1 Week Sardinia Itinerary
Have you decided to visit Sardinia for your next vacation?
Excellent choice ! To help you organize your stay, I have prepared two 1-week Sardinia itinerary.
Organized according to the airport where you choose to land, these circuits in the North or the South of Sardinia will allow you to discover the most beautiful places of the island. And yes, the beaches and tourist attractions of Sardinia will have no more secrets for you!
Follow our advice and our steps to visit Sardinia in 6, 7 or 8 days. Also find our selection of the best accommodation for each city. Preparing for your trip has never been easier!
So, what to do and see during a 1 week Sardinia itinerary?
The North with the Costa Smeralda and the Maddalena Islands or the South where the capital, Cagliari and the island of Sant’Antioco is located ?
Itinerary: a week in Northern Sardinia
Day 1-2: Costa Smeralda / Porto
To visit the North of Sardinia in 1 week, I recommend landing at Olbia airport.
To get around and make the most of your stay, this route requires renting a car.
Since Olbia is of no particular interest, take your car and head straight for the Costa Smeralda, your first stop on this recommended week-long itinerary in Northern Sardinia. The Emerald Coast (in French) extends from around Porto Rotondo, in the Gulf of Cugnana, to Cannigione, in the Gulf of Arzachena.
It is the most upscale coast of Sardinia, you will find many hotels and luxury shops there and it is there that you will have the best chance of seeing stars. The Costa Smeralda has become the preferred vacation spot for the jet set!
For this first day I suggest you reach the surroundings of Porto Cervo, the “capital” of the Costa Smeralda. From Olbia, Porto Cervo is only 40 minutes by car, but you can make several stops on the road and reach Porto Cervo at the end of the day (to be adapted according to your arrival time in Sardinia).
Why not, for example, start your vacation with a swimming break on beautiful beaches? A wide choice is offered to you on the road with the beach of Liscia Ruja, that of Capriccioli, Romazzino or even the beach of the principle.
Return to your accommodation for the night.
The next day, go admire the yachts and sailboats of the marina of Porto Cervo and take a walk in the shopping streets.
As the Costa Smeralda region is also known for hosting several archaeological sites, including some of the famous Sardinian nuraghes, I would then advise you to go to the surroundings of Arzachena in the morning. Here you can visit the nuraghe la Prisgiona and see the tombs of giants, just 25 minutes from Porto Cervo.
Also not to be missed: the village of San Pantaleo, for its authentic and warm atmosphere. It is also an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful panorama of the mountains.
End the day on one of the beaches near Porto Cervo or in one of the seaside resorts of the Costa Smeralda. Poltu Quatu, Cannigione and Baia Sardinia are the best known.
For more details on the Costa Smeralda, see our article: What to do and see on the Costa Smeralda.
It is located south of the Costa Smeralda
- Residenza Capriccioli: Located just 3 minutes walk from the beach of the same name and 8 km from Porto Cervo. Studio and apartment with kitchenette and balcony or terrace from €100 per night. For the Costa Smeralda, this is one of the cheapest accommodations you can find so book in advance! Most: access to the beach on foot, swimming pools, geographical location.
- Grand Hotel Poltu Quatu: Located in Poltu Qautu and 12 minutes walk from the beach. Very spacious and bright double room, with typical Sardinian furniture from €190 per night, breakfast included. Most: the location, the excellent breakfast, the pleasant staff. It is one of the best choices for accommodation on the Costa Smeralda, the price/performance ratio is exceptional!
- Cervo Hotel,Costa Smeralda Resort: Located in Porto Cervo, 15 minutes walk from the beach. This 5* establishment offers warm and comfortable double rooms from €280 per night, breakfast included. Most: the exceptional setting, the availability of staff, the calm, the decor of the hotel. This is our recommendation for a romantic trip to the Costa Smeralda.
- Cala Di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel: Located in green surroundings, just 6 minutes walk from the beach. This luxury hotel offers superb double rooms with a view of the gardens or the bay of Cala di Volpe, from €400 per night, breakfast included. Most: the services of a top-of-the-range hotel, the private beach, the magnificent setting, the friendliness of the staff. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay on the Costa Smeralda.
Day 3-5: The Maddalena archipelago
For the second stage of this one-week northern Sardinia itinerary, you will discover the Maddalena archipelago. Consisting of 7 islands, it is a delight for lovers of beaches and hikes.
