Sardinia is one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Turquoise waters, dramatic coastlines, and quintessential Italian villages are the highlights of exploring the coast of Sardinia. And what better way to immerse yourself into this natural beauty then booking a luxury sailing trip!
In this blog we will share our 7 day itinerary for sailing the best parts of Sardinia aboard our luxury catamaran. Leaving from Olbia we headed South towards the Gulf of Orosei, then stopping at Porto Cervo on our way back up to the La Maddalena Archipelago.
Want to see other sailing trips we’ve shared? Check out these blogs:
Looking for more information on the places we visited in Sardinia? We have these Travel Guides too:
Chartering a Sailing Boat
We’ve visited Sardinia before and immediately fell in love. We visited the Sardinian islands of La Maddalena for 2 weeks and couldn’t get enough of this natural paradise. Because there’s so much untouched nature to experience that can only be accessed by boat, we wanted to come back this time to explore by catamaran.
For our boat charter, we chose to sail with Dream Yacht Charters. We have sailed with DYC before in Australia, Bahamas, and French Polynesia. They has amazing boats that are very comfortable and luxurious, as well as having an amazing team of skippers that add so much to the enjoyment of your trip. We chose to charter a four bedroom Catamaran for 7 days.
Previously we have skippered catamarans ourselves (aka ‘bareboating’), however in Italy you need a Sailing Qualification that we don’t have. So instead, we invited some friends and DYC provided a very friendly Italian skipper (Dimetrio) who took care of all our sailing duties. This meant we got to sit back and truly relax on this memorable trip of Sardinia.
Dream Yacht Charters have a HQ in the town of Olbia, which is on Sardinia’s North-East coast. This location is perfect to start a charter, as there is a major airport located right there. It’s also perfectly placed to explore two very different (but equally amazing) parts of Sardinia. Going North, you can access the La Maddalena archipelago. Going South, you can reach the Baunei Coast. More on this to come!
Our 7 Day Sailing Itinerary
We planned to go North to see the archipelago of La Maddalena. This place is best experienced by sea. Most of the highlight locations cannot be reached by road and some islands have no inhabitants. By sailing through this region means that you can be permanently positioned at the most beautiful places, without the hassle of hiring boats and navigating from shore each day.
Unfortunately we had a few days of high winds forecast, meaning we did half the days at sea in La Maddalena archipelago. But it meant that we got to explore some amazing places South of Olbia, where the seas were much calmer.
We would recommend choosing either North to La Maddalena or South to the Gulf of Orosei / Baunei Coast. This will allow enough time to enjoy the area without long days of navigation. But because we had challenging weather and an amazing skipper, our best option was to squeeze in a little of both areas!
Here’s how we spent one week sailing in Sardinia!
Day 1 – Jump Aboard your Luxury Catamaran
On our first day we very excitedly boarded our floating home for the next week. Arriving into Olbia airport, we had short drive to the marina where we were given a tour of our boat. These catamarans have cozy bedrooms, each with little ensuite bathrooms. There’s a decent sized kitchen with fridge, stovetop and oven that can easily handle your cooking needs. Add to this an indoor and outdoor seating area, plus spots to lounge on the front and back decks, and you can’t wait to start living the life at sea.
But before that, we spent the first day with onboarding, meeting our skipper & planning our route, and provisioning food and drinks. Usually you can jump aboard in the afternoon. After settling in, we decided to hit Olbia town for our last meal ashore. The first night is usually spent at the marina, since you’ll need the light of a new day to start navigating to your first location.
Day 2 – Head South to Posada
Today we set sail! An early start and we left the marina, heading South down the coast past the massive cliff-ringed island of Tavolara. We checked a few spots and found an amazing stretch of white sand beach at La Cinta Beach. The coastline here is stunning. Huge mountains as a backdrop from the main island, and perfect clear water. We swam and enjoyed life here with our first sit-down lunch of pasta and Vermentino wine.
Continuing South, we arrived in time for our first incredible sunset. We anchored near the town of Posada – a tiny little town built onto a lonesome hill. Add to this an incredible moonrise and life was good!
Day 3 – The Gulf of Orosei
This is the part where you can reach the Gulf of Orosei. This area – especially the Baunei Coast, South of Cala Gonome – boasts sheer cliffs, rock structures, caves and tiny beaches. Only possible to reach by boat (except for a few hiking paths), this coastline is protected from mass tourism and development thanks to its geography. And did I mention the insane emerald waters?
Your adventure here will likely include Cala Goloritze, Cala Mariolu and The Pools of Venus (to name a few of our favourite spots), and you can the spend days enjoying ‘la dolce vita’ (the good life)! Check out these places and more in our Baunei Coast Blog.
For us though, it was time to turn North and start heading back up to La Maddalena archipelago.
Day 4 – Porto Cervo and arrive to La Maddalena
Well worth a stop on the coastline South of Olbia is the trendy Porto Cervo. Take your tender ashore among mega yachts and stroll the streets of this manicured town. Designer boutique stores and a few restaurants can be found here. If arriving in the morning, like us, there’s not many restaurants open. But you’ll probably find the same spot we did for some Shakerado coffees before a gelato stop on the way back to the boat.
After spending some time ashore, we then headed towards La Maddalena. The navigations are so relaxing (especially if weather is good). There’s spots to sunbake, sleep in the shade, read a book, or have a few drinks and a good chat with your crew. Chesh also loved hanging with our skipper at the helm, helping out with navigation and putting the sails up. There’s something so energising about working with nature to reach your destination.
We made it to La Maddelena! We had booked ahead for a berth at La Maddalena marina for the night and arrived in time for apertivo. This seaside village is so cute and we’ve stayed here twice before – check out more on our La Maddalena blog. Colourful buildings, small pedestrian laneways, and a bustling yet uncrowded atmosphere is what you will find here. We found a spot for Negronis, before enjoying the best pizzas for dinner.
Day 5 – Cala Coticcio
This was without a doubt our most anticipated spot of the trip. Cala Coticcio is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen. A tiny little protected beach surrounded by a rocky coastline and the most insane clear blue waters in the Mediterranean.
As of recent years, there’s limits to the number of people that can visit this beach (max 60 people daily) so it is even more special to see this place. We anchored off the beach and swam in the neon blue waters for hours. Although you can’t come ashore without a permit (more on this in our La Maddelena blog), you can climb the orange rocks that are dotted across the cove to soak up the sun. We all headed back to the back with huge smiles!
Day 6 – ‘The Natural Swimming Pool’
Another highlight day was sailing up to the islands of Spaggi and ‘The Natural Swimming Pool’. The latter is actually a section of white sandy lagoon that is enclosed between the islands of Budelli, Razzoli and Santa Maria. It’s here that you can find many boats mooring for the day to swim and enjoy the calm conditions. We took the tender to explore the lagoon, finding a tiny rock island covered in prickly pear cactus that we photographed, before heading back to the boat for a late lunch and wine in the sun. To top it off, there was a boat selling ice-creams that we dunked into our espressos for some improv affogatos!
We found one last mooring spot for the night out of the wind, and sang and danced until we were tired. A great end to our time at sea!
Day 7 – Return to Olbia
Our last morning consisted of a slow navigation back to Olbia, passing via Golf Aranci to see dolphins playing in the channel.
Upon reaching the marina, we decided to have one last night in Olbia together as a group and reflect on an amazing week with nature and with each other.
We love sailing trips, and this was one very memorable way to experience Sardinia.
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