For our summer holiday this year we decided to go to Sardinia (mainly because it was somewhere different that Ryanair fly to).
We decided to travel around the island over our 5 nights, 6 days there, so when we landed in Alghero we rented a car and drove across the island.
The drive really showed how rural and remote the island is, there was no motorway and there were large parts of the drive where we never passed another car. Our first stop was a small town on the east coast called Cala Gonone, a beautiful coastal town. To get here you had to drive down a very bendy mountain road (photo below) but the view from the top is spectacular! Our hotel happened to be at the other side of the town and on top of a hill that was just as steep. When we arrived we went for dinner in a lovely restaurant ‘La Favourita’ which was recommended to us, and I would strongly suggest visiting! After a stroll around the town we made the trip back up the hill to our hotel. The following morning, unable to find a working ATM (bring money with you – don’t rely on finding an ATM) we took a trip to the next town Dorgali, and then onwards to Orosei. After a bite to eat and a stroll around Orosei we decided to look for a beach. I had a quick look on Google maps and selected somewhere random and we were impressed! We found a lovely beach only accessible with a car that goes through a small nature reserve (photos below). After a few hours relaxing here we went back to our hotel before dinner. That night we visited Roadhouse Blues (it was recommended on an English paper so we should have known better), the food unfortunately was not the best, but we had a great view of the harbor. After dinner we went to a local bar for a cocktail before heading back to our hotel. Our hotel had a lovely pool in front looking down over the town and the coast, which was stunning at night. The hotel had great rooms and was run by very friendly people. The reviews on trip advisor were great but a number of people marked the hotel down on the dinner served which I thought was a bit unfair. The hotel seems more suited to couples than to families and its too far out of the way for tourists (or locals) to go for dinner, and being a couple you will be going out around the town at night, so its not a hotel made for first class dinner. The breakfast was wonderful and so was the bar, and we would both highly recommend it to anyone visiting the area. The staff couldn’t have been any more helpful!
After spending two nights in Cala Gonone we drove north to Palau. We drove along the Costa Smeralda to see fantastic views of the ocean and all the yachts dotted along the coast. For lunch we stopped off in Porto Cervo – its not the kind of place you would spend much time in (unless you had one of the yachts parked up on the coast). After lunch we continued our drive and checked into our hotel in Palau that afternoon. After a short walk around the town we decided to hit the beach and got the recommendation of Le Saline, a short drive outside Palau. The weather was in the mid-low 30’s but there was a strong wind, so we stayed for an hour and after a swim in the clear waters we headed back to town. Later that evening we went to La Maddalena (Island off the coast of Palau) for a look around and some dinner by the harbor. After dinner we found a lovely cocktail bar called The Duke where we had a few drinks before getting the ferry back to Palau. The night markets were located right outside our hotel so I got to do some shopping 😀
The following morning we got the ferry back to La Maddalena (get your ticket before hand – don’t try to buy on the ferry!). We decided to spend the morning driving around the island, which admittedly didn’t take too long. We had been told to visit a beach called Spalmatore, when we arrived at the beach it seemed the majority of La Maddalena arrived before us. We continued our drive and found a great beach a little further on that was much quiter!
Upon returning to Palau that afternoon we went back to Le Saline for a few hours to relax by the beach before dinner. Most restaurants in Palau are on the harbor and seem overly touristy. Getting fed up with these restaurants I decided to scroll through the Google search pages until I found somewhere decent, and I found somewhere much better than decent! CuPPulata is hidden from the tourist eye, but it was my favourite restaurant in Sardinia. The waiter was lovely and chatted to us about local food & wine. We got a great antipasti as a starter with amazing sheep’s cheese, we both got traditional Sardinian pasta dishes for main course (along with some Tiramisu for dessert). As we were leaving, the restaurant was starting to fill up and I can see why – the food is amazing!
As we set off for our last night in Sardinia we decided to make two stops along the way… the first being Capo Testa at the very north of the island (the Google image result says it all). We went for a walk out to the lighthouse and looked down on the small beaches dotted in between the rocks. From here we drove to our next stop, Tempio Pausania, which is a small town high up in the mountains. The road to Tempio was not the nicest as it was a steep climb through very twisty roads. When we reached the town we had a quick stroll through the gorgeous stone streets before stopping off for lunch. We stopped for lunch in the lovely “The Garden” where I got a tasty carbonara and some local wine! After lunch we hit the road and went straight to Alghero and got checked into our hotel which was on a lovely tree lined street (I would recommend for a visit to Alghero). After chilling out for an hour or so we went to the San Giovanni – Lido beach which was packed as its the closest to the city. We left after an hour when it started to rain so we decided to walk around the old town. The old town is stunning with lovely stone, winding streets leading to the harbor where we stopped for dinner. Unfortunately the service at the restaurant we ate at was shocking (the food and drinks were lovely but not worth the lack of service). After dinner we went to the Jamaica Inn for a quick cocktail before taking a stroll back to the hotel through the old town. The following morning after checkout we went for another walk through the Old Town before heading out to Palm Beach at Mugoni to relax for a few hours before our flight. We got some chairs and chilled out before having a swim in the warm, clear water! It was a perfect way to end our week in Sardinia!