It finally is that time of year and giving my selection of the best beaches in Sardinia sounds about appropriate. I have not done it in the past because I have a real hard time to keep the list of Sardinia beaches short. There are so many that deserve to be visited that it would literally take a lifetime to see them all – and when I fall in love with one, I keep going back.
Anyways, it is only fair that I write a post about the place I call home and where I spend all my summers – because there’s no point in going anywhere else if I can literally step into to paradise any time I walk out the door! And if I can’t possibly name all of Sardinia beaches, I will at least give my very own personal selection of the best beaches in Sardinia.
Don’t know where Sardinia is? Read my post “Where is Sardinia?” to find out.
The good news about Sardinia beaches is that they are all free to access (unlike in other countries in Europe), so that even those who are traveling on a budget can enjoy them. Only highly protected beaches require a small fee to get in.
Those who care to see even more gorgeous photos of Sardinia beaches can head to my Instagram account for inspiration. Now, without further ado, let’s talk about the best beaches in Sardinia. I am also adding a few tips on how to get there, extra activities, and where to stay and eat. Keep in mind they are listed randomly – though I will point out what my favorite one is!
Sardinia Beaches Etiquette
Please do not steal sand, stones, shells and anything else
One big recommendation I have to give is to never steal any sand from Sardinia beaches. It is strictly forbidden by law and tourists who have been caught with sand in their luggage have been fined dearly. The news of a French couple that was caught with 40 kgs of sand in their luggage and claimed this was just a souvenir went viral around the world. You really don’t want to be that person, right?
Furthermore, this endangers the beautiful Sardinian environment. If the beaches in Sardinia are so gorgeous, we may as well do our best to keep them this way!
Only smoke in designated areas
As of summer 2019, it is forbidden to smoke at La Pelosa and many other Sardinian beaches (there are designated areas for that). In those places where there is no clear rule and smoking is still allowed, make sure to carry a portable ashtray and do not dispose of your cigarette butts in the sand!
Take a straw mat
In some beaches you’ll have to carry a straw mat to lay on the sand, rather than just a beach towel. This is done in an effort to avoid visitors inadvertently carrying away the precious sand.
Properly dispose of your garbage
Please don’t leave any garbage at the beach. There usually are garbage bins along all beaches, and when there aren’t (some beaches are just too isolated for that) make sure to carry your garbage home with you and dispose of it properly. Keep in mind that recycling is a thing in Sardinia, with door to door pick up in most places.
Taking your dog to the beach
In theory, there are (too few) dedicated dog beaches around Sardinia. While in some cases dogs are clearly denied access to the beach, in others there is no clear rule and you may see dogs sitting under the shade or playing in the sand. Locals are usually relaxed about this, but beware that if you take your pet to the beach and someone complains about his/her presence and calls the local police, you may be forced to leave.
Best Beaches In Sardinia – Tours Departing From Cagliari
These are some of the best tours that go to some of the amazing beaches in Sardinia and conveniently depart from Cagliari:
- Cagliari: Between the Mountains and Sea Tour
- Porto Flavia Tour – this goes to some beautiful beaches and has the add on of a visit to some historical mines
- Full day mini cruise and beach trip to Orosei Gulf
- San Pietro Island and Carloforte Tour – goes to a small island off the south west coast of Sardinia
- Full day Villasimius and Costa Rei Beach Tour
- Cagliari hidden coves by scooter
- Full day tour of Cala Luna – this is one of the most famous beaches of the Gulf of Orosei
- West Beaches Tour
My Personal Selection Of The 20 Best Beaches In Sardinia
Many will disagree with my choice of placing Poetto among the best beaches in Sardinia. Fair enough, it isn’t the most amazing among Sardinia beaches, but anybody from Cagliari like myself is bound to be in love with this 8 km long, fine sand beach that stretches from Sella del Diavolo (Devil’s Saddle), one of the symbols of Cagliari, till Quartu Sant’Elena. Not to mention, Cagliari is one of the coolest places to visit in Sardinia.
For more beaches in Cagliari, check out my post “A Guide To The Beaches In Cagliari And Its Surroundings.”
What makes Poetto one of Sardinia best beaches is the scenery around it: on its right hand side there’s the stunning view of the Sella del Diavolo. Right behind it there’s the Parco di Molentargius, a stunning nature park where pink flamingoes nest and where it is possible to observe an incredible amount of other bird species.
Poetto is one of the most appreciated Sardinia beaches thanks to the services it offers. There’s a large selection of places where it is possible to rent umbrellas and sun beds; there’s plenty of life guards and children entertainment; there’s restaurants and ice cream places around; parts of it can be accessed with dogs; and the waterfront is a great place to run, bike or skate – in fact it’s where most people in Cagliari go exercise.
Needless to say, as the main beach of the biggest city and most popular among the places to visit in Sardinia, Poetto does get incredibly crowded in the summer months. My advice is to enjoy it early in the morning, or to go there in the late afternoon for a quick swim and then a drink in one of the many beautiful kiosks.
Local tip: don’t go to Poetto if the mistral wind is blowing. The beach isn’t protected at all and sand flies everywhere, making it pretty much unbearable to stay. If it is windy, opt for one of the many other Sardinia beaches nearby, such as Calamosca (also in Cagliari).
How to get to Poetto
As I have said already, what makes Poetto one of the best beaches in Sardinia is that it is fully serviced. Indeed, Poetto can be easily reached via a quick bus ride from the centre of Cagliari. Buses PF and PQ both go there. There’s various stops along the way and along Poetto beach too.
Activities in Poetto
The range of activities at Poetto is such that it is easy to see why it is one of Sardinia best beaches. There are surfing, SUP and wind-surfing schools. These are some of the best kite-surf and SUP tours you can book online:
It is possible to rent kayaks and there’s even guided kayak tours to Sella del Diavolo that leave right from Poetto. I haven’t done it yet, but my sister, who’s a keen kayaker, told me it is gorgeous. If the sea around Sella del Diavolo is as gorgeous as it seems from above, this is bound to be an amazing tour.
Speaking of views, a hike up Sella Del Diavolo offers incredible views of the coast, and especially of Poetto. Hiking is one of the best things to do in Sardinia, and to me it is incredible that it can be enjoyed right in the city! There’s a guided hike of the Devil’s Saddle that can be booked online.
Cagliari is one of the best places to visit in Sardinia
Where to stay in Cagliari
One of the benefits of Poetto and one of the reasons I included it in the least of the best beaches in Sardinia is that it is in Cagliari, which means having a wide range of accommodation choices. These are some good places to stay in Cagliari: from the budget backpackers’
- Hostel Marina is a great budget options
- T Hotel is one of the best hotels in town, and it has the bonus of having a fantastic spa
- Palazzo Dessy, in the heart of La Marina quarters, is simply an amazing place.
Read my guide on the best hotels in Cagliari.
To read more about Cagliari, check my post “A Local’s Guide To The Things To Do In Cagliari.”
Best restaurants in Cagliari
I don’t go really go out to eat all that much in Cagliari. But eating is one of the best things to do in Sardinia, so I’m only going to recommend my favorite restaurants in town. If I want to gorge on seafood and splurge, I go to Ristorante Italia, in Via Sardegna. Further down the same street but much much cheaper is La Stella Marina di Montecristo, which is extremely popular and has to be booked in advance.
