A week in Sardinia: which Itinerary for 6, 7 or 8 Days?
You want to go for a 1 week trip to Sardinia and you’re looking for the best Itinerary?
You’re at the right place!
In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you 2 recommended Itineraries for a week in Sardinia.
Depending on where you will land (Cagliari or Olbia), these 7 days itineraries in the North or South of Sardinia will allow you to discover some of the best places to visit on the island.
If you prefer to visit the North, you will discover the Costa Smeralda and Maddalena islands whereas the south will allow you to enjoy the region around Cagliari and Sant’Antioco island.
For both itineraries, in addition to the best things to do and must-see attractions, I will also give you all my best tips as well as a list of the best accommodations depending on your budget.
So, what are the best places to visit during your one week trip to Sardinia? Where to stay?
Let’s find out!
- A week in Sardinia: which Itinerary for 6, 7 or 8 Days?
- Itinerary: one week in Northern Sardinia
- Itinerary: one week in Southern Sardinia
- Visit Sardinia in 1 week: North or South ?
- Renting a car in Sardinia: My best tips
- You’re traveling in Sardinia? These articles will help you!
Itinerary: one week in Northern Sardinia
1) Costa Smeralda / Porto Cervo (2 days)
You want to visit Northern Sardinia in one week? Then you should ideally take a flight to Olbia airport.
As Sardinia is a big island, you will need to rent a car to make the most of your stay.
In order to get the best price and not be scammed, you should book your car in advance on Rentalcars.com. I will tell you why I always use this website at the end of this article, in the “Renting a car in Sardinia: My best tips” section.
You will quickly notice that Olbia isn’t a very interesting city to visit, so just grab your car and head directly to the Costa Smeralda! It will be the perfect place to start your 1 week itinerary in Northern Sardinia.
The Costa Smeralda stretches from Porto Rotondo in the Gulf of Cugnana to Cannigione in the Gulf of Arzachena.
With its many luxury hotels, villas and shops, the Costa Smeralda is clearly the fanciest place in Sardinia. If you’re there during high-season, you might even spot a few celebrities during your trip!
For your first day, you should go to Porto Cervo, the “capital” of Costa Smeralda located just 40 min away by car from Olbia. Depending on your landing time in Sardinia, you may have time to make a few stops along the way.
If you do, you should definitely stop by one of the following beaches: Liscia Ruja beach, Capriccioli beach, Romazzino beach or Principe beach. They are all very beautiful!
Spend your first night on the Costa Smeralda.
On the day after, start your day with a stroll at Porto Cervo Marina to admire the yachts and sailboats, and walk around the commercial streets. Don’t miss the “Stella Maris” church located next to the harbor!
In addition to the luxury, the Costa Smeralda is also famous for its archeological sites, including a few famous Sardinian nuraghes.
So let’s go around Arzachena town to visit the Nuraghe La Prisgiona and see Giant’s graves. The great thing is that it’s only 25 min away from Porto Cervo.
While you’re there, another must-see is the village of San Pantaleo. This charming and authentic village offers a beautiful scenic view over the mountains.
And at the end of the day, head to a beach close to Porto Cervo or to one of the other seaside resorts of Costa Smeralda such as Poltu Quatu, Cannigione or Baia Sardinia.
If you want more information about the Costa Smeralda, you should read my detailed article: The 10 best things to do in Costa Smeralda.
Where to stay on Costa Smeralda
You get it, the Costa Smeralda is the most touristic and expensive place of Sardinia. There are many luxury hotels, so it’s really perfect if you’re looking for an upscale experience!
However, the best hotels are fully booked months in advance, so you should really book your accommodation as early as possible.
- Residenza Capriccioli: Located just 3min walking from Cappricioli beach and 8km away from Porto Cervo. Studio and apartment with kitchenette and balcony/terrace starting from 100€ per night. Considering the area, it’s one of the cheapest accommodations available so book ahead of time! Strong points: walking distance to the beach, the swimming pools, great location. The best choice on the Costa Smeralda if you’re traveling on a budget!
- Grand Hôtel Poltu Quatu: Located in Poltu Quatu, 12min away from the beach. Very spacious and bright double room, with traditional Sardinian furniture, starting from 190€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: the location, excellent breakfast, friendly staff. It’s my favorite on the Costa Smeralda for its amazing value for money!
- Cervo Hotel,Costa Smeralda Resort: Located in Porto Cervo, 15min walking from the beach. This 5* hotel offers comfortable and warm double rooms, starting from 280€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: exceptional setting, staff always available, calm, nicely decorated. It’s my recommendation for a romantic stay on the Costa Smeralda!
