This pretty historic town with an abundance of boutiques and wine bars that are both authentic and affordable
Although often seen as a starting off or departure point, the charming port town of Olbia has enough to see and do to make it a destination in its own right. Its long and rich history is evident in its winding historic streets. Ancient churches and fascinating archaeological museums, alongside bustling authentic squares. Great shopping, fantastic and reasonable dining as well as a slice of true Italian city life make this an ideal stop off for a few days, or base to explore the surrounding areas.
What to do
Explore Olbia's rich history with a visit to its striking contemporary archaeological museum, situated near the port. This fascinating museum features displays of local artefacts and finds from pre-historic through to Roman periods, alongside exciting multimedia displays and historical re-creations, bringing the past to life.
Head to one of Olbia's finest churches, the medieval Romanesque Basilica of St Simplico. Hewn out of granite stone and featuring two 13th century frescoes, this imposing church is considered one of Gallura's most important monuments.
Wine lovers will enjoy a trip to the expansive Tenute Olbios winery. Spread over 60 hectares, this vast estate takes the visitor on a journey through the wine making process in its guided tours, featuring a vine walk, tasting and local cheese and antipasti sampling.
After the sun goes down head to Olbia's main street, Corso Umberto I. This bustling street is closed to traffic from 7pm onwards and comes alive with people enjoying the many shops bars and cafes that line the way. Perfect for a spot of retail therapy and an early evening passeggiata.
Where to eat
For great local produce and excellent pizzas head to the colourful La Lanterna. This cosy neighbourhood restaurant features an inviting interior with walls lined with pictures of Olbia from past to present. Service is friendly and informal and the large pizzas are cooked to perfection. Booking ahead is essential.
For a romantic night out, head to L'Essenza Bistro. This delightful, modern bistro's tables spill out onto the sidewalk for al fresco dining. Inside the cosy interior you'll find stone walls and exposed beams. Enjoy local seafood and fare from the ever changing seasonal chalkboard menu.
For fine dining, try the adults only Summer Beach restaurant. This romantic restaurant is situated right on the beach, as part of the Pelican Beach Resort. Enjoy fresh flavourful food served alongside expertly chosen local wines and local deserts.
For authentic Italian gelato, in a great range of flavours head to Gelataria Smerelda. Try exciting combinations such as ruby rose, chocolate wine, and orange and almonds, as well as all the fruity favourites. There's a bench outside to sit and enjoy as you watch the world go by.
How to get there
Olbia is conveniently served by its own airport, Olbia Costa Smerelda, situated just outside town. There is a bus service running from the airport to Olbia's bus station, situated just outside town. From here it's a short walk along the main shopping street into town. If arriving by ferry the port is located on a small island linked to the town by a long causeway. Ferry services connect Olbia with the Italian mainland.
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