Budget friendly options include pizzeria Framento in Corso Vittorio Emanuele – again, book in advance; and gourmet burger place Bombas, in the heart of Castello (one of the coolest areas of town). They both make it a point of only using local ingredients – and they are located in some of the coolest places to visit in Sardinia.
Costa Rei (Muravera)
Located on the south east coast of the island, Costa Rei is definitely one of the best beaches in Sardinia. It is a gorgeous 12 km long stretch of the finest, golden sand. The water is incredibly clear. As there are various points of access and parking lots scattered along the beach, it is suitable for families with children and disabled people.
What makes it one of the most popular Sardinia beaches is the fact that it is fully serviced: there are kiosks all along the beach and it is possible to rent umbrellas and sun beds. As most of Sardinia beaches, it can get very crowded in the peak summer months – but it is worth going.
Costa Rei is the beach I am most attached to. It’s where my parents used to take me camping when I was still a baby, and where they own a holiday home. I spend each and every summer weekend there. And it is simply stunning: easy to see why I list it among the best beaches in Sardinia.
Local tip: get up before the crack of dawn to enjoy a fabulous sunrise; or if lazy, go to the nearby Monte Turnu (another of Sardinia best beaches) to enjoy sunset.
How to get to Costa Rei
As one of the best beaches in Sardinia, Costa Rei can be reached fairly easily via SS (road) 125 by either car, private shuttle or bus. Buses leave from Cagliari main station and take about 2 hours. Private shuttles generally offer pick up service from the airport. If traveling by car, when leaving Cagliari, follow the signs to Muravera on SS 554 until you get to the SS 125 junction and then take the exit for Costa Rei. It takes about one hour.
Activities in Costa Rei
As with most Sardinia beaches, Costa Rei offers a wide range of activities (other than relaxing in the sun and cooling down in the water). Most kiosks have an adjacent agency that offers SUP, wind surf, kite surf and even obey cat lessons. It is also possible to either rent a zodiac or take a boat tour to go to the nearby islands (Isola dei Cavoli or Serpentara) or to go beach hopping. The best diving site is at Sant’Elmo’s Rock.
Where to stay in Costa Rei
As one of the most beautiful places to visit in Sardinia, Costa Rei has a wealth of accommodation options for any budget, that range from camping sites to holiday rentals (a bunch of agencies can be contacted for this), bed and breakfast, hotels, all inclusive resorts and luxury resorts.
One of the best things to do in Sardinia when on a budget is camping. The following are some of the best camping sites in Costa Rei:
- Camping Le Dune is one of the best around, with a pool, a grocery store, restaurants and wide range of activities.
- Tiliguerta Camping Village is beautifully immersed in nature and has the bonus that it is also pet friendly.
If you are more into resorts, you will find a very good one to suit your needs. Here are the best ones:
- Free Beach is a good all inclusive resort. It’s been in Costa Rei for as long as I can remember, but it’s been beautifully renovated. It boasts a gorgeous swimming pool, and all the amenities of a top notch resort. Not to mention, it is located at the footsteps of one of the best beaches in Sardinia.
- Villas is the best luxury resort. If budget allows, there no better way to match a visit to one of Sardinia best beaches with a stay at a fabulous resort.
Best restaurants in Costa Rei
One of the best things to do in Sardinia is eating the fabulous food. There’s various restaurants in Costa Rei, generally ok. But I always recommend my friends to go to Chaplin (right by the beach) for a delicious meal at more than reasonable prices: the swordfish carbonara is to die for. If wanting to splurge, my go-to place is Sa Cardiga e Su Pisci, a Michelin star restaurant: it’s expensive but worth every penny.
Cala Pira (Castiadas)
Cala Pira is one of the Sardinia beaches I most often visit, as it is very close to Costa Rei, where I hang out in the summer months. It is a nice cove, small enough to feel protected from the wind but large enough to have enough space to place your umbrella and stretch out.
At Cala Pira, the sand is very white (and clean) and the water of a million shades of blue. Water is nice and shallow, so it is a good place even for families with children. The location of the beach is such that the best time to appreciate the colors it the morning and the early afternoon.
There is an old Spanish watchtower on the northern side of the beach, which has been poorly renovated but which is still an impressive sight and from where you’ll get an incredible view of the beach below.
Cala Pira is well serviced by a kiosk located on the main access. There, you can rent chairs, umbrellas and have a drink and a meal.
LOCAL TIP: When the mistral wind blows too strong in Costa Rei, Cala Pira is nicely protected.
How to get to Cala Pira
Cala Pira is easily reached from Costa Rei (look under Costa Rei for information on where to stay and eat in the area). Take SP18 and continue on. You will get to a sign that points to Cala Pira – make sure to drive slowly or else you’ll go past it. There is a parking lot where you’ll have to pay, either for the whole day or half. The local authorities are very strict, so make sure to park your car properly!
Activities in Cala Pira
Cala Pira is a fantastic place to relax and go snorkeling. The beach is easily accessed by car, but alternatively you can go on a boat trip departing from Costa Rei that will stop at some of the nicest beaches in Sardinia.
Porto Giunco (Villasimius)
Even though it is only about 1 hour drive from where I live (Cagliari), I was 23 the first time I went to Porto Giunco. I immediately understood that this is one of the best beaches in Sardinia. A long, white sandy beach with shallow and incredibly blue waters, surmounted by a Spanish watch tower. Behind it, there’s a lagoon where pink flamingoes nest.
Porto Giunco deserves to be mentioned among Sardinia best beaches as it is easily accessible, even to families with children and to the disabled. It offers a variety of services, including umbrella and sun bed rentals, wind surf and SUP classes, and boat trips to the nearby beaches and islands including the marine oasis of Capo Carbonara.
Local tip: the centre of the beach gets less crowded because it is a bit harder to reach. Keep walking along the beach from one of the access points to get there and enjoy one of the most beautiful Sardinia beaches.
How to get to Porto Giunco
Porto Giunco is easily reached from Villasimius, from where there are regular shuttles. Villasimius is one of the most popular places to visit in Sardinia in the summer, and it can be reached by bus or car from Cagliari, via SP 17. This isn’t the best road to drive on – but the views are stunning. Once in Villasimius, follow the signs to the tourist harbor (Via degli Oleandri) and from there to Porto Giunco. There’s various parking lots and access points.
Activities in Villasimius
From Villasimius it is possible to rent zodiacs or to take part in guided boat tours that go to some others of the best beaches in Sardinia, such as Punta Molentis. I love that beach, but I wholeheartedly recommend avoiding it in the peak summer months as it gets almost unbearably packed. Enjoying it from the boat though is simply amazing!
Where to stay in Villasimius
Villasimius is one of the nicest places to visit in Sardinia and it is where some of the best beaches in Sardinia are located. As such, it has a wide range accommodation options that go from camping sites to luxury resorts.
These are the best places to stay in Villasimius:
- Hotel Cala Caterina, which is close to the beach, is the best hotel in town.
- Hotel Belvir which is on Villasimius main street, is brand new and is in the center of town.
Best restaurants in Villasimius
I don’t go out to eat in Villasimius all that often, but as it is one of the top places to visit in Sardinia there’s a lot of restaurants. A place I really enjoyed last year is Mesa de Janas – the fritto misto is excellent. Right on the main square there’s what I deem the best gelateria in Sardinia, called La Chiccheria: try the pistacchio and nocciola flavors!