From the Costa Smeralda, it takes around 40 minutes by car to reach Palau, the ferry port for the island of La Maddalena. There are departures every 1/2 hour depending on the company. The trip takes 20 minutes and costs about 40€ for a car and 2 people. You will disembark on the main island of the archipelago: that of Maddalena.
La Maddalena can be visited very well in one day. A panoramic road allows you to go around it by car, to admire lots of beautiful panoramas and to stop for a swim on all the beaches you want!
The beaches of Bassa Trinita, di Monte di Rena and Spalmatore are the most famous but my preference goes to that of Capocchia du Purpu. With its large rocks and turquoise water, the Seychelles are not far away!
Spend the night in one of the hotels that I suggest to you just after.
To continue this 6-7-8 day Sardinia itinerary, today you will discover the island of Caprera, still in the Maddalena archipelago. You can reach it by car by crossing a bridge from the island of Maddalena.
Here too you will find beautiful beaches but the difference is that you often have to walk a little to reach them. Wilder than its neighbour, the Caprera is conducive to beautiful hikes where you will be rewarded with sublime coves for swimming. And it is not to be excluded that you will be able to see the famous wild goats of the Caprera (which bears its name well!).
The Cala Serena, Caprarese, Coticcio and Brigantina are for me the most beautiful.
You can easily spend the whole day on the island. And for a 360° panorama, don’t miss the belvedere of the Teialone tower or the fortification of Poggio Rasu.
For the third and last day on the Maddalena archipelago, go see the other islands that make up the archipelago.
Only accessible by boat, the best way to visit them is to take a day boat trip. I recommend that you book it in advance right here to be sure to have a place!
Departures are from the port of La Maddalena. During the day, you can swim and see the beaches of the islands of Budelli, Santa Maria, Spargi and Razzoli. Lunch is included for a price of 40€ per person.
Spend a last night on the island of Maddalena.
Find all our advice for visiting Maddalena in our article: Top things to do on the Maddalena Islands.
Accommodation on the island of Maddalena
- AHR Residence Leonis La Maddalena: Located in the center of La Maddalena. Fully equipped, large and functional studio from 70€ per night. Most: the location 2 steps from the restaurants and the port, the equipped kitchen, the quality of the bedding.
- Residenza Mordini: Located just 100 meters from the port of La Maddalena. Comfortable, spacious and well-insulated double room from €110 per night, breakfast included. Most: the excellent welcome, the calm, the proximity of the center, the homemade breakfast. It is our favorite for its performance / price ratio at La Maddalena.
- Residenza Marginetto: Located just 1 minute walk from the beach and in the very north of the island. Holiday home with kitchen, lounge area, patio, barbecue from €110 per night. Most: the situation at the end of the island and therefore the calm, the magnificent environment, the direct access to the beach. It is a big favorite for its location, ideal for a relaxing holiday!
- Grand Hotel Ma&Ma Resort: Located 100 meters from Punta Tegge beach. This luxury hotel, the only 5* on the island, offers superb very well decorated double rooms from €250 per night, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the Spa, the attentive staff, close to the beach. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in the Maddalena Archipelago.
Day 6: Capo Testa / Santa Teresa di Gallura
For the third stage of this 1-week stay in Northern Sardinia, leave the Maddalena Islands and reach Palau by ferry.
From Palau, then head towards Capo Testa, located not far from Santa Teresa Gallura. It takes around 35 minutes from Palau.
Capo Testa is an old granite quarry, so there are lots of huge rocks with improbable shapes. Located by the sea, this truly magnificent place is the perfect opportunity to take beautiful photos!
As it is quite extensive, you can take advantage of it to take a short hike. On the left of the Capo Testa lighthouse, you can for example reach the Cala Francese and continuing further south, the Cala di l’ea.
There are also several beaches around Capo Testa, so you can spend part of the afternoon on one of them. I recommend the Spiaggia Zia Culumba with its large rocks at the edge of the translucent water. A path on the left of the beach allows you to take a walk by the sea and reach small coves.
The Capo Testa walk and its surroundings is one of the things to do absolutely in Sardinia in a week.
In the evening you can stay in the town of Santa Teresa di Gallura, the closest to Capo Testa. The town center is very cute with its square surrounded by bars and cafes.
Staying around Capo Testa / Santa Teresa di Gallura
- La Reggia Di Nausicaa: Located 10 minutes walk from the port of Santa Teresa. Apartment with 1 bedroom and kitchenette from €55 per night. Most: the swimming pool and the warm welcome.
