Porto Istana

a picture of isola tavolara seen from the beach of porto istana in olbia tempio sardinia
A view from the beach of Porto Istana, in the province of Olbia-Tempio, north-east Sardinia. In the background, Isola Tavolara.

About Porto Istana

a picture of clouds over porto istana beach in north east Sardinia Italy
Typical Sardinian scenery at Porto Istana Beach

Just ten kilometers east of Olbia in north-east Sardinia, you will find the picturesque portside village, Porto Istana. This charming town is akin to a postcard portrait, with luscious green vegetation turning to sparkling white sand as it sinks into the crystal clear blue water of the Mediterranean. Protected by rocks and with lush green hills surrounding it, the Bay is also situated close to the famous marine park, the Area Marina Protetta di Tavolara. When you think it couldn’t get any better, Porto Istana also offers stunning views of the nearby island, Isola Tavera. Porto Istana is perfect for a relaxing break and an ideal destination for families, groups of friends or couples wanting a romantic getaway. Concerning the weather, this village also experiences an average of 30 degrees during the summer months, July and August. You can also find a nice variety of hotels, apartment rentals and cheaper B&Bs, which are suitable for accommodating all types of tourists from those seeking a brief escape to adventurers just wanting a bed for between activities. Italians take pride in their food, putting in as much love as possible to everything they create and Porto Istana is no exception. In the nearby village of Porto San Paolo, you will find the Michelin star restaurant Il Portolano where the chef takes advantage of the vast natural resources available to him. There are also many attractions and activities in Porto Istana, from boat trips to exploring the exotic islands and venturing off on active hikes across the headlands. Below you can read more about some of the highlights and things to do in Porto Istana.

Things to do in Porto Istana

Boat trips from Porto San Paolo to Isola Tavolara

a picture of a house on isola tavolara in north-east sardinia
A house on Via Hermaea, on Isola Tavolara, Olbia-Tempio, north-east Sardinia.

Between the months of July and September, and during Easter, boat trips to Isola Tavolara regularly leave from the nearby port in Porto San Paolo. The boat trip takes just twenty-five minutes to reach the island and costs fifteen euros for a return journey. Renowned for being the smallest kingdom on earth, Isola Tavolara is truly an island of beauty and worth a visit. Although one-half of the isle is militarized and therefore inaccessible, the other half can be wandered, with beautiful beaches and restaurants lining the harbor. A popular region with scuba divers, the water around the island is a marine reserve containing multitudes of spectacular and tropical sea life. The boat trips also give you time to hike around the island, a popular pastime for many of those traveling to Isola Tavolara. The main walk, on via Ferrata, requires a guide and equipment but this 6-hour journey takes you to Pratone where you will enjoy incredible views of the Gulf of Olbia. If you have been looking out to this beautiful island lining the horizon each day from Porto Istana, you need to treat yourself and see the real thing up close!

Boat trips to Isola Molara from Porto San Paolo

an aerial picture of isola molara in north-east sardinia italy
A bird’s eye view of Isola Molara, three kilometers off the coast of Punta Molara.

Porto San Paolo offers daily excursions to the neighboring island of Tavolara, Isola Molara. This slightly smaller island is not to be missed, and if you fancy an alternative to an organized trip, it is also possible to rent a boat yourself for the day. From the island, you may also be lucky enough to see whales gracefully swim by with the marine park being full to the brim of such diverse sea life. This also makes Isola Molara a very popular place to scuba dive, being a hotspot for scuba and marine enthusiasts. Being 158 meters above sea level, you can dock your boat up on the shore and enjoy some brisk hikes to look out at the panoramic views of the Sardinian coastline, the Mediterranean and the incredible marine park surrounding the islands.

Take a hike on a pristine coastline

a picture of the views at capo ceraso near porto istano in north-east sardinia
Mood-lifting views at Capo Ceraso, 4 kilometers north-east of Porto Istano, north-east Sardinia, Italy.

Just north of Porto Istana village, you can take a memorable stroll to the headlands. Capo Ceraso boasts some of the most incredible views but to see the very best you need to hike to the viewpoint. The hike to Capo Ceraso is around 3.17 miles but as a warning is advised for experts to take. The rough terrain can change quite a lot and therefore is only sufficient for those who have experienced similar hikes before. For those of us who fall more towards the novice status, the trail from Porto Istana to Porto San Paolo has beautiful views, taking 3.72 miles. It is a moderate hike taking around 3 hours at a brisk pace. With this hike you can walk directly along the coastline, catching the rays while you take in vistas of the Mediterranean and maybe spot a pod of dolphins racing by if you are lucky. So for those who want to relax by the beautiful blue, while enjoying some Michelin star, handcrafted seafood dish can do that, while the active explorers who need to be out seeing and doing can also have their holiday wishes granted. Porto Istana has something for everyone.