Punta Molentis (Villasimius)
Not far from Villasimius, and on the way to Costa Rei, there is one of the most beautiful Sardinia beaches. The combination of incredibly clear, shallow, turquoise waters, white sand and the beautiful setting make Punta Molentis a truly special place.
Punta Molentis is located in the protected area of Capo Carbonara, and takes its name from “su molenti”, donkey in Sardinian, which was once used to transport the granite rocks that can be found in the area and that give the beach a pink-ish color, especially at sunset.
The beach is divided in various smaller coves, and right behind it you’ll find beautiful Mediterranean vegetation, which includes cacti. It is well protected from the winds, so a good option on a windy day.
Punta Molentis is well serviced, with a couple of kiosks and places to rent umbrellas and chairs.
TIP: As of July 2019, restricted access is being implemented in Punta Molentis and only the first 200 cars to get to the parking lot are allowed in. This measure is meant to protect the beach and to make it overall more enjoyable for all visitors. Keep in mind that on peak summer days the beach reaches its maximum capacity as early as 8:00 am, so if you are keen on going make it a point to leave very early!
How to get to Punta Molentis
The easiest access point to Punta Molentis is Villasimius or, alternatively, Costa Rei (for information on where to stay in the area, look under Costa Rei or under Porto Giunco). You have to drive on the old panoramic road that connects Villasimius to Costa Rei and you’ll get to a small sign that points to Punta Molentis. Turn there and continue driving for a couple of km on dirt road. You’ll have to park your car and continue walking for another km.
Activities in Punta Molentis
Punta Molentis is a perfect place to relax and to swim and snorkel – there is a lot of marine life here. The rock formation that divides the beach is a nice vantage point for photos. Yet, I believe that the best way to enjoy Punta Molentis is from the water. Boat tours that go to Punta Molentis depart fom Villasimius.
Cala Antoniareddu (Teulada)
Located on the southern coast of Sardinia, I first discovered Cala Antoniareddu when I went on a hike in December 2015 and immediately decided it was one of my favorite beaches in Sardinia. I went on the exact same hike last April and could only confirm my feelings: it is simply stunning. I eventually managed to enjoy a swim there when I went on a boat trip along the southern coast of Sardinia.
Cala Antoniareddu is a small cove that is actually quite hard to reach, which means that it’s hardly ever crowed. What makes it one of Sardinia best beaches is the incredible emerald color of the water, there swimming literally feels like jumping in paradise. The views from the hills above are simply stunning.
Local tip: Cala Antoniareddu is a a mixture of sand and rocks (very common among Sardinia beaches) and can be uncomfortable. Carry an inflatable pillow if wanting to relax.
How to get to Cala Antoniareddu
Interestingly, I have classified some beaches as the best beaches in Sardinia also based on the fact that they are easily accessible. In the case of Cala Antoniareddu, it is its isolation that makes it all the more charming. There’s no direct access to this beach.
In order to enjoy Cala Antoniareddu, it is necessary to either drive all the way to Cala Cipolla (incidentally, one more of the amazing Sardinia Beaches) following SS 195 and then hiking along the coast through Capo Spartivento Lighthouse and Perdalonga beach. It’s also possible to drive along SS195 then turn onto SP71 until a sign that points to “Pinnetta” village, where there’s a bar and a gate to a parking lot that costs €5 for the day, and a short trail that leads all the way to the beach.
Other than that, the best way to get to Cala Antoniareddu is by boat. Boat trips are among the best things to do in Sardinia and I wholeheartedly recommend them. When I visited, I took a boat trip that went all the way from Capo Malfatano to Tuerredda (one of Sardinia best beaches, by the way!), Cala Antoniareddu, Perdalonga, Chia and other beaches.
Activities in Cala Antoniareddu
If one of the best things to do in Sardinia is snorkeling in its transparent waters, Cala Antoniareddu is the perfect place to go. The beach isn’t serviced, so it is not possible to rent kayaks or umbrellas there. It is however nice to follow the path on its left side to get stunning panoramic views.
Where to stay and eat near Cala Antoniareddu
There isn’t much around Cala Antoniareddu in terms of accommodation options. I think the best place to stay in the area is Pula, a lovely village which caters really well to tourists needs and from where it is possible to access a bunch of Sardinia beaches. Pula is packed with good gelaterie, restaurants and accommodation options. A bit of a way in Domus de Maria, I truly enjoyed dinner at Trattoria da Angelo.
If you are planning to stay around Pula, these are the best accommodation options:
- Forte Village Resort is quite simply one of the best resorts in the world. There are 5 different hotels inside.
- Helianthus is a good option for those that don’t have an unlimited budget.
Keep in mind that there are even some good camping sites.
Chia (Domus de Maria)
When people in Cagliari want a quick fix for a gorgeous beach yet feel like getting out of town, they head to Chia. This is one of the best beaches in Sardinia, where you’re likely to meet mostly locals.
Chia is long, white sand beach surmounted by gorgeous sand dunes (which are protected, so do not hike them!). The water is incredibly clear, and so shallow that you can easily reach a small island – though if you go, make sure to bring a pair of flip flops to walk there, as the rocks and vegetation are bound to hurt your feet. The shallow water and the fantastic sand make it ideal for families with children, who’ll be easily entertained.
The beach is very well serviced, with plenty of kiosks, small restaurants, places to rent umbrellas, chairs and whatever you may need for a day in the sun. There are various spots for disabled access.
LOCAL TIP: Chia is very exposed to the wind, which blows the fine sand everywhere. You’re better of not going when it’s windy!
LOCAL TIP: From Chia, you can reach the gorgeous small cove to Cala Cipolla. Make sure to pay a visit.
How to get to Chia
From either Cagliari or Pula, follow SS195 until you find a sign pointing to Chia, then turn left on SP71. It’s another few kms from there. You will get to a parking lot where you’ll have to pay, and from there can walk to the beach.
Activities in Chia
Chia is a fantastic place to play in the sand and swim. The dunes are a gorgeous backdrop but are highly protected. You can however walk all the way to the end of the beach, where a Spanish watchtower provides and incredible viewpoint. Some boat tours departing from Cagliari or Capo Malfatano also pass by Chia.
Where to stay and eat in Chia
Chia is a nice holiday destination and there are a few good places to stay and eat in the area. This is a selection of good places to stay in the area:
- Hotel Faro Capo Spartivento is a fabulous small boutique luxury hotel located in a former lighthouse. It’s isolated, all rooms have a view of the sea, and it’s honestly worth every penny.
- Hotel Aquadulci is very close to the main beach in Chia. Worth paying the price for such a stunning location.
- Casa del Mirto Bianco is a great holiday home and perfect if you prefer self catering.
Restaurants in Chia are a bit scattered and you may have to travel to nearby Pula or Domus de Maria to find a good place to eat. Having said that, Whiteluna is probably the best option in Chia, serving good seafood and even sushi.
Cala Domestica deserves to be mentioned among the best beaches in Sardinia – photo courtesy of Gian Marco Leoni
Cala Domestica (Buggerru)
Cala Domestica is a fantastic small beach in the region of Carbonia Iglesias, on the south west coast of Sardinia. It used to be a harbor where boats would be loaded with the minerals extracted in the nearby mines. Nowadays, it simply is one of the best beaches in Sardinia.
