Sardinia & Corsica, the Lands of Myths and Legends Tour

15 Fascinating Days

  • Leisurely 2 & 3 night stays
  • Small groups from just 10 to 28
  • Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour costs
  • Character hotels in superb locations
  • Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
  • 'My Time' guaranteed

Tour Overview

Two islands, so different, so intriguing. One Italian, one French, both fiercely independent. Visit 3,500 year old huge stone ‘Nuraghe’ Tower villages,  cruise to the beautiful Neptune’s Caves, enjoy stunning cliff top coastal drives, take 4WDs deep into rugged ravines for a shepherd’s picnic lunch. Visit colourful Bosa, ‘bandit’ Orgosolo, Catalan Alghero, the staggering cliff top town of Bonifacio, Napoleon’s Ajaccio and...best of all…3 nights in remarkable Su Gologone.
 

**In 2021 this tour will be 15 days in duration with an additional night in Calvi.

Highlights

  • Explore the sights of Cagliari and take in the views from the Bastione di Saint Remy
  • Stay 2 nights in the heart of the exotic ‘Catalan’ town of Alghero
  • Visit Nuoro, and drive past fields and fields of Nuraghe ruined towers
  • Cruise to the spectacular Neptune’s Caves
  • Stay 3 nights enjoying the extraordinary Su Gologone ‘Sardinian Experience’
  • Explore the 3,500 year old Su Nuraxi - mysterious Nuraghe rock towers
  • Take a 4WD tour into the Supramonte Mountains and savour a shepherds picnic
  • Explore the bustling resort town of Porto-Vecchio & enjoy ‘My Time’ in the extraordinary cliff hanging, citadel town of Bonifacio
  • Stay 2 nights in Napoleon Bonaparte’s Ajaccio
  • Relax amongst the 16th century streets of charming Sartène
  • Visit the house where Napoleon lived
  • Relax in L’ile Rouse and enjoy a tasting of local produce & wine in Calvi

Sardinia & Corsica, the Lands of Myths and Legends

Message from the Mo

It’s the smell, the feel, the taste

You have to understand, any visit to these islands will not be about giant monuments, man-made edifices or historic marbled buildings. Instead it will be about the smell, the feel, the taste and nature’s visual feast. I originally aimed to create a tour about 8 days long, but failed miserably. But with so many different sights to see what dare I exclude? Eventually, I settled on 15 days. These two islands are so different, so intriguing, with so many startling contrasts and so much to enjoy and absorb.
 
One island Italian, the other French, both fiercely independent from each other and from their mainland overlords. In Sardinia’s south, Cagliari is a mixture of rich emotion, Naples to the east, and glorious Sicily to the south. Alghero faces westwards towards Spain, and they speak Catalan, even flying the yellow and red striped Catalonian flag. Huge stone ‘Nuraghe’ Tower villages, as old as the Pyramids, litter the landscape. In the wild hills of the Supramonte Mountains, shepherds live past 100 years, they speak a language older than Latin, and until recently, banditry flourished!
 
Then we cross the water to Corsica where crumbs fall from French croissants and everything, especially the people are decidedly French. In Bonifacio, perched high on overhanging cliffs, amble through a harbour bursting with modern mega yachts and ludicrously flamboyant cruisers. Enjoy the visual feast of rugged mountains and sweeping coastal drives. Cruise azure waters to hidden sea caves. Stunning! However, it will be returning home where you will find it hardest, trying to explain Sardinia’s soul, captured during your stay in remarkable Su Gologone, in those wild bandit hills! P.S. the food is great too!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Cagliari welcome

Your tour commences this evening in Cagliari. Join us tonight for a welcome drink before dinner in a local restaurant. This is an ideal chance to meet, and get to know, your Tour Manager and fellow travellers.
Meals:
D
Hotel:
Regina Margherita

Day 2: National Archaeological Museum, Bastione views and ‘My Time’

Well off the tourist map, Cagliari has a unique identity and feeling. To the south east lies Sicily, to the east is Naples. Whilst definitely Italian, it also stamps its own Sardinian personality. Joined by a local guide we explore this historic city. Cagliari’s old city sits astride a plateau. We enjoy a walking tour that begins with a visit to the National Archaeological Museum. Continuing on, our tour takes us down through the streets of the old town to the Cathedral, and on to the Bastione di Saint Remy, with its views back over the bay. Later, ‘My Time’ to further explore this engaging town.
Meals:
B
Hotel:
The Regina Margherita