- Villa Gandamar: Located 2 km from the city center. Large and comfortable double room from €80 per night, breakfast included. Most: the great breakfast, the pleasant setting, the calm. It is our favorite for its performance / price ratio.
- Hotel Corallaro: Located in the historic center of Santa Teresa, 2 minutes from the beach. Double room decorated in the marine style but very modern from 140€ per night, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the proximity to the beach, the very helpful and efficient staff. This is our recommendation for a romantic stay in Sardinia.
Day 7: Olbia
If you visit the North of Sardinia in 7 days, during this last stage, you will have to think about starting the way back to Olbia.
If your flight leaves late in the day or early the next day, spend the morning enjoying the beach one last time.
Then join Olbia, 1h20 by road. It will then be time to fly or spend a night in Olbia if you take off at dawn the next day.
And that’s it for this one week travel itinerary in Northern Sardinia. Now you know what to do in Sardinia in 6-7-8 days from Olbia!
Tips for your Sardinia itinerary:
If you have 8 days to visit Northern Sardinia:
- Spend an extra day around Capo Testa. For example, you can reach the Costa Paradiso, 50 minutes from Capo Testa and swim on the sublime beach of Li Cossi.
If you only have 6 days in Northern Sardinia, I recommend that you delete a day on the Costa Smeralda. This is where the prices are the highest and it is not necessarily the most authentic!
Accommodation in Olbia
- Le Residenze del Centro: Located in the heart of Olbia. Brand new, clean and modern apartment from 65€ per night, breakfast at 10€. Most: the quality of the accommodation, the attentive staff, the geographical location.
- Jazz Hotel: Located 2 km from the city center and 500 meters from the airport. Contemporary and comfortable double room from €100 per night, breakfast included. Most: the modern design, the friendly and smiling staff, the swimming pool. It is the ideal hotel at the end of your stay in Sardinia due to its proximity to the airport (10 minutes on foot) and no problem of noise pollution, everything is very well soundproofed. This is our recommendation for its price/performance ratio in Olbia.
- House and boutique hotel charm: Located 100 meters from the center and 3 km from the airport. Luxury suite, very well decorated and brand new from 120€ per night, breakfast included. Most: the decoration and the comfort of the rooms, the availability of the owner.
Itinerary: 1 week in South Sardinia
Day 1: Cagliari
To visit the South of Sardinia in 1 week, you will have to land in Cagliari, the capital of the island.
And for your stay, you will also have to rent a car. The most economical and practical is to book your car in advance.
Then start this week-long South Sardinia itinerary by visiting the city of Cagliari.
Depending on your flight arrival time, you can go see:
- Il Castello: old quarter of the city it groups together the places of interest to visit in Cagliari
- The Cathedral di Santa Maria and the Crypt of the Martyrs
- The Saint Remy bastion where the Umberto I terrace is located and its view of the whole city
- The Palazzo di Citta which houses a museum of Sardinian paintings
And if you want to swim around Cagliari, I recommend Poetto beach. With its 7 km long, you will find a place to put your towel and enjoy this first day of vacation in Sardinia.
Stay in Cagliari
- Birkin Castello : Located in the Castello district, 50 meters from the cathedral. Very cozy and comfortable double room from €60 per night, breakfast included. Most: the situation, the hearty breakfast, the available staff.
- Budget Rooms Cagliari: Located in the old quarter. Double room well decorated and warm from 85€ per night. Most: 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. Most: the friendliness of the staff, the calm, the perfect bedding, the excellent and varied breakfast. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Cagliari.
Day 2: Teulada
The next day, for the second leg of this 6, 7 or 8 day South Sardinia itinerary, I suggest you take one of the most beautiful panoramic roads on the island: the SP71.
The start of the route is in Chia, 1 hour south of Cagliari, and goes as far as Teulada. It is 25 km. All along the way, you will follow the seaside and will be able to enjoy superb panoramas between sea and mountains.
And the must is that the Strada Panoramica della Costa del Sud allows you to stop for a swim in the magnificent coves and beaches. Among my favorites I recommend the Cala Cipolla, with its transparent water and its large rocks. There is also a path on the right of the beach to reach the Capo Spartivento lighthouse and its panorama of the entire coast.
Plan a picnic and spend a day enjoying the beaches of the South East coast of Sardinia.
Spend the night in Teulada.
Accommodation in Teulada
- B&B Su Tostainu: Located in Teulada. Spacious and clean double room from €60 per night, breakfast included. Most: the very nice host, 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. Most: the friendly welcome, good quality bedding, the price / performance ratio.
