Are you looking for the best beaches in Sardinia? You have come to the right place ! As a local, I have great insiders’ information on many Sardinia beaches and will share my knowledge with you.
Mind you, I can’t possibly name all the beaches in one post. This is a difficult task and inevitably some truly stunning Sardinia beaches end being left out. My selection is based on personal taste – someone else would pick different places!
Virtually all beaches in Sardiniaare free to access – which is great if you are trying to watch your purse. Only highly protected beaches require a small fee to visit or advanced reservations. I will make sure to point out which.
Want to see more gorgeous photos of Sardinia beaches? Make sure to follow my Instagram account.
Now, without further ado, let me get to the juicy bits and talk about my favorite beaches on the island and what they have to offer. At the end of this post you will find some tips about etiquette on local beaches.
The beaches mentioned in this post are in no particular order.
A Selection Of The Best Beaches In Sardinia
Technically Poetto, Cagliari’s favorite urban beach, isn’t one of the best beaches in Sardinia. This isn’t the most amazing among Sardinia beaches, but everyone in Cagliari is 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, all the way to Quartu Sant’Elena.
What makes Poetto incredible is the scenery around it: Sella del Diavolo promontory on its right; Molentargius Nature Reserve – where pink flamingoes and other birds live and nest – at its back.
Poetto offers a wide range of services: at regular intervals, you will find places to rent umbrellas and other equipment; life guards; entertainment for children; dog beaches; a running, skating and biking lane where locals love to exercises and lots of good kiosks, restaurants (I am a massive fan of Le Palmette and of Osteria Antica Cagliari) and gelaterie.
You will also find a good selection of surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and SUP schools, and more. Here are some that activities can be booked online:
- Guided kayak tour to Sella del Diavolo – leaving from Poetto, this tour takes you to the smaller coves behind Sella del Diavolo.
- Guided hike of the Devil’s Saddle – a good guided hike that will offer you stunning views over Poetto and beyond.
Poetto is thought to be one of the most accessible beaches in Sardinia. You can get there from the center of Cagliari by bus: buses P, PF and PQ all there, making various stops along the beach.
For more beaches in Cagliari, check out my post A Guide To The Beaches In Cagliari And Its Surroundings. You should also read my posts A Local’s Guide To The Things To Do In Cagliari and The Best Hotels In Cagliari.
Mari Pintau (Quartu Sant’Elena)
Easily one of the best beaches near Cagliari, Mari Pintau means “painted sea” and once you visit you can really appreciate how it got it!
This small cove has the clearest, most turquoise waters you can hope, pebbles that give way to sand in the sea, and is nicely sheltered from the wind. The area on the right is a gay-friendly nudist beach.
Bring folding chairs to lay down, and make sure you have something to fix your umbrella as it is hard to place it. The beach is unfortunately not accessible to disabled people.
At Mari Pintau, you will find a kiosk serving light meals and drinks; toilets and showers, and a nice lido with a lifeguard on duty and where you can rent umbrellas and sun beds for a reasonable price. Book in advance at weekends and during peak season.
You can get to Mari Pintau from Cagliari by following SP17 or via SS125, exiting soon after Mari Pintau tunnel at Geremeas and taking a right turn once on the main road again.You can park along the road and then follow the trail to the beach.
Not far from Mari Pintau, Cala Regina is another small, rocky cove with clear waters perfect for snorkeling and nicely sheltered from the wind.
Costa Rei (Muravera)
This is by far my favorite beach – it’s pretty much where I grew up, and continue spending my summers.
Located on the south east coast of the island, Costa Rei is a gorgeous 12 km long stretch of the finest, golden sand. The water is incredibly clear. As there are various access points and parking lots scattered along the beach, it is suitable for families with children and disabled people.
Along the beach you will find plenty of places to rent beach equipment; good kiosks to have a bite and a drink; some excellent budget restaurants (I swear by Chaplin, but make sure you book in advance!) and more.
