Itinerary for a Sardinia Road Trip in a Motorhome

June 28, 2023 in Destinations and Italy

Welcome to Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean, known to Italians as Sardegna! This large island is not as mainstream as its big brother, Sicily, making it all the more desirable to adventurers. It promises beautiful beaches, turquoise waters and an unspoiled coastline. In this 7-day road trip itinerary for Sardinia, we’re going to allow you to explore all of that and more. 

You’ll get to dive into the rich history of this island, including Spanish, Roman and Byzantine influences. You’ll get plenty of opportunities to devour delicious food, sip ice-cold drinks and gaze out at unbelievable views.

Are you ready to explore this sophisticated Italian island for yourself? Let’s get started.

Aerial of bay in Sardinia
Photo by Luca Cassani on Unsplash

Getting to Sardinia

First things first, let’s consider how you’ll get to Sardinia. You’ve got several options for this.

If you’re eager to travel to Sardinia in your own motorhome, you’ll be looking at a lengthy drive of over thirty hours. You’ll cross the Channel at Dover and then head south from Calais. After driving down the length of France, you can take a ferry from Toulon to Porto Torres. Given that this is the likeliest option, we’ve started our Sardinia road trip itinerary from Porto Torres. 

Alternatively, you can fly directly to Sardinia and hire a motorhome there. You could also fly to Rome or Genoa and take a ferry from there — after a spot of sightseeing, of course! In that case, you’ll be arriving at Olbia, so simply drive the itinerary in reverse. It’s a circular route to ensure that you can adapt it accordingly.

Sardinia Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1 - Porto Torres

Home to the largest port in northern Sardinia, Porto Torres offers the perfect blend of history and natural beauty. Given that you’ve likely experienced some lengthy travel to get here, we’re going to take it easy for the first day of your road trip. Take the time to explore Porto Torres and adjust to the slow rhythm of Sardinia.

Things to do in Porto Torres:

-If you’re interested in Roman ruins, or history in general, it’s definitely worth visiting the Antiquarium Turritano. This archaeological museum displays the rich history of Porto Torres and features many unique items, such as the Domus of Orpheus and the Pallottine Baths.

-Stroll through the vibrant city centre of Porto Torres. You’re likely feeling impatient to get your hands on some delicious Sardinian delicacies. You’ll find plenty of places selling favata and monzette.

-Did driving tire you out more than you expected? Head to the beach to catch up on some z’s. Porto Torres is renowned for its sandy beaches, so park yourself on one of them and soak up the summer feeling. We’d recommend Spiaggia delle Acque Dolci, which is perfect for swimming.

Staying at: Campsite International

This simple campsite is ideally located for arriving at the island or staying the night before you take the ferry home. It has everything you’ll need, including an electric hook-up, grey water disposal and a shower block. A real highlight is that you can order fresh bread to enjoy in the morning!

SC Platamona, 07100 Sassari SS, Italy
40.815615, 8.466120

Swimming beach in SardiniaPhoto by Massimo Virgilio on Unsplash

Day 2 - Sassari and Alghero

Driving distance: 64 miles

After a day of relaxing in Porto Torres, you should be feeling ready to properly start your motorhome road trip through Sardinia. The first stop of the day is Sassari which should be about a half-hour drive from Porto Torres.

Sassari is the second-largest city in Sardinia and is known for its considerable collection of art. If you’re looking to extend your trip past a week, then definitely spend some more time in Sassari. Keep an eye out for elegant neoclassical architecture, such as the Piazza d’Italia and the Teatro Civic. Be sure to stop at the Fountain of the Rosello, and maybe grab lunch nearby. 

When you’re ready, drive an hour to get to Neptune’s Grotto. This stalactite cave was discovered by local fishermen in the 18th century who couldn’t believe their eyes. Its name is a reference to the Roman god of the sea, Neptune. You can either take a boat to the caves or brave the 654 steps of the Escala del Cabirol — also known as the ‘goat stairs’.

Once you’ve feasted your eyes on Neptune’s Grotto, it’s time to head further to Alghero. It should take about forty minutes, but time will fly by with that stunning coastal view. You can pitch at the campsite for the night and then stroll through this lovely city.

Things to do in Alghero:

-Stroll along the ancient walls encircling the city and then head to the cobblestoned old centre. You’ll easily spot the towering Cattedrale di Santa Maria and the Chiesa San Michele, with its colourful tiled dome.

-The Museo del Corrallo di Alghero is filled with red coral displays, as well as sculptures and jewellery formed from it. There are also many history and science exhibits, making it a hit with the whole family!

-How about a sunset stroll on the beach to round off your day? We’d recommend heading to Bombarde Beach or Spiaggia di Maria Pia for the calmest experience. 

Staying at: Camping la Mariposa

A short stroll from the city centre of Alghero, you’ll find Camping la Mariposa with everything you’ll need for the night. You’ll struggle to tear yourself away from the sea view, and you’ll be scrambling out of bed to enjoy it with your breakfast.

