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Itinerary: A week in Sardinia: What to do and see in 6, 7 or 8 days?

A week in Sardinia: What to do and see in 6, 7 or 8 days?

Have you decided to visit Sardinia for your next vacation? Excellent choice ! To help you organize your stay , I have prepared 2 itineraries for a week in Sardinia.

Organized according to the airport where you choose to land, these tours in the North or 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 secret for you!

Follow our advice and our steps to visit Sardinia in 6, 7 or 8 days . Also find our selection of the best accommodations for each city. Prepare your trip has never been so easy!

So, what to do and see in 1 week in Sardinia?

The North with the Costa Smeralda and the islands of Maddalena or The South where is the capital, Cagliari and the island of Sant’Antioco ?

Itinerary: a week in Northern Sardinia

Day1-2: Costa Smeralda / Porto Cervo (2 days)

To visit Northern Sardinia in 1 week, I recommend you to land at Olbia airport.

To get around and make the most of your stay, this itinerary requires you to rent a car . I advise you to book in advance on Rentalcars.com. I explain why I always pass by this site at the end of the article, in the part “Rent a car in Sardinia”.

Olbia is of no particular interest, take your car and head straight for the Costa Smeralda , your first stop on this recommended one-week itinerary to Northern Sardinia. The Emerald Coast (in French) stretches from Porto Rotondo in the Gulf of Cugnana to Cannigione in the Gulf of Arzachena.

This is the most exclusive coast of Sardinia, you will find many hotels and luxury shops and this is where you will have the best chance of seeing stars. The Costa Smeralda having become the favorite holiday resort of the jet set!

For this first day I propose you to join the surroundings of Porto Cervo, the “capital” of the Costa Smeralda. From Olbia, Porto Cervo is only a 40 minute drive, 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 time of arrival in Sardinia).

Why not, for example, start your vacation with a swim 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.

Principe Beach, on the Costa Smeralda

Join your accommodation for the night.

The next day, go to admire the yachts and sailboats of the marina of Porto Cervo and take a walk in the shopping streets .

The region of Costa Smeralda is also known to host several archaeological sites including some of the famous Sardinian nuraghes, I then advise you to go to the Arzachena area in the morning. You can visit the Nuraghe la Prisgiona and see giant tombs , 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.

Finish 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, check out our article: What to do and see on the Costa Smeralda.

Staying on the Costa Smeralda

  • Residenza Capriccioli: Just a 3-minute 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, it is one of the cheapest accommodation you can find so book in advance! Most: access to the beach on foot, swimming pools, location.
  • Grand Hotel Poltu Quatu: Located in Poltu Qautu and a 12-minute walk from the beach. Double room very spacious and bright, with typical Sardinian furniture from 190 € per night, breakfast included. Pros: location, excellent breakfast, nice staff. This is one of the best choices for accommodation on the Costa Smeralda, the value for money is exceptional!
  • Cervo Hotel, Costa Smeralda Resort: Located in Porto Cervo, a 15-minute walk from the beach. This 5 * establishment offers cozy and comfortable double rooms from 280 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the exceptional setting, the availability of staff, 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: Set in green surroundings, just a 6-minute walk from the beach. This luxury hotel offers superb double rooms overlooking the gardens or the bay of Cala di Volpe, from € 400 a night, breakfast included. Most: the benefits of an upscale hotel, the private beach, the beautiful setting, the friendliness of the staff. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay on the Costa Smeralda.

Day3-5: The Maddalena archipelago (3 days)

For the second stage of this one-week trip to the north of Sardinia , you will discover the Maddalena Archipelago . Made up of 7 islands, it makes the happiness of the amateurs of beaches and excursions.

From Costa Smeralda, it takes around 40 minutes by car to reach Palau , the ferry port for Maddalena Island . There are departures every 1/2 hour following the companies. The trip takes 20 minutes and costs about 40 € for a car and 2 people . You will land on the main island of the archipelago: that of Maddalena.

La Maddalena can be visited very well in one day. A scenic drive allows you to drive around , admire many beautiful panoramas and stop to swim on all the beaches you want!

The beaches of Bassa Trinita, Monte di Rena and Spalmatore are the most famous, but my preference is Capocchia du Purpu. With its big rocks and turquoise water, the Seychelles are not far!

Spend the night in one of the hotels I propose right after.

Maddalena Island

To continue this circuit of 6-7-8 days in Sardinia, today you will discover the island of Caprera , still in the archipelago of Maddalena. You can reach it by car 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 neighbor, the Caprera is conducive to beautiful hikes where you will be rewarded by sublime coves for swimming. And it is not excluded that you can see the famous wild goats of Caprera(which is aptly named!).

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, do not forget to visit the lookout tower Teialone or the fortification of Poggio Rasu.

For the third and last day on the archipelago of Maddalena, go to see the other islands making up the archipelago.

Only accessible by boat, the best way to visit them is to go on a boat trip for the day. I recommend you book it early just here to make sure you 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 fee of 40 € per person.

Spend a last night on the island of Maddalena.

Find all our tips to visit the Maddalena in our article: Top things to do on the islands of Maddalena.

