When you think of Cannigione, think of the Costa without the cost. Originally a fishing village, Cannigione is a small town located in the province of Olbia-Tempio in north-east Sardinia, just about 9 kilometers south-west of Porto Cervo. The small seaside village is home to one of the best beaches of the Costa Smeralda, and quite surprisingly, home to three of the best Sardinia boutique hotels. Featuring a long stretch of golden sand with crystal clear waters, it is no wonder why this village is one of the most popular tourist spots on the entire island of Sardinia. Sitting right next to the stunning beach, the promenade is a popular place to relax and unwind while nearby, a beautiful seabed slopes gently into the ocean. As you might expect, this is a hugely popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. In fact, the area is dotted with some of the best diving centers in the entire island of Sardinia, and while leisure tourism is now most common, fishing is also still possible in Cannigione. Right behind this supremely sandy shore is a car park with numerous bars, boat rental shops, hotels, and restaurants, where you can sample the sumptuous traditional cuisines of the Gallura region. At the same time, there are many more beaches near the village of Cannigione. From the Salt Pans of Palau to the Gulf of Arzachena, Barca Bruciata, Mannena, and Isuledda; all of these beaches are easily accessible from the village. Given the favorable conditions in this region, the shoreline is suitable for families with young kids, and there are plenty entertainment options nearby. Furthermore, the Arzachena coastline is also home to charming little coves such as Li Capanni, Lu Multiccioni, and Tanca Manna. As for things to do in Cannigione, several boating trips depart from the dock and these trips often venture into the Maddalena Archipelago National Park. On the southern end of this park, you will find the Stagno di Padula Saloni, which is a stunning pond area, where, amidst the tamarisks and the lush greens, several bird species nest. Some of the birds that you can spot at the park are the black stork, purple heron, osprey, western swamphen, as well as those bird species that dwell exclusively within the island’s lagoons. Aside from the wide variety of bird species that populates the lagoon, there are also egrets, coots, moorhens, mallards, and flamingos. The pond’s bushes feature a distinct reddish color during the summer, which creates an extraordinary scenic effect during sunset and sunrise. On the northern part of the Maddalena Archipelago National Park are the Punta Occhione, an area covered with thick Mediterranean woodlands, forests, and scrub. Climbing to the top, you get to enjoy the breathtaking views of the entire gulf, and even catch a glimpse of the Roccia dell’Orso, also known as the Bear Rock. In many ways, Cannigione embodies everything about the charming villages of Costa Smeralda. It is dotted with Mediterranean style buildings and houses that are made of pink granite and white stones. There are also several establishments all over, such as bars, clubs, restaurants and lots of green spaces. In fact, the many boutiques offer some of the best Sardinian delicacies and artisan products including world-renowned signature brand items. Either way, this is an iconic town which provides an authentic insight into the quieter side of Sardinia.
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Where to Stay in Cannigione - Top Picks
Hotel Li Finistreddi
Hotel Li Finistreddi is a charming hotel which features an outdoor pool, which opens up to the breathtaking views of the La Maddalena archipelago. Sitting on top of a hill and just a few kilometers from the beautiful seaside town of Cannigione, as you might expect, the location is often the recipient of excellent feedback. As mentioned above, the spacious pool is sublime and a great alternative to the beach. For it is also here, where you can relax, sunbath or unwind with stunning sunrise views across the Mediterranean coast. For comfort and convenience, the pool is surrounded by sun beds and a lounge area, and there is also a poolside dining option available, a great way to enjoy a sumptuous meal. Meanwhile, to make your stay even more relaxing, the hotel has an in-house spa center, which offers an excellent variety of relaxing massage and body treatments. This treatment center is also equipped with a sauna, shower, and other spa amenities. As for the rooms, the hotel has many options suitable for all types of travelers. There is a Double Room, which has a private entrance coming in from the garden, while the Garden Suite is designed to give guests an added touch of luxury during their stay. Each room features a private patio with outdoor furniture where you can have an al fresco dining experience with an unparalleled view of the sea. And then there is the Deluxe Pool Suite which is a very spacious room with a private plunge pool and garden patio with even more magnificent views. All of these rooms are fully equipped with a flat-screen TV, private bathroom, Wi-Fi and other modern amenities for a more comfortable stay. Lastly, the hotel restaurant, Osteria Gourmet, never fails to impress visitors. In fact, TripAdvisor has awarded this restaurant with a Certificate of Excellence in light of the incredible reviews it receives. The menu comprises of sumptuous local and International dishes made from organic produce and from the freshest ingredients hand-picked from the local growers in the island. Furthermore, for those who want to take part in some outdoor activities, there is a tennis court on the hotel grounds and bike rental facilities to help you explore the local area.
