the locals, and it’s easy to understand why. 

cala brandinchi is one of the best beaches near olbia italy

The beach’s sand is so white and the water so transparent with colors ranging from light blue to turquoise is a treat for the eye. On dozens of meters, the sea is very shallow so it is perfect for families with young kids and for those who like snorkeling. It is like a natural swimming pool! 

But Cala Brandinchi is also about panoramas: again, Tavolara rock offers incredible sights that will make you feel in paradise. It’s definitely a must-stop if you’re traveling through Sardinia ! 

🛣 Distance from Olbia city center : 23.7 kilometers / 14.7 miles southeast

🚗 By car : 30min drive southeast

🚌 By public transport : 40min to Lutturai with bus line 514, then 30min walk. I don’t recommend this option as the 30min walk is on dangerous roads for cars.  

🏄‍♂️ Beach amenities : Beach equipment rental (sun beds, umbrellas, SUP), bar 

⚠️ Limited entrance : Entry is restricted to 1,500 people/day from June to September and costs 2€/person. Book your visit 24 hours prior to your visit here .

9. Lu Impostu

Spiaggia di Lu Impostu is located right behind Cala Brandinchi so you can easily walk from one to the other (10min walk).  

lu impostu is a great beach near olbia

It’s a thin and long stretch of sand bordered on both sides by water, so you can access it either from Cala Brandinchi as said before, or by a small walkway called Paradise Sentiero (which literally means “Paradise trail”).   

Even if the entrance is limited and the beach long, prefer coming early to avoid the crowds in the peak season. 

🛣 Distance from Olbia city center : 28.3 kilometers / 17.6 miles southeast

🚗 By car : 33min drive southeast

🚌 By public transport : 40min to Lutturai with bus line 514, then 40min walk. I don’t recommend this option as most of the walk is on dangerous roads for cars.  

🏄‍♂️ Beach amenities : Beach equipment rental (sun beds & umbrellas), bar 

10. La Cinta

Like the 2 previous beaches, La Cinta is located near the village of San Teodoro. It’s a long bay of white sand of about 5 kilometers that is very popular.

la cinta counts in the best beaches around olbia

On the seaside, the water with azure reflections is crystal clear and full of fish. On the other side, behind the beach, a protected lagoon hosting colonies of pink flamingos that periodically come to breed.

Rather quiet and peaceful, Spiaggia La Cinta is for all travelers: nature lovers, families, couples, and outdoor people!

🛣 Distance from Olbia city center : 29 kilometers / 18 miles southeast

🚌 By public transport : 45min with bus line 514 + 20min walk

🏄‍♂️ Beach amenities : Beach equipment rental (umbrella, sunbeds, watersports), snacks, and restaurants

So, this was my list of the best beaches in Olbia Sardinia and around! Keep scrolling to get the map 👇

And if you want more beach options in North Sardinia, click here to discover our Top 20 (some are not so far from Olbia 😉).  

list of the best beaches near olbia

To get the free map of the best beaches Olbia surroundings have to offer, simply click on the image below to open it in Google Maps . Then click on the “star” icon to save it to your own maps.

olbia beaches map

Going to Sardinia? Here are further readings that will help you plan your trip to Sardinia:

👉 Here is the main travel guide: 7 Days Itinerary in Sardinia (with free map)

If you are looking for Sardinia’s best beaches, here are other dedicated guides:

  • All the Most Beautiful Beaches in Sardinia
  • The Best Beaches in La Maddalena archipelago
  • The Best Beaches in Northern Sardinia
  • The Best Beaches in Southern Sardinia
  • The Best Spots to Snorkeling Sardinia

Also, find below my guides to discovering some of Sardinia’s best attractions:  

  • The Best Things to Do in Olbia
  • Visit Cala Goloritze in the Gulf of Orosei
  • Hiking Guide to Cala Napoletana, La Maddalena
  • Discover Masua’s Porto Flavia & Pan di Zucchero
  • Visit Laveria Lamarmora
  • Discover Tharros Archeological Site
  • Hiking Capo San Marco
  • Visit Neptune’s Cave
  • Full Guide to Spiaggia di Cala Li Cossi

Finally, if you’re looking for a home base in Sardinia, you will find my best accommodation recommendations below:

  • The Best Areas to Stay in Sardinia
  • The Best Place to Stay in Sardinia for Couples
  • The Best Places for Nightlife in Sardinia

I hope you could choose the right beach near Olbia for you through this post; if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

