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Olbia in Sardinia – a beach paradise

Olbia in Sardinia

After talking about visting Sardinia for years, we finally got round to booking a five night trip in early September. Sardinia (or Sardegna as the Italians call it) is a really large island – around 24,000 square kms and almost 2,000 kms of coastline. It has four provinces and three international airports. We opted to fly into and stay in Olbia, which is in the North-East of the island. From London, it’s about a 2 hour 20 minute flight and many airlines fly there.

Now, I’ve seen Instagram pictures of Sardinia and was aware of its stunning beaches… all clear, crystal water and white sand. But seeing it in the flesh still blew me away! I’ve been to the Caribbean and I have to say, Sardinia definitely gives it a run for its money (plus, it’s much closer!). This is Cala Brandinchi, affectionately known as ‘little Tahiti’ and is about a 20 minute drive from Olbia city centre and close to the town of San Teodoro. Can you believe this is in Europe?! We were also very lucky with the weather. Every day was cloudless, hot but not too hot, and sunny.

Cala Brandinchi in Sardinia

What’s amazing about Sardinia is that there are beaches like this EVERYWHERE. It’s not surprising that Sardinian beaches often feature in the ‘best beaches of the world’ awards. I’ve seen a LOT of beaches around the world and not many compare to the ones we saw (and swam in) in Olbia.

Lu Impostu

Lu Impostu


Porto Taverna


Porto Cervo

I’m pretty certain you’d agree that Sardinia’s beaches are spectacular! Of course, if you’re not a ‘beach person’ there are other things to do. Olbia has a lot of shopping malls and Porto Cervo and Porto Rotundo are lovely marinas with (mainly luxury brand) shops and restaurants.

olbia in Sardinia

The historical centre in Olbia is quite small but there is a free National Archaeological Museum to visit. Also, despite there being lots of beaches, Sardinia is also quite rugged and mountainous and there are many hiking trails. If you fancy something a bit different, you can go horse riding.

Horse trail in Olbia

What was really interesting to us about Sardinia – or at least Olbia – was how modern it was. It almost doesn’t feel Italian! Apart from the historical centre, all the houses, shopping centres and resorts are quite new. I’ve never been anywhere in Italy where it is so modern and it reminded me a bit of Kwa-Zulu Natal, where I am from in South Africa. We too have beaches with mountains not too far away and as we’re a relatively new country (in terms of history) our homes and buildings are quite modern. The photo above could easily be the Drakensberg.

If you are looking for a beach holiday then I absolutely recommend you look into Sardinia!

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Oblia in Sardinia

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.




  • Caz

    What a gorgeous place! I was surprised to read you say it was quite modern too, I suppose I hadn’t expected that when I think of Sardinia. I certainly wouldn’t say no to going, perhaps if I win the lottery and could spend a couple of luxurious weeks here… Fab photos! =]

    • Kirsty Marrins

      Thanks Caz! Sardinia’s not as expensive as you might think so hopefully you’ll get to go soon…

  • Serena

    Really beautiful photos! I went to Sardinia once when I was really little so unfortunately I don’t really remember much.

    Serena /

    • Kirsty Marrins

      Thanks Serena! Well, that’s a good excuse to book a trip back then!

  • Simon Harding

    we are going next year for my wife’s 50th – can’t wait

    • Kirsty Marrins

      Exciting, Simon! Enjoy 🙂

  • Rome Guide

    I have been to Sardinia this past summer and it was indeed amazing. Check out the beach of the “pelosetta”.

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