Day 3: UNESCO listed Su Nuraxi and wine tasting in a local vineyard

Heading north we soon reach Barumini where we visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Su Nuraxi – an impressive Nuraghe rock town. Dating back 3,700 years these Sardinian ruined giant stone villages are still somewhat of a mystery – and there are an incredible 7,000 Nuraghe scattered around the island. A local guide will take us right inside the heart of the central tower complex. Fascinating! Afterwards, in nearby Gergei, at the Olianas Winery, we enjoy a vineyard tour, wine tasting and light lunch of locally grown produce. Crossing into the Gennargentu Massif we reach an extraordinary hotel where we stay the next three nights. The setting is amazing, the food fantastic, the region wild and untamed. The comfort is excellent, décor is divine, unique and colourful. You will forever remember staying in this unique ‘Experience Hotel’. Before dinner we enjoy a pre-dinner drink on the champagne terrace – The Champagnoteque. Dinner tonight is a Sardinian specialty – Suckling Pig! (Vegetarians are well catered for).
Meals:
B
L
D
Hotel:
Su Gologone 'Experience Hotel'

Day 4: 4WD into the Supramonte Mountains for a Shepherds picnic & ‘My Time’

There is nothing like a day in the mountains! Climbing aboard 4WDs we venture deep into the Supramonte mountains to enjoy an indulgent Shepherds Picnic. First stop is to enjoy a short walk to a recently discovered Nuraghe site in the forest, to learn how this ancient site was once used and the theories of what happened to the inhabitants. Re-boarding our 4WDs we drive to a shepherd’s hut to enjoy our picnic. The authentic grass and wood covered hut has been used for hundreds of years, and is still used by shepherds. The fabulous food is all local. You will enjoy ‘pane carasau’, traditional Sardinian flatbread, paper thin, antipasti, roast meats – lamb, veal and sausage, vegetables, cheeses, mountain honey, fruits and deserts… all washed down with delicious Cannonau (Sardinian red wine). Bellissimo! The rest of the day is free in our ‘Experience Hotel’. Maybe enjoy a siesta, a dip in the pool, or even join one of the ceramics, painting and embroidery workshops? How about an aperitif on the ‘Terrace of Dreams’, relaxing on the ‘Terrace of Desires’ or putting a message in a bottle on the ‘Terrace of Wishes’, all with exceptional views of the sunbathed Mount Corrasi? At dusk maybe join a yoga class in the aromatic setting of the Herb Garden?
Meals:
B
L

Day 5: Orgosolo – the ‘City of Murderers’

After a leisurely start, we enjoy a walk through a peaceful glade near our hotel to see the mystical natural springs of Sorgente Su Gologone flowing from a rock wall. So picturesque! Lunch time is spent in the nearby bandit town of Orgosolo – known also as the ‘City of Murderers’. Until only a few decades ago this was the home and refuge for the regions notorious kidnappers (rich tourists only!) and bandits. Now peaceful, the locals have transformed the whole town. We are joined by a local guide who will explain the significance of the large colourful ‘murales’ (murals) that adorn the walls of houses and shops. Revolutionary art, portraits of saints and sinners, dictators and world events, oppression and humour, it has the lot. This evening we gather on one of the terraces to enjoy a tasting of local wines and produce. Before dinner relax around a bread oven in the Nido del Pane (Bread Basket) area, an expert artisan baker will create and cook tasty local breads. The aroma of the freshly baked bread will ‘whet your appetite’.
Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
Su Gologone 'Experience Hotel'

Day 6: Bosa, a cliff top drive and Alghero

After a morning stop in Nuoro we cross to the west coast, passing farmlands filled with remnants of dozens of ancient Nuraghe ruins and towers. Lunchtime will be in the medieval streets of Bosa. Set beside the River Temo, with the hilltop Malaspina castle above, the tall houses all painted in pastel colours make Bosa such a pretty and interesting town. Later we take the scenic road up to Alghero, where we stay the next two nights. Hugging the coastal cliffs on sweeping curves around rocky promontories this memorable drive offers outstanding views. Alghero was once part of the Catalan empire and their allegiance westwards towards Spain still stands strong. You will see the Catalonian flag everywhere and the locals still speak Catalan. Therefore Alghero is a unique blend of Spanish, Italian and independent Sardinian! In our hotel’s 9th floor ‘Sky Bar’ we enjoy a welcome drink. The views over the old town port and across the sea are magnificent. Later we wander to a local restaurant in the old town to enjoy a traditional Alghero style Sardinian dinner.

