Most beautiful places Sardinia: tips and recommendations!
Sardinia is a beautiful island with super nice beaches and some nice sights. We toured the island in three weeks and visited the most beautiful places on the island. In this travel blog, we list all the most beautiful places in Sardinia and take a tour of the island.
Table of contents
Most beautiful places in Sardinia #1: Castelsardo
We start in the north of the island and there lies the beautiful town of Castelsardo. Beautiful colored houses against the mountains. The town is nice to stay for a few hours and then you have seen it.
There are a number of fine restaurants in the center, and highly recommended is the View Sunset lounge bar, where you have a magnificent view of the village and the sea. Especially for a drink, this is definitely recommended.
For us, Castelsardo was an excellent stopover as we drove east (Cannigione) from our hotel in northwestern Sardinia (Stintino).
Most beautiful places in Sardinia #2: Archipelago di La Maddalena
If we talk about the most beautiful places in Sardinia, the Maddalena nature reserve should not be missed.
We visited the beaches Spargi, Cala Di Trana and Porto Della Madonna in Maddalena during a day trip by boat and the area here is really tremendously beautiful.
Most of the beaches are also not crowded, as you can only get there by boat. We also included these beaches of this nature reserve in our list of the most beautiful beaches of Sardinia.
Cala dit Trana beach is beautifully located in a kind of bay and you can walk up into the dunes to photograph the beach from above. Also on this tour you will stop in the town of Maddalena, which is a nice place to walk around for an hour or two and grab a terrace.
We paid 55 euros per person for the tour (and our daughter 40 euros) and our boat left from Cannigione opposite our beautiful apartment we had booked in this super cute village. From our apartment we were able to book this tour at the front desk.
Most beautiful places in Sardinia #3: Costa Smeralda
The Costa Smeralda is one of the most touristic part of Sardinia and rightly so. You have nice towns lying here and very nice beaches!
The town of Porto Cervo is sort of the St. Petersburg area. Tropez of Sardinia and it is fun to stroll through here for an hour or two, checking out the boats and beautiful stores and having a drink.
Porto Cervo is fine to visit in the morning and then you can go to Capriccioli beach in the afternoon. Here they have several beaches, eateries and plenty of parking.
Other beaches worth visiting on the Costa Smeralda:
- Baia Sardinia. Fine beach sand, shallow seawater so you can walk very far into the sea, plenty of shady spots due to the high wall, plenty of parking (1.5 euros per hour and 7.5 euros for a whole day), a small promenade with several nice restaurants.
- Spiaggia del Principe. Very nice beach and not even very crowded. The beach is also in a sort of cove and you can climb a bit on the side on the rocks, where you have a nice view of the beach. We could park here for free near this beach.
Most beautiful places in Sardinia #4: Roccia dell’Orso
We already saw this rock formation from the boat to Maddalena and, with a little imagination, it looks like a bear. The nice thing is that you can take a short walk to this rock formation, after which you will have a beautiful view of the sea and surroundings.
This hike is also great for kids and the walk up takes about 15 minutes. On top of the mountain you have several viewpoints, where you can take nice pictures.
You do pay a few euros entrance fee, but it’s well worth it!
We combined a visit to Roccia dell’Orso with the beaches Cala Spinoza and Rena Bianca from the Costa Smeralda. These two beaches are located at a point in the northeastern part of the island. We found this to be an excellent day trip.
To visit Roccia dell’Orso, count on a good hour.
Most beautiful places in Sardinia #5: Golfo di Orosei
Sardinia is known for its beautiful beaches with clear waters and its rocks. In the west of the island of Sardinia, around Golfo di Orosei, you also have some of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia.
You can best visit these beaches from the town of Gala Gonone. In the harbor are dozens of booths where they sell all kinds of different tours for this area.
From private boats to large boats you can book here in the harbor for the day.
There are a total of nine beaches around the Golfo di Orosei, all of which you can basically visit in a day by private boat. You obviously shouldn’t linger too long on a specific beach then.
The most famous beach is Cala Goloritzè with its famous rock formation. With the big boats, they cannot reach this beach and only stop to take a picture. There does seem to be a walk to the beach.
The hiking distance is about 3.5 kilometers, but you have to deal with a descent (and on the way back a climb) of 470 meters. The famous rock (Punta Salinas) of Cala Goloritzè and the famous arch that disappears into the water can be easily seen along the way. At the end of the path you walk up a steep staircase carved out of the rocks to the beautiful beach.
Spiaggia del Gabbiani is also a very nice beach and here you can also jump off the rocks into the super beautiful and clear water and our daughter absolutely loved that.
You have three different caves in this area (Grotta del Fico, Grotta dei Cormorani and Grotta del Bue Marino) and some of these caves you can see inside.
At Cala Luna, you also have three different caves on the beach that you can walk into. Especially with kids, this is a fun way to explore and see the caves. In doing so, you also have plenty of shade because of these caves.
Tip: take some bread/cake with you on your trip and crumble it in the water and you’ll see dozens of fish feeding on it. Here we saw quite a lot of fish.
Most beautiful places in Sardinia #6: Gola di Gorroppu
A half-hour drive from Cala Gonone is the start of the path to the Gola di Gorroppu gorge. This gorge is also called the Grand Canyon of Europe. We have written a separate travel blog about this with all the information about visiting this gorge. For more information on visiting this gorge, read our travel blog on Gola di Gorroppu.
