Cagliari - Oristano - Alghero - Bonifacio - Ajaccio - Bastia

Sardinia & Corsica – Legendary Islands

Destination
Cagliari - Oristano - Alghero - Bonifacio - Ajaccio - Bastia
Dates From
23/05/2022
Duration
11 Nights
12 Days
Price From
$7,680
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SMALL GROUP TOUR

An ancient land with an ancient language, Sardinia is a uniquely fascinating place, forged by many centuries of culture and history, in its strategic position at the center of the Mediterranean. Its awe-inspiring treasures of the past, such as the Nuraghic bronzes in Cagliari and the Megalithic tombs of the giants, can be admired in the island’s many museums, or in its archaeological areas, some dating back as far as the 7th century BC. And standing silently ever present across the island, the enigmatic Nuraghs; these round fortresses built in pre-historic times still survive as powerful symbols of the tenacity of Sardinia and its people. All this combines with the breathtakingly beautiful and varied natural environment to create a truly special place.

A world apart, an island separated from the rest of Italy not only by the sea but also by centuries of history and cultural experience. On the other hand, Corsica is an enigmatic island with many and varied faces, a wild and fascinating place. It resembles a miniature continent, with astounding geographical diversity. Within half an hour, the landscape morphs from glittering bays, glitzy coastal cities and fabulous beaches to sawtooth peaks, breathtaking valleys, dense forests and enigmatic hilltop villages.

Travel to Sardinia and Corsica with their idyllic climate, archaeology treasures, dramatic vistas and hearty cuisine that embodies all things Sardinian and Corsican. Experience the contrast of these beautiful Islands with a small group limited to 12/14 travelers only!

Highlights & Inclusions

  • Guaranteed departures group travel: small, friendly group limited to 12/14 participants only!
  • More than 15 included sightseeing tours & cultural experiences
  • Visit popular UNESCO World heritage sites
  • Exceptional local tour director, experienced to accompany you throughout your journey
  • Entrances to main Sardinian and Corsican sites are included
  • Transportation on tour, via private air-conditioned 17/19 seats motorcoach
  • Included gratuity for city guides
  • Tour city guides as per itinerary in Sardinia, Bonifacio, Ajaccio and Bastia
  • City taxes and service charges at all hotels and restaurants
  • Transfers while overseas, baggage transfers and porters are included
  • Included regional meals: All breakfasts, 3 foodie experiences, 6 dinners, 4 lunches (main meals include regional wine, mineral water, local coffee or tea only)

Itinerary

Day 1: WELCOME TO THE ISLAND OF SARDINIA

Arrive at Cagliari international airport and travel to the city centre for three nights stay at the boutique hotel “Palazzo Dessy” or similar, close to the city’s architecturally treasures. Today, we’ll become acquainted with this fine city on a guided tour starting at 14.30 from your hotel. Cagliari has an enviable setting overlooking the beautiful Bay of Angels and its historic heart, the castello which is cradled by ancient ramparts that enclose some beautiful architectural gems and historical treasures. Our discovery tour features a visit to the Santa Maria Cathedral, where to admire the Pisan Romanesque facade and the Bastione Saint Remy, a glorious spot for amazing views. Tonight, we enjoy a welcome dinner in a sophisticated gourmet restaurant. Overnight in Cagliari.

Day 2: ANCIENT NORA & SARDINIAN WINERY

This morning we drive south-west out of the city of Cagliari over bridges and viaducts crossing salt pans that have been in use since the Romans arrived, to the sunken Phoenician city of Nora, one of Sardinia’s most important archaeological sites. Following this, drive to the village of Serdiana for a visit to a family-run winery for a tasting of some Sardinian wines such as Vermentino and Cannonau. Return to Cagliari for an included lunch followed by the afternoon at leisure, maybe visiting the vibrant marina quarter or the poetto beach area. Overnight in Cagliari.

Day 3: SAN BENEDETTO MARKET, UNESCO SU NURAXI & OLIVE OIL FARM

Our day starts with a visit to the popular San Benedetto Market where you see how the locals shop, what they buy, what is fresh, and what is caught in this part of the Mediterranean sea. Continue to Barumini for a tour of the Bronze Age site at Su Nuraxi, ancient megalithic constructions developed during the Nuragic age (1900-730 B.C.), included by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. The Nuraghic people built many prehistoric stone villages in Sardinia from about 1800 BC but left no written records. Su Nuraxi is described as the finest and most complete example of this remarkable form of prehistoric architecture. This is truly an experience you will not soon forget! After our visit, head south to the community of Dolianova to learn about the history of olive oil production in Sardinia and sampling their local products. Dinner is included this evening in a popular seafood restaurant. Overnight in Cagliari.

DAY 4: ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM, ARUTAS BEACH & COLORFUL BOSA

After breakfast we head to the stunning Archaeological Museum of Cabras, where we see the statues known as the ‘giants of Mont’e Prama’, giving a fascinating insight into Sardinia’s past with findings from the Neolithic and Nuragic civilization. Following this, we drive to a wonderful beach named Arutas (weather permitting) famous for its white quartz sand. Sardinia is famed for its turquoise clear waters and great beaches, and we give you some time to relax on the beach, have a swim or just take it easy in the cafe nearby. Continue to the delightful pastel-coloured houses town of Bosa located on a green valley at the foot of a mountainous area dominated by the Castello Dei Malaspina, on the right bank of the Temo river, the only navigable one in Sardinia. This fascinating town is famous for its artisan tradition of gold-filigree jewellery and lacemaking. Spend the next three nights in the medieval fortified seaside town of Alghero at the charming “Carlos V Hotel” or similar. Tonight, you’ll eat like a local with a pizza by metre dinner. Overnight in Alghero.

