Road trips are always a fulfilling way to travel. Not only because the surroundings bear a special effect as they unravel alongside you, but there’s also a victory that comes with navigating yourself around an unknown island, like Sardinia.

Roughly 180km off the Italian mainland, Sardinia’s shoreline boasts crystal-clear seas lined with stunning beaches and dramatic cliff faces. While the glitzy Costa Smeralda is probably the most famous destination on the north-east coastline, with a little deeper exploration there’s many more hidden gems to find in this area.

To explore the north-east part of Sardinia properly, you’d probably need four days minimum – and don’t forget your sat-nav. One of my very best friends and I flew in from London to Olbia airport, hired a car with nothing planned, and spent our days exploring, swimming, sunning, singing, laughing, drinking and eating. It was pure bliss. Here are a few favourites we stumbled upon…


Best of Sardinia’s North-East Coast



Make sure you do a whole day trip to the magnificent island La Maddalena. It is up north and if you drive to Palau there are ferries that leave every hour from the port – you drive your car onto the ferry and cross over to the island where you can then drive around all day exploring the array of stunning beaches. The beaches I would recommended are Bassa Trinita, Monti d’arena, and Cala brigantine – but you can also just wing it and drive around until you see something you like (which will be every 5 minutes!).



Plan another whole day, or even two, to a place called Calagonone. It is a small village near Dorgali and is just exquisite. The beach there is absolute bliss, and cute little restaurants line the beach looking out onto the water. From the port in calagonone, hire a rubber boat for 60euros (plus fuel) and you just drive the boat around yourselves all day. It seemed daunting at first – two giggling females with no nautical experience what-so-ever just jetting off into the ocean – but you get used to it. The most beautiful beach I have ever been to is called Cala Mariolu – truly the clearest water I have ever experienced! Do a day trip along all the beaches along that coastal area, just anchor the boat and swim in. I loved this area so much, I would almost recommend spending a night in Calgonone and spending one day on the beach there and having lunch, and the next day exploring by boat.



We stayed in a cute little town called San Teodoro. The reason I especially loved it here, is because it wasn’t overflowing with tourists and felt very authentic. If you are in this area, there is a gorgeous restaurant right on the water called Hotel Ristorante L’esagono – it’s perched on the magnificent beach of the Cala d’Ambra bay in San Teodoro. Go around 8pm so you get a seat on the balcony outside and enjoy its beautiful selection of fresh seafood, like fish of the day served with potatoes – delicious!