Located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Olbia has an appealing assortment of attractive beaches. The coastal setting offers surfing, diving and a variety of other water-based activities. The sea may be the center of activities, but Olbia also features numerous cultural pursuits including museums, ancient churches and shipwreck treasures.
Within a few minutes’ drive of the city center are miles of white-sand beaches. Surf, snorkel and scuba dive at Porto Istana. Canoe, windsurf or rent a sailboat at Lo Squalo. Other beaches with a variety of watersports include Mare e Rocce, Spiaggia dei Sassi and Il Pellicano. Bados Beach is ideal for families with children because of its shallow sea bed.
When you want a break from the beach, explore the city. Visit the archeological museum to learn about Olbia’s early Greek foundations and to see exhibits from Roman and medieval shipwrecks. Study frescoes at the 11th-century Basilica of San Simplicio and the 18th-century Church of St. Paul. To discover more of Sardinia’s past, travel 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Olbia for the Nuraghic monuments of Arzachena. These ancient towers, burial sites and building ruins are between 3,000 and 4,000 years old.
Stroll along the narrow lanes of the city center that lead to Piazza Regina Margherita and Piazza Matteotti, two attractive squares bordered by shops, cafés and restaurants. Savor the delicious smells and tastes of Sardinian cuisine with its meats spit-roasted over herbs, mussel stew, roasted lobster and other local specialties.
Many visitors arrive into the busy port of Olbia by ferry or cruise ship. Alternatively, fly into the international airport that’s approximately 3 miles (5 kilometers) southeast of the city center. The city is compact and easily walkable. Alternatively, use taxis or rent a car or scooter, good options if you want to travel farther afield.
Olbia is also about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Maddalena Archipelago National Park, a group of islands that host rare animal and plant species.
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