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My gluten-free journey to Sardinia

In this blog I will tell you about my trip to the beautiful island of Sardinia, Italy. I did a 10-day tour of Olbia, Cagliari and Alghero. Read here where I ate, what I thought of the island and practical tips for eating gluten-free safely in Sardinia.

Olbia

Glutenvrij op Sardinië

My tour started in Olbia, where we arrived by plane. Next to the airport is a small kiosk where they sell gluten-free sandwiches. You can choose from ham/cheese or salami/cheese. Not the best I've ever eaten but handy as a quick snack before boarding the plane. See the bottom of this article where you can find the kiosk.

Olbia is located in the north of Sardinia and is relatively more expensive than the rest of the island. In Olbia we booked an apartment with a kitchen so that we could cook gluten-free ourselves. Unfortunately, this did not go quite as planned, despite all the good preparations and reading labels in Italian, the potatoes turned out to contain gluten. I only found out when my plate was already empty…

Fortunately, the complaints were not too bad, but the fear was there for a while.


The next day we set off in good spirits, luckily I felt good again. We were a bit remote with our accommodation so decided to rent a scooter, which I can definitely recommend! It takes some time getting used to the traffic, but you can see a lot and discover nice roads.

On our way we stopped at a lunchroom, they didn't have gluten-free bread but luckily I am always prepared and I had bread with me. They offered to add a topping for me and prepared it separately due to possible cross contamination.


Later that day we stopped at a small beach bar. They had several gluten-free options on the menu. Lunch, but also some gluten free ice creams. I chose a gluten-free cornetto. See the bottom of this article where you can find the beach bar.

In the evening we cooked in the apartment, this time double checked all labels 😉

On our last day in Olbia we had lunch at a 100% gluten-free restaurant, I enjoyed a delicious burger and cheesecake for dessert. It was very nice to be able to choose everything on the menu. See the bottom of the article where you can find this restaurant. The next day we traveled by public transport to the capital of the island, a beautiful but long (and hot) route!


Cagliari

Cagliari

For our visit to the capital Cagliari, we stayed in a small town (Quartu Sant'Elena) about 10 kilometers from the capital with a direct bus connection. We didn't have our own kitchen here, so we would look for gluten-free food ourselves.

We were able to have breakfast at a small bar nearby at the expense of the accommodation. However, they only had gluten-free pizza rolls there, quite tasty but it is hard on an empty stomach. Fortunately, the same day I found a store with a lot of gluten-free products. See the bottom of this article where you can find the store.

Within walking distance of our accommodation was a pizzeria known for its great gluten-free pizza. We had to wait a long time for our pizza as it was very busy but it was well worth the wait! You can also find this address at the bottom of the blog. In Cagliari we took a boat trip, I would highly recommend it because it takes you to the most beautiful places that you can't reach by public transport or sometimes car. These boat trips are offered in many places, not only in Cagliari.

Cagliari is a beautiful city with a lot of small, cute streets that you can walk through for hours without getting bored. In the evenings it is quite busy, the Italians often eat a little later, so by 10 o'clock all the terraces are packed with people eating dinner.

Gluten-free was easy to find in Cagliari, it was indicated on the map at almost all restaurants and there were plenty of gluten-free options. For dessert we got an ice cream, at the ice cream shop they had gluten-free cones and they used separate spoons to prevent cross-contamination. See the bottom of this article where you can find the store.


Alghero

Alghero

Our last destination was Alghero which is known as the most beautiful town on the island. It has picturesque streets that you can wander through. It's not very big but has a rich history. In addition, it is located right on the coast where you can relax on the beach and drink a cocktail.


We stayed here in hotel Soleado, just outside the city center, located at the beach. I would recommend this hotel if you would like to start the day with a good gluten-free breakfast. Click here to go directly to the hotel.

Within walking distance of the hotel was a fantastic restaurant known for its gluten-free options. We ate here two evenings. You can go there for pizzas and burgers, but also for a gluten-free beer. As soon as we had taken a seat on the terrace, we were asked if one of us had celiac disease. That always makes me feel safe when they know what celiac disease is and you don't even have to explain what cross-contamination is. See the bottom of this article where you can find the restaurant.

