This customized trip includes must see destinations such as Alghero, Castelsardo and Cagliari. From the panoramic beach views, the medieval cliff-hanging citadel-village, to the world-famous “Emerald Coast” – la Costa Smeralda, this trip will be an extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime adventure. This Italian tour offers a unique itinerary and precious memories to be forever cherished.
Please take a look below at the itinerary, which can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
(B)-Breakfast, (L)-Lunch, (D)-Dinner
Meet at JFK Airport for your international flight to Italy.
Transfer from Cagliari Airport to hotel in Cagliari. Dinner in hotel. (D)
Cagliari I Nora I Cagliari
Buongiorno! After a rich and satisfying breakfast in our hotel, we will depart from Cagliari in our private coach bus heading southwest. In approximately 30 minutes, our destination is before us: the beautiful archaeological site of Nora. Situated on a beautiful rocky promontory surrounded by the sea, Nora was the first city of the island. Established by the Phoenicians, it was once the site of three distinct harbors: one sheltered from the west winds and the other two protected from the strong Mistral blowing in from southern France. After a period of Roman prosperity, the city suffered a socio-economic decline; and in the 3rd century AD, Nora was struck by natural disaster as the surrounding sea engulfed the city. Still visible today are the remains of the Carthaginian warehouse and various Roman buildings. Dating from the height of the Empire, these include the baths with splendid mosaics, and a theatre almost completely intact. Lunch will be served in a restaurant located in the center of Cagliari. The focus of the afternoon will be a fascinating visit to the city of Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia. The excursion begins in the colorful quarter known as Marina. It then moves on to the bustling Via Roma, the impressive Town Hall, the city’s refined palaces and its magnificent historic center. Our city tour will also take us to the high Castello quarter still distinguished by its medieval walls. In the evening, you will return to the hotel for leisure time. Dinner is on your own. (B,L)
Cagliari I Barumini I Cagliari
The morning will be dedicated to the visit of the enigmatic nuraghe Barumini, ancient megalithic structures which have come to represent Sardinia. Having been recognized in 1997 for their socio-historical importance by UNESCO, they date back to the 17th Century BC. The enormous beehive-shaped bulk of the nuraghe houses many tholoi – internal burial chambers – of incomparable beauty and skillful perfection. Serving as a welcoming introduction to the origins of Sardinian culture, Su Nuraxi di Barumini are the icons of Nuragic civilization preserving the greatest secrets of this island of towers. Upon conclusion of our morning tour, we will visit the wine-caves of the famous Cantine Argiolas estate where we will have a tasting of Sardinia’s high-quality vintages. Lunch and dinner at leisure. (B)
Cagliari I Bosa I Alghero
After breakfast, our travels take us to Bosa, a lovely seaside town situated on the north bank of Sardinia’s only navigable river, the Temo. With its pastel-colored houses arranged upon a steep hillside leading up to a golden-hued fortress, Bosa welcomes visitors with its vibrant rainbow townscape. It is an extremely pleasant and picturesque destination which combines the cultural interest of its medieval center’s monuments – notably, the imposing Malaspina Castle built in 1122 – with its wide sandy beaches. Lunch in a local restaurant. After a relaxing and restorative meal, we will head towards Alghero via the 30-mile panoramic coastline road. Framed by its unique cliffs which drop dramatically into the crystal-clear sea, the road gives you the impression that you’re flying somewhere between the earth and paradise. With a bit of luck, you may sight the rare griffon vulture, an old-world bird of prey, which has survived only on western Sardinian coastline. Dinner in a restaurant in Alghero located within walking distance from the hotel. (B,L,D)
After enjoying breakfast in our hotel, we will have an entire day dedicated to the visit of Alghero and its surroundings. A walking tour through the city’s gracious medieval center will take us along the narrow-cobbled streets and labyrinthine alleys of this lively, Catalan-influenced old town. Having expelled its original Sardinian and Ligurian founders in the 2nd half of the 14th Century, the Aragonese government of Alghero invited settlers from Barcelona and Valencia to populate it. The resulting cross-cultural blend produced a unique combination of rich historical interest, intriguing architecture, beautiful landscapes and a diverse shopping expensive. Be sure to check out Alghero’s deep-red coral jewelry, an exclusively local artisanal creation and partially responsible for the city’s name. (Alghero from aleguerium, medieval Latin for stagnation of algae). Lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we will continue our sight-seeing with a panoramic tour of Porto Conte and the magnificent promontory of Capo Caccia with its captivating panorama. Afterwards we will visit the wine-caves of Santa Maria la Palma or the Tenute Dettori winery where we will sample some of Sardinia’s finest traditional wines. Dinner at leisure. (B,L)
Full day at leisure. Lunch and dinner as you prefer. (B)
Alghero I Castelsardo I Baja Sardinia
Following breakfast, our group departs Alghero for the province of Sassari on Sardinia’s northern coast. We will be heading towards Castelsardo, a medieval cliff-hanging citadel-village overlooking the sea. Here you can enjoy the stunning views stretching over the whole Gulf of Asinara. The architectural crowning jewel of this town is the summit-topping castle built by the extremely wealthy and powerful Doria family of Genova in 1102. In addition to the local history, culture and beauty, Castelsardo’s shops and markets offer a wide-ranging selection of genuine handicrafts, and homegrown and homemade food items. The tour continues enroute to Sardinia’s northern tip, to the enchanting seaside village of Santa Teresa di Gallura. While riding along the scenic shoreline road, you may spot the French island of Corsica on the northern horizon only 7½ miles away. Following lunch in town, we will wind down the afternoon visiting the world-famous Emerald Coast – la Costa Smeralda – the luxurious holiday destination of the rich and famous. With its incredibly enthralling landscapes, its turquoise and crystalline waters, opulent villas and fabulous hotels, the Costa Smeralda is the summer home to the crème de la crème of the international Jet Set. A sensuous mixture of sun, sea and pleasure, Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda is a veritable earthly paradise! Dinner and overnight stay in a hotel in the Costa Smeralda area. (B,L,D)
Day at leisure. Dinner in hotel. (B,D)
On today’s touring schedule following breakfast, we examine Sardinia’s complex character and history. With an acute focus on the island’s multifaceted culture and gastronomy, we aim to discover the true primeval nature of the land and its people. We will first visit the Museo Etnografico di Nuoro and then share a typical lunch with Sardinian shepherds. The meal is certain to nourish and educate us as they describe traditional customs and folklore preserved over the centuries. In the afternoon, we will visit Orgosolo, a rural village surrounded by the steep sides of mount Supramonte. Here, painted on the walls of the village’s homes and buildings, over one hundred mesmerizing murals can be freely viewed. Orgosolo is a veritable art gallery all’aperto. Displaying a variety of oversized cubist graphics depicting everything from flagrant anti-authoritarian messages to scenes of everyday rural life, this openair artwork has immortalized the village and brought it world-wide fame. Back to the hotel in the Costa Smeralda area for dinner and overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Baja Sardinia to USA
Transfer from Baja Sardinia hotel to Olbia Airport. (B)