2 weeks road trip in Sardinia: the ultimate itinerary

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2 Weeks in Sardinia: The Perfect 14-15 Days Road Trip Itinerary

You’re planning to spend 2 weeks in Sardinia for your next trip?

Perfect, you’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your trip, I have prepared for you a 2 weeks road trip itinerary in Northern Sardinia. During your trip, you will discover all the best places to visit on this part of the island!

A quick note: If you prefer to visit Southern Sardinia, you should rather read my “15 days in Southern Sardinia itinerary” by clicking here.

In this travel guide, in addition to the 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 things to do during your 2 weeks trip to Sardinia?

Let’s discover the Costa Smeralda, La Maddalena archipelago, the Gulf of Orosei, Alghero and a lot more!

1) Costa Smeralda / Porto Cervo (2 days)

For this 2 weeks itinerary in Sardinia, the easiest is to land at Olbia airport, in the Northeastern part of the island.

In order to visit Sardinia, if you don’t plan to come with your own vehicle, you will need to rent a car. Personally, I always use Rentalcars.com website for my car rentals: I used it in Sicily, Spain, and even for far away destinations like Thailand or Canada!

I will tell you everything about car rental in Sardinia at the end of this article, in the “Renting a car in Sardinia” section.

So, pick-up your car and let’s start your 2 weeks road trip in Sardinia! 

First, you will go to the famous Costa Smeralda, the beautiful Northeastern coast stretching from the Gulf of Cugnana to the Gulf of Arzachena.

With all its luxury hotels and boutiques, it’s for sure the fanciest part of Sardinia!

In July and August, the jet set from all over the world comes here with they yachts and sailboats. If you happen to be on the Costa Smeralda during that time of the year, keep your eyes open and you might spot a few celebrities! The best place to do so is around Porto Cervo marina.

For your fist day in Sardinia, drive along the coast to reach Porto Cervo, the capital of the Costa Smeralda.

Located only 40min away from Olbia, don’t hesitate to stop by some of the amazing beaches along the road. My favorites are: Liscia Ruja beach, Caprioccioli, Romazzino and the Spiaggia del Principe.

At the end of the day, head to your accommodation in Porto Cervo.

Porto Cervo
Porto Cervo, the capital of Costa Smeralda

Start your 2nd day on the island with the visit of Porto Cervo marina and commercial streets.

When you will be done, take your car and go to Arzachena (also on the Costa Smeralda, but more inland).

This region is especially famous for its Nuragic sites: there, you can visit several Sardinian nuraghes and Giant’s graves. The most famous nuraghe is for sure “Prisgiona”, located only 25 min by car from Porto Cervo.

And if you’re looking for a typical Sardinian town, you should also stop by the charming village of San Pantaleo. From there, you will get a nice scenic view over the surrounding mountains.

For the rest of the day, you will probably want to relax a bit.

So why not head to one of the beaches near Porto Cervo? Or if you prefer, you can go for a bit of shopping in one of the other coastal resorts of the Costa Smeralda: Poltu Quatu, Canniogione or Baia Sardinia. 2 great ways to end your day in style!

For more information about the Costa Smeralda, you should read my detailed article: How to visit the Costa Smeralda?

Spend another night in Porto Cervo.

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!
Principe beach Costa Smeralda
Principe beach, on the Costa Smeralda

2) La Maddalena archipelago (3 days)

Next stop of your 2 weeks trip to Northern Sardinia: the Maddalena archipelago. With its 7 islands, it’s a great destination to enjoy the beach, do a bit of hiking and even go on a boat excursion.

To reach the islands, you will need to take a ferry from Palau, 40 min driving away from the Costa Smeralda. Several companies are offering ferry trips, but as they all offer a similar service, simply choose the schedule that will suit you the best.

It costs about 40€ round trip for two people and one car, with a departure every 30min. The trip lasts 20 min and you will arrive at the main island of the archipelago: La Maddalena island (easy to remember!).

