Olbia Cruise Port

Port of Olbia: An Overview

The city of Olbia is the gateway to Costa Smeralda -- the Emerald Coast -- of Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. (Only Sicily is larger.) Located about 150 miles southwest of Italy's mainland harbor town of Civitavecchia, this port town has two distinct faces. It's a quaint and easy-to-navigate town with museums, historical churches dating from the 11th century and the lovely Corso Umberto thoroughfare that's lined with boutiques, gelato shops, restaurants and cafes. But in the summer months, Olbia is also a quintessential beach town with beautiful stretches of white sand that are ideal for lounging. Watersports are popular here, too, and rentals -- boats, sea kayaks, windsurfers -- are available for those that prefer a more active day in Sardinia.

Because the port is a busy one -- complete with ferry service -- it does not allow cruise passengers to walk through the active dock area. Instead, you'll hop on a complimentary shuttle bus that takes you a mile or so down the road to Piazzale Benedetto Brin. Here, you can easily walk to visit the Museo Archeologico di Olbia (which outlines the history of the historic old town) and Museo del Mare (a maritime museum) -- both are right next to the bus drop-off. You can stroll Corso Umberto to enjoy a cappuccino at an outdoor cafe or visit some of the historic churches in town, including San Simplicio and San Paolo.

Don't Miss

Pittulongu beaches: For a relaxing day in port, your best bet is to head to the beaches of Pittulongu, just north of the cruise port. The half-moon-shaped La Playa is gifted with soft white sand, crystal clear water and an abundance of pretty seashells that are just begging to be scooped up. There are several bars and restaurants at the beach that allow you to rent sunbeds, loungers and umbrellas. (Do so and you can also use their lavatory facilities, which are cleaner than the one public restroom.) Watersports rentals including sea kayaks and wind surfers are also available. It's a 10-minute taxi ride from the port.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The official currency is the euro. You can find banks and ATMs on Corso Umberto. For up-to-date currency exchange rates, visit www.xe.com.

Language

Italian is the official language but many locals -- especially those working in the shops and restaurants that line Corso Umberto -- understand English.

For More Information

On the Web: Olbia: Magic City of Sardinia Island

Cruise Critic Message Boards: Italy Ports

The Independent Traveler: Italy Travel Guide

--By Andrea M. Rotondo, Cruise Critic contributor

  • Olbia: Silver Muse
    geoloman
    The Lecce: Florence of the South walking tour was okay. Lecce is not in the same league as Florence. They obviously wish they were, based on the name of the tour. My least favorite excursion. ... Read more
  • Olbia: MSC Armonia
    amexias
    Again we thought the excursions very pricey. We took a bus tour from Olbia to Porto Cervo and Costa Smeralda for €25 each where the ship was charging €50 just for Porto Cervo. It's much cheaper to organise your own excursions when you get ... Read more
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