Itinerary: 15 days in South Sardinia – What to do and see?
Do you want to visit Sardinia for 15 days? Excellent choice of destination!
To help you organize your stay, we have prepared a road trip of 14, 15 or 16 days in South Sardinia (if you want to visit the North, our itinerary “2 weeks in North Sardinia” is here ). With our guide, you will not miss any places of interest to see in this part of the island.
From Cagliari, follow our program and discover the island of Sant’Antioco, Oristano, the Gulf of Orosei or even Villasimius and its splendid beaches.
Also find our advice to optimize this circuit by car in South Sardinia as well as our selection of the best accommodation to recharge the batteries and go back to form the next day.
So, what to do and see in Southern Sardinia in 15 days?
Day 1: Cagliari
For this 15-day itinerary in Sardinia, you will land at Cagliari airport , in the south of the island.
To visit Sardinia in two weeks, the easiest solution to see the maximum of things is to rent a car. I recommend the website rentalcars.com, I always use it for my car rentals, whether in Europe ( Italy , Spain etc ..) or for more distant destinations like Canada. I detail all the benefits of going through rentalcars in the section of this article “Car Rental in Sardinia for 15 days”.
After picking up your car, your 15-day Sardinia road trip will start with a quick tour of Cagliari, the capital of the island. So you will not have to go far on this first day!
I recommend you to start by visiting the district of Castello which includes the majority of places to see.
Join the Bastion Saint Remy walk to enjoy a panorama of the whole city from the Umberto I Terrace. Continue to visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria, still in the Castello. Next door you will find the Palazzo di Citta, which houses a small museum of Sardinian textiles and paintings.
Then go visit the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari to learn more about the history of Sardiniaand discover its archaeological remains including the famous statues Giganti of Monte Prama.
Depending on your time of arrival in Cagliari and your level of fatigue, you can finish the afternoon at the Poetto beach, easily accessible by car or bus. This long beach of 7 km is perfect for a first swim in the Sardinian waters.
Join your accommodation for the night.
To stay in Cagliari
- Birkin Castello : Located in the Castello district, 50 meters from the cathedral. Double room very cozy and comfortable from 60 € per night, breakfast included. Most: the situation, the rich breakfast, the staff available.
- Budget Rooms Cagliari : Located in the old quarter. Double room well decorated and warm from 85 € per night. The plus: the location to visit Cagliari on foot, the friendly staff.
- Hotel Villa Fanny : Located 1 km from the center of Cagliari, 15 minutes walk from the port. Double room with refined and luxurious decoration from 130 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the kindness of the staff, the calm, the perfect bedding, the breakfast excellent and varied. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Cagliari.
Day 2: Teulada
The next day, for this second leg of this 15-day trip to South Sardinia, I suggest you go along the coast south of Cagliari.
From Chia, about 1 hour from Cagliari by car, take the SP 71 or Strada Panoramica della Costa del Sud, one of the most beautiful scenic routes in Sardinia.
Along the seafront for 25 km to Teulada, it offers splendid views of the sea below and allows to stop to swim on multiple beaches and coves with transparent water.
Have a good picnic and spend the day on one or more beaches!
I particularly recommend Cala Cipolla, one of my favorites with its big rocks and shallow turquoise water. Park your car on the paid car park and take the path on the right to join it (about 5 minutes on foot, no particular difficulty).
Just after the beach you can also reach the Capo Spartivento lighthouse by a footpath in just 15 minutes. The place allows to admire the panorama on all the coast, it is magnificent!
Spend a night in Teulada.
To stay in Teulada
- B & B Su Tostainu: Located in Teulada. Spacious and clean double room from 60 € per night, breakfast included. Most: the host very nice, the good breakfast.
- Hotel Jasmine: Located 600 m from the city center of Teulada. Spacious double room with balcony from 70 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the friendly welcome, the bedding of good quality, the report benefits / price.
- Agriturismo S’Arxola: Located in Teulada. Comfortable double room from 95 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the setting in the countryside and close to the sea, the excellent homemade and typical breakfast, the kindness of the owner and his advice.
Day 3-4: Island of Sant’Antioco
For this third leg of this tour of 14-15-16 days in South Sardinia, I suggest you to reach the island of Sant’Antioco for the next 2 nights.
Sant’Antioco is connected by a bridge “to the continent”, so you will not have to take a ferry. It takes around 40 minutes by car from Teulada.