In Costa Rei you can practice windsurfing, SUP and other water activities. The nearby Sant’Elmo is a prime diving location. You can also join guided boat tours to nearby islands of the Protected Marine Area (Isola dei Cavoli or Serpentara) or go beach hopping.
Don’t miss a walk all the way to the Scoglio di Peppino. The beach there is terribly crowded in the peak months, but the rock formation is an incredible photo spot. Get up before the crack of dawn to enjoy a fabulous sunrise.
Costa Rei can be reached fairly easily via SS (road) 125 by either car (one hour), private shuttle or bus (leaves from Cagliari bus station and takes two hours). Follow the signs to Muravera on SS 554 until you get to the SS 125 junction and then take the exit for Costa Rei.
The surroundings of Costa Rei are packed with some of the most beautiful beaches in South Sardinia.
Monte Turno is a small cove nicely sheltered from the wind, with Mediterranean shrub at its back and scenic rock formations, and with a nice kiosk perfect for a light meal, a drink and to rent any beach equipment.
Feraxi is north of Costa Rei and a lesser known beach, perfect if you are looking for a local spot.
Make sure to read my post A Local’s Guide To Costa Rei, Sardinia.
Cala Pira (Castiadas)
Close to Costa Rei, Cala Pira is one of the best known Sardinia beaches. It is a nice cove, protected from the wind, characterized by very fine white sand and clear, shallow waters of a million shades of blue and perfect for snorkeling or SUP. There also is a Spanish Watchtower on the northern side of the beach.
The best time to appreciate the colors of Cala Pira is the morning and the early afternoon.
In Cala Pira, you will find a kiosk (right by one of the access points) where you can rent all sorts of beach equipment, or get a bite and a drink.
When the mistral wind blows too strong in Costa Rei, Cala Pira is nicely protected.
To get there from Costa Rei, take SP18 southbound until you get to a sign that points to Cala Pira – drive slowly or else you’ll go past it. You’ll have to pay to park your car. You can also access the beach by boat on tours departing from Villasimius or Costa Rei.
At a short driving distance from Cala Pira, Cala Sinzias is another local favorite. It’s a beautiful sandy beach with clear waters, various access points and all sorts of services.
Porto Giunco (Villasimius)
About one hour drive from Cagliari and around 30 minutes from Costa Rei, Porto Giunco is definitely one of the most famous beaches in South Sardinia.
A long, white sandy beach with shallow and incredibly blue waters, surmounted by a Spanish watch tower and with a lagoon where pink flamingoes nest and live at its back, Porto Giunco is easily accessible, even to families with children and to the disabled.
At Porto Giunco you will find a couple of kiosks; a surf and SUP center; places to rent umbrellas and other equipment, and the chance of joining boat trips to the nearby beaches and islands including the Protected Marine Area of Capo Carbonara, which is a prime diving destination.
There are regular shuttles to Porto Giunco from Villasimius. If you have your own car, follow the signs to the tourist harbor (Via degli Oleandri) and from there to Porto Giunco. There are various parking lots (you will have to pay for the duration of your stay) and access points. Walk towards the centre of the beach for a less crowded spot.
Check out my guide to Villasimius.
Punta Molentis (Villasimius)
Not far from Villasimius, and on the way to Costa Rei, there is one of my favorite beaches in the world. The combination of incredibly clear, shallow, turquoise waters, white sand and the beautiful setting make Punta Molentis a truly special place.
Known as the “spiaggia dei due mari” (two seas beach) Punta Molentis is located in the Protected Marine 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 nicely sheltered from the wind, and divided in two main coves – one with small rocks, and one with fine sand.
Climb to the top of the rock formation for perfect views. The best time for photos is between 12:00 and 2:30 pm. Keep in mind that waking on the dunes is forbidden.
Located in Punta Molentis you will find two kiosks (one at the beach, one right above it) serving quick meals and drinks, and a place to rent umbrellas and sun beds (advanced bookings recommended in peak season).