Hotel Stelle Marine
Hotel Stelle Marine is a few minutes walk from the stunning beaches of Cannigione and a short driving distance to Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport. Featuring a Mediterranean style, this beautiful villa complex is also close to the port village of Palau and Tanca Manna, a vibrant beach renowned for being particularly scenic. Interestingly, The spacious swimming pool at Hotel Stelle Marine is set in a beautiful rock landscape and offers various amenities, such as a poolside lounge with umbrellas. As already mentioned, if you prefer an escape to the beach, you can walk to these sandy stretched and take advantage of the sun loungers, which are free of charge to hotel guests. At the same time, the hotel is equally as enjoyable and has an impressive sun terrace which opens up to the magnificent views. Meanwhile, the charming garden features a bar, where guests can enjoy a sumptuous meal, and perhaps a glass of local wine or beer. As with most hotels in Cannigione, the accommodation is equipped with modern amenities and a Wi-Fi connection. For families and group stays, there is a playground and table tennis in the basement for children and also another swimming pool. All in all, the hotel has more than seventy rooms which cater to all circumstances and budget including the Standard, Superior, and Family rooms, as well as Suites. The spacious beach inspired rooms have windows that open up to the breathtaking views of the sea, while others are equipped with a terrace or balcony. Either way, every room has a private en-suite bathrooms, and for your convenience, there are also many free toiletries, fresh towels, and a hairdryer. Finally, you can expect a fully stocked mini refrigerator, telephone, and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. When morning comes, free breakfasts are served at the panoramic restaurant in Hotel Stelle Marine which serves some of the most mouthwatering Mediterranean dishes along with a full range of variety of International and regional cuisines.
Hotel Relais Villa Del Golfo And Spa
Featuring Mediterranean style architecture with a touch of tradition, Hotel Relais Villa Del Golfo and Spa offers a serene and harmonious environment for a relaxing stay in Cannigione. This boutique hotel in Sardinia is just a three-minute walk from the beach, while Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is a short and scenic drive away. With a focus on comfort and relaxation, the hotel seeks to impress with a wonderful spa, the Harmony Wellness Center, which offers a wide range of spa treatments. Furthermore, it is here you will find a hot tub and a sauna for all guests to enjoy. As for food, the hotel's restaurant, Miraluna, serves the most delectable dishes made from fresh ingredients which are locally produced on the island. You can also expect a hearty breakfast each morning, and it is possible to have this delivered to the terrace or balcony of your room. Each room in the hotel features modern amenities including a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a reliable Wi-Fi connection. There is an opportunity to upgrade to a luxury suite which offers a romantic nest equipped with a private garden and pool overlooking fantastic sea views. While staying at this hotel in Cannigione, you are also guaranteed a wide range of things to do. Aside from the fact that the beaches are just five minutes away, there are also entertainment facilities available within the hotel. In this regard, you can play pool, join a day tour and even rent a bike, car or sailing yacht. Providing capacity for up to ten persons, these yachts are skippered and offer a further compliment to staying at this beautiful Cannigione hotel.
