Sardinia Coast to Coast: a tour of Sardinia by car

Sheer, rocky coasts which hide splendid small bays, majestic granite sculptures moulded by wind and wave, ancient forests with thick Mediterranean brush. Nature’s incessant toil has gifted Sardinia with an appealing, untamed face and long winding roads, all just begging to be driven along. 
This combination makes the car the perfect means to explore the island, which, bend after bend, will amaze you with its truly spectacular scenery
We suggest for your enjoyment the following ‘Coast to Coast’ itinerary of Sardinia, starting from Cagliari, following the western coast and then through northern Sardinia, and finally back down again along the eastern coast as far as the southern extremity of Villasimius.
All that remains is to rent your vehicle and start off on your trip.
 
A tour of Sardinia by car
 
 
Cagliari
The gateway to Sardinia is a colourful city built on seven hills which slope down towards the sea. If your trip begins in Cagliari, we suggest you spend a few hours (or even a few days) strolling through its narrow streets in the historic quarters, taking time off to try the tasty dishes offered by its many small restaurants and eateries, and ending with a dip and a sunbathe at its historic Poetto beach. 
 
Cagliari, Sella del Diavolo
 
Pula and Chia
We drive in a south-westerly direction along the road running between the extensive wetlands known as “Stagno di Cagliari” and the coast of the “Golfo degli Angeli”. Slightly more than 30 km separate us from Pula, a lively resort town offering visitors a choice of typical restaurants, clubs and ice cream parlours, but above all beautiful beaches and one of the most important archaeological sites on the island: the ancient city of Nora. Then on to nearby Chia with its spectacular coastline which with rocky promontories, sandy dunes and wetlands, offering some of the most beautiful beaches on the island: Spiaggia del Morto, Campana, Su Giudeu, Cala Cipolla.
Where to sleep? Chia Laguna ResortFaro Capo Spartivento, Hotel AquadulciNora Club Hotel & Spa
 
Capo Spartivento
 
Costa Verde
Once you pass Cape Spartivento, the southernmost point of the island, you can drive up the coast following the spectacular scenic road. Make a stop at Tuerredda, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean and, further along, Porto Pino, famous for its extensive dunes swept by the mistral wind. 
The Sulcis area is splendidly unspoilt, its gem being the Costa Verde: pristine nature, never crowded beaches and breath-taking views.
Where to sleep? Le Dune Piscinas
 
Cala Domestica
 
The Sinis Peninsula and Bosa
Start off again from Piscinas and follow the fine coastal road bordering the Costa Verde and in a couple of hours you will reach the Sinis Peninsula, a Marine Protected Area offering fine quartz sand beaches such as Maimoni and Is Arutas, but also charming small villages which once served as locations for western films (San Salvatore di Sinis), ancient Phoenician cities (Tharros) and mysterious stone giants (the Giants of Mont’e Prama).
Less than an hour will bring you to brightly coloured Bosa, a welcoming town set on the banks of the river Temo, the only navigable river in Sardinia. So take time off from driving for a couple of hours, stroll through its historic centre and treat yourself to a delicious local meal.
Where to sleep? Hotel LucreziaCorte Fiorita
 
Bosa
 
Alghero and the Coral Riviera 
Leave Bosa and drive north on provincial road SP49 which winds along the coast. With the sea as your travelling companion, in less than an hour you will reach Alghero, an impressive fortified town, with a charming old town and lively cultural and nightlife. 
An enclave of Catalan language and culture, this “little Barcelona” is set against a typical Sardinian backdrop: the Riviera del Corallo is marked by sandy bays and rocky promontories with splendid beaches and caves.
 
Alghero
Photo credits: Alessandro Caproni
 
The Costa Smeralda and Gallura
Leave Alghero and drive to the east cutting across northern Sardinia. You can follow the coast and visit Castelsardo and Santa Teresa di Gallura, or cross the spectacular granite interior of Gallura, choosing to visit Tempio Pausania and Aggius. Whatever your choice, the arrival point will be the Costa Smeralda: glamorous nightlife and dreamy beaches, exclusive boutiques and handicraft markets.
Where to sleep? Hotel Bajaloglia ResortResort Valle Dell’EricaPetra Segreta Resort & Spa
 
Costa Smeralda
 
The Ogliastra district
The SS125 is a panoramic road leading through the Supramonte which will bring you to the Ogliastra area, a gem set between sea and mountains. Centuries of splendid isolation have gifted this land with fascinating traditions and natural beauties which have few equals on the island. Ogliastra boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean, nature paradises to be reached by boat or long treks: Cala Goloritzè, Cala Mariolu, Cala Biriola and Cala Luna.
Where to sleep? Lanthia ResortHotel Club Saraceno
 
Ogliastra
 
Costa Rei and Villasimius
Leaving Ogliastra, slightly more than an hour’s drive towards the south along the Orientale Sarda (SS125) will bring you to Costa Rei, a tourist destination with excellent beaches and tourist accommodation. 
Slightly to the south, you will come to Villasimius, the pearl of southern Sardinia with some of the most spectacular stretches of coast on the island: beaches with fine white sand and a great environmental heritage, watched over by the Marine Protected Area of Capo Carbonara.
 
Villasimius
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