To get to Punta Molenti, drive on the old panoramic road that connects Villasimius to Costa Rei until you see small sign that points to Punta Molentis. Turn there and continue driving along the dirt road. After you park your car, you’ll have to walk for another km. Parking costs €10 for cars, €5 for motorbikes and €3 for bikes, for the day. Alternatively, you can get to Punta Molentis by private boat, or on guided boat tours departing from Villasimius or Costa Rei.
As of July 2019, only the first 200 cars (and 500 visitors) to get to the parking lot are allowed to get to Punta Molentis. This measure is meant to protect the beach and to make it overall more enjoyable for all visitors. On peak summer days the beach reaches its maximum capacity as early as 8:00 am. There is a fee of €1 per person to access.
If you don’t fancy waking at the crack of dawn, make a reservation for sun beds and umbrella at the local kiosk, called I Due Mari, by calling +39 3934077632, and arrive by 10:00 am. Once you get to the parking lot, tell the person in charge that you have booked a place at the kiosk.
Murtas is one of the best beaches you’ll find if all you want a peaceful place even in the peak summer months.
It is a bit more difficult to reach compared to other beaches, and the fact that it is a military area (and thus only accessible in the summer months) means there are no nearby villages or even resorts.
Murtas is a long, wide beach of thick grain sand and incredibly clear yet immediately deep waters. There is nothing in terms of services along the beach – not even a lifeguard – but there is a wide dog beach.
Behind Murtas, there is a beautiful nature reserve and not far from it you can access the ruins of Quirra Castle.
To get there from Cagliari or Costa Rei, get on SS125 towards Muravera and continue all the way to Quirra, where you should get off the main street. Follow the directions to the beach.
Lido di Orrì (Tortolì)
Lido di Orrì is located on the east coast of the island in the region of Ogliastra, where it spreads for around 3 km. It is known for its white and golden sand, its shallow clear waters which make it a perfect place for children, and the unique rock formations which are a perfect photo spot.
At the beach you will find kiosks and will be able to rent umbrellas and anything else you may need for the day.
Lido di Orrì is easily reached from Tortolì, which is at about two hours north of Cagliari along SS125. From Tortolì, just follow the signs to the beach – it really is self explanatory. There’s plenty of parking (paid) along the beach.
About 10 km north, Rocce Rosse is known for its red rock formations and the location of one of the most famous music festivals in Sardinia.
Not far from Orrì there are several other incredible beaches. Cea is quite similar to Orrì, though a bit smaller. Further south, Torre di Bari, in Barisardo, is a long stretch of white sand with a Spanish Watchtower right in the middle. Su Sirboni, on the other hand, has fine sand mixed with pebbles and rocks. Finally, Coccorrocci is one of the lesser known beaches in the area – harder to reach, its main feature are the smooth pebbles. It is blissfully quiet even during the busiest season.
Cala Antoniareddu (Teulada)
Located on the southern coast of Sardinia, Cala Antoniareddu is simply stunning.
It is a small cove that is actually quite hard to reach, which means it never gets really crowded. What makes it one of Sardinia best beaches is the incredible emerald color of the water. It’s a fantastic swimming and snorkeling spot. Furthermore, the views from the hills above are breathtaking.
There is nothing in terms of services at the beach so make sure to bring anything you may need for the day. Cala Antoniareddu is a a mixture of sand and rocks (very common among beaches here) and can be uncomfortable. Carry an inflatable pillow if wanting to relax.
To get to Cala Antoniareddu, drive along SS195 then turn onto SP71 until a sign that points to “Pinnetta” village, where there’s a gate to a parking lot that costs €5 for the day, and a short trail that leads all the way to the beach.
Alternatively, drive all the way to Cala Cipolla following SS 195 and then hike along the coast via Capo Spartivento Lighthouse and Perdalonga beach (not recommended in the summer months).
