If you are humming and hawing over a trip to Italy but do not want to go through the stress and commotion of the mainland, Sardinia is an ideal place to charter a yacht. Whether your interest lies in merely enjoying the ethereal scenery, exploring the fascinating history of the local island, or sampling exquisite Mediterranean cuisine, Sardinia is sure to provide an experience you will never forget. With a plethora of enthralling activities to choose from, it can be difficult to determine an appropriate itinerary to make the most of your trip. Therefore, to unravel the authentic experience of this majestic island, read on, and follow our yacht charter itinerary to seven days in Sardinia!
Day 1: Alghero
Alghero is a beautiful city on the northwest coast of Sardinia, and the perfect place to begin your journey. Alghero is also home to many “nuraghe”. This refers to the esoteric ruins of old buildings, which have become part of the unique landscape of Sardinia. Thus the first place we recommend you visit is the historic nuraghe Palmavera. The origin of this ancient nuraghe dates as far as back as the Bronze Age, and the towers are still a sight to behold.
Once you have explored the nuraghe, you could head to the necropolis of Anghelu Ruju, which is about a fifteen-minute drive away. This ancient necropolis offers guided tours of the tombs and artifacts that are still preserved in all their glory.
For lunch, we recommend the Prosciutteria Sant Miquel, which has an excellent ambiance in addition to offering sumptuous selections of cured meats, cheese, and local wines, which are both delectable and fulfilling.
After that, spend the rest of the day at the Regional Natural Park of Porto Conte, a stunning park on the sea which includes various activities to strike your fancy such as hiking trails, a beach, and a collection of superb restaurants if you feel hungry again.
Make sure to take in your first Sardinian sunset! If you are still at the park, the beach offers a good enough view. However, if you have about fifteen minutes, we suggest a ride down to Spiaggia di Maria Pia, one of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see. Indeed, in certain sections of the vast beach, the lack of tourists will make you feel almost as if it were your own private island, with just you, your friends, and the crashing of the waves as the sun sinks towards a majestic sunset.
Day 2: Alghero – Capo Caccia
Once you have sailed to Capo Caccia in your yacht, you will want to head straight for the Grotta Di Nettuno. Also known as Neptune’s Grotto, it is one of the most startling marine caves that draws in all the tourists. The spectacular assembly of illuminated rock formations is a sight to behold. A yacht excursion from there is just half the fun. The dazzling deep bay of Porto en route is sure to mesmerize you. Of course, you could also reach it on your own by descending and then re-ascending the 654 steps of the magnificent Escala del Cabriol. However, this gigantic staircase that many opt to climb (due to its beauty and breathtaking juxtaposition of a sheer cliff and blue sea) is not something you should consider unless you are in the mood for some serious exercise!
Although it is a little difficult to reach, we recommend the Club Capo Caccia for food. Not only is their ambiance welcoming and cozy, but the food is also splendid, and the illuminated swimming pool really sets the tone.
If you have had enough of caves, stalactites and stalagmites, head down to the Spiaggia Mugoni beach, where the protected waters and white sand make for the most picturesque place where tourists often try out water sports like kayaking and windsurfing for the first time.
Day 3: Capo Caccia – Porto Rafael
Porto Rafael is a hidden gem. It is known for its quiet, secluded nature and usually far from the invasion of a huge crowd. The buildup to the popularity of the place has a recent but an interesting story behind it. The small resort of Porto was founded by Raphael Neville on the NE coast of Sardinia in the late 1950s. His father’s wish was to make him an architect but he completely disregarded his desire and became a chorus dancer, before made a trip to Sardinia where he found the love of his life. He decided to buy a small piece of land between Baia di Nelson and Punta Sardegna, hence starting the journey of his eponymous resort. He began the construction of a small resort with the help of his friend, the American actress Shirley Douglas. Celebrities thenceforth started building houses as it was completely beaten off the track which helped them evade the prying eyes of the paparazzi.
The place fortunately still maintains the charm. The serene atmosphere, small beaches, and the characteristic bars are all there. If you are willing to put your adrenaline to test, try the water sports. If not, succumb to the laid-back nature and indulge in the traditional Sardinian foods at the Agriturismo.
Day 4: Porto Rafael – Costa Smeralda/La Maddalena
Among the many beaches, you will find in Sardinia, Costa Smeralda is probably one of the most well-known. It is an ideal spot to take in the sound of waves crashing against the land that stretches over 20km from a town called Oblia to the northern point.
If you would rather stay away from the noise, move towards the national park of Maddalena. The beaches over there serve as a testament to the myths of paradise in heaven. Unlike the usual green parks you are used to, this one consists of minute islands surrounded by seas of startling blue. You can either take your yacht around the island or settle down by enjoying the sandy shores and the local goods.
While there, you could also try scuba diving, with many companies along the beaches providing scuba diving lessons. The expert divers there will take you to the best spots, where the underwater fish and plant life will leave you awestruck.
As always, make sure to enjoy as much of the local cuisine as possible. Sottovento, in particular, is renowned for serving some of the best pasta on the island.
And lastly, if you have still had time, drop by The Museo Diocesano La Maddalena to learn about the local history. This museum boasts a fascinating collection of jewelry, paintings, and religious artifacts dating as far back as the 16th century, which will help you really appreciate the local heritage.
Day 5: Costa Smeralda – Cagliari
Caligari is situated in the south and also known as the capital city of the island. It is the pivot of all the crazy adventures and a buzzing hub of other activities.
Whether you want to continue the journey with a laid-back attitude by relaxing on the beach or partake in the frisky nightlife, the capital has something for everyone.
The local museums are some of the main attractions of the area. You will definitely put the 13th-century cathedral, Cattedrale di Santa Maria, on your checklist. The exterior is full of baroque décor, immersing you in the vibrancy of carefully done details.
You must also put Durke on your list which is translated as sweet in English. The old-fashioned sweet-store serves sweets and treats according to the traditional recipes. There is a lot to choose from Amaretti di Sardegna, saffron cheesecakes, light ricotta or the papassinos filled with fruit and nut. You can also box up a few to take home with you when you will undoubtedly want to relive your experience later.
Day 6: Cagliari – Villasimius
Another place that simply cannot be foregone is Villasimius, located just 35 kilometers away from Cagliari. To begin your day, visit the Marine Protected Area Capo Carbonara, where the fascinating rock formations under the sea make it an ideal place to go snorkeling.
From there, take your yacht to the Spiaggia di Porto Giunco, where you can recover from your snorkeling by lounging on the white sand beach while admiring the pink flamingos that this beach is famous for.
For lunch, we recommend Sa Tinkitta, one of the best restaurants of Villasimius, particularly renowned for its succulent pizza and seafood. Be warned, though; its popularity means you will definitely not get any seats without reservations!
Once you have had your fill, make your way to the crown jewel of Villasimius: the Cape Carbonara. This promontory provides the backdrop for the most tranquil beach, with magnificent, postcard-worthy panoramic views supplemented with the sweet aroma of Corsican maquis plants permeating the air. An absolutely divine place to spend the rest of the evening!
Day 7: Back to Alghero
So, the day you have dreaded throughout the trip is finally here. You take your yacht back to Alghero from Cagliari, but you still find yourself wanting more. Why not just go out a bit to enjoy the luscious weather of Sardinia before you head back home? Indulge in the local ritual of passeggiata – the custom of walking around the town in the late afternoons and evenings to admire the nightlife and socialize. Shop around the local market, buy some souvenirs to take home. You can even pick up some fresh local products so that you can try a recipe you have loved at one of the restaurants. Or maybe settle down on the beach for a well-deserved rest while you top up the very last of your tan.