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UnDISCOVERED SARDEGNA (The Blue Island) 2025
April 2025

Starts in Berchidda (Olbia), Sardegna and also visit La Maddalena, Tempio Pausania, San Pantaleo, Azarchena, Golfo Aranci and Alghero.

The Italian region of Sardegna” (Sar-den-ya), (“Sardinia” in English), sits in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and ranks among the most culturally diverse regions of Italy, It is also one of the least-known destinations for Americans.

The irregular coastline is dotted with natural bays and coves, white sand beaches, and crystal clear blue-green water.

The Blue Island offers visitors unrivaled natural beauty and seaside resorts.  Since the 1960’s, thanks to Prince Aga Khan, the Emerald Coast of Sardegna has been the summer playground for wealthy Europeans.  Seaside towns such as Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo are filled with yachts and the upscale hotels are sold out, as people gather for the vibrant nightlife, boutique shopping and to see and be seen.  Come fall, the yachts depart, the couture shops close for the year, and the parties quiet down.  Yet the weather is fine, and we continue to visit beaches, tour the archipelago, dine and recreate outdoors well into November and December.  The perfect time to visit!

Click here to learn more about Sardegna ▾


Sardegna, features prominently in the history of western civilization. Phoenicians, Cartheginians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Moors and Spaniards all used Sardegna for its rich natural resources and strategic location.  Whomsoever wanted to rule the Mediterranean used Sardegna as a base. Every culture left its mark on the island, through art, architecture, language and culture.  Just inland from the coast lie rich, fertile valleys and soaring granite-peaked mountains, where vineyards, olive groves and a vast diversity of crops grow, including entire forests of cork oak. 

The island is dotted with small towns and villages which preserve and celebrate their traditions and culture.  Sardinians (they refer to themselves as “Sardi” pl., “Sarda” fem.,“Sardo” masc.), are famous throughout Italy for being among the most generous and welcoming people.

Most recently, Sardegna has come to our attention as one of the world’s Blue Zones, where many people live healthy, productive lives well past 100 years of age, specifically in the region of Gallura where our tour resides.  Why the longevity? We don’t really know, but you will be struck by the social, hospitable nature of the Sardi, their unique culinary offerings, and a sense of place, of belonging.  Once you visit the island of Sardegna, you become one of its global citizens, always welcome.

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You will be guided by an Italian insider, Phil of Philítaly.  He will leverage his Italian language, access to family and friends to show you the real Italian “day in the life”, and take you to places off the beaten path.

April 2025

Price for Full Land Package All Inclusive $3,889 Per Person


Purchase your flight on your own to have more control over possible changes.  Choose a flight from the closest airport with non-stop flights to the Italian hub city where the group meets.  If you are not close to a city with non-stop service to the hub in Italy, we suggest you take a domestic flight to the US city that offers non-stop service to Italy hub or fly to a European city with layover to the hub city in Italy where the group meets. ​

Consider travel insurance for peace of mind to protect land, air and trip cancellation as well as medical service and evacuation insurance.  Click here to view options for comprehensive insurance, not just for flight cost, like most airlines sell. 

EXPLORE THE BLUE ISLAND: 8 Days and 8 Nights on Sardegna:
Together we explore a different and surprising aspect of the island, from its prehistoric monuments to fashionable beaches, and every day you will be immersed in the local culture.  You will visit the Emerald Coast towns and beaches, enjoy wine and olive oil tastings, outdoor recreation in the mountains, cultural and historic sites, ancient and medieval history, and, of course, plenty of food and lots of unique shopping.

Day 0

Travel overnight from US or early morning from a European city
Day 1
  • Arrive in Olbia,(OLB) the Emerald Coast Airport with direct flights from over 50 European destinations and meet your private driver outside baggage claim. Or take an overnight ferry from the mainland, Livorno or Civitavecchia (Rome).
  • Transfer to Berchidda. Check into your lodging and unwind.
  • Evening reception at Maman Ludi restaurant

You will be escorted to Berchidda, traveling inland past vineyards and cork oak forests.

Accommodation options include hotels, private lodgings in town, bed & breakfasts or country homes right outside of town. Check-in, unwind and relax.

EVENING RECEPTION: Join us at the Belvedere for an aperitif and light dinner on the terrace at Maman Ludi, a family owned restaurant, where Lucca, Mariella, and their daughter Chef Anastasia will treat you to traditional dishes made with a modern flair.  The stunning view is the perfect backdrop to start your adventure.  You will meet your fellow travelers, your hosts and some local dignitaries.

Click here to learn more about Berchidda 

Located in north-central Sardegna, Berchidda, population of 2,772, lies in the foothills of the Limbara Mountains, 950 feet above sea level.  Berchidda is in the heart of Gallura, backed onto Monte Acuto and overlooking a sweeping valley of farmland.  Like most small Italian towns, it embraces modernity in its own way, even as it works to preserve millennia of local customs and culture.

The locals, “Berchiddesi,” are used to visitors.  It is the epicenter and founding city of Time in Jazz, an international festival attracting 35,000 visitors to the region each year.  Besides that, there are local festivals and celebrations throughout the year, especially in the fall. It is a community and region that loves gatherings and loves visitors

Berchidda is an official “Cittá del Vino (Wine City), with 250+ local producers.  It is internationally recognized for producing fine Vermentino – DOCG- “de origine controllata garantita,” which is the highest official Italian ranking– as well as many other red and white wines. 

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Day 2

We explore the stunning archipelago La Maddalena at the northern tip of the island.  The archipelago is short-listed to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a designated wildlife preserve.  We’ll explore the coastline, private beaches and dine on the main island, La Maddalena, known for its beautiful waters and, of course, excellent shopping.

Dinner on your own.

Day 3
Wine and cheese

Breakfast on your own.