Via Lido, 22, 07041 Alghero SS, Italy
40.579272, 8.312178

Motorhome driving on coastal road in Sardinia

Day 3 - Bosa

Driving distance: 29 miles

Perhaps grab a coffee in Alghero and tick off the final items on your to-do list before you depart for the day. Don’t forget that in Italy, it’s only acceptable to drink a cappuccino before midday, so guzzle while you can! Then drive down to Bosa, which should take about an hour on a gorgeous route hugging the coast.

Bosa is known to be one of the most beautiful villages in all of Italy, and you know it has very stiff competition for this title. It’s a town of no more than 8,500 people, scattered across the hills with a sea view. The colourful buildings look like they’ve been snatched right out of a postcard, so you’ll likely be snapping away with your camera. We’ve decided to dedicate a full day of this Sardinia road trip itinerary to Bosa, as it’s far calmer than other places in Sardinia and just so picturesque.

Things to do in Bosa:

-Hike up to the magnificent Malaspina Castle. This impressive structure watches over Bosa and dates back to 1112. It’s a steep walk, so aim to do this first thing in the morning or when the sun is setting in the evening.

-In Bosa Marina, you’ll find an award-winning beach that is renowned for its excellent sea quality. Definitely bring a swimsuit to test that impeccable water quality for yourself. You’ll find plenty of fresh seafood in the hamlet surrounding this beach.

-Aside from its beauty, Bosa is also known for producing Malvasia, a dessert wine. You could simply stop by a local bar for a glass, but we recommend taking it a step further. Head to one of the many local vineyards to get a tour, learn how it's made, and partake in a tasting session.

Staying at: Area Attrezzatta Camper di S’Abba Druche

Pitch your motorhome alongside the beach at this cosy campsite. Alongside sanitary blocks and waste disposal, there is also an excellent restaurant on-site where you can enjoy fresh seafood and a drink.

S.da Provinciale 49 Bosa-Alghero, km 4, 08013 Bosa OR, Italy
40.314389, 8.465422

Bosa, SardiniaPhoto by Jürgen Scheeff on Unsplash

Day 4 - Iglesias 

Driving distance: 114 miles

Hopefully, you didn’t enjoy too much Malvasia last night, so you can hit the road for the fourth day of your road trip. The first drive is to Iglesias, which should take about two and a half hours. 

The name of this town might sound a bit Spanish, and not just because of a certain famous singer… Iglesias is actually Spanish for ‘churches’, and was named by the Aragonese who conquered it in 1324. 

Things to do in Iglesias:

-Visit the Church of St. Francis. This church was built by the Aragonese in the 16th century using volcanic stone. Over the centuries, this church has been used as a barracks, a gymnasium and even a bakery. It was almost demolished in 1928, and has since been restored to its former glory.

-Trekking enthusiasts should pull out their hiking boots and tackle the Cammino Minerario di Santa Barbara. It takes you along the historic mining trail and through incredible natural beauty. It’s definitely a long route, but you can shorten it and stop at restaurants along the way.

-As you may have gathered, mining was a vital aspect of the wealth and prosperity of this region. But no mine is as impressive as Porto Flavia. This 600-metre-long tunnel was dug by miners and ends in an overhang over the sea. It was used to fill ships transporting minerals to northern Europe. From here, you can also gaze out at the Pan di Zucchero, a rock stack that appears to rise from the sea itself.

Staying at: Società Agricola Donne Rurali di Villamassargia

Pitch your motorhome under olive trees and feel like you’ve stepped into a classic Italian film. This campsite will provide an idyllic evening, complete with fresh olive oil from their on-site store. Pets are welcome too, and children will appreciate the

playground. Regione Marroccheddu, 09010 Villamassargia SU, Italy
39.284051, 8.638797

Motorhome parking in lush camping spot

Day 5 - Cagliari 

Driving distance: 37 miles

If you’ve got extra time to spare and feel like enjoying your road trip playlist, you can take the long way to Cagliari along the coast, passing through Sant Anna Arresi and Pula. But since this Sardinia road trip is only 7 days, we’re going to suggest the shorter route. Head directly inland and you should reach Cagliari within an hour of driving.

You’ve now arrived in the capital city of Sardinia! Many come to Sardinia just to visit this lively city, and they don’t seem to run out of things to do here. It’s got something for every type of traveller, whether you’re looking for calm beaches, fascinating museums or delicious food.

Things to do in Cagliari:

-Did the archaeological museum in Porto Torres spark your interest? Or did you maybe have to skip it in favour of time on the beach? Either way, you’ll definitely enjoy a trip to the Muzeo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari, which features Roman ceramics, bronze tools, and artefacts ranging from the Nuragic age to the Byzantine era.