- Cala Di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel: Located in a natural setting, only 6 min walking from the beach. This luxury hotel on Costa Smeralda offers splendid double rooms with a view on the gardens or on Cala di Volpe bay, starting from 400€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: 5 stars service, the private beach, stunning setting, friendly staff. It’s the best choice for a luxury stay on the Costa Smeralda!
2) The Maddalena archipelago ( 3 days )
The next stop of this week in Northern Sardinia is the Maddalena archipelago.
Made of 7 islands, the archipelago is a dream destination for beach lovers and hikers!
From Costa Smeralda, it takes about 40min by car to reach Palau, the departure point for the ferries to Maddalena island.
There is a departure every 30 min: the trip lasts 20 min and costs about 40€ for one car and two people. The ferry boats takes you to the main island of the archipelago: La Maddalena island.
For your first day in La Maddalena, you can drive around the island on the scenic road. It’s the best way to enjoy the beautiful landscapes and make stops along the way at the numerous beaches!
Bassa Trinita, Monte di Rena and Spalmatore beach are the most popular ones, but I personally prefer Capocchia du Purpu beach. With its big rocks and turquoise water, it looks just like the Seychelles!
Spend the night in one of the hotels recommended below.
Let’s continue this 6, 7 or 8 days itinerary in Sardinia with Caprera island, another island of the Maddalena archipelago. You can go there by car: simply cross the bridge linking La Maddalena to Caprera island.
Over there too, get ready for beautiful beaches. The only difference is that you’ll have to walk a bit to reach them.
Caprera island is wilder than its neighbor, making it a great spot to go hiking. Most of the hikes are very easy and reward you with a beautiful cove to take a dip. And during your walk, you may even see the famous Caprera wild goats!
In my opinion, the best beaches of Caprera are Cala Serena, Caprarese, Coticcio and Brigantina.
Between hiking and swimming, you can easily spend the entire day on the island. There are also nice viewpoints, the best ones being the Teialone lookout tower or the Batteria Poggio Rasu Superiore.
A the end of the day, go back to La Maddalena island to spend the night.
For your 3rd and last day, you should explore the other islands of the archipelago.
They are only accessible by boat, so the best way to visit them is to opt for a 1-day boat excursion. You should book it in advance here to make sure to have a seat!
All departures are from La Maddalena port. During the day, you will be able to enjoy the beaches on Budelli, Santa Maria, Spargi and Razzoli island. It costs around 40€ per person, lunch included. It’s really an amazing day trip!
Spend one last night on Maddalena island.
Find out all the best things to do in La Maddalena in my detailed article: How to visit La Maddalena?
Where to stay in Maddalena
- AHR Residence Leonis La Maddalena: Located in the center of La Maddalena. Fully furnished spacious studio starting from 70€ per night. Strong points: the location (very close to the port and restaurants), fully equipped kitchen, high quality bedding.
- Residenza Mordini: Located only 100 metes way from the Maddalena port. Comfortable and spacious double room starting from 110€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: warm welcome, quiet atmosphere, close to the city center, homemade breakfast. It’s my favorite place in Maddalena for its great value for money!
- Residenza Marginetto: Located on the Northern part of the island, and just one minute walking from the beach. Holiday home with kitchen, living room, patio and barbecue starting from 110€ per night. Strong points: the very quiet location at the edge of the island, stunning surroundings, direct access to the beach. This is the best choice for relaxing holidays!
- Grand Hotel Ma&Ma Resort: Located 100 meters away from the Punta Tegge beach. This luxury hotel, the only 5 stars of the island, offers splendid double rooms starting from 250€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: the pool, the spa, the very attentive staff, the proximity to the beach. It’s the best hotel for a luxury stay in the Maddalena archipelago!
3) Capo Testa / Santa Teresa di Gallura (1 day)
It’s already the 3rd part of your one week itinerary in Northern Sardinia! This morning, you will take the ferry back to Palau.
Once in Palau, head to Capo Testa, located not far from Santa Teresa di Gallura seaside town. It will take you around 35 min by car to get there.
Capo Testa is a former granite carry, full of giant rock formations with surprising shapes. Located on the sea side, it’s an amazing spot to take stunning pictures!
As the site is quite large, you can easily hike around for a few hours. You can also go to several beaches:
- Cala Francese, left of the Capo Testa lighthouse when you arrive from the parking lot
- Cala di l’ea, south of the lightouse, near the “Valle de la Luna”.
There’re a few more beaches around Capo Testa, so you can spend the afternoon at one of them. I recommend you “Spiaggia Zia Culumba“, with its big rocks and crystal clear water. On the left of this beach, you can also take a small path by the sea side to reach small hidden coves.