 

Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
Hotel Catalunya

Day 7: Neptune’s Caves, Alghero sunsets and ‘My Time’

Today the choice is yours - cruise or cliff walk. Crossing the beautiful bay on a cruise boat, we reach the massive Capo Caccia cliffs to visit the spectacular Neptune’s Caves. A specialist cave guide will walk us several hundred metres deep into the beautifully lit caverns past underground lakes, stalactites and stalagmites. Anyone fancy a fantastic cliff walk? Instead of a cruise to the caves we can take you to the top of the cliffs and you can descend the amazing ‘escala del cabirol’ (goat's steps). The 654 step descent is an incredible walking experience as the stone stairway hugs the cliffs down to the cave entrance. Then you will enter the caves. The rest of the day and evening is at leisure in Alghero. Maybe enjoy dinner in a trattoria in the old town. The rich red sunsets across the sea and the cape are justifiably famous.
Meals:
B
Hotel:
Hotel Catalunya

Day 8: Castelsardo and Bonifacio

A leisurely start before we follow the northern coastline to picturesque Castelsardo, with its ancient castle and famed for its basket weaving industry.  Lunchtime is at leisure to explore the narrow streets of the characterful medieval citadel brimming with colourful houses, shops selling local woven handicrafts and restaurants, many with stunning panoramic views. In the afternoon we cross the water to Corsica, France. As we approach Bonifacio the citadel and fortifications loom high, perched magnificently, overhanging the deep blue sea. Entering the harbour we are surrounded by enormous mega yachts and cruisers moored there. The entire harbour is one giant marina and lining the quays are dozens and dozens of bars, shops, restaurants and cafés. Dinner tonight is included in a local restaurant, a short stroll from our cliff top hotel. 

Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
Santa Teresa Hotel

Day 9: ‘My Time’ in Bonifacio

After a short walking tour of the medieval clifftop citadel, your day is free in Bonifacio. ‘My Time’ to relax and amble around the yacht filled harbour, go shopping, explore the historic citadel at your own pace, or maybe hire a boat for a joyride around the bay. A wonderful relaxing day!
Meals:
B
Hotel:
Santa Teresa Hotel

Day 10: Medieval Sartène, Propriano and a scenic drive

Skirting the south west corner, we arrive in charming Sartène. By the leafy main square is the gateway to the 16th century streets of the old town. Take time to stroll and shop amongst the little winding alleys, or to settle in a café and enjoy the medieval surroundings. Lunchtime is at leisure in the coastal town of Propriano. Later we cross over the hills to Ajaccio for our next two night stay. Dinner tonight is included.
Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
Best Western Plus Hotel Amiraute, Ajaccio

Day 11: Napoleon’s home and ‘My Time’

This morning we are joined by a local guide for a walking tour of the old town of Ajaccio. Most famous as being the birthplace of that ‘little Corsican’ Napoleon Bonaparte, we also visit the house where he was born and spent his youth. The rest of your day is free. ‘My Time’ to explore and shop in the lengthy pedestrian shopping street or relax and enjoy the facilities at our hotel.
Meals:
B
Hotel:
Best Western Plus Hotel Amiraute, Ajaccio

Day 12: Scenic train ride, Corte and local produce tasting in Calvi

Boarding a train we cut straight through the scenic mountains of Corsica’s rugged interior to arrive in the ancient capital of Corte. We have included entrance to Corte’s historical museum and ramparts. From there you will have access to the picturesque old fortification standing high on a rocky outcrop. It was here that the Pasquale Paoli, head of the Corsican resistance, declared their new republic in 1794, making Corte the capital. His statue is in the main square amongst the cafes and restaurants, and the buildings are still pockmarked with hundreds bullet holes! In town there are lovely laneways and alleys, cafes and shops. A delightful place to spend lunchtime. Continuing by coach we arrive in Calvi.  Set on a crescent shaped bay, the pedestrian streets full of shops, boutiques and cafes run parallel to the marina and Quai Landry esplanade which is lined with restaurants. At the end on the rocky promontory above is the medieval fortified citadel. Late afternoon, after a short walking tour with a local guide through the pedestrianised old town, we enjoy a tasting of local produce and wine in a delicatessen specialising in charcuterie.Your evening is free.   