Moma Boutique Hotel
Located in the midst of the Sardinian hills and right next to the stunning beaches of the Costa Smeralda, the four-star Moma Boutique Hotel is one of the most charming small luxury hotels in the area of Cannigione. The location of the hotel is almost symbolic of the experience at Moma, for the quaint rooms and very natural interior are a resemblance of the scenery outside. The small luxury hotel is situated within a few steps of some stunning beaches which make this an ideal location for those who wanted to get out and explore. At the same time, this is the perfect place to enjoy every aspect of a typical Sardinian landscape with the ocean, providing a breathtaking backdrop to the mountains. As for the rooms, each one is accompanied by a slightly different view and every modern convenience you might expect in a hotel of this standard. That is to say; beds are luxurious while the furnishings are quite elegant in spite of their simplistic nature. Featuring beautifully tiled bathrooms and ample space, these rooms are one of the highlights of the hotel, and some of the rooms also feature a balcony with unrivaled views of the Gulf of Arzachena. The Moma boutique hotel is also home to an excellent restaurant which offers a wide range of traditional dishes and Mediterranean cuisine. Pizza is most popular at the Mastro restaurant which also provides a wide range of local wines and liquor. All considered this is a very charming boutique hotel in Cannigione which has a considerable reputation in spite of its small size. In fact, Moma has just ten rooms for visitors but then size is rarely vital in Sardinia!
Things to Do in Cannigione
Go Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
When it comes to things to do in Cannigione, there are few experiences which offer the same reward as scuba diving and snorkeling in the stunning Mediterranean ocean. Indeed, Sardinia is ideally situated at the very center of the Mediterranean and surrounded by the most pristine blue one could imagine. Needless to say, this has ensured Sardinia as one of the best places to enjoy Scuba Diving, and the Areamare Diving Center offers the ideal introduction for both advanced and beginners. Either way, the world beneath this shimmering surface is no less than fascinating and an encounter with some of the most colorful marine life on the planet. Furthermore, Areamare Diving Center offers trips to 30 different dive sites, and these tours cater to individuals, families and groups alike. At the same time, some visitors are not so interested in diving in which case Areamare also provides snorkeling trips into the Maddalena Archipelago. As you may know, this region was declared a National Park back in 1994 and is not home to a stunning encounter which offers a very alternative perspective on mainland Sardinia.
Smeralda Boat Tours
Simply put, taking a boat tour is the best way to see another side of Sardinia, for the ocean views and life on board are entirely different to the island itself. Featuring stunning views, ample comfort, and professional crew; boat tours are suitable for every occasion from family outings to romantic getaways and group excursions. Smeralda Boats provides a full range of boats for this experience and is arguably the most popular place to enjoy a boat tour in Sardinia. In this sense, you can choose from motorboats, sailboats, and dinghies while the tour itinerary can be customized to include several destinations on the La Magdalena Archipelago. In fact, the boat tours run all the way to South of Corsica and every pocket of paradise in between. That is to say; you can opt to explore the hidden coves and beaches along the way or just cruise the coastline in comfort. Either way, taking a boat tour is one of the most exciting things to do in Cannigione and in case you might be asking yourself, these trips are skippered by a professional and often popular with fishing enthusiasts.
Rent Your Own Boat
Sardinia is overflowing with historical landmarks and ancient remnants, but the natural scenery is often the primary highlight for visiting tourists. In most cases, this is centered on the beautiful coastline where visitors can encounter traditional towns and exotic beaches, but then there is also a hidden side to this enchanting island. That is to say, there are just as many hidden beaches, coves, towns, and attractions in the region and quite often, the only way to encounter these experiences is on a boat. With this in mind, renting a boat is one of the most popular things to do in Cannigione and an alternative to taking a boat tour. As you might expect, cruising the coastline is the ideal way to escape the crowds but also to seek out the hidden coves and beaches along the way. The La Maddalena Archipelago is a National Park with many islands to explore, but aside from exploring the destinations, life on board these boats is exceptionally comfortable. Visitors can choose from various boat rentals such as motorboats or sailboats, and the opportunity to create a custom sail itinerary is often the highlight. In this sense, guests can choose to visit many ports along the coastline where they can sample the restaurants, cafes and local way of life. Alternatively, there is also the option of avoiding these towns and choosing to dine on board while traveling in between the many hidden gems on the stunning Sardinian coastline.
