Planning + Resources: Sardinia

Sardinia Holiday: Planning and Resources

George Clooney was recently hospitalized on his Sardinia holiday due to a scooter accident. I’m visiting Sardinia in September. We were almost besties.

About Sardinia

Sardinia is a large island off the western coast of Italy. It is an autonomous region of Italy with a distinct language. It is known for its stunning beaches and high, rocky coastline.

FUN FACT: Make no mistake: Sardinian is not an Italian dialect.

Sardinia Holiday Objectives

Seriously?! Everyone visits Sardinia for the beaches.

FUN FACT: Sardinia has over 100 beaches.

Also. Food. And wine.

FUN FACTS: Sardinians drink twice as much beer as the Italian mainland. Makes me wonder about the figures for wine consumption. Nonetheless, Sardinia, along with the Japanese island of Okinawa, has the highest rate of centenarians in the world and was the first discovered Blue Zone.

And. Culture.

FUN FACT: Sardinia has one UNESCO World Heritage Site – the nuraghi of Su Nuraxi di Barumini – and one item on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage – the canto a tenore, a style of Sardinian folk singing.

And. Hiking.

FUN FACT: Approximately 25% of Sardinia is preserved or protected.

Best of all: spending time with a friend. I’m going solo and will be meeting up with a friend I met in Nicaragua, traveled to Cuba with, and visited in Norway. It’s been six years since we last saw each other so, obviously, I can’t wait!

Sardinia Map with Points of Interest

This Sardinia map was created as a planning tool for this upcoming trip to Sardinia. The map highlights various points of interest and has a description and/or link associated with most points. Visualizing the location of these points of interest assisted us in deciding upon a final route based on our allotted time and our arrival/departure city.

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Our Sardinia Holiday Plans

Sardinia Flights

I’ll be continuing on to Sardinia from Iceland whilst Michael will be returning back to the United States. I’ll be flying an inexpensive European carrier from Reykjavik, Iceland to Olbia, Sardinia, Italy with a stopover in England. This flight was purchased in cash. My friend is flying to Olbia from Norway and also secured a super-super-super inexpensive round-trip flight.

My return flight, from Olbia to Newark, New Jersey, United States was purchased with 30,000 United miles and 66.91 USD for taxes and fees. The flight is less than ideal with two stopovers (in Geneva and Washington, D.C.). However, the cost of flights were insane and the “cost per point” of the United miles ended up at 7.26 USD per mile!

Sardinia Rental Car

We will be renting an economy-sized vehicle from Avis (via Priceline) for the entirety of our stay in Sardinia. The total cost is ~225 ~185 ~179 ~137 USD (~12 USD per day).

TIP: Our rental car was identified using AutoSlash – a website that searches for the best price on rental car reservations and will subsequently alert you if a better price is identified. We were able to reduce our initial reservation price from ~225 to ~137 USD based on AutoSlash alerts.

Sardinia Itinerary

We will have about 10 days in Sardinia and are arriving and departing from Olbia Costa Smeralda International Airport. Using our Sardinia map as a reference, we decided upon an itinerary consisting of a loop in northern Sardinia. This will allow for multiple nights in a few contrasting locations with ample time to explore as well as relax. These areas will include:

  • Cala Gonone for beaches and relaxing
  • Ogliastra for mountains and hiking
  • Alghero/Bosa for city living
  • Santa Teresa Gallura for a beach-town laid-back vibe

And, as we travel from location to location, we’ll have the opportunity to experience even more of Sardinia.

Sardinia Accommodation

Our Sardinia map has a layer for Accommodation Options. Purple accommodation points are those we’ve selected for our holiday. Yellow accommodation points are those recommended based upon our research. Our accommodation is full of variety and will include:

TIP: The experience and food at Italian agriturismos are highly recommended. Often room booking options exist for half board (breakfast) or full board (breakfast and dinner). Even if you opt for a hotel stay be sure to visit one of these properties for dinner. Reservations will likely be required.

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Additional Sardinia Resources

Travel Guides

We purchased this Sardinia Lonely Planet Travel Guide for background and reference material for our holiday vacation:

Episodes of Anthony Bourdain are always useful as well.


Renting a car is the best way to get around the island. But, a car is not necessary – nor recommended – in the cities. In fact, some cities such as Alghero have a tourist ban on driving and parking within its city walls.

TIP: Use Rome2Rio to determine what transport options might work best for you and on your itinerary.

Also, be careful. Roads are narrow and winding. Sardinia was in the news recently due to George Clooney’s purchase of van ham and his scooter accident.

TIP:  We use World Nomads for travel insurance when we travel internationally. We believe they offer the best coverage for the money and they are super easy to work with! You can get a quote using the widget on our Resources page.


Already mentioned, agriturismo accommodation will provide an authentic Italian experience coupled with fantastic food. Bed and breakfasts are also a popular option for Sardinia holidays.

Airbnb is gaining popularity and affords the opportunity to stay in local neighborhoods around the globe. Use this link to get a $20 credit towards your first booking!

TIP: The HotelTonight iOS app, Android app, or HotelTonight mobile website is great for locating last-minute deals in larger cities around the world. They also offer hotels in the Sardinian city of Olbia and the beachy region of Costa Smeralda. If you find yourself on a last minute jet to this upscale region of Sardinia, enter the promo code MMELLI for $25 off your first booking.

Stay tuned for photos and reviews of our Sardinia holiday…

We’ll post details of our Sardinia holiday vacation upon return!

UPDATE: Read about the 10 Day Northern Sardinia holiday itinerary here.

last updated: 07-Oct-2018

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