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15 Best Things To Do In Sardinia

When I first set foot on the beautiful island of Sardinia, I had no idea it would be a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences. From pristine beaches with crystal clear waters to ancient ruins steeped in history, this Mediterranean gem has it all. Whether you're an avid adventurer seeking thrilling water sports or a culture enthusiast yearning to explore charming towns, Sardinia promises to enchant and captivate you at every turn.

So join me as we embark on a journey through my list of the best things to do in Sardinia, uncovering hidden gems and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

1. Cagliari

Cagliari - Sardinia

Cagliari is the capital city of Sardinia, an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. The city is known for its rich history and culture, as well as its beautiful beaches and stunning architecture. As the main city of Sardinia, Cagliari offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

One of the top things to do in Cagliari is to explore the city's historical center. The area is full of winding streets, colorful buildings, and ancient ruins. Visitors can take a walking tour of the center or rent a vintage Fiat 500 to explore the area in style. Another popular option is to take a tuk-tuk tour, which provides a unique way to see the city and even spot some flamingos.

For those who enjoy being active, Cagliari offers a 2-hour sightseeing bike tour. This tour takes visitors through the city's four districts and offers stunning views of the coastline. Visitors can also head to Poetto Beach, one of the most popular beaches in the area. The beach is known for its crystal-clear waters and soft sand, making it the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun.

Cagliari is also home to several museums, including the National Archaeological Museum and the Citadel of Museums. The National Archaeological Museum is the premier archaeological museum in Sardinia and showcases artifacts spanning the island's history. The Citadel of Museums is a complex of four museums, including the National Archaeological Museum, and is located in the Cittadella dei Musei.

2. Alghero

Alghero

Alghero is a charming town located on the northwestern coast of Sardinia. It offers visitors a great variety of activities to do, from exploring its historical center to enjoying the nearby natural sites and beaches. Alghero is also known as the "Coral Riviera" due to its long history of coral fishing and trading.

One of the main attractions of Alghero is its beautiful beaches. With crystal-clear turquoise waters and stunning coves, Alghero's beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Some of the most popular beaches in Alghero include La Pelosa, Lazzaretto, and Mugoni.

Apart from its beaches, Alghero is also famous for its historical center. With its narrow streets and medieval architecture, the old town of Alghero is a charming place to explore. Some of the must-see attractions in the historic center include the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Church of San Francesco, and the Tower of Porta Terra.

For nature lovers, Alghero offers plenty of opportunities to explore the nearby natural sites. One of the most popular natural attractions is the Neptune's Grotto, a stunning sea cave located on the Capo Caccia promontory. Visitors can reach the cave by boat or by climbing down the 656 steps from the top of the promontory.

3. La Maddalena Island

La Maddalena Island - Sardinia

As I explored the beautiful island of Sardinia, La Maddalena Island stands out as a must-visit destination. Located in the Maddalena Archipelago, this island offers a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and culture.

One of the main draws of the La Maddalena archipelago is its stunning beaches. With crystal-clear waters and fine sand, these beaches offer a perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun. Some of the most popular beaches on the island include Spalmatore, Bassa Trinita, and Cala Lunga.

In addition to its beaches, La Maddalena  is also home to several historic sites. The island was an important military base during World War II, and visitors can still see the remains of fortifications and bunkers scattered across the landscape. The island's main town, also called La Maddalena, features several historic buildings and monuments, including the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena and the Monument to the Fallen.

For those interested in outdoor activities, the island offers several options. Hiking trails crisscross the island, offering stunning views of the surrounding sea and countryside. Visitors can also rent boats to explore the Maddalena Archipelago and its many islands and coves.

4. Costa Smeralda

Costa Smeralda beach in Sardinia

One of the most famous regions in Sardinia is Costa Smeralda, located in the northern part of the island. This coastal area is known for its turquoise waters and beautiful beaches. If you're looking for a luxurious and glamorous vacation, Costa Smeralda is the place to be.

