A route among the most beautiful places of the Island of the Four Moors, to live 7 days in Sardinia discovering the true soul of a unique culture.

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It's impossible not to love the millennia-old history of this special land that is Sardinia, a place that has its roots in the myths and legends of the ancient island of Atlantis, and which combines the beauty of the sea and nature with an unparalleled cultural heritage.

Not to mention the sense of identity perfectly expressed by the flag of the Four Moors, which represents not only the history and past battles but also the pride and autonomy of the region in the Italian and international context.

In short, there's something for everyone. And that's why we are about to embark on a spectacular road trip of 7 days in Sardinia: to seek out the true and authentic soul of a magical island that will steal the hearts of all who are lucky enough to visit it.

Unforgettable adventures on a road trip of 7 days in Sardinia

7 days in Sardinia, map

Our tour of 7 days in Sardinia begins in Olbia, in the northeast of the island. The Olbia Costa Smeralda airport is indeed the most active regional airport in terms of international arrivals, therefore representing the ideal base from which to set out and discover the land of the Four Moors.

First of all, we need to rent a car, because it’s only by traveling on the road that we’ll be able to fully appreciate the landscapes, villages, archaeological sites and all the artistic and natural wonders of the island.

In the first stage we'll explore the enchanting scenery of the Gulf of Orosei, among the wonderful beaches and the Mediterranean scrub of the hinterland. Then we ‘ll move south, with a fairly long itinerary that will first lead us to cross the National Park of the Gulf of Orosei and Gennargentu, and then to reach the city of Cagliari.

In the regional capital we’ll spend the third day, while on the fourth we’ll follow the southwestern coast, stopping at the archaeological site of Nora and reaching the island of Sant'Antioco.

The fifth stage will be dedicated to exploring the mysterious Nuragic sites present in the central part of Sardinia. After that, we’ll continue towards the northwest, stopping in the city of Alghero. On the last day, finally, we’ll return towards Olbia making a wide detour, so that we can admire the Emerald Coast, where some of the most beautiful beaches in the region are located.

Traveling to Olbia from Milan? Book the bus to Orio al Serio

1st stage of the itinerary of 7 days in Sardinia: the fabulous beaches of the Gulf of Orosei

7 days in Sardinia, Gulf of Orosei

Starting from Olbia Airport, it takes just over an hour to reach Orosei, where a truly splendid area begins, characterized by soft sandy beaches, enchanting hidden coves, and wild, unspoiled nature.

There are numerous activities to enjoy: we can relax for a few hours on the Marina di Orosei Beach, or continue by car to the town of Cala Gonone, stopping along the way to admire the extraordinary Ispinigoli Cave, a true geological gem in the heart of the Mediterranean scrubland of the hinterland.

From the cave, there are two ways to reach Cala Gonone: the first involves passing through the town of Dorgali, where an interesting archaeological museum dedicated to the Nuragic civilization, which developed in Sardinia between the Iron Age and the Bronze Age, is located.

Alternatively, from Ispinigoli, we can continue at first along the small road to Cartoe Beach, and then follow the signs to Cala Gonone. This will lead us to our destination passing through Passo Littu, where we can admire some truly spectacular views (but beware of the road, which is very narrow and winding).

Cala Gonone is the perfect place to spend the first night of our journey of 7 days in Sardinia. In summer, those who wish to head straight here without passing through Orosei or Ispinigoli Cave can take an afternoon boat excursion to explore the Gulf of Orosei from a privileged perspective, discovering unique places like the wonderful Cala Mariolu, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

2nd stage: towards Cagliari through the Gulf of Orosei and Gennargentu National Park

7 days in Sardinia, Supramonte

Leaving Cala Gonone, we follow the scenic SS125 towards Cagliari. This panoramic road winds its way through the canyons and mountains of the Gulf of Orosei and Gennargentu National Park, where the wild beauty of the Supramonte harmoniously blends with the sea, beaches and coves of the Cala Gonone area, creating a truly breathtaking scenario.

Let’s admire the spectacular views and stop to discover the archaeological sites of the area, such as the evocative Os Morales archaeological area, where we can wander among the ruins of numerous Nuragic huts. Here, we can also find the Sa Portiscra wildlife area, a place rich in trails and ideal for spending time in the silence of nature.

