Olbia is considered to be the gateway to the beautiful, pearly white beaches of the northeast coast and the glittery Costa Smeralda. The name of the town comes from a Greek word and it means ‘happy.’ Olbia was once a small fishing village, but today it has grown into Sardinia’s busiest ferry port, and it has its own international airport. While the aromatic macchia herbs cloak the countryside, the surrounding sea sparkles in azure blue.
The white sandy beaches, the immense variety of sparkling colored marine flora, the uncontaminated nature, the coastal line bordered with weathered rock that oscillates between peaks and cliffs which fall dramatically towards the sea, make Olbia a true paradise on Earth.
The Gulf of of the same name is situated in the Gallura region, with the spectacular granite mountains forming a backdrop and the wind-sculpted rock formations giving it an extraordinary look.
The Tavolara Island towers over the bay on the south of the city and the glamorous Costa Smeralda is on the north.
Sandy beaches around Olbia, Sardinia
Olbia is one of Europe’s oldest islands and the inland is a treasure trove of prehistoric times that takes you back in time.
A Little Bit of History
Olbia is an ancient town and according to the archaeological findings the Phoenicians were the first settlers in here. Later on it became a Roman trading post.
The Romans gave the town its current name, but it was called ‘Civita’ during the Middle Ages and ‘Terranova Pausania’ before 1940s. The original name was restored after the Fascism period.
Church of San Paolo, Olbia, Sardinia
During the Middle Ages the port town was the capital of Giudicato of Gallura, which was one among the four independent states of Sardinia.
The Fiesta di San Simplicio, the feast of the patron saint of Olbia, is celebrated for three days in mid May.
Other than this the first harvests of the blossoming fruit and the grape picking of September are celebrated in Olbia. All festivals culminate with typical songs and dance.
Ceramic products and basket ware are popular in Sardinia, and make a good souvenir.
The colorful and lively street markets are held every Tuesday and Saturday.
Where is Olbia?
- 20.7 miles/ 33.4 km from Baja Sardinia, Italy
- 169 miles/ 272 km from Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
- 315 miles/ 507 km from Cannes, France
- 1.4 miles/ 2.4 km from Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport, Sardinia, Italy
- 165.9 miles/ 267 km from Cagliari Elmas Airport, Sardinia, Italy
Things to See
- Basilica di San Simplicio
- The Church of St. Paul Apostle
- National Archeological Museum
- Santa Croce Historical Quarter
- Fausto Noce
- Giants Tomb
- Roman Farm of S’Imbalconadu
- Lido del Sole
- Punta Corallina
- Isola Tavolara
- Archipelago della Maddalena
- Spiaggia Rosa – the glorious pale pink beach is in Budelli
- Santa Teresa Gallura
Olbia is a dynamic city and a tourist destination with beautiful sea, beaches, culture, fun, fashion, shopping and a lot of ancient places of interest.
It’s one of the gems of Sardinia, and well worth the visit.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!