Tour description

SARDINIA & CORSICA SMALL GROUP TOUR

Dive into and discover the unique ancient land and culture that Sardinia and Corsica hold with our in-depth small group tour. This ancient land has been forged by many centuries of culture and history, given its strategic Mediterranean position, and has influences from many countries and groups of people. Deep in its roots, you’ll find the treasures of its past, like Nuragic Bronzes, Megalithic tombs, and prehistoric fortresses.Sardinia also boasts breathtaking coasts, tempting turquoise waters, and a mountainous interior. It’s perfect for those who enjoy a little adventure with a side of history and culture. Experience Sardina to the fullest, sampling the unique food and discovering its deep history day after day. On the other hand, we have the island of Corsica, a wild and fascinating place. It’s just as beautiful as its sister Sardinia, with dramatic coasts, pillowy beaches, and a rugged interior but with a hint of French influence. Due to its proximity to Sardinia, most people think that Corsica is Italian, but it’s a part of France. That just adds to the experience with a distinctly French influence in the culture, architecture, and food that pairs exceptionally well on a contrasting tour – it’s the best of both worlds!

Both stunning islands have a unique language and culture, all their own, just waiting to be discovered. On this tour, you’ll travel to two islands with idyllic climates, deep history, and sweeping scenery that’s bound to be the vacation of a lifetime.

We can’t wait to share a little piece of Sardina and Corsica with you.

Read what our friends are saying about this dynamic trip over on Tripadvisor

HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUSIONS: 12 DAYS/11 NIGHTS

Highlights

  • More than 15 sightseeing tours & cultural experiences
  • Explore Cagliari, a “walled city of water and light” perched over the Bay of Angels
  • Visit an archaeological museum that boasts the largest collection of artifacts on the island
  • Guided tour of the ancient city of Nora
  • Wander the medieval lanes of Bosa
  • Fall in love with the distinctive Nuraghe and its pre-historic conical stone towers that Sardina is famous for
  • Tour the UNESCO World Heritage site Su Nuraxi 
  • Visit the fortified beach town of Alghero
  • Boat trip to Neptune Cave (weather permitting)
  • Visit Bonifacio, a small town perched atop limestone cliffs
  • Tour of the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte in Ajaccio
  • Tour of the medieval town of Sartene
  • Tour of the stunning town of Corte
  • Wine tasting experience at one of Sardinia’s most renowned wineries 
  • Visit the majestic citadel of Bastia

Included

  • Small group tour of 12/14 participants
  • Knowledgeable English-speaking local tour director
  • Entrance fees for all sites
  • Tour transportation in a private air-conditioned motor coach
  • Local guides in the outlined cities and towns
  • Hotel city and service taxes at all accommodations and restaurants are included
  • All breakfasts, three lunches, and five dinners are covered. Main meals include wine, mineral water, espresso, or tea
  • Transfers from Cagliari and Bastia airports
  • Baggage transfers or porters
  • Activity level: Light/Moderate.
  • Terms & Conditions/single supplement and FAQ

Not Included

  • Baggage transfers or porters at the Hotel in Bastia
  • Travel insurance and visa fees/Trip Interruption & Cancellation Insurance
  • Any charges for extras not listed in the itinerary
  • Room services, telephone charges, laundry fees
  • Gratuities for the tour director and local driver
  • Single room supplement
OUR ACCOMMODATIONS
DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: WELCOME TO THE ISLAND OF SARDINIA

Arrive at Cagliari International Airport and travel to the boutique hotel Palazzo Tirso for a three-night stay close to the heat of the city. You will have the day to explore on your own, and we will gather in the evening for a welcome drink and dinner at a local restaurant. 