Cala Domestica looks a bit like a fjord – with impressive cliffs on both sides. There’s a smaller cove that can be easily reached on its right, and white sand dunes right behind it. Another thing that makes this one of Sardinia best beaches is the impressive view from the Spanish tower that surmounts it. There’s also a small kiosk that sells sandwiches, ice cream and drinks, and that rents umbrellas and sun beds.
Local tip: avoid when the mistral wind blows. All the Sardinia beaches of the coast of Sulcis Iglesiente get fierce waves when it’s windy and it is impossible (not to mention dangerous) to get in the water.
How to get to Cala Domestica
The best way to Cala Domestica (and to other Sardinia beaches nearby) is by car from Cagliari, following SS 130 to Iglesias and then follow the signs to SP 83 to Buggerru.
Activities in Cala Domestica
One of the things that made me pick Cala Domestica as one of the best beaches in Sardinia is the fact that there’s also hiking trails around it, all providing astounding views of the coast and of the beach below. Other than that, it is a great place to snorkel, to relax, and depending on the wind it is possible to also surf. It’s also possible to take a boat tour around the coast that goes to some of the best beaches in the area and also shows some archeological gems.
Where to stay and eat near Cala Domestica
Buggerru isn’t one of the most touristy areas in Sardinia, which has its benefits but also implies that the choice of places to stay is a bit more limited. Personally, I always visit Cala Domestica and all the other Sardinia beaches around it on day trips from Cagliari. However, those who want to spend the night there can stay at B&B Armas. Ristorante La Pregiata seems a good option for dinner.
Is Aruttas (Cabras)
Is Aruttas is located on the west coast of Sardinia, not far from Oristano. It is a beach like no others and well deserves to be mentioned among the best beaches in Sardinia. Its main characteristic is the tiny white quartz pebbles and the incredibly clear blue waters that are almost immediately deep. Aside from that, Is Aruttas boasts a gorgeous sea bed that is fun exploring and some incredible rock formations from where it is possible to also take gorgeous pictures of the entire beach.
Although it is easily accessible by car (there is a large parking lot) and there are a couple of restaurants and kiosks in the area, and despite the fact that I have seen families with children there, I wouldn’t recommend this as one of the best beaches in Sardinia for families with small kids: the sand is impossible to play with and the water is immediately deep and kids may get bored.
Local tip: while I much prefer Is Aruttas as a beach, I think S’Archittu, another one of Sardinia beaches at about 20 minutes drive, offers the best sights and photo opportunities. At about 10 minutes drive there’s Mari Ermi, a very similar and gorgeous beach which is significantly less crowded.
How to get to Is Aruttas
Bus 430 regularly leaves Oristano city centre to get to Is Aruttas and takes about 50 minutes. Alternatively, those wanting to reach this and a bunch of other Sardinia beaches nearby should follow the directions to Cabras and from there follow SP 6, turn right on SP 7, and then left on SP 59.
Activities in Is Aruttas
From the nearby Mari Ermi, another of the amazing Sardinia beaches, there are regular boat tours that go to the gorgeous Isola di Mal di Ventre.
Mari Ermi (Cabras)
Mari Ermi is located right next to Is Aruttas. Less famous than that, it actually looks very similar in terms of conformation, sand (tiny quartz pebbles), colors and depth of the water, and seabed. The main difference is that – being less famous – it attracts less visitors. However, don’t expect a deserted beach if you visit in the peak months.
This beautiful beach can be easily accessible by car, with a large parking lot – which you have to pay for. There are a couple of kiosks that also serve quick meals and have a nice bar area where you can hang out for a sunset drink. If you plan to visit with children, keep in mind that water is almost immediately deep. The sand is not suitable to play with.
Local tip: not far from Mari Ermi you’ll find the gorgeous white cliffs of Su Tingiosu. They are too far to swim there, but easier to reach if you rent a boat. Alternatively, you can drive there – follow the directions to Su Tingiosu (it’s a 7 minutes drive). You can even walk there. It takes around 30 minutes.
PLEASE NOTE: I won’t ever tire to stress that it is forbidden to take sand and shells from Sardinian beaches. Should you be caught transporting it, you’d be passable of a fine and even imprisonment.
How to get to Mari Ermi
The only way to reach Mari Ermi is by car. You will have to follow the directions to Cabras and from there follow SP 6, turn right on SP 7, and then continue to Mari Ermi.
Activities in Mari Ermi
This gorgeous beach calls for snorkeling, kayaking and SUP. You can also rent a boat to reach the nearby Isola di Mal di Ventre.
Le Saline (Malu Entu Island) (Cabras)
Malu Entu Island is about 7 km away from Capu Mannu, on the west coast of Sardinia, and can be easily reached by boat from Mari Ermi. The name Malu Entu means “bad wind” and is a clear reference to the strong winds that often wipe this tiny island. For some reason though, the name has been translated as “Mal di Ventre” in Italian, which means “belly ache.”
Nobody lives on island, which has a surface of 85 hectares and whose highest point is at 20 meters above sea level (that’s where the lighthouse is located). It is part of a protected marine area, with some bits completely closed to visits. Among the accessible beaches in Malu Entu there is Le Saline beach. This is a beautiful short stretch of white sand and incredibly clear and shallow waters, with a massive field of wild garlic at its back.
How to get to Le Saline, in Malu Entu
You can only get to Malu Entu by boat, either independently or on a boat trip.
Boat rentals are available in Mari Ermi and cost around €100 for the day for a zodiac with a 40 CC engine that can carry up to 8 persons. There is no need for a license to manouver it, but you’re better off with someone who knows what he’s doing as there are strict rules regarding how to dock it, speed, closeness to the shore etc. To that price you’ll have to add the cost of gasoline. You should book it in advance. Various companies offer zodiac rentals. Enquire with Sea Service Nautica for prices and more information.
Boat trips depart from Mari Ermi beach and cost €25 per person per adult. Advanced booking is recommended – enquire with Maluentu for more information.
TIP: Malu Entu island is not serviced. Make sure to carry an umbrella for shade, towels and any food and drink you may need for the day.
Where to stay in Cabras
There are a few good accommodation options near Is Aruttas. Here is a selection:
- Is Arutas is at a mere 10 minutes walk from Is Aruttas beach. It may be a no frills place, but it has the incredible benefit of being located at a stone’s throw from one of the best beaches in Sardinia.
- Gioia Guest House is a good option and it is located in Cabras, the nearest village.
Where to eat in Cabras
The area around Cabras is packed with “ittiturismo” – the fish equivalent to “agriturismo,” where they serve strictly locally sourced fish and seafood. Eating seafood is one of the best things in Sardinia, and the choice in Cabras is wide. There’s a good restaurant right by the beach that serves good fish dishes in a very plain setting (think plastic dishes). At dinner, I ate at Trattoria da Attilio and had a delicious plate of mixed fried seafood.
Alghero is home to some of the best beaches in Sardinia. Lazzaretto, which takes the name from the area where it is located and from the tower that dominates this small cove, is one of my favorite in the area. The beach is surrounded by beautiful sand stones and by a nice Mediterranean pine forest which separates it from Le Bombarde beach (another incredible Sardinia beach). Those pine trees are home to the loudest cicadas you can imagine – so as soon as you get to this beach you’ll be listening to the deafening yet somewhat soothing singing of cicadas.