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I'm a professional photographer, with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. I worked with countless travel brands, and my travel advice has been featured in major publications such as CNN, Forbes & the New York Magazine. But the best travel advice is definitely found here on my website! I'm all about adventure travel, hiking and exploring the outdoors - even if I often find myself exploring cities with my wife Nesrine. If you have any questions, leave a comment on this post or reach out by email at: [email protected]

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This Italian Island Has Tranquil Villages, Stunning Beaches, and Luxury Hotels — Here's How to Plan Your Trip

Everything you need to know to plan the perfect vacation on Sardinia.

travel to olbia sardinia

Sardinia's famous Costa Smeralda, a 12-mile stretch of dreamy shoreline along the northeast, attracts travelers looking to immerse themselves in la dolce vita. And really, with its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, rugged coastline, ancient archaeological sites, and fascinating culture and traditions, who could blame them? The Mediterranean island truly does have it all.

Sardinia is the second-largest island in Italy after Sicily and is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The island spans 9,305 square miles (or slightly larger than the state of Vermont) and is home to about 1.64 million people. The closest land to Sardinia is another island, Corsica, which is only about eight miles north. Sardinia lies 125 miles from the coast of mainland Italy and about the same distance from the shores of Northern Africa.

The island — with its idyllic mountains and tranquil villages, giving way to bustling resort towns along its rocky coastline — offers an abundance of activities for every type of traveler. Whether you want to bask in the sun, take in the breathtaking views, or taste the local culture, the island will leave a lasting impression on you.

How to Get to Sardinia

Visitors can either fly to one of the three main airports in Sardinia (Cagliari Elmas Airport, Olbia Airport, and Alghero Fertilia Airport) or take a scenic — albeit long — ferry ride to the island. There are multiple daily flights between Italy's major cities and the island, including Rome and Milan, and many of those are operated by low-cost airlines for as cheap as €8. You can also fly to the island from many European cities, including London, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Brussels, and many more.

If time is not of the essence (or you would like to bring a car), take a ferry from mainland Italy, France, or Barcelona. Sardinia has five ferry ports, so you can take the slow route whenever you wish.

The Best Times to Go to Sardinia

While many consider the Italian island a summer spot, Sardinia offers plenty to do and see year-round.

If you are after its sun-drenched picture-perfect beaches, the best time to visit Sardinia is during the peak season between June and September, when temperatures soar. If packed beaches are not your thing, consider stopping by at the end of September or October, when the sea is still warm, but most tourists have left the island.

Sardinia is also beautiful in the spring — between March and May — when the flowers and trees are in full bloom, and the weather is perfect for hiking. May is also when the Feast Of Sant'efisio Cagliari takes place. It's a multi-day festival, where thousands of participants accompany the statue of Sant'efisio from Cagliari to Nora and back, roughly a 40-mile journey.

Autunno in Barbagia takes place every fall and lasts a whopping three months. Visitors can enjoy cultural events on weekends dedicated to local arts and crafts. And every winter, the island celebrates Carnival di Mamoiada , one of Sardinia's oldest and most mysterious festivals dating back thousands of years.

Things to Do in Sardinia

Castello, Cagliari

Set on a hill in Sardinia's capital, the historic Castello district is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Cagliari and holds many of the city's significant landmarks. The narrow streets, flanked by ancient buildings, historic palazzos, and churches, transport travelers back in time. Some must-see sights include the Bastione di Saint Remy fort for its panoramic views and beautiful classic architecture, the Cagliari Cathedral and its bell tower, and the Archaeological Museum.

Su Nuraxi Nuraghe

Central Sardinia is home to the island's only UNESCO World Heritage Site and most important archaeological landmark, a striking example of prehistoric architecture called Su Nuraxi Nuraghe. A nuraghe is a defensive stone structure that originated in Sardinia in the Bronze Age. The complex comprises a central stone tower that once reached almost 61 feet in height and four smaller towers connected by a curtain wall.

Porto Flavia

Located near Nebida in the southwest, Porto Flavia looks like it belongs to a scene from "Game of Thrones." Directly built into the cliff and facing the sea, this port is considered a masterpiece of mining engineering that served as a loading dock. Two tunnels connect the port to a mine that once allowed workers to quickly load minerals onto the ships. Today, visitors can tour the site only by appointment and with a guide for safety reasons. The hour-long tour includes a walk along the upper tunnel that ends at the terrace, which offers breathtaking views of the sea and coastline.

The Neptune's Grotto

This two-million-year-old cave in Capo Caccia, Alghero, is one of Sardinia's most-visited natural wonders. Arrival at its entrance is either via boat or a staircase built on the side of a rocky cliff overlooking the sea. Once inside, visitors are introduced to a beautiful world full of wondrous natural sculptures known as stalactites and stalagmites. The grotto is also home to one of the largest saltwater lakes in Europe, Lago Lamarmora.


