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Sardinia 5 - 7 night, first time in March please help

Sardinia 5 - 7 night, first time in March please help

Feb 25th, 2014, 10:08 AM
  #1  
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Sardinia 5 - 7 night, first time in March please help

My husband and I are going to Sardinia and flying to the airport in the south. We will be renting a car ( driven through Italy and Sicily before) and would like to drive up the east coast and come down the west coast. Could you please help with the iternarary, we like small village by the sea , good food and locals. Any suggestions??
Thanks in advance. Also is 5 nights enough??? i can stay the other two nights in Rome or sardinia we are there total of 7-8 nights
saradeh is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 11:24 AM
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Five nights is not enough to see all of it but you can see a part of the island and enjoy it if you don't overdo it.

You have to make sure that you spend some time at the beach, enjoy the marvelous water, the scenery. That's the primary reason for going to Sardinia.

We stayed for a week in 2007. It was enough for the two locations we picked. I wish we had more time to see the rest but we plan to go back. I will need 10-14 days to see everything I want to see there.

Are you flying into Cagliari? That would be a reasonable place to start. We went to Cagliari on an overnight ferry from Napoli. People say flying is better. They are, probably, right but I don't regret. We got there very early in the morning. Our car was on the ferry so no time was wasted to rent a car. We just parked it in the large parking lot at the port and toured Cagliari on foot and on a tourist bus (I believe, it was hop on hop off) until afternoon. It is a very nice place but 7-8 hours was really enough for us to see around. We even had time to have a long lunch and another café stop for ice cream.

We drove to Villasimius in late afternoon/evening, which was the first of our two stops. It is a small town, a little more than an hour from Cagliari. We stayed at the Simius Playa Hotel (I recommend). One reason for picking the hotel was because many others offered only half and full board packages and this one didn't. It is also a nice hotel right on a very nice beach. It is a short walk from the village itself.

We spent time at the beach, drove around along the coastline, enjoyed the views, had picnic, went for horseback riding. It's very relaxing. There are enough nice places to eat in the area, fresh seafood, if you like it. Shops in Villasimius closed in early afternoon as in many places in Europe, opened later and stayed open until past midnight.

One day there were some late evening festivities in the town when we went out for dinner. I am not sure whether there was a particular occasion, or maybe it happens regularly but it was interesting. There was music and dancing in the streets. It is different from what you find in mainland Italy.

We have not been to Alghero, so I can't say anything but I have read that it's more interesting than Cagliari. I believe, you would have to stay there overnight if you go.

We visited the most significant nuraghi site (UNESCO heritage) on the way to Golfo Aranci, which was our second stop. I preferred the south of the island, which is more authentic, to the northern more commercialized areas, such as Porto Cervo, even though they are more famous. If you had enough days, I would recommend a daytrip to Bonifacio in Corsica. But with 5 days, I would suggest that you pick one part of the island and drive around a little bit. Maybe 2 locations, max.

Cagliari to Alghero and places in between may not be a bad idea.
Gina_07 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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saradeh,

Of course, there are nice places in the north of the island, too. I just recalled a place called Capo Testa which had interesting looking rocks, shaped by the frequently blowing winds and breezes. It's near Santa Teresa di Gallura, at the northern tip of the island. I would also recommend a short trip to the Arcipelago di La Maddalena but I don't think you will have time. I think it's better if you pick a part of the island and enjoy it rather than drive around the whole time.
Gina_07 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 11:56 AM
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March is definitely not the season for beaches and you'll find that most of the resorts close down for the winter. I would stick to cities rather than small places which will probably be dead. You could drive from Cagliari to Oristano and visit the Sinis Peninsula and the Greek ruins of Tharros before driving to Bosa and Alghero.
Then Alghero to Gallura via Castelsardo. The area around Porto Cervo is dead in winter.
From Palau or Santa Teresa di Gallura drive to Nuoro or Dorgali and take the famous Orientale sarda (SS125) which is not for the faint of heart but offers stunning views over the coast. It ends in Villasimus.
It is doable in 7 days.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 12:10 PM
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I did not notice March. Sorry. Pvoyageuse is right.
Gina_07 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 01:20 PM
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Thanks so much all, we are landing in Cagiliri and flying back from the same airport. How is the weather in march ,should we spend the night in cagiliri for the first couple of nights?? I loved the pictures of Bosa are there other small towns like that?? Also what is on the ease coast. I am thinking drive up the west coast and spend 3-4 nights and drinving down 2-3 nights on the east coast
Thanks so much for all your help
saradeh is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 01:22 PM
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We both like more to explore culture than beaches
saradeh is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 01:30 PM
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Since you are going in March, you will not be able to swim, anyway, but you will certainly enjoy the views because the coastline is of Sardinia is extremely beautiful.
Gina_07 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 01:34 PM
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Thanks Gina for your answer, I Love the hotel you recommended but I think it's closed in march, could that be possible?? Would we have problem fining hotels????? We have driven through Italy many times and last year through Sicily and usually drive and stay where we like with no problem for finding hotels , do u have other hotel, area, towns, etc recommendations
Thanks so much
saradeh is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 01:39 PM
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Is it too cold and rainy during the march, should we change plans and not go there ??? We are flying to room and can change plans ((
saradeh is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 01:44 PM
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Yes, it is possible that it is closed. I have not been there in March, only in July and it was lovely. It is my understanding that people go there to explore the very beautiful nature and the beaches, first, and to have a cultural experience, second. I might be wrong though.
Gina_07 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 02:17 PM
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You won't have problems finding hotels in March as long as you stay in the larger towns. You won't find many hotels and restaurants open at the seaside . I spent a week in Cagliari in March 3 or 4 years ago, it wasn't balmy but it wasn't cold either. Once out of the city and on country roads, you could drive several miles without seeing another car.