Most beautiful places in Sardinia #7: The beaches in the south
The beaches in southern Sardinia are a bit more expansive and you also have several places here where dozens of flamingos can be admired at different lakes.
The beaches around the town of Villasimius seem to be beautiful, but unfortunately we did not visit them ourselves. The fishing village is beautifully situated by the sea and the beaches are beautiful.
Villasimius is located in southeastern Sardinia, and we visited the southwest (the area around the town of Chia) of this beautiful island.
Some nice and beautiful beaches in this area are the following:
- Campana beach. Fine sand and a fairly long beach, so it was not so crowded. The snorkeling opportunities here were excellent. Quite a few fish seen in the water. Some fish kept swimming around your feet the whole time. There is also a nice little tent at this beach, where you can have some food and drinks. The cost of parking here was 8 euros for a whole day.
- Porto Pino. The beauty of this beach is the sand dunes at the end of the long beach. Surely this is different from the other beaches in Sardinia. The sand on these dunes is very fine and a great place for kids to let off steam. In addition, there are a huge number of beach bars at this beach where you can have a good meal and drink.
Most beautiful places in Sardinia #8: Bosa
Bosa, like Castelsardo, is a beautiful town with colorful houses set against a mountain. The center of Bosa is slightly larger and you can have a nice walk through the narrow streets of the center where it is quite cool (because the streets are so narrow, the sun hardly gets there, but a wind blows through).
In the center of Bosa there is also a nice little square with a number of restaurants (you can’t miss it, the center is not that big either 😉 ), where you can eat delicious food.
Walk toward the water to take fun photos of the colored houses on the mountain. Everything is easy to walk downtown. Especially for an hour or two/three it is nice to visit this place. For us, it was the ideal stopover as we drove from the south of Sardinia to Alghero.
Most beautiful places in Sardinia #9: Alghero
Alghero is a nice place to spend at least one night. Especially later in the evening, the old part of downtown comes alive. We also saw the most tourists on all the island here.
Alghero’s beaches may not be the most beautiful, but it is certainly fun to visit them. A nice promenade runs along it, which certainly has some nice joints. Near our hotel there were even two trendy joints on the boulevard where a DJ was spinning.
In the old center of Alghero you also have plenty of nice restaurants where you can eat. No cars drive here either and here it is only accessible to pedestrians.
In Alghero at the port, you can also book several tours. For example, you can swim with dolphins, you can visit the island of Asinara and you can book a tour to the island’s most famous landmark Grotta di Nettuno. By the way, this latter stalactite cave itself seems to be very disappointing (too many tourists), but the stairway to it seems to be beautiful.
Other places in Sardinia:
Cagliairi is the capital of Sardinia and the largest city on the island. The city has a number of attractions such as a number of towers, where you have a nice view and the old town (here you have a free view of the city).
When we visited, it was the middle of the day and the temperature was close to 40 degrees. For a few hours it is fun to walk through this city, but do so when it is a little later in the day and the temperature has dropped a bit.
Near the train station of Cagliairi you have a spacious guarded parking lot, where you can park your car.
We visited this city, but actually found little to like. We encountered more lost tourists “looking” for the city’s sights. We actually found the city disappointing.
There is a large square, with some shopping streets around it, but it did not represent much in our eyes. Maybe we were wrong or it just has to do with taste.
How to get to Sardinia?
Of course, you can fly to Sardinia. Several airlines fly to Alghero and you will need to rent a car to visit the island.
Highly recommended for a rental car then is Sunny Cars. This company has all-in packages, which means you have all insurance included and won’t run into problems there.
We actually always rent with Sunny Cars because we never have any problems with this company.
We ourselves drove by car to the city of Genoa and took the overnight ferry from there. That was ideal as far as we were concerned. To Genoa is a 12-hour drive from the Netherlands and we drove it in two days with our five-year-old daughter. And then we slept one night on the boat in a cabin, in the morning ate some food and showered and then we were in Sardinia. The whole trip we had almost slept! The next morning we drove off the boat at 8:30 a.m. and were at our destination.
The company we booked with was Direct Ferries.
Where to sleep in Sardinia.
This hotel with pool is close to Spiaggia la Pelosa beach. They have one of the most delicious breakfasts we have ever had at a hotel (and there are quite a few). Everything is in perfect taste.
This apartment was located in the lovely town of Cannigione and had a beautiful view of the pools and the sea. There are several small pools at the complex, overlooking the water.
In addition, there are several nice restaurants around this hotel (Restaurant Old Cutter is highly recommended!) and the supermarket is within walking distance of the hotel. As a result, every morning we got fresh baguettes from the supermarket that we ate for breakfast on our beautiful terrace.
This hotel is a bit like a campground with a real animation team. It has a large pool and plenty to do for kids. The hotel is within walking distance of the harbor.
In the pool you do have to wear a swim cap, which takes some getting used to. We thought it was an excellent room. The breakfast alone does not amount to much in our opinion.
This hotel is very quiet on a hill. There is nothing within walking distance, so you have to take the car to go to the supermarket, for example. However, you can eat at the restaurant every night. Breakfast is fine and the hotel is rated a generous 9 on booking.com. There is also a swimming pool near it that is generally very quiet.
This hotel is located on the promenade of Alghero and from here you can visit the beach and the old town. The hotel has an excellent pool with hot tub (which is just not hot). In front of the hotel, on the promenade, there are nice hip places where a DJ is spinning and you can have a cocktail.
Other articles about Italy
Also read our other articles on Italy:
Also read the travel blog road trip Sardinia by a fellow blogger