Perhaps the only thing you know of Sardinia and the famous Costa Smeralda, with its wonderful landscapes and its VIP visits. But this island has much more to offer: cale nasoste, mountains, Archaeological excavations, ancient mysterious civilizations, old traditions and great food. Are you already fantasizing, right? Then discover with us the best areas for a holiday: here are 10 attractions you absolutely must see in Sardinia.
- Maddalena archipelago
- Costa Smeralda: Porto Cervo, Olbia, San Teodoro
- Alghero and the Grotto of Neptune
- Sassari, La Pelosa and the Asinara Park
- Village of Tiscali and the Gulf of Orosei
- Cagliari, Villasimius and Capo Carbonara
- Oristano, Tharros and the Sinis Peninsula
- Giara Park and Nuraghe Su Nuraxi
- Costa Iglesiente and Sulcis
- User questions and comments
- Request a tailor-made itinerary from our Sardinia specialists
1 - Archipelago of the Maddalena
Il Maddalena Archipelago National Park, with its many beaches and coves, it is known for its beauty. The Caprera, famous for having hosted Garibaldi during his exile, has used his house as a museum. Cala Corsara, on the island of Spargi, will leave you speechless for its fine white beach and transparent sea. There Pink Beach on the Island of Budelli, with its characteristic sand will leave you breathless.
Without a doubt, the best way to admire the archipelago is through a boat cruise that will allow you to touch all the beaches and points of greatest interest.
2 - Costa Smeralda: Porto Cervo, Olbia, San Teodoro
Relaxation mixes with fun in a setting made of clear and transparent waters. About 50 beaches make up the 80 Km of coastline, belonging to the territory of Gallura. Beaches of different sizes chase each other between granite cliffs of rare beauty and soft beaches of fine white sand, often concomitant with wetlands of great naturalistic interest.
The cove of Porto Cervo it hosts the two ports considered among the safest and most sheltered in the Mediterranean. Other places of interest are Olbia and the Golfo Aranci, Portorotondo and San Teodoro. The wonderful Tavolara Island is also worth mentioning, which is not part of the Costa Smeralda, but is still close and is definitely worth a visit; you can reach it from Olbia on an organized snorkeling cruise.
3 - Alghero and the Neptune's Grotto
Alghero is a strategic location from a tourist point of view as it has an airport, it offers beautiful beaches and allows you to visit the Province of Sassari, an area rich in natural wonders. The city offers noteworthy architectures such as the Cathedral, the Civic Square, the Coral Museum, the Church of San Michele and its colorful dome, finally the pretty Lungomare.
But above all its surroundings can give strong emotions, thanks to beauties like the Neptune's Grotto, located in the park of Porto Conte. You can reach it by sea or by land. Crossing a passage covered with vegetation you arrive at a lake fed by the sea. The vault and the two arches will amaze you. The line of columns that leads to the lake basin, the Royal Palace, will make you glimpse a very white beach. The last part of the cave, the terrace, is called Tribuna della Musica. An area accessible only to speleologists leads to the Lake of Mushrooms, and, through a tunnel called Metrò, to the huge hall with the Semilunare Lake.
4 - Sassari, La Pelosa and the Asinara Park
As we said, the territory of Sassari is one of the most interesting of the whole island. Sassari is the second largest city in Sardinia as well as one of the oldest settlements in the region, in fact it boasts a great history and important cultural institutions. Among the attractions to visit are Piazza Italia, the Cathedral of San Nicola and the Church of Santa Maria di Betlem. There is no shortage of natural beauties in the surroundings such as La Pelosa beach in the municipality of Stintino but above all the Asinara Park and the homonymous marine protected area, reachable with excursions by sea.
5 - Village of Tiscali and Gulf of Orosei
Another area undoubtedly full of wonders is the Gulf of Orosei, in the province of Nuoro. Here are the Caves of Bue Marino and Ispinigoli, the latter presents wavy concretions that contrast with large columns characterized by colors and chiaroscuro effects. There is no shortage of beaches, among the most fascinating we mention Cala Gonone, Cala Luna, Cala Mariolu and Cala Goloritzé.
Hiking enthusiasts can explore the Parco Nazionale del Golfo di Orosei and del Gennargentu, and above all the Tiscali village, preserved for centuries by a rugged and wild territory.
You will have to enter the heart of the Supramonte, to reach the entrance of the dolina (karst basin), which is difficult to identify, therefore we recommend the purchase of an organized excursion. Probably the nuragic populations they used this place to escape the Romans. About forty huts in the village were built close to the walls of the basin. Inside the dolina a particular microclimate allows the growth of a unique plant environment.