- Agriturismo S’Arxola: Located in Teulada. Comfortable double room from €95 per night, breakfast included. Most: the setting in the countryside and near the sea, the excellent homemade and typical breakfast, the friendliness of the owner and his advice.
Day 3-4: Island of Sant’Antioco
During the third stage of your 1-week stay in the South West of Sardinia, reach the island of Sant’Antioco, 40 minutes from Teulada.
No need to take the ferry to reach it, a bridge has been built. You will arrive directly in the main town of the island which bears the same name: Sant’Antioco. After having parked your car at the level of the port and the tourist office, you can stroll along the quays. Don’t hesitate to go see the Basilica di Sant’Antioco and visit the Archaeological Museum.
Then get back in the car to tour the most beautiful beaches on the island and choose where to swim. You will have the choice between the small resort of Maladroxia, the wilder beach of Coa Quaddus and Cala Sapone and Cala Lunga. The latter is for me the prettiest of Sant’Antioco with its shallow and so clear water. Enclosed between 2 sections of rock, the place is also quite wild.
Spend the night on the island of Sant’Antioco.
The next day, to continue your tour in Sardinia, I suggest you visit the neighboring island of Sant’Antioco, that of San Pietro.
Here, you have no choice but to take a ferry. Departures are from Calasseta. There are boats approximately every hour. The trip takes 1/2 hour at a cost of 35€ for 2 people and a car, round trip.
At San Pietro you will disembark in the town of Carloforte. There is no specific monument to see but a small promenade by the sea with lots of cafes and restaurants.
Then go around the island by car:
- Pass by the Spiaggia La bobba and walk along the path to the “Colonne”, huge rocks.
- Follow the Conca coastline for clifftop views
- Take a swimming break at the Spiaggia Spalmatore, the most popular in San Pietro
- Admire a splendid panorama at Capo Sandalo!
Go back to sleep on Sant’Antioco.
Accommodation in Sant’Antioco
- B&B LA VELA: Located in the town of Sant’Antioco. Double room with a sea view balcony from €60 per night, breakfast included. Most: the calm, the view, the very nice owner.
- Complesso Residenziale Isola dei Mori: Located 10 minutes walk from Cala Sapone. Fully equipped studio with kitchenette from €85 per night. Most: being able to eat, calm, proximity to the beach.
- Mercury Boutique Hotel: Located between Cala Sapone and Cala Lunga. Spacious, bright double room with sea view balcony from €100 per night. The pluses: the 2 swimming pools, the ultra-rich buffet breakfast, the environment and the view. It is undoubtedly the most beautiful hotel on the island of Sant’Antioco!
Day 5: Iglesiente Coast
The next day, for the fourth stage of your one-week Sardinia itinerary, I’ll take you to discover the coast of Iglesiente.
Take the car and start by going to see the beach of Fontana Mare. It offers a nice view of the mountains. Then continue to Nebida and Masua. These 2 places allow you to admire the famous Pan di Zucchero or Pain de Sucre. With its 133 m it is the largest faraglioni in Sardinia.
As the region is also famous for its mines, you can visit Porto Flavia, dug 600 m into the cliff! Book your visit in advance at the Iglesias tourist office.
Then spend a good part of the day at Cala Domestica. Enclosed between 2 sections of rocks and with its turquoise water, it is the ideal place for swimming. There you will find a snack bar. This beach is one of the must-see places in Sardinia in 1 week!
Then join the surroundings of Portixeddu for the night. You can still take the opportunity to swim on the 3 km of beach of the city.
Accommodation on the Iglesiente Coast
- B&B Raggio di Sole: Located in Fluminimaggiore. Bright and comfortable double room from €60 per night, breakfast included. Most: the relaxing place, the great welcome, the sublime view. It is our favorite for its performance / price ratio on the Iglesiente coast.
- 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 absolute calm, the quality of the table d’hôtes.
- La Rosa Dei Venti: Located in Buggerru. Very spacious and welcoming double room from €115 per night, breakfast included. Most: the breakfast on the roof terrace with the view, the calm, the welcome.
Day 6-7: Oristano / Cagliari
Fifth stage of your 1-week Sardinia itinerary, direction Oristano!
Oristano is about an hour and 25 minutes drive from the end of the Iglesiente coast. Do not stop directly at the city (you will have time to come back to it afterwards) and continue towards the Sinis Peninsula. This is where you will find beautiful beaches for swimming, including the beach of San Giovanni di Sinis and the Spiaggia di Capo San Marco.
