Sardinia Itinerary help

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Jul 23rd, 2010, 09:54 AM
  #1
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Sardinia Itinerary help

We are flying into Cagliari on the 14th of September (we'll arrive around 2pm). The (tentative) plan is to rent a car and drive to our furthest destination by that evening and then work our way back to Cagliari for our departing flight on the morning of the 19th.

I always like to be in the city we're flying out of the night prior, so these are our days:
9/14 T Arrive
9/15 W
9/16 Th
9/17 F
9/18 Sa Cagliari
9/19 Su Depart in a.m.

I'm thinking two nights in one spot, two nights in another, one night in Cagliari.
The first question is whether we should head up the East Coast or whether to drive along the Costa Sud and maybe up the West Coast. Any suggestions for which direction to head?

Quiet, pretty beaches are nice, but I do like having the option of a chair and umbrella--so some infrastructure is always appreciated, too.

Any tips--of any sort--are welcome!
Thank you,
Ashley

www.hitherandthither.net
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Aug 1st, 2010, 09:02 AM
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Hi Ashley

The Soth Eastern corner of Sardinia is the only part we haven't visited. We drove as far as Villasimius and it was all fairly low key, low rise beachy developments.

We have in the past flown into Cagliari, stayed in Pula and then done day trips up and down the south/west coasts. The stretch between Cagliari and Pula is bad - one big oil refinery. After that the bay starting from Pula is beautiful. The south coast consists of long sweeping beaches one of which contains the very upmarket Forte Village.

Going round the south west corner there are some stunning cliff landscapes until you reach Chia which is an absolutely stunning beach. The bay of Oristano and Thoros have some lovely small resorts and the huge ruins at Thoros are well worth a visit.

Continuing north - the Costa Verde has some pretty spectacular huge sand dunes and more incredible beaches - there is also a detour to the ruined and strange silver mining villages in the area.

From there it is fairly easy drive back to Cagliari. We had a wonderful time in the area. Let me know if you would like any further information.
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Aug 1st, 2010, 05:18 PM
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If you're interested in going up the east coast, good places to stop are at Santa Maria Navarrese and, of course, Cala Gonone. Further south, around the Costa Rei, you'll find several large, modern holiday resorts with all sorts of activities, including evening entertainment. The "Orientale Sarda" road, which goes up the eastern side of the Island, is considered to be quite stunning. After Cala Gonone, you could turn inland, drive past Oliena, Nuoro and Macomer, and head back south via the western side of the Island, stopping briefly at Tharros at the tip of the Sinis Peninsula.
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Aug 9th, 2010, 12:30 PM
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Thank you, both--sorry for the delay in replying!
I'm still not sure how to decide between the two routes; they both seem to have some great sights and beaches.

yanumpty: The Costa Verde must be fairly windswept--were the beaches windy? waters choppy? Or was it fairly calm?

Chia sounds great. Are the towns along the bay of interest or are they more resort destinations? When you mention Oristano's and Thoros' resorts, do you mean in the sense of villages/towns or hotel complexes?

When you return, are these the spots you look forward most to returning to?

GAC: I've heard a lot about Cala Gonone--sounds gorgeous. Did you take boat rides to the inlets? If so, how did you find the beaches/rocks and swimming? Were the boat rides nice? Expensive?

Does anyone else have any tips on choosing between the two.
Hopefully we'll come to a decision this week...

Thank you again!
Ashley
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Aug 30th, 2010, 01:20 PM
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Just hoping to pop this up in the list of queries. Has anybody else been? There's a new Budget travel article out that makes the Cala Gonone area look appealing...

Thank you!
Ashley
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Aug 31st, 2010, 03:29 AM
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Hi Ashley, we live in Lotzorai 3km from Santa Maria Navarrese mentioned above. The main differentiator, I would say, between the E and W coasts is the type of scenery:
W coast - going back to Roman times the SW corner of Sardinia was intensively mined. So there are old mine workings/buildings, some of which you can visit (Porto Flavia, where they tunnelled a huge chute in the rock to load boats below; Buggeru, where in the 1920's there was Italy's first miners' strike and troops fired on the strikers). The coast road is spectacular.
On the E coast, the only industry is farming, you see lots of free-range goats/pigs/sheep/horses etc. The SS 125 road between Dorgali and Lotzorai is described as Italy's most spectacular drive, and climbs up to 1017m over the Genna Silana pass. From there you can walk easily to the Gola su Gorroppu, Europe's deepest gorge. From Santa Maria or Cala gonone you can get boats up the 40 km stretch of the E coast where no roads go down to the coast and the beaches can be reached only on foot or by boat.

