Olbia Shore Excursions
At the foot of the Isola Blanca dock stands Olbia’s modern Museo Archeologico (Archaelogical Museum). It’s jammed pack full of rare artifacts excavated from around Sardinia, such the only Roman boat in Italy, Phoenician pottery, Cartaginian vases and Punic urns. After your (free) visit to the museum one idea is to stroll southwards along the newly developed ‘lungomare’ (promenade), to enjoy the sea air and panoramic views across the bay
Olbia cannot boast to be a city full of ‘must sees’, but a rewarding hour can be spent on a walking tour following the streets of the historic center. Start at the main street , Corso Umberto, which is flanked by attractive 19th century buildings, now mainly shops. Several small, characterful piazzas make a great place for a refreshment stop – try Piazza Regina Margherita, at the intersection of Corso Umberto and Via Regina Elina, or continue a stone’s throw along Via Regina Elina to find Piazza Matteotti. Continue along Corso Umberto, then head right up Via San Simplicio to reach the Romanesque Chiesa di San Simplicio, a beautiful church built from granite in the 11th century.
Pittulongu beach, just 3 miles(5km) east of Olbia, is a long white sand beach, lapped by crystal clear turquoise waters. Numerous restaurants, bars and a small market behind the beach offer refreshments. The beach is easy to reach by taxi, or the #4 bus which has a stop on the Via San Simplicio.
Costa Smeralda, which translates to ‘Emerald Coast’, certainly lives up to its name, as it’s a drop dead gorgeous stretch of coastline on the northern shore of Sardinia, very popular with the rich and famous. It’s a favorite for shore excursions, which typically visit Cala di Volep, Porto Cervo and Baia Sardinia.
Another popular shore excursion is Maddalena Island. A short coach trip from Olbia takes you to the town of Palau, where you board a ferry to reach the island. The region has a rich history – in the 18th century it served for a short time as home to Admiral Nelson's fleet, and in the 20th century it was Garibaldi's favorite summer retreat. The island is now a national park boasting spectacular granite cliffs with unspoilt beaches below and verdant forests behind.
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