The main town of the island bears the same name, Sant’Antioco. This is where you will arrive directly. After parking your car at the port, you can go for a walk on the waterfront and around. The Basilica di Sant’Antioco is the main historical monument to see but you can also visit the archaeological museum.
Then take your car to go around the island and especially find the best beaches for swimming. Between the beach of Maladroxia, that of Coa Quaddus or Cala Sapone and Cala Lunga, the choice is vast!
But if I must advise you one is the latter. Enclosed between 2 sections of cliffs, with its very shallow waterand its wild side it is worth to arrive at the place of the most beautiful beach of the island of Sant’Antioco.
Sleep on the island of Sant’Antioco.
The next day, to continue your stay of 15 days in Sardinia by rental car, I recommend you to go to the neighboring island, that of San Pietro.
For this take your car to Calasseta to take the ferry that connects the two islands. Be a little early to buy your tickets (about 35 € for 2 + a car for the round trip). Departures take place every hour and the crossing takes 20 minutes.
You will disembark at Carloforte, the main city. Apart from a short walk by the sea and a break on one of the cafe terraces, there are not really any specific things to see.
Then go off to explore the beaches by taking a drive.
You will be able:
- Go see the Spiaggia The Bobba and walk on the path of the “Column”
- Follow the coast of La Conca to enjoy the panorama
- Take a swim at the Spiaggia Spalmatore, San Pietro’s most famous
- Finish by contemplating a superb point of view on the island since Capo Sandalo
Go back to sleep on Sant’Antioco.
Staying on Sant’Antioco
- B & B LA VELA: Located in the city of Sant’Antioco. Double room with sea view balcony from 60 € per night, breakfast included. Most: the calm, the view, the owner very nice.
- Complesso Residenziale Isola dei Mori: Located 10 minutes walk from Cala Sapone. Fully equipped studio with kitchenette from 85 € per night. The most: to be able to eat, calm, proximity to the beach.
- Mercury Boutique Hotel: Located between Cala Sapone and Cala Lunga. Spacious double room, bright and with balcony sea view from 100 € per night. Plus: the 2 swimming pools, the rich breakfast buffet, the environment and the view. This is without a doubt the most beautiful hotel on the island of Sant’Antioco!
Day 5: Côte de l’Iglesiente
For the fourth leg of this 15-day road trip in South Sardinia, spend a day along the coast of Iglesiente.
Start by reaching the beach of Fontana Mare, 35 minutes from Sant’Antioco. The view of the surrounding mountains is definitely worth a look. You can then continue to Nebida and Masua, where you can admire the famous Pan di Zucchero or Sugar Loaf. From its height of 133 m, it is the largest faraglioni of Sardinia.
Not far from there, you can also stop to visit the mine of Porto Flavia, dug directly in the cliff on about 600 meters. The region of Iglesiente houses several but this one is the best known. It is necessary to reserve the visit in advance with the tourist office of the city of Iglesias.
Then go to Cala Domestica where you can spend a good part of the day. This beach, embedded between 2 sections of cliffs is the perfect place to swim! There is also a snack bar for refreshments. This is one of the must see places in Sardinia in 15 days!
For the night, I propose you to stay in the surroundings of Portixeddu. If you are not tired of swimming, the city also has a large beach of 3 km.
To stay on the coast of Iglesiente
- B & B Raggio di Sole: Located in Fluminimaggiore. Bright and comfortable double room from 60 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the relaxing place, the great hospitality, the sublime view. This is our favorite for its benefit / price ratio on the coast of Iglesiente.
- Agriturismo Fighezia: Located in Fluminimaggiore. Double room with mountain and sea view from 85 € per night, breakfast included. Most: the view from the rooms, the calm, the quality of the table d’hôtes.
- La Rosa Dei Venti: Located in Buggerru. Double room very spacious and warm from 115 € per night, breakfast included. Most: breakfast on the roof terrace with the view, calm, hospitality.
Day 6-7: Oristano
Fifth leg of your 14-15-16 days itinerary in South Sardinia, direction Oristano!
But before that I suggest you spend the morning at the Spiaggia di Piscinas, a very famous beach of Sardinia. By cons I prefer to warn you, the last part of the road to access is rather a track and you will have to drive slowly. It takes an hour to reach it from around Fluminimaggiore.
