All you need to know about Santa Teresa di Gallura
Sardinia, where the sky and the sea meet at the horizon, where at sunset everything seems like a fairytale, where art and culture coexist in beautiful synergy. You don’t always need to take a long-haul flight to find breathtaking beaches and landscapes. Sardinia.
For many years I dreamed of spending my holidays in this wonderful island and, in 2016, my dream finally came true. I went to Santa Teresa di Gallura, in the northern part of Sardinia, opposite Corsica.
I loved this place, from the bottom of my heart, and I loved it so much that I came back for two consecutive years. In this article, I will not dwell on the beauty of this town and the incredible sunsets because of this I have already spoken at length in my article ‘The breathtaking sunsets of Santa Teresa di Gallura’. Instead, this time I would like to focus on the most practical aspect of a holiday and advise you on everything I have personally tested in terms of transport, food and accommodation.
HOW TO TRAVEL TO SARDINIA
There are two ways to get there and I’ve tried them both:
- By plane: there are direct flights to Sardinia (Cagliari, Olbia, Alghero) from most Italian airports. Flights are more frequent in summer, of course. I opted for an Easyjet fly from Marco Polo airport (Venice). Our return ticket, purchased 2 months in advance, was €30;
- By ferry: you can reach different areas of Sardinia depending on where on the mainland you take the ferry. I opted for the Grimaldi Lines ferry from Livorno to Olbia. We paid around €150 for a return trip for two people and a moped.
HOW TO GET TO SANTA TERESA DI GALLURA
If you’re interested in staying here it’s best to either land at Olbia airport or getting the ferry to Olbia or Porto Torres.
Once you arrive in Sardinia with your vehicle, it’ll take about 1 hour to reach Santa Teresa di Gallura.
If you arrive at Olbia airport, there are several alternatives for getting around:
- the bus: visit the tourist board’s website for detailed information, but I anticipate that buses aren’t that frequent and it may not ideal to rely on them;
- taxis: call +39 (0) 789 69150 to book;
- rent a car or moped: there are many websites that promote their car rental service, you just have to choose the one that best suits your needs (price, size of the car, number of days, etc.).
Personally, the first year I got to Sardinia I had a scooter and the second year I rented a car with a well-known car-rental site (you can find loads on the web). I paid €75 euros for a small city car (a Toyota Aygo) for 8 days without any insurance (an additional 130 to 250 euros).
THINGS TO DO IN SANTA TERESA DI GALLURA?
Depending on whether you want to travel within a 5-km radius rather than 50, I recommend some unmissable places.
Whatch this video if you want!
- The Longonsardo tower: located within a short distance from the town center, it overlooks the sea and the Rena Bianca beach;
- The Rena Bianca beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. A natural basin of sea and nature that will amaze you with its crystalline waters;
- The Lu Brandali Nuragic complex: absolutely recommended for all lovers of nature and history. It’s like going back in time to 5,000 years ago. I visited this archeological site with Stefania, an excellent tour guide;
- The Lighthouse of Capo Testa: a magical place and, to be honest, one of the most beautiful that I have ever seen in Sardinia. In my opinion, the best moment to visit it is at sunset when the sun rays paint the sky and the rocks in pale shades of pink;
- The Moon Valley: close to Capo Testa, a few hundred meters before the town of Faro. An impervious path will lead you to a valley that will leave you breathless at any time of day but especially at sunset. Many of the caves in this valley are still inhabited to this day.
- The Maddalena Archipelago: you’ll need to go to the port of Palau and take the ferry to the port of La Maddalena. You’ll arrive right in the heart of this picturesque town, with a beautiful promenade and a long road that leads to the island of Caprera;
- Caprera: if you are on La Maddalena island then you cannot go to Caprera. One road divides them. Driving here is considered quite dangerous because there are no side barriers, so beware!
- Porto Cervo: if you want to enjoy the luxury of the Costa Smeralda, then this is the place. Prestigious hotels, boutiques to rival those of Via Condotti in Rome, large anchored yachts great and opulence. I talk about this place at greater length in my article “An afternoon of luxury with EasyTerra in Porto Cervo”.
WHERE TO EAT IN SANTA TERESA DI GALLURA
As soon as you arrive in Sardinia you realize the infinite number of traditional restaurants, taverns and bars that can be found here. In Santa Teresa, the regional cuisine from Gallura is, of course, the most popular one.
Before leaving for a holiday I often ask my friends for recommendations on what to eat and so I did this time too, on Facebook.
Needless to say, I received hundreds of messages. Below, I list the most recommended dishes:
- Malloreddus alla campidanese
- Fregola with clams
- Fregola with seafood
- Fregola with artichokes and Sardinian sausage
- Bread and cheese of all kinds and shapes
- Grilled pecorino
- Dried sausages (those from Nuoro have UNESCO World Heritage status)
- Gallura soup
- Roasted piglet (purceddu)
- Bread stuffed with tomatoes cooked in a wood oven
- Vernaccia sea bream
- Raw spiny artichokes
- Civraxiu bread
- Frattau bread
- Panade, pasta disks with “stew” pork inside with fennel
- Sweets of cooked wine
- Pardulas or sweets made of cheese or ricotta and saffron
- Bitter almonds sweets
I tried several places in Santa Teresa but I would recommend 2, very different from one another:
- Agriturismo sardo da Paolina, near the town of Saltara. You can read my review at the following link ‘Traditional Sardinian food at the agriturismo “Da Paolina“, in Santa Teresa di Gallura’
- Il Giardino Restaurant Pizzeria. You can read my review at the following link ‘Flavors of Sardinia? Il Giardino restaurant and pizzeria’
WHERE TO STAY IN SANTA TERESA DI GALLURA
Santa Teresa di Gallura is a town with just over 5,000 inhabitants that in the summer attracts tens of tourists, both Italian and foreign.
Based on my experience I recommend you stay in a central location, one that is easily accessible from the most famous beach in the area: the Rena Bianca. The crystal-clear water and breathtaking views will leave you speechless. My advice is to take a look at the Lungoni Apartments which are located in the most convenient area in town.
Below is a brief interview with the owners:
- How many apartments are there? There are 12: 3 studios, 6 two-room apartments and 3 three-room apartments.
- Where are the apartments located? There are 2 In Via Nazionale and in Via Cairoli
- What’s each apartment’s square footage and how many people can each apartment accommodate?
- The Mono apartment is 40 sqm and can accommodate 2 people.
- The Bilo apartment is 50 square meters and can accommodate up to 4 people .
- The Trilo apartment is about 70 sqm and can accommodate 6 people.
- What are the apartments’ amenities? All apartments come with a washing machine, a TV, air conditioning and parking.
- When can you book and what’s the minimum stay? The minimum stay is 7 days and we’re open April to October.
- Is it possible to rent bicycles, scooters, cars for those who reach Santa Teresa by plane? Yes, you can either rent a car, a bike or a scooter.
- Any excursions you recommend from Santa Teresa di Gallura? The Maddalena archipelago and the Corsican islands.
I stayed in a two-room apartment on Via Nazionale (10 minutes walk from the Rena Bianca beach) which was very comfortable for two people and could have easily accommodated 4. Clean, spacious and fully-equipped.
I hope you find this info useful. For any other question, you can contact me or the owners through their Facebook Page directly.
Have a great Sardinian holiday! 🙂