Cannigione Restaurants - Where to Eat
Ristorante La Sciumara (Seafood, Traditional Sardinian Food, Vegetarian)
Situated in the region of Olbia Tempio, Ristorante La Sciumara is one of the most stunning restaurants in Northeast Sardinia. Featuring the perfect mix of seafood and local Sardinian dishes, the cuisine itself is nothing short of sublime while the setting of the eatery is often the subject of glowing feedback. Indeed, La Sciumara is located directly on a beautiful sandy beach and offers panoramic ocean views just a few feet from the building. While the scenery is apparently not the main attraction in a restaurant, this desirable location certainly adds to the appeal and experience. Concerning décor, the interior is simplistic rather than extravagant and in many ways, this seems to bring further authenticity to the occasion. La Sciumara is also a restaurant in Cannigione which is just as popular with the locals as it is with the tourists. As you might expect, this is a testament to the delicate flavors and the variety of dishes on offer. Take the bream for example or the roasted suckling pig; both of which are as fresh as the day customers arrive. You will find this throughout the menu, for local produce is common in every meal and even the wines are produced in the surrounding regions. Whether you seek a typical Sardinian dish or something with a Mediterranean twist, La Sciumara is a restaurant in Cannigione which never fails to delight. In fact, feedback is then complimented further with the favorable cost, for the pricing is affordable and far below the standard of the experience as a whole.
La Vecchia Lampara (Seafood, Pizza)
La Vecchia Lampara is a quaint restaurant right next to ocean views which features a wide array of food experiences in the midst of an inviting and warm atmosphere. Although the pizza is particularly popular in this Cannigione restaurant, the sea bream and other seafood are no less than delightful. At the same time, the local meats and exquisite desserts are just as popular as the fregola with clams. As already mentioned, La Vecchia is blessed with a very attractive location, but then the interior of this Cannigione restaurant is just as impressive. Featuring bright colors and friendly staff, there are many clues as to why the feedback is consistently good and how so many locals return to La Vecchia on a weekly or fortnightly basis. In fact, these excellent reviews are often the reason why reservations are needed for tables during busy periods. When it comes to service, the rating is always five stars, and the same can be said about the food presentation which is nothing short of immaculate. In short, La Vecchia Lampara is a restaurant with a view and more than enough flavor to leave customers drooling over their next visit.
Agriturismo La Colti (Traditional Sardinian Food)
Agriturismo La Colti is the perfect example of a cultural eating experience in Sardinia. Located in the Northeast of the island, this stunning restaurant in Cannigione is just as famous for the setting inside as it is for the incredibly fresh and delicious food on offer. Situated on a luscious farm, deep in the Sardinian countryside, La Colti is the perfect opportunity for tourists to find an authentic experience. In fact, this is also a restaurant in which to mix with the locals, for they frequent this establishment from various nearby towns. Featuring a large outdoor courtyard with gentle lighting, beautiful wooden furnishings, and attractive plants, the setting is also unique and ideal for a romantic meal. That being said, the ambiance and setting is suitable for any occasion and is sure to impress those with all manner of preferences and expectations. With this in mind, the range of meats is particularly impressive and often the reason as to why locals are so enamored by this restaurant in Cannigione. As you might expect, everything is taken freshly from the farm, and the selection of wines is an excellent addition to the extensive restaurant. While the meat is, in fact, most often the subject of praise and reviews, it must be said that Agriturismo La Colti is an all-round experience which offers sensational food with friendly service in one of the most authentic settings you are likely to find on the island.
How To Get To Cannigione
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The nearest airport to Cannigione is Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport, located approximately 30 kilometers south of the seaside village. To get there by car, just follow the Strada Statale 125 in the direction of Arzachena. Once you've reached Arzachena, complete your trip by heading towards Cannigione on the Strada Provinciale 13. This drive shouldn't take you longer than about half an hour.