About San Pantaleo
Sardinia is dotted with small, little-known villages that contain all the charm and beauty of traditional Italian life. One of these is San Pantaleo, a lovely community in the Gallura region of Sardinia, about a 25 minutes’ drive from Olbia Airport. In 2018, San Pantaleo was declared to be one of Italy’s 19 most beautiful villages by the British Daily Telegraph newspaper. Come up the mountain road from the Costa Smeralda to visit this town nestled between the mountains and sea. This is a wonderful place to experience the best of authentic Italy. San Pantaleo is best known for its popular Thursday morning market, and a handful of some of the nicest Sardinia boutique hotels are located right here. If you decide to visit this beautiful little town, plan to be there on a Thursday. These mornings, the main street of the town is transformed from a quiet avenue to a bustling marketplace, full of activity and good aromas! You won’t be able to resist purchasing food here. Each stall has something new and delicious to offer. Massive wheels of cheese, stacked in columns, fill one booth, while long sausages and boxes bursting with fruit fill another. At the San Pantaleo market, you can also browse through local art and fine clothing. Cashmere and unique décor fill the bags of shoppers. Other visitors opt to look rather than buy, and enjoy the music of Italian street performers. Even if you don’t make it to the market, there is a lot to love about this charming little Italian mountain village. Wander down the cobbled streets, and you’ll find plenty of art galleries and antique shops. The Il Buon Gelato gelateria on the main road isn’t to be missed, either. In the center of San Pantaleo, you’ll discover the main square, the Piazza della Chiesa. Take a stroll along the edge of the square along Via della Basillica, and you’ll have a wonderful view of the Catholic church, restaurants, and shops. When you’re ready to relax for a while, you can get a cup of coffee and a pastry at one of the cafes. It’s easy to while away an hour sipping coffee and watching people mill about the square. Evening is the most captivating time in San Pantaleo. You’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to another time and place when you watch the stunning sunset. At dusk, the surrounding peaks cast the town in shades of purple. The interesting outlines of the mountains and the old-fashioned stone buildings take on a fairytale look that will steal your breath away! There’s nowhere quite like Sardinia’s San Pantaleo… Here, you can enjoy quintessential Sardinia, complete with traditional life, local goods, and historic architecture. No matter where you plan to go in Italy, be sure to make San Panteleo one of your stops.
San Pantaleo Map
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Where to Stay in San Pantaleo - Top Picks
Petra Segreta Resort & Spa
Nestled in a five-hectare park, the Petra Segreta Resort & Spa is just 30 minutes away from Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport. Offering a first-class accommodation in San Pantaleo, this romantic boutique hotel is located between Porto Rotondo, the Costa Smeralda, and Arzachena, and is just a few kilometers away from Porto Cervo. Aside from enjoying the hotel’s panoramic views, guests can also take advantage of the world-class amenities on offer, such as the heated freshwater pool. The wellness center is equipped with modern spa facilities, offering different kinds of treatment packages, including Ayurvedic massages and a Turkish bath. Furthermore, there are boat excursion options and also the nearby Pevero Golf Course, an 18-hole course next to Petra Segreta. Beach lovers can also visit the sandy beaches of the Costa Smeralda, which are only a few kilometers away. In fact, the resort is just a few minutes drive from the town's most exclusive beach clubs. The small luxury hotel reception can recommend several beaches that you can visit, from the most renowned beaches near San Pantaleo to the smallest hidden coves of pristine, transparent water. When it comes to the accommodation, you can stay at one of the traditional Sardinian houses, which are locally known as Stazzi. These structures are scattered all over the resort and open up to the stunning views of the azure waters of La Maddalena archipelago. Each room is uniquely designed to maintain the classic country charm of the resort. It is equipped with modern facilities, such as air conditioning system, flat screen TV, and Wi-Fi. Of course, you can feast on sumptuous dishes during your stay at the resort. Two restaurants are also serving the most delicious food on the island. II Fuoco Sacro restaurant specializes in Sardinian cuisine, and Osteria Del Mirto serves the most delectable lunches and snacks. The Petra Segreta Resort & Spa, the only Relais & Châteaux member in Sardinia, is among the most popular gourmet destinations on the Emerald Coast thanks to the quality of its products that come directly from its organic vegetable garden and the resort's own farm.