6 - Cagliari, Villasimius and Capo Carbonara
We arrive at the regional capital, the beautiful Cagliari, a city rich in relevant architectures such as the Bastion of Saint Remy, the Sanctuary of Bonaria, the Cathedral, the Civic Palace, but also of interesting beaches such as the Poetto beach. Nearby are the Molentargius Saline Park, famous for the presence of pink flamingos, and the territory of Villasimius, whose flagship is Capo Carbonara, an area characterized by emerald waters and suggestive landscapes.
Here is the pond of Notteri, divided from the sea by a thin strip of sand that hosts flamingos. The beaches stretched along the promontory are characterized by the shine of the sand thanks to the quartz crystals. In the surroundings of Serpentara you can meet dolphins, while in the waters of the Secca di Santa Caterina there is the statue of the Madonna del Castaway.
Not too far away you can also visit the beach of Punta Molentis and the Costa Rei, with the wonderful Rei Pool.
7 - Oristano, Tharros and Sinis Peninsula
Historically significant and overflowing with natural beauty, the province of Oristano in Sardinia is a sublime mix of culture, beautiful lush landscapes and fascinating ruins. The city offers some beauties not to be missed, such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Torre di Mariano and the Arborense Antiques Museum.
Nearby, the nearby Sinis peninsula is a stretch of jagged cliffs where small sandy beaches with a wild soul are located, and at the end of which rises the ancient settlement of Tharros, dating back to the end of the eighth century BC
Equally exciting are the fabulous protected parks such as the Marine Park of the Island of Mal di Ventre and the more famous Regional Park of Monte Arci, suggestive combinations of beautiful woods and wildlife.
8 - Giara Park and Nuraghe Su Nuraxi
Let's continue with the attractions of historical and naturalistic interest, talking about the Giara Park and the Su Nuraxi village.
The Giara Park is a green area with a magical charm, known for being the home of the famous Cavallino della Giara, a particular breed endemic to this place. Here you can enjoy excursions, guided tours and tastings of typical products.
A short distance is located Su Nuraxi, one of the largest nuragic villages in Sardinia as well as a world heritage site. The Nuraghe is a type of stone construction with a truncated cone shape present throughout the Sardinian territory. They are unique in their kind and typical of the Nuragic civilization. To better appreciate the history and mysteries of the place, absolutely book a guided tour of the village.
9 - Costa Iglesiente and Sulcis
Moving to the south-western side of the island we find the Costa Iglesiente and the Sulcis area. Both are full of breathtaking beaches. Along the Costa Iglesiente is located the iconic Pan di Zucchero rock, the Blue Grotto and the beach of Porto Corallo.
Instead, among the attractions of Sulcis we point out the Islands of Sant'Antioco and San Pietro, the panoramic road that connects Porto Teulada and Chia, the beach of Porto Pino and Pula and especially the Tuerredda beach, according to many the most beautiful in Sardinia. It is an enchanting expanse of white sand framed by a Caribbean sea, rich in marine fauna, located in front of the homonymous islet of Tuerredda.
Finally, the area is also worth a visit Nora: here you will find a white sand beach bordered by a cliff, the pretty medieval church of Sant'Efisio, and the Phoenician archaeological area.
10 - Bosa
Immersed in the beautiful west coast, the municipality of Bosa offers a landscape characterized by rocky hills, green valleys, palm trees and typical Italian architecture. Bosa offers a perfect escape from the hectic city life, not surprisingly it is one of the best Sardinian destinations for a relaxing holiday, perhaps accompanied by family. The cobbled streets, the imposing palaces with their traditional balconies, the squares and cafes teeming with people capture together what can be called the true Mediterranean spirit. Among the things to see and do in the city we recommend a visit to the Casa Deriu Museum, the Atza Art Gallery, the Museum of the Concepts, the Malaspina Castle and the Cathedral. Bosa is one great place to stay to enjoy the west coast beaches.
Plan your trip: how to get there and where to sleep
Sardinia is connected to the rest of Italy by air and by sea. The reference airports are located in Olbia, Cagliari and Alghero, daily ferries are also guaranteed to Cagliari, Porto Torres, Olbia, Golfo d'Aranci (Olbia) and Arbatax. Flights from € 77,00 - compare deals.
If you are only interested in the sea and relaxation, choose one of the most popular destinations. In the north are the Costa Smeralda and La Maddalena, and among the places to stay we recommend Olbia, Porto Cervo and Santa Teresa Gallura (find the best offers on Booking). In the south the most popular areas are Cagliari and Villasimius or Pula and Porto Pino. For families we recommend quieter areas such as Oristano, Bosa, Nuoro or Castelsardo. Here are some recommended accommodations with prices from € 54,00 per night.
If, on the other hand, you want to explore the island to discover its beauties and mysteries, rent a car and plan an itinerary in stages (from € 45,00 per day), choosing between the northern area (landing in Olbia) or the southern one (landing in Cagliari). Visiting them could be tiring and would require a vacation of at least 20 days.