Lazzaretto beach is a gorgeous white sand beach. In fact, the sand is very fine. The water is incredibly clear and of a thousand shades of blue, and nice and shallow – making it a perfect beach for families with children. Mind you though – for some reason the local currents make the water regularly cold.
The beach is well services with umbrella and chair rentals and a couple of kiosks and a small restaurant.
LOCAL TIP: Much like the rest of the area, Lazzaretto beach gets very crowded in the summer months. Make sure to get there nice and early to find a parking spot and to place your umbrella. I’d honestly avoid it at weekends and national holidays (ie 15 August).
How to get to Lazzaretto beach
The easiest way to get to Lazzaretto beach is by taking the SS125 bus towards Porto Conto. Once you get to a sign that points to a “Scuola Sub e Diving Center” turn left.
Activities in Lazzaretto beach
Right at Lazzaretto beach, you’ll find a scuba diving school. You can enroll in courses or simply join diving expeditions in one of the most interesting areas in Sardinia. Other than that, it is a great place for SUP when the water is nice and calm, and for relaxing and snorkeling. Not far from Alghero, the beautiful Neptune’s Caves make for an excellent half day trip. Make sure to also visit Capo Caccia and Porto Conte reserve. Capo Caccia is an incredible place to admire sunset!
Where to stay in Alghero
Alghero is the best access point to Lazzaretto beach. This is one of the most visited cities in Sardinia, and you’ll find no shortage of excellent accommodation options. A lot of people stay in holiday homes when in the area, but there also are some good hotels and camping sites.
The following is a selection of places to stay in Alghero:
- Ciutat Alghero is a beautiful small apartment in the center of town, perfect if you want to easily access all that the city has to offer.
- Alghero roof garden is a lovely small bed and breakfast with nice, cozy rooms with modern bathrooms. All rooms have a gorgeous view.
- Villa las Tronas is slightly outside Alghero. It boasts beautiful rooms decorated in a classic way. Some have sea views.
Best restaurants in Alghero
Alghero has an excellent selection of restaurants. For a good pizza, head to Il Vecchio Mulino. Make sure to reserve a table as it gets busy, especially at weekends. The Kings is beautifully located in Alghero’s Bastion – so you’ll enjoy excellent views as you savor your meal. Its specialty is fish and seafood. Gelateria I Bastioni is nothing more than a hole in the wall, but it served the best gelato in town.
Argentiera (Sassari / Alghero)
Argentiera is one of my favorite beaches in Sardinia – to be precise, on the north west of the island. My sister took me there for the first time a few years ago, and I immediately fell in love with it. It is a small cove that can be tricky to reach – you really do need to have your own car to get there. On the other hand, it isn’t really close to a village and it’s not reached by public transportation, chances are you’ll mostly meet locals there.
At Argentiera, the sand isn’t as fine as that you’d get among that of Sardinia beaches, but it’s nice and white. Water is almost immediately deep (which I actually enjoy) and it is incredibly clear.
What I love about Argentiera is the stunning surroundings. The beach sits against the backdrop of gorgeous dark rock formations and right behind it there is a mining village (this area was rich in mines, and in fact the word “argento” means “silver”) that was abandoned in 1962, and you can still see remnants of it.
This is not a serviced beach – unless something has changed since last summer.
LOCAL TIP: Argentiera is highly exposed to the mistral winds. Avoid going there if the wind is blowing, as it lifts waves as high as 5 meters that make literally impossible to get in the water.
How to get to Argentiera beach
The best access point to Argentiera is Alghero, which is where I recommend to stay (see under Lazzaretto beach above for accommodation options in Alghero). It takes around 45 minutes by car to get to Argentiera beach from Alghero, and just about the same amount of time to get there from Sassari, the main city in the area. You will need to take SS291 dir towards Nurra and from there take SP69 and finally SP18. There is a small parking lot right at the beach.
Activities in Argentiera beach
The best thing to do at this and other Sardinia beaches is to simply enjoy a day in the sun and in the water. There is a small artificial pool at the southern side of the beach, probably built during the mining times to wash metals, that is a nice spot for photos or for hanging out. Kids love to jump from the rocks into the clear waters – in fact, snorkeling is a must. At times, and depending on the wind, it is a good surfing spot.
Rena Majore della Nurra (Sassari/Alghero)
This beach is one of Sardinia’s best kept secrets. Located on the north west coast of Sardinia, it can be reached from either Alghero or Sassari. It’s a small cove surrounded by gorgeous cliffs and characterized by tiny white pebbles, the clearest waters you can hope for, and a seabed so beautiful it’s worth spending hours snorkeling.
It takes a bit of an effort to get there – it’s a 15 minutes walk from the parking lot – but it is worth it, and you’ll be so concentrated to stare at the magnificent views that you’ll easily forget about everything else.
Rena Majore is not a serviced beach – there are no kiosks and nowhere to rent umbrellas, and there is no emergency service. You’ll have to carry anything you may need for the day in terms of food, drinks and umbrella. Keep in mind that as it is surrounded by cliffs phone service is virtually non-existent there.
As the beach is made of pebbles, it’s not really suitable for children who may get bored as they will be unable to play – that is, unless they spend all day in the water (which they may!).
LOCAL TIP: much like Argentiera, Rena Majore della Nurra is highly exposed to the mistral winds. Don’t go when this is blowing, or it will be impossible to get close to the water.
How to get to Rena Majore della Nurra beach beach
The best access point to Argentiera is either Alghero or Sassari. I recommend staying in Alghero for more accommodation and eating options. It takes around 50 minutes by car to get to Rena Majore della Nurra beach from Alghero, and around 35 minutes to get there from Sassari. You will need to take SS291 dir and then SP42 towards Sassari, and then follow directions to Pozzo San Nicola.
Once there, exit the roundabout following directions to Argentiera on SP57, but turn right after about 5 km. You’ll have to continue straight until you reach a small turn to the right (pay attention as it is just a dirt road which can be hard to spot). You’ll get to the parking lot from where a panoramic trail will take you to the beach.
Activities in Rena Majore della Nurra beach
The best thing to do in Rena Majore della Nurra is snorkeling. The seabed is stunning, and you can spend hours admiring what lies underwater.
Cala Goloritzé (Baunei)
Cala Goloritzé isn’t just one of the best beaches in Sardinia, it is one of the most amazing beaches in the world. It is located on the east coast of Sardinia. It is a tiny and completely isolated cove characterized by tiny white pebbles, incredibly transparent and blue waters, a rock arch and a pinnacle that is a favorite of climbers.
It is it’s isolation that makes Cala Goloritzé one of Sardinia best beaches. This is a place where goats roam free and get down to the beach to drink the fresh water that springs from the limestone formations, much to the entertainment of tourists.
Differently to other Sardinia beaches, there are no services whatsoever at Cala Goloritzé – no kiosks, no toilets, and not even baskets for garbage. Visitors have to carry whatever they may need for the day, and carry their garbage back with them; they also have to pay a fee to access (it’s one of the very few beaches in Sardinia where tourists have to pay): money goes towards its conservation.
Local tip: although Cala Goloritzé is nicely tucked away, it is better enjoyed when the sea is completely calm. Do check the weather broadcast in advance.