For your first day on the island, you should take the scenic road along the sea.

It’s the best way to discover La Maddalena while enjoy stunning views over the island! Of course, you can stop at one of the popular beaches such as Bassa Trinita, Monti d’Arena or Spalmatore beach. 

However, in my opinion, the best beach of the island is a lesser known one: Capoccia du Purpu beach. This beach is just gorgeous with its big rocks and turquoise water!

Spend the night in one of the hotels I selected for you.

New day, new island to visit!

Today, you will go to Caprera, La Maddalena’s neighboring island. To get there, simply cross the bridge connecting the two islands.

The first thing you will notice is that Caprera is more authentic and wild than La Maddalena island. Most of the beaches are only accessible after a small hike, but they are clearly worth it!

I especially recommend you Cala Serena, Caprarese, Coticcio and Brigantina.

And if you don’t want to spend the full day at the beach, you should head to Teialone lookout tower or the Batteria Poggio Rasu Superiore. These two viewpoints offer a beautiful 360° view over the archipelago.

Spend another night on Maddalena island.

Caprera
Cala Serena, a beautiful beach on Caprera island

For your third and last day in La Maddalena, you should go on a boat excursion to discover the other islands of the archipelago. A boat trip is the only way to visit these islands!

The day cruises departs from La Maddalena port. During your day, you will visit Budelli, Santa Maria, Spargi and Razzoli island. Of course, you will have some free time to take a dip in beautiful coves!

The full days costs only 40€ per person, lunch included. This excursion is very popular so you need to book it in advance:

Spend one last night in La Maddalena.

If you want more details about the best things to do in La Maddalena, you should read my article: La Maddalena – The Definitive Guide.

Where to stay in La 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!
Maddalena islands
Maddalena island

3) Capo Testa / Santa Teresa di Gallura (1 day)

Today, you will leave the Maddalena islands and drive up north to continue your 2 weeks itinerary in Sardinia.

Take the ferry back to Palau, then head to Capo Testa, close to Santa Teresa di Gallura seaside town. Allow about 35 minutes driving.

You will for sure love this former granite carry, its giant rock formations located right next to the sea are super photogenic! It’s really a great spot to visit, especially if you enjoy hiking a bit.

You can discover some really nice coves such as Cala Francese or Cala di l’Ea , located in the beautiful Valle de la Luna.

For the rest of the afternoon, you should enjoy one of the nearby beaches. For example, La Spiaggia Zia Culumba, located at the entrance of the peninsula is amazing! On the left side of this beach, there is also a small path leading to a few small hidden coves.

Capo Testa is definitely one of the best places to visit during a 2 weeks road trip in Northern Sardinia!

Spend the night in Santa Teresa di Gallura, a lovely seaside town with many restaurants and small shops.

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!
Capo Testa
Capo Testa, in Sardinia

4) Castelsardo (1 day)

Let’s continue this 15 days itinerary in Northern Sardinia and drive to Castelsardo.

On the way, you should stop by the Costa Paradiso, 45 min away from Capo Testa, in order to discover “Li Cossi” one of the most beautiful beaches of Sardinia.

Once you’ve parked your car, you will have to walk for about 10min along the sea to reach the beach.

Afterwards, get back to your car and head to Castelsardo. It will take you about 50min driving to get there from the Costa Paradiso.

Before arriving in Castelsardo, you will come across one of the most famous curiosities of Sardinia: the Elephant Rock. As you may have guessed, this big rock is shaped like an elephant with his trunk up. You cannot pass by and not take a pic!

After this short photo break, head to Castelsardo and visit this charming medieval village. Besides just walking around, you can also visit the cathedral and its bell tower, the chiesa di Santa Maria and the castle.

In the castle, there’s a museum dedicated to basketry, a famous local craft.  In town, you will probably see a few elderly ladies making and selling small baskets and other items on the streets.

Castelsardo is a great place to visit during your 2 weeks trip!