Finally, you can get there by private boat or on boat trips such as this one that start in Capo Malfatano and also go to Tuerredda (one of Sardinia best beaches, by the way!) and Piscinnì (characterized by a scenic Spanish watchtower), Perdalonga, Chia, and other beaches.
Su Giudeu, Chia (Domus de Maria)
Su Giudeu, in Chia, is
loved by locals and tourists alike. It is a 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 the small island in front of it – though if you go, bring a pair of flip flops as walking on it barefoot is painful.
The shallow water and the fantastic sand make it ideal for families with children. Behind, a salt lake is a favorite spot for pink flamingos. You are better off not going on windy days.
To get there, from either Cagliari or Pula, follow SS195 until you find a sign pointing to Chia, then turn left on SP71. It’s another few kilometers to the parking lot.
Scattered along the beach you will find kiosks and places to rent umbrellas and sun beds for the day. Toilets are by the parking lot. There are various spots for disabled access.
From Chia, you can walk east to reach Cala Cipolla, or west to the Spanish Watchtower, from where you can enjoy splendid views.
If you don’t fancy driving all the way to Chia, stop at Santa Margherita di Pula, a long stretch of golden sand and clear waters, home of the famous Forte Village Resort.
Cala Zafferano (Teulada)
The stunning Cala Zafferano is one of the hardest to reach beaches in the entire island. Located in a highly militarized area that also includes Cala Piombo and Cala Scudo, the beach can be accessed by boat only, and only during the summer months.
It is characterized by incredibly fine, white sand where you’ll be able to spot pink colors too – thanks to the presence of corals. The sand dunes give way to Mediterranean vegetation at its back. The shallow waters are of an incredible shade of blue.
As the beach is hard to reach, it’s blissfully peaceful.
There is nothing on the beach in terms of services, and planting an umbrella is not allowed – the beach is patrolled, too.
The only way to get to Cala Zafferano is by boat from the nearby Capo Malfatano or Porto Tramatzu. You can rent a zodiac for the day for around €200 plus the gasoline. Keep in mind that docking is only allowed in certain parts of the beach.
Porto Pino (Sant’Anna Arresi)
Porto Pino is known for the incredibly shallow and transparent water and for boasting some of the most beautiful and whitest sand dunes in Sardinia (to which access is however forbidden), at its back there is a beautiful forest of Aleppo pines, and a series of ponds where pink flamingoes can be admired.
Porto Pino is the perfect place for families with children. Along the beach there are various kiosks, and plenty of places to rent all sort of beach equipment. However, avoid Porto Pino on windy days – it’s truly unbearable!
Porto Pino is at about 1.5 hours drive from Cagliari, and can be easily reached by car. Take SS130 to Siliqua and from there SS193 to Giba. Once in Giba, take SS195 to Masainas where you need to take SP73 all the way to Porto Pino. You will find a large parking lot.
For other beautiful sand dunes beaches, check out Piscinas, near Arbus, in the Costa Verde (west coast) where the water is almost immediately deep, and the nearby, unspoiled yet harder to reach Scivu.
Cala Domestica (Buggerru)
Cala Domestica is a fantastic small beach in the region of Carbonia Iglesias, on the south west coast of Sardinia. Once a harbor where boats would be loaded with the minerals extracted in the nearby mines, it now simply is one of the best beaches in southern Sardinia.
This small cove looks a bit like a fjord – with impressive cliffs on both sides – and is a great snorkeling spot. There’s a smaller cove to its right that can be easily reached, and white sand dunes right behind it. You can get impressive views from the Spanish Watchtower that surmounts it.
At Cala Domestica you’ll find a kiosk and can rent umbrellas and sun beds.
Much like the rest of the beaches on the coast of Sulcis Iglesiente, Cala Domestica is best avoided when mistral winds blow. Getting in the water then can be dangerous!
The best way to Cala Domestica (and to other beaches nearby) is by car from Cagliari, following SS 130 to Iglesias and SP 83 to Buggerru.