To stay on the island of Maddalena

  • AHR Residence Leonis La Maddalena: Located in the center of Maddalena. Fully equipped studio, large and functional from 70 € per night. Most: the situation 2 steps from restaurants and the port, the kitchen, the quality of 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. The most: excellent hospitality, calm, the proximity of the center, the homemade breakfast. This is our favorite for its price / performance ratio at La Maddalena.
  • Residenza Marginetto: Located just 1 minute walk from the beach and all the way to the north of the island. Holiday house with kitchen, sitting area, patio, barbecue from 110 € per night. Most: the situation at the end of the island and therefore the calm, the beautiful environment, access to the beach direct. 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 double rooms very well decorated from 250 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the pool, the Spa, the attentive staff, close to the beach. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay on the archipelago of Maddalena.

Day 6: Capo Testa / Santa Teresa di Gallura (1 day)

For the third leg of this 1-week stay in Northern Sardinia, leave the Maddalena Islands and reach Palau by ferry.

From Palau, head towards Capo Testa , not far from Santa Teresa Gallura. It takes around 35 minutes to drive from Palau.

Capo Testa is an old granite quarry , so there are plenty of huge rocks with improbable shapes. Located by the sea, this truly beautiful place is the perfect opportunity to make beautiful pictures!

As it is quite extensive, you can enjoy a little hike. On the left of the lighthouse Capo Testa, you can for example reach the Cala Francese and continuing further south, Cala di l’ea. 

Capo Testa, Sardinia

Several beaches are also around Capo Testa, so you can spend part of the afternoon on one of them . I recommend the Spiaggia Zia Culumba with its big rocks at the edge of translucent water. A path on the left of the beach allows for a walk by the sea and reach small coves.

The ride of Capo Testa and its surroundings is one of the things to do absolutely in Sardinia in a week.

In the evening you can sleep in the city of Santa Teresa di Gallura, the closest to Capo Testa. The city center is very cute with its square surrounded by bars and cafes.

Accommodation 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. The most: the 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. The most: the super breakfast, the pleasant surroundings, the calm. This is our favorite for its benefit / 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 pool, the proximity of the beach, the staff very helpful and efficient. This is our recommendation for a romantic stay in Sardinia.

Day 7: Olbia (1 day)

If you visit the North of Sardinia in 7 days, during this last stage, you will have to think of 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 drive . It will 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 week-long itinerary in Northern Sardinia. You now know what to do in Sardinia in 6-7-8 days from Olbia!

If you have 8 days to visit Northern Sardinia:

  • Spend an extra day around Capo Testa . For example, you can reach 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 you to delete a day on the Costa Smeralda . This is where the prices are the highest and it is not necessarily the most authentic!

To stay in Olbia

  • The Residenze del Centro: Located in the heart of Olbia. Brand new, clean and modern apartment from 65 € per night, breakfast 10 €. Most: the quality of housing, the attentive staff, the geographical situation.
  • 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: modern design, friendly and smiling staff, swimming pool. It is the ideal hotel at the end of the stay in Sardinia because of its proximity to the airport (10 minutes walk) and no problem of noise, everything is very well soundproofed. This is our recommendation for its benefit / price ratio in Olbia.
  • House and boutique boutique hotel: 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 decor and comfort of the rooms, the availability of the owner.

Itinerary: a 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. Personally I always go through rentalcars.com . I explain why in the section “Rent a car in Sardinia” of this article.

Then start this one-week itinerary in South Sardinia by visiting the city of Cagliari.

Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia

Depending on the arrival time of your flight, you can go to:

  • Il Castello: old district of the city it brings together the places of interest to visit in Cagliari
  • The Cathedral of Santa Maria and the Crypt of the Martyrs
  • The bastion Saint Remy where is the terrace Umberto I and its view on the whole city
  • The Palazzo di Citta which houses a museum of Sardinian paintings

And if you want to swim around Cagliari, I recommend the Poetto beach. With its 7 km long, you will find a place to put your towel and enjoy this first day of holidays in Sardinia.

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 the second leg of this trip of 6, 7 or 8 days in South Sardinia, I suggest you to travel one of the most beautiful scenic routes on the island: the SP71.

The beginning of the road is located in Chia , 1 hour south of Cagliari, and goes to Teulada . It is 25 km. All along the way, you will follow the seaside and will be able to benefit from superb panoramas between sea and mountain.

The beautiful panoramic road SP 71, in Sardinia

And the must is that the Strada Panoramica della Costa del Sud allows to stop to swim on coves and beautiful beaches . Among my favorites I recommend Cala Cipolla, with its transparent water and its big rocks. There is also a path on the right of the beach to reach the lighthouse Capo Spartivento and its panorama on the coast.

Plan a picnic and spend a day enjoying the beaches of the south-eastern coast of Sardinia.

Stay overnight 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

During the third leg of your 1-week stay in Southern Sardinia, reach the island of Sant’Antioco , 40 minutes from Teulada.

