Welcome to Costa Smeralda
Guess what? It is not so expensive
Going North, in Sardinia region, you can reach Olbia from Tortolì by bus as a starting point to visit the world famous Costa Smeralda. If you enjoy a good nightlife, choose to stay in San Teodoro, a lively village offering many shops, restaurants, ice cream parlours and bars. There are hotels, bed and breafasts and apartments for rents, and for those on a tighter budget even a camping site (www.campingsanteodoro.com). There are many beaches that can be visited in this area and, guess what?, access is free in all of them. If you travel with your own car, you will at most have to pay for parking. You can pick among many: Cala Brandinchi, Capriccioli, Baja Sardinia, Cannigione… and go for a walk in Porto Cervo. Amongst boutiques with prices accessible only to the richest, you can still go for a walk, go window shopping and have a gelato (which, by the way, will cost just like anywhere else).
Further North, Palau is a great starting point for tours of the Maddalena Archipelago, offering the chance to visit Spargi, Budelli, Caprera a famous beach known locally as Tahiti. For information and prices, you can visit the sites www.giteinbarca.it and www.elenatour.it, these offer tours on small ferries and some of them also include lunch. Asking locally, you may be able to find a private company and local guide organizing a guided tour on a zodiac, where you would have to pay for the rental of the zodiac and the guide. This is more comfortable and faster (not to mention, there are less people on it) and if you are in a large group you may save considerably – the more people, the cheaper. Calculate an average price of € 40, but it will be totally worth it. Finally, you can rent your own small zodiac (the small ones do not request you to have a special license) if you are up to manouvering it!
Santa Teresa di Gallura and Castel Sardo
Not far from Palau, there is the lovely village of Santa Teresa di Gallura and, near it, the promontory of Capo Testa. The Torre di Longosardo (built around the 14th century under instructions of the king of Spain Philiph the Second) is an interesting place to visit, and is found on the outer edge of the village. Following on the same route you can reach Castelsardo, another pretty village with its beautiful Castello dei Doria, a castle built in 1102, and many other monuments and places of interest.
by Claudia Tavani