Castelsardo, often ranked as one of Italy's most charming villages, occupies a hill on the northwest of the island. With its landscape dominated by the perfectly preserved medieval Doria castle, colorful houses spilling down the cliff sides, and the glistening waters of the Mediterranean, Castelsardo looks like it's out of a fairy tale.

Porto Cervo

The crown jewel of Sardinia's renowned Costa Smeralda is this small resort town that, in the summer, becomes the glitzy playground of the international jet set. Its picturesque port fills up with luxury (mega)yachts, and its streets are bustling with celebrities, socialites, and political dignitaries, soaking up the Sardinian sun and dolce vita lifestyle.

Where to Stay in Sardinia

Hotel Cala di Volpe

SP160, 07021 Capriccioli SS, Italy +39 0789 976111

Located on the stunning Costa Smeralda, the glamorous waterfront Hotel Cala di Volpe treats its guests to spacious suites, a dazzling beach, an Olympic-size saltwater pool, a golf course, and a wellness center and spa, among other high-end facilities. While lush, Mediterranean landscapes surround the property, it is a short eight-minute drive from the vibrant downtown area of Porto Cervo.

Hotel Li Finistreddi

Loc. Micalosu Via le Finestrelle, 07021 Cannigione +39 0789 869144

Perched on a hill in the heart of Costa Smeralda, this almost 15-acre property offers vistas of Sardinia's emerald coast and La Maddalena archipelago. Hotel Li Finistreddi has three villas with swimming pools and 19 suites with private entrances and sea views. During the day, guests can lounge by the property's two pools or take a shuttle to the dreamy white-sand Barca Bruciata Beach.

Petra Segreta Resort & Spa

Via Stazzu Malcusa, 07026 San Pantaleo +39 0789 187 6441

As the only Relais & Châteaux property in Sardinia, the sprawling Petra Segreta Resort & Spa offers guests a memorable experience set against the idyllic backdrop of stunning Costa Smeralda. The resort, nestled on 12 scenic acres of verdant forest, has 25 rooms and suites set in traditional Sardinian stone houses with private patios and modern interiors. The resort's fine-dining restaurant, il Fuoco Sacro, is among the best on the island and mainland Italy and serves patrons delectable "dishes full of modern Italian flavor," according to the Michelin Guide .

La Villa del Re

Località Su Cannisoni, 09040 Castiadas CA +39 070 775 3009

This adults-only boutique hotel sits in a scenic park on the southeast coast of Sardinia and offers front-row views of the crystal-clear turquoise waters of Costa Rei. The property's facade invokes traditional Sardinian architecture, while its 50 rooms and suites are all about soothing palettes and timeless elegance. The private beach and chic infinity pool are perfect for enjoying the hot Sardinian sun with a cocktail in hand. The hotel's pool-side restaurant, Bella Vista, lives up to its name and treats patrons to gorgeous sea views and delicious Mediterranean fare.

Villa Las Tronas Hotel & Spa

Lungomare Valencia, 1, 07041 Alghero SS +39 079 981818

With its classic tower-inspired Belle Epoque architecture, gardens, and dramatic location, Villa Las Tronas is a unique base to explore Alghero and Sardinia's northwest coast. The spacious 24 rooms are all about Old World charm, clad in marble or parquet floors, crystal chandeliers, and vintage furniture. The hotel's spa features an indoor pool, a Turkish bath, and a sauna, while the seafront restaurant offers a seasonal vegetarian menu.

Località Mucchi Bianchi, 07021 Baja Sardinia SS, Italy +39 0789 99880

This brand new resort opens in July 2022 in a remote cove in Baja Sardinia. With 76 light-filled, spacious rooms and suites overlooking its gardens or the sea, 7Pines is a stylish retreat just a short drive from vibrant Porto Cervino. The two pools nestled amid swaying palms and surrounded by sunbeds and cabanas are the epitome of Italian chic, while those who prefer to take a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean can head to the resort's main beach or explore the secluded coves around the property.

Must-see attractions in Olbia

travel to olbia sardinia

Museo Archeologico

Architect Vanni Macciocco designed Olbia’s strikingly contemporary museum near the port. The museum spells out local history in artefacts, from Roman…

Tenute Olbios

Spread across 60 hectares, Tenute Olbios estate whisks visitors through the winemaking process in 1½-hour guided tours (€10), which head down to the…

Chiesa di San Simplicio

Considered to be Gallura’s most important medieval monument, this Romanesque granite church was built in the late 11th and early 12th centuries on what…

Chiesa di San Paolo

Worth a look is the 18th-century granite Chiesa di San Paolo, spectacularly topped by a Valencian-style multicoloured tiled dome (added after WWII).