Continuing along the SS125, let’s cross the Ghenna 'e Sìlana Pass, leaving the park area behind, although the surrounding landscapes will remain similar for several kilometers, at least until the town of Lotzorai, where we can make a brief stop heading towards the charming Lido delle Rose Beach.

Let's keep in mind that from this point, it will take us another 2 hours to reach Cagliari, the final destination of the second stage of our itinerary of 7 days in Sardinia.

So, let's plan to arrive in the regional capital in the evening, so that we can enjoy a dinner at one of the restaurants in the center, savoring some typical Sardinian dishes like Culurgiones or Porceddu, without missing a bottle of Vermentino, a delicious local wine with a fruity, soft and delicate taste.

3rd stage: Cagliari, the City of the Sun

7 days in Sardinia, Cagliari

The Mediterranean climate, the seaside location, and the presence of beaches and hills with vibrant colors have earned Cagliari the nickname of City of the Sun. The capital of Sardinia, in addition to a enchanting natural environment, also possesses splendid attractions waiting to be discovered.

Let's begin our visit from the Castello district, the true historic center of the city, and in particular from the Bastione Saint Remy, a splendid 20th century building that serves as its entrance gate. Climbing to the top of the Bastione, we’ll find ourselves in an elevated square from where we can enter the heart of the old town.

Here, strolling along cobblestone streets, we can admire the Torre dell'Elefante and the Torre di San Pancrazio, two ancient defensive structures built in the early 14th century by the Pisans (at that time part of Sardinia and even Corsica belonged to the Republic of Pisa).

Just a few steps from the Torre di San Pancrazio is the interesting Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari, while returning towards the Bastione Saint Remy following via Pietro Martini, we’ll encounter the Palazzo Regio, historic residence of the Spanish viceroys, and the Cathedral of Cagliari, a medieval church with an imposing architecture that preserves stunning frescoes.

After completing the tour of the historic center, let's take the car and head towards the charming Poetto Beach, in the south-eastern part of the city. Here we can enjoy a few hours of relaxation on the beach, or reach the top of the Sella del Diavolo, the promontory that dominates the Gulf of Cagliari. 

According to legend, Lucifer and his demons had been so enchanted by the beauty of the gulf that they wanted to conquer it. During the battle against the forces of good, Lucifer was unhorsed and lost his saddle, which petrified as it landed on the waters of the gulf, thus giving rise to the promontory.

Let's enjoy the colors of the sea at sunset before returning to the city center to spend the evening in the lively Marina district, full of restaurants, bars and clubs.

4th stage: Nora and Sant’Antioco

7 days in Sardinia, Nora ruins

The fourth stage of our journey takes us along the southern coast of Sardinia. Let's head towards the town of Pula, just over 30 kilometers from the capital, and from there reach the nearby village of Nora to explore an unmissable attraction for those who want to discover every secret about the ancient history of the territory.

It’s the archaeological area of Nora, a truly splendid place to visit, where we can walk among the ruins of ancient civilizations, discovering monuments from the Phoenician, Punic and Roman eras.

The natural context is also decidedly noteworthy, with extraordinary views of the sea punctuated by the silhouette of the Torre del Coltellazzo or Sant'Efisio, which dominates the entire promontory. After visiting the archaeological area, let's leave Nora and follow the coast westward towards Sant'Antioco, reachable in about an hour and a half.

The island of Sant'Antioco is a hidden gem, but at the same time one of the must-see destinations not only in Sardinia, but throughout Italy. It offers a fascinating mix of history, nature and culture, with its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and archaeological sites.

To discover the most authentic and hidden secrets of the island, we would need to stay for a few days, while for the times of our itinerary we only have half a day available.

Even so, we can explore the town of Sant'Antioco at our leisure, learning about its history at the MAB (“Ferruccio Barreca” Archaeological Museum), strolling through the picturesque historic center, or discovering local traditions at the METS Ethnographic Museum.

Alternatively, let's indulge in some relaxation on the beaches or admire the scenery of the La Noce Nature Park, before returning to town for dinner and overnight stay.

5th stage: discovering the Nuragic sites

7 days in Sardinia, Su Nuraxi

Atlantis is one of the most fascinating and debated myths of all time. Plato described it as an island rich in forests, water, minerals, and towers: all characteristics found in the Sardinian territory, especially in the Nuraghi.

For these reasons, there’s a theory connecting Sardinia to ancient Atlantis, suggesting that a seismic catastrophe submerged the ancient ports and Nuraghi, marking the end of that extraordinary civilization.

