Car rental in Olbia
Rent a car in Olbia

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Olbia, known chiefly as the gateway to the famous Costa Smeralda, is a charming destination in Sardinia with plenty of attractions for the curious and adventurous traveller. From Romanesque churches to historic ruins, the city offers something that will interest everyone. What's more, when you rent a car in Olbia, you can set the pace as you follow scenic routes, discover historical gems, and head out to sun-kissed beaches.

It’s your choice: Where to go in Olbia?

The coastal city of Olbia has a wealth of interesting attractions for travellers to discover. It is known for the medieval San Simplicio basilica, built in the late 11th century. A pretty square surrounds the basilica while inside, you can admire the ornate pillars, columns and apse. When heading east, you'll stumble upon the palm tree-lined waterfront that leads to the Museo Archeologico di Olbia, a stunning modern museum designed by Italian architect and engineer Giovanni Macciocco. Delve into local history via an exhibition of fascinating artefacts including Roman amulets, pottery and relics from the Nuragic civilisation. Not to be missed are the remnants of a Roman ship that was unearthed in the old port. Continue your discovery of Olbia’s history with a visit to the Nuraghe Riu Mulinu, an archaeological complex located on a hilltop. The site also offers superb views of the city and the surrounding hills. Additionally called Cabbu Abbas, it is characterised by a large wall with two entrances. Inside the complex is a small circular nuraghe (ancient stone fortification) with one tower.

What to visit in the surroundings of Olbia?

Outside of the city, there are several places that are easy to reach when you rent a car in Olbia. Just over an hour's drive from the town proper is the pre-historic monument known as the Giants' Grave where you'll learn of burial rites during the Bronze Age. The tomb in Olbia is impressive - 28 metres long and 6 metres wide while the sepulchral gallery is more than 10 metres in length. No visit to Olbia would be complete without going to one of the amazing nearby beaches. With your car hire, you can load the boot with supplies and hit the road. Lu Impostu Beach in San Teodoro is a wonderful expanse of white sand and shallow crystal clear waters. If you'd like a longer stretch, its neighbour, La Cinta Beach, boasts 5 kilometres of powdery sands and plenty of water sports to keep you and the family occupied. You’ll also be treated to the wonderful sight of pink flamingos, red herons and mallards. And don't miss a trip to the Arcipelago di la Maddalena National Park, a marine park consisting of several islands and islets. The bigger islands are collectively known as the ‘seven sisters.’ Maddalena, an inhabited island, is the most important and features pristine beaches, gorgeous seascapes and amazing wildlife. About 25 kilometres away from Olbia is the world-famous Costa Smeralda with beautiful beaches and turquoise-coloured waters. The resort town is also known for having some of the most expensive real estate in Europe. Come here for the gorgeous beaches, golf facilities and upscale resorts and hotels.

Important Info about Olbia

The topography in Olbia is characterised by coastlines, hilly areas, mountains and some sand dune areas. Flat areas are not common. The town enjoys a Mediterranean type of climate, while travel related services are the main sources of income. Alongside this, agriculture, fishing and mining play important roles in the local economy. Local cuisine features plenty of seafood, rice, meat and pasta, while the wine industry is also getting recognition with Vermentino di Gallura and Torbato bottles being something to discover.

Weather in Olbia
Country Italy
Language Italian
Currency Euro
Time-Zones GMT +2
Capital Rome

What else to explore near Olbia

Olbia is served by an airport and a ferry connects it to mainland Italy. If you rent a car in Olbia, it is best to do it before your arrival. You can usually collect it from the rental location, which may be at the airport or in the city centre, and return it to the same place. Note that people drive on the right side of the road. Be prepared for narrow roads and hairpin bends, while signage is clear and the roads are generally very good. All EU licences are recognised. There are no motorways in Olbia, or Sardinia for that matter, so you cannot drive fast as the roads are winding and narrow. In addition, you might encounter flocks of sheep when driving outside of the city. Remember to respect the speed limit which is 90kph on secondary roads and 50kph on built-up areas. If you rent a car in Olbia, note that your blood alcohol level (BAC) should not be more than 0.05%, and there are random spot checks.

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What to taste in Olbia?

Sardinia is a paradise for foodies. Perhaps unsurprisingly given its island location, seafood is very popular in Olbia. The locals especially love to eat bottarga which is made from mullet or tuna roe. It is very tasty and goes well with pasta or spaghetti dishes. Lobster, sea bass and squid are used a lot too so go for dishes that feature them – with pasta, of course. Roast meats are also popular, while there are numerous bars and restaurants that serve traditional Italian fare of pizza, risotto and pasta. Be sure to try the local wines too - you're in for a real treat!

What to bring to your friends from Olbia?

The island is known for its ceramic crafts so you might want to bring a couple of ceramic items home to give as gifts to family or friends. Other excellent local products include pecorino cheese (made from sheep's milk), olive oil, red Cannonau wine and mountain honey. There are also shops that sell home-made sweets, biscuits, bread and pasta, so you’re sure to find that perfect gift.