Preview Sardinia a Journey by Car

Nature, Art, and beaches in Sardinia 

This guide illustrates a one-week car tour of Sardinia. It initiates in Olbia and ends in the same city, but you can start and finish from any other town in the itinerary.

If you have more days available for your vacation, you can spend them on the beach of your choice; you have only the embarrassment of deciding which one it is.

A boat trip around the Island is also a good alternative.

Should you instead not be a beach and sea type, many alternatives allow you to leave the car parked and experience a different Sardinia aspect.

The first is to ride one of the four Trenino Verde; a narrow-gauge railroad recently refurbished old running stock at a leisurely pace through a tremendous green environment. It will allow you to enjoy the scenery in peace, without worrying about driving.

The other is to stop driving and experience the adventures I propose; I inserted a reference to these alternatives these nature guides provide.

The brief comments under “What to do or see” are just that: tourist spots you should not miss while in the area.

Map of the itinerary

What to do or see in Olbia

Corso Umberto I is Main Street with dining, hotels,  shopping, and more.
Visit San Simplicio – Historic basilica with frescos.
Golfo di Marinella.
Porto Istana Beach.
Tomba Dei Giganti – Giants’ tomb is the name given by local people and archaeologists to a Sardinian megalithic gallery grave built during the Bronze Age by the Nuragic civilization.
Spiaggia Pittulongu.
Giants’ grave of Su Mont’e s’Abe – The Giants’ grave of Su Mont’e s’Abe is an archaeological site located in Olbia.
Castello di Pedres.
Insula Felix – Gulf of Olbia boat tour.
Pozzo Sacro Sa Testa – Archaeological site and history.
Tenute Olbios – Vineyard, winery, wine tasting, and wine.
Spiaggia Porto Istana Sud.
Parco Fausto Noce – Serene park for walking or sports.
Mercato Porto Romano – Market.
Isola della Bocca – Lighthouse.
Castello Sa Paulazza. 

Where to eat in Olbia

Restaurants in Olbia:

The Pelican Beach Restaurant $$$$ Via Mar Adriatico, 34 | Loc. Pittulongu, +39 0789 39094. There is a terrace, practically sea-front! Ask for a table there, and you will get a fantastic view. 

La Rocca Olbia Ristorante $$ – $$$ Via Alba Fritta 58, +39 333 851 7598. Giovanna and her team have created a straightforward, home-from-home formula. The dining rooms are basic farmhouse style, but what they lack in sophistication is compensated by the genuine love of food from the team here. You get what they’ve prepared, and once it’s ready, it’s on the table.

Porto Cervo 

From Olbia to Porto Cervo 32 min 29 km
Porto Cervo – Bärwinkel,Klaus CC BY-SA 4.0

The town of Porto Cervo was once partially owned by the Aga Khan, famous stoppers have included Jackie Onassis and Denzel Washington. It even hosted the honeymoon of Prince Ranieri of Monaco and Grace Kelly.

It is in Italy; here you can enjoy all of its mouth-watering food and wine, sunny weather, and dolce vita.

It’s one of the few places in the Mediterranean that haven’t been trashed by construction and mass tourism.

You can stay at the small port of Cala Gonone or the smaller Santa Maria Navarrese. Neither one has escaped the effects of tourism; Cala Gonone has more tourist shops and offers more variety.

Alternative Day: a boat tour in the archipelago 

Blue Alghero Sardinia boat tour.

There are several companies offering boat tours in the La Maddalena archipelago, such as Blue Alghero Sardinia. If you have time, don’t skip it!

Alternative Day: Trenino Verde

Trenino Verde, Sorgono-Isili Line. Manfred Kopka CC BY-SA 4.0

At Sorgono, you can take a one-day train ride on the Trenino  Verde line Sorgono-Isili for a day of leisurely ride in the uncontaminated highlands.

Alternative Day: Cala Goloritzè from Nuoro

Cala Goloritzè – flickrCC BY 2.0

Cala Goloritzè rivals the best beaches of Sardinia. At the southern end, bizarre limestone formations soar away from the cliffside. Among them is the jaw-dropping Monte Caroddi, also known as the Aguglia, a 148m high needle of rock beloved by climbers. You can hike in from the Altopiano del Golgo on the beautiful, 3.5km Cala Goloritzè Trail. Note: the beach itself is relatively small and can get crowded in summer.

Cala Mariol and Cala Goloritzè vie for the top spot on many  “most beautiful beaches” list. From Goloritzè, take a boat or a “gommone” to reach Cala Mariol by sea. 

Both land and sea can reach Cala Ziu Martine (“Uncle Martin”) in the Cala Gonone area of Sardinia. A ridge of jagged rock surrounds this beach, and Cala Ziu Martine has remained entirely untouched. The sands are pure white and of the pebbly kind. Cala Ziu Martine is suitable for everyone. Located just south of Sos Dorroles beach, it is easily reachable by car.