The spectacularly beautiful Costa Smeralda region, in Sardinia’s north-east, has long been a darling of those looking for a relaxing holiday with beautiful beaches, wonderful food and a host of gorgeous flora and fauna. There’s so much to see and do in this picturesque area of Sardinia, but the small (and most definitely perfectly-formed) resort town of Palau is renowned as one of the most beautiful places to visit.
As an island destination, many people plan to only spend a few days touring Sardinia (although, in our opinion that could be a mistake!), as part of a longer itinerary exploring Italy. So, if you’ve only got a short time allocated, allow us to suggest the following ways to spend two idyllic days in Palau.
The Perfect 48 Hours in Palau
Visit Bear Rock
What better way to start your holiday than to get out into the fresh air? Bear Rock is one of Palau’s best-known natural features and is well worth the steps you’ll need to climb to visit. Locally known as Roccia dell’Orso, this impressive granite rock formation has been sculpted by centuries of the elements into a very lifelike form of a bear – hence the obvious name! After you’ve made the trek to the top (there’s a small entrance fee), your reward will not only be the kudos, but also magnificent panoramic views over the Maddalena Archipelago and Sardinian coastline.
Explore the Fortress of Monte Altura
Set on a rocky outcrop above the town, the 19th-century Fortress di Monte Altura makes for a very interesting insight into the history of Sardinia. The two-level construction included a large central staircase to connect the floors, and even though the public are not allowed to visit the interiors, you can take a guided tour, which includes an interesting commentary. Again, while it does take a bit of a walk to get there, the views from the top are magnificent.
The Giants Tomb
Round out the day with a visit to Li Mizzani, the Giant’s Tomb. This monument dates back to the ancient Nuragic civilization, and is a fascinating relic and important archaeological site. One theory around this tomb (which is actually part of a collection of burial sites) is that it contained the remains of giant creatures, rather than humans. Set within beautiful natural surroundings, the site features a three-metre high monolithic column. While you probably won’t be able to work this out from the ground, it was discovered that from above, the tomb is shaped like the head of a bull – a symbol of strength for the Nuragic peoples.
After the previous day of history and culture, you may be looking for a bit of rest and relaxation, and Palau has just the things.
Head to the Islands
The resort is used as the jumping off point to explore the islands of the lovely La Maddalena Archipelago. The best thing to do (if you don’t have a lot of time) is to book a boat excursion, which takes you around the various islands. You’ll stop off regularly at gorgeous beaches and be able to swim, dive or just soak up the sun. There are several options, ranging from island-hopping sailing trips to full-day excursions with lunch included. Whichever way you choose, discovering the delights of this beautiful archipelago – including places like Budelli Island, the wild island of Caprera, beaches like Cala Soraya and Cala Granara – will leave you wondering why you didn’t decide to stay a week!
Enjoy the food
After a long day out exploring beaches and islands, a quiet dinner and drinks watching the sun set is a perfect end to a perfect 48 hours. Trying the local cuisine is a must, and you’ll find several good restaurants serving up Mediterranean fare based on meat and fish (and, of course, the delicious Neapolitan pizzas), as well as some offering more traditional local dishes – including the famous porceddu (roast suckling pig) and fregula, a kind of artisanal roasted pasta.
Where to Stay:
Le Ville Le Saline – With a picture-perfect location in the Golfo del Saline, the independent villas at Le Ville offer a stunning aspect within gorgeous gardens, just 400m from the beach. Fully equipped with kitchenette, air-conditioning and all the conveniences, you’ll also have free access (including 2 sun-loungers) to the beautiful beach.
Hotel Palau – Offering wonderful views, elegant decor and onsite amenities that include two pools and a restaurant, the Hotel Palau is just 600m from the beach. The rooms are fully air-conditioned and appointed with a mini-bar and satellite TV, and a buffet breakfast is served each morning.
Club Esse Posada – In a fantastic location just 300m from the beach, the fresh, comfortable accommodation at Club Esse offers a lovely ambience and excellent facilities including a pool, restaurant, Wi-Fi and private bathrooms. Each room is also equipped with a telephone, TV and a small fridge for snacks. Walk to the beach or relax around the beautiful pool with an onsite bar.
How to Get There
Getting to and from your holiday in Palau is not difficult, with several options from the UK to fly into on Sardinia, including Olbia, Alghero and Cagliari. Olbia Airport (OLB) is the closest, although Cagliari is serviced by more regular flights from a range of budget airlines. After a short flight of around two and a half hours, the most convenient way to continue your onward journey to your accommodation is on a pre-booked airport transfer from Olbia Airport to Palau. When you book with Shuttle Direct, a friendly local driver will be able to get you from the airport to Palau in under an hour.
UK to Flight Time: 2 hours 24 minutes
OLB to Palau Distance: 39 kilometres
Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 50 minutes
Types of Palau Airport Transfer Services
It doesn’t matter what kind of traveller you are, there’s an airport transfer from Olbia to Palau to suit your style. The ones we’ve listed below are the most common.
Taxi: If you’re not looking to stand in a queue once you’ve landed, you can pre-book an airport taxi, so it’ll be waiting for you. Book a taxi from Olbia Airport to Palau before you leave home for perfect peace of mind.
Shuttle Bus: One of the most popular kinds of airport transfer options is a shared shuttle bus. Because you share with other passengers heading to the same destination, the cost is cheaper, as everyone pays. It’s more affordable than a taxi for those on a budget.
Private Transfer: If you’re looking to start your holiday off in style, a private transfer from Olbia to Palau is the ultimate in comfort and convenience. You’ll be met at the airport and delivered right to the door of your accommodation, with no fuss and no waiting around.
Minibus Transfer: For those travelling with a larger group of friends or family (and the accompanying luggage), a minibus transfer may be the most sensible and convenient option. Because of its capacity, it is more practical and also cheaper than going by several vehicles.
Choosing the Right Palau Airport Transfer
When it comes time to pre-book your Olbia Airport transfer to Palau, there are certain things you need to consider when making your decision. Basically, at the end of the day, for most people it comes down to cost and convenience.
Cost: You should always compare the costs of each kind of service that’s offered (private transfers or shared), to check what you feel most comfortable with. There is something for every kind of budget, so it’s your decision.
Convenience: The other thing to take into consideration is that each option offers a different level of convenience. For example, a shared airport transfer from Olbia to Palau will be great for the budget, but a private transfer will offer a more convenient door-to-door service all to yourself.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is renowned for offering well-priced, convenient airport transfer services all over the world. We’ve got many years of experience ensuring our clients are transported to and from the airport in the fastest, safest and most comfortable way. Whatever kind of traveller you are, and whatever your budget, from affordable shared rides to luxury private airport transfers, we can help you get to wherever you need to go.