Once arrived, you will have access to a huge sandy beach bordered by the dunes and the pine forest. The place is really wild. There are usually a few people but given its length you will have no trouble finding an isolated place. There are 2 bars with toilets at the entrance of the beach, you can eat a tip before taking the car back to Oristano.
To reach Oristano from the Spiaggi di Piscinas takes about 1h30 (there are 2 possible routes for an equivalent journey time).
In Oristano, discover the historic center with the traditional Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral, the Chiesa di San Francesco, Piazza Eleonara d’Arborea and Piazza Roma.
Spend the night in Oristano or nearby.
For the second day in Oristano, visit the Sinis Peninsula, west of the city.
The peninsula is famous for hosting one of the most famous archaeological sites in Sardinia, the Tharros site. There are only a few ruins of this former Phoenician counter later converted into a high place of trade exchange but you can still visit for 5 €. The site is open every day.
At the end of the site of Tharros, you will find a path on the left where you can walk to the tower of San Giovanni and further to the end of Capo San Marco. The views are really beautiful.
Along the path, you will also have access to some beautiful coves to swim and spend the end of the day in relaxation mode.
Spend a second night in Oristano.
To stay in Oristano
- Sa Domu e Crakeras: Located in the center of Oristano. Double room quite basic but very clean from 45 € per night, breakfast included. Most: free private parking, excellent hospitality and French!
- Hotel Il Duomo: Located in the heart of the historic center of Oristano. This hotel located in an old mansion offers spacious rooms, pleasant in a very classy. From 80 € per night, breakfast included. Most: the location in the center, the quiet, the development of common areas and especially the breakfast very varied and super well presented. It’s our heart stroke for its benefit / price ratio!
- Hotel Raffael: Located on the Sinis Peninsula in Putzu Idu, a 5-minute walk from the beach. The establishment offers spacious and bright double rooms, most of them with large private terrace with table and chairs and garden view. From 140 € per night, breakfast included. Most: the quiet, the large garden with pool, the terrace, the super rich breakfast, the staff very welcoming. This is our recommendation for a romantic stay around Oristano.
Day 8-10: Gulf of Orosei
For the sixth leg of this 15-day trip to Sardinia, I take you to discover the Gulf of Orosei, east of the island.
From Oristano, it will take about one hour and 20 minutes to reach Orgosolo, the first stop of the day. I prefer to warn you today’s stage passes by mountain roads with many turns so I hope you’re not sick by car.
In Orgosolo, one of the most famous mountain villages in Sardinia, you can admire what makes its reputation, the murals. These are paintings and frescoes made directly on the walls of houses. Themes refer to politics or world- defining events such as the 9/11 attacks in the United States. There are hundreds along Corso Repubblica and in the surrounding streets.
For detailed explanations of the different frescoes, you can rent an audioguide and a 5 € card at the tourist information kiosk.
The village is quite touristy, you will also find cafes and souvenir shops selling representations of murals in all forms.
In the afternoon, join the surroundings of Cala Gonone, 1 hour drive from Orgosolo and always passing a very winding mountain road. In return, the points of view are really beautiful.
Arriving in Cala Gonone, I advise you to go to the port to book your day trip to discover the coves of the Gulf of Orosei by boat. This must be done during this 15-day road trip in Sardinia! These outings are generally complete, that’s why it is better to book a day in advance.
You will have 3 possibilities of excursions:
- Sailboat for 90 € per person
- In zodiac with driver from 40 € per person
- By renting a zodiac, which you can drive yourself without a boat license, from 120 € (for the whole group)
If you do not want to be dependent on the schedules of excursions (in general from 9h to 17h for the option sailboat or zodiac with driver), I strongly advise to reserve your own boat! That’s what we did and I think it’s the best way to visit the Gulf of Orosei. In addition it’s really nice to be able to drive!
After making your reservation for the end of the afternoon, you can go to Cala Fuili, the first bay of the Gulf of Orosei and the only one where you can park nearby and walk down. The place is definitely worth a visit and you can swim.
Join your accommodation for the night.
Today, go for a boat trip in the coves of the Gulf of Orosei! No matter which option you have chosen but in any case, do not miss:
- Cala Luna
- Cala Sisine
- Cala Biriola
- Cala Mariolu
- Cala Gabbiani
- Cala Goloritzé
If you are on an accompanied excursion, bathing stops are planned throughout the day but only on some Cala and for a time imposed. The advantage if you have chosen to hire a personal boat is that you can stop wherever you want and organize your day as you please. Remember to pack a picnic and drink, as only 2 beaches have a small snack.