There is a hiking trail that from Cala Domestica takes you to Masua Pan di Zucchero, another incredible beach. Keep in mind that it’s a difficult hike for which a guide is recommended.
La Caletta (Carloforte)
The island of San Pietro, in the Sulcis Archipelago in south Sardinia, is home to some unique beaches. The prettiest is La Caletta, a nice sandy cove with shallow clear waters making it perfect for a relaxing family day.
Located on the beach there’s a kiosk that also rents beach equipment.
La Caletta is at about 15 minutes drive west of Carloforte. You can easily get there by car following SP103. There is a small parking lot near the beach, from where you will have to follow a short trail.
You can reach Carloforte by ferry from either Portoscuso or Calasetta – from either places, the ride won’t take more than 30 minutes.
The nearby Sant’Antioco Island is home to more scenic beaches. Among them Sottotorre, Spiaggia Grande and Cala Lunga, all located near the lovely Calasetta.
Read my Carloforte guide here.
Is Arutas and Mari Ermi (Cabras)
Is Arutas is located on the west coast of Sardinia, not far from Oristano. It is a beach like no others. Its main characteristic is the tiny white quartz pebbles and the incredibly clear blue, immediately deep waters. It’s main downside is that it is incredibly popular and gets terribly crowded.
I have seen families with children at Is Arutas, but if your kids are not confident in the water or easily get bored don’t bring them here: there’s no actual sand to play with!
Not far from Is Arutas, Mari Ermi is less famous than its neighbor, but actually very similar to it – and almost as crowded. Both beaches are fantastic sunset spots.
While I much prefer Is Arutas as a beach, I think S’Archittu, about 20 minutes drive, offers the best photo opportunities.
Bus 430 regularly leaves Oristano city center to get to Is Arutas and takes about 50 minutes. Alternatively, to reach this beach by car follow the directions to Cabras and from there follow SP 6, turn right on SP 7, and then left on SP 59.
From Mari Ermi there are regular boat tours that go to the gorgeous Isola di Mal di Ventre.
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.
About 15 minutes drive north, Maimoni is a very similar beach, significantly less crowded and accessible to dogs too. If on the other hand you drive 15 minutes south, San Giovanni di Sinis is another great option – it’s right by Tharros, one of the most famous archeological sites in Sardinia.
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 it. 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 unaccessible.
The main beach there is Le Saline, a beautiful short stretch of white sand and incredibly clear and shallow waters, with a massive field of wild garlic at its back.
There is nothing in terms of services in Malu Entu, so bring whatever you may need for the day.
You can only get to Malu Entu by boat, either independently or on a boat trip, from Mari Ermi or in Putzu Idu (north of S’Aanea Scoada), which by the way is another beautiful beach.
Boat rentals in Mari Ermi cost around €100 for the day (to which you must add the costs of gasoline) for a zodiac with a 40 CC engine that can carry up to 8 persons. There is no need for a license, 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.
Sea Service Nautica offers zodiac rentals – advanced bookings are needed. Maluentu offers boat trips departing from Mari Ermi beach and costing €25 per person per adult. Book in advance.
Alghero is home to some beautiful beaches. Lazzaretto, which takes the name from the area where it is located and from the tower that dominates the small cove, is a locals favorite. The beach is surrounded by beautiful sand stones and a nice Mediterranean pine forest (home to thousands of cicadas) which separates it from Le Bombarde beach, another famous beach.
The water at Lazzaretto is incredibly clear and nicely shallow – making it perfect for families with children. It’s also a great spot for SUP. Right on the beach you’ll find a diving center, a kiosk, a small restaurant and umbrella and sun beds rental.
The easiest way to get to Lazzaretto beach is by taking the SS125 BIS towards Porto Conte. Once you get to a sign that points to “Scuola Sub e Diving Center” turn left.
Not far from Alghero, the beautiful Neptune’s Caves are a great place for a half day trip. Make sure to also visit Capo Caccia (also a great sunset spot) and Porto Conte reserve.
