If you’re planning to explore northern Sardinia, you should 100% base your trip in Santa Teresa Gallura! Here’s why.
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Northern Sardinia (Sardegna in Italian) is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Crystal clear water and views for days make it a beach paradise.
Why Stay in Santa Teresa Gallura?
Cute small towns dot the entire island, and it’s small enough that you’re a few hours’ drive from anywhere, so you can’t go wrong. But here’s why I love basing your trip to northern Sardinia in Santa Teresa Gallura.
Santa Teresa Gallura hits that sweet spot of a small town with plenty of places to eat. As someone obsessed with trying new local foods, I prefer staying in places with more than two restaurants in town. The charm of being able to walk to dinner will never cease to delight me!
There’s a great beach just downhill from town, Spiagga Rena Bianca. Even better, it has both beach clubs and free space! In Italy, beach clubs are the setups where you pay for space but get a chair, umbrella, and often bar service for the day. This beach has both, so whatever suits your fancy!
Santa Teresa Gallura is well situated for exploring the northern half of the island. It’s only minutes from some of the most beautiful beaches in northern Sardinia and has easy access by boat to the La Maddalena archipelago (more on that soon).
As a bonus, it’s the town with the ferry to Corsica, meaning a day trip over to the French island is easy!
Where to Stay in Santa Teresa Gallura
It’s about 1 hour 15 minutes from the airport, which works fine because you’ll want to rent a car to get the best of the island either way. Within town you won’t need a car though, so leave it at your hotel.
The best place to stay in Santa Teresa Gallura is near the coast! I loved staying on via Bonifacio for the unparalleled views. B&B La Torre Elite is a great small hotel with great local touches, or if you want a kitchen try La Torre House. Both have great terrace options facing the beach!
Another fabulous option that’s a bit more elegant is La Villa Bianca. It’s on the other side of the beach, giving sea views with the tower in the distance!
Santa Teresa Gallura Restaurants
I lay out some of the typical Sardinian dishes in my Cagliari restaurant guide if you’re curious! These are ordered loosely from most homestyle to most elegant (read: pricey).
Pappa e Ciccia
Pappa e Ciccia is a great starting meal because it’s homestyle Sardinian food. Trust me and order the tris, which is a combination of culurgiones, ravioli, and chiusoni: all classic Sardinian pastas. But if that doesn’t suit, they have a decently large menu full of Sardinian classics and Italian standards, as well as pizza.
m ‘n m Spaghetteria
m ‘n m Spaghetteria is the kind of place that’s full of locals. It’s far enough from the beach that you may not across it without looking, but it’s worth it! If you want to go at dinner, best to make a reservation. They serve only antipasti and pasta, with an extensive local wine list. For that, best to pick your dishes and then ask the staff for a recommendation!
Feeling fancy? Millo is a Michelin-starred spot that feels like a date night spot. I was there in a group so we ordered at least half the menu, and everything was ridiculously good. My favorite dish was the scallops!
Ristorante da Thomas
Ristorante da Thomas feels like a modern space but packs out with locals on a Saturday night. Dishes here are elegant and unique, like my pumpkin seafood manicotti: sounds strange, but I ate every bite! Note that the wine list gets pretty expensive here.
What to See in Santa Teresa Gallura
If you’re looking for a few days relaxing by the beach, you can’t go wrong here. It’s perfect for a laid-back few days to relax and recharge!
While in town, definitely do some souvenir shopping! There are tons of cute shops with locally made ceramics and textiles. Sardinia has a unique style of textiles – go check it out and get some for yourself. I liked the variety at Casa dell Artigianato da Muntoni, but there are several shops with options.
Sitting uphill above the beach is the Longonsardo Tower, which is all that remains of a medieval castle built by the Spanish. You can pay to enter it and the accompanying exhibit, but it’s a beautiful lookout point without climbing it. Go in the late afternoon for gorgeous light and views of Corsica in the distance!
Around Santa Teresa Gallura
There are also several spots to check out nearby. Each of these makes a great day trip option within northern Sardinia!
A day on a boat exploring the Maddalena archipelago is a MUST. It has some of the best beaches in Italy! Named after the biggest island, only some of them are inhabited, making it feel like you have the place to yourself.
We did a catamaran day trip and loved it. They offer small group tours exploring the area with stops to swim, snorkel, and explore. They provided snorkel gear, lunch, snacks, and drinks! As someone who loves a boat day trip, this one ranks high on my list of favorites!
Another spot to explore is Capo Testa. It’s only minutes away from Santa Teresa Gallura and nearby is known for one of the best places in Sardinia to watch the sunset. It’s a beautiful space for hiking and has great beaches as well.
If you’re planning a trip to northern Sardinia, Santa Teresa Gallura is the best place to base your time! I’ve put together more day trips and restaurants on my Thatch guide, complete with directions, opening hours, and more! Grab it and have your Sardinia trip planned!