Discover the beauty of Sardinia's best beaches, starting from Santa Teresa di Gallura, right at the northern tip of the island. Explore the secret heart of the island hidden in the scenery of the Supramonte limestone mountain range. Your grand finale will include a hike among the granite rocks and gorgeous beaches of the southernmost point of Sardinia. As you enjoy Sardinia's incredible scenery and crystal-clear water, you'll be surprised by the diversity of this enchanting island.

Highlights

  • Tour the La Maddalena archipelago by sailboat
  • Explore the imposing Supramonte limestone range
  • Relax on Chia's golden sandy beaches
  • Discover the lively city of Cagliari, a Mediterranean gem

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Olbia! Santa Teresa Gallura
Day 2 Capo Testa Hike Santa Teresa Gallura
Day 3 A Taste of Inner Sardinia Cala Gonone
Day 4 Cala Luna Hike Cala Gonone
Day 5 Cala Gonone to Chia Chia
Day 6 Capo Spartivento Hike Chia
Day 7 Ancient Nora and Modern Cagliari Cagliari
Day 8 Departure from Cagliari-Elmas Airport  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Sardinia!

Coast Near Santa Teresa Gallura
Coast Near Santa Teresa Gallura

We’ll meet you at Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport, and in about 40 minutes you'll be at your first hotel, located on a peninsula with a view of the French island of Corsica. After check-in, you’ll have time to relax and have a swim at the beach. The hotel overlooks the two beaches on the east and the west sides of the peninsula, so you can choose where you would like to swim. For a taste of town life, the hotel shuttle bus can take you to Santa Teresa, a colorful village with a distinctive identity. Later, you'll meet the other tour participants and have an aperitif, featuring some of the freshest Vermentino wine, to celebrate your first experience in Sardinia.

Day 2: Capo Testa Hike

Capo Testa Lighthouse
Capo Testa Lighthouse

Today you’ll take your first hike on the Capo Testa peninsula at the northernmost tip of Sardinia, dominated by the glorious Capo Testa Lighthouse. This is a truly magical place, with its incredible rocks shaped by the elements over thousands of years. Capo Testa was one of the larger hippie communities in Europe during the 1970s. This area is private land whose owner decided to keep it pristine, not building anything, in order to preserve the natural beauty of this place. After the 3-hour hike, you’ll have lunch at a nearby restaurant. In the evening you’ll have a feast of seafood at another local restaurant, where you'll enjoy the freshest catch of the day.

Day 3: Santa Teresa to Cala Gonone - A Taste of Inner Sardinia

Orosei Gulf
Orosei Gulf

Today's two-hour drive takes you to Cala Gonone, a marvelous small village situated between the sea and the steep mountains of the Supramonte massif. This imposing limestone range dives straight into blue and turquoise waters, creating heavenly secret coves along the whole Orosei Gulf.  You'll have time to explore the village and visit the scenic Nuraghe Mannu, a building dominating the whole gulf. Nuraghe Mannu is one of the 7,000 ancient structures built 3,500 years ago by the evolved Nuragic people. Other possible activities include walking on the beach, kayaking, or swimming in the sparkling Mediterranean water. There are plenty of great restaurants in town for you to choose from, or you can dine at an authentic agriturismo, featuring local (and tasty) products.

Day 4: Cala Luna Hike

Cala Luna Beach
Cala Luna Beach

Today you'll explore some of the most beautiful coves in the whole world. You'll walk all the way to the gorgeous beach of Cala Luna, created by the Codula Ilune creek and edged with colorful oleander trees. Nothing has changed here for hundreds of years - no villages, no houses, no electricity, just nature and silence. In the recent past, local shepherds spent months in the wild taking care of their animals.

You'll reach Cala Luna in about three hours and enjoy a Sardinian beach picnic. After lunch, you'll board a private boat, which will sail along the coast, stopping at some of the coves of the gulf so you can swim and explore. The boat will take you back to Cala Gonone, disembarking right in front of a local gelateria in case you need an afternoon snack.

Day 5: Cala Gonone to Chia

View of Sardinia's Southwest Coastline
View of Sardinia's Southwest Coastline

Today you'll leave Cala Gonone and enter the Barbagia region, the very heart of Sardinia and home to a fierce, hospitable people. For insight into their traditional customs, you’ll stop in Orgosolo and discover Barbagia's proud history through the murals covering the walls of its houses. After your visit, you'll cross the neat Cannonau vineyards on the slopes of the hills and stop in the small village of Mamoiada to visit the Museo delle Maschere ("Carnival Mask Museum"). After a wine tasting and light lunch at a local winery, you'll head to Chia, at the southernmost point of the island.

Day 6: Capo Spartivento Hike

Hiking Capo Spartivento
Hiking Capo Spartivento

This morning you’ll go hiking, climbing 571 feet (174m) to the strategic lookout point of Guardia Manna, used during World War II to patrol the coast. Your walk takes you along a 5-mile trail suspended over the coast and immersed in pristine nature, where you'll discover an abundance of colors, rock formations, and scents. You’ll have time to rest at some of the quiet and secluded coves along the hike before having lunch at a restaurant by the beach.

Day 7: Ancient Nora and Modern Cagliari

Cagliari Towers
Cagliari Towers

In the morning you’ll visit the ancient Phoenician and Roman town of Nora, located on a breathtaking peninsula stretched between the sea and a lagoon inhabited by elegant pink flamingos. After a lunch featuring the richness and variety of local agriculture, you'll head to Cagliari, the capital of the island. This town is a quintessential Mediterranean gem, divided into four old districts dominated by the one called Castello ("Castle"), that actually gives Cagliari its Sardinian name, Casteddu. Here you’ll breathe the life of ancient noble people who ruled the town. You'll feel very different vibes in the Marina district, lively and vibrant thanks to the melting pot that is changing the town. Next, shop in the elegant streets of the Villanova district before walking back for dinner in the Stampace neighborhood.

Day 8: Departure from Cagliari-Elmas Airport

Ciao Cagliari!
Ciao Cagliari!

Cagliari-Elmas Airport is about ten minutes by car from your hotel, so you'll have plenty of time for a relaxing breakfast, and, perhaps, a walk through town. We hope you loved your Sardinia beach adventure and we bet you’ll be back to discover more.

Map

Map of Hiking and Swimming at Sardinia's Best Beaches - 8 Days
Map of Hiking and Swimming at Sardinia's Best Beaches - 8 Days