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Sardinia by Campervan: The East Coast

The east coast of Sardinia, Italy, is a breathtaking region known for its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Highlights include the pristine beaches of Cala Goloritzè and Cala Mariolu, which offer crystal-clear waters and picturesque settings. The area is also home to the Gola Su Gorropu gorge, one of the deepest in Europe, and the enchanting Grotta di Su Marmuri caves. For those interested in history, the Nuraghic village of Tiscali and the Museo delle Maschere Mediterranee provide fascinating insights into the island's past. With its diverse landscapes and historical sites, the east coast of Sardinia is a must-visit destination for travellers.

OUR 47 DAY SARDINIA TRAVEL ROUTE

Sardinia Campervan Route

Over the course of April and May 2024, we embarked on a 47-day journey across Sardinia in our campervan. These months are part of the 'shoulder season', and aside from the end of May, the island was largely free of tourists. During this time, we encountered a wide range of weather conditions, from bitterly cold temperatures in the single digits to sunny days with temperatures soaring into the mid-30s.


This post is part of our Sardinia series and deals with the East Coast (part 5) of our journey:


⬇️ MORE SARDINIA POSTS: ⬇️

See our complete Sardinia destination guide!⬇️


Sardinia's SS125 - A Long Day’s Drive

31 May 2024 • 27°

With over 225km drive ahead of us, we set off nice and early to take on the extremely squiggly SS125 road northwards. I was very apprehensive about this drive but it was spectacular! The worst part was probably the number of motorbikes recklessly cutting corners - I wouldn’t want to drive this road over the weekend.


Just after the quaint town of Baunei, we found the perfect roadside breakfast stop with panoramic views out over the valley. From here the drive just got more spectacular as we wiggled up and down mountain passes and through the quintessential Italian “Galleria”.


⬇️It's essential to have your own wheels around Sardinia to reach the best spots!⬇️


Tomba dei Giganti S'Ena e Thomes

31 May 2024 • 26°

Sardinia is well known for its Giants’ Tombs. Free to enter and conveniently located not far from Nuoro, this is one of the most important ancient funerary monuments in Sardinia and is well worth visiting. These large granite stones were arranged to form a funeral chamber during the Bronze Age (1800 B.C.). The tiny door in the enormous main stone slab (which weighs 7 tons) symbolises the entrance to the underworld: too small to allow the living to enter.


Sardinia Vanlife Realities

31 May 2024 • 25°

The challenges of “vanlife” in Sardinia are starting to tire us a bit… Today's search for water ended with us filling our 20L tanks from a water tap inside a cemetery. We then turned around at the entrance to a very narrow 2 km long road which was supposed to lead us to our parking spot for the night. Next, we were greeted with a rather unwelcoming sign at our second attempt for a parking spot!



Spiaggia Matta e Peru

31 May 2024 • 25°

After first arriving to find a rather unwelcoming sign, we ventured a little further and found what we think is the “official” parking area for Spiaggia Matta e Peru. Despite the many prohibitions, as far as we could understand, we are allowed to PARK and overnight within this area so long as we do not enter the pine wood. Now to determine exactly where the parking area ends and the pine wood begins?! We found a fairly level spot and pedantically made sure that we were parked outside of the outer tree line. Predictably, we were the only ones to do so, as every other vehicle that arrived made sure to pull in as deep into the shade of the pine woods as possible!


Even though it was already fairly late, when we walked out to the beach and saw the tranquil clear water, we simply had to go for a swim. Being Friday, it was pizza night - with the perfect view of the sea through the pine trees!


The following day the wind came up, transforming the tranquil waters to dark and stormy, but this also allowed Andre to have a good kite session. After the wind came thunderstorms, so we were glad to be able to continue to enjoy the stunning views from our dinette! To our surprise, the parking area was extremely quiet over the entire weekend. It was the first time that we had spent a night completely alone in a long time. In fact, we soon realised that this may well be one of the best spots that we’ve found in Sardinia!