Much like the rest of the area, Lazzaretto beach gets very crowded in the summer months. Make sure to get there nice and early. For a less crowded spot, check out the nearby Mugoni.
Make sure to read my post A Complete Guide To Alghero Sardinia.
Argentiera (Sassari / Alghero)
Argentiera is one of the best beaches in the north west of the island. Harder to reach, it’s never too crowded.
At Argentiera, the sand isn’t as fine as that you’d get in other beaches, but it’s nice and white. Water is almost immediately deep and incredibly clear, perfect for snorkeling. Keep in mind there’s no such thing as a kiosk here, so you’ll need to carry anything you may need for the day.
Argentiera is not a good beach when the mistral winds blow, as the current gets too strong and waves too big.
The surroundings are stunning. The beach sits against the backdrop of gorgeous dark rock formations and right behind it there are the ruins of a mining village (this area was rich in mines, and in fact the word “argento” means “silver”) that was abandoned in 1962.
The best photo spot is the small pool right above it – when the mine was open, it was used to wash metals.
The best access point to Argentiera is Alghero, from where it takes around 45 minutes by car. You can also easily get there from Sassari. You will need to take SS291 dir towards Nurra and from there take SP69 and finally SP18. There is a small parking lot right behind the beach.
Rena Majore della Nurra (Sassari/Alghero)
This beach is one of Sardinia’s best kept secrets. It’s a small cove surrounded by gorgeous cliffs and characterized by tiny white pebbles and the clearest waters perfect for 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 the views along the way are breathtaking.
There is no kiosk (so bring anything you may need for the day) and no lifeguard on duty. Keep in mind that as it is surrounded by cliffs phone service is virtually non-existent there. Avoid Rena Majore della Nurra when the mistral winds are blowing.
From Alghero, 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.
Cala Goloritzé (Baunei)
Cala Goloritzé is one of the most amazing beaches in the world. It is located on the east coast of Sardinia. This tiny and completely isolated cove is characterized by tiny white pebbles, incredibly transparent blue waters, a rock arch and a pinnacle that is a favorite of climbers.
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. It is a prime spot for snorkeling and swimming – you can swim all the way to the grotto located to the right of the arch.
At Cala Goloritzé you will find no kiosks, no toilets, and not even baskets for garbage. You will have to carry whatever you need for the day, and take your trash back with you.
The only way to get to Cala Goloritzé is via a hike on a well marked trail starting in the Golgo Plateau. 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. There is a €6 fee to access the beach, which you can pay at the kiosk at the beginning of the trail. You are better off booking your visit in advance via the app Heart of Sardinia.
Boat tours that take to Cala Goloritzé and other fabulous beaches nearby leave regularly from either Cala Gonone and Santa Maria Navarrese. However boats are not allowed to dock at Cala Goloritzé.
You may want to consider one of the guided tours that go to Cala Goloritzé and / or the nearby beaches:
- Cala Goloritze boat tour – straight to the incredible beach.
- Orosei gulf hop on – hop off boat tour – a day trip to a bunch of incredible Sardinia beaches in just a day.
- Full day tour of Cala Luna – this tour goes to the beach as well as the nearby oxen grotto.
The coast of the Gulf of Orosei is packed with some of the most beautiful Sardinia beaches. Cala Luna is the easiest one to reach, via hike from Cala Fuili (just outside Cala Gonone), or by boat from Cala Gonone.
Cala Sisine and Cala dei Gabbiani can be reached by hike from the Golgo Plateau – if you have a 4X4 you only need to walk 2 km to get to Cala Sisine. Alternatively, you can get there on boat tours leaving from Cala Gonone or Santa Maria Navarrese.
Cala Mariolu and Cala Biriola can be reached on boat tours or via a strenuous hike from the Golgo Plateau.
La Pelosa (Stintino)
La Pelosa is located at the top north west of Sardinia. This fine white sand beach offers spectacular views over Isola Piana and Asinara, and is characterized by a beautiful Spanish Watchtower on its west side.
