Villages by the sea: an itinerary along the coast

Northern Sardinia, like the whole island, is famous for its beaches and crystal clear sea.
But there are also quaint villages along the coast that can be visited at all times of the year.

We propose a beautiful itinerary that passes through four villages in northern Sardinia: Palau, La Maddalena, Castelsardo and Stintino.


Palau is a famous tourist resort overlooking the La Maddalena archipelago.
It is a pleasant town to walk around, and if you feel like exploring, you will find wonderful sights in its surroundings.

Palau's nature is truly generous: the granite rocks have fabulous shapes, thanks to the wind that has sculpted them over the years.
Country churches, lush countryside, there are many cues for those who love to walk in unique places like this.

Our advice

The Bear Rock at Capo d'Orso

It is a beautifulnatural sculpture, from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view.

Between myths and legends

It is said that Cape Bear may be "the land of the Lestrigoni," which Homer mentions in Book X of the Odyssey.
The Lestrigoni are the cannibal giants who gave their name to this land where Odysseus landed with his crew, whom they forced to flee in despair.

The Fortress of Mount Altura

On the road from Palau to picturesque Porto Rafael you will find the Monte Altura Fortress.
The imposing granite building is from the 19th century and served to protect the military base on La Maddalena.

One of Palau's most important events makes a stop at the Monte Altura Fortress, bringing concerts of the best avant-garde music and quality cultural productions to this beautiful location: Islands That Speak


La Maddalena is the largest island that gives its name to the entire archipelago of stunning islets.
This is one of the most beautiful places in northern Sardinia.

A tour of downtown

The village of La Maddalena is really pretty: we recommend exploring the small streets in the center, stopping in the squares and admiring the historic buildings.
Head down to the sea and head to the port of Cala Gavetta, perhaps to chat with the local fishermen.


By car, bike or public transportation you can venture dozens of kilometers in search of dreamy coves and breathtaking views.
If you get as far as Caprera, go to visit the beautiful museum dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi, where his house is located and where he lived the last 26 years of his life. You will breathe an important part of Italy's history.


Castelsardo is an authentic medieval village overlooking the sea.
The village dominates the beautiful Gulf of Asinara and is built around the Doria castle, built in 1102 by the noble Genoese family as its impregnable stronghold.

Postcard-perfect history and sea

Once you pass the ramparts surrounding it, you find yourself among fascinating alleys and steep stairways, numerous churches and monuments of considerable historical interest, including the interesting Museum of Mediterranean weaving.
Castelsardo also offers beautiful beaches of golden sand and crystal clear water, set among uniquely shaped rocks.

Tips for curious travellers
  • The Cathedral of St Anthony Abbot, overlooking the sea and with a bell tower of coloured majolica tiles
  • The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, guardian of remarkable treasures
  • ThePalazzo La Loggia, seat of the old town hall
  • The basilica of Nostra Signora di Tergu, an expression of Romanesque architecture.

Castelsardo is the setting for the famous event Musica sulle Bocche, one of the most important events for music in Sardinia.


Stintino is a delightful seaside village that almost touches the island of Asinara.
It was founded in 1885 by Ligurian fishermen who resided on Asinara and were "evicted" from the island when the famous prison, considered the Italian Alcatraz, was established.

Fishing village

Stintino's history and culinary tradition are strongly linked to fishing.
We recommend enjoying some typical dishes, such as the potato and lobster soup or the excellent Stintino-style octopus in the restaurants overlooking the village's characteristic narrow streets.

Masterpieces of Nature

Its territory boasts wonderful places. Here are five must-see stops in Stintino:

  • La Pelosa beach, considered one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world
  • The island of Asinara, between white donkeys and unspoilt nature
  • Casaraccio Pond, a birdwatching paradise
  • Tonnara Museum, discovering the past.

Among the events in Stintino, we recommend the enthralling Festa della Beata Vergine della Difesa

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