Cala Banana

4 June 2024 • 26°

Cala Banana (it’s a name that catches one’s attention after all!) was one of the first places I’d seen photos of and heard about before we arrived in Sardinia. Now, after pretty much circumnavigating the entire island, it was eventually time to go to Cala Banana ourselves!


We caught a glimpse of the bay from above before arriving at the “mud hole” parking area where we made sure to park Milli a safe distance from the squishy stuff! It was clear that a few vehicles had already been caught out and we were still to witness a couple more getting themselves into trouble in the mud.


Yet another white sand, crystal clear blue water beach, Cala Banana didn’t disappoint. We soon decided that this would be our final spot, where we would spend the next 2 nights before making our way to the ferry. A sure sign that summer has arrived is the opening of the beach Lidos. We can hardly imagine how expensive a summer holiday must get when front-row deck chairs cost 35 EUR per day in August! We enjoyed our last full day in Sardinia and it was with sadness that I walked away from this beautiful beach.


With the arrival of summer, we have started to make Frappé coffee, which we enjoyed with a “Sfogliatelle” - crispy, flaky pastry with a creamy sweet ricotta custard filling.


Golfo Aranci

6 June 2024 • 27°

It was an early 6:30 am wake up call in order to make it to our ferry departing from Golfo Aranci. Boarding was very timeous and organised and we were one of the first to be able to explore the various decks of our ship, the Mega Express Three. One can’t help but wonder if the swimming pool on these ferries is ever actually operational? We had chosen a day ferry with Corsica Ferries so that we did not need to book a cabin and would be able to just hang around the general use areas for the 8.5 hour long ferry trip to Livorno.


It was the perfect weather day for being on a boat as the water as flat as could possibly be expected. We had a good trip, managing to catch up with some finances but spending most of our time eating our way through all the snacks we had packed! We arrived in Livorno right on time at 17:30 and were on the road before we could even get GPS signal.



WHERE TO STAY IN THE WEST OF SARDINIA

Not everyone travels by motorhome or camper, and if you are looking for accommodation in this region of Sardinia, we can make some suggestions:


For a first-time visit to Sardinia, choosing the right area or region to stay in depends on your interests, whether you're drawn to beautiful beaches, historical landmarks, picturesque landscapes, or culinary delights. You can find a large range of accommodation types in Sardinia but be sure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons!


WHERE TO STAY IN COSTA SMERALDA & PORTO CERVO

Known for its luxury resorts, upscale dining, and stunning beaches. Ideal for those looking for a glamorous seaside experience.

Here are some highly rated options across different price ranges:

Budget:

  • Hotel Balocco - This hotel offers comfortable rooms at reasonable prices and is located close to Porto Cervo's main attractions.

  • Hotel Luci di la Muntagna - Another budget-friendly option with cozy rooms and a great location near the marina.

Mid-Range:

  • Colonna Resort - This resort offers a blend of comfort and affordability with spacious rooms, excellent amenities, and beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.

  • Hotel Romazzino, a Luxury Collection Hotel - While technically a luxury hotel, Hotel Romazzino sometimes offers mid-range rates during certain times of the year. Keep an eye out for deals to experience luxury at a more affordable price.

Luxury:

Hotel Pitrizza


Cervo Hotel, Costa Smeralda Resort


WHERE TO STAY IN SANTA TERESA GALLURA

Offers beautiful beaches and is a bit quieter than Porto Cervo, with easy access to La Maddalena Archipelago.

Here are some highly rated options across different price ranges:

Budget:

  • Hotel Moderno - This budget-friendly hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms at affordable rates, conveniently located near the town centre and the beach.

  • Residence La Contessa - A great option for budget travellers, Residence La Contessa provides self-catering apartments with basic amenities and a good location close to the beach and town center.

Mid-Range:

  • Hotel La Funtana - This mid-range hotel offers spacious rooms, friendly service, and a central location within walking distance to the beach and the town's attractions.

  • Hotel Marinaro - With its comfortable rooms, inviting atmosphere, and convenient location near the harbour and the town center, Hotel Marinaro is a popular choice for mid-range travellers.