To be honest, Capo Testa was one of the best places I visited during my trip to Sardinia!
In the evening, you should sleep in Santa Tereas di Gallura, the closest city to Capo Testa. The city center is lovely, with lots of restaurants and café terraces.
Where to stay in Capo Testa / Santa Teresa di Gallura
- La Reggia Di Nausicaa: Located 10 min walking from Santa Teresa port. One bedroom apartment with a kitchenette starting from 55€ per night. Strong points: the swimming pool and friendly staff.
- Villa Gandamar: Located 2km from the city center. Big and comfortable double room starting from 80€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: great breakfast, lovely atmosphere, very quiet. It’s my favorite hotel for its amazing value for money!
- Hotel Corallaro: Located in Santa Teresa’s historical center, 2min from the beach. Modern double room starting from 140€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the swimming pool, close to the beach, very helpful staff. It’s the best choice for a romantic stay in Sardinia!
4) Going back to Olbia (1 day)
If you’re doing a 7 days itinerary in Northern Sardinia, it will be time for you to head back to Olbia.
If your flight is at the end of the day or early the morning after, you can enjoy the beach one last time in the morning.
Then drive back to Olbia, 1h20 away from Santa Teresa di Gallura, to take your flight back home or spend one last night in Olbia (if your flight is early in the next morning).
This one week itinerary in Northern Sardinia is now over! Now you know what to do in Sardinia for 6, 7 or 8 days from Olbia.
Where to stay in Olbia
- Residenze del Centro: Located in the heart of Olbia. New, clean and modern apartment starting from 65€ per night, with an additional breakfast 10€. What I loved: high quality accommodation, helpful staff, good location.
- Jazz Hotel: Located 2km away from the city center and 500m from the airport, Comfortable and modern double room starting from 100€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: modern design, friendly staff, the swimming pool. It’s the perfect hotel to stay at the end of your trip to Sardinia as it’s so close to the airport (10min on foot), but you don’t hear any plane noise! It’s my recommendation in Olbia for its amazing value for money!
- Maison et charme hotel boutique: Located 100m away from the city center and 3km away from the airport. New and well decorated luxury suite, starting from 120€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: the decoration, the room is very comfortable, the owner is always available.
Itinerary: one week in Southern Sardinia
1) Cagliari (1 day)
To visit Southern Sardinia in one week, you will need to land in Cagliari, the island’s capital.
As the island is quite big, you will also need to rent a car. In order to get the best price, you should really book it in advance!
I personally always use Rentalcars.com website, as it’s by far the most convenient. I will tell you everything you need to know a bit below, in the “Renting a car in Sardinia: My best tips” section.
Let’s now start this one week itinerary in Southern Sardinia with the visit of Cagliari.
Depending on your arrival time, you can visit:
- Il Castello: the city’s ancient district, where all Cagliari’s must see attractions are located
- The Cathedral of Santa Maria and the Sanctuary of the Martyrs
- The Saint Remy Bastion and the Umberto I terrace, offering a beautiful view over the whole city
- The Palazzo di Citta, housing a Sardinian paintings museum
And if you’re in the mood for some beach time, you should go to Poetto beach. It’s 7 km long, so you’ll be sure to find a free spot to enjoy your first day in Sardinia.
For more ideas about the best things to do in Cagliari, you should read my article: Visit Cagliari: the Definitive guide.
Where to stay in Cagliari
- Birkin Castello: Located in the Castello district and 50 meters away from the Cathedral. A very cozy and comfortable double room from 60 € per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the location, the rich breakfast, the helpful staff.
- Budget Rooms Cagliari: Located in the old town. A well decorated and warm double room from 85 € per night. Pros: the location to visit Cagliari on foot, the friendly staff.
- Hotel Villa Fanny: Located 1 km from the centre of Cagliari, 15 minutes walk away from the harbour. A double room with refined and luxurious decoration from 130 € per night, breakfast included. Pros: the kindness of the staff, the calm, the perfect bedding, the excellent and varied breakfast. This is my recommendation for a luxury stay in Cagliari!
2) Teulada (1 day)
On the day after, let’s continue this 6, 7, 8 days itinerary in Southern Sardinia on one of the most beautiful scenic roads of the island: the SP71.
The road begins in Chia, 1h away of Cagliari, and goes for 25km until Teulada. You’ll drive along the seaside the whole time and enjoy stunning views between the sea and mountains.
The best thing about the Strada Panoramica della Costa del Sud is that you can easily park your car on the side of the road and enjoy beautiful coves and beaches.