If I were you, I'd come up the east coast and stay in Ulassai, checking out the Maria lai modern art museum, next day go to Cala gonone on SS125. Walk 2,5 hours cala Fuili to Cala Luna and get the boat back. Next dat drive across to W coast via Nuoro / SS131 DCN and go down there.

Peter
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Sep 3rd, 2010, 06:00 AM
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Thank you so much for the great suggestions, Peter! A couple other questions: we're really hoping for plenty of beach time, but we're sort of shade-seekers. I'm sure that on the coves reachable by boat we'll be out of luck. If we were to follow your plan but skip the art museum in Ulassai, is there another area on the East Coast that you would suggest for a lovely beach where we could rent a chair/umbrella?

I'm always torn between doing lots of traveling around/sightseeing and spending time at the beach, but we are coming from NY and then directly from Germany and this is sort of our only beach time for the summer... (I feel like I need to excuse myself for prioritizing over art )

Is there anywhere along the East Coast on the way up to Cala Gonone that you especially like? Is the town of Cala Gonone a nice place other than visiting the secluded beaches?

How long does the drive to the West Coast take? Are you suggesting it just for the drive around the tip or is there a town over there (e.g. Chia?) that you suggest we stop and stay in?

Sorry for so many questions. I really like the description you gave for the East Coast--farms always make for wonderful sights.

I guess I'm hoping to combine some nice town strolling with shade-covered beach time. I actually like rocky beaches (you come home cleaner!), so I'm not picky about sand versus rocks.

Your itinerary sounds great--with the one exception that I want to make swimming more of a priority.

How would you suggest I divide the days? (see our timeline in the original post)

Thank you again!!
Ashley
www.hitherandthither.net
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Sep 7th, 2010, 04:27 AM
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"If we were to follow your plan but skip the art museum in Ulassai, is there another area on the East Coast that you would suggest for a lovely beach where we could rent a chair/umbrella?" Lido di Orrì Tortolì

"Is there anywhere along the East Coast on the way up to Cala Gonone that you especially like? Is the town of Cala Gonone a nice place other than visiting the secluded beaches?" Santa Maria Navarrese is IMHO nicer than Cala Gonone. The beaches in Cala Gonone are stoney BTW. We live here for the outdoor sports in what is acknowledged to be one of Europe's last wildernesses, nice views of the Gulf of Orosei and Cala Gonone in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9gDO1Barho . Plenty of shade at Cala Luna in the caves, said to be the Med's most beautiful beach, hence the suggestion to walk there and get the boat back. Another great thing to do is go sea kayaking, see eg http://www.flickr.com/photos/sardegn...in/dateposted/ we are 2nd and 3rd from right on Anne's birthday

"How long does the drive to the West Coast take? Are you suggesting it just for the drive around the tip or is there a town over there (e.g. Chia?) that you suggest we stop and stay in?" 2 hours via Nuoro, across the centre of the island. Chia is on south coast, IMHO not as nice as east coast or west coast near Nebida. here is a photo of E coast

To work out days, use Googlemaps to calculate driving times

cheers Peter
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Sep 7th, 2010, 05:39 AM
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This is fantastic, Peter! I can't wait to watch the videos when I'm home from work today. Thank you so much for all of the detailed answers. We post travelogues of our trips on our website (see link in my initial question)--and I'll be sure to share our Sardinia trip when we're back. Thank you again!!
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Sep 7th, 2010, 12:37 PM
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ttt
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Sep 7th, 2010, 01:37 PM
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Well as far as the coast of the Med goes. I have done most of it, other than Corsica, the east coast of Sardinia, Malta and Turkey.

Chia is one of the few beaches that matches those in the Caribbean.

Cala Di Volpe is up there as well.
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Nov 4th, 2010, 05:16 AM
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Thank you again for all of your help! We had a fantastic--albeit too short--visit, and would love to return. We posted an extensive trip report on our site: http://www.hitherandthither.net/
All of the travelogues are linked in the right-side column, if you're interested.

Thanks!
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Aug 26th, 2014, 05:36 PM
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Came across this thread as I do some research on Sardinia. I am in the early stages of planning a honeymoon for myself and the fiancé. I am seriously considering Sardinia and so far this thread is a goldmine! Thank you!
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