Meals: Breakfast & lunch on your own, dinner included

Accommodations: Overnight in Cagliari

Day 2: TOUR OF COLORFUL CAGLIARI & SHOP AT THE SAN BENEDETTO MARKET

Today, we will begin our adventure with a guided tour of CAGLIARI, the capital of Sardinia. The city overlooks the beautiful Bay of Angels and offers picturesque bay and mountain views. We’ll start our walking tour at the National Archaeological Museum, which is home to a wide range of pre-Nuragic, Phoenician, and Carthaginian artifacts. Afterward, we’ll head through the streets of the old town to the Cathedral to admire the Pisan Romanesque facade and the intricate Gothic/Baroque interior, as well as the crypt and St Remy Bastions.We’ll wander the San Benedetto market, famous for the freshest local produce, fish, and seafood. The market has two floors with over 300 vendors, so there’s lots to see! If the sun is on our side, we’ll head over to Poetto Beach for a swim and lunch on our own, and we’ll reconvene in the evening for delectable appetizers amongst the locals in the main square.

Meals: Breakfast & dinner with appetizers, lunch on your own

Accommodations: Overnight in Cagliari

Day 3: THE ANCIENT CITY OF NORA & HOME-COOKED LUNCH

On the morning of day three, we’ll start by taking a little road trip away from the busy city towards the ancient Phoenician town of NORA. On the way, we’ll cross bridges and viaducts and pass salt pans that have been used since ancient times. Arriving in the city of Nora is like stepping back into ancient times. We’ll start by visiting one of Sardinia’s most important archaeological sites from the 8th century BC, a pivotal city and a Phoenician port of call during the Roman times. We will head to the nearby village of Soleminis to meet and speak with a local family, who have invited us into their home for a delicious home-cooked lunch. Here, we’ll taste proper Sardinian cooking and make some new friends.You’ll have the evening on your own in Cagliari to explore some of your favorite parts of the city and enjoy dinner.You might head towards the marina quarter of the city, which is home to tiny streets bursting with shops, bars, and markets.

Meals: Breakfast & lunch included, dinner on your own

Accommodations: Overnight in Cagliari

Day 4: SU NURAXI STONE VILLAGE, CHARMING BOSA TO BREEZY ALGHERO

On Day 4 we set off towards Barumini to dive deep into Bronze Age history at SU NURAXI, our first UNESCO World Heritage site. The Nuragic people built many prehistoric villages around the island of Sardinia, but this site is the finest and most complete example of this remarkable prehistoric architecture today. Next, we continue on our journey to the charming town of BOSA, located in a lush green valley at the foot of a mountainous coastal area. The town skyline is dominated by the Castello Dei Malaspina, which sits perched on the hill. Bosa is known all over the island for its artisan gold jewelry and lace making.We’ll tour the town to get a better feeling of the culture and history of the area. Afterward, we will finish our road trip to ALGHERO, a breezy coastal town where we will stay for the next three nights at the charming hotel Carlos V Alghero.

Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own

Accommodations: Overnight in Alghero

DAY 5: WALKING TOUR OF ALGHERO & A ROMANTIC SUNSET CRUISE

In the morning, we’ll start with a guided tour of Alghero,“ little Barcelona”. The town earned that nickname from its close ties and common ancestry with Spain.Uncover an intricate labyrinth of alleys in the preserved old town and lively piazzas lined with shops and restaurants. You’ll have some free time after the tour to continue exploring before we head to the port to embark on our sunset cruise across the bay to the CAVES OF NEPTUNE (weather permitting).Enjoy the sparkling blue Mediterranean waters as we zip across the bay towards the caves, one of the most fascinating jewels of the Mediterranean.They are bathed in shimmering colors and packed with imposing stalagmites and stalactites that develop into fascinating shapes. Learn all about the intricacies of the caves and why they are such a special gem! Dinner tonight is provided at a local fresh seafood restaurant, a delicacy Sardinia is known for!

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodations: Overnight in Alghero

DAY 6: SARDINIAN PREHISTORIC TREASURES AND AN AUTHENTIC COOKING EXPERIENCE

Today, we will explore the picturesque limestone headland of CAPO CACCIA. Our first stop is the captivating site of Anghelu Ruju, home to one of the largest prehistoric cemeteries in Sardinia. There are 40 artificial caves carved into the soft sandstone that have been used by different cultures from the late Neolithic age all the way to the Bronze Age. We’ll have some time to explore this majestic piece of ancient history fully.Afterward, we will head to the home of Signora Irene to master the flavors of local Sardinian cuisine.Go through each ingredient that will go into the dish and taste them while learning the history, significance, and how best to use the produce when it’s in season. After lunch, you’ll have the evening to yourself to relax in Alghero. We recommend catching a famous red sunset over the sea!!!!

