Home to some of the Mediterranean’s most seductive and exclusive beaches, Sardinia is a beach lover’s heaven and the perfect location for an Italian break without the hustle and bustle of the mainland. Located between Italy and Africa, Sardinia’s turquoise seas and white sandy beaches can easily rival those in the tropics. This is an island full of allure and intrigue, boasting a rich history and a whole host of architecture offerings. Once a natural stop for empires journeying to Europe the island has many architectural influences, from Phoenicians and Byzantines but the most obvious influence is the Spanish one. Furthermore the island has some magnificent rugged landscapes to discover and a fabulous cuisine, one thing the island has in common with its Italian neighbours. Its traditional specialities include roast suckling pig and stuffed wild boar.
Top Attractions in Sardinia
This beautiful seaside resort on the northwest coast is one of the islands most seductive towns. Ruled by the Spanish between 1400 and 1700 this medieval town has an evocative historical centre and some fantastic beaches nearby. Wander its cobbled streets and visit its old quarters full of piazzas, a gothic Duomo and chic boutiques. Alternatively take a short drive to Capo Caccia and explore dramatic limestone caves best known as Neptune’s Grotto that dates back 65 million years. As one of the most visited tourist attractions in the area Neptune’s Caves also offers diving tours to it underwater caves full of archways and a whole network of tunnels.
Cagliari, the island’s hectic capital has an interesting historical medieval centre where steep atmospheric streets, fine museums and superb churches lay within 13th Century Walls and towers. Cagliari’s must see sight is its Roman Amphitheatre built between the 1st and 2nd Century AD. Gladiator fights would be held here against wild beasts that were kept in cages at the side of the arena which can still be seen today. Alternatively take a romantic walk along Buon Cammino for magnificent views across the valley.
Located on the north eastern tip, Costa Smeralda is a stunning coastal destination and probably the best known area of Sardinia. Famous for its glitzy resorts, Costa Smeralda is a favourite holiday spot for celebrities and wealthy Italians. Its 10km stretch of sparkling white beaches and translucent waters are just a small part of what makes this coastal town so popular. Drawing thousands of visitors a year not many people will disagree that its beaches are among the finest in the world. Its Mediterranean waters offer the perfect conditions for snorkelling or scuba diving, with some secluded caves and reefs to discover, including some only reachable by boat. As an alternative from it beaches you can spend time wandering around its upscale boutiques, glitzy stores or indulge is some of Sardinia’s scrumptious cuisine.
This small province on the eastern coast of Sardinia is home to some of the most breath-taking natural scenery on the island an ideal location for couples and solo travellers looking to explore Sardinia’s nature. With over 90km of unspoilt coastline there is plenty to keep you busy, from glorious sandy beaches, rock pools, hidden coves, lagoons and an elegant historical town centre boasting a vast number of medieval buildings. Alternatively take a daytrip to the impressive Punic and Roman ruins of Tharros at the nearby Sinis peninsula.
The Maddalena Archipelago
Best time to visit
Tourists visit Sardinia between May- June and September-October
There is one golden rule when visiting Sardinia and that is to avoid visiting in August when the whole of Italy and then some flood the island and prices go through the roof. The summer months can be exhaustingly hot so visit during May and June when the island is at its best. September and October are also good times to visit when the sea is still warm and temperatures are still around 23 degrees during the day. Sardinia’s tourism shuts down over the winter with some places staying closed until Easter.
The main airports at Cagliari, Olbia and Alghero link Sardinia with major Italian and European cities. As well as the major international carriers, there are several no-frills airlines, although some routes are restricted to peak season times between April and October. Alternatively Sardinia is well connected to main land Italy by ferries from Genoa, Savona, La Spezia, Livorno, Piombino, Civitavecchia, Fiumicino and Naples, and from Palermo and Trapani in Sicily.
Sardinia is best explored by car although there is also an extensive transportation network in place that will get you to and from the main towns and cities.