Spend the night around Castelsardo.

Where to stay in Castelsardo

  • La Roccia Dell’Elefante: Located 500m from the Elephant rock. Renovated and stylish double room with balcony starting from 60€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: amazing staff, great decoration, good breakfast.
  • Baga Baga: Located 2km away from Castelsardo and 10min walking from the beach. Spacious double room with sea view starting from 100€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: charming hotel, the location uphill, stunning view, friendly staff. It’s the best value for money in Castelsardo area!
  • Bajaloglia Resort: Located on a hill overlooking Castelsardo. Modern and bright double room starting from 250€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: amazing swimming pool, stunning view over Castelsardo, great service, generous breakfast with many options available. I recommend this hotel for a romantic and luxurious stay in Castelsardo!
Castelsardo
Castelsardo, in Sardinia

5) Stintino (2 days)

You will visit many places during your 2 weeks road trip in Sardinia, but sometimes it’s also a good idea to take a break an enjoy a day at the beach.

So why not go to the one many tourist guides describe as THE most beautiful beach of the whole island: Pelosa beach!

If you’ve searched for pictures of Sardinia online, you’ve probably already stumbled upon a photo of La Pelosa. It is simply a must-see for anyone visiting Sardinia!

However, I prefer to warn you: you won’t be alone there.

This beach is extremely popular all year round. You can park your car along the beach but there is no free parking. So don’t forget to pay at the parking meter because the police is always around, ready to give tickets.

Good to know: At La Pelosa, it’s mandatory to put a mat on the sand and then put your towel on top of it. Do not put your towel directly on the sand! You will have to comply if you don’t want to deal with the security guards. If you don’t have a mat with you, no worries, you can buy one there.

The other option is to rent a sun bed and stay on the private part of the beach.

Either way, you’ll be able to enjoy the fine sand and turquoise water of this little Sardinian paradise.

You should spend the night around Stintino (recommended hotels below), it’s the most practical location to start the next day of your trip!

The following day, you should visit Asinara island. This natural park is renown for its exceptional wildlife, including the famous Sardinian albino dwarf donkeys. Don’t miss it during your two weeks stay in Northern Sardinia.

Access to the island is restricted: the only vehicles allowed are the 4WD used by tour agencies. You’ll have to get there by boat (without your car).

There are departures from Stintino port every morning around 9:00. As it’s quite touristy, you should really book your seats the day before, before going to Pelosa beach for example.

There are only 3 ways to visit the island: 

  • A Jeep excursion, with a tour guide for the whole day until your boat takes you back to Stintino
  • Taking the tourist train (whole day with the group too)
  • Renting bikes, the only way to visit the island by yourself. Don’t forget to bring a picnic as there is only one restaurant on Asinara island. Make sure not to miss the boat back home, or you’ll have to spend the night on the island!

During your day, you will stop by the former prison (opened during WWI and closed in 1998 when the island became a natural park), have a picnic on the seaside and observe the wildlife. In most places, it’s not allowed swim because the beaches are also protected areas.

Take the boat back and spend a second night in Stintino.

Where to stay in Stintino

  • Hotel Cala Reale: Located in the Asinara bay, next to the pier. Clean and comfortable double room starting from 65€/night, breakfast included. What I loved: the large swimming pool, very nice staff, close to Pelosa beach.
  • Hotel Silvestrino: Located 5min driving from Pelosa beach. Bright and spacious double room starting from 90€/night, breakfast included. Strong points: quiet, great location, friendly staff, good restaurant with tasty Sardinian dishes.
  • Park Hotel Asinara: Located 10min walking from the Stintino city center. Double room with a terrace overlooking the garden and the sea, starting from 100€/night, breakfast included. What I loved: excellent breakfast overlooking the sea, free shuttle to Pelosa beach, welcoming staff. It’s my favorite hotel for its great value for money!
La Pelosa beach
La Pelosa beach – Stintino

6) Alghero (3 days)

The next stop your 2 weeks road trip in Sardinia is Alghero, a lovely seaside fortified town located one hour driving away.