Practical tips

#1 – Bring an Italian diet card!

In general, I think the people of Sardinia were very familiar with gluten-free and what it entails. However, they don't always speak English and it is sometimes difficult to make clear what you mean. In Italian gluten-free means "senza glutine", often when you say that they understand you, but it is sometimes a bit difficult to communicate.

Some restaurants do not offer separate preparation in high season because of the crowds. It is possible that they bake your pizza separately outside the high season, but not during the high season because they need the space. So inquire about this carefully!


#2Download the app from the Italian Celiac Association, AIC.

The Italian Celiac Association has a large network of restaurants and hotels where you can eat good gluten-free food, also in Sardinia. They have bundled these addresses in their app.

Download the app before departure, you can buy access to the database of all gluten-free companies for two weeks for € 2.99.


#3 – Download the Findmyglutenfree app.

This is my favorite app when I travel. You can easily search for restaurants near you. Keep an eye out because there are sometimes outdated addresses or restaurants with bad reviews. Anyone can add restaurants so the control is not as big as with the AIC app. Nevertheless, it is a useful tool.


#4 – Do your research beforehand.

Unfortunately, the gluten-free diet limits us to spontaneously eating somewhere. I thought gluten-free food in Sardinia was quite doable, but when I arrived somewhere spontaneously I often ended up with a salad. Fortunately, they never put dressing on your salad in the kitchen, you can do this yourself with olive oil and balsamic vinegar at the table so that ensures that almost all salads are gluten-free. If you put in the effort in advance, there are many nice gluten-free addresses to be found, so that remains my preference. For example, search Facebook groups or Instagram for #glutenfreesardinia, #glutenfreeolbia.


#5 – Rent a car!

If you want to see the most beautiful places in Sardinia, I advise you to rent a car or scooter. With public transport you can get to many places, but not to the paradisiacal beaches or picturesque bays. I found the traffic to be quite manageable and it gives you a lot of freedom!


Recommendations for eating gluten-free in Sardinia

Glutenvrij bier op Sardinië

#1 Il Kiosko at the beach of Cala Banana Adres: Cala banana, 07020 Golfo Aranci SS, Sardinië.

#2 Be Free, 100% gluten- free restaurant (found in the AIC app) Adres: Via Gabriele d’Annunzio, 89, 07026 Olbia SS, Sardinië.

#3 Pizzeria Colombo, good gluten-free pizza (found in the AIC app) Adres: Viale C. Colombo, 264, 09045 Quartu Sant’Elena CA, Sardinië.

#4 Biocelia Sardegna, a shop with a lot of gluten-free products Adres: Viale C. Colombo, 163, 09045 Quartu Sant’Elena CA, Sardinië.

#5 Gelateria Artigianale, icecream with gluten-free cones Adres: Via Napoli, 30, 09124 Cagliari CA, Sardinië.

#6 Démodé Bistrot, restaurant with amazing gluten-free options (found in the Findmeglutenfree app) Adres: Via Vittorio Veneto, 2, 07041 Alghero SS, Sardinië.

#7 Kara Kiosk, naast terminal 2 van vliegveld Olbia. Adres: Aeroporto Costa Smeralda, 07026 Olbia SS, Sardinië.

#8 Hotel Soleado, our hotel in Alghero with good gluten-free breakfast Adres: Via Lido, 19, 07041 Alghero SS, Sardinië.


Additions

After posting this blog I have received a number of additions from you, thank you for that!

#9 Ristorante Pizzeria Aragon, many gluten-free options for lunch and dinner.

Address: Via Gramsci 8, 07041 Alghero SS, Sardinia.

#10 The Gluten-Free Lab, artisan gluten-free bakery certified by the Italian Celiac Association.

Address: Via Lamarmora 97, 08022 Dorgali, Sardinia.

#11 Gelateria Azzurra Alghero, gluten-free ice creams.

Address: Via Roma 36, ​​07041 Alghero SS, Sardinia.


Hopefully my experience will help you, if you have any questions don't hesitate to send me a message.

Do you have any recommendations for eating gluten-free in Sardinia? Then let me know below!


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