This post is a Detailed Travel Guide to Sardinia North East Coast, in which you learn about some of the island’s most picturesque towns, stunning beaches, and cultural attractions. From La Maddalena to Olbia to Orosei, you’ll discover the best that Sardinia has to offer.
Arriving In Olbia (From Airport to Olbia)
There are several ways to get from Olbia Airport to the city center of Olbia:
- Taxi: Taxis are available outside the terminal building and can take you to Olbia in around 10 minutes, depending on traffic. The cost is typically around 20-30 euros, depending on your final destination.
- Bus: The local bus company ARST runs a bus service from the airport to Olbia. The bus stop is located just outside the terminal building, and the journey takes around 15-20 minutes. The cost is typically around 1.50-2.50 euros, depending on the route. The city center of Olbia is around 4 kilometers away from the Olbia airport, and there are two local bus options available to reach there. Bus number 2 and bus number 10 that have regular departures from Olbia Airport to Olbia
- Car rental: If you plan to explore more of Sardinia during your trip, renting a car at the airport is a convenient option. There are several car rental companies located at the airport, and the journey to Olbia takes around 10-15 minutes.
This Guide covers the Route that Connects La Maddalena (in the north) – Porto Cervo/The Emerald Coast – Olbia – Tavalora Island – San Teodora – Budoni – Posada – Siniscola to Orose (in the East)
Public Transport in Sardinia
The public transportation system in Sardinia’s northeast region is relatively limited, but it can still be a convenient and affordable way to explore the area. The primary mode of public transportation in this region is bus services, which connect major towns and cities. The ARST bus company operates services that connect Olbia with destinations like San Teodoro, Budoni, Posada, Siniscola, and Orosei. Learn Below How to Reach Orosei and La Maddalena
- Olbia to Orosei (Combination of Bus 514 and 521)
- Olbia to La Maddalena (Combination of Bus 601 and Ferry)
Olbia is a city located in the northeast region of Sardinia, Italy. The city has a rich history, dating back to the ancient Nuragic civilization, which can be seen in its archaeological sites and museums. While Olbia is primarily a transit point for visitors to the region, it also boasts a charming historic center with ancient ruins and traditional Sardinian architecture as well as its vibrant nightlife and shopping scene. Olbia also serves as a gateway to the Emerald Coast, a stunning stretch of coastline famous for its crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches and it includes popular destinations like Porto Cervo and La Maddalena.
Things to Do in Olbia:
After arriving in Olbia, post checking into your accommodation, take a stroll around Olbia to get a feel for the city and wander around the historic center to see the old town walls, narrow streets, and charming piazzas.You can visit the Basilica di San Simplicio, an impressive Romanesque church that dates back to the 11th century. Check out the lively Piazza Matteotti, the heart of the city, and the nearby Via Acquedotto, lined with artisanal shops and cafes.
For History Buffs, you can visit the National Archaeological Museum, which houses an impressive collection of artifacts from the Nuragic civilization, an ancient culture that flourished in Sardinia from the Bronze Age to the 2nd century BC.
Relax at a nearby beach: The beaches around Olbia are some of the most beautiful in Sardinia. Head to nearby Beaches at Pittulongu, Bados or Porto Istana to relax on the sandy shores and enjoy the crystal-clear waters.
As the sun begins to set, take a leisurely stroll along Olbia’s marina promenade and soak up the stunning views of luxury yachts and sailboats gently swaying in the water. Let the tranquil atmosphere and scenic beauty wash over you, creating a memorable and magical experience. It’s the perfect way to unwind and relax after a day of exploring the charming city of Olbia.
Enjoy some local cuisine: There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in Olbia where you can sample traditional Sardinian dishes. Try some local seafood or a plate of malloreddus, a traditional Sardinian pasta made with saffron and tomato sauce.
Palau and La Maddalena
Palau and La Maddalena are two neighboring towns located in the northeast region of Sardinia. Palau is a small coastal town known for its stunning beaches and the impressive granite rocks of Capo d’Orso. Both Palau and La Maddalena are popular destinations for those seeking sun, sea, and relaxation in a charming Mediterranean atmosphere. Visitors can easily travel between the two towns by ferry or boat, and explore the beauty of the surrounding islands such as the famous archipelago of La Maddalena.
La Maddalena is an archipelago consisting of seven main islands, including the largest one called La Maddalena, which is also the name of the town on the island. La Maddalena is a stunning island located off the coast of Sardinia, known for its crystal-clear waters and picturesque landscapes. La Maddalena is a treasure trove of idyllic beaches, such as the Spalmatore, Bassa Trinita, and Cala Coticcio, along with the Cala Francese, which are ideal for aquatic adventures, sunbathing, and swimming. Be sure to visit the historic center of La Maddalena, with its colorful buildings and charming streets. Don’t forget to indulge in a boat tour around the neighboring islands to witness the breathtaking natural beauty.
The Emerald Coast and Porto Cervo
The Emerald Coast, also known as Costa Smeralda, is a stunning stretch of coastline on the northeast of Sardinia. Visit the beautiful Porto Cervo, the heart of Costa Smeralda, with its high-end boutiques, luxury hotels, and exclusive marina. Take a stroll along the Porto Cervo harbor, where you can admire the yachts and the stunning architecture.