How to get to Cala Goloritzé
The only way to get to Cala Goloritzé is via a hike that leaves from the Golgo Plateau, one of the nicest places to visit in Sardinia. It takes about 90 minutes of a steep downhill walk to get to the beach, and roughly the same amount of time to get back up. Hiking shoes are highly recommended as the terrain is uneven.
Boat tours that take to Cala Goloritzé and other fabulous Sardinia beaches nearby (such as Cala Mariolu, Cala Sisine, Cala dei Gabbiani, Cala Luna and Cala Biriola) leave regularly from either Cala Gonone and Santa Maria Navarrese. However, due to strict protection, boats are not allowed to dock at Cala Goloritzé: the only way to really enjoy it is embarking on a hike.
Activities in Cala Goloritzé
Given that the only way to get to Cala Goloritzé is via a hike, I doubt anybody would care for other activities once there. Anyways, this is one of the best beaches in Sardinia to go snorkeling: the rock formations around the beach are fun to see, and near the arch there is a nice grotto where it is possible to swim. I don’t recommend climbing the arch to dive – I have done it a few times and the last one I almost got stuck up there.
Where to stay in Baunei
Baunei, is the main access point to Cala Goloritzé and to some others of the best beaches in Sardinia. Most people staying in the area opt for a holiday rental. Alternatively, these are some of the best places to stay in Baunei:
- Il Rifugio, which functions both as a camping site and as a bed and breakfast, is the best access point to the beach if you like hiking. The rooms are modest, but the location perfect and they even have a good restaurant on site.
- Bia Maore is by far the best hotel in Baunei village (which by the way is one of the nicest places to visit in Sardinia). I stayed there in 2012 when it had just opened and loved it, and again in 2018. Rooms are cozy and spacious, they all have an amazing view of the valley below, and the breakfast is scrumptious.
Best restaurants in Baunei
Interestingly, for as many good accommodation options there are in Baunei, there hardly is any equivalent in terms of restaurants. If eating traditional food is one of the nicest things to do in Sardinia, I advise going to Il Rifugio (mentioned above) or to look for a local shepherd – they often organize dinners for tourists.
La Pelosa (Stintino)
I go to La Pelosa once every few years, and each time I am mesmerized by its beaty. This really is one of the best beaches in Sardinia. Located at the top north west of Sardinia, La Pelosa is a fine white sand beach that offers spectacular views over Isola Piana and Asinara. A beautiful Spanish watch tower is located on the west side of the beach.
As the vast majority of Sardinia beaches, access to La Pelosa is free and the beach is fully serviced: there are several kiosks where it is possible to enjoy a drink or eat a light meal or ice cream, as well as rent umbrellas and sun beds.
Local tip: La Pelosa is possibly the most famous and photographed among Sardinia beaches. Being so popular, it also means it gets very crowded. My advice is to avoid it in the busiest summer months, and enjoy it in either early June or late September. It that is not an option, to ensure a spot on the beach either go super early or plan to go around lunch time, when at least some tourists leave to go have lunch.
How to get to La Pelosa
La Pelosa is best accessed from the nearby village of Stintino. The bad news is that those who drive there have to pay to park their car a very expensive fee (something like €2 euro per hour). The good news is that, like other Sardinia beaches, La Pelosa can be accessed by bus from Stintino.
Activities in La Pelosa
What makes La Pelosa one of Sardinia best beaches is the range of activities it offers. There, it is possible to windsurf, kayak, and even sail. Right before the access point to the beach there’s also a dive centre that goes on diving expeditions in the stunning Asinara island. Not far from La Pelosa there are a bunch of other amazing Sardinia beaches, such as Le Saline.
Where to stay in Stintino
Being one of the top places to visit in Sardinia for its amazing beaches, there’s a good selection of places to stay in Stintino that go from holiday homes to bed and breakfast to more upscale options. These are the best places to stay in Stintino:
- Amaremare, a lovely bed and breakfast managed by a dear friend. It has a gorgeous view, cozy bedrooms and a beautiful garden.
- Park Hotel Asinara has amazing views.
- Al Martin Pescatore is a good budget option nicely located in the centre of the village.
Best restaurants in Stintino
Stintino has a good selection of places to eat for all budgets. Eating seafood is one of the best things to do in Sardinia and I fully enjoyed it at a restaurant called Da Antonio.
Li Cossi (Trinità d’Agultu)
Located in the north of the island in Trinità d’Agultu, in what is known as Costa Paradiso (Paradise Coast), Li Cossi is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia. It is a very small cove that can be reached on an easy 1 km walk starting at the end of the village, during which you’ll get incredible coastal views.
Li Cossi is surrounded by gorgeous pink trachyte cliffs overlooking the sea and that contribute to giving its waters an incredible color. There is a river running behind it, so the scenery is quite unique. The beach gets crowded in the summer, but not nearly as much as other beaches on the island.
LOCAL TIP: Much like the rest of this part of Sardinia, this beach is best avoided during windy days.
How to get to Li Cossi
You can reach Li Cossi by driving along SP200 and turning towards Costa Paradiso. The beach is located at Km 32. You will find a parking lot and from there a trail that goes all the way to the beach.
Activities in Li Cossi
Li Cossi is a fantastic place to spend a day in the sun, playing in the sand and swimming. The rocks provide an incredible diving spot – children love to climb and jump in the water.
Where to stay and eat to easily access Li Cossi
Badesi is a lovely small village that gives the best access point to Li Cossi and where you’ll get a good mix of a nice, local place and access to the nearby beaches. There are a few good places to stay and eat.
These are the best places to stay in Badesi:
- GF Apartments La Vigna is an excellent option if you prefer self catering.
- B&B Sandalia has good sized rooms. Some of them have a fantastic view of the sea.
- Villa Agnese is a fantastic small hotel that also has a lovely pool and well kept garden.
Trattoria da Paolino is one of the best restaurants in the area, where you can find a good combination of local specialties and staples of Italian cuisine.
Cala Sabina (Asinara National Park)
Asinara National Park would actually deserve a whole post for it is an amazing place – definitely one of the most incredible places to visit in Sardinia. Asinara is off the top north west coast of Sardinia. There are some incredible beaches there, but my favorite is Cala Sabina – which should rightly be mentioned among the best beaches in Sardinia.
What makes Cala Sabina one of the top Sardinia beaches is the incredibly clear, shallow waters, the fine white sand and the fabulous setting, completely surrounded by untouched nature. Asinara National Park is highly protected; nobody lives on the island and fishing is not allowed there.
Cala Sabina is not serviced at all, but even in the peak summer months there’s hardly anybody there so although it is one of the most amazing Sardinia beaches, chances are the few visitors will have it all for themselves.
Local tip: most people visit Asinara on day trips from either Stintino or Porto Torres and end up spending a mere 30 minutes at Cala Sabina. Yet, this is one of Sardinia best beaches and deserves way more than that. Plan to spend a night in Asinara for full enjoyment.
How to get to Cala Sabina
The island of Asinara can be reached by boat from either Stintino or Porto Torres. Once there, there is a shuttle bus that regularly goes around the island and stops in the main points of interest. There is an easy hiking trail that goes from the village of Cala d’Oliva, where the hostel is located, to Cala Sabina. It is better to wear shoes. The view of Cala Sabina from above is stunning – easy to see why it is one of the best beaches in Sardinia.