Hotel Arathena is just a twenty-five-minute drive from Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport. Surrounded by the beautiful views of nature, the hotel is only a few minutes away from the main attractions of Costa Smeralda and the region known as Gallura. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from the center of the village. Set amidst the picturesque views of San Pantaleo, guests will be treated to a relaxing holiday while staying at this rustic style hotel. Known for offering excellent service, Hotel Arathena is equipped with essential amenities such as a restaurant and bar, swimming pool and Wi-Fi, making your stay even more relaxing. Guests can also take a leisurely walk towards the center of the village, where there are plenty of shops selling jewelry, arts and crafts, souvenir items and more. There are also several pubs and restaurants that can be found in the village. You can begin your day with a sumptuous breakfast buffet prepared by the hotel's in-house pastry chefs. At night, you can lounge at the poolside and order a few drinks from the bar. You can also enjoy a relaxing dip in the pool while enjoying the lovely views of nature. For those who want to frolic at the beach, the stunning beaches of Costa Smeralda are only a ten-minute drive away. As for the rooms at Arathena, each one is spacious and equipped with a TV, minibar, and a private entrance for an increased sense of privacy. Some windows even open up to a stunning view of the surroundings, perfect for enjoying a sunset or sunrise.
Green Park Country Lodge
The Green Park Country Lodge is nestled between Arzachena and Olbia, right in the middle of a 6-hectare forest. The hotel is only a 20-minute drive away from Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport, and its strategic location makes it an excellent starting point to further explore the beautiful little town of San Pantaleo. If you want to experience the best nature can offer, the Green Park Country Lodge is the best place to stay at San Pantaleo. Aside from a stunning mountainside location, the lodges are made entirely of wood, from the doors to the walls. The overall structure is also entirely eco-friendly, which seems in harmony with the surrounding views of nature. As for the lodges, despite their traditional design, these are equipped with modern amenities for a comfortable and relaxing stay. Each accommodation has an air conditioning system, a 32-inch LED TV, freezer and fridge, full kitchen cutlery, hairdryer, safe, toiletries, orthopedic mattresses, comfortable sheets, conventional washing machine and a veranda that opens up to a magnificent view of the sea. You will find many attractions along the stunning Emerald Coast including the beautiful beaches of Gallura or Liscia Lake, which is one of the most popular attractions in Sardinia. Furthermore, if you enjoy Italian wine, you can take part in one of the winery tours in nearby Surrau winery, a famous establishment producing some of the most excellent wines in the world. At the same time, if you do not want to leave the lodge, you can just relax and swim at the spacious outdoor swimming pool, situated in the midst of a lush green lawn and surrounded with beautiful Mediterranean trees.
Boutique Hotel Antica Dimora La Corona
Antica Dimora La Corona is a beautiful boutique hotel situated in the center of San Pantaleo, just steps away from the town's catholic church, the Chiesa di San Pantaleo. Housed in a building that was initially built at the end of the 17th century, the hotel was overhauled in recent years and now boasts a traditional Sardinian look, stylishly decked with antique art pieces. The property has a total of just eight guest rooms, each room is stylishly decorated in a true Sardinian style and equipped with modern amenities. Aside from a spacious private bathroom, the rooms have individual air conditioning system, a flat-screen TV, high-speed Wi-Fi, a minibar, and tea & coffee making facilities. The rooms are also equipped with a hairdryer, telephone, and complimentary toiletries. If you need any assistance, you can just approach any of the hotel staffs. They will be available at your disposal during the entire duration of your holiday in San Pantaleo. Antica Dimora La Corona serves a wide variety of breakfast staples to all its guests in a buffet style and can be enjoyed at the hotel’s panoramic rooftop terrace, which opens up to a stunning Sardinian landscape view. Breakfast includes traditional Sardinian dishes, as well as international classics. Of course, this includes authentic Italian coffee. Antica Dimora La Corona is part of a regional project in Sardinia that is aimed at showcasing the importance of environmental sustainability. Solar panels have been installed to provide guests with hot water, and all materials used during the renovation are sourced locally and are highly biodegradable. This reflects the hotel ’s commitment to preserving the heritage of Sardinia.