In the morning, you can wander in the historical center. Don’t miss the cathedral and its bell tower, St.Michael church and St.Barbara church.

During your exploration of the village, you will see many stores selling red coral jewelry. It’s a famous local craft, you can even visit the Coral Museum if you want to lean more about it.

Continue your walk along the lungomare until Lido San Giovanni beach, where you can take a dip.

At the end of the day, you should go to Alghero ramparts to watch the sunset. Then, enjoy a drink and a good dinner in one of the old town’s many restaurant!

Spend your first night in Alghero.

For your second day in town, you should head to Neptune caves, one of the best place to visit around Alghero.

If you don’t want to drive, you can opt for a boat excursion that will take you directly to the entrance of the caves. There are daily departures from the Alghero port.

The round trip by boat only costs 15 euros, but you need to pay the caves entrance fee if you want to visit them (Adult: 13 euros – Child: 7 euros).

If you go by car, it will take you about 35 minutes to reach the top of the caves, where the parking lot is located.

Then, you will have to go down the 654 steps carved in the cliff to reach the entrance. Needless to say it’s quite impressive, even if you’re not afraid of heights!

To visit the cave, you will have to go on a guided tour. There is one per hour, so be sure to check the tours departure time before going in order to avoid waiting for too long!

Neptune caves
Entrance of Neptune caves

After the tour, get back to the top of the cliff (that’s the hard part 😋) and spend the afternoon in Cape Caccia and Porto Conte Regional Natural Park (the caves are part of it). There are several hiking paths in the park.

And after all this physical effort, you will deserve to take a break at Porto Ferro beach. It’s the wildest and most beautiful beach of the area, you will love it for sure!

Spend another night in Alghero.

The next day, you should visit Bosa, a charming small town located South of Alghero. With its colorful houses next to the river and its castle dominating the city, it’s really a beautiful place.

Here are the best places to see in Bosa:

  • The Ponte vecchio, connecting the old and modern parts of the city
  • Corso Vittorio Emanuele: the main street, with many souvenir shop and restaurants
  • Bosa Cathedral
  • Casa Deriu Museum: there, you can learn more about embroidery, Bosa’s local craft
  • Serravalle castle or Malaspina castle: Take the stairs located in the old town to reach the castle and enjoy the nice view over Bosa and its surroundings.

On your way back to Alghero, if you want to take a dip, you should head to Compultittu beach or S’Abba Drucche beach, the 2 most beautiful of the area.

Spend one last night in Alghero.

For more details about Alghero and its surroundings, you should read my detailed article: Visit Alghero: The definitive guide.

Where to stay in Alghero

  • B&B Summertime: Located 10 min walking from the old city. New and modern double room starting from 60€/night, breakfast included. Strong points: friendly hosts, great homemade breakfast, very clean.
  • Hotel Sa Cheya Relais & Spa: Located 5km away from Alghero. Comfortable and spacious double room starting from 120€/night, breakfast for an additional 15€. What I loved: the swimming pool, the tennis courts, very quiet and pleasant atmosphere, high quality breakfast. That’s my favorite hotel for its great value for money!
  • Villa Las Tronas Hotel & SPA: Located 10min walking from Alghero’s historical center. This luxurious hotel offers antique style double room starting from 250€/night, breakfast included. Strong points: the swimming pool and its view, the ideal location and overall atmosphere of the place, super staff. The best choice for a luxury stay in Alghero!
Alghero, in Sardinia
Alghero, in Sardinia

7) Gulf of Orosei (2 days)

For the last part of your 2 weeks Sardinia itinerary, let’s explore the Sardinian mountains and the Gulf of Orosei

From Alghero, cross the island from West to East to reach Orgosolo, the most famous mountain village of Sardinia. You may even have already seen pictures of the village and its famous murals, painted directly on the houses walls. 

