Olbia Tourist Activities

Around one and a half million passengers travel through Olbia Airport each year, and many of these passengers are local and international holidaymakers coming to enjoy Sardinia’s famous sandy beaches and clear blue waters. Naturally, the months of summer prove to be the airport’s busiest time of the year.

The country of Italy has been a major area for tourism for many years, as it has thousands of attractions scattered in all its cities, however, Sardinia offers something a little different from the usual Italian attractions, as it is an island of intense beauty, with fauna and flora of all kinds. Its beaches are also some of the most magnificent in the world, with tranquil turquoise colours, so clear you may mistake yourself to be in the Caribbean. Mountains and hilly areas are also common on the island, and there are many steep cliffs that fall steeply to the ocean waters, providing some spectacular views. In these cliffs there are numerous underwater caves that are explored by thousands of scuba divers every year, as well as some caves that can be explored from the dry land.

Sardinia’s natural attractions provide a wonderful landscape for all kinds of activities, ranging from water sports such as sailing, swimming, fishing, scuba diving, windsurfing and other boating related fun, to inland activities, of horse-riding, walling trails, hiking and animal spotting in the national parks. The activity of ‘trekking’ has become very popular in Sardinia, and tourists can choose between many different paths, some of which are more suitable for beginners, while others are more intensive. These excursions can last for a few hours, or for the whole day. Rock climbing activities are popular nearby Sassari, or visitors can choose a more relaxing day out walking in Gallura.

In the town of Olbia itself, tourists like to visit the historic centre, where numerous old houses and buildings are present. A popular religious building is the church of Saint Paolo, which dates back to the 17th century, and is built in a Gallurese style. Tourists can also view various remains from the Roman era, in particular, parts of Olbia’s ancient city walls and the famous thermal baths. The church of San Simplicio is another interesting structure, and is actually the oldest and most significant religious monument in the Gallura region. It is a Romanesque church, but is also slightly different, as its façade depicts architectural influences from the Lombardy and Tuscany regions as well. The interior of the church is quite magnificent, with great pillars holding up the beamed roof. The inside walls of the church’s building is decorated with old stones that were once part of the Roman road to Telti, and several from Roman gravestones in the nearby cemetery.

The island of Sardinia is also famous for its many nuraghi complexes, and one of the main ones can be found nearby Olbia. The nuraghi constructions, or the remains thereof, can be found throughout the island, and are circular stone towers that most likely served as refuge areas in times of danger, and also places from where the old settlements were defended. The main nuraghi nearby Olbia is that of Cabu Abbas, or also known as Riu Mulinu, and is built on a rock over 200 meters above sea level. This was presumably done in order to see enemy ships approaching from a distance. This structure has no particular foundation, and remains in a standing position only due to the weight of its own stones. These stones are extremely heavy, and known to weight as much as several tons. The nuraghi of Cabu Abbas can be found about five kilometres away from Olbia.

Other areas which are well worth a visit, and which are within very close driving distance of Olbia, include the Medieval Castle of Pedres, and Arzachena, which is approximately 25 km from Olbia. Arzachena is popular for its unique and ancient monuments that surround the town. There are also other interesting sights in this area, such as the Grave of Gigante in Coddhu Ecchiu, and the Neolithic necropolis of Li Muri. Just ten kilometres off the coast of Olbia, tourists love to visit the island of Tavolara. It consists of a huge calcareous table that rests on a granite shelf, and has a height of about 600 meters. This island is also very close to the island of Molara, from which only a small channel separates it. Surprisingly, the island of Tavolara has a few inhabitants, and a restaurant that is open during the tourist seasons of Sardinia.

The town of Olbia has many wonderful cafés, bars and restaurants from where all sorts of Sardinian cuisine can be enjoyed. The local pasta dishes such as gnocchi – sardo in ragu sauce and culurgionis are particularly popular, while there are also homemade pasta dishes that include an interesting variety of seafood. The curlurgionis meal is typical Sardinian ravioli, filled with potatoes, cheese, garlic and mint. There are no theatres in Olbia, but traditional Sardinian music is very popular in the town, and is performed by many entertainers.

Passengers arriving at Olbia Airport can find out all the information they need to know about Olbia, its surrounding areas and the island of Sardinia from the Infodesk Ciaosardinia in the arrivals area of the terminal building. The airport also offers a website from where other kinds of information regarding the airport is available, at http://www.geasar.it/eng/airport, as well as links to online tourist information. Olbia Airport’s email address is info@geasar.it.