Meals:
B
Hotel:
Hostellerie de l’Abbaye

Day 13: Scandola Reserve cruise & My Time’ in Calvi

This morning we board a boat and take a terrific cruise along the coast to see the fabulous cliffs and calanques (narrow, steep walled inlets) of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Scandola Nature Reserve, in the Gulf of Girolata. The gigantic rocky outcrops, which emerge from the deep blue water, catch the sun and create an amazing contrast of colour between the sea and sky.   Accessible only by boat, the tiny hamlet of Girolata is the perfect place to spend a couple of hours relaxing over lunchtime and a swim in the turquoise bay is a must!  Returning to Calvi mid-afternoon, the rest of you day and evening are at leisure. Calvi is a delightful place to stroll around, filled to the brim with shops, cafés and ‘al fresco’ dining.  

Meals:
B

Day 14: ‘My Time’ in Calvi and L’ile Rousse

This morning, My Time’ to relax and explore Calvi at your own pace. Lunchtime is spent in the nearby, ‘oh so French’ port of L’ile Rousse.  Stroll around the old town, through the paved streets named after historical characters such as Pascal Paoli, Napoleon and Louis Philippe. Visit the delightful main square, Place Paoli, shaded by old plane trees and admire the magnificent Florentine -inspired houses. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. 

Meals:
B
D

Day 15: Calvi to Bastia

Your tour ends today after breakfast. Calvi has a small airport which is a short taxi ride away. For those wishing to catch a flight or ferry out of Bastia we have included a morning Group transfer. We recommend you book ferries and flights that depart Bastia after 1pm.

Meals:
B

Incredible Value Inclusions

  • ALL excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
  • Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
  • Travel in a first class air-conditioned touring coach
  • 14 nights specially selected hotel accommodation
  • Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
  • 23 Meals – including breakfast daily (B), a light lunch in a local vineyard, a shepherd's picnic lunch in the Supramonte Mountains (L) and 7 dinners (D)
  • Tea, coffee and a complimentary beverage with all included dinners
  • Welcome drink in Cagliari and on the Champagnoteque Terrace in Su Gologone
  • Hand Selected Albatross Experiences – Su Nuraxi Nuraghe, 4WD excursion deep into the Supramonte Mountains for shepherds picnic lunch, train ride to Corte, Neptune’s Cave and Scandola Nature Reserve cruises
  • Local guides as described in the itinerary
  • ALL tips to your Tour Manager, Driver and Local Guides
  • Free WiFi on coach in Sardinia and at all hotels

No additional 'on tour' costs!

 

Your Hotels

Regina Margherita - 2 nights

First class and in a great location a mere 200 metres in each direction to the port, the pedestrian shopping zone and the historical Bastione.

Su Gologone Experience Hotel - 3 nights

White washed villas and terraced rooms scattered up a hillside of olive trees, oleander blooms, hydrangeas and prickly pears,  colourful décor with local crafts and artwork, stylish terraces and lounges.

Hotel Catalunya, Alghero - 2 nights

The 4 star Hotel Catalunya boasts a fantastic location, right on the edge of the historic old town.

Santa Teresa Hotel, Bonifacio - 2 nights

This excellent 3 star hotel, a former mansion built in the late 19th century, is located on the cliffs of Bonifacio. Offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, the hotel is a short stroll from the old town.

Best Western Plus Hotel Amiraute, Ajaccio

Best Western Plus Hotel Amiraute, Ajaccio - 2 nights

This 4 star hotel, located on the outskirts of Ajaccio, boasts panoramic sea views. The hotel offers a contemporary design with modern facilities and an outdoor pool.

Hostellerie de l’Abbaye, Calvi - 3 nights

In a great location just 200 metres from the old town, what was once a 16th century Franciscan monastery is now an elegantly furnished 4 star hotel, offering contemporary, air conditioned guest rooms.

 

Dates and Prices

Start Date End Date Price Per Person Availability
25 Apr 2021 9 May 2021 Not Yet Open For Sale
30 May 2021 13 Jun 2021 Not Yet Open For Sale
22 Aug 2021 5 Sep 2021 Not Yet Open For Sale
19 Sep 2021 3 Oct 2021 Not Yet Open For Sale