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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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The island of Sardinia, like its brothers and sisters in the Mediterranean, is blessed with beautiful coastlines accessible from the Italian mainland. Olbia is the main port of tourism for the island and while the town is not quite as pretty as the area around it, it is filled with facilities and attractions that many other towns on the island do not have, including Internet cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs. There are also plenty of small hotels and self-catering apartments to let, allowing you to take your time while enjoying the town and the island.  

Sardinia was once colonised by the Phoenicians, Punics, Romans and Carthaginians, and the town quickly became rich and important due to its strategic position for trading purposes in the Mediterranean. Many of the sites in Olbia include some of the remains of its history, most of them open to the public. The old town walls, Roman baths, and Punic necropolis of Li Muri are just some of these ancient sites that interest young and old alike. The necropolis dates back to 3,000 BC and it is comprised of New-Neolithic graves that contain the remains of the ancient city’s more important people.

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Why visit Olbia ?

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Blessed with beautiful coastlines

Filled with facilities and attractions that many other towns on the island do not have

The church of S Simplicio is built from granite and contains funeral inscriptions that date back to the Middle Ages. The Gallurese style church of S Paolo is a 17th century church in the historic district of Olbia and it has its own unique records of the town’s former occupants.  

Outside Olbia within easy distance of the town, you can find the Nuragic group of Cabu Abbas, the underground holy well of Sa Testa that was discovered in 1938 and the giant’s grave of Su Monte and S’Abe. Cabu Abbas is a megalithic building with a town wall that stands 200 metres high and circles the local mountainside until it reaches the top to form a single towered nuraghe. The giant’s grave is actually a passageway that leads to a burial chamber in the ground. The ‘giants’ are actually 14 vertical slabs that are anchored in the ground and the site was built in two different stages. The passageway of stones was originally 10 metres long. The giant’s grave of Coddu Vecchiu is also on Sardinia and this site is more intact than it’s sibling outside Olbia.  

More tangible sites in and around Olbia include the Castle of Pedres. The castle ruins, dating back to 1296 can be seen from the centre of town. The upper portion of the main tower – about 4 floors high – is still standing and the entrance to the fortification was accessible via movable wooden ladders. Nuraghe Albucciu is another fortress town that belongs to a style of building in the Nuragic time called the ‘corridor’ group. The passage leads into the Nuraghe and visitors can see the remains of the village huts and where the towers used to be.  

Visitors can see other cities of Sardinia from their base at Olbia and while they are enjoying their time on this unique island with its deep and rich history, they can also enjoy the sun and the sand of the many beaches it offers along its warm coastline.

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