One of my favorites is Cala Cipolla, with its crystal clear water and big rocks.
While you’re there, you should also take the path on the right side of the beach. It leads you to Capo Spartivento lighthouse, located on the top of a hill. From there, the view over the whole coast is breathtaking!
Plan to picnic on one of the beaches and spend the day enjoying the wonderful Southeastern coast of Sardinia.
Spend the night in Teulada.
Where to stay in Teulada
- B&B Su Tostainu: Located in Teulada. Clean and spacious double room starting from 60€, breakfast included. Strong points: lovely hotel, good breakfast.
- Hotel Jasmine: Located 600m away from the city center of Teulada. Spacious double room with balcony starting from 70€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: friendly welcome, high quality bedding, good value for money.
- Agriturismo S’Arxola: Located in Teulada. Comfortable double room starting from 95€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: its location between countryside and sea, excellent traditional homemade breakfast, friendly and helpful owner.
3) Sant’Antioco island (2 days)
Third stop of this one week itinerary in Southern Sardinia: Sant’Antioco island, 40 minutes away from Teulada.
No need to take a ferry, there’s a bridge to go there. You will directly arrive in the main city of the island: Sant’Antioco city.
Park your car close to the port and the tourist information office and go for a walk along the pier. Don’t hesitate to also stop by the Basilica di Sant’Antioco Martire and go visit the archeological museum.
Then, get back to your car and go explore the island’s best beaches.
The best options are: Maladroxia (small resort), Coa Quaddus (wilder), Cala Sapone and Cala Lunga.
The latter, with its transparent shallow water is in my opinion the most beautiful beach of Sant’Antioco. It’s quite wild and a bit hidden, as it’s located at the end of a cove.
Spend your first night in Sant’Antioco.
On the day after, you should go to San Pietro, the neighboring island.
To get there, you’ll have to take a ferry from Calasseta town (departure every hour). The trip lasts about 30min and costs 35€ for two people and a car, roundtrip.
In San Pietro, you’ll arrive in the city of Carloforte. There isn’t any specific place to visit there, so you can just take a walk along the seaside and maybe stop by one of the many coffee shops and restaurants.
After, it will be time to explore the island by car!
- Pass by Spiaggia La bobba and walk along the path on the seaside until you reach the famous column shaped rocks.
- Follow the coastline of La Conca to enjoy beautiful views over the cliffs
- Take a beach break at Spiaggia Spalmatore, the most popular beach of San Pietro
- Enjoy the stunning scenic view at Capo Sandalo!
Spend another night in Sant’Antioco.
Where to stay in Sant’Antioco
- B&B LA VELA: Located in the city of Sant’Antioco. Double room with balcony and sea view starting from 60€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: Calm, great view, very friendly owner.
- Complesso Residenziale Isola dei Mori: Located 10min walking from Cala Sapone. Fully equipped studio apartment with kitchenette starting from 85€ per night. What I loved: being able to cook your own food, calm, close to the beach.
- Mercury Boutique Hotel: Located between Cala Sapone and Cala Lunga. Bright and spacious double room with balcony and sea view starting fro 100€ per night. Strong points: 2 swimming pools, very generous buffet style breakfast, good atmosphere and nice view. It’s simply the most beautiful hotel on Sant’Antioco island!
4) The Iglesiente coast (1 day)
Your one week tour in Sardinia will now take you to the Iglesiente coast.
First, you will head to Fontana Mare beach, offering a nice view over the surrounding mountains.
Then, you will reach Nebida and Masua. From these two locations you can see the famous Pan di Zucchero (“sugar loaf” in English). With 133 meters high, it’s the tallest faraglioni of Sardinia.
You may not know it, but in the past, Iglesiente was the mining region of Sardinia. So nowadays, a popular tourist attraction is to visit one of the former mines!
The most famous one is for sure Porto Flavia, dug 600 meters deep in the cliff. You will need to book your visit in advance at Iglesias tourist information office.
After your visit, you should spend some relaxing time at Cala Domestica. Located at the end of a cove, it’s really a great spot to take a dip. And if you want to have a drink or eat something, there’s also a small snack bar.
This beach is a must-see during your 7 days itinerary in Sardinia!
At the end of the day, head to Portixeddu area for the night. If you want to enjoy the beach again, there is a 3km long beach next to the town. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the sunset!
Where to stay on the Iglesiente coast
- B&B Raggio di Sole: Located in Fluminimaggiore. Comfortable and bright double room starting from 60€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: very relaxing place, great welcome, stunning view. It’s my favorite accommodation for its great value for money!