Costa Smeralda boasts some of the best beaches in Sardinia, with crystal-clear waters and stunning coves. Some of the most popular in Sardinia include Liscia Ruja, Capriccioli, and Spiaggia del Principe. These beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling.

Apart from having some of the best beaches in Italy, Costa Smeralda offers a range of activities for visitors. You can rent a boat and explore the coastline, or go on a hiking excursion in the nearby mountains. If you're a golf enthusiast, Costa Smeralda has some of the best golf courses in Italy.

When it comes to the best places to stay, Costa Smeralda has some of the most luxurious resorts and hotels in Sardinia. You can choose from a range of options, from boutique hotels to five-star resorts. Some of the most popular resorts include Hotel Cala di Volpe, Hotel Romazzino, and Petra Segreta Resort & Spa.

5. Olbia

square in Olbia

Olbia is a beautiful city located on the north east coast of Sardinia. It is a perfect destination away from mainland Italy for those who love beaches, coves, and exploring the local culture. The city center is a nice place to explore, especially if you take a stroll through the famous Corso Umberto, which is the main street. You can find plenty of places for your shopping and admire several older buildings, some of which are in Liberty style.

One of the best things to do in Olbia is to visit the local beaches. There are many beautiful beaches around the city, and some of the best ones are Pittulongu Beach, Bados Beach, and Spiaggia Bianca. These beaches offer crystal-clear water and white sand, making them perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing.

Another great activity in Olbia is to explore the local coves. Some of the most beautiful coves in the area are Cala Brandinchi, Cala Luna, and Cala Mariolu. These coves are surrounded by stunning landscapes and offer a peaceful atmosphere, making them perfect for a day trip.

If you are interested in the local culture, you should visit the Museo Archeologico di Olbia. This museum displays artifacts from the local history, including Roman artifacts. Another great place to visit is the Tenute Olbios estate, which offers guided tours of the winemaking process.

Best Flights To Sardinia

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Sardinia. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Sardinia.

6. Su Nuraxi Di Barumini

Su Nuraxi di Barumini - Sardinia

I ones had the pleasure of visiting Su Nuraxi di Barumini during my trip to Sardinia, and I must say that it was a truly fascinating experience. Su Nuraxi is an archeological site located in southern Sardinia, and it is one of the most important nuraghe complexes on the island.

The site consists of a central tower, which was built around the 16th century BC, and a series of surrounding buildings and walls. The tower is made of large stones that have been carefully placed on top of each other without the use of any mortar. The tower is surrounded by a circular wall, which is also made of large stones.

Su Nuraxi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is easy to see why. The site is a testament to the ingenuity and architectural prowess of the ancient Nuragic civilization, which inhabited Sardinia between the 18th and 2nd centuries BC.

The site has been extensively excavated and restored, and visitors can now explore the complex and learn about the history and culture of the Nuragic people. There are several information panels and displays throughout the site, which provide detailed information about the various structures and artifacts that have been found.

One of the most impressive features of Su Nuraxi is the central tower, which stands at over 18 meters tall. Visitors can climb up to the top of the tower and enjoy amazing views of the surrounding countryside.

Contact:

Address: Viale Su Nuraxi, 09021 Barumini SU, Italy

Phone: +39 070 936 8128

Booking.com

7. Capo Testa

Capo Testa

Capo Testa is a rocky headland located on the northern tip of Sardinia, and it boasts some of the most stunning seascapes and rugged hiking trails on the island.

One of the main attractions of Capo Testa is the endless natural beauty of the rocky coastline. The wind-whipped granite boulders and coves are almost sculptural in shape and begging to be hiked and photographed. The nearby Cala Spinosa is a tiny, rocky cove with the most pristine, clear waters you can imagine, perfect for snorkeling.

There are plenty of incredible things to do in Capo Testa, including hiking, swimming, and exploring the numerous isolated beaches. The Capo Testa Map provides an excellent guide to the area, showing the various hiking trails and beaches. Some of the most popular beaches in Capo Testa include Rena di Ponente and Rena di Levante, both of which offer crystal clear waters and soft sand.

