Where to stay in Sardinia and for how long? This looks like a common question in many travel forums so we decided to write a basic guide to cover the best places to stay in Sardinia if you decide to plan a one-week drive around to this breathtaking island whether for tourism or honeymoon and are struggling to find a proper route.
So let’s see in detail the 1-week itinerary our staff picked up for you. We will start from Cagliari and drive following a clockwise route.
Before you plan your trip, keep in mind that Sardinia has no highways and that the road network consists only of freeways.
Day 1: arriving and visiting Cagliari and the south coast
There are many places to visit starting from the Cagliari airport (CAG); in the morning rent a car and just drive south west to Tuerredda beach via the SS195 and the SP71: this is a popular white sandy beach with a restaurant and pedal boats for rent.
Starting from the summer of 2020 the access to the beach (which has been awarded with the blue flag) will be limited. This restriction is similar to the one adopted for the beaches of Cala Goloritzè , Cala Biriola and Cala Mariolu belonging to the Gulf of Orosei.
The 60-kilometre route will pass through amazing popular villages like Pula, the archeological area of Nora and the beach of Chia. Superb beaches and a gorgeous drive too.
In fact, you may want to stopover in Pula, Santa Margherita and Chia and check out their remarkable seashores.
Day 2: more beaches and Is Zuddas caves
In the morning, from Tuerredda head over to “Spiaggia delle Dune” – an area of white sand dunes in the municipality of Teulada, close to Porto Pino which, in turn, is another gorgeous beach to visit.
This a 50-minute drive through the SP71 and the SS195 roads. Places to stay in this area would be the village of Sant’Antioco located in the homonymous Sant’Antioco island or Calasetta.
In the afternoon, you may want and visit the Is Zuddas caves located in the southwestern part of Sardinia and a 40-min drive from Sant’Antioco, an amazing scenery created by the incessant water underground.
The guided tour of the caves generally starts at 10:00 AM and ends at 18:00PM so be punctual. Afterwards you can eat at the homonymous restaurant which specializes in “sulcitana” cuisine using typical Sardinian products.
Day 3: Buggerru and Guspini
From that area take again the SS195 and then the SS126 road and head towards Buggerru (SP83): you can stop over in Cala Domestica a wide wild white sand cove.
This beach used to be a mining area – you can still see the remains of buildings and galleries as a matter of fact.
Moreover, do not miss the Spanish tower close by the Cala Domestica beach: this tower can be reached following the road that from Buggerru leads to the village “Planu Sartu” and then continues up to Cala Domestica.
Back again on the SP83 and head to the Guspini village where you can visit the Santa Maria di Malta church dating back to 985AC; this church built in Romanesque style used to be a part of a convent of monks.
There is also another more recently built church to visit: the church of San Nicola di Mira erected around 1611AC where you can see a pipe organ assembled in 1768AC.
After Guspini you can head to Oristano through the SS126 and then the SS131.
As an alternative to this route you can drive through the SP105 for more panorama and out-of-the-way beaches like the Piscinas and Portu Maga beach.
Day 4: Oristano and the Sinis peninsula
Once in Oristano you can decide to visit the Santa Maria Assunta church built on a Byzantine settlement and pay a quick stopover to the Eleonora d’Arborea statue; Eleonora d’Arborea was the most popular ruler of the West-Central Sardinia during the middle ages.
Possible places to stopover in this area include Cabras where you can visit the Santa Maria Vergine Assunta church. If you happen to visit Cabras on the first weekend of September, you cannot miss the “Corsa degli Scalzi” (barefoot race) a procession and a religious festival in honor of San Salvatore.
From Oristano you can head to the Sinis peninsula via the SP1 and the SP6 roads (26 minutes approximately) and visit its many trendy beaches like “Is Arutas” (a white quartz sand beach for snorkeling, windsurfing and swimming), “S’arena Scoada” and “Sa Mesa Longa”.
If you are into archeology you can visit also the archeological area of Tharros – located on the south of this peninsula.
Oristano is also popular for a festival called “Sartiglia”: we covered the “Sartiglia” earlier in our blog.
In the afternoon, from the Sinis peninsula head to S’Archittu via the SS 292: here you can see the popular natural rock arch (S’Archittu means arch in Sardinian language).
Day 5: Bosa and Alghero
From S’Archittu drive to Bosa via the SS192: Bosa is a charming and ancient town located on the Temo river and remarkable for its castle – a strategic construction built for a wealthy local family. You can visit the Caste from 10:00 Am to 19:00 Pm during the summer season. Price ticket is EUR 5,50.
From Bosa drive to Alghero via the SP49 and the SP105 road: you will be amazed by the spectacular scenery that this coast of Sardinia has to offer.
Once in Alghero you can do many activities: visit the old town, take a boat and explore the Neptune caves or just go and visit the white-sand beaches outside the town like “Le Bombarde” and “Il Lazzaretto”.
Day 6: Stintino, Castelsardo, Santa Teresa di Gallura
From Alghero head north to the popular white-sand Stintino beach (more on the Sardinian beaches post); this is a one hour-route via the SP42 and the SP57. If you want to stretch your itinerary with one more day we strongly suggest visiting the Asinara national park.
In the afternoon visit Castelsardo a nice village located on the north coast and its major attraction – the Elephant’s Rock.
Then via the SP200 road head to the “Li Cossi” beach located in a sheltered cove with literally no wind.
If you still have time left on your schedule, reach Santa Teresa di Gallura via the SP90 and visit the astounding “Rena Bianca” beach characterized by a shallow and sandy seabed ideal for children.
Day 7: La Maddalena archipelago and the “Costa Smeralda”
For the final day of your 1-week itinerary you may want and visit the archipelago of “La Maddalena” and the island of “Caprera”.
In the afternoon, be prepared for a 3-hour drive back to Cagliari via the SS 131 road.
This Sardinia route can be prolonged also into a 10 day-itinerary if you would like to take your time and do things in a relaxed way.