Sun and Sand in Sardinia

Sardinia, with its quintessential Mediterranean beauty, is perfect for a special beach holiday, such as a honeymoon or anniversary, and is loved for swimming, boating, windsurfing, hiking, climbing, camping and sunbathing. While the north and north-east (from Stintino to Budoni) boast many beautiful beaches and are superbly ritzy, the mountainous inner regions of the island are a joy to discover for those that want to enjoy more on their beach vacation in Italy. The sun worshippers, however, will love the vast sandy beaches on the west coast, while the deep south (Chia and Pula) and south-east are growing in popularity as destinations for family beach holidays.

If you’re thinking about a vacation in Sardinia then here is our guide on where to stay and the activities you can enjoy during your holiday, including the secluded beaches that must be seen to be believed!


For honeymooners

Sardinia is a popular location for honeymooners thanks to its beautiful beaches and refined atmosphere. Depending on your budget, you may like to consider one of the more up-market resorts, such as Porto Conte Regional Park, where you’ll find the stunning Il Lazzaretto beach, or Costa Smeralda. The main coastal towns in Costa Smeralda are Porto Cervo, Liscia di Vacca, Capriccioli, Romazzino, Baia Sardinia, Cala di Volpe and Cannigione, which are all beautiful and romantic destinations with white sandy beaches. In this region you’ll also find a golf club and many designer shops, and some hotels offer a private jet and helicopter service.

However, if you have a more limited budget then we suggest Alghero, which offers excellent seafood and plenty of cocktail bars to relax in. There is also a beach that stretches the length of the bay to enjoy and it has a very pleasant old town to wander around. As an enjoyable day or overnight trip, we recommend heading for Castelsardo, which is a picturesque historic town with atmospheric streets and boutique shops – if you have time, stop for a glass of wine and something to eat at Le Cisterne Wine Bar, which many travelers report serves the best food in Sardinia.


For families

Cagliari, which is the island’s capital, is a good option for families as a range of accommodation is available and there are lots of local amenities, restaurants, shops and cafes. Hotel il Monastero is a popular hotel and, although it is around 10 minutes from the beach, it has a large pool and there is a miniature golf course nearby, as well as horse riding at the national park. There is also a turtle sanctuary on the south coast called Laguna di Nora, which houses rescued sea turtles and it also has an aquarium. Nearby, you will also find the Roman ruins, which will fascinate any history buff in the family!

Another day trip that the children (and adults) will surely enjoy is Grotte di Su Mannau in Fluminimaggiore, which is a 5-mile system of underground caverns with glimmering tunnels and rock rooms where you’ll find stalagmites and stalactites. We recommend just seeing the first cave, which is reasonably spacious and has walkways – while you can explore further with an experienced guide, it is quite claustrophobic and there are a fair few bats down there!

If you’re looking to save money, consider camping in Sardinia. While it’s not for everyone, it is a very popular and cheap way to enjoy the island, and there are many safe campsites, including some by the sea, such as Capo Ferrato campsite near Cagliari.


For sun worshippers

Although it is one of the most popular beaches in the north-western tip of Sardinia, the white sand and crystal waters of La Pelosa beach are almost unrivalled. The beach is set below a watchtower and the region is idyllically picturesque. Note, however, that there may only be standing room on the beach if you holiday here during peak season!

If you would prefer a more secluded beach, Cala Goloritze is the one for you. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site about 2 hours from Olbia and cannot be reached by road. Instead, there is a footpath to the beach, which takes you on a 1–2 hour walk through a plethora of Sardinian wildlife. That may sound extreme but the turquoise waters and high mountains decorated with vibrant green trees make the walk very much worthwhile!

Another, more accessible option is Cala Mariolu, which has a number of sandy beaches separated by white rocks and crystal clear waters that rival the Caribbean. It can be reached by boat from Arbatax pier on a day trip and there are water-based activities available, such as scuba diving. Note that you can’t stay overnight on the beach so it is best to stay in Baunei or Orosei, which are nearby.


For an active holiday

If you’re looking for active holiday, with plenty of options for hiking, climbing and water sports, Sardinia is a choice that will not disappoint. For kayaking, we recommend staying near the eastern beach town of Cala Gonone, where you can hire a kayak for the day and explore the beautiful coastline. There are several secluded beaches along this stretch that you will love, such as Cala Luna (where Swept Away was set), as well as caves and sealife.

If off-road cycling is your thing, we recommend hiring mountain bikes and heading into the Sardinia farmland around Giara di Gesturi, which is a high and steep-sided basaltic plateau where you’ll find an ecosystem of cork oaks, scrubland and shallow lakes. Just watch out for the feral pigs, who can be rather curious of visitors, and also see if you can spot one of the regions miniature wild horses.

For the best cuisine and even a place to stay, we recommend seeking out an agriturismo, which is a farm that offers meals and accommodation in a bid to help farmers diversify. They serve beautiful cuisine using fresh ingredients from the farm and often have a more intimate and friendly atmosphere than the city restaurants. It is also a great way to see the Sardinia countryside.


We specialize in tailor-made, personalized holidays to Italy and we have a range of holiday packages available for Sardinia and elsewhere in Italy, including honeymoons. We also work with a specialist team of wedding planners, who can help you arrange your dream wedding day in Sardinia. To find out more about our customized service, call a member of our dedicated team on (UK) 01223 637331 or (US) 1-347-594-5500 or click here to send an online inquiry.

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