It is a great spot to windsurf, kayak, and even sail. Right before the access point to the beach there’s also a dive center for expeditions to Asinara Island.
La Pelosa is best accessed from the nearby Stintino. You can get there by public transportation or by car – in which case you will have to pay the expensive parking fee (€2 per hour).
Reservations to access La Pelosa are necessary between June and September. Bookings must be done via the website La Pelosa Stintino. There is a €3.50 fee and you can book for up to 8 visitors.
To protect the beach, a set of strict rules is enforced – namely:
- Use a straw mat before you set your towel;
- Only smoke in designated areas;
- Rinse your feet on the public fountains before leaving the beach;
- Don’t take any sand or shells from the beach;
- No dogs are allowed at the beach;
- Don’t leave any trash at the beach.
Didn’t make it to La Pelosa? Check out the stunning nearby beaches such as Le Saline!
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 stunning. 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.
The beach 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. It gets crowded in the summer, but not nearly as much as other beaches nearby.
To get there, follow SP200 and turn 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.
Cala Sabina (Asinara National Park)
Cala Sabina is one of the many stunning beaches in Asinara, a small island off the north tip of Sardinia. This small cove has incredibly clear, shallow waters and fine white sand and is surrounded by untouched nature. Indeed, Asinara National Park is highly protected: nobody lives on the island and fishing is not allowed there. It is a great place to snorkel.
There are no kiosks and other services on Cala Sabina but the good news is that it hardly ever gets crowded. Indeed, most people visit Asinara on day trips from either Stintino or Porto Torres and end up spending a mere 30 minutes at Cala Sabina.
Asinara can be reached by boat from either Stintino or Porto Torres. Once there, there is train on wheels that goes around the island and stops in the main points of interest; you can rent an electric car; or else you can join one of the guided jeep tours. Cala Sabina can be reached independently via a short trail that departs right outside Cala D’Oliva, the only village on the island. Make sure to wear shoes for the walk.
Make sure you read my post A Complete Guide To Asinara, Sardinia.
Cala Spinosa (Santa Teresa di Gallura)
The tiny Cala Spinosa is one of the most scenic beaches in north Sardinia. It’s located in Capo Testa, just minutes from Santa Teresa di Gallura, on an inlet surrounded by gorgeous cliffs and rock formations.
The beach is characterized by incredibly clear waters perfect for snorkeling, and stunning views of Bonifacio (Corsica) across the sea. There is a kiosk at the beginning of the trail to get to the beach, where you can get delicious food while enjoying impressive views.
Cala Spinosa can be reached from Santa Teresa di Gallura by driving along the Via Capotesta. Parking is limited, so make sure to go early. One there, you have to follow a trail to get down to the beach. It’s marked, but difficult and you should wear shoes. I advise not to go with children
Close to Santa Teresa di Gallura you will find many other stunning beaches. Rena Bianca is the local urban beach, easily accessible from town and offering a wide range of services. Rena di Levante, a few km outside of town, has fabulous fine sand and clear waters.
Check out my guide to Santa Teresa di Gallura.
The two small coves of Capriccioli must be included in this selection. Separated by an easily crossed rocky passageway, and located on the north east coast of Sardinia, in the famous Costa Smeralda, Capriccioli boasts fine white sand and thick Mediterranean vegetation. The water is shallow and incredibly transparent.
Both beaches have a kiosk and offer umbrella, sunbeds and other rentals such as kayaks. Of the two coves of Capriccioli, the one to the left of the parking lot gets significantly more visitors.
Capriccioli can be easily reached by car from either Arzachena, Olbia and Porto Cervo. After having left the old SS125 follow SP 59 all the way to Capriccioli, where there’s a large parking lot.
Costa Smeralda boasts many other beaches. Spiaggia del Principe was Prince Aga Khan favorite in this part of Sardinia. It has fine white sand and beautiful emerald waters. Piccolo and Grande Pevero are not only beautiful, but also nicely sheltered from the wind. Romazzino, 6 km away from luxury hub Porto Cervo, is a favorite of families; whereas Cala di Volpe is a hotspot for the rich and famous.