Highly recommended for couples!
Things to Do in San Pantaleo
Wine Tasting at the Surrau Winery
One of the most enjoyable ways to get a taste for San Pantaleo is to embark on a wine tasting tour at the Surrau Winery. Nestled amidst beautiful valleys in the eastern part of Gallura, the Surrau Winery overlooks more than fifty hectares of vineyard, and from afar, you can smell the aroma of the grapes as they ready themselves for the winemaking process. Although Surrau Winery is just as popular with casual wine tastes as it is with the wine connoisseurs, this impressive establishment features five types of wines, namely, Vermentino, Cannonau, Muristellu, Carignano, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Renowned all over the world for producing a wonderful variety of grapes, their wine is unsurprisingly crisp, earthy, and opulent to taste. You can also choose to enjoy your wine with a serving of cheese, olives, and salami during a visit while the actual winemaking process is also made visible to all their guests. In this regard, it is usually possible to take a wine tour, and Surrau Winery takes pride in how transparent they are when it comes to transforming this luscious fruit into your favorite wine. In fact, the owners of this winery have specifically created the property with a transparent façade as a symbol of their genuineness and quality.
Visit Nuraghe la Prisgiona
When it comes to architectural wonders, Nuraghe la Prisgiona is usually high on the list of visitors for things to do in San Pantaleo. Imagine being transported back to 800 BC and taking a trip to this ancient village with more than ninety buildings and a myriad of alleyways. It was during the Bronze Age in Sardinia that the Nuragic culture was established and their structures are instantly recognizable with its large megalithic towers. Using stones and clay, the Nuragic civilization has showcased their advanced ways with precise engineering and a standard of culture far beyond their rivals. Although the entire village has yet to be excavated, meaning, there are still some areas which remain buried beneath the ground. It was during the 1950s that the excavation of Nuraghe la Prisgiona began and if Nuraghe la Prisgiona is not enough for your appetite of historical places, there are six more Nuragic sites that are open to the public. At the same time, Nuraghe la Prisgiona is considered the most complex of these structures, and with such a meager fee attached, it would seem like a crime not to visit it.
Visit the San Pantaleo Market
Some might say that you have never truly experienced the soul of a destination unless you blend in with the locals, and this is certainly true if you pass up on an opportunity to visit the San Pantaleo Market. Located on a beautiful hillside in San Pantaleo, the market consists of a wide array of food and clothing stalls which create a vibrant mixture of color. However, it is often just the atmosphere which seems so appealing, and it is the crafts which are merely an interesting focal point within an exciting attraction. Add all of this to the fresh food and local crafts, and you should find a local market overflowing with tradition and genuine authenticity. The San Pantaleo market is open on Thursday mornings between 8 am and 1 pm when this quaint town is transformed into a huge market. When you finish looking around, there are also excellent cafes and restaurants in the area, but it must be said that navigating the many stalls in this market is an extremely cultural experience and certainly one of the most interesting things to do in San Pantaleo.
San Pantaleo Festival del Folklore
The Folklore Festival in San Pantaleo is a real highlight on the island of Sardinia and is held every year during the beginning of September. It takes place at the main square, the Piazza Della Chiesa, and celebrates a wide variety of local musicians and artists. During the festival, you will not only discover the unique charm of this particular region, but you also get to listen to the unique voices and styles of the local music scene. The event is also home to an exhibition of different folk groups as well as a craft market exhibition that has an especially impressive display of local bread sourced from around the island. You'll find displays of local sweets and a showcase of the work of local artisans, including jewelry, arts, ceramics, fabrics, rosaries, macramé, and juniper works. As for the music, local guitarists and singers can also be seen performing at the Piazza Della Chiesa. Most of these artists focus on local music that best represents the culture of Sardinia. Fashion also plays an essential part in this two-day event with models of the Artes Association of Luccia Asole showcasing the creations of Sardinian local fashion designers. The collections are inspired by the culture of Sardinia, its local people, and the legendary figures that helped shape its history. Indeed, the Folklore Festival has attracted people from around the world to the charming village. During this event, the square is filled with spectators, and the stage is traditionally set up for the local music performers. It's a truly colorful and vivid encounter which showcases the exuberance, friendliness and fascinating town of San Pantaleo.