Where to Stay in Porto Istana

B&B Villa Smeralda

  • A 3 star Bed and Breakfast with 4 rooms, 0.07 kilometers from Porto Istana (about 0.04 miles.)
Villa Smeralda, a modern bed and breakfast in Murta Maria, near Porto Istana.

In Murta Maria, less than 2 kilometers from Porto Istana and only 10 minutes away from Aeroporto di Olbia-Costa Smeralda, you'll find B&B Villa Smeralda, a picturesque bed and breakfast with a modern interior design. It is the perfect place to explore the wonderful region of Porto Istana, popular for snorkeling and horseback riding. Villa Smeralda is nestled on a green hillside and offers magnificent views of the sea and Isola di Tavolara. Surrounded by a manicured garden, Villa Smeralda offers terraces, areas to relax, and a barbecue area. Your hosts, Carine and Dominique, will do everything they can to make your stay at their bed and breakfast as enjoyable as possible. B&B Villa Smeralda accommodates adults only.

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Casa Marida

  • A 3 star Holiday Home with 4 rooms, 0.02 kilometers from Porto Istana (about 0.01 miles.)
Casa Marida, located just a few steps from the beach of Porto Istana.

Just a few steps away from Porto Istana beach, there's a new vacation home available for rent. It can accommodate up to 6 persons. The vacation home features two double bedrooms, one with a bathroom en suite. There's a living room and a dining room with a kitchenette. The house has a garden with beautiful views of the sea and the islands in the protected marine reserve of Area Marina Protetta di Tavolara. A private gate offers direct access to Spiaggia di Porto Istana. This vacation home is perfect for families with children and offers excellent privacy.

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Hotel Cala Cuncheddi

  • A 4 star Hotel with 60 rooms, 1.64 kilometers from Porto Istana (about 1.02 miles.)
a picture of the large outdoor pool at hotel cala cuncheddi near porto istana in north east sardinia
The large outdoor pool at the beachfront Hotel Cala Cuncheddi.

Hotel Cala Cuncheddi is a family-friendly luxury escape that exudes a contemporary Italian style, decorated in pastel colors which blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings. Nestled beautifully on the promontory of Porto Istana, the interior is extremely impressive, but this also extends to the location of the hotel as it sits overlooking the white sands and turquoise waters of northeast Sardinia. Few swimming pools around the world can offer the same awe-inspiring view of the Mediterranean sea, and less can claim ownership to their very own private beach where guests can snorkel in the crystal clear waters. In the evening, there is an option to indulge in an authentic Sardinian culinary experience at Hotel Cala Cuncheddi’s Asumari restaurant while the lounge bar is the perfect place to unwind with a drink afterward. Each of the rooms offers breath-taking views which can be enjoyed on private balconies. The rooms feature a stylish bathroom with Bvlgari toiletries and modern amenities such as air conditioning and complimentary WiFi. Fully equipped for business meetings and group events, Cala Cuncheddi also provides an easy airport transfer to and from the hotel. Hotel Cala Cuncheddi offers wellness facilities such as a spa, sauna, and fitness. Activities include surfing, diving, sailing, horse riding, golf, and biking.

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Villa Rita Li Cuncheddi

  • A 4 star Villa with 6 rooms, 1.32 kilometers from Porto Istana (about 0.82 miles.)
a picture of villa rita li cuncheddi near porto istana in north east Sardinia Italy
Villa Rita Li Cuncheddi, one kilometer from the center of Porto Istana, Olbia-Tempio, north-east Sardinia.

Villa Rita Li Cuncheddi is located just two minutes from the beach of Li Cuncheddi, and nine kilometers from Olbia. This rental villa features typical Sardinian style décor which consists of authentic Sardinian granite, juniper wood, and ceramics. Offering two apartments with capacity for up to eleven guests, the villa is also home to a garden of many luscious plants and flowers of the Mediterranean scrub. Constructed in the same style as a semi-detached house, the villa is also very pleasing on the eye from the moment you encounter the beautiful porch which reaches around the building with stunning views of the landscape. The ground floor features two double bedrooms, two bathrooms with showers, and a kitchen while the basement has a private entrance, two double bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large living room with sofa beds, kitchen, and a small single room. Every room is accompanied by ceiling fans, free Wi-Fi, and a flat-screen television while the garden has a beautiful gazebo with stone barbecue and solarium terrace where you can enjoy incredible sunsets over the ocean. Surrounded by luscious scenery and a full range of local activities including surfing, fishing, and snorkeling, this beautiful rental villa in Sardinia is a small island escape which offers a huge return on investment.

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How To Get To Porto Istana

Porto Istana is located just 13 kilometers east of Olbia. To get to the village by car, just follow the Strada Statale 127 Settentrionale Sarda and the Strada Statale 125 Orientale Sarda to Viale Porto Istana in Murta Maria. The drive shouldn't take longer than about 20 minutes.

