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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Olbia

Olbia Holidays

On the north-eastern corner of the island of Sardinia is Olbia, a port city with a long history and constant tourism as it also houses one of the island's airports. Although it's considered a transit city, Olbia has more than enough to offer for those sticking around.

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A place for wanderers

Perhaps it's the fact that Olbia is home to both one of Sardinia's ports and its airport, but this is undoubtedly a city for travellers. Whether people are just passing through, or sticking around to enjoy all the cultural and historical heritage and amusements that holidays in Sardinia have to offer, ambling between cafes and restaurants is one of the most popular activities here.

Take your time and explore this laid-back port city, drifting between beaches and leisurely lunches. The historic centre isn't expensive, so days sitting in bars and in the sun isn't going to be too much of a stretch on the purse strings during cheap Sardinia holidays.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Sardinian
  • GMT +1

Sights and sounds of Olbia

The Museo Archeologico should be top of any keen history buff's activity list. Olbia's archaeological museum was designed by architect Vanni Macciocco, and is home to a grand collection of Roman and medieval exhibits, and organises ongoing excavations in Sardinia. Plus a view of the harbour from the museum makes for an atmospheric day out.

A beautiful basilica - the San Simplicio - can be found just north of Olbia station. Built in the late 11th century, this church is an understated stone build, set atop of a small hill, perfect for photos, or a lazy stroll looking at the hand painted pictures of saints inside.

It's also definitely worth making time to visit the Giant's Grave, a collection of megalithic Sardinian stones. The name Giant's Grave is a locally given one for the graves erected in the Bronze Age. Similar to our own Stonehenge, Giant's Grave is a magnificent feat of an antiquated time.

Lavish lifestyle along the coast

Considered one of the most luxurious and exclusive spots in Europe, yachts land regularly along the Costa Smeralda around Olbia. There are some VIP clubs in the area that have lavish and pricey drinks menus, but it's just pocket change for the locals. However, stick to the bars in Olbia and you'll find very affordable prices and menus that cater to holiday-goers.

A trip around the coast is nothing if not a sight to behold, with luxury coming as standard. However, if you want to just lie back and enjoy the free sun, sand and sea, then it's ideal for you too.

Sun, sand and sea

The northern coastal area of Costa Smeralda, that takes in Olbia, is home to some of Sardinia's most loved beaches. This 20 kilometre stretch of coast has numerous beaches, so there's lots to go round.

For the simpler side of life, visit Porto Istana, a secluded beach spot in Olbia. You can reach four other beaches from Porto Istana, but the main stretch is clean and quiet, with very little evidence of the area's tourist trade. It's great for kids too, with a long and shallow gradient, meaning you can wade far out into the water without ever being out of your depth, and all the while tiny fish dart beneath you.

The clear waters on the northern coast of Sardinia make it an ideal spot for snorkelling and scuba-diving, with many companies renting out equipment. There are also plenty of opportunities to go fishing, with some coastal restaurants offering to barbecue your own catch.

A family friendly spot

Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park is a fantastic opportunity to get the little ones excited by mother nature's bounty of Sardinian wildlife. Sardinia's coastal reserve is home to dolphins, beautiful islands and scenic hiking opportunities.

12,000 hectares, including 180 kilometres of coast, makes up this national park, so there's more than enough for the whole family to enjoy while on holiday to the beautiful city of Olbia.