San Pantaleo Restaurants - Where to Eat
Ristorante Giagoni in Piazza (Seafood, Traditional Sardinian Food, Vegetarian)
Ristorante Giagoni in Piazza is a delightful restaurant in San Pantaleo with a reputation for incredible seafood and a relaxing atmosphere. Located right at the heart of the village, this restaurant is also just as popular among the locals, who arrive to experience the Mediterranean style in which the food is cooked. At the same time, the hidden gem in this restaurant is arguably the pasta, ladittas, lisanzas, lorighittas and other Sardinian delicacies. Aside from the a la carte menu, there are also menus dedicated to antipasti, main and a variety of starters and desserts. Of course, a delectable meal will not be complete without a wonderful glass of local wine, and in this regard, the restaurant always lives up to expectations. After all, every meal is accompanied with a wine list consisting of more than three hundred different Sardinian and Italian whites, reds and champagnes. With mouthwatering dishes and fine tasting wines, Ristorante Giagoni is also graced with a rather charming and intimate location which makes this little restaurant in San Pantaleo the perfect place to spend the evening.
Ristorante L'Assaggio (Seafood, Italian Food, Vegan, Vegetarian)
When it comes to the best food experiences in San Pantaleo, Ristorante L'Assaggio is another popular restaurant which focuses on a vast number of delicious Italian dishes. Located in the middle of the village, the restaurant is known for its delicious Italian dishes. However, this is not merely another Italian restaurant in San Pantaleo as the friendly ambiance, and world-class service is often the subject of five-star feedback online. In fact, from the moment you enter, the amazing staff in this hotspot will go out of their way to make you feel at home, which is often the difference between a good restaurant and one destined for greatness. As you might expect, L'Assaggio is also home to a wide selection of delectable dishes with the restaurant taking inspiration from many of the most popular restaurants in the world. That is to say; Ristorante L'Assaggio offers a perfect variety of appetizers, pizzas, and desserts, while the in-house chef is as experienced as they come. As a family-run restaurant, Ristorante L'Assaggio places utmost importance on providing excellent service and hospitality but all considered, this is one of the most impressive restaurants in San Pantaleo in every sense.
Il Fuoco Sacro (Seafood, Traditional Sardinian Food, Vegetarian)
Il Fuoco Sacro is best known as a gourmet restaurant just outside of San Pantaleo and one of three restaurants inside the luxurious Petra Segreta Resort and Spa featured above. Located in a fabulous farmhouse style building overlooking the sea, Il Fuoco Sacro is also blessed with luscious surroundings while the interior décor is equally as impressive. Take for example the walls and ceilings, decorated with bamboo beams and heavy oak tables. Scattered throughout a spacious dining area, the antiquated nature of this décor ensures that dining at Il Fuoco Sacro is indeed a memorable experience. As with Ristorante L'Assaggio, the chefs in this particular resort are also renowned for serving up some mouthwatering antipasti and delectable main courses. In some circles, Il Fuoco Sacro is regarded as the best place to savor traditional Sardinian cuisine in San Pantaleo and with a focus on homegrown vegetables and herbs; it would be hard to find any better in the village. That being said, the seafood and meat menu never fails to disappoint guests, and interestingly, the dairy, goat and sheep produce derives from the farm just a short distance from the hotel. Complimenting every mean, the local wines are an ideal way to savor the taste of these traditional meals, and all considered this is undoubtedly one of the most unique restaurants in San Pantaleo.
How To Get To San Pantaleo
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To get to San Pantaleo by car from Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport, head north by taking the Strada Statale 125. After about 7 kilometers, take the Strada Provinciale 73, which will guide you along the scenic coastal road that leads to the villages of Cugnana, Cugnana Verde, and Portisco. Once you've reached Portisco after a few kilometers, the road will bend in a more western direction, leading you up the mountain road to San Pantaleo. The entire trip shouldn't take you more than half an hour.