About Porto Istana
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 Tavolara. Porto Istana is perfect for a relaxing break and an ideal holiday 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 of 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.
Where to Stay in Porto Istana
B&B Villa Smeralda
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.
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.
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.
Villa Rita Li Cuncheddi
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.
Things to Do in Porto Istana
Boat Trip from Porto San Paolo to Isola Tavolara
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 Trip to Isola Molara from Porto San Paolo
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.
Hiking to Capo Ceraso
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 sunrays 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.
Porto Istana Restaurants - Where to Eat
Il Fare (Seafood, Italian Food)
Il Fare is a quaint restaurant in Porto Istana, in the northeastern part of Sardinia. Situated in the outskirts of the charming village of Porto San Paolo, the restaurant is known for its lovely ambiance and high-quality food. You can choose to dine indoors or on the terrace that opens up to the beautiful hillside views and Tavolara Island can be seen from a distance. Prepare your appetite and make the most of the restaurant’s generous serving of pasta, calzones, pizzas, and other sumptuous Italian seafood dishes. Some of the most popular recipes on their menu are the spaghetti with lobster, steak tagliata with parmigiano-reggiano, mixed grill and tuna, truffle pasta, and the mouthwatering Naples style pizzas. The best way to enjoy your meal is with a glass of wine. When it comes to this, the restaurant has a great selection of International and local wines on their menu, and their friendly staff can help you choose the best wine to pair your meal. II Fare Restaurant is also known for their excellent service. Thus, it’s not surprising why they are among the top-rated restaurants in Porto Istana.
Il Fare official website:https://www.facebook.com/Il-Far%C3%A8-restaurant-163260090368862/
Pizzeria Insalateria Il Tucano (Pizza)
If you’re looking for a great place to eat in Porto Istana, head over to Pizzeria Insalateria Il Tucano, a famous pizzeria just a few kilometers outside of Murta Maria. The place is located in a very peaceful spot, and you can choose to dine outdoors to enjoy the lovely countryside views, especially during sunset. You may need to make a reservation in advance to eat at the restaurant, as it is always busy with locals, which is a good sign. Pizzeria Insalateria Il Tucano is known for serving the best tasting pizzas in Porto Istana, with lots of flavors to choose from. They also have a wide variety of salads to go with your meal and a good selection of desserts, including sorbets. With great food, lovely atmosphere, and friendly staff, this restaurant is definitely a must visit on your holiday in Porto Istana.
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.
Have you thought about arranging a rental car in Sardinia? For some great deals, check out our Sardinia Car Hire page!
Porto Istana Map
Beaches Near Porto Istana
There are several sardinian beaches to explore near Porto Istana. Just click on a link below to find out more!
Sas Enas Appara (Le Tre Sorelle)
1.5 kilometers north-east of Porto Istana you’ll discover Sas Enas Appara, a beach that’s better known by locals as Le Tre Sorelle (the Three Sisters). It consists of three little sandy coves merged into one, and mostly faces due east. You’ll enjoy astounding views of Isola Tavolara standing tall in the distance. The smaller island named Isola Piana, home to Spiaggia dell’Isola Piana, completes the stupendous views. The beach is only accessible on foot or by boat, so even in the busiest months of July and August, Le Tre Sorelle tends to remain serene.
Learn more about Sas Enas Appara (Le Tre Sorelle), how to get there, and where to stay.
Cala Li Cuncheddi
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, 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.
Learn more about Cala Li Cuncheddi, how to get there, and where to stay.
Spiaggia del Dottore
If you’re in the area surrounding Porto Istana, another top beach to explore during your holiday in Sardinia is Spiaggia del Dottore (the Doctor’s Beach). It is located less than 2 kilometers north-east of the center of Porto Istana. It’s a perfectly shaped lick of sugary white sand with a length of about 65 meters. The beach faces east, looking out over the glassy waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, with breathtaking views of Isola Piana and the spectacular Isola Tavolara. The beach is hardly ever crowded, but don’t be surprised by the occasional boat or dinghy that comes by to enjoy this little slice of Sardinian paradise.
Learn more about Spiaggia del Dottore, how to get there, and where to stay.
Spiaggia Sud Porto Istana
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
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.