Beyond the undeniable allure of this idea, which seems more legend than historical reality, Nuragic sites (around 8000 of them have been recorded, but it’s believed that many more are yet to be discovered) represent an incredible heritage not to be missed.

One of the must-visit places is Su Nuraxi, the largest Nuragic complex in Barumini, in the heart of Sardinia. We can reach Barumini from Sant’Antioco in about an hour and a half, following wide roads immersed in the lush Sardinian countryside.

Once at the site, we’ll appreciate its extraordinary architectural complexity, with the towers, internal courtyards and terraces creating a structure that, despite being the product of an ancient civilization, recalls modern architecture.

In addition to Su Nuraxi, there are other interesting nuraghi to discover in this area, such as Nuraghe Su Mulino, near Villanovafranca. Alternatively, especially for families traveling with children, a couple of kilometers from Su Nuraxi there’s the Sardinia in Miniature Park, a fun and interesting theme park where we can spend some relaxing time.

Once we leave the Barumini area, let’s head towards the city of Oristano (an hour's drive), where we’ll stop for the night after a hearty dinner and an evening stroll in the beautiful historic center.

Visit the Sardinia in Miniature theme park with your family

6st stage: arrive in Alghero

7 days in Sardinia, Alghero

For the sixth stage of our itinerary of 7 days in Sardinia, let’s reach the city of Alghero, in the north-western part of the island. From Oristano, the fastest route in terms of travel time (but longer in total chilometers) involves following the State Road 131 up to Sassari, and then deviating towards the coast to reach our destination after about an hour and forty minutes of driving.

However, leaving Oristano, we can decide to take a different and more scenic road: we proceed along the coast, crossing the towns of Santa Caterina di Pittinnuri and Bosa Marina.

We’ll first cross the Costa di Tentizos, and then the Grifone Nature Reserve, where we can admire fantastic landscapes with the deep blue of the sea on one side, and the bright green of the hills and Mediterranean scrub on the other. Following this itinerary, we’ll reach Alghero in just over 2 hours (excluding stops).

In the afternoon, let's discover the city and its Spanish, or rather Catalan, origins in the picturesque historic center, exploring places of great interest such as Piazza Civica, surrounded by splendid medieval palaces, or the majestic Cathedral of Santa Maria.

On the outskirts of the center, not far from the historic Torre de l'Esperó Reial, is the Alghero Coral Museum, where we can learn the secrets of the local craftsmanship, closely linked to the processing of coral (of which the Alghero coast boasts the largest colony in Sardinia).

Those who have more time available can finally reach the Regional Natural Park of Porto Conte, about twenty kilometers from the center, where we can find the Neptune's Caves, some of the largest and most spectacular marine caves in Italy, visitable through guided tours.

7th stage: Emerald Coast and return to Olbia

7 days in Sardinia, Emerald Coast

For our last day of travel, let's head towards Sassari and reach the northern coast of Sardinia. From there, we proceed eastward through an isolated and wild landscape, passing through small villages like Viddalba and Luogosanto. Our final destination is the Emerald Coast, which we’ll reach after over two hours and thirty minutes of driving.

In this area, characterized by luxurious resorts scattered in small villages offering splendid views of the sea, amidst beaches, cliffs and spectacular coves, we can stop to catch our breath and once again savor typical Sardinian dishes and products.

For those who haven't already done so in the previous days, it's impossible to leave Sardinia without trying Seadas, a delightful dessert in the form of small sweet ravioli (one of the unmissable Italian street foods), or without tasting at least a sip of Mirto, a traditional Sardinian liqueur with an intense and bitter flavor.

After lunch, let's take a stroll to enjoy the unique landscapes of the Emerald Coast. For example, we can head to the town of Baja Sardinia and follow the path to Batteria Battistoni, an old abandoned military outpost that offers an incredible view of the bay.

Alternatively, we can visit one of the beaches near the town, such as Porto Sole Beach, or the small and characteristic Caletta Manca.

Finally, for those who want to explore other parts of the Emerald Coast, a quick visit to the towns of Porto Cervo, Porto Rotondo or Golfo Aranci is possible before returning to Olbia (30 kilometers from Porto Cervo, 16 from Golfo Aranci) and thus concluding our long and exciting itinerary of 7 days in Sardinia.

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