Not Olbia... but still worth the visit

An ancient juniper tree frames the beach of Punta Capo Coda Cavallo - San Teodoro with the island of Tavolara in the background

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A travel guide to Sardinia, Italy

S ardinia’s ritzy resort towns are sought-after spots for a slice of la dolce vita . but that’s just the tip of the iceberg on this sun-drenched mediterranean masterpiece….

What image does your mind conjure when you think of Sardinia? Sweeping golden beaches lapped by inviting turquoise waters? Plucked-from-a-postcard Porto Cervo, with its designed boutiques and upscale restaurants? Once sleepy marinas now dotted with mega yachts, each the floating playground of someone rich and famous? While all of these enhance Sardinia’s allure, it’s not all glitz and glam. There’s so much more soul to this central Mediterranean jewel.

Thanks to a new seasonal direct flight route with flydubai , accessing this breathtaking islet has never been easier from the UAE. The seasonal route, which operates three times per week until September 30, lands you at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport. This serves as a gateway to northeastern Sardinia, where endless glamour and rugged natural beauty are the surprise siblings that give this island its unique magic.

Where to stay

Hotel capo d’orso.

It’s easy to see why the secluded luxuries of this five-star resort have the rich and famous flocking to its shores. Nestled within the picturesque Cala Capra National Park, its appeal extends from the verdant, landscaped grounds, to the rustic luxe aesthetic and the charming staff. Honeymooners dine on a romantic floating deck, couples relax lazily in hammocks that billow gently under the dappled shade of the trees, while the Thalasso and spa is a pampering oasis where guests can truly switch-off. For something with a little injection of Porto Cervo glamour (the glitzy town is a mere 20 minutes drive away), dining on the terrace of Il Paguro is a sensory voyage that encapsulates the sights, sounds, aromas and flavours of the ocean it overlooks. Its fresh oysters spritzed with lemon and giant bowls of lobster pasta are each excuses to cancel any further plans for a long, leisurely lunch.

Rates from Dhs1,935 per night.

Resort Valle dell’Erica

With its impressive array of restaurants, collection of swimming pools and best-in-class wellness facilities, you’d be forgiven for never leaving the resort when checking-in to Valle dell’Erica. Its sprawling 70 acres of private grounds and almost mile-long coastline are aching to be explored. Essentially two resorts in one – the newer La Licciola leads into the historic Erica – around each corner you’ll find saltwater swimming infinity pools that appear to drift into the sea, sandy beaches dotted with parasols, and some half dozen restaurants. The best way to soak it all in is by getting lost among it all, although electric buggies are on-hand to help you to your final destination should you wish. The resort’s aesthetic appeal comes from its ability to blend seamlessly into its surroundings, and local wood, cork and stone are large parts of keeping the traditional charms of this former tourist village alive. From the impressive culinary array, don’t miss an aperitivo in the picturesque square at Nemo, served up to soulful live music.

Rates from Dhs1935 per night,

Hotel Airone

Designed to feel like a quaint Italian village wrapped around a central swimming pool, this family-friendly stay from Felix Hotels is a handily located spot whatever your vacation style. Both the high fashion boutiques and swanky bars of Porto Cervo, located 20 minutes away; and the array of natural trails and golden beaches that dot the coast, are within easy reach. Guest rooms are simply styled and sit in neat rows around the swimming pool, and the grounds are also home to tennis courts and a play area for little ones. A continental breakfast of fresh pastries and local fruits is a great way to fuel up for a day of exploring.

Rates from Dhs625.

Where to eat

A taste of the local flavour at… frades.

A Michelin-pedigree celebration of Italian ingredients, Frades hails from Milan but packs its bags for a lofty terrace in Porto Cervo during the balmy Italian summer. The resulting restaurant is a near-faultless amalgam of stunning views, thoughtful Italian hospitality, and local flavours taking centre stage in dishes like culurgiones ravioli with black truffle and Milanese style turbot.


A global haute-spot… Zuma

Known and loved for its delectable Japanese fare, Zuma is a staple fine dining destination in the UAE. At its counterpart in Porto Cervo, it lands as a seasonal pop-up that pairs a cool and contemporary ambience with sweeping vistas of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Expect energetic DJ sets, a selection of aperitifs designed for the jet-set locale, and an exceptional array of sushi.