No need to take the ferry to join it, a bridge was built. You will arrive directly in the main town of the islandthat bears the same name: Sant’Antioco . After parking your car at the port and the tourist office, you can walk along the docks. Do not hesitate to visit the Basilica di Sant’Antioco and visit the archaeological museum. 

Then take the car to go around the most beautiful beaches of 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 rocks, the place is more wild.

Spend the night on the island of Sant’Antioco.

Panoramic view of Cala Lunga on the island of Sant Antioco

The next day, to continue your tour in Sardinia, I suggest you visit the nearby island of Sant’Antioco, that of San Pietro.

Here, no choice you will have to take a ferry. Departures are from Calasseta. There are boats about 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 land in the city of Carloforte. There is no specific monument to see but a small promenade by the sea with lots of cafes and restaurants.

Then drive around the island:

  • Go through the Spiaggia The bobba and walk along the path to the “Column”, huge rocks.
  • Follow the coastline of the Conca for views of the cliffs
  • Take a swim in the Spiaggia Spalmatore, San Pietro’s most popular
  • Admire a splendid panorama at 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 (1 day)

The next day, for the fourth leg of your week-long road trip to Sardinia, I take you to discover the Iglesiente coast.

Take the car and start by going to Fontana Mare beach. It offers a nice view of the mountains. Then continue towards Nebida and Masua . These 2 places allow to admire the famous Pan di Zucchero or Sugar Loaf. With its 133 m it is the largest faraglioni of Sardinia.

The region is also famous for its mines, you can visit the Porto Flavia, excavated on 600 m in the cliff! Book your visit in advance at the tourist office of Iglesias.

Porto Flavia, on the coast of Iglesiente, Sardinia

Then spend a good part of the day at Cala Domestica. Enclosed between 2 sides of rocks and with its turquoise water, it is the ideal place to bathe. There is a snack bar. This beach is one of the must see places in Sardinia in 1 week!

Then join the neighborhoods of Portixeddu for the night. You can still enjoy swimming on the 3 km of beach in the city.

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 / Cagliari (2 days)

Fifth leg of your itinerary of 1 week in Sardinia , direction Oristano!

Oristano is about 1h25 from the end of the Iglesiente coast. Do not stop directly at the city (you will have time to return later) and continue to 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 also shelters one of the most known archaeological sites of Sardinia, that of Tharros. The site can be visited for 5 € but I prefer to warn you, there are really only a few ruins. If you do not want to visit the site, do not hesitate to walk around, especially to the San Giovanni tower and the Capo San Marco lighthouse.

Walk to the Sinis Peninsula

Join Oristano for the night. You can make a nice walk to the discovery of the Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral , of the Chiesa di San Francesco, the Piazza Eleonara Arborea and Piazza Roma. For dinner, dine in one of the many restaurants and end with an ice cream from Barbagelato , the best glacier in Sardinia!

The next day, if you visit the South of Sardinia in 7 days, we will have to think about returning to Cagliarifor the return flight. But if you have the chance to take off at the end of the day, Oristano is only 1 hour drive from Cagliari, you can spend a last morning at the beach. 

If you visit South Sardinia in 8 days:

  • For an extra day: in the morning, 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 (only do Sant’Antioco)
  • Skip the step of 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. This is our favorite 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.

Visit Sardinia in 1 week: North or South?

As you have seen, to visit Sardinia in a week, you will have to choose between North and South. 

I recommend a route in the North , if you do not mind to spend your holidays in places quite touristy and so where there are a lot of people. The northern part is the chic side of Sardinia with many luxury hotels and prices that suffer.

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 go early to book your accommodation . Other than that, the beaches are really gorgeous , even if there are people.

I recommend you to visit Southern Sardinia if you are looking for a more authentic side, less dedicated only to tourism. The beaches are all so beautiful and a little more wild and natural. The South is also better if you’re traveling with your family , it’s quieter and more relaxed.

Well, you will understand, whether you choose to visit the North or South of Sardinia in 6-7-8 days , in any case, you will have access to sublime beaches to swim and relax in the sun!

Do not hesitate to give us your opinion and suggestions on our weekly itineraries in North and South Sardinia!

Rent a car in Sardinia

I told you about it in my 2 recommended itineraries. To visit Sardinia in 1 week, it is imperative to rent a car.

For that, I recommend you to use the Rentalcars.com site I always go through this site for my car rentals ( Sicily , Spain , Malta etc ..) and for specific reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rates of all car rental companies. 
  • It is possible to benefit from the complete insurance protection which insures you a refund of any damage and amount in case of accident or theft (tested and approved several times!)
  • Ability to cancel free or change your rental dates if needed, it’s really convenient
  • For the guarantee of the best price: if you find cheaper elsewhere for a similar car, Rentalcars will refund you the difference!

Are you going to Sardinia? To read also

Discover all our articles on Sardinia: All Travel Articles Tips on Sardinia are listed here.

Itinerary: A week in Sardinia: What to do and see in 6, 7 or 8 days?
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Jennifer Bringardner

Through BonAdvisor, I share my passion for travel since 2017. A hobby at first, I quickly realized that my articles could inspire travelers like you to better organize their trips. A question about a destination, a visit, a good plan? I'll answer in the comments.

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