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Itinerary among 5 of the most suggestive villages of northern Sardinia

Tuesday 28 january 2020

From Olbia to Porto Torres, an itinerary that will lead us to the discovery of five fantastic Sardinian villages between the sea and the hinterland

Itinerary among 5 of the most suggestive villages of northern Sardinia

Our journey begins after a ferry crossing to Olbia where, after visiting the historic center and its wonders, we will be able to leave by car following the SS125 northwards, to Palau, to board a boat bound for our first destination , the island of La Maddalena and its village. The journey, starting mid-morning from the port city, should last about an hour and a half, therefore, upon arrival we can enjoy an excellent fish-based lunch in one of the many restaurants overlooking the sea or in the picturesque center of the village.

La Maddalena

Renowned tourist destination, the island of La Maddalena, and the territory of the National Park of the archipelago of the same name, offer breathtaking views both above and below the sea level thanks to the many beaches, the rock formations, its crystal clear sea and the colorful backdrops . Among the most important monuments of the village we will notice the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, built in the late 1700s in Baroque style, while if we move to the island of Caprera we will be able to visit the Garibaldi Compendium, a series of places where the hero of the two worlds he lived the last years of his life and, in addition to a museum dedicated to him, his grave can be found.
Leaving the beautiful island behind us, we take the ferry back to Palau and take the SS113 towards the second leg of our journey which will take us to another characteristic Sardinian village, Aggius, in the historic region of Gallura. The journey takes just over an hour and a half, but will take us through hills, valleys and small towns typical of this inland area.


The curious village, also remembered as a "forgers center" and "republic for forty-eight hours", lies at the foot of the Aggius Mountains, from which you can enjoy a panorama that ranges from Asinara to the Maddalena archipelago and the Costa Smeralda. In Aggius we cannot fail to taste the typical Gallura soup, with slices of stale bread, fresh cheese, grated cheese, parsley and pepper. Our stay in Aggius will be delighted with a visit to the Museum of Banditry or to the Ethnographic Museum Oliva Cannas, which contains the Gallurese popular culture from 1600 to today in a highly suggestive structure.
Starting from Aggius, along the SP74 road that will take us to our next destination, we can visit two suggestive locations: the Santa Degna Park, an ideal place for families, children and those who love relaxation and nature, accessible from the scenic road overlooking the town, and the Valle della Luna, a fascinating place where you can admire bizarre forms of granite dating back to the ice age, in Li Parisi.

Zuppa Gallurese

After a journey of forty minutes along the SP74, the SP58 and the SP90, along which we will cross an inland rich in interesting naturalistic views both hilly and maritime, we will arrive at the third stop of our journey, the village of Castelsardo but not before having had a close look at the picturesque "Elephant rock" a few kilometers before the village, along the SP90.

Roccia dell'Elefante

Reaching this third stage you will be enchanted by the village overlooking the Gulf of Asinara from the top of a fortress overlooking the sea. Looking towards the sea, the village overlooks a spectacle of coasts, inlets, natural landings. Corsica can also be seen! A village with an ancient history and perfectly preserved, Castelsardo is built on the fortress and surrounded by its mighty walls. From the Doria castle, resting on the top of the fortress, to the alleys, the streets, the views of the sea, this village is the quintessence of the Sardinian medieval village. But the landscape and historical aspect is not everything. On the tables of Castelsardo fish dominates and, among the many delicacies, the lobster of Castellano stands out (with a sauce made with the eggs of lobsters). In addition to the wonders of the village, note also the Cathedral of Sant'Antonio Abate also visible from the Doria castle and positioned overlooking the sea.

Cattedrale di Sant'Antonio Abate

Our next destination is only 24 minutes by road along the SP90 and the State Road 200 but it will give us unique panoramas among delicate hills and along the Sardinian coast.


And here we are in Sorso. Also a village with a long history and an important center between Porto Torres and Sassari, Sorso boasts of a territory rich in archaeological remains from the pre-nuragic period, despite being of Roman origin. Among the sites worth noting, we can visit the domus de janas of l'Abbiu, the Geridu site and the Santa Filitica site. Sorso also boasts a unique museum of its kind, the Biddas "Museum of abandoned villages in Sardinia", the first Italian museum dedicated to the theme of depopulation, as well as a fountain that "makes people crazy". Sea lovers should not miss a visit to the beaches of Marina di Sorso and Platamona. Before leaving Sorso and leaving for our last stop, we will have to taste one of the local delicacies, such as the lamb guts or the Burrida, based on sea gall and walnut paste.

Marina di Sorso

From Sorso, following the SP25 to Porto Torres, then on the SP34, after about forty minutes of mostly flat road which will give extensive landscapes of a harsh nature, as is typical of the Nurra plain, we will arrive at the small seaside village of Stintino. A sacred place for lovers of tranquility and the sea, Stintino boasts the beautiful Pelosa beach, with its fine white sand and the turquoise-blue sea with a shallow seabed. Of course, the local cuisine is based on fish. Sea urchins, crustaceans, bottarga and other seafood make Stintino's cuisine genuine and unforgettable. We will not have to miss the opportunity to taste the potato and lobster soup, the octopus in garlic or the Stintinese octopus, which we will best enjoy if we close our meal with a typical local myrtle. Among the sites of interest, in the area of the Pelosa beach, we can visit the Torre della Pelosa, an ancient watchtower dating back to the Middle Ages.


Alas, it is time to return "to the continent". Reluctantly we return to the SP34 in the direction of Porto Torres, where our boat awaits us towards the "Italian mainland". Along the way we will rethink the landscapes, the delicacies, the surprises that accompanied this itinerary through the villages in the north of Sardinia. Itinerary that can also be done from Porto Torres to Olbia in the opposite direction. There are many alternatives to Sardinia ferries, so it all depends on where you will leave for your return trip.

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