Activities in Cala Sabina and Asinara
Cala Sabina is the perfect place to relax and snorkel. Asinara Island, on the other hand, is one of the best places to visit in Sardinia, thanks to its untouched nature (it is home to sea turtles, white donkeys, foxes, boars and other animals) and amazing seas. Aside from touring the former high security prison and the sanatorium, it is possible to hike and bike around, or to go on a jeep tour around the many points of interest and beaches.
Where to stay and eat in Asinara
As one of the best places to visit in Sardinia, Asinara National Park is highly protected and the only people living on the island are the park rangers. The only accommodation option on the island is the hostel in the village of Cala d’Oliva, which has both dorms and private rooms (with shared bathrooms).
The hostel is quite basic but clean, but the location is splendid. It is the kind of place where the only noise at night is that of animals living in the wild. If one of the best things to do in Sardinia is enjoying nature, this is the place to go. The hostel also provides a (rather basic) breakfast, packed lunches and family style dinners. Don’t expect any fancy food – it is plain, but good.
The first time I went to Capriccioli I was only a child – my parents had taken me there during a road trip around Sardinia. I went a few more times, although it is quite far from where I live, and I concluded that this really is one of the best beaches in Sardinia. In fact, there actually are two small beaches, separated by an easily crossed rocky passageway.
Located on the north east coast of Sardinia, in the famous Costa Smeralda, what makes Capriccioli one of Sardinia best beaches is the fine white sand and the thick Mediterranean vegetation that surrounds it. The water is shallow and incredibly transparent. Both beaches are serviced and it is possible to rent umbrellas, sun beds and even kayaks.
Local tip: of the two Sardinia beaches of Capriccioli, the one to the left of the parking lot gets significantly more visitors. If caring for some quieter time (well, sort of!), opt for the other.
How to get to Capriccioli
Capriccioli can be easily reached by car from either Arzachena, Olbia and Porto Cervo. After having left the old SS 125 (along which are located some of the best beaches in Sardinia) follow SP 59 all the way to Capriccioli, where there’s a large parking lot.
Activities in Capriccioli
Capriccioli is one of the best beaches in Sardinia to go snorkeling, as its sea bed is full of life. Other than that, it is possible to rent kayaks, zodiacs and paddle boats for entertainment.
Where to stay near Capriccioli
Local laws are quite strict when protecting Sardinia beaches, and it is now forbidden to build on the coast. For this reason, there are no hotels or holiday rentals directly in Capriccioli. The best access places are Cannigione, Arzachena, San Pantaleo or the exclusive Porto Cervo, where there’s plenty of hotels, camping sites and holiday homes.
This is a selection of the best places to stay near Capriccioli:
- Ca’ La Somara in San Pantaleo is a fantastic property at reasonable prices, that also allows self catering.
- Bed and Breakfast Yin and Yang is another great option.
- Cala di Volpe is a luxury property in Porto Cervo perfect for those who want to pamper themselves and have enough money to splurge.
Best restaurants around Capriccioli
Eating with a splendid view is one of the coolest things to do in Sardinia. Phi Beach in Baia Sardinia is located in a gorgeous small cove and it is a great place to enjoy a sunset drink. I recommend booking in advance. In Cannigione, Osteria Gourmet Li Finistreddi is the go to place for fish and seafood.
Cala Coticcio (Caprera)
I actually haven’t been to Cala Coticcio (or perhaps I have, when I was a small child and my parents took me to Caprera, but I can’t remember). But judging from the stunning pictures that I come across on Instagram, it’s got to be one of the best beaches in Sardinia.
Cala Coticcio is located on the Maddalena archipelago, off the north east coast of Sardinia. It’s tropical look has gained it the nickname “Tahiti.” Such beautiful place is completely isolated and strictly protected, as many of Sardinia best beaches. There are no services on the island so visitors have to carry anything they may need for the day.
Local tip: Caprera is one of the top places to visit in Sardinia. I highly recommend doing a boat trip around the island to enjoy more or Sardinia beaches such as the Spiaggia del Relitto, Cala Napoletana and Cala Garibaldi. The island is also where Garibaldi, who worked towards the unification of Italy, spent his last years. His home has been turned into an excellent museum.
How to get to Cala Coticcio
As many of Sardinia best beaches, Cala Coticcio is completely isolated can be reached on boat trips leaving from either La Maddalena or Palau. Boat tours can bought online for more than reasonable prices. Alternatively, it is possible to reach La Maddalena by ferry from Palau, and reach Caprera by car or by public bus. Once in Caprera, it is possible to get to Cala Coticcio via an easy hiking trail (proper hiking shoes are necessary).
A good option if traveling in a group is to actually hire an entire zodiac with a skipper to go around the many island and thus see more Sardinia beaches. It may seem expensive but the costs can be shared and it is really worth the price
Activities in Cala Coticcio and boat tours that take you there
To be honest, one doesn’t need to look for activities in Cala Coticcio. This is one of the best beaches in Sardinia for snorkeling and relaxing!
Here are some of the best tours of La Maddalena Archipelago:
Where to stay near Cala Coticcio
I’d recommend Palau as the best access point to reach Caprera to visit Cala Coticcio and other amazing Sardinia beaches, both on the archipelago and on the actual main island. These are some good options:
Best restaurants near Cala Coticcio
Del Porticciolo is a good option for budget meals in Palau. It offers traditional Sardinian dishes, seafood and fish, and at night pizza. If splurging on food is one of the best things to do in Sardinia, La Gritta is the place to do that in Palau.
Spiaggia Rosa (Budelli)
Budelli is a small island part of Maddalena National Park, and is located off the north east coast of Sardinia. That’s where the Spiaggia Rosa, one of the best beaches in Sardinia, is located. Nobody lives on the island, except for its guardian – and I am sure he feels like he’s living in Paradise.
Spiaggia Rosa is an incredibly tiny and inaccessible beach characterized by pink sand. Among the many Sardinia beaches, this is perhaps the most strictly protected. Literally nobody can visit, and this is in order to preserve its beauty. However, as of summer 2017 several hiking trails allow access to the beach. The hikes are all led by local tourist guides.
Local tip: a sailing tour of the Maddalena archipelago is likely to make a stop near Spiaggia Rosa and other Sardinia beaches in the area. Disembarking may not be possible, but it is still a good way to take a look.
How to get to Spiaggia Rosa
As previously stated, Spiaggia Rosa is one of the most strictly protected Sardinian beaches. It can be seen on boat tours that leave from either La Maddalena or Palau. As of summer 2017 it is possible to get there via a guided hike that leaves from Isola Budelli.
Where to stay and eat near Spiaggia Rosa
The best access point to Budelli, Spiaggia Rosa and other fabulous Sardinia beaches in the area is either Palau, which I have mentioned above, or La Maddalena.
In La Maddalena, accommodation options vary:
- Casa di Susanna is a good holiday rental.
- Leonardo da Vinci is a nice bed and breakfast .
- Hotel Garibaldi, is another good hotel.
- Residenza Mordini is a more upscale place.
Sottovento is a good option for those wanting to eat seafood.
Cala Brandinchi (San Teodoro)
There is a reason we call Cala Brandinchi “Tahiti” – it really does look like a beach that belongs in a tropical paradise. Yet, this beach isn’t in the tropics: it just is one of the most amazing Sardinia beaches, located in the north east of the island.
