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Explore Costa Smeralda - Olbia - Eastern Sardinia with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
When you hire a car in Sardinia, the island’s beautiful beaches, prehistoric puzzles and boulder-strewn canyons all open out to you. Along the way you may pass albino blue-eyed donkeys, as many as four million sheep and thousands of roaming wild horses. There’s certainly enough to keep your eyes out for on the scenic drives through this beautiful Italian island.
With an international airport at its southern and northern tip you can choose where you wish to start your road trip from. Expedia can arrange car hire in Sardinia from either Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport or Cagliari Elmas Airport, or if you have already arranged your own transport from the airport we also offer car hire from many major towns and resorts across the island.
We partner with a vast network of car hire providers to offer you all the latest deals and a wide choice of locations and cars. For those travelling light there are mini-class cars, but we also offer cars suitable for all parties and budgets, including spacious SUVs.
You can book your car hire in Sardinia online in advance of your trip to save any hassle at the airport. To arrange your car hire you simply need to enter the dates that you require and select the most convenient location to pick your car up from. You can choose from a range of available offers on all types of cars.
Every drive in Sardinia is a scenic drive. There are sheer, rocky coasts which conceal splendid small bays, majestic granite sculptures moulded by the elemental forces of the wind and waves, and ancient forests that are perfect for a shaded stroll.
The island’s long winding roads just beg to be explored. So here’s a suggested tour to cover the entire island for when you hire a car in Sardinia.
Start in Cagliari and follow the western coast all the way up to the Costa Smerelda, the playground of the rich and famous in the north of the island. Dropping back down the east coast you’ll finally arrive in the far south of Sardinia, in Villasimius.
Cagliari is a colourful city built on seven hills, all of which slope inevitably down to the sea. Here you can stroll through the narrow streets of the city’s historic quarters and catch a bite to eat before you head off. Driving southwest you’ll pass through extensive wetlands before arriving at the beautiful beaches of Pula and Chia. Nearby you’ll discover one of the most important archaeological sites on Sardinia: the ancient city of Nora.
Continuing to head south you’ll reach Cape Spartivento, at the very bottom of the island. From here it’s a scenic drive up the coast to the stunning sand dunes of Porto Pino. Along this stretch of the Costa Verde you’ll discover pristine nature, uncrowded beaches and breathtaking views that will find you making frequent stops to take it all in.
A couple of hours of driving will bring you to the Sinis Peninsula, a protected marine area that contains fine quartz sand beaches, charming small villages, the ancient Phoenician city of Tharros and the enigmatic stone giants of Mont’e Prama.
From here it’s another beautiful two-hour drive to Alghero, an impressive fortified town, with a picturesque old town and a lively cultural scene. Take some time to explore the many sandy bays and rocky promontories that boast delightful beaches and mysterious caves. For a touch of cosmopolitan refinement, with a Genoese flavour, the town of Sassari, just north of Alghero, is well worth heading to.
Driving east across northern Sardinia, pause at the spectacular granite interior of Gallura before you reach the glamour of the Costa Smeralda. The city of Olbia, near here, with its convenient airport, offers an alternative starting point for this tour. Wherever you are coming from you can eat well and live the good life in the swanky restaurants and classy nightlife venues of the luxury resorts on this stretch of the coast.
Taking the SS125 for a panoramic journey through the Supramonte to Ogliastra, an area set between the sea and mountains. It’s an entrancing region with fascinating traditions and natural beauty, so you’ll want to linger awhile and set off on a hike, or hire a boat, to reach its isolated beaches, such as Cala Goloritzè, Cala Mariolu, Cala Biriola or Cala Luna.
When you’ve had your fill of natural splendour it’s an hour and a half’s drive towards the southern tip of the island. Here Villasimius awaits with its welcoming fine white sand and turquoise waters.
And this is where your driving tour ends, relaxing in the scenic splendour that typifies Sardinia.
Rent a car in Sardinia, and you’ll discover a brilliantly diverse island bursting with rugged charm, polished glitz and everything in between.
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