Hotel La Funtana

Luxury:

  • Colonna Grand Hotel Capo Testa - Offering luxurious accommodations, stunning sea views, and upscale amenities such as a spa and outdoor pool, this hotel provides an unforgettable luxury experience in Santa Teresa Gallura.

Colonna Grand Hotel Capo Testa


WHERE TO STAY IN CAGLIARI CITY CENTER

Stay in the historic heart of Sardinia’s capital to explore its rich history, vibrant markets, and lively nightlife. Highlights include the Castello district, the Roman Amphitheatre, and Poetto Beach. Here are some highly rated options across different price ranges, all located in or near the city centre:

Budget:

  • Birkin Castello - This budget-friendly guesthouse offers comfortable rooms with a modern design, located in the historic Castello district, close to major attractions such as the Cagliari Cathedral and the Bastione Saint Remy.

  • B&B Domus Regina - Situated in the heart of the city center, this bed and breakfast provides cozy rooms with a warm atmosphere, perfect for budget-conscious travellers exploring Cagliari.

Mid-Range:

  • Hotel Regina Margherita - Located in a historic building in the city center, Hotel Regina Margherita offers stylish rooms with contemporary decor and amenities, as well as easy access to shops, restaurants, and cultural sites.

  • Hotel Miramare - This elegant hotel boasts comfortable accommodations with modern furnishings and a rooftop terrace offering panoramic views of the city and the Gulf of Cagliari.

Luxury:

  • T Hotel - Offering a luxurious experience in the heart of Cagliari, T Hotel features elegant rooms, a rooftop pool with stunning city views, a spa, and gourmet dining options.

  • Hotel Villa Fanny - This boutique hotel provides upscale accommodations in a historic villa, blending traditional charm with modern luxury. Guests can enjoy personalized service, a garden oasis, and a convenient location near the city center.

Hotel Villa Fanny


WHERE TO STAY IN ALGHERO OLD TOWN

 Known for its Catalan architecture, cobblestone streets, and proximity to Neptune's Grotto and beautiful beaches. Ideal for history buffs and those who enjoy charming, walkable cities. Here are some highly rated options across different price ranges:

Budget:

  • B&B Lloc d'Or - This budget-friendly bed and breakfast offers comfortable rooms in a traditional Sardinian setting, located in the heart of Alghero's Old Town, just a short walk from attractions like the Cathedral of Santa Maria and the historic city walls.

  • Alghero 4u Rooms - Situated in a historic building, Alghero 4u Rooms provides affordable and stylish accommodations with modern amenities, conveniently located near restaurants, shops, and the seafront promenade.

Mid-Range:

  • Hotel Catalunya - This mid-range hotel offers comfortable rooms with contemporary decor, some featuring balconies with views of the Old Town or the sea. Guests can enjoy amenities like a rooftop terrace, a swimming pool, and a restaurant serving traditional Sardinian cuisine.

  • Hotel San Francesco - Nestled in a historic building, Hotel San Francesco combines modern comforts with Old World charm. Its central location allows guests to easily explore Alghero's Old Town and its attractions.

Hotel San Francesco

Luxury:

  • Hotel Villa Las Tronas - Set in a historic villa overlooking the sea, Hotel Villa Las Tronas offers luxurious accommodations with elegant furnishings and panoramic views. Guests can indulge in amenities like a private beach, a spa, and a gourmet restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine.

  • Alma di Alghero Hotel - This luxury boutique hotel provides upscale accommodations in a historic building, blending modern design with traditional elements. Guests can relax in stylish rooms, enjoy panoramic views from the rooftop terrace, and dine at the hotel's gourmet restaurant.


WHERE TO STAY IN NUORO

A great base for exploring the island’s interior, including Gennargentu National Park and traditional villages like Orgosolo. Here are some options:


  • Hotel Sandalia - This budget-friendly hotel offers simple yet comfortable rooms at affordable rates. It's conveniently located in the city centre, making it easy to explore Nuoro's attractions such as the Museo Etnografico Sardo (Sardinian Ethnographic Museum) and Monte Ortobene.

