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Sardinia in Aug for ~6 days: proposed itinerary

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We (3 adults + 3 kids - 16, 14 and 11) will be in Sardinia for ~6 days the first week of August. (I know timing is sub-optimal given heat, crowds etc. but schedules made it inevitable.) None of us has been before; we are flying from/to Rome.

I put together the following proposed itinerary, and would be grateful for any comments / suggestions. For first time visitors, given number of days/time of year, does this sound reasonable? We are not wedded to it and could tweak (or change it completely if we're missing a better alternative in another part of the island).

We are up for exploring/renting a car, and are reasonably active and adventurous -- not looking to lie on the beach at a resort for a week.

**Fri - Fly Rome-Alghero early afternoon; explore Alghero

**Sat - Alghero - rent car & drive to beach - Capo Falcone / La Pelosa? Or closer beach Maria Pia?

In afternoon, Capo Caccia / Grotto di Nettuno - r/t boat excursion from Alghero (= 2.5 hours)?

**Sun - Alghero - rent car/scenic coastal drive south to Bosa? Anything else worth seeing/visiting during such a day trip?

**Mon - drive north to Santa Teresa di Gallura (stay overnight there)

Route: Alghero > Porto Torres > Castelsardo (stop & see castle, old center, elephant rock) > Trinita d'Agultu > Santa Teresa di Gallura

In STG, visit less-busy (?) beaches - Montirusso, Lu Littaroni, Naracu Nieddu; or La Marmorata, Marazzino?

Or Palau >> La Maddalena Islands?

**Tue - a.m. excursion from Santa Teresa to Corsica / Bonifacio; lunch there. P.m. >> drive back to Alghero

**Wed - Fly Alghero-Rome early afternoon (suggestions re: final things to do this a.m.)?

Recs re: hotels, B&B's etc in Alghero & STG would be appreciated as well.

Thanks in advance!!

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    I'd go to Capo Caccia as early as possible on Saturday morning to avoid the crowds and I'd save the beach for the afternoon.
    Porto Torres is not very exciting. I would not make a detour to visit.
    I would definitely La Maddalena Islands. Take a mini cruise (lunch included) and don't forget your bathing suit.
    The road to Bosa is very scenic. It you don't want to spend the rest of the day at the beach, you could either drive back
    to Alghero via Monteleone or drive further south to Cuglieri and the Sinis Peninsula.

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    We rented a large apartment in this house 10 minutes drive to alghero old town. Lovely accommodation (3 bedrooms) and the owner is charming and speaks fluent English. Really easy transportation access for the trips you plan although you need a car. We rented apartment mijdia.

    http://www.nitidia.it/

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    I would suggest you insert La Maddalena in your plans. Palau does not have that much to offer, so take the Palau to LaMadd ferry. There is a lovely ride around LaMadd with views of Corsica.
    There are a couple of good value hotels just west of the ferry port along the coastal road.
    When you return to Palau the Corsica ferry is a short ways west on the coastal road. Also, consider taking your car to Corsica to have the freedom to roam the beaches north and especially west of Bonifacio.

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    Hi jlp nyc. I'm from Sardinia and I'm happy to give You some suggestions and informations about Your Travel.

    First of all, tourists think Sardinia means sea and beaches : this is completely untrue! Some of the most astonishing landscapes are in the inland and the eastern route SS 125 ( nearly 400 km from Santa Teresa di Gallura to Villasimius ) is considered to be one of the most panoramic roads in Italy. It winds between sea and mountain (highest point 1020 m. asl at Genna Silana ). Sea and coves around Villasimius definitely match Costa Smeralda's ( if not better). Of course following this road means to have a completely different journey, more tiring maybe, but surely more fulfilling. If You opt for it, let me know, we can plan it together( there is also a little green train which from Arbatax to Mandas runs through the mountains and woods of the inland: lunch on board). Just consider that from Alghero to Santa Teresa it's a 160 km road and in early August it's congested. So the time it takes to come back from S Teresa to Alghero could be used to go South on the SS 125.For adventurous (reasonably )and active people, SS 125 is a must! Anyway, if You opt for this , let me know, we'll plan it together. Of course if You wish to visit Corsica, there's no time for SS 125 ( called also Orientale Sarda. Eastern Sardinian route )

    Getting back to Your tour, please let me give You some suggestions:

    FRI- once You take Your luggage at the airport , I'd suggest to rent a car immediately, so You are indipendent( air conditioned!!!possibly GPS), You can leave it there before Your flight back. At the airport's library get a map of Sardinia( Touring's or Istituto Geografico De Agostini'S maps are both good: scale 1:200000). OK evening exploring the ancient old town : a walk on " i Bastioni " ( the ancient walls on the sea). Alghero's coral highest quality - suits any budget.

