Dreamy beaches, picturesque towns, gastronomic delights, history and outdoor adventures are only some of the things that come to my mind when I think about my trip in Sardinia last August. The island is the second biggest in the whole Mediterranean, like a continent in miniature, so there are definitely many things to see, villages to explore and numerous beaches to swim.
I spent a full week there and in order to make the most of my time i split my stay in half between the north and south part of the island. Distances can be long so making a small plan in advance helps plus knowing the places you want to visit will make your trip less tiring. Renting a car is kinda necessary if you want to unravel the charms of Sardinia.
I hope i can help you with your plan with the below MUST places to visit in the north part of the island and turn your journey into an unforgettable experience.
- The Maddalena Archipelago
One of Sardinia’s most ravishing beauty spots the Arcipelago de la Maddalena will give you the sense of what i call ”small paradise on earth”. It consists of 7 main islands and several smaller ones but the majority of them can only be approached by boat. That’s why a boat tour is the ideal way to swim and dive in its emerald waters, sunbathe on the beach of love (Spiaggia dell Amore) enjoy the spectacular natural beauty.
There are plenty of choices on the boat tours for all budges depending on your needs and preferences. Ours, was a daily excursion on a smaller scale boat, only for 10 people, with a super friendly Italian captain who cooked for us pasta on board. It was by far the best day in Sardinia.
- Spiaggia Del Principe
Is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Costa Smeralda (the northern coastline of the island) and definitely a NOT to miss. Pearly white beach with beautifully-shaped rocks on the side, surrounded by crystal clear waters. If you visit in August though, it can get really crowded so be prepared.
- Cala Brandinchi
this beach is also on top of my list due to its Caribbean looks and its pure white sand bathed by crystal turquoise water. Don’t miss the chance to visit it.
- San Pantaleo
If you are looking to escape from sterile resorts of the north and want to enjoy the authentic scenery then head to San Pantaleo. A village up on a hill , only 16km away from the cosmopolitan Porto Cervo, it’s the best place for strolls, an Aperol or even some shopping if you fancy little galleries and craft shops. A landscape surrounded by unspoiled nature and rich in architectural beauties.
- Porto Cervo
If you want to get a glance of the international and Italian jet set scene then Porto Cervo is the place to be. A place where the super rich and the celebrities are gathering , bringing along their expensive yachts and fancy cars. Surprisingly enough, there are few affordable choices for food but there are definitely better choices in the towns nearby.
Interested in some history? In the north east region of the island, on a spectacular location uphill you will find the preserved parts of an ancient town with ruins from a castle (Castello della Fava). Posada (or Pasada) dates back to the 5-4th century BC and offers breathtaking views and spectacular architecture. What I found cool was that at some parts the town looked like a maze made from stones and it gave me the feeling i’d traveled back in time.
Well, i could spend many paragraphs talking about the gastronomical choices of the island but since this is a must go list i will provide my top 3 suggestions that will for sure satisfy the most demanding tastes, restaurants and cafes that apart from a delicious menu offer great ambience too. Because in the end, it’s all about the full experience.
- Ristorante L’assagio in San Pantaleo. Try to get a table on the back balcony for a more romantic setting and enjoy the amazing food. The staff was super friendly and welcoming.
- Caffe Nina in San Pantaleo. Super cosy , this stone-walled caffe is the perfect place to enjoy your aperitivo in the picturesque village.
- Anticas Licanzias in Olbia. Heavenly homemade food in the heart of the city. It’s a small restaurant/delicatessen with a limited variety of dishes but trust me, that’s what makes it perfect. By far the best dinner i had in the whole island.