For the organized outing, you will also have the opportunity to visit the caves of Bue Marino, located between Cala Fuili and Cala Luna and accessible by boat. You will not have the right to go there if you rent your boat for security and congestion.
Spend a second night in the Gulf of Orosei.
For the last day around Cala Gonone, today’s program is a little more sporty and plans a hike in the famous Su Gorropu Gorge. If you only have to do one in Sardinia it’s this one.
Several paths lead to the beginning of the Gorges, but in any case, it is necessary to plan between 4 to 5 hours of walking from the starting point of the Hotel Silana or that of the Barva bridge (50 minutes from Cala Gonone) . We are talking here about a real hike and not a little walk, so do not go in flip flops but with good shoes.
Arrived at the entrance of the gorges, you will have to pay an entrance fee of 5 € payable to the small hut (in cash). Then you can enter the gorges following marked trails in color depending on the difficulty. The last part of Su Gorropu (red route) is only allowed with a guide but do not worry the other parts allow to take full eyes and to feel very small in the middle of its parts of cliffs.
For those who do not feel like walking so much time (especially for the lift), a Jeep service is offered to and from the return for fifteen euros per person per way. But in any case, you must walk at least 1 hour after or before the pick up.
Last thing: bring water and food, there is nothing on the road. By cons you can fill your gourd at the source by leaving.
Have a last night to Cala Gonone.
To stay near the Gulf of Orosei
- Hotel Bue Marino: Located right in front of the port of Cala Gonone, super convenient for the boat trip. Double room spacious and bright sea or garden view from 65 € per night, breakfast 10 €. Pros: the location to take the boat, the roof terrace with jacuzzi, the good breakfast.
- Hotel la Playa: Located 5 minutes walk from the port and Cala Gonone beach. Nice and comfortable double room from 80 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the very friendly staff, the rich breakfast, the pool.
- Cala Luna: Located by the sea, 1 minute walk from the beach. Modern and bright double room from 100 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the pleasant setting, the magnificent view from the terrace, the warm welcome. This is our favorite for its benefit / price ratio in Cala Gonone!
Day 11-12: Arbatax
Visit Sardinia in 15 days by car, it is also to discover the most mountainous part of the island and that is what I propose to you today.
From Dorgali to Arbatax, you will have the possibility to go by the SS125 road, a panoramic road offering splendid points of view on the landscape and the surrounding mountains. Get ready for many photo stopsalong the way. Normally the journey time is 1h30 but allow a little more time to enjoy it and then it’s the holidays, you’re in no hurry!
For the afternoon, stop at one of the beaches around Arbatax. There is for example the beach of Santa Maria Navarrese, rather nice with the pine forest just behind or the beach of Lotzorai, the Spiaggia delle Rose. In Arbatax, you can also visit the red rocks (Rocce Rosse) formed by erosion.
Join your accommodation for the night. I advise you to sleep around Tortoli, the capital of Ogliastra.
Today, to continue your 15-day tour in Sardinia, I have prepared a program a little different to fully enjoy being in the Sardinian mountains.
This morning, visit the caves of Su Marmuri. They are located in Ulassai, 45 minutes from Tortoli. I recommend you to be there for the visit of 11am (we were only 4 people to visit). The visit, only with a guide, costs 12 € per person and lasts approximately 1h30. Remember to pack a jacket for the inside of the cave and do not go in flip flops because there are a lot of stairs and it slips.
You can visit several rooms with many stalactites and stalagmites really very large and unusual shapes. The guide is great, very interesting and he speaks very good french and also italian, spanish and english. The rooms are big, no problem for claustrophobes.
After the visit, you can eat in the restaurant located right next to the caves or take your picnic because there is not much around.
Then take the car to go to the Scala San Giorgio, 20 minutes from the caves by car.
La Scala is a narrow gorge. You will be able to climb 2 different stairs to have a point of view on the valley and the sea and the other on the geological formation. The brightness in the undergrowth is really pretty between 12h and 14h!
The access to 2 points of view costs 1 € per person, to pay to the little tourist info hut at the foot of the stairs. Feel free to ask for information about the area, the person speaks a little French and has plenty of very interesting flyers with things to see around.
