We have a bit of a timetable once we leave Sardinia to get back to France, due to our first planned ferry to Sicily being cancelled and our decision not to then travel overnight on Xmas Eve or New Years Eve (Saturday crossings only). Therefore we spent a couple of hours this morning researching our “must-see” list for Sicily, what rough route that would give us and recommended places to stop nearby. It has given us a bit of an outline plan, though based on past experience it won’t live long as a schedule but will give us a sense of direction without the inability to re-route and see other things should we need to.
I also had a bit of admin to catch up on, so much easier to manage everything remotely now than when we were sailing years ago. It also used to be a consideration where you could get Wi-Fi, but with our 5G antennae and the universally excellent 4/5G reception seemingly across the whole of Sardinia, we can work anywhere. Therefore, it was mid-morning by the time we left Maladroxia, obviously having completed the standard sunrise beach dog walk and morning coffee.
Today, we were making our way slowly towards Cagliari for our ferry on Saturday. We have travelled this way earlier in our trip, but I had managed to miss out the epic coastal drive down the SP-71 from Capo Teulada and Chia I had read about. I subsequently tried to cycle part of it, but had 10 miles to go to reach the start and only saw the start of the really twisty cliff side section. Therefore after a quick services stop at Porto Pino, the only place around for miles, we turned onto the SP-71.
The route is only 26km, but it takes quite a while as you end up stopping frequently for photos! It is a glorious drive, definitely a bikers road, lots of long sweeping bend, climbs and descents to beach side. The photogenic defence towers dotted along the route at strategic points helps and only one or two waterfront hotels and barely any houses in 26km to spoil the views. The sun was shining and we took our time, there was hardly any traffic at all but we made sure we pulled over whenever we had someone behind so we could dawdle to our hearts content.
We had planned to stay in Chia, having got over our mosquito fear of Stagno pools of inland water, of which Chia has two. I suspect it is seasonal, but we have not experienced many mosquitoes when we have been near these to date, except the first time we visited Porto Pino just along the coast to use the services when there were lots during the day, but then randomly we had none today?! Anyway, when we got to Chia, 2 of the 3 potential park-ups had closed since reports from November and the third was nothing special. We did get to stay and have a late lunch and an hour or so on the gorgeous powder sand, almost empty Chia beach watching the dogs enjoying themselves. Total chill 😎
In the end, we decided there were no laws against going back to one of our favourite spots, Nora for the night as it was only 20 minutes away. We arrived in time for a short walk round before sunset, the beach bar was full of people playing racquet ball at the neighbouring court (there are lots of tennis clubs in Sardinia for some reason). Always a nice friendly local vibe here.
2 thoughts on “Epic coastal drives, the SP-71 – Nora (Pula), Sardinia, Italy”
Gorgeous photos and lovely right up Jo and Kev. Love reading about your adventures. Especially on on of Englands long, dark, damp winter days. Thanks for sharing Shelle xx
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Thanks Michelle, glad you are enjoying. Good to hear xx