I made two other trips to Sardinia, both in October.
If you like culture, the island is full of megalithic villages called "nuraghi", the most famous (World Heritage) being in Barumini near Cagliari. Also in the area, the Roman temple of Antas. Old abandoned mines in Montevecchio. South of Bosa there is a very interesting folk museum in Santu Lussiurgiu, the village of the 7 fountains (reservation in advance)
In Cagliari I stayed at THotel - excellent choice, free parking.
In Alghero, Hotel San Francesco - no frills but the hotel is part of a convent, very peaceful, lovely cloister. I also stayed in another hotel in Fertilia which I would not recommend.
In Cala Gonone, Hotel Bue Marino, charming.
In Tempio Pausanias, Pausania Inn, average, poor location (you need a car if you don't want to eat at the restaurant, which is average).
In Fonni - Hotel Cualbu. I would not recommend it.

The road from Bosa to Alghero is stunning. So is the road from Chia to Teulade (where 2 restaurants were open. I was less lucky further up the West coast).
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 05:38 PM
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Pvoy thanks so much for all your suggestions , it looks like some of the hotels you mentioned above aren't open around march 20-28 , I am so affairs there will be no one there. We went all over Sicily I march and had no problem with hotels , is this just a vacation island for summer ?? Should we consider going to somewhere else or just stay in room ???. ( been to room many times) , I really like to see Sardinia but not sure about time of the year, I am not interested to go to the beach, just in general
Thanks so much
saradeh is offline  
Feb 25th, 2014, 10:48 PM
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Saradeh : Sardinia is not yet as touristy as Sicily. It is crowded in summer, it is a favorite destination for Italians. Beach hotels and restaurants close off season simply because they don't have enough customers. However you will find them open in larger cities or in small cities (like Bosa or Tempio Pausanias) which have a life of their own. The island is beautiful and to me visiting it off season is a great advantage. (I am not inteested in beaches as I live near the ocean in France). There is a lot to see from the "nuraghi" to Roman and Pisan churches, Spanish watch towers and stunning views of the coastor of the mountains in the center of the island. I would chose Sardinia over Rome, but that's me.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Feb 26th, 2014, 04:49 AM
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Thanks so much Pvoyageuse, I think you helped me make my decision and chose Sardinia as I would like to see it and I dont like crowded summer time and the traffic and tourists either. If you have any recommendations please let me know. Is my iternarary good to go up the east coast and come down the west coast?? We will be getting there on Thursday March 20st and fly back on Thursday March 27th to Rome so that we come back to US on Friday March 28th. I guess the only choice I have is to from from Rome FCO airport to Cagiliri since for the other cities you have to change airport. Thanks for all your help
saradeh is offline  
Feb 26th, 2014, 09:37 AM
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It is possible to drive around the island in 7 days but it will be rushed. Personally, I would chose to stay in 2 places, Cagliari and Alghero or Cagliari and Nuoro for instance, explore their side of the island and keep the other side for another trip. But to each his own.
In your case and to avoid packing and unpacking every day, I'd spend 2 nights in Cagliari, 2 in Bosa or Alghero, 2 in Gallura and 2 on the way down to Cagliari. Apart from the main road from Sassari to Cagliari (SS 131 - Carlo Felice Road) which is excellent and fast (2.5 hours between the two cities) the other roads are often winding, slow and with speed limits. Don't expect to drive fast on the Orientale Sarda mentioned above.
I wwrote 3 trip reports on Sardinia. If you are interested, you may want to click on my name and read them.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Feb 26th, 2014, 10:47 AM
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Hi Saradeh

After many trips to Sardinia, I have to agree with Pvoy, don't think about a drive round the island in 5 days and it will be demanding in 7 days. The problem is that there isn't a developed road network and the few motorways that do exist avoid the huge massifs. There is a good highway that runs through the valleys from Cagliari to Alghero and there is one which runs from Alghero to Tempio but it ends abruptly and leaves you to negotiate some very convoluted roads to the North Coast.

