24 Hours in Olbia

If you’re looking for a luxurious Italian escape, then Northern Sardinia should be high on your list of places to consider. The beautiful island has some of the most stunning beaches in the country, particularly in the resort region of Costa Smeralda. Attracting an array of celebrity visitors every year, it is just one example of the clear seas and beautiful communities feel that can be found across the island.

However, Sardinia is also a region full of unique culture and traditions, making it a great place to visit for those looking for an authentic Italian escape. One example of this is Olbia, a small port city just south of the Costa Smeralda region most known for its airport. However, look in the right places and you can discover a chic Italian town full of Sardinian history!

Breakfast in Olbia

Of course, the city of Olbia is full of little cafes, pasticceria and trattoria to discover. Start on the picturesque waterfront overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea for a stunning view of the sunrise over Northern Sardinia. Traditionally, Italians and Sardinians don’t partake in a sit-down breakfast. Instead, they often enjoy a quick cappuccino and pastry or refreshing granita (similar to gelato). In Sardinia, a simple breakfast of bread and the local pecorino cheese made from sheep’s milk will often suffice.

Pecorino cheese from Sardinia

Morning – Visit the Churches

As with many of Italy’s towns and cities, some of Olbia’s most breathtaking sites are its religious buildings. There are two main attractions in this regard, and their varied backgrounds and appearances offer an insight into the incredible mix of cultures that can be found across Sardinia.

The Basilica of San Simplicio is a small, understated medieval church, originally built around the 11th century. It was initially built on a small hill outside of the city walls but now finds itself in a quiet park of Olbia. The Festa di San Simplicio, one of Sardinia’s biggest religious festivals, takes place here every May. At the other end of the spectrum, the Church of St Paul is a large and extravagant building that dates back to the 18th century. Located just down the road from San Simplico, closer to the port, it is one of Olbia’s most visited landmarks. The Church of St Paul is most recognisable by its colourful mosaic dome that shines underneath the Sardinian sun.

Noon in Olbia – Parco Fausto Noce

While breakfast in Sardinia may be fast, lunch – known as pranzo – is an important ritual. Many shops and attractions on the island will close for a few hours during the day, allowing workers to enjoy their midday meal. Lunchtime is a good time to visit Parco Fausto Noce, a vast and tranquil park perfect for a midday walk or picnic. There is also a selection of restaurants and cafes on the nearby streets, some of which will still be open for visitors to enjoy lunch the Italian way.

Shopping Along Corso Umberto I

The main street of Olbia, Corso Umberto I is a must-visit for those who want to enjoy some shopping in the city. Once a historic street, its beautiful architecture can still be seen. However, its draw is undoubtedly the shops, a combination of well-known favourites and boutique secrets for you to take home. The best time to enjoy this street is after 7pm when the road is closed to vehicles and lights give it a picturesque feel.

A woman with shopping bags in Olbia

Evening in Olbia – Piazza Regina Margherita

If you’re looking to stay in Olbia for cena (the evening meal), then you may want to visit the old city’s piazza, located at the end of Corso Umberto I. Often, the best way to get a feel for a town in Italy is to enjoy its public squares, and the same can be said here. There are various restaurants with seats strewn across the square, while other places can be found down the nearby streets. Enjoy some of the foods of Sardinia while taking in the local atmosphere, the perfect way to end your day of discovery!

Olbia is a fantastic city to explore, but there are even more secrets to discover across the island! Our holiday villas in Sardinia are the perfect way to enjoy the traditions of the island in a traditional home complete with a touch of authentic luxury. Discover our various holiday accommodations in Sardinia today!