- Agriturismo Fighezia: Located in Fluminimaggiore. Double room with mountain and sea view starting from 85€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the view from the rooms, extremely calm, high quality meals.
- La Rosa Dei Venti: Located in Buggerru. Very spacious and warm double room starting from 115€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: tje breakfast on the roof with a view, the calm, the friendly welcome.
5) Oristano / Cagliari (2 days)
Let’s continue this one week Sardinia itinerary and go to Oristano!
Oristano is located about 1h25 by car from the end of the Iglesiente coast. Don’t go directly to the city (you will have time to visit it later) and continue driving towards the Sinis Peninsula. There, you will find beautiful beaches such as San Giovanni di Sinis and the Spiaggia di Capo San Marco.
The peninsula is also home to a famous Sardinian archeological site: Tharros. It costs 5€ to visit the site, however, I prefer to warn you: there isn’t much to see. Even if you don’t want to visit the site, you should however definitely go for a walk around San Giovanni tower and the Capo San Marco lighthouse.
At the end of the day, go to Oristano and spend the night there.
In the evening, you can go on a stroll to see:
- The piazza del duomo
- The cathedral
- The Chiesa di San Francesco
- The piazza Eleonara d’Arborea
- The piazza Roma.
Then, have dinner in one of the many restaurants in the area and don’t forget to stop for dessert at Barbagelato for a good ice cream. It’s simply the the best ice cream shop of all Sardinia!
Spend the night in Oristano.
If you’re visiting Southern Sardinia in 7 days, it will now be time to head back to Cagliari and fly back home. If your flight is at the end of the day, you can spend one last morning at the beach somewhere around Oristano, as it’s only 1h away from Cagliari.
Where to stay in Oristano
- Sa Domu e Crakeras: Located in the center of Oristano. Basic but very clean double room starting from 45€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: free private parking, excellent service.
- Hotel Il Duomo: Located in the heart of Oristano’s historical center. This hotel used to be a mansion and offers spacious, pleasant rooms in a very elegant style. Starting from 80€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: great location in the center, calm, nice common spaces, great breakfasts with many different dishes. It’s my favorite hotel for its great value for money!
- Hotel Raffael: Located in the Sinis peninsula, in Putzu Idu, 5min walking from the beach. Bright and spacious double rooms, most of them with their private fully equipped terrace and view on the garden. Starting from 140€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: calm, big garden with a swimming pool, the terrace, excellent and generous breakfast, very friendly staff. It’s the best hotel for a romantic stay around Oristano!
Visit Sardinia in 1 week: North or South ?
As you have seen in this guide, to visit Sardinia in one week, you will need to choose between the North and the South of the island.
A Northern itinerary is great if you don’t mind going in quite crowded and touristy places. Northern Sardinia is really the fancy part of the island, with many luxury hotels and relatively high prices.
I won’t hide you that the Costa Smeralda and Maddalena islands are the most famous destination for 6-7 days trip to Sardinia. With that in mind, it’s essential to book your accommodations in advance! Also, don’t worry, the beaches, even if a bit crowded, are absolutely stunning.
You should visit Southern Sardinia if you’re looking for a more authentic experience, less mass tourism-oriented. In the South, Beaches are wilder and as beautiful as in the North! The South is also a better choice if you’re traveling with your family, as the region is more tranquil and laid back.
Anyway, no matter if you choose to go to the North or the South, you will for sure enjoy amazing beaches and relax under the sun during your 6, 7 or 8 days trip to Sardinia!
If you have any question to plan your itinerary in Sardinia, and don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section below. Together, we will plan you a perfect week in Northern or Southern Sardinia.
Renting a car in Sardinia: My best tips
As I told you in the 2 itineraries, you will need to rent a car in order to make the most of your 1 week trip to Sardinia.
To rent it, I recommend you to use Rentalcars.com website. It’s the one I always use, no matter if I am traveling to Sicily, Spain, Malta, Thailand or even Canada! It’s really user friendly and it offers some really cool features:
- You can easily compare prices between all the car rental agencies in 1 location
- You can get the “full protection insurance”: you will get refunded in case of any damage, accident or if the car is stolen (tested and approved on many occasions! They refunded me more than 1300 euros to date)
- Canceling or modifying your booking is free
- They have the “Best Price Guarantee”: if you find cheaper elsewhere for a similar car, Rentalcars.com will refund you the difference!
Sardinia travel Guides
- Buy the Lonely Planet Sardinia guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
- Buy the DK Eyewitness Sardinia guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
You’re traveling in Sardinia? These articles will help you!
Discover all my articles about Sardinia: All Voyage Tips articles about Sardinia are listed here.