If you're looking for a place to stay in Capo Testa, there are several options available in the north of Sardinia. The Hotel Corallaro is a popular choice, offering stunning views of the sea and easy access to the nearby beaches. The Hotel La Funtana is another excellent option, offering comfortable rooms and a convenient location.

8. Asinara Island

Asinara Island - Sardinia

Asinara Island is a small, uninhabited island located off the northwestern coast of Sardinia. It is one of the best places to visit in Sardinia, and a must-see for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

The island is just 52 square kilometers in size and is one of Sardinia's most incredible national parks, as well as a wildlife and marine preserve. Asinara is home to a variety of rare and endangered species, including the famous albino donkeys, which are a major attraction for visitors.

One of the best ways to explore Asinara is by taking a guided tour of the island. You can choose from a variety of tours, including hiking, biking, and jeep tours. These tours will take you through the island's stunning landscapes, including its rugged coastline, pristine beaches, and rolling hills.

Another popular activity on the island of Asinara is wildlife watching. The island is home to a variety of rare and endangered species, including the Mediterranean monk seal, the Audouin's gull, and the Corsican red deer. You can also spot dolphins and other marine life in the waters around the island.

9. Sassari

Sassari

Sassari is a charming city located in the north west of Sardinia. It is the second-largest city on the island and has a rich history and culture. There are many things to do and see in Sassari, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Sardinia.

One of the best places to start your tour of Sassari is at Piazza Castello. This square is located in the heart of the city and is surrounded by historic buildings and landmarks. It is also the recommended starting point for a walking tour of Sassari. From here, you can explore the narrow streets and alleys of the old town and discover hidden gems such as the Museo Nazionale Sanna.

The Museo Nazionale Sanna is a fascinating museum that showcases the history and culture of Sassari and Sardinia. It is located in a historic building that was once a convent and has a collection of artifacts and exhibits that date back to prehistoric times. The museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history and culture of Sardinia.

Another must-visit attraction in Sassari is the Piazza d'Italia. This square is located in the historic center of the city and is one of the main public spaces in Sassari. It has played an important role in the history of the city since its creation and is surrounded by elegant buildings and landmarks.

In addition to these attractions, Sassari also has many other things to see and do. From exploring the local markets and shops to trying out the traditional cuisine, there is something for every visitor in this region of Sardinia.

10. Porto Cervo

Porto Cervo - Sardinia

Porto Cervo is a town located in the heart of Costa Smeralda, a beautiful and exclusive area in Sardinia known for its luxury resorts, high-end restaurants, and fabolous beaches. As a travel enthusiast, I can say that Porto Cervo is one of the most iconic and glamorous beach towns in Sardinia.

The bay of Cala di Volpe is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful stretches of coast to see in Porto Cervo. This vast white sand beach is rich in vegetation and lapped by emerald waters. Although crowded in the summer, this paradise offers a wide range of luxury hotels, lodges, and residences, as well as a number of very fine and famous restaurants.

If you are looking for a more secluded beach, then the Spiaggia del Principe is the perfect place for you. This beach is located a few kilometers from Porto Cervo and is surrounded by a beautiful and unspoiled natural landscape.

Apart from its beaches, Porto Cervo is also known for its luxury lifestyle. The town is home to some of the most exclusive and high-end resorts in Sardinia, such as the Hotel Cala di Volpe, which was featured in the James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me." The town also has several high-end restaurants that offer a wide range of local and international cuisine.

Best Flights To Sardinia

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Sardinia. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Sardinia.

11. Santa Maria

Santa Maria - Sardinia

As I explored Sardinia, one of the places that stood out to me was Santa Maria. This beautiful island is part of the La Maddalena Archipelago National Park and is located in the far north-east of Sardinia, close to the Strait of Bonifacio on the border with Corsica. Santa Maria is often referred to as the pearl of the far north coast of Sardinia, and it's easy to see why.