A stunning place to party… Phi Beach

Part-restaurant, part-beach club, part-bar – whether you go to Phi Beach to drink, dine or party, just make sure you go. The best way to experience this breathtaking see-and-be-seen spot, arranged around the craggy rocks of the Baja Sardinia coastline, is with drinks at sunset to watch the golden orb meld into the ocean, its sorbet hues illuminating the sky. But you’ll want to stay until late into the night, with a regular rotation of international DJs headlining some of the island’s biggest parties against the backdrop of the ocean.


Things to do

Go island hopping to la maddalena.

A beach in La Maddalena island.

The impossibly aquamarine waters that flank the northeast coast of Sardinia are well documented on Sardinian travel itineraries. But it’s not enough to simply see the endless shades of azure. Hop aboard one of Poseidon Charter’s expertly-crewed boats and set sail on a tour of the unspoiled landscape of La Maddalena National Park. Make pit stops at breathtaking hidden bays like Cala d’Alga and Spiaggia Rosa (pink beach), where impressive rock formations keep Centuries-old secrets, before docking in the archipelago of marvels for an inviting dip in the cool waters.

Soak up the sun at Nikki Beach

A slightly more rustic iteration of the hedonistic beach club brand where every day is a celebration of life, Nikki Beach Costa Smeralda is set within the rugged Cala Petra Ruja bay. The adventure begins before you’ve event reached this stunning spot, which is accessible via Nikki Beach’s swish boat shuttle – or your own private yacht. Signature white day beds line the gently lapping shore, where guests happily while away afternoons soaking up the ambience and sipping on fresh Spritz. Beyond the beach there’s the restaurant, where energetic DJ sets provide the high-octane soundtrack to a menu of indulgent Mediterranean flavours.


Shop for local crafts at Cannigione Street Market

A sleepy Costa Smeralda town fronted by one of the best beaches on the island, visitors may be drawn to Cannigione’s untouched coastal charms for crystalline waters and golden sands, but you won’t want to leave without stopping by one of the markets. From June, the night market that takes place infront of the marina is a popular spot for picking up pieces that evoke memories of the island, from local ceramics to jewellery.

Best family accom near Olbia - close to beach, no car - Sardinia Forum

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travel to olbia sardinia

Can anyone recommend an area / and or accommodation that is easily connected to Olbia with public transport or not too expensive via shuttles/taxis?

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Large new ferry to link tourists on Italian mainland with Sardinia

A new ferry, hailed as one of the world's largest of its kind, will be running between Italy's Sardinia and the mainland from Saturday onwards, making it easier to reach the popular holiday island in the Mediterranean south of Corsica.

Operated by shipping company Moby Lines, the Moby Legacy will connect Livorno in Tuscany and Olbia in the north-east of Sardinia, with a one-way trip taking eight to nine hours.

The 237-metre-long ferry can accommodate up to 3,000 passengers and up to 1,300 cars. It will join the Moby Fantasy, which has been operating on the same route since summer 2023.

According to the shipping company, the two ships are the largest passenger ferries built worldwide, and feature a children's play area, restaurants and bars.

Like other shipping companies, Moby Lines offers ferry services to Sardinia from various locations on the Italian mainland. In addition to Livorno, departure ports include Genoa and Civitavecchia to the north-west of Rome.

The best months to visit Sardinia, which is home to some of Italy's most pristine beaches, are May and June, when the the scrub growth known locally as the maquis is in bloom, and the less busier months of September and October, when the sea is still warm enough for swimming. In between, in high summer, it is too hot for hiking, while in winter it rains a lot.

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The Land of Ferrari and Lamborghini Has a New Speed Limit: 30 K.P.H.

Bologna has become the first major Italian city to impose the limit on most streets, citing safety and livability. But it’s too slow for some: “A city has to move,” one cabby complained.

The sun streaks from behind a rectangular tower through a street with pedestrians.

By Elisabetta Povoledo

Reporting from Bologna, Italy

When Bologna became the first major Italian city to impose a speed limit of 30 kilometers, or 20 miles, an hour, Luca Mazzoli, a local taxi driver, posted a sign in his cab warning passengers of the change.

He had to, he said grumpily the other day, “to explain why I am driving so slowly.”

Since the limit became enforceable in mid-January, it has taken longer for Mr. Mazzoli to get from Point A to Point B, he claimed, meaning that he has picked up fewer passengers and has found himself stuck in traffic more often.

“A city has to move,” he said.

