Santa Teresa Gallura
About Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa Gallura is a cheery seaside resort on the northern coast of Sardinia. The small town is in a lovely coastal setting, and although it is not particularly distinguished either historically or culturally, the resort makes a pleasant base for a holiday or for a seaside stopover when touring Sardinia. Gallura is the name of this part of Sardinia; the town is also known as Santa Teresa di Gallura or more simply as Santa Teresa.
Santa Teresa Gallura can be reached by a bus service from Olbia, which has an international airport with flights from the UK and other countries. During the summer months there is also a direct bus from Alghero Airport, another destination for budget flights.
Most of Santa Teresa is fairly modern, but the well-kept, colourfully-painted streets are much more charming than most of Sardinia's other modern towns, and this resort has a very amiable atmosphere with a character of its own. The central square, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, is a large open pedestrian space lined with cafe-bars and souvenir shops, coral and jewellery stores, and an agency selling boat tour tickets. The town's tourist information office is situated on an upper terrace overlooking the square, along with a tabacchi shop which sells bus tickets.
Things to see and do
Strolling from Piazza Vittorio Emanuele down Via XX Settembre, past souvenir and gastronomy shops, places to eat and drink and some fine ice cream parlours, brings the visitor to a panoramic spot on a headland over the sea, with plenty of benches for admiring the view. The tip of the promontory is crowned by a historic watchtower, the Torre Longonsardo, which visitors can climb to admire the views. A footpath winds around the headland past the tower.
The town beach (spiaggia), called Rena Bianca, is on the west of the headland, very close to the heart of town. In a small rocky bay, the beach is sandy and appealing, with the option of paying for loungers, parasols and facilities at a beach establishment.
On the opposite side of the promontory to the beach is Santa Teresa Gallura's harbour, in a deep inlet. Ferries from here cross the straits to Bonifacio in Corsica. Boat trips also operate from here to the archipelago of La Maddalena, a group of islands famous for their striking landscape and beaches. Boat excursions typically last the whole day and include stops for swimming and lunch.
Along the coast to either side of Santa Teresa are further beaches, reachable down short access lanes from the main road. The nearby headland of Capo Testa offers opportunities for walking, swimming and diving.
Travel and practicalities
It is definitely helpful to have a car if you wish to tour the coast and inland areas surrounding Santa Teresa. However, the town can be reached by public bus services, which also provide access to bits of the local coast. Staying here on a touring holiday is quite manageable by public transport.
Bus services operated by ARST run from Santa Teresa Gallura to Olbia, via Palau, the port for La Maddalena. Another route starts in Sassari and runs to Santa Teresa, calling in at the historic town of Castelsardo on the way. Tickets for these services should ideally be bought in advance; they are sold at the tabacchi shop in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele.
There is also at the time of writing a direct bus connection between Santa Teresa and Alghero Airport running once a day in the summer months only, operated by Digitur (pay the driver when you board). A similar service, operated by Turmo Travel, connects Santa Teresa with Olbia Airport, again in summer only. There are also connections to Cagliari and other Sardinian destinations, some of them seasonal - the local tourist office or council website can supply the latest information.
Buses stop in a large open area on the edge of the town centre called Piazza Modesto. There's a bus shelter by the bus parking bays, with a timetable. From here, take a diagonal path through the grass, cross the street, and walk up Via Carlo Alberto, a little way to the left, between a block of public toilets and a childrens' playground. This street leads uphill directly to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, the heart of Santa Teresa.
Hotels and places to stay
Santa Teresa has a pretty good selection of places to stay; chiefly reasonably-priced hotels such as the central Hotel Moderno, or the Hotel La Funtana, which has a swimming pool.
Accommodation in Santa Teresa Gallura