Porto Torres Cruises, Sardinia
- The Basilica of San Gavino dominates the tourism scene here. This huge Romanesque cathedral dates back to the 11th century, and there’s an ancient crypt beneath the main chamber. Outside, carved archways and columns show a Gothic Catalan influence on the building.
- Ferries are ten-a-penny in these parts, and one of the top places to visit is the island of Asinara. It’s located just off Sardinia’s north coast, and despite being a prison for many years, was made a national park in 1997. These days, the main attraction’s a colony of albino donkeys, which is where the island’s name – meaning donkey-inhabited – comes from.
- Spiaggia di Balai is the standout beach in Porto Torres. This pocket of butter-coloured sand is tucked away from the coastal road, and the water’s so calm it looks like glass. Turn your gaze to the grassy headland, and you’ll see the pretty Balai Vicino – a simple whitewashed church where three Roman martyrs are believed to be buried.
SHORE EXCURSIONS View all excursions
This trip to Alghero’s a great choice if walking’s not your game, with your 40-minute tour around the historical centre taking place on board a trolley train. On the way, you’ll pass through the cobbled streets and catch sight of the traditional Catalan architecture, as your guide highlights the must-sees. Afterwards, you’ll have an hour of free time to grab a spot of brunch, explore the city or watch the world go by from a seafront coffee shop. On the journey back to port, you can take in the views from the headland of Capo Caccia on a scenic coastal drive.
Sardinia’s history and culture’s far too varied to be seen in one day, but this trip gives you a real taste of the Mediterranean’s second-largest island. For starters, you’ll take the panoramic coastal road to the charming town of Bosa, where there’ll be two hours of free time to explore. Spot the pretty coloured houses clustered into the hillside, and snap the Medieval Malaspina Castle. The town square’s a prime spot for lunching, and sampling the local tipple – Malvasia wine. Afterwards, you’ll head inland to discover the history of the Nuraghe Sant’Antine. There are over 7,000 mysterious nuraghes – AKA stone houses – on the island, with some dating back to the 12th century BC.
There's talcum powder-like sands and shallow turquoise waters on the agenda. Sardinia’s northwestern tip – and the area of Stintino in particular – is known for its first-rate beaches. You’ll head to La Pelosa Beach for around three hours of sun, sea and sand. Dip your toes in the water and watch as the colourful fish swim between your feet. And if you feel like venturing out further, you can grab a snorkel. This area’s part of the Asinara National Park, a protected marine preserve since 2002. The views are second to none – you’ve got the islands of Piana and Asinara in sight from the sands. Plus, the beach has sunbeds for hire and a handful of seafront restaurants and bars.