Critics of the measure say that Bologna risks slowing to a standstill since it became the first major Italian city to join a growing group of municipalities, including Amsterdam; Bilbao, Spain; Brussels; and Lyon, France, that have lowered speed limits from 50 kilometers per hour, about 30 miles per hour, in the belief that the change will lead to safer, healthier and more livable cities.

Bologna’s mayor, Matteo Lepore, included the new speed limit among the campaign promises that helped to get him elected in 2021. Referring to the lower limit, he said, “Driving at 30 is part of a vision of a more democratic and more sustainable use of public space,” where neighborhoods put children and older people first, and investments favor bike paths and public transportation to work toward carbon neutrality.

What’s more, he added during an interview in his art-filled office in City Hall, Italian cities had been built over centuries and were unsuited for a glut of automobiles.

There is also the question of safety. Slower speeds made for fewer deaths, Mr. Lepore said, noting that there had been about 60 traffic-related fatalities in the greater Bologna area in 2022. “Given that, it’s hard to argue that the use of private cars should be without limits,” he said.

But persuading the locals has been a bumpy ride. Bologna is the capital of a region that is home to the makers of some of the fastest and most glamorous cars in the world, including Ferrari, Lamborghini and Pagani.

travel to olbia sardinia

There have been protests, both on the streets and on social media ( memes and all ), and a petition to hold a referendum on the new speed limit has accumulated just over 53,000 signatures.

The petition was begun by Guendalina Furini, a student at the University of Bologna who was concerned that her daily 25-mile commute into the city would increase substantially. She said that the new limit was “difficult to maintain” and would eventually deter people from visiting Bologna because the risk of getting a ticket was so high.

“The city risks losing out,” she said.

Other protesters said that the real safety risk was having to pay attention to the speed limit on the dashboard, which meant that eyes were not on the road.

“People are very angry,” said Giorgio Gorza, who heads a citizen’s group that has been organizing protests. To make things worse, he added, the enforcement of the speed limit has coincided with traffic delays from construction work on new tram lines around the city, as well as a detour downtown after one of Bologna’s distinctive towers had to be cordoned off.

A protest on Tuesday evening brought many dozens of cranky citizens and cabbies to the streets, where they drove at a snail’s pace in a makeshift parade, loudly honking horns and snarling traffic. The new speed limit “is impossible” to drive at, said Mr. Gorza, an organizer of the protest.

“It’s like standing still, and no one takes a car if you’re going to stay still, if it takes longer than walking,” he said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “It’s illogical.”

The discontent has been a windfall for the city’s center-right opposition, which has jumped on the protests ahead of European Union elections in June, and on Monday called for a referendum on the limit.

The opposition’s jibes have been amplified by the Italian transport minister, Matteo Salvini, leader of the hard-right League party, who has called the Bologna limit “senseless.” Last week, Mr. Salvini signed a directive that challenged a city’s right to impose a blanket limit of 30 kilometers per hour, arguing, among other things, that restrictions should be decided on a street-by-street basis. Legal experts have been debating the weight that the directive could have on a city’s decisions, and the dispute could play out in the courts.

Bologna City Hall responded to the directive by noting in a statement that its speed limits were in line with existing national legislation. “Our priority is road safety and people’s quality of life,” the statement said.

Mr. Lepore noted during the interview that the new limit affected only 70 percent of the city, with the remaining roads retaining limits of 50 or 70 kilometers per hour. He said the city was open to “corrections” on the speed limit, but not before a period of monitoring.

During the first two weeks, only 25 speeding tickets had been issued, according to City Hall. In this phase, “We’re more about informing rather than giving fines,” Mr. Lepore said.

In 2021, Olbia, in Sardinia, became the first Italian city to set a broad limit of 30 kilometers an hour. There, too, the initial reactions were harsh, recalled the mayor, Settimo Nizzi.

“But it’s right for a mayor to think of the quality of life of his citizens,” Mr. Nizzi said. For months, officials worked alongside residents to extol the benefits of a more walkable, bike-friendly city, “to get them used to this new style of living,” he added.

Walking “is so much better for you,” Mr. Nizzi noted, and now people in Olbia “are happier.”

In Bologna, there are indications that the limit is already having an impact. According to the city, traffic accidents were down 21 percent in the first two weeks of the new limit’s coming into force, compared with the same period last year, which included a fatality. None of the accidents this year have been deadly, according to a city statement issued last week .

Mr. Lepore said he, too, was certain that the positive results of his measure would soon become apparent.

“It won’t take long for people to understand that it was the right choice,” he said.

