Porto Istana struck us as one of the most unique beaches we have ever seen. It is not one beach but a collection of four beaches right beside each other.
Located just north of Porto San Paolo, Porto Istana lies in the municipality of Olbia on the north eastern side of the Italian island of Sardinia.
Porto Istana and the four beaches
Driving towards the Porto Istana beaches requires careful observation to identify the pay car park. If you go past this point you enter a buses only roundabout and you risk being clamped if you park here.
There is also a restaurant and bar opposite the car park so no need to go hungry here.
Walking down the pathway to the (1st) beach (the Porto Istana spiaggia) we past parts of a hotel resort on our right. Then on entering Porto Istana beach there was a small bar. I was quite amused since it was clear the bar was all locked up (it was past 8pm in the evening). Even still there was this guy sat there at the bar, fast asleep. There were more than two large empty bottles on his table and he clearly was worse for wear.
Sunbeds and parasols were laid out ready for hire. We were quite shocked though to see a front row pair of sunbeds with a parasol would cost €30 to hire for the day.
Seeing the first beach at Porto Istana, the most northerly beach was at first a little bit underwhelming for us. It was beautiful, soft sands and an amazing view of the Isola De Tavolara. However it was quite a small beach. I struggled to imagine how Porto Istana would cope in the height of summer.
It was then that we remembered that Porto Istana is not one beach but four beaches. Yes this is the beach of four beaches!
We walked south and towards the end of the first beach of Porto Istana we came across a stream running across the sand into the vegetation. It made a beautiful setting.
It was clear to see how Porto Istana is known as the beach of four beaches. Whilst they are all adjoining there is a clear distinction between them. There is maybe a rocky divide or pathway between them.
The second beach at Porto Istana had a finer sand than the 1st beach, less stones too. It also had a private area with sunbeds dedicated for the use of people staying in the hotel resort.
There was also a designated area to launch and return boats
We then noticed as we continued to head south on Porto Istana a sandy pathway. This led to the third Porto Istana spiaggia.
This third beach was one of the nicest of Porto Istana. Relatively fine sand, a little bar area and a number of sunbeds available for hire. Moving from north to south I suspect that during the day you’ll be able to find quieter areas.
Passing some small rocks we then came across the fourth and most southerly beach of Porto Istana. This was the smallest beach. It was also full of small stones which made it uncomfortable to walk or sit on.
There was no bar or sunbeds laid out on this beach. It was quite small but pretty all the same.
With four beaches to choose from Porto Istana is a real find of novelty. None of the beaches could be classified as large so I dare say it is crowded in the peak of summer. It is of great appeal to tourists though. They are novel and interesting as a collection of beaches, however with so much competition I would struggle to call them the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia.
Whilst on the almost deserted beach one evening we came across a British couple. Having holidayed for nearly 2 full weeks in Sardinia this was the first time we’d come across any fellow Brits, other than in the airport. We all agreed that this was a good thing. After all why go on holiday if you can’t taste and experience the real culture of where you go. The lady of the couple we met asked us to keep this as our little secret. Oops, sorry have I just ruined that?
All in Porto Istana is a wonderful find of a collection of beaches in Sardinia.