Olbia, Porto Cervo, Palau, Santa Teresa Gallura, La Maddalena
Journey length: 99 km
Road travel time: 2 h 13 min
1st stop Olbia
Olbia, on the island’s north-eastern coast, with its ferry port and the Costa Smeralda airport, is a strategic hub for Sardinia’s tourism.
2nd stop: Porto Cervo
Porto Cervo is the capital of the world famous Costa Smeralda tourist destination. It takes its name from its shape recalling the head of a deer, as this scenic tourist village is built around a natural harbour with a deep inlet. This tourist resort stands out for its exquisite Mediterranean-style architecture, enhanced by the apparently casual arrangement of winding alleys, porticoes and stairs converging on the central Piazzetta, a charming square lined with boutiques and shops showcasing the world’s top designer brands, linked by a wooden bridge to the Porto Vecchio. In the summer, Porto Cervo bays fills with mega-yachts and sailing boats bobbing on the water.
3rd stop Palau
Palau, a sea resort and a port with ferry and boat links to La Maddalena Archipelago, has a string of lovely beaches framed by smooth granite rocks. The stunning natural attraction of Capo d’Orso stands close to the town: a 122 m granite hill topped by a fantastic rock carved by the weather into the shape of a bear: every year it draws thousands of tourists. The coastal hinterland is an archaeologist’s dreamland, dotted as it is with nuraghi, the ancient dry stone towers, giants’ graves, striking collective tombs whose ground plan recalls a bull’s head.
4th stop Santa Teresa Gallura
This village was founded by King Vittorio Emanuele I in 1808. Today, Santa Teresa di Gallura is a seaside resort town, set on a rocky ledge on a dramatic jagged coastline of great beauty.
5th stop La Maddalena
On the southern shore of the island of the same name, the small town of La Maddalena spreads around the Cala Gavetta port. An interesting attraction is the Nino Lamboglia museum, displaying underwater archaeology finds. The town and the whole island are famous for their stunning sea and beaches.