Then you can go for a nice hike to the waterfall of Lequarci, 30 minutes from La Scala. The waterfall is particularly impressive after a heavy rain but otherwise the ride is also worth the detour to enjoy the coolness of the forest and the point of view once arrived at the edge of the cliff.
Go back to sleep in Tortoli.
To stay in Arbatax / Tortoli.
- Tortorella: Located in Tortoli. Modern and spacious double room from 55 € per night, breakfast included. Most: free private parking, location, calm.
- Hotel Poseidonia: Located in Arbatax. Spacious and bright double room with balcony from 75 € per night, breakfast 9 €. Most: typical Sardinian, helpful staff, good breakfast. This is our favorite for its benefit / price ratio in Arbatax.
- Arbatasar Hotel: Located in Arbatax. Double room decorated in Sardinian style from 100 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the nice pool, the setting, the comfort of the rooms, the good restaurant of the hotel.
Day 13-14: Villasimius
For the eighth and penultimate stage of your 14-15-16 days road trip in Sardinia, go down to the South and drive along the coast to Villasimius.
Without stopping, the journey time is 1:35 between Arbatax and Villasimius but I propose you to spend the day discovering some of the most beautiful beaches on the coast and to stop you bathing when it tempts you.
Here is my small selection of beaches (in order of the road):
- Su Sirboni Beach or Cala Francese: a 10-minute walk away. Pretty pretty wild beach without too many people, great for swimming!
- The beach of Portu S’Ilixi (south of the spiaggia di Ferraxi): dirt road to the beach. Pretty big wild beach divided into 2 small beaches. Not too crowded and very nice to swim.
- The Costa Rei: a very popular seaside resort with a huge sandy beach with private beach and bars. Crowded because there are plenty of holiday villages nearby.
- Cala Sinzias: a trendy seaside resort with an upmarket private beach, in the same style as the Costa Rei.
- Cala Pira: a pretty little beach, less crowded than the 2 previous ones. Fine sand and turquoise water, at the top for swimming!
- Simius Beach: large, fairly armored beach of world.
- Cala Giunco, same as Simius beach
- The spiaggia del Riso, next to the port
- The spiaggia di Campulongu
Join your hotel for the night.
The next day, Villasimius being mainly known for its beaches, enjoy a day bathing and tanning, quiet at the water’s edge or the swimming pool of your hotel.
Spend a second night in Villasimius.
To stay in Villasimius
- Hotel Stella D’Oro: Located in Villasimius. Traditional double room with air conditioning from 90 € per night, breakfast included. Most: location, free parking, good breakfast.
- Domu Simius Hotel & Guest House: Located in Villasimius, a 5-minute walk from the shopping street and restaurants. This hotel offers modern, spacious and bright double rooms from € 180 a night. Most offer a balcony with a magnificent sea view. It has a swimming pool with jacuzzi and a large terrace to complete the sea. More: the comfort of the rooms, the situation, the calm, the excellent small -Breakfast, the kindness of the staff. This is our big favorite for a romantic stay in Villasimius!
- Falkensteiner Resort Capo Boi: Located 7 km from Villasimius, towards Capo Carbonara. Mediterranean style double room tastefully decorated from 480 € per night, including breakfast and dinner. Most: beachfront with private beach, swimming pools, design, beautiful surroundings. This is our recommendation for an upscale stay to Villasimius.
Day 15: Return to Cagliari
If you visit Sardinia in 15 days by car, you have arrived at the end of your road trip.
It will be necessary to think of returning to Cagliari to take your plane of return. Since Villasimius, the trip takes about 1:10 but if your plane takes off at the end of the day, you can still enjoy it for a last swim.
- You can delete the day on the island of San Pietro or the bathing day in Villasimius (and therefore spend only one night).
If you have an extra day of holidays and visit Sardinia in 16 days, you can go to the nuraghe Su Nuraxi in Barumini (1 hour and 45 minutes drive from Villasimius) or, if you do not feel like going too far, you can also stay in Villasimius or Cagliari and enjoy the beach.
Rent a car in Sardinia
To visit Sardinia in 14-15-16 days, it is imperative to rent a car.
- Easily compare rates between all car rental companies and also consult customer reviews
- Have full insurance coverage for the reimbursement of any damage and amount in case of accident or theft
- Free change or cancellation
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