-The historical centre of Cagliari is divided into four quarters: Castello, Villanova, Stampace and Marina. Castello is a hilltop citadel filled with maze-like alleys, aristocratic homes and two impressive watchtowers: Torre di San Pancrazio and Torre dell’Elefante. Stampace is where the working class lived, and is home to the Santa Restituta crypt. Villanova is known as the trendiest area of Cagliari, and is filled with colourful homes. And finally, La Marina offers the best nightlife in town.

-Near the Piazza Palazzo, you’ll find a beautiful cathedral that towers over the square. It was built in the 13th century in Baroque style, and the Savoy royal family were buried in the crypts. For an additional fee, you can climb the tower and get an unbeatable view of the city.

Staying at: Camper Cagliari Park

While this might not be the most beautiful campsite on your trip to Sardinia, it is ideally located within Cagliari. You’ll be able to walk back to your motorhome after a day and evening spent experiencing the city. You can also rent bikes from the campsite to further explore the area.

Via Stanislao Caboni, 13, 09125 Cagliari CA, Italy
39.210035, 9.127584

Cagliari, SardiniaPhoto by Laura Lugaresi on Unsplash

Day 6 - Tortoli and Arbatrax

Driving distance: 89 miles

It should take about two hours to drive from Cagliari to Tortoli. You’ll likely need to stretch your legs after this, so park your motorhome and hike out to Pedra Longa. The Pedra Longa Pinnacle marks the end of a cliff, between the Gulf of Orosei and Santa Maria Navarrese. Once there, you’ll find a delightful restaurant to enjoy the view with a bite to eat. 

Before leaving Tortoli, you can also head to the Torre di Bari. This ancient medieval tower is located on a rocky outcrop, gazing out at the blue sea. It’s in surprisingly good condition, and you can walk around it with ease.

Then it’s only a ten-minute drive to Arbatrax. You could even leave your motorhome and walk the distance, but we recommend driving so that you can continue to your campsite afterwards.

Things to do in Arbatrax:

-Head to the impressive Rocce Rosse. This intricate rock formation is located directly by the harbour and is a reddish colour. You can make this part of a larger walk along the harbour.

-A trip to Sardinia isn’t complete without plenty of time on the beach! So head to Riva Di Ponente for crystal waters, plenty of parking space and pale sand stretching out before you.

Staying at: Camping Villaggio Telis

At Camping Villaggio Telis, you can enjoy panoramic views from the shade of your motorhome pitch. The campsite has a private beach to enjoy, as well as a pool on-site. There are even boat tours departing right from the campsite, to allow you to further explore the bay. 

Ogliastra NU IT, Via Attilio Deffenu, 22, 08048 Tortolì, Italy
39.924673, 9.707231

Campervan driving on woody road in Sardinia

Day 7 - Olbia and Porto Cervo

Driving distance: 120 miles

Can you believe that we’ve already reached the final day of this Sardinia road trip itinerary? It’s time to head north and complete the circular route, from which you can easily travel back to the ferry port. It’s going to be a busy day, so get up early and enjoy a big coffee.

The first drive is to Olbia. This should take about two and a half hours. Olbia is a coastal city known for its cafe culture and the medieval San Simplicio Basilica. It’s surrounded by 60 small islands that make up the Olbia-Tempio. 

Head to the Piazza Matteotti to enjoy one of the many cafes dotted around, and stroll along the cobblestoned streets. Then we recommend taking a boat trip while here, even if it’s just for an hour.

Then it’s on to the next stop: Porto Cervo. 

Things to do in Porto Cervo:

-A must-see for Porto Cervo is the Stella Maris church. Located on a hill overlooking the coast, it was built between 1966 and 1968 in the style of modern Mediterranean architecture. The smooth white structure is reminiscent of Greek buildings, and is unlike most of the churches you’ll see in Italy.

-Modern art enthusiasts will adore a trip to the Monte di Mola Museum, which hosts numerous exhibitions per year, and includes many politically motivated pieces.

-Looking to relax and toast to the end of your road trip in Sardinia? Then a final trip to the beach is definitely in order. One of the most beautiful stretches of coast in Porto Cervo is the bay of Cala di Volpe. It’s a paradise surrounded by lush foliage and emerald waters. Alternatively, Cala Liscia Ruia and Cala Petra Ruja — named for the red rocks surrounding it — are both gorgeous beaches that tend to be less crowded. From here, you can even rent a rubber dinghy or boat to explore the coves of the Costa Smeralda.

Staying at: Villaggio Camping Acapulco

We’ve got a real treat for the final night of your road trip in Sardinia! This campsite is situated right on the beach, providing the best sunset view you’ll get on this trip. The service is wonderful, and they’re always happy to offer advice for the local area. 

Località Punta Palau, snc, 07020 Palau SS, Italy
41.186110, 9.376879

Sardinia is a magical place, and it’s difficult to capture all of its beauty and intrigue in just 7 days, but we’ve certainly done our best. This circular route around the island lets you take in the highlights and the heart of this lively island. If you’re looking for more road trips in Italy, check out our itinerary for driving the Amalfi Coast.