Problem with Sardinia is that most of its natural beauty is coastal. There are some impressive mountain ranges but the coastal areas are some of the most stunning beaches/ coastal landscapes in Europe. It isn't easy to simply drive around the coast.

I agree pick out the areas which interest you most, Pvoy and Gina have highlighted lots, I would add

Ingurtosu : abandoned silver mining town with very interesting neo classical architecture leading to some huge sand dunes on the beach. A very eerie place.

Alghero : would really try to get here, really interesting feel as the Aragonese ruled here and had a large influence in its developement during the 16th century. It has a Catalan feel, paella is served everywhere and the street names are in Catalan. It is a more tourist driven city than Cagliari. Just outside is the interesting town of Fertilia which is one of Mussolini's model towns. It is on the way to Capa Caccia which are stunning white cliffs and caves. Also close by are some pretty decent vineyards with pretty decent vermentino.

Castelsardo : is a little touristy but not in March, really impressive headland with a hill top fortress and town with good local artisan crafts.

If you throw these in with all of those suggested above, I agree with all of them, you just need to pick out what sounds interesting and plan a route.

Have you looked at accommodation ?
If not what's your budget ?

Gina's problem is very common on Sardinia. Many of the hotels gear themselves up to Italians who want to stay, do little and just eat at the hotel. As a result many deals are full board only, we always rent houses but my parents have stayed in stratospheric hotels and had pretty average meal packages.

Restaurants :
http://www.agriturismosaltara.it/?lang=it
Offers an immense set menu, not cheap bit the essense of what is local

Pvoy is right, the Costa Smeralda will be dead as a door mail in March, it is actually dead for most months outside July/August. The coast is however, jaw droppingly beautiful between Santa Teresa and Olbia.
Dickie_Gr is offline  
Feb 26th, 2014, 10:49 AM
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Thanks so much
saradeh is offline  
Feb 26th, 2014, 06:50 PM
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Dickie , thanks so much for your help, we are flying to Cagiliri and getting ther around 4 on Thursday March 21st , here is my planned iternary
Cagiliri - Thursday and Friday night and then head towards Oristano , it looks like south west of the island is not much but beaches and dead at March , am I right??
Saturday , sunday Head to Orisanto head up to Bosa and explore that area maybe spend a night there or in Alghero
monday then head toward Sassari , Santa Theresa and Olibia and spend a night there,
Tuesday go south towards Nuoro and spend a night at Villaimuls
Wednesday - head back to Rome and spend two nights
Friday - head back to USA at 10 am

Is this good?? I can spend another day in Sardinia and miss Rome but we have to spend the night at Rome since our flight is early Friday and since I love Rome I thought spend two nights there
I am having problems finding hotels the nice hotels are very expensive over a $1,000 a night . It looks like there are not much 4-5 stars and mostly 3 stars ,also what is inland in Sardinia ??
Also I can't find a flight from Rome from the fco airport to Alghero , it's from another airport in Rome and the only flights from FCO goes to Cagiliri , is that correct, I wou,d welcome any suggestions
saradeh is offline  
Feb 26th, 2014, 11:11 PM
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Saradeh : you'll be only spending 5 full days in Sardinia. By the time you get there on Thursday at 4 pm, rent a car and get to your hotel, it will be time for dinner Ditto for the following Wednesday : drive from Villasimus too the airport, drop your car and flight to Rome. That leaves Friday to Tuesday and it is going to be so rushed you won't see much. You'd need at least 2 more days. Driving along the coast from Olbia to Vilasimus takes approx 5 hours. Add time for lunch and you won't have time for anything except sitting in your car.
I can't believe there are no hotels under $1000 a night. Did you check TA ? Thotel in Cagliari is open all year round. So are most hotels in Alghero.
Inland is not a touristy place at all, except in summer along the tracks of the Trenino Verde (little train). You'll find very little open and roads will be very winding.
I think you should reconsider your itinerary and stick to one part of the island.
Pvoyageuse is offline  

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