Cala Brandinchi is located in Capo Coda Cavallo, and from there you’ll get incredible views of the small island of Tavolara (which can be reached by ferry from Porto San Paolo). It’s close to San Teodoro, one of the most popular summer destinations in Sardinia. The incredibly white sand and the clear, shallow turquoise waters make it one of the best beaches in Sardinia. The surrounding rock formations are the perfect habitat for various species of fish, which can be admired while snorkeling.
Right behind the beach there is a beautiful small pine trees forest and sand dunes that give the impression of creating a protective wall. There is a small pier for private tourist boats. Cala Brandinchi is a well serviced beach with kiosks and places to rent umbrellas and chairs.
History lovers will be interested to know that this is the beach from where Giuseppe Garibaldi, having left Caprera, sailed to Rome in 1867.
LOCAL TIP: The entire area where Cala Brandinchi is located is packed with some of the nicest Sardinia beaches. I recommend going to Lu Impostu, which is right next door, and to La Cinta, one of the most famous beaches in the area.
How to get to Cala Brandinchi
From San Teodoro, take SS 125 and turn right towards Capo Coda Cavallo. Continue driving and take the second right towards Cala Brandinchi. You’ll then be driving for about 1 km on dirt road. There is a large parking lot, which is very convenient. However, pick in mind that it is rather costly.
Activities in Cala Brandinchi
Cala Brandinchi is the perfect place to go snorkeling, to spend a day in the sun and to simply relax. If you are short on time, I recommend a day trip to the area to visit the nearby beaches. Otherwise, you can even enjoy a boat tour.
Where to stay to get access to Cala Brandinchi
San Teodoro is the best access point to Cala Brandinchi. It is one of the most popular holiday destination in the north east of Sardinia and there is no shortage of good accommodation options, whether you are looking for a hotel, a bed and breakfast, a holiday home or even a camping site.
This is a selection of the best places to stay in San Teodoro:
- Il Viandante is a nice bed and breakfast that is in the center of San Teodoro and close to the beach.
- Residence le Zagare has several holiday apartments, all nicely furnished and fully equipped for self catering.
- Hypnos Hotel is a bit off the center of San Teodoro. It features comfortable modern rooms.
Best restaurants in San Teodoro
San Teodoro offers a great selection of places to eat, from budget pizzerie to nicer restaurants. Miriacheddu is one of the best places in town for seafood and local cuisine. Vianello’s Sardinian street food is an excellent budget option. Bal Harbour is a Brazilian style restaurant in a gorgeous setting and right by the beach.
With such transparent waters Biderosa is bound to be among the best beaches in Sardinia
Oasi Biderosa (Orosei)
Oasi Biderosa is located on the east coast of Sardinia, at around 15 km from the lovely village Orosei. This natural park is home to some of the best beaches in Sardinia. Imagine long, white sand beaches and the clearest and cleanest shallow waters, surrounded by gorgeous, thick Mediterranean vegetation.
To preserve its beauty of the Sardinia beaches located in Biderosa and of the entire natural park, this is highly protected and access is limited to no more than 140 cars and 30 motorbikes per day. This means that contrary to some of the best beaches in Sardinia, Biderosa is practically deserted and visitors enjoy a beautifully empty beach.
The Oasis is divided in 5 smaller beaches (called Oasis). The entire Oasis stretch for about 2 km and the beaches are all linked. A lovely walk along the coast means seeing some of the best Sardinia beaches. Oasis 3 and 5 have picnic tables in the gorgeous pine forest behind; while there is a food truck (selling sandwiches, drinks and ice cream) in Oasis 4. All oasis have life guard service, sun bed rental and a toilet.
Local tip: try to avoid on windy days, as sand flies all over and it is not safe to place umbrellas. If this can’t be avoided, the pine forests provides shelter from the sun and the wind. The nearby beaches Cala Liberotto and Berchida are among the most beautiful Sardinia beaches.
How to get to Oasi Biderosa
The best access point to Oasi Biderosa is Orosei (from where it is possible to reach some other of Sardinia best beaches). Orosei can be reached from SS 131 bis and then SS 129. From Orosei, follow SS 125 until Oasi Biderosa. Once at the main gate, it is another 2 to 7 km to get to the various oasis. There’s a shuttle bus that goes from the main gate to the oasis for those who don’t have a car. As access to Biderosa is limited, it is necessary to book it in advance and visitors arriving by car are asked to be there no later than 10:00 am (or else the spot will be given to other last minute arrivals).
Activities in Oasi Biderosa
Other than toasting in the sun and enjoying the clear waters, it is possible to go on guided or self-guided hiking and biking tours of the Oasis, as well as rent kayaks – top activities to enjoy one of the most beautiful places to visit in Sardinia.
Where to stay and eat in Orosei
Since Orosei provides access to some of the best beaches in Sardinia, there is something for every budget. There are camping sites, as well as holiday homes and “spread hotels” (where a hotel rents room across the village). These are some of the best accommodation options in Orosei:
- Studio Mimula is a lovely place to stay.
- Albergo Diffuso Mannois is a very stylish spread hotel.
- Kaktus is a good budget friendly option.
As for restaurants, Belohorizonte is a good choice.
Further Information About Sardinia
When to enjoy Sardinia best beaches
Writing a post on the best beaches in Sardinia, it goes without saying that the best months to visit are the summer ones. However, these are also the busiest ones. Furthermore, keep in mind that Italians generally go on vacation in August. I’d wholeheartedly recommend to avoid traveling to Sardinia in August.
Personally, I find July to be the best month to fully enjoy Sardinia beaches: the days are still very long, the weather is dry and hot, and there’s not nearly as many tourists as in August. Alternatively, June is a good option to have long days – but the sea is still a bit cold for swimming. In September the days are shorter, but the temperature of the sea is pleasant.
Having said so, I am a big fan of Sardinia in any season, and I think there’s way more things to do in Sardinia than just going to the beach. Hiking is incredible here (and it is actually a great way to admire Sardinia beaches). There’s a wealth of archeological sites; beautiful cities and villages; good museums; traditional festivals; music festivals and what not. It’s not without reason that even D. H. Lawrence fell in love with Sardinia.
To read more about all the amazing activities Sardinia has to offer, check my post “A Local’s Guide To The Things To Do In Sardinia.”Check out my post on “The Best Places In Sardinia To Discover Its History, Culture And Traditions.”
How to get to Sardinia
Sardinia is well connected to Italy, the rest of Europe and even extra European countries via either direct or connecting flights. There’s direct flights from London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and even Tel Aviv. A bunch of budget airlines fly to the three Sardinian airports (Cagliari, Alghero and Olbia) and even the most important ones such as KLM or British Airways operate seasonal flights so that people can come enjoy Sardinia beaches.
Sardinia is connected to Italy, Spain and France by ferry – a good option for those who want to take their car along to move around and enjoy all the best beaches in Sardinia. The main ports are Cagliari, Olbia and Porto Torres.
Getting around in Sardinia
The public transportation system in Sardinia is fairly decent – trains and buses connect the most important cities on the island. Blah blah car is a good system to get around. Yet, having a car is the best way to move around as it means complete freedom to reach the best beaches in Sardinia. Car rentals are available all over the island. Check out the prices of car rental here.
Another option is going around by motorbike. I admit this is one of my biggest dreams – and the views of Sardinia beaches when driving are stunning.
Have you ever been to Sardinia? Of the best beaches in Sardinia, which one did you like the most?