Sardinia is a lovely, large island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, with mostly rocky and tall coasts in the East and long, dreamy beaches in the other directions.
Inside, the island is characterised by woods, plains, stretches of largely uninhabited territory and streams, making this territory incredibly varied in flora and fauna and a real traveller’s dream. While there, you can enjoy nature but also culturally rich cities and towns of Cagliari, Sassari, Alghero and Bosa, to name a few (especially if you enjoy Medieval architecture).
Sardinia also boasts a long tradition of horse riding, unique event clothing which differentiates villages and towns from the others, the cantu a tenore (one of the oldest forms of vocal polyphony), an exclusive musical instrument called launeddas and delicious typical foods and wines.
Cala Fuili – Photo by Italy for everyone
How to get to Sardinia
Sardinia has airports near Cagliari, Olbia, and Alghero. The biggest one is Cagliari-Elmas Airport (Aeroporto Mario Mameli), close to central Cagliari which can be easily reached by bus or train.
Cagliari is served directly by domestic and international flights, but big and extremely well-connected Milan-Linate and Rome-Fiumicino airports can also serve as intermediate stops. Olbia Airport (Aeroporto di Olbia-Costa Smeralda) is the gateway to the Costa Smeralda, very close to central Olbia.
You can easily get to the centre of the town by bus. The airport has slightly fewer routes than Cagliari, but is well connected to European cities. Alghero-Fertilia Airport (Aeroporto internazionale Riviera del Corallo) is mostly a domestic airport, so you might want to stick to the other two.
You can also get to Sardinia by boat from mainland Italy or Sicily and reach Cagliari, Porto Torres and Olbia, among other destinations.
Companies offering this service are Tirrenia, Moby Lines, Corsica-Sardinia Ferries, Grimaldi and Snav.
Check the official websites:
Cagliari Elams Airport
Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport
Things to do in Sardinia
In northern Sardinia you can find Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), more or less 20 km of white sand beaches, golf clubs, private jet and helicopter services, exclusive hotels, fashionable boutiques and more.
It attracts thousands of visitors (and celebrities) from all over the world every summer, fascinated by the level of luxury, the beauty of the landscape, the colours of the sea and the charm of a unique coast. The main towns and villages in the area are Porto Cervo, Liscia di Vacca, Capriccioli, and Romazzino.
All the beaches in Costa Smeralda are stunning, with white/pink sand and waters ranging from crystal clear to all possible shades of charming blue. One of the most visited is Principe Beach, which overlooks the Mortorio islands, Soffi and Camere.
If you like yachts, you will see some of the largest in the world at Giglio Beach.
Carlo Pelagalli, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Famous beaches in Sardinia
The North and Northeast of Sardinia boast many beautiful beaches in the area that is known as Costa Smeralda, but the Eastern coast is also very interesting (for example: Cala Gonone, Arbatax, Muravera and Villasimius), as is the deep South (Chia, Pula).
The Western coast has large and long beaches: take a look at Porto Pino, Marina di Gonnesa and Marina di Arbus (with sand dunes).
Porto Pino boasts coves with crystal clear water and pink sand, dunes, cliffs, pine forests, backdrops, but also caves, forests and a lot to enjoy on the cultural side.
Marina di Arbus is also known as Costa Verde, which includes several breath-taking beaches such as, from south to north, Portixeddu, Capo Pecora, Scivu, Piscinas, Portu Maga, Gutturu e’Flumini, Funtanazza, Babari, Porto Palma, Torre dei Corsari, Pistis and Capo Frasca.
If you like scuba diving and underwater caves and grottos, take a chance on beautiful Alghero and the area around it as well. You should not miss San Teodoro either: it’s known for its fine, white-sand beaches with shallow waters, like the pine-fringed Cala Brandinchi and La Cinta, possibly the most famous Italian beach.
Surrounded by Mediterranean brush, San Teodoro’s lagoon attracts pink flamingos and has amazing vegetation as well. Cala Brandinchi is very popular too for its beauty and its exotic appearance.
La Pelosa – Photo by Italy for everyone
Sardinia is the home of the ancient, mysterious Nuragic civilization (1500 BC), which lasted up to the Roman colonization and is not recorded anywhere, apart from written, classical Greek and Roman literature and the Nuraghes.
The Nuraghes are tower-fortress like, megalithic edifices that might have been something between a “status symbol” and a “passive defence” type of building always oriented following the solstices.
They can only be found in Sardinia, and have become the symbol of the island. Nuraghes are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, with Su Nuraxi di Barumini, in the south of the island, as the chosen representative of the Nuragic patrimony.
Others are the Nuraghe Santu Antine near the village of Torralba (in the North), the Nuraghe Palmavera (close to Alghero), and those in Macomer, Abbasanta, Orroli (Nuraghe Arrubiu), Gonnesa (Nuraghe Seruci) and Villanovaforru (Nuraghe Genna Maria). The Li Muri Giants’ graves are also renowned.
Nuraghe Santu Antine – Photo by Italy for everyone