Hundreds of them can be seen along the Corso Repubblica and the adjacent streets. 

They usually convey political messages or report major international events such as 9/11 for example. There is no explanations texts next to the murals, so if you want to know more about them, you should rent an audioguide and a map at the tourist office.

After visiting the village, you will head to Cala Gonone, the departure point for Gulf of Orosei cruises (A boat cruise is the only way to visit the Gulf).

To get there, you should take the SP 22 road, connecting Orgosolo to Oliena. This road offers very nice viewpoints along the way, but brace yourself for its many turns! It will take you about 1 hour to reach Cala Gonone.

Spend the night around Cala Gonone.

The next day, you will go on a boat trip to visit the stunning coves of the Gulf of Orosei. It was probably my favorite place in Sardinia!

There are 3 ways to visit the Gulf of Orosei (either way, departure is always from Cala Gonone port):

  • A one day sailboat cruise, including lunch and beach breaks – About 90€ per person
  • A zodiac cruise, with a skipper driving the boat. They will stop at  several beaches – About 40€ per person
  • Renting and driving a zodiac yourself for 120€ (up to 6 people). No need to have a boat license. It’s what I did during my trip as I prefer to be free to go where I want! And piloting a boat was a lot of fun.

Here are the Gulf Of Orosei must-see beaches:

  • Cala Luna
  • Cala Sisine
  • Cala Biriola
  • Cala Mariolu
  • Cala Gabbiani
  • Cala Goloritzé

It’s really a fantastic boat tour to do during your 15 days road trip in Northern Sardinia. You will love it for sure!

Spend one last night around Cala Gonone.

For more information about the Gulf of Orosei, you can have a look at my article: How to visit the Gulf of Orosei?

Where to stay in the Gulf of Orosei area?

  • Hotel Bue Marino: Located just in front of Cala Gonone port. Bright and spacious double room with a garden/sea view starting from 65€ per night, breakfast for an additional 10€. Strong points: ideal location to go on a boat trip, the rooftop terrace with a jacuzzi, good breakfast.
  • Hotel la Playa: Located 5 min walk from the port and beach in Cala Gonone. Comfortable double room starting from 80€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: very friendly staff, generous breakfast, nice swimming pool.
  • Cala Luna: Located on the beach front, just a minute away from the sea. Bright and modern double room starting from 100€ per night. Strong points: nice overall atmosphere, stunning view from the terrace, warm welcome. It’s my favorite accommodation in Cala Gonone for its amazing value for money!
Gulf of Orosei
Boat trip in the Gulf of Orosei

8) Going back to Olbia (1 day)

You’re 2 weeks trip to Northern Sardinia is now almost over. It’s time to head back to Olbia and fly back home.

From Cala Gonone, the fastest road takes about 1h30 to get to the airport, but if your flight is only at the end of the day, you can also take the coastal road to drive back to Olbia. That way, you can relax at the beach a bit more before leaving Sardinia.

If you need to sleep in Olbia before a morning flight, I selected for you the best accommodations in Olbia.

Voyage Tips Advice

If you’re in Sardinia “only” for 14 days instead of 15, you should spend one less day on the Maddalena archipelago or skip the day in Bosa (from Alghero).

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.

Renting a car in Sardinia

In Sardinia, if you want to visit the island, you will need to rent a car for your 2 weeks trip.

To book it, you should use Rentalcars.com website. It’s the one I always use, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare prices between different car rental agencies
  • You can get a full protection insurance: you get refunded in case of any damage, accident or if the car is stolen. Tested and approved! They refunded me more than 1200 euros to date.
  • You can cancel or modify your booking for free
  • You’re 100% sure to get the best deal: if you find a better price elsewhere for a similar car, Rentalcars will refund you the difference!

Sardinia travel Guides

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.

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Sardinia 2 weeks itinerary
Sardinia 2 weeks itinerary: The best places to visit

 

Vincent

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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