Sardinia’s northeast corner may be synonymous with the beach resorts of Costa Smeralda, but around Olbia there are also strips of empty sand, scuba-diving hangouts and bird-watching lagoons. For a glimmer of alternative Sardinia, try these beach escapes.

Feel like a castaway at deserted La Vecchie Saline / Image: Getty

The quiet spot

Sandy Le Vecchie  Saline is frequently deserted, with the added bonus of free parking. When there's a breeze you might need to share it with wind surfers but for the most part you’ll feel like Tom Hanks in Castaway. Access it from Via Isola Padron Fiaso.

Flamingo-watching is a must in the San Teodoro lagoon / Image: Getty

The flamboyant lagoon

The San Teodoro lagoon, near La Cinta Beach, is home to countless flamingos – a group of which is known as a ‘flamboyance’ – who migrate here from July to mid-September. Jump on a boat, bike or Segway to get a closer look. Access it from Via Antonio Gramsci.

The absolute dive

Ringed with greenery and granite rocks, the shallow bay at Dottore Beach is beloved by scuba divers. With the beach facing east over the shimmering Tyrrhenian Sea there are beautiful sights above water as well. Access it from Via Punzutu.