DAY 5: CATALAN ALGHERO & BACKROAD SARDINIA

Following the Catalan-Aragonese invasion of Sardinia, Alghero underwent total Hispanicization and became known as “little Barcelona”. The lively piazza is fitted with shops and restaurants. Our orientation tour takes you through the labyrinthine alleys of the remarkably preserved old town, defended by robust walls and four bastions dedicated to famous explorers. Following this, drive through the colourful Sardinian countryside where you will meet a Sardinian family in their farmhouse for a delicious home hosted lunch and hands-on-making local cheese. Rest of the day is at leisure for more discoveries. Overnight in Alghero.

DAY 6: NEPTUNE’S CAVE & SARDINIAN COOKING CLASS

In the morning, we take a boat trip to one of the most fascinating jewels of the whole Mediterranean-the mystical Caves of Neptune, bathed in shimmering colours and bristling with stalactites and stalagmites contorted into fantastical shapes. Please note that in case of unfavourable weather or strong wind, we are obliged to cancel the boat trip and driving instead to the limestone headland of Capo Caccia where a steep series of 654 steps leads down to the cave. Following this, master the flavours of Sardinian cuisine—like al dente gnochetti Sardi doused in savory lamb ragu and bruschetta topped with bright, sun-ripened tomatoes—during an entertaining cooking class. Learn about typical local ingredients, and then sit down to share your meal along with regional wines at a beautiful country house outside of Alghero. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Alghero.

DAY 7: CASTELSARDO & DELIGHTS OF COSTA SMERALDA

Today we leave Alghero behind and journey towards the famed Costa Smeralda, or Emerald Coast, a 20-kilometre stretch of reclaimed and tastefully coastline which has grown to become one of the world’s most celebrated holiday playgrounds and a haven to the Mediterranean’s sailing and private yacht community. En route, we discover the 13th-century Aragonese stronghold of Castelsardo. Imagine steep, winding streets leading up to rugged defensive towers and elderly women sitting in doorways weaving elaborate baskets. It’s little wonder it has been listed as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. As we head off to explore, we’ll discover beautiful white-sand beaches, idyllic remote bays, and sublime hotels. Enjoy some time to yourself with a stroll around Porto Cervo’s pretty marina, the Piazzetta, lined with designer boutiques, cafés, bars, and restaurants, so maybe sit with a refreshing drink, and indulge in a spot of people-watching. We spend the night in the charming village of Palau staying at the “Hotel Palau” or similar, with dinner included. Overnight in Palau.

DAY 8: ANCIENT BONIFACIO & ELEGANT AJACCIO

Corsica boasts a long, eventful and troubled history. Rarely has it ruled itself, often has it been fought over. This morning, depart to Santa Teresa di Gallura for embarking on the ferry to Corsica (approx. 1 hr journey). Admire the contrast of scenery of the two islands as you transfer from Sardinia to Bonifacio. Upon arrival, a local guide will show the highlights of the well-preserved old town. Continue to Corsica’s capital city of Ajaccio staying at the seaside “Hotel Les Mouetters” for the first two nights in Corsica, located on Corsica’s famous route des Iles Sanguinaires. Overnight in Ajaccio.

DAY 9: BEAUTIFUL AJACCIO & NAPOLEON’S HOUSE

The wonderful waterfront city of Ajaccio is known foremost as Napoleon’s birthplace. After breakfast, we embark on a walking tour of its historical centre featuring the Maison Bonaparte, its colour-washed, terracotta-tiled houses, narrow backstreets and the Venetian Renaissance-style Cathedral, where Napoleon and his siblings were baptized. Rest of the day is at leisure for taking advantage of the hotel facilities and its sandy beach. Dinner is included this evening in a local bistro. Overnight in Ajaccio.

DAY 10: ANCIENT CAPITAL OF CORTE & RESTONICA VALLEY

Today, we explore the medieval town of Corte, whose fortunate geographic location meant that on several occasions’ potential conquerors, including the Romans, had to stop short of this region. From its Citadel, which is the home of the Musee de la Corse, one of the leading centres of Corsican culture, there are commanding views of the territory. Continue to the heart of the Restonica Valley for an included lunch in a Corsican restaurant. Drive to Bastia for your last two nights at the charming “Hotel Des Gourverneurs” located in the heart of the citadel. This evening is at leisure, with dinner tonight on your own. Overnight in Bastia.

DAY 11: DISCOVER THE MAGIC OF BASTIA

Bastia has a charm of its own, which can be found in the Citadel and the historic center, with its narrow alleys reminiscent of Italian villages.With its colorful houses overlooking the sea, Bastia is the second largest city in Corsica and is considered its economical capital.In the morning meet your local tour guide for a discovery of the citadel to get a true sense of the town, the archaeological museum, joining the locals in their ritual coffee in Place de Nicolas or a pastis at the Vieux Port. In the evening we’ll celebrate you with an “au revoir dinner” sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Sante’! Overnight in Bastia.

Day 12: Au Revoir Corsica

Morning transfers to Bastia airport for your flight.

DATES & PRICES

Starts Ends Price Status Book
23/05/202203/06/2022$7,680 p/p twin shareAvailable
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13/09/202224/09/2022$7,680 p/p twin shareOn Request
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Exclusions

Single supplement (is available if required)
Optional excursions/sightseeing
City Tax: some City Councils may introduce a tourist tax that has to be paid directly at the hotel
Meals and beverages other than those specified
Everything which is not clearly specified under inclusions

* Please note, price is subject to fluctuation and availability is subject to change until booked and confirmed *