    SAT - morn. OK a bath at Maria Pia. Stintino is an outstanding beach but it's only 400 m long and in early August is terribly crowded : I live in Sassari but I go there only from September on. You have to pay for the parking in front of the beach and if You don't get there early ( say 9 am) find no place. Expensive in summer .I'd say the only reason to go there is to get the boat to Isle of Asinara, ( national park ). This is a real unspoilt Island, since it was a penal colony : no hotels , no buildings, only a rstaurant but the most cristal waters in Sardinia. Granite rocks. Possibility to have a tour by Land Rover or train. The visit takes a whole day. Possible to have a bath.

    -even.-ok Grotte di Nettuno, at Capo Caccia . 27 km from Alghero. Important Nuraghe Palmavera on the right of the road after You pass Fertilia ( about Nuraghe,the only megalithic monuments in Europe, see Wikipedia ). I wouldn't get a boat, instead go by car to Capo Caccia( 152 m half dome sheer from the sea) and get the 676 stairs to the entrance of the cave at sea level. If the sea is rough it's not possible to enter , closed. Seen the cave, if time is left You can either take a bath at Mugoni Beach on the way back to Alghero, or by car go up Monte Doglia ( 450 m asl), The view from there is really astonishing. Another Tip : from Tramariglio, a few Km before Capo Caccia, a country path leads to Punta Cristallo( the highest vertical cliff in the Mediterranean. 326 m asl.)say 3 hours go and back.

    SUN - OK a trip to Bosa. The road is panoramic( one of the most unspoilt road in Sardinia), no building, but doesn't touch the sea. Possibility to sea vultures ( if You have binoculars , get).In Bosa: long beach, very clean water, bath if You want. Many restaurants, any budget: fish recommended. From Bosa I'd go to Macomer and get there the motorway to Sassari. After about 30 km, just 2 km on the right of the road ,watch out for a signal to the Nuraghe Santu Antine, probably the most well preserved in the Island.To get back to Alghero You have two choices : a) get again the motorway to Sassari: after You pass two tunnels, don't enter the town, go on and on the left there is the diversion to Alghero. b)from the Nuraghe go to Thiesi, important Romanic Church of S. Pietro di Sorres( don't get the Motorway), then Ittiri and finally Alghero.

    MON- OK S.Teresa di Gallura- about 150 km- Not to get lost into the net of roads around Sassari, I'd get SP 42 ( provincial road 42) directly from Alghero to Porto Torres and then the coastal road to Platamona and straight to Castelsardo. Once You see the elephant rock, return back a few hundred meters and get SP 13m then always straight . You'll reach the crossroad of Trinità d'Agultu, at Paduledda. here, 5 km on Your left You'll find Isola Rossa ( Red Island, due to the color of the granite), on Your right 2 km to Trinità. If You decide to go to Trinità , just 1 mile or so on Your right there is a signal to the Church of S Pietro ( S Peter )- very clear view of Corsica in clear days. From the crossroad keep on to Santa Teresa. Interesting bay at Cala Sarraina. After Vignola, the roads cuts a large pinewood: on the left secluded beaches ( mind sea urchins!!). Santa Teresa is overcrowded in Summer, anyway there are so many beaches!

    TUE- Bonifacio is 20 min by boat. Very characteristic: the entrance to the small port is a fiord in the calcareous Cliff, but in my opinion a whole day there is too much. As to La Maddalena islands : it's a national park and a route by boat is really outstanding, a bath in those waters is inforgettable, but in early August it may be very hot, though You are in the Bocche di Bonifacio ( Bonicacio Mouthes) and there is Always some wind.

    As to the way back to Alghero, consider that the road from Castelsardo to STG is often congested in summer; and with many curves. So, I'd suggest You this way: from STG get the road SS 133b to Palau, after 18 km , at Ponte Liscia, get the road to Tempio Pausania( 42 Km ) . from Tempio Pausania(fresh . old town centre in granite), get the Road To Sassari). After about 50 km, just on Your left You will see the The Basilic of Ss Trinità Di Saccargia, the most beautiful Romanic Church in Sardinia. A couple of km after the Church the road connects again to the motorway and from here to Alghero( see Sunday ). Depending on when You have the check in on Wednesday , the route from STG via Tempio Pausania can be covered in , say, 3 hours, so You can also choose to leave STG on WED early in the morning.

    I'll now give You some web sites that may prove useful.
    www.viamichelin.com, then maps, type of map, satellite
    www.sardegnaturismo.it
    www.agriturismodisardegna.it ( lovely farmhouses)
    www.sardegnabb.it
    www.chiesecampestri.it (Romanic churches)

    About the Asinara Island :
    www.escursioniasinara.it

    If You consider to visit the eastern part ( that is, SS 125):
    www.gorropu.info
    www.turismo.ogliastra.it
    www.villasimius.org
    search on Google for "Punta Molentis spiaggia "
    www.ogliastranatura.com
    search on Google for "images of Cala Luna "

    Hoping to have been helpful , please have the best stay in Sardinia.

    P.S. If You need any other information, don't hesitate to write.

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