  • Hotel Grillo - Despite being budget-friendly, Hotel Grillo also offers mid-range accommodations with spacious rooms and modern amenities. It's a great choice for travellers looking for comfort at a reasonable price.


While Nuoro may have fewer accommodation options compared to larger cities or tourist destinations in Sardinia, there are some other options such as Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) and Agriturismi (Farm Stays) to consider.


WHERE TO STAY IN CALA GONONE

Perfect for those interested in outdoor activities like hiking, boating, and exploring caves in the Gulf of Orosei.

Here are some highly-rated accommodation options across different price ranges:

Budget:

  • Hotel La Playa - This budget-friendly hotel offers simple yet comfortable rooms with basic amenities. It's located close to the beach and the town center, making it convenient for exploring Cala Gonone's attractions.

  • Hotel Nettuno - Another budget option, Hotel Nettuno provides affordable accommodations with a friendly atmosphere. Guests can enjoy a central location and easy access to the beach and nearby restaurants.

Mid-Range:

  • Hotel Bue Marino - This mid-range hotel offers spacious rooms with modern furnishings and amenities. It boasts a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding coastline, as well as a convenient location near the harbor and the town center.

  • Hotel Villa Gustui Maris - Situated on a hill overlooking Cala Gonone, Hotel Villa Gustui Maris provides comfortable accommodations with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. Guests can relax by the pool, dine at the hotel's restaurant, and explore the nearby beaches and hiking trails.

Hotel Blue Marino

Luxury:

  • Hotel Nuraghe Arvu Resort - Offering luxurious accommodations in a tranquil setting, Hotel Nuraghe Arvu Resort features elegant rooms, a spa, multiple swimming pools, and direct access to a private beach. It's an ideal choice for travellers seeking a lavish retreat in Cala Gonone.

  • Hotel Brancamaria - This luxury hotel combines modern comforts with traditional Sardinian hospitality. Guests can unwind in stylish rooms, enjoy gourmet cuisine at the hotel's restaurant, and take advantage of amenities such as a swimming pool, fitness center, and shuttle service to the beach.

Hotel Brancamaria


WHERE TO STAY IN OLBIA & SURROUNDS

A convenient gateway to the island with good transport links, historical sites, and proximity to both the Costa Smeralda and quieter beaches in the northeast. Here are some highly rated options across different price ranges:

Budget:

  • Hotel Cavour - This budget-friendly hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms with basic amenities. It's conveniently located in the center of Olbia, within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and the main attractions.

  • B&B Antica Dimora - Situated in a charming historic building, this bed and breakfast provides cozy rooms with a welcoming atmosphere. Guests can enjoy a homemade breakfast and easy access to Olbia's old town.

Mid-Range:

  • Hotel Panorama - Offering mid-range comfort, Hotel Panorama features modern and spacious rooms with excellent amenities. The hotel is located in the heart of Olbia, close to the harbour and main shopping streets, and it boasts a rooftop terrace with panoramic views.

Hotel Panorama


  • DoubleTree by Hilton Olbia - Sardinia - This hotel provides comfortable and stylish accommodations with amenities like an outdoor pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurant. It's conveniently located near the city center and the airport.

Luxury:

  • Hotel CalaCuncheddi - Located a short drive from Olbia in the stunning natural setting of Li Cuncheddi, this luxury hotel offers elegant rooms, a private beach, a spa, and fine dining options. Guests can enjoy luxurious amenities and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean.

  • Petra Segreta Resort & Spa - Situated in the hills near San Pantaleo, about 30 minutes from Olbia, this luxury resort offers upscale accommodations with a focus on wellness and relaxation. The resort features a spa, gourmet restaurant, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside and coast.

Petra Segreta Resort & Spa


⬇️ MORE SARDINIA POSTS: ⬇️

See our complete Sardinia destination guide!⬇️



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