DISCOVERING THE GULF OF OLBIA
The Gulf of Olbia overlooks the Tyrrenian coast of Sardinia and owns its name to the city of Olbia, that has roman origins. The shape of the Gulf reminds of a fjord. The area extends from Capo Figari up to Capo Ceraso and it includes some of the most well-known tourist destinations of the whole Island. Thanks to long beaches of fine sand, water with many shades of colours and a flourished Mediterranean scrub, this location became a tourist destination for nature, beach and sport lovers, who consider this side of the island the best place to spend their holiday while enjoying the typical Sardinian hospitality.
Among the most fascinating beaches of the Gulf of Olbia we must mention the following: Porto Taverna with its spacious beach of fine sand, its shallow water and suggestive pond that make this place one of the most interesting of the region for its endemic fauna; Costa Dorata with its long beach of golden sand and water with colours between light blue and emerald; the beach of Marina Maria, that belongs to the district of Murta Maria, known for the numerous seashells of different sizes and shapes that can be found on the beach and that can’t be taken away because protected by regional law.
Besides discovering the natural beauties of the region, this area offers many other activities and itineraries: walking along the shopping streets in Costa Smeralda, that can be easily reached in few minutes by car, tasting delicious fish specialities in wonderful places like Porto Rotondo, visiting sites of cultural and historical interests that surround Olbia and that can be found in the area that goes from the city centre to the renewed tourist harbour.
A port city full of life and with a great past
Olbia was built in a strategic area, it is the main access point to the Island and the business driver of Gallura. This flourishing city on the beach has a great past that can be seen in the old city centre where several naval relics were found and are now exhibited in the Museum of the Sea, known for having the shape of a big boat. Olbia is appreciated not only for its harbour, where 3 million tourists land every year but also for the shopping, the small markets with handicrafts, the nightlife and the several bars that can be found in the main street, Corso Umberto I.
13km | 17 minutes by car
The romantic and fascinating cathedral of the protector of Olbia
The minor basilica of Saint Simplicio, consecrated to the Protector of Olbia, is located in the heart of the city, only few steps from Corso Umberto I. It was built between the end of XI and the beginning of XII and represents the main religious monument of Gallura thanks to the recent archaeological digs that brought back to the surface an ancient necropolis. The basilica was built and decorated following the Romanesque style. It is made of a three-sided façade, the inside has been decorated with granite slabs and some faded frescoes, that represent the Saint, can still be admired. The remains of the Saint, that were discovered during archaeological digs in the crypt, are still kept under the altar.
13km | 18 minutes by car
PAUL THE APOSTLE
The church with a fascinating dome that stands out from the city
The church of Saint Paul the Apostle can be found in the city centre of Olbia and was built during the Middle Age on top of the remains of a pagan temple. The building has a main rectangular area with three chapels that gives the church the shape of a cross. The dome was built during the 1963 and decorated with colourful majolica that form a mosaic, which allows visitor to recognize and reach the church even from long distances. Among the many remains that are kept inside the church it is possible to admire some silver artefacts, such as a halo, and sandals dated back to 1600.
13km | 19 minutes by car
A colourful and picturesque village, among bridges and modern pieces of art.
Porto Rotondo is one of the most well-known and trendy districts of Olbia, chosen as summer residence from stars and sail enthusiasts for its small wonderful bays and the exclusive clubs. The architecture of the village, with its bridges of wood, reminds vaguely of Venice. Here the Counts Donà dalle Rose were born and for this reason they decided to choose Porto Rotondo as a tourist port, which became a safe landing place for hundreds of luxurious boats. This location was embellished with the church designed by the artists Cascella e Ceroli.
28km | 32 minutes by car
Where Sardinian tourism has started, the elite place par excellence
The part of the coast that belongs to Gallura, an old region in the north-east of Sardinia, is well-known in the whole world for its crystal-clear water, its architecture made of several colours and shapes, the night life and the high-quality services. Only few know that this corner of paradise owns its name not to the colour of the sea water but to the Association “Costa Smeralda”, founded in 1962 from the prince Aga Khan, who decided to name this part of Sardinia after Esmeralda Mentasti, the daughter of the owner of the company San Pellegrino, who loved swimming in this sea.
37km | 40 minutes by car
A small jewel where you can spend a cheerful day or set out to discover the surrounding area
Baja Sardinia is fan-shaped and adorned by wind-polished rocks with many shapes. Since the Fifties the turquoise water and the long sandy coastline have made this location one of the most popular destinations for anyone who loves Sardinia and enjoys a holiday full of activities. In this area it is possible to scuba-dive and windsurf, do trekking and discover the old military building, visit the surrounding archipelagos setting sail from one of the small ports and lastly, spend some pleasant evenings in a restaurant by the sea or have fun in one of the popular clubs.
44km | 45 minutes by car