Take a boat trip from Porto San Paolo to Tavolara Island, located just off the coast of Sardinia. Tavolara is a beautiful nature reserve, with crystal-clear waters, stunning beaches, and rugged cliffs. You can hike to the top of the island and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding sea.
Golfo Aranci is a charming town situated on the northeast coast of Sardinia, Italy. It is known for its picturesque beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking scenery. The town is surrounded by beautiful mountains, lush greenery, and stunning coastlines that offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and snorkeling. Golfo Aranci’s main attractions include the gorgeous Cala Moresca beach, the Capo Figari nature park, and the colorful harbor, which is home to many fishing boats and luxury yachts.
Golfo Aranci also features a charming old town with narrow streets, traditional houses, and local artisan shops. The town’s port is a hub for ferries to and from nearby islands, making it a convenient base for island-hopping adventures. Visitors can also explore the town’s historical landmarks, such as the Roman villa of Sarrala and the medieval tower of Cala Moresca. In addition to its natural and historical attractions, Golfo Aranci offers a range of restaurants and bars serving local Sardinian cuisine and wines.
San Teodoro and Budoni
San Teodoro is a beautiful town located just south of Olbia. It is known for its stunning beaches, such as La Cinta and Cala Brandinchi, and its lively nightlife. In the evening, head to the town center, where you can enjoy a drink or dinner in one of the many restaurants and bars.
Budoni is a charming seaside town located on the east coast of Sardinia, known for its long sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and traditional Sardinian architecture. Visit the town’s weekly market and try some of the local specialties, such as culurgiones and seadas.
Posada and Siniscola
Posada is a beautiful picturesque town located just north of Budoni on the northeastern coast of Sardinia, known for its medieval charm and stunning sandy beaches. One of the main attractions in the old town is the Castello della Fava, a 12th-century castle that dominates the skyline. The town is also home to several beautiful beaches, such as Posada beach and Su Tiriarzu. The town is situated on a hill, providing visitors with panoramic views of the sea and surrounding countryside. Take a stroll through the town center and enjoy the beautiful views. The town hosts several events throughout the year, such as the Festival of the Sea in August, which celebrates the town’s fishing heritage, and the Carnival in February, which features colorful parades and traditional Sardinian costumes. Posada is easily accessible by car or Public Bus 514 from Olbia, which is located about 37 kilometers away. There are also regular bus connections from Olbia and other nearby towns.
Siniscola is a charming town located on the east coast of Sardinia, nestled between the sea and the mountains. What makes Siniscola unique is its perfect blend of natural beauty, history, and local culture. Surrounded by mountains and nature reserves, Siniscola is a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts who enjoy exploring the nearby Gorroppu Canyon and Berchida Beach. The town is also known for its historic center, featuring a 16th-century church, clock tower, and traditional Sardinian architecture.Explore the town’s historic center, visit La Caletta beach, and taste the delicious local cuisine. The town is also renowned for its traditional cuisine, with many local restaurants serving delicious Sardinian dishes. The weekly market in Siniscola is another unique feature of the town, offering a diverse range of local handicrafts, fresh produce, and traditional clothing.
Orosei is a beautiful town located in the heart of the Gulf of Orosei. The town is surrounded by natural beauty, including the Gulf of Orosei, the Cedrino River, and the Gennargentu National Park. Orosei’s old town is also a must-visit, featuring narrow streets, ancient churches, and traditional Sardinian architecture. The town is also home to several historical landmarks, including the 14th-century Castle of Orosei and the Church of Saint James. In addition to its natural and historical attractions, Orosei offers many opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming, and boating. Visitors can also enjoy the local cuisine, which includes seafood, cheese, and wine. Visit the town’s historic center and the beautiful Santa Maria church. Take a boat trip to explore the stunning coastline and the nearby beaches, such as Cala Goloritzè and Cala Luna.
Sardinia Beach Buses
There are several beach bus services available in Sardinia, which are seasonal and typically run from June to September. These services are a great option for travelers who don’t have their own transportation or prefer not to drive. Some of the popular beach bus services in Sardinia include:
- Olbia Beach Bus: A bus service that runs from the city center of Olbia to some of the most beautiful beaches in the area, such as Pittulongu, Bados, and Porto Istana.
- San Teodoro Beach Bus: A bus service that runs from the town of San Teodoro to popular beaches such as La Cinta, Cala Brandinchi, and Lu Impostu.
- Costa Rei Beach Bus: A bus service that runs from the town of Costa Rei to the nearby beaches of Cala Pira, Cala Sinzias, and others.
- Chia Beach Bus: A bus service that runs from the town of Chia to the nearby beaches of Su Giudeu, Tuerredda, and others.
Tickets for these services can typically be purchased directly from the driver, and prices are generally very affordable. Beach buses are a convenient and affordable way to access some of the best beaches in Sardinia, without having to navigate winding coastal roads or worry about parking.