Sardinian Beaches Near Porto Istana

There are several sardinian beaches to explore near Porto Istana. Just click on a link below to find out more!

Cala Li Cuncheddi

  • Length: 300 meters.
  • Things to do: scuba diving, snorkelling.
  • ✓ This beach is suitable for families with children.
a picture of the beaches at cala li cuncheddi in olbia tempio north east sardinia italy

Cala Li Cuncheddi is located just in front of the Hotel Cala Li Cuncheddi along some typically serene coastline near Olbia. Set in a charming bay called Cala Sos Passizzedos, this pristine beach offers golden sands which are notoriously clean and fine. As with many beaches in Sardinia, the sea offers a beautiful crystalline color that collides with emerald green, turquoise, and blue. Consequently, it also has a shallow, sandy bottom with a rocky bed and a reef at either end. The presence of the above-mentioned reefs makes Cala Li Cuncheddi a perfect location for snorkeling, surfing, and other water sports. As with some of the more secluded and less touristic beaches in Sardinia, Cala Li Cuncheddi has an isolated and personable atmosphere, but at the same time, there are also many amenities located not far from the beach including a resort, seaside restaurant, small shops and several more dining options.

Learn more about Cala Li Cuncheddi, how to get there, and where to stay.

Sas Enas Appara

  • Length: 200 meters.
  • Things to do: scuba diving, snorkelling.
  • ✓ This beach is suitable for families with children.
a picture of spiaggia sas enas appara near porto istana in north east sardinia italy

Sas Enas Appara Beach (Spiaggia Sas Enas Appara) is an immaculate beach, which stretches more than two hundred meters along the beautiful coastline in northeast Sardinia, Italy. Located next to the small seaside town of Porto Istana, the beach is easy to access and offers incredibly fine sand with the surrounding vegetation being equally as impressive. Sas Enas Appara is also quite a secluded area, so the crystalline water with mesmerizing shades of blue, turquoise and cobalt blue evoke a distinct sense of paradise for every visitor. Shallow and sandy, the seabed of Sas Enas Appara Beach makes this hidden gem a perfect hideaway for snorkeling and diving while the transparent waters make it effortless to explore the local marine life.

Learn more about Sas Enas Appara, how to get there, and where to stay.

Spiaggia del Dottore

  • Length: 180 meters.
  • Things to do: scuba diving, snorkelling.
  • ✓ This beach is suitable for families with children.
a picture of spiaggia del dottore near porto istana in north-east sardinia

Bordered with granite rocks, Spiaggia del Dottore is a little corner of heaven. The sea is a crystal blue where you can see so clearly when under that it is the ideal location for snorkelers and divers. Spiaggia del Dottore also offers great views of Tavolara Island which looks like it has jumped out from the turquoise waters to reach the blue skies above. This amongst the luscious green vegetation growing from the coastline and the crystal clear waters make for the most picture perfect scenery you can imagine so don’t forget to bring a camera!

Learn more about Spiaggia del Dottore, how to get there, and where to stay.

Spiaggia Sud Porto Istana

  • Length: 340 meters.
  • Things to do: scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing.
  • ✓ This beach is suitable for families with children.
a picture of the beach at porto sistana in olbia tempio north east sardinia

Similar to Spiaggia Porto Istana, you will have a magnificent view on this beach of the smallest kingdom in the world, Tavolara Island. It feels so close; you may even be tempted to reach out and touch it as you wade into the turquoise waters. For those that want to use the least amount of energy as possible while on holiday, preferring to relax under the sun with a good book or to the music on your iPhone, this beach fulfills all those needs. And then there are the many establishments, there are bars, restaurants, and hotels dotted along the shore providing a very luxurious touch to the beach without making it seem overcrowded with man-made structures.

Learn more about Spiaggia Sud Porto Istana, how to get there, and where to stay.

Spiaggia di Porto Istana

  • Length: 200 meters.
  • Things to do: scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing.
  • ✓ This beach is suitable for families with children.
a picture of isola tavolara seen from the beach of porto istana in olbia tempio sardinia

Porto Istana beach is scattered with short rocky beds intermittently placed between stretches of white sand. Directly in front of the beach is Isolo Tavolara (Tavolara Island) which is an awe-inspiring sight while you are relaxing on the sand or walking out into the ocean. Apart from the island, you are also surrounded by beautiful scenery with a stretch of white sand and green vegetation which accompanies the turquoise shore – you may even be lucky enough to spot a pod of dolphins along the way. Popular activities at this beach include windsurfing, jet skiing, diving, canoeing, sailing, and snorkeling.

Learn more about Spiaggia di Porto Istana, how to get there, and where to stay.