The island is surrounded by crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches, making it an ideal destination for sun-seekers and beach lovers. Visitors can spend hours basking in the sun, swimming in the clear Mediterranean waters, and just relaxing. Lu Impostu is a breathtaking cove along the northeastern coast, around twenty minutes south of Olbia. Visitors need to cross a short section of water to reach the beach, but it is worth it.

Apart from the beaches, Santa Maria is also known for its beautiful coves. The island is home to several coves, each with its unique charm. One of the most popular coves is Cala Santa Maria, which is located on the eastern side of the island. This cove is surrounded by lush greenery and offers the best views of the sea.

12. Discover The Nuraghes

Discover the nuraghes - Sardinia

As a lover of history and culture, one of the best tourist attractions in Sardinia is the Nuraghes. These ancient stone towers are unique to Sardinia and are believed to have been built by the Nuragic people during the Bronze Age.

The Nuraghes are fascinating archaeological sites that provide a glimpse into the island's rich and unique history. There are over 7,000 Nuraghes scattered throughout Sardinia, each with its own distinct features and characteristics.

One of the most famous Nuraghes is Su Nuraxi, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This Nuraghe is located in the province of Medio Campidano and is believed to have been built in the 16th century BC. It is an impressive structure, consisting of a central tower surrounded by four smaller towers and a village.

Another must-see Nuraghe is Santu Antine, which is one of the largest Nuraghes in Sardinia. It is located in the province of Sassari and was occupied even during the Roman era. The Nuraghe is surrounded by three smaller towers, all connected by fortified walls. Parts of the staircase to the upper floors can still be seen today.

13. Orosei National Park

Orosei National Park

As someone who loves hiking and exploring the wilderness, I highly recommend a visit to Orosei National Park in Sardinia. This park is located in the central-eastern part of Sardinia, and it encompasses both the rugged Supramonte plateau and the spectacular coastlines of the Gulf of Orosei.

One of the best things about Orosei National Park is the hiking opportunities. The park has a variety of trails that range in difficulty, so whether you're a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there's a trail for you. The trails offer incredible views of the mountains and the sea, and you may even spot some wildlife along the way.

If you're looking for a more leisurely way to explore the park, there are also boat tours available that take you along the coastline of the Gulf of Orosei. These tours offer breathtaking views of the cliffs and beaches along the coast, and you may even get to see some dolphins or other marine life.

In addition to hiking and boat tours, there are also opportunities for other outdoor activities in the park, such as rock climbing and kayaking. And if you're interested in history, there are several archeological sites within the park that are worth checking out.

14. Sinus Peninsula

Sinus Peninsula – Sardinia

Sardinia is an island that is full of natural beauty, and the Sinus Peninsula is one of the most stunning around Sardinia island. This unspoiled paradise is recognized by the European Commission as an 'Eden' destination of excellence. The Sinus Peninsula is a unique natural setting where you can enjoy any outdoor activity throughout the year.

The Peninsula is located on the central-western coast of Sardinia, and it gives you the sensation of continuity between land and sea. The area is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse wildlife. One of the most popular attractions in the area is the pink flamingos that inhabit the nearby lagoon.

The pink flamingos are a sight to behold, and they are one of the main reasons why people come to the Sinus Peninsula. These beautiful birds can be seen wading in the shallow waters of the lagoon, and they provide a stunning contrast to the blue waters and green vegetation of the area.

Apart from the pink flamingos, the area is a natural habitat for many species of birds, including seagulls, herons, and cormorants. The waters around the peninsula are also home to many species of fish, making it a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts.

In addition to its wildlife, the Sinus Peninsula is also known for having several beaches. The area has some of the most amazing beaches in Sardinia, including the Spiaggia di Is Arutas, which is famous for its unique quartz sand.

