Sardinia road trip
A tour of Sardinia had been high on our list for years. The enviable photos of pearly white beaches and azure waters always kept this island in the back of our minds. So during our road trip through Europe, we thought it was high time to cross this island off our bucket list. What a great decision, because this island exceeded all our expectations.
In fact, the island has much more than just beautiful beaches. From a rugged coast, surfing areas, beautiful mountains, unspoiled nature, cozy towns to bright pink flamingos, you’ll find it all here. Except for a few places, in three weeks we made a complete road trip along the coast of Sardinia in search of the nicest spots. Although we could have stayed there for weeks more, we have for you the best places, our ultimate Sardinia itinerary and tips for a Sardiniaroundtrip.
How to get to Sardinia
Most people will not readily think of camping when they think of Sardinia. While thinking of an overall itinerary, we had a number of places we wanted to visit, such as Slovenia, Croatia, Italy and Portugal. But to get from Italy to Portugal we would have to drive all the way through southern France and Spain, and this is definitely not the best area if you are traveling on a small budget. After a little searching, we found out that there are ferries going to the island as well. The prices scared us a bit, but minus the toll and gasoline costs we would save, it was not too bad in the end. It’s a bit of a boat ride, but then you can explore the island with your own little camper. An ideal place to camp is “Farm and Agricampeggio De Santis.” The campground is about a 30-minute drive from the town of Livorno from where the ferry leaves.
>>> By ferry to Sardinia
Don’t forget to bring something warm on the boat, otherwise you’ll have to wear your friend’s sweater and walk around looking as uber hipster as Leroy with his croptop!
Want to camp but don’t have a long boat ride to do it? Then you can also fly to e.g. Alghero and rent a motorhome here. Through Goboony you can find the nicest motorhomes from private individuals that you can often rent at a very good price. Going to Sardinia but not camping? Even then, of course, you can just take a road trip. Fly to Alghero and rent a car. On the island you will find numerous hotels, agritourisms and airbnb’s.
If you come to Sardinia by ferry, chances are your trip will begin in Olbia, the northeastern part of the island. Lucky you, because this is a great start to your journey. Take a quick look at a brief overview of our itinerary through Sardinia or check out the complete Sardinia itinerary.
- Olbia: around this area you will find one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. The beaches are also very popular among families. This is because the sea is very shallow and calm.
- La Maddalena or Palau: The Maldives of Italy
- Spiaggia di Porto Ainu: Great place for wild camping right by the sea.
- Orosei: charming village surrounded by beautiful beaches
- Villasimius: this is a very nice fishing village in the south of Sardinia. It is the ideal destination if you are looking for beautiful beaches.
- Chia: the camping here may have been three times nothing, the surroundings were breathtaking. Chia beach is an absolute gem and wonderful for a night.
- Buggerru: the quiet bays disappear and give way to a rugged coast and beautiful waves. This is the place to grab your surfboard. If you can’t surf yet, then a surf lesson at Buggeru Surf School is highly recommended. The car ride from south to west is one we won’t soon forget.
- Oristano: for windsurfers, this is the place to be! You will find many deserted beaches here, excellent waves, and with a good breeze you can have fun on the water all day here. The town itself is also nice to have visited.
- Putzu Idu: the place for windsurfers
- Bosa: favorite when it comes to towns in Sardinia.
- Alghero: One of the nicest towns on the island is Alghero. A cozy and colorful town with plenty to do.
- Sassari: one of the most beautiful beaches can be found here. This area is not at all well known and, as a result, is visited by few tourists. As a result, you will find numerous deserted beaches and peaceful surroundings. Tip: Book an overnight stay Antica Villa Colonica. Only opened for a few months (2019) and already one of the finest accommodations on the island.
How big is Sardinia?
Sardinia has an area of about 24,000 square meters. That is almost half the size of the Netherlands (41,000 m2) and about 6,000 m2 smaller than Belgium. Although you can drive from north to south in one day, it often takes longer here than it would take you the same distance in the Netherlands. The roads in Sardinia are in very good condition, only the interior can be a bit mountainous so some drives are beautiful but also take a little more time.
The most beautiful beaches in Sardinia
If you think you can’t find bounty beaches in Europe, you’re dead wrong. We found absolute gems of beaches in Sardinia. From the rugged west, vast beaches in the south to beautiful bounty beaches in the east. Above all, don’t stop at just one beach. Go beach hopping especially. Take the car, scooter or bike and explore the different beaches. We have already collected the most beautiful beaches of Sardinia for you. Fine huh.
- Capo Coda Cavallo: perfect as a first stop when entering Sardinia via ferry. DIt beach is located near Olbia and is an absolute picture.
- Le Selopa: this beach is found in the north of Sardinia and has been voted the most beautiful beach in Italy several times.
- Su Giudeu: a beautiful, quiet beach near Chia. You can also spend the night here almost at the beach with your RV.
- Spiaggia di Porto Giunco is found in the south and is one of the most beautiful beaches near Villasimius and highly recommended.
- All the beaches of the La Maddalena archipelago
To Do in Sardinia
In addition to exploring the beautiful beaches, there is of course much more to experience.
Flamingo spotting in Sardinia
This is actually incredibly easy and you can already cross it off your bucket list without much effort. In fact, you can find Flamingos all over the island. In the city of Cagliari, you can even find huge groups. It does look a little crazy out there in the city. The surroundings are not really super nice either. Other somewhat nicer places to spot flamingos are Olbia and to the north.
Surfing in Buggerru
Want to do something active? Go surfing! In fact, in the West you can surf incredibly well almost all year round. We took a lesson at Buggerru Surf School which is definitely recommended. You can join a program at the surf school for a few days.
Visit the charming Bosa
Visit the beautiful and colorful town of Bosa. Wander the colorful streets and plop down on one of the many terraces in this cozy town.
Windsurfing or kitesurfing
Sardinia is also hugely popular among kite and windsurfers. Conditions are perfect year-round.
Sardinia has a large group of climbers who regularly take on the challenge of climbing Sardinia’s steep cliffs.
Also nice to see
- Monte Ortobene, one of the highest mountains on the island
- Visit the Gennargentu National Park and the Gulf of Orosei
- You will also find numerous caves to visit on the island. Not an option for us unfortunately with a pug, but this seems to be very nice. Recommended are the caves of Neptune.
- Visit Arbatax: The red rocks of Sardinia
Is Sardinia expensive?
The cost in Sardinia is about compare to that as the mainland in Italy. Sometimes eating out can be a bit more expensive because many products have to be imported. We have worked very little of this and even find Sardinia to be an excellent budget destination by campervan. In fact, wild camping is allowed in an awful lot of places, which is sometimes more difficult on the mainland in Italy. You are often in the most beautiful places. Also, the distances are somewhat shorter so you are less likely to incur high costs per day on gasoline or diesel.
Budget for Sardinia
- Ferry return: 250 – 500 euros (2 pers. and a camper)
- Airfare: 150 – 250 euros round trip p.p.
- Accommodation: 50 – 150 per night
- Dinner: 10 – 20 euros p.p.
- Lunch: 5-15 euros p.p.
- Camping: +/- 20 euros (wild camping free)
- Groceries: similar to the Netherlands
- Beer price: 1 .50 euros
- 1/2 wine: 3 euros
Accommodation in Sardinia
We truly unwinded at the brand new and charming Antica VIlla Colonica. This beautiful villa can be found in the north of the island, a fine and undiscovered part of Sardinia not yet reached by mass tourism. Flamingos, pristine nature, beautiful beaches and lively towns. Don’t want to miss the popular destinations? No problem. Olbia, Alghero and La Maddalena are easily reached via the north.