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included, dinner on your own

Accommodations: Overnight in Alghero

DAY 7: MEDIEVAL CASTELSARDO & INVIGORATING WINERY EXPERIENCE

Today’s tour begins inland,travelling through the Gallura Region filled with rich oak forests and glistening granite rocks. Our first stop is the enchanting 13th-century town of CASTELSARDO. Perched atop a cliff, the town overlooks the Gulf of Asinara, and its skyline is dominated by its castle that shelters the homes below. We’ll walk up the steep, winding streets that lead to the castle and explore this quaint village. This little wonder is listed as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages.Afterward, we will head to the heart of the Gallura region to visit a renowned Sardinian Winery for an exclusive cellar tour and wine tasting. Sample rich reds and whites grown exclusively in the area and expand your palette.We’ll end our day with a drive to Santa Teresa Di Gallura to embark on our ferry journey to BONIFACIO on the island of Corsica (1-hour journey). We will spend the night in Bonifacio, and you’ll have the evening to explore the city. 

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included, dinner on your own

Accommodations: Overnight in Bonifacio

DAY 8: LOCAL TOUR OF BONIFACIO, JOURNEY TO SARTENE AND AJACCIO

The island of Corsica boasts a long and eventful yet troubled history, which we will explore throughout our time here. The unique town of BONIFACIO is perched like a bird’s nest atop a towering limestone cliff. Aside from its beauty, it has some strategic advantages that made it desirable to many countries, ensuring that throughout history, the island was rarely ruled by itself. This morning, we’ll take a walking tour of the old town with a local guide who will show us the highlights of this well-preserved section of the city. Afterwards, we’ll make a stop in SARTENE to see this adorable mountain town before continuing on to Ajaccio. Here we’ll spend the next two nights at a seaside boutique hotel. Dinner will be provided this evening at a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodations: Overnight in Ajaccio

DAY 9: A BEACH LOVERS PARADISE IN AJACCIO AND A VISIT TO NAPOLEON’S HOUSE

We’ll begin our morning with a walking tour of the historical centre of AJACCIO, including the home of Napoleon Bonaparte, the cathedral where he and his siblings were baptized, and the narrow back streets surrounding the house. Afterward, we will pay a visit to the local open market. Ajaccio is a sparkling seaside city that shines as bright as the blue Mediterranean waters that lap the shore. We highly suggest spending some time on its pillowy soft beaches, going for a swim or visiting the Fesch Art Museum.

Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own

Accommodations: Overnight in Ajaccio

DAY 10: THE ANCIENT CAPITAL OF CORTE & THE RESTONICA VALLEY

Today, we venture out to explore the medieval town of CORTE. Due to its geographical location, many potential conquerors stopped short of this region.The town includes a historic citadel which is home to the Musee de la Corse and a leading centre in Corsican culture. Afterward, we’ll continue on to the heart of the Restonica Valley for lunch at a local restaurant. After the delicious meal, we’ll continue on to BASTIA, where you can explore this evening on your own. 

Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own

Accommodations: Overnight in Bastia

DAY 11: LA VIE EST UN BEAU REVE IN BASTIA

BASTIA is a city with a charm all its own. From the citadel to the narrow alleys and perfectly preserved historic centre, there’s so much to explore.This morning, we’ll meet our local expert guide, who will lead us on a discovery tour of the citadel and the town’s famous seaside. After the tour, you’ll have the afternoon to wander the streets, join the locals for coffee in Place de Nicolas, or have a pastis at the Vieux Port. We’ll gather again in the evening for a celebratory dinner and toast to all the new friends and travel memories we made!

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodations: Overnight in Bastia

DAY 12: AU REVOIR CORSICA

Today, we will depart from Bastia with transfers to the airport.You can choose to stay and explore the city or continue on to see other beautiful regions of Italy like the Northern Italian Lakes , Piedmont or romantic Sicily.