We’ll spend the day getting to know your host city and the region.  Explore the winemaking process and the different grape varieties grown in Sardegna and see an olive oil production plant in action.

  • Olive Oil Consortium- a production facility– for olive oil tasting/tour.
  • Wine Museum (Museo dei Vini)/ Visitor Center for Regional History. You’ll do a wine tasting and attend a lecture about the region, its history, people and customs.

  • Visit and wine tasting at a local family-run winery set in their beautiful vineyard.

We’ll be sampling local culinary fare throughout the day, so no official lunch is needed, but you may want some free time in the afternoon to enjoy that great Mediterranean tradition – a nap!

DINNER: Dine in a private home with a local family.

You will be welcomed in small groups into the homes of local residents. Enjoy the particular cuisine of Berchidda and the region.

Click here to learn more about the cuisine of Sardegna 

Sardegna depends in equal parts on fresh Mediterranean seafood and the wealth of the products from forests and farms.  Sardi cook with fresh ingredients, and in a small town like Berchidda, everyone relies heavily on local products.  If one family doesn’t produce/grow/hunt it themselves, their neighbor does.  From the sea- mussels, clams, calamari, scampi, as well as bream, swordfish, tuna and mullet.  From the larder– wild boar, lamb, beef, are abundant, and usually cooked whole or in large cuts in a fireplace (which you will find in every Sardegnan kitchen).  Fruits and vegetables from local producers, olive oil and wine locally produced.  It’s all local!

TAKE NOTE: When dining in a restaurant, you will generally find “cavallo” (horse) and asinello (donkey) on the menu.  Just so you know.

Dolci Sardi (desserts) rely on citrus, almonds, figs, pistachios, and are never too sweet.  Saffron is a preferred local spice, as well as the aromatic leaves of the “mirto” bush (myrtus communis, an aromatic and medicinal plant and berry) which grows wild in Sardegna.

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Day 4



We spend the day visiting the nearby inland mountain town of Tempio Pausania.  Along the 20km minute trip we’ll stop by a cork processing facility where you will see how tree bark becomes the stopper in your wine bottle (or flooring, or bulletin board).


We’ll tour the Medieval church and sacristy of San Pietro, explore charming boutique shops and artisan culinary outlets.  Then on to the archeological site of Nuraghe Majori where we’ll learn about these mysterious Bronze Age structures called “nuraghe.”

There are more than 7,000 nuraghe on the island, small to massive, and nobody knows exactly how they were used, but there are plenty of theories.  


Adjacent to the archeological site is the Agriturismo Nuraghe Majori- a typical farm-to-table dining experience.  Loosen your belts and get ready to EAT! 

Dinner on your own.

Day 5



Option 1: Put on your apron and get ready to roll up your sleeves, metaphorically, that is. Our local, gifted culinary team will demonstrate some of the most treasured local dishes.  Of course you’ll eat what you prepare.

Option 2: Spend the day shopping and enjoying the seaside towns of San Pantaleo, Azarchena and the Golfo Aranci boutique and artisan shops and cafés.

DINNER: It isn’t Italy without pizza! We’ll dine at a local pizzeria and enjoy some local wine and beer.

Day 6

GET YOUR SPAIN ON (Without leaving Italy!)


A Day In Alghero - City of Coral and Aragonese/Catalan Culture.

Today we head to the west coast, facing Spain, to the seaside city of Alghero. Skipping (for the moment) past the rich ancient history and prehistory of the area, the city was largely built by Aragonese (Spanish) mariners who occupied the city for 300 years from the 14th to the 17th century.  Catalan is still spoken by the Algherese.

Alghero is known as the Coral Riviera, where rich, deep red corals were harvested for

centuries. It is a typical seaside town, like many others you would find... in Spain.

The guided tour may include:


  • Visit the Cathedral Santa Maria

  • Explore the Sea Caves (weather permitting)

  • Tour the medieval historic center

  • Visit the Coral Museum or the Archeological Museum

  • Visit the most well-known winery on the island, Sella e Mosca.

Lunch in Alghero.

Day 7



Option 1: Go on a guided nature walk from Berchidda, learn about the history of the area, and visit the ruins of the medieval castle and Lago (lake) Coghinas.  This is a moderate level hike - no rock climbing but a good bit of uphill terrain.  The hike takes about 4 hours and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.


Option 2: The lighter side of nature.  Visit the Butterfly sanctuary in Berchidda.  Enjoy the beautiful view from the ranger station and hear a lecture about the local geology, flora and fauna.  Explore Monti on your own, with perhaps a visit to one of the local wineries.

Farewell dinner in Berchidda: Join your hosts Ron and Raff at their home where we will enjoy one last special dish - Zuppa Berchiddese - prepared by our friends and neighbors (and now your friends!).

Day 8

ARRIVEDERCI — “Until we meet again!”

Image by Gary Lopater

We’ll take you to the airport, or help you get to wherever you’re headed next. Maybe you’ll stay a few more days on your own and rent a car to explore the rest of the island. Maybe another week on the beach or maybe you’ve made some great friends in Berchidda and will just want to stay indefinitely.

There will be shuttles throughout the day for departures from Olbia (OLB) by sea or air.

Click here to learn more about Olbia 

In case you want to explore some more on your own, note that there are two additional international airports on the island, in Alghero, AHO, and the capital city of Cagliari, CAG.  These are both port cities and offer ferries as well.  Transportation to Cagliari by train, transportation to AHO by train or coach.  The French island of Corsica lies just to the north of Sardegna, easily reached by boat or air. From Corsica there is a high-speed passenger ferry to Nice on the Côte d'Azur, and 4 international airports (Figari [FSC], Ajaccio [AJA], Calvi [CLY] and Basti [BIA]), with flights to most major European destinations.

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