Elisabetta Povoledo is a reporter based in Rome, covering Italy, the Vatican and the culture of the region. She has been a journalist for 35 years. More about Elisabetta Povoledo


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  1. Olbia, Sardinia: 11 Best Things To Do And 7 Best Beaches

    Explore the city center Olbia city center is a nice place to explore. If you take a stroll through the famous Corso Umberto (the main street) you can find plenty of places (both high-end and not) for your shopping and admire several older buildings (the ones in Liberty style are the most photographed in the area).

  2. Olbia travel

    Italy, Europe Often ignored in the mad dash to the Costa Smeralda, Olbia has more to offer than first meets the eye. Look beyond its industrial outskirts and you'll find a fetching city with a centro storico (historic centre) crammed with boutiques, wine bars and cafe-rimmed piazzas.

  3. The Definitive Guide to Olbia, Sardinia

    Costa Smeralda National Archaeological Museum of Olbia Isola Tavolara Medieval Castle of Pedres Things to Do in Olbia, Sardinia Outdoor Activities Relaxation Shopping Nightlife Olbia, Sardinia Cuisine Insider Tips to Explore Olbia, Sardinia Like a Local Visit the Local Market Explore the Charming Old Town Rent a Boat to Explore the Coastline

  4. Olbia, the best 7 things to do and see

    Nestled in the north-eastern area of Sardinia, Olbia represents the gateway to Gallura, as well as one of the most active and flourishing ports in the entire region. ... Born from the idea of journalist and travel influencer Veronica Crocitti, "Scorci di Mondo - Travel Club" is one of the most read travel blogs in Italy with over 80,000 visits ...

  5. Olbia, Italy 2024: All You Need to Know Before You Go

    Olbia (Greek for "happiness") is a popular jumping-off point for those visiting the white-sand beaches of the Costa Smeralda, but those who linger in the coastal city uncover a historic center filled with archaeological landmarks, piazzas ringed by wine bars, and authentic eateries. Essential Olbia Do

  6. Is Olbia North Sardinia worth visiting? • PerfectSardinia

    You can fly into Olbia with EasyJet, Transavia, Lufthansa, Eurowings and many others airlines. Search for a cheap flight powered by Is Olbia worth visiting? Many visit Olbia only in passing, moving to other nearby areas. A shame not to visit this lovely town on the coast as it has some very interesting places that are worth visiting.

  7. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Olbia

    Sardinia Province of Olbia-Tempio Olbia Things to Do in Olbia Things to Do in Olbia, Italy - Olbia Attractions Things to Do in Olbia Explore popular experiences See what other travelers like to do, based on ratings and number of bookings. See All Cultural Tours (4) Tours & Sightseeing (28) Beaches (11) Top Picks Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours (17)

  8. Where to Stay, Things to Do, Where to Eat

    A 4 star Boutique Hotel in Olbia, 6.9 kilometers from the center of town (about 4.3 miles.) Vibrant decor at the adult-only Pelican Beach Resort and Spa in Olbia. The Pelican Beach Resort and Spa is a stunning boutique hotel in Sardinia which offers the perfect mix of relaxation, facilities, and comfort.

  9. The Perfect One Week Sardinia Itinerary And Travel Guide

    The easiest way to get to Sardinia is by plane as there are daily direct flights from lots of cities in Europe. Sardinia's three main airports are: Alghero Airport; Cagliari Airport ; Olbia Airport; It takes around 3 hours to travel from Alghero or Olbia to Cagliari.

  10. Olbia Travel Guide & Ferry Info

    Destinations Olbia Olbia is located on the northeast coast of Sardinia and is one of the largest cities on the island. On Ferryhopper, you will find useful information about must-see places, beaches, local delicacies and ferries to Olbia. Take a look at our travel tips, available ferry routes, and book your tickets with just a few clicks!

  11. TOP 10 Things to Do in Olbia, Sardinia [100% worth doing]

    But the main reason for this popularity is its easy access: thanks to its seaport and airport, Olbia is a prime gateway to Sardinia, especially for travelers coming to visit the north of the island (the Costa Smeralda). This was actually our case since Nesrine and I landed in Olbia to start our road trip in Sardinia. Ready to visit Olbia?

  12. Visit Olbia: 2024 Travel Guide for Olbia, Sardinia

    To discover more of Sardinia's past, travel 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Olbia for the Nuraghic monuments of Arzachena. ... Alternatively, use taxis or rent a car or scooter, good options if you want to travel farther afield. Olbia is also about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Maddalena Archipelago National Park, a group of islands ...