The peninsula is also home to one of the most famous archaeological sites in Sardinia, that of Tharros. The site can be visited for 5€ but I prefer to warn you, there are really only a few ruins left. If you don’t want to visit the site, don’t hesitate to take a walk around it, especially towards the San Giovanni tower and the Capo San Marco lighthouse.
Join Oristano to spend the night there. You can take a pleasant walk there to discover the piazza del duomo and its cathedral, the Chiesa di San Francesco, the piazza Eleonara d’Arborea and the piazza Roma. For the evening, dine in one of the many restaurants and finish with an ice cream from Barbagelato, the best ice cream parlor in all of Sardinia!
The next day, if you visit the South of Sardinia in 7 days, you will have to think about returning to Cagliari for the return flight. But if you are lucky enough to take off at the end of the day, Oristano being only 1 hour drive from Cagliari, you can spend a last morning at the beach.
Tips for your Sardinia itinerary:
If you visit South Sardinia in 8 days:
- For an extra day: in the morning, go visit Bosa, 1 hour from Oristano.
- Spend the afternoon at the beach
For 6 days in South Sardinia, I recommend one of the following 2 options:
- Do not go to the island of San Pietro (do only Sant’Antioco)
- Skip the Oristano stage
Stay in Oristano
- Sa Domu e Crakeras: Located in the center of Oristano. Fairly basic but very clean double room from €45 per night, breakfast included. The pluses: the free private parking, the excellent welcome and in French!
- Hotel Il Duomo: Located in the heart of the historic center of Oristano. This hotel located in an old mansion offers spacious, pleasant rooms in a very classy setting. From 80€ per night, breakfast included. Most: the location in the center, the calm, the layout of the common areas and especially the very varied and super well presented breakfast. It is our favorite for its performance / price ratio!
- Hotel Raffael: Located on the Sinis peninsula, in Putzu Idu, 5 minutes walk from the beach. The establishment offers spacious, bright double rooms, most of which have a large private terrace with table and armchairs and a view of the garden. From €140 per night, breakfast included. Most: the calm, the large garden with swimming pool, the terrace, the super very hearty breakfast, the very welcoming staff. This is our recommendation for a romantic stay around Oristano.
Visit Sardinia in 1 week: North or South?
As you have seen, to visit Sardinia in a week, you will have to choose between the North and the South.
I recommend a route in the North, if you don’t mind spending your holidays in fairly touristy places and therefore where there are a lot of people. The northern part is the chic side of Sardinia with many luxury hotels and prices that reflect this.
The Costa Smeralda and the Maddalena Islands are among the most visited places during a week-long stay in Sardinia, so it is important to plan ahead to book your accommodation. Apart from that, the beaches are really sublime, even if it is crowded.
I recommend you to visit the South of Sardinia if you are looking for a more authentic side, less dedicated only to tourism. The beaches are just as beautiful and a little wilder and more natural. The South is also preferable if you are traveling as a family, it is more peaceful and relaxed.
Well, you will understand, whether you choose to visit the North or the South of Sardinia in 6-7-8 days, in any case, you will have access to sublime beaches for swimming and relaxing in the sun!
When to Visit Northern Sardinia?
To enjoy the seaside joys of Sardinia, the ideal is to visit the island in May, June and September, October. The sun is shining and the water temperature is pleasant.
On the other hand, if you can avoid July / August, it is better because the beaches have the reputation of being overcrowded and the prices soar.
The rest of the year, the climate is relatively mild with 300 days of sunshine per year!
If you have any questions about this 1 week itinerary in Northern Sardinia or advice, do not hesitate to leave a comment!
Are you going to Sardinia? Read also
- What to do in Sardinia? The TOP 25 must-see places on the island
- Itinerary: A week in Sardinia – 2 itineraries to visit the North or the South of Sardinia
- Itinerary: 8 days in Sardinia – Ultimate itinerary to visit North Sardinia in 6-8 days
- Itinerary: 2 weeks in Sardinia – Itinerary to visit the North of the island
- Itinerary: 15 days in Sardinia – Road trip in the South of the island
- Itinerary: 3 weeks in Sardinia – Complete tour of the island from South to North
- Itinerary: Visit the North West of Sardinia – Departing from Alghero
- Alghero: The Ultimate Guide to Things to Do and See
- Maddalena Archipelago: All our tips for visiting the islands
- Costa Smeralda: the 10 most beautiful places to visit
- Cagliari: the 10 things to do and see