TOUR DATES & PRICING

2024 TOUR PRICE: €5,100       SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: €900    currency converter

Prices are per person based on double room occupancy for 12 days/11 nights

REVIEWS
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The Mystery of Sardinia and Corsica

Rated 5.0 out of 5
17/12/2023

Dear Aldo,

Feel free to select any comments below if you want to include them anywhere. But please don’t change the wording!!We had a great time in Sardinia and Corsica. Some highlights were: Strolling round Santa Cristina, an amazing archaeological park in the countryside, with both prehistoric and early medieval buildings.Visiting a family farm and enjoying a home-cooked meal with local cheeses and wine.Meeting winemakers – one woman in her early twenties, and one man of about 90.Staying in some amazing hotels. In the Hotel Regina d’Arborea in Oristano, the four muses danced on the domed ceiling in a beautiful painting. (see enclosed photo) Learning the history of these strategically placed islands that have changed hands so often over the centuries.Discovering what experts look for in the perfect olive oil. And best of all – swimming in the clear salt water of the Gulf of Oristano near Tharros. It was also great to have you with us – your energy, intelligence, good humor, local knowledge and friendliness made everything flow so easily. See photo.

Penny Nelson from Australia May 2023

Sardinia and Corsica - two amazing islands with Secret Italia

Rated 5.0 out of 5
18/06/2022

This tour was 12 days Sardinia and Corsica. It was superb.I do not know of any other tour company that offer this kind of tour.Aldo was our tour manager and Paula was our Sardinia guide.Aldo takes great care to make sure his travelers are well taken care of and in addition he is a lot of fun. Paula is a true Sardinian, very knowledgeable and charming. I had no idea Sardinia has so much ancient history and Paula did her best to educate us.In Corsica we had three different tour guides and they were all very good.Through the whole trip Nicola was our bus driver. Not only was he an excellent driver navigating thru the most impossible narrow passages etc – he also was a very nice helpful person and fun to be with. Have never become so fond of a bus driver as I did with Nicola.Enjoyed this trip very much. Nice travel companions, nice accommodations and plenty of wine and good food.

Liz Lycke (USA) May 2022

Sardinia Amore Mio

Rated 5.0 out of 5
17/06/2022

It was wonderful traveling with you, Paola, and Nicola on our 12-day tour of Sardinia and Corsica. As you know, this was our second trip with Secret Italia Tours – having been to Puglia with you in 2019 — and we loved every minute of it. Where to start? The itinerary was perfect; the variety of locations we visited (historic places, wineries, farms, hilltop villages and seaside resorts) and our experiences (touring historic city centers, ancient ruins, fortresses, and burial grounds, exploring sea caves, making pasta, tasting the wines of the region, even milking goats and savoring the freshly made cheese) speak to what travel abroad should be. With all that there was still ample time to kick back, swim, shop and wander the alleys and back streets so characteristic of French and Italian towns. And when we concluded each day’s adventures we returned to our well-located first-class hotel. Aldo, as in Puglia, the hotels were wonderful. It was clear that each was carefully selected to provide a high level of comfort, convenience, and personal service. The included breakfasts at each gave us a good, healthy start to the day. And while we’re about food, the meal offerings you provided for us were spectacular and the portions more than plentiful. The accompanying wine selections complimented the food in every way. Finally, let us say that the friendships we developed with the other people on this tour – there were eight of us in total – enhanced our experience greatly. As with the group we traveled with in Puglia, all of us had much in common, including a rich history of travel to places all around the globe. So, thank you again, Aldo and Katrin, for putting together this wonderful tour. We are looking forward to seeing you at the NY Travel Show in October and to our next European adventure with you, wherever that may take us.

Mr. & Mrs. S. Richman (USA)




SARDINIA & CORSICA

SARDINIA & CORSICAFamous mostly for its sea and coastline, Sardinia also abounds in spectacular natural scenery and numerous archaeological ruins, such as the archaeological sites of the early Prehistoric times and the nuragic villages, should not be ignored, as they represent the importance of the geographical and strategic position of Sardinia in the Mediterranean. Sardinia has some Read more