As a busy couple living in a busy (and chaotic) European city like Rome, it sounds very exciting the idea of a change of landscape like the one offered by Sardinia. The preparation of a long trip looks like something really difficult, but in my experience the more you travel the less you really really need to bring with you; and even this trip, exploring a few locations of the two beautiful mediterranean island we planned to visit, makes no difference.
A 24 hours suitcase is more than enough to keep all the “nécessaire”. Things are different for the ladies though but this is also expected 🙂
The adventure starts with a commute from Rome to the Civitavecchia harbour where we took a ~7 hours ferry and slept in a comfortable cabin before starting the drive from Olbia to Palau (our base for exploring Maddalena)
Getting a plane for Olbia would have been much easier but the experience of the sea breeze and salty water in your face at the sunrise is a fantastic tradeoff!
Sardinia is a big island and this time we decided to explore the North-eastern part; the location chosen for exploring this area is the wonderful Palau. It’s in the Province of Sassari, about ~30 kilometres (~19 mi) northwest of Olbia. The city name refers to the Catalan-Aragonese conquest of the 14th century (“palau” as in “palace”) and nowadays is a small village with a nice harbour with promenade and cozy restaurants and bars, with a main square that offers featured events during summer season.
Also the city beaches are not bad, clean water, pine forest to get some shade from the hot sunrays and a picturesque light house unleashing the fascination of the ’60.
Our favourite spots for the summer time here are:
– la Sciumara beach
– Porto faro beach
– Manenna beach
– Cala Capra
– Barca Bruciata
Worth to mention also the few spots we frequently hit for dinner when hanging out:
But what really represents the blending of Italian and Sardinian culture is home cooking! Yes, the nice villa we’ve chosen as our base has a little cozy kitchen where we prepared some great spaghetti vongole e bottarga and a local dessert named “seadas”. It is prepared by deep-frying a large dumpling ( ~10 cm in diameter) filled of soured Pecorino cheese and lemon or orange peel and finally covered with honey. It’s a real delicatessen.
The time of a few days of relax and then the first big excursion planned: the visit to the Maddalena and Caprera islands!
The two island are part of the Maddalena Archipelago and you can’t avoid mentioning that Napoleon Bonaparte, Admiral Nelson, and Giuseppe Garibaldi all have historical ties with these islands, indeed the excursion starts with another (short) ferry trip from Palau to Maddalena (the other village on the homonym island). Arriving on the other end feels like you’re in a completely different location, even if you are just 15 minutes away from Palau!
Here is the one day trip discovering the beauty of these unspoiled beaches:
Before leaving Maddalena, as a true Italian demands, we also paid tribute to Giuseppe Garibaldi’s house and tomb in Caprera.
The time ran very fast and we’re not exactly fast as Japaneses when touring a place! 🙂 So the other relevant excursion we took was a late evening when we decided to go to Porto Cervo and see the astounding yachts of the harbour or the luxury boutiques of the village (not second to Via Condotti)!
The weather wasn’t good the day of another great excursion that we planned and I highly recommend. This is an entire day cruise with a sailing boat touching all the island of the archipelago. Good memories of it from the first time we did it, not lucky enough to make it again.. but our trip continues.