Exploring Sardinia hidden treasures
2020 is a challenging year. For me it is the year when I got the chance to come back to my own country for a while to discover its hidden treasures and beauties. Sardinia is well known for its beaches and expensive nightlife. It is also known to be very crowded from June to September normally.
With my itinerary you will discover a different side to Sardinia and you will really get in touch with the local culture.
Concentrating on the central and southern part of the island, you will have the chance to isolate yourself and relax in nature.
You can easily base yourself in Cagliari for few days and explore the areas around the town at your own peace. There is so much to discover!
The east coast as well as the west coast have some of the most beautiful beaches of the whole island. Driving is safe and easy. There are not many roads and everything is well signposted. Beach hopping was one of my favourite activities and it gives you the opportunity to enjoy many of the sites and alternate between relaxation and action.
But if you are not that active there is list of perfect places where you can rest. Small beaches with good services and everything you need.
The southern part of the island is full of archaeological sights. It is very easy to spot them while you are driving. I can plan an itinerary for you that includes the major sites according to your interest. One of the most impressive sites is for sure Nora Archaeological Town which is right next to the sea.
During my trip I chose to be based in Cagliari for the first 3 days. It’s great travelling during the day and enjoining the town late afternoon. Going for an Aperitivo at a roof top bar, doing some shopping and then enjoining great food (separate chapter on food) in one of the numerous restaurants and bars. I explored the majority of the locations and I can for sure guide you to a gastronomical journey. For more info check my post on Sardinia Food.
But where to go if you want to explore the hidden paths of the island? San Pietro Island might be the right spot if you are looking for great scenarios, beaches and cultures. Carloforte is the Capital town of this super small island at the south west part of Sardinia main town. To reach it you need to take a ferry from Portovesme for 40 minute.
The island is famous for the slaughter of tuna and for the production of some of the best canned tuna in the world. Restaurants specialized in tuna are countless. There are options to sleep in the main town or for renting small holiday houses around the island. Exploring beaches and sites it’s super easy. Spending few days at Carloforte will really give you the impression of being in an other world.
Finally my favourite part of the trip. After San Pietro, I drove all the way to Santu Lussurgiu at the inner part of the island. If you like driving, this part is quite challenging (a lot of curves) but totally worth it. Don’t miss Antas Temple on the way. From this site, which is very bucolic, there are great treks that allows you to explore some old mines. Next to our destination, it’s also an other great archaeological site Nuraghe of Santa Cristina. You can explore this and have a good lunch in the restaurant next to the site.
Finally at 4 PM we reached Santu Lussurgiu. It is an old typical Medieval Town full of history and charm. It is great to walk around to explore old houses and hidden ways. People are so friendly and still everything looks very genuine. I chose to stay for one night only due to my schedule but it would be perfect to stay longer and explore the surroundings area at your own peace. What really made the difference it was the stay and the family owning this wonderful gem. I do not know if you ever heard about the concept of widespread hotel (I can tell you more about this). Our apartment was gorgeous. The yard and its lemon trees, the atmosphere and of course the people. There is a local chef using only ingredients coming directly from their land. Dinner was superb and breakfast left us speechless.
Continuing the trip by exploring the inner part of the Island we reached the highlight in terms of rural experiences. You should not miss Oliena, Orgosolo and the surroundings areas. It is possible to arrange hiking trips with local shepherds. They will explain you about the plants and the flowers, the animals and theirs life over the mountains. You will finally conclude your adventure eating a genuine lunch with them under the trees. This special moment I will never forget.
We ended up in driving the all way down from the mountain till the sea in Cala Gonone. This is the perfect basis for exploring one of the most stunning coastal area in Sardinia.
This trip gives you the flexibility to enjoy the sea and the mountain together with local culture and products.