The Island of Sardinia

Day 1: Arrival

Arrive at Olbia airport private transfer to hotel. Dinner and overnight in Olbia.

Day 2: Costa Smeralda & La Maddalena

Today we head to the millionaire’s playground, Porto Cervo to discover the glitz and glamour of the Costa Smeralda. Admire the luxury yachts moored in the marina and browse the designer boutiques as you stroll through the pretty piazzas, which make up this chic resort. You never know whom you may spot whilst sipping on a cappuccino. Next, we take a short drive to Palau where we take the 15-minute ferry ride to the largest island, La Maddalena. The pretty town with cobbled streets has souvenir shops and a selection of cafés and restaurants. After lunch, we take a quick tour taking in the natural beauty and diversity before crossing the small causeway over to the neighbouring island of Caprera. This island is rich in wildlife and is where the Italian hero Garibaldi spent the last third of his life as a recluse. We will visit the small museum, previously his home, which commemorates his life and struggle for Italian unification. It gives a fascinating insight into his long career and his existence on the island. Dinner and overnight in Olbia

Day 3: La Gallura(Aggius, Valle della Luna, Tempio & Castelsardo)

Today we take a journey inland through the Gallura region rich in oak woods and granite rocks. Our first stop is at one of the oldest and best- kept villages of the region, Aggius. We visit the wonderful ethnographic Museum, which is undoubtedly one of the best and most interesting on the island where you will learn all about its traditions and culture. As we make our way to the main provincial town, we will drive through the Valle della Luna, Moon Valley. This natural spectacle is an incredible sight, an enormous valley with little vegetation surrounded by a scatter of huge granite rocks smoothed by the natural elements. We visit Tempio one of the oldest towns on the island dating back to 1173 with its charming historical centre characterized by traditional granite stone houses. In the afternoon we drive over to the coast to Casteldardo, a charming town perched on a cliff overlooking the Gulf of Asinara. The town is dominated by its Castle hence its name and sits high on the hilltop sheltering the houses below. Due to its strategic position on the west coast, there have been many battles here over the centuries. Today it is principally a fishing port and renowned hand weaved colourful baskets. On visiting the castle with its breath-taking views, you can admire the displays of weaving and basketwork, which you will find as souvenirs in the small artisan shops, which line the steep cobbled alleyways of the old town. Just a few kilometres on the outskirts is the remarkable Roccia dell’Elefante. A huge rock formation in the shape of an elephant. One of the most impressive and admired rocks on the island. Dinner and overnight in Alghero

Day 4: The west coast (Alghero & Bosa)

Known as “Barcelonetta”, Alghero is Sardinia’s Spanish jewel. The charming old town was walled and fortified by the Catalans and the Spanish who occupied this corner of Sardinia for 400 years and left a strong impression, not only on the architecture. Catalan is still a language used today. The bastion walls that protected the town from attack by the sea have been rebuilt and restored, and are supported by a handful of impressive defensive towers. Within the walls, narrow paved and cobbled streets lead to attractive little squares filled with life. Your guide will give a detailed tour around the town before giving you have some free time to explore and have stop for a bite to eat. On the ramparts, there is a good selection of restaurants offering views over to the impressive headland of Capo Caccia, known as the sleeping giant. After lunch, we leave Alghero taking the panoramic coastal road to Bosa. The pastel coloured houses cluster into the hillside and along the river Temo, dominated by the medieval Malaspina castle. Walking down the authentic streets of this fishing village, you feel as if you have stepped back in time. Down the back streets, you can peek at the old women making their lace whilst the men are drinking the local tipple, the Malvasia wine in the square. Dinner and overnight in Oristano

Day 5: The South (Barumini & Cagliari)

Sardinia is rich in archaeology due to its Nuraghic historical past. Today we head to the south of the island to visit the Nuraghe Su Nuraxi, declared as an UNESCO site in 2000. Nuraghe are tower stone shaped dwellings unique to the island. Today more than 7000 Nuraghe are dotted around the island. The Nuraghic culture dates back 1500 yrs. B.C. The largest and oldest settlement is located just outside Barumini. The origins of this centre are ambiguous though it could have possibly been a capital city. Your guide will explain the remains of the village and what sense has been made of its past. Our final stop is the capital city of Cagliari where we take a tour through the historical centre. In the quarter of Castello, admire the splendid 13th Century Elephant Tower and Tower of San Pancrazio, once used to defend the city before turned into prisons and torture chambers. Today they are open to visitors and beautifully restored. The city has a very colourful past due to its various rulers, and the dominion of the Aragonese and the Spaniards is still evident today. Before heading down to the modern part of the city, we stop at the Bastion of San Remy to take in the views over the city and coast. The monumental flight of steps which lead up to the piazza is a fine example of the architecture from the era of Umberto I. Cagliari is quite a vibrant city and offers a good selection of Italian high street stores and boutiques for those who would like to shop. For the more cultural, there is the archaeological museum that holds most of the islands treasures from the Nuraghic period. Dinner and overnight in Cagliari

Day 6: The Barbagia (Orgosolo & lunch with the shepherds)

Taking the road cross country we drive northeast to the province of Nuoro, to the area known as The Barbagia. A part of the island strong in traditions. We stop at the rural village of Orgosolo. Orgosolo is principally a pastoral village, inauspiciously known for timeless feuds among local family clans. Today the town is famous for the 150 murals, which decorate walls, houses and rocks throughout the town. Local artists began painting in the 1960’s to depict the struggles of the local economy and Italian unification. Over the years, they have grown covering current international affairs. After a guided walking tour you will have worked up an appetite. We head into the heart of countryside for a typical lunch with the shepherds. Italy is famous for its food and Sardinia is no exception. The menu based on the peasant food, freshly produced, and full of the flavours of the Sardinian herbs and is mouth-watering. A local delicacy is roast suckling pig, roasted on a spit on an open fire. Sitting in the fresh air under the olive trees you will enjoy a long feast of Sardinian cheeses, salamis and hams accompanied by the typical breads, lamb with potatoes and roast pork all washed down with local red wine. Sardinian biscuits and the local digestive liqueur Mirto are served whilst the shepherds giv. The journey continues up to Olbia. Dinner and overnight in Olbia

Day 7: Departure

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport according to flight schedule.

Rates include:

  • Air-conditioned coach for transfers and tour
  • Accommodation in 4* hotel on HB basis (drinks not included_ Supplement drinks with dinner ½ litre water and ¼ litre of wine € 4.00 pppn)
  • Entrances to Garibaldi Museum, Ethnographic Museum in Aggius, Castle at Castelsardo, Barumini, lunch with the shepherds in Orgosolo
  • Ferry to La Maddalena
  • Local guide for the transfers and during the tour

Rates do not include:

  • Tourist tax to be paid directly by the clients at the hotel
  • Drinks and lunches except in Orgosolo
  • Tips, extras
  • Porterage
  • Anything not mentioned in “the price includes”