15. Bue Marino Caves

Bue Marino Caves – Sardinia

Last year I had the chance to visit the Grotte del Bue Marino in Sardinia and it was truly one of the most unforgettable things to do in Sardinia. The Bue Marino Caves are located in the east part of the island and are one of the most popular natural caves open to the public.

The tunnels here are part of a much bigger cave system that spreads under the Gennargentu area and is the biggest in Europe. The Grotte del Bue Marino is the most famous cave system together with Alghero's Neptune's Grotto. The caves are about 70 kilometers wide and offer some truly breathtaking sights.

If you are planning to visit Sardinia, I highly recommend adding the Bue Marino Caves to your itinerary. The caves offer a unique atmosphere and a chance to explore the natural beauty of Sardinia. You can take a boat tour or go diving to explore the caves up close.

One of the highlights of my visit was seeing the Cala Luna beach, which is located near the Bue Marino Caves. The beach is known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning scenery. It's the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of Sardinia.

Best Flights To Sardinia

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Sardinia. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Sardinia.

FAQ

Q: Top things to see and do in Sardinia

A: If you're visiting Sardinia, there are plenty of things to see and do. The island is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and rich cultural heritage. Some of the top things to see in Sardinia include visiting the Nuraghe di Barumini, exploring the historic city of Cagliari, and hiking in the Gennargentu National Park. You can also enjoy panoramic beach views at Lu Impostu and explore the Neptune caves.

Q: Must-visit hidden gems in Sardinia

A: Sardinia is full of hidden gems that are worth exploring. Some of these include the islands of Sant'Antioco and San Pietro, the Iglesiente Coast, and the Sinis peninsula. You can also visit the Asinara Island and the charming town of Bosa. If you're interested in history, don't miss the chance to see the ancient Nuraghes.

Q: Ideal itinerary for exploring Sardinia

A: If you plan on visiting Sardinia, it's a good idea to rent a car spend at least a week on the island. This will give you enough time to explore the top attractions in Sardinia. A good itinerary would include visiting Cagliari, exploring the Gennargentu National Park, and spending a day or two on the beaches of the Costa Smeralda. You can also visit the islands of Sant'Antioco and San Pietro and explore the historic town of Alghero.

Q: Where to stay in Sardinia for the ultimate experience?

A: Sardinia offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly B&Bs. If you're looking for a luxurious experience, consider staying at one of the resorts on the Costa Smeralda in south Sardinia. For a more authentic experience, stay in a traditional agriturismo or a charming guesthouse in one of the island's historic villages in Sardinia.

Q: How many days should you spend in Sardinia?

A: To fully explore Sardinia, it's recommended to spend at least a week on the island. This will give you enough time to see the top attractions and hidden gems, as well as relax on the beaches and enjoy the local cuisine. However, if you're short on time, you can still see some of the island's highlights in just a few days.

Recommended Hotels In Sardinia

Hotel Cala di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Costa Smeralda

Hotel Cala di Volpe

The Cala Di Volpe's rooms are large and air-conditioned. Each one comes with a seating area with 42-inch flat-screen TV with satellite channels and DVD player. Rooms overlook Cala di Volpe Bay and the hotel gardens from the private balcony.

Petra Segreta Resort & Spa

Petra Segreta Resort & Spa

Set in 5 hectares of forest just outside the town of San Pantaleo, Petra Segreta Resort & Spa offers panoramic views, modern wellness facilities and a large, heated fresh-water pool. WiFi is free throughout the hotel.

7Pines Resort Sardinia - A Destination By Hyatt

7Pines Resort Sardinia

7Pines Resort provides accommodations with three restaurants, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center. With three bars, the property also features a shared lounge, as well as a garden. 

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO SARDINIA

Book Your Hotel In Sardinia

You can book your hotel in Sardinia with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like guesthouses, hostels and apartments.

Book Your Flight To Sardinia

Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Sardinia. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Sardinia?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best rental cars in Sardinia here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Sardinia?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Sardinia, here you will find all the answers to book your next Sardinia airport transfer.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Sardinia without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you visit Sardinia. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Italy:

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