  13. The 10 Best Beaches Near Olbia, Sardinia [with Map]

    6. Cala Moresca. Cala Moresca is a picturesque beach typical of Sardinia located on the Golfo Aranci, a peninsula northeast of Olbia famous for its pretty hiking trails. Carlo Pelagall / CC BY-SA. It's a small cove of white sandy beach and fine, compact sand with some rocks at the ends of the bay and the beach.

  14. Olbia Sardinia Travel Vlog

    In today's video, I am taking you along with me to Olbia, Sardinia! This Olbia, Sardinia travel vlog is our 3rd port stop on the Virgin Voyages French Daze, ...

  15. This Italian Island Has Tranquil Villages, Stunning Beaches ...

    Visitors can either fly to one of the three main airports in Sardinia (Cagliari Elmas Airport, Olbia Airport, and Alghero Fertilia Airport) or take a scenic — albeit long — ferry ride to the...

  16. Must-see attractions Olbia, Northeastern Sardinia

    Porto Cervo. Discover the best attractions in Olbia including Museo Archeologico, Tenute Olbios, and Chiesa di San Simplicio.

  17. Cagliari to Olbia

    Trenitalia operates a train from Cagliari to Olbia Terranova 3 times a day. Tickets cost €23 - €40 and the journey takes 3h 23m. Alternatively, Gruppo Turmo Travel operates a bus from Fermata di CAGLIARI OSPEDALE BROTZU to Fermata di Olbia 6 times a week. Tickets cost €15 - €18 and the journey takes 4h 1m. Airlines.

  18. Olbia, Italy 2024: All You Need to Know Before You Go

    Olbia (Greek for "happiness") is a popular jumping-off point for those visiting the white-sand beaches of the Costa Smeralda, but those who linger in the coastal city uncover a historic centre filled with archaeological landmarks, piazzas ringed by wine bars, and authentic eateries. Find flight deals to Olbia

  19. Sardinia to Olbia

    Rome2Rio makes travelling from Sardinia to Olbia easy. Rome2Rio is a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, helping you get to and from any location in the world. Find all the transport options for your trip from Sardinia to Olbia right here. Rome2Rio displays up to date schedules, route maps, journey times and estimated fares from relevant transport operators, ensuring you can ...

  20. A travel guide to Sardinia, Italy

    The seasonal route, which operates three times per week until September 30, lands you at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport. This serves as a gateway to northeastern Sardinia, where endless glamour and ...

  21. Best family accom near Olbia

    We - 2 adults, 1 child (5yo) are looking to visit Sardinia in July. We're looking for a relaxed, family friendly place to stay near a beach close to Olbia but we won't have a car.. Can anyone recommend an area / and or accommodation that is easily connected to Olbia with public transport or not too expensive via shuttles/taxis?

  22. Olbia → Sardinia

    There are 5 ways to get from Olbia to Sardinia by train, bus, night bus, rideshare or car Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2Rio's travel planner. Recommended option Train • 3h 28m Take the train from Olbia Terranova to Cagliari Re €23 - €40 Cheapest option Rideshare • 4h 15m

  23. Large new ferry to link tourists on Italian mainland with Sardinia

    A new ferry, hailed as one of the world's largest of its kind, will be running between Italy's Sardinia and the mainland from Saturday onwards, making it easier to reach the popular holiday island in the Mediterranean south of Corsica. Operated by shipping company Moby Lines, the Moby Legacy will connect Livorno in Tuscany and Olbia in the north-east of Sardinia, with a one-way trip taking ...

  24. How LVMH Will Give You Another Reason To Visit Sardinia This ...

    Boats off the Costa Smeralda in northeast Sardinia. getty. With its crystalline waters and sublime beaches, Sardinia's Costa Smeralda, a 20- kilometer tranche of seaside running along the island ...

  25. The Land of Ferrari and Lamborghini Has a New Speed Limit: 30 K.P.H

    In 2021, Olbia, in Sardinia, became the first Italian city to set a broad limit of 30 kilometers an hour. There, too, the initial reactions were harsh, recalled the mayor, Settimo Nizzi.

  26. Olbia Airport (OLB) to Sardinia

    Trenitalia operates a train from Olbia Terranova to Cagliari 3 times a day. Tickets cost €23 - €40 and the journey takes 3h 28m. Alternatively, Gruppo Turmo Travel operates a bus from Fermata di AEROPORTO OLBIA to Fermata di CAGLIARI PIAZZA MATTEOTTI - ESTERNO once daily. Tickets cost €16 - €18 and the journey takes 4h 40m.

  27. Else & Ilse

    423 likes, 55 comments - elseundilse on November 13, 2023: "Olbia! We ended our Sardinia road trip with a few days in Olbia. And we just loved this vintage ..."