Make sure to read my guide to Costa Smeralda.
Cala Coticcio (Caprera)
Cala Coticcio is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Located in Caprera Island, on the Maddalena Archipelago, off the north east coast of Sardinia, it is completely isolated and strictly protected, as many of Sardinia best beaches.
There are no services on the beach so you have to carry anything you may need for the day.
Cala Coticcio is completely isolated and can be reached on guided hikes that depart from the nearby parking lot and must be booked directly with the guide (I recommend Eleonora Amoroso, you can find her at +39 335 582 9321) or on boat trips leaving from either La Maddalena or Palau. Boat tours such as this one can be bought online for more than reasonable prices.
Caprera is one of the top places to visit in Sardinia. I highly recommend doing a boat trip around the island to enjoy more 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.
Check out this full guide to La Maddalena.
Spiaggia Rosa (Budelli)
Budelli is a small island part of Maddalena National Park. That’s where the Spiaggia Rosa is located. Nobody lives on the island. The beach is tiny and inaccessible and characterized by pink sand. Among the many beaches in Sardinia, this is perhaps the most strictly protected. Literally nobody can visit, and this is in order to preserve its beauty.
Spiaggia Rosa can only be seen on boat tours that leave from either La Maddalena or Palau.
A sailing tour of the Maddalena archipelago is likely to make a stop near Spiaggia Rosa and other Sardinia beaches in the area such as the lovely Cala Corsara, in Spargi. Disembarking on Budelli may not be possible, but it is still a good way to take a look.
Cala Brandinchi (San Teodoro)
There is a reason we call Cala Brandinchi “Tahiti” – it really does look like a beach that belongs in paradise. Located in the north east of the island in Capo Coda Cavallo and close to San Teodoro, from Cala Brandinchi you’ll get incredible views of Tavolara Island (which can be reached by ferry from Porto San Paolo).
Cala Brandinchi is characterized by incredibly white sand and clear, shallow turquoise waters. The surrounding rock formations are the perfect habitat for various species of fish – it’s a great place for 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. The beach has a small pier for private tourist boats, a kiosk and umbrellas and sun beds for rent.
History lovers will be interested to know that this is the beach from where Giuseppe Garibaldi, having left Caprera, sailed to Rome in 1867.
To get to Cala Brandinchi from San Teodoro, take SS125 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 but expensive parking lot.
The entire area where Cala Brandinchi is located is packed with beautiful beaches. Lu Impostu is right next to Cala Brandinchi and is a wide beach with clear waters and fine white sand – and as a bonus, is also disabled accessible.
La Cinta is one of the most famous beaches in the area that stretches for 5 km and from where you can see Tavolara Island. Isuledda is located on the southernmost part of Tavolara Protected Marine Area. Finally, about 20 minutes drive of San Teodoro, Budoni is a long stretch of incredibly white sand and transparent waters.
Oasi Bidderosa (Orosei)
Oasi Bidderosa is located on the east coast of Sardinia, at around 15 km from Orosei. This nature reserve is home to incredible beaches, all having fine, white sand and the clearest and cleanest shallow waters, surrounded by thick Mediterranean vegetation.
Access to Bidderosa is limited to no more than 140 cars and 30 motorbikes per day. This means that Bidderosa is never crowded. However, it also means that you must book your visit in advance and be there no later than 10:00 am (or else your spot will be given to other last minute arrivals).
The Oasis is divided in 5 smaller coves (called Oasis). The entire Oasis stretch for about 2 km and the beaches are all linked one to the other.
Oasis 3 and 5 have picnic tables in the gorgeous pine forest behind; there is a food truck (selling sandwiches, drinks and ice cream) in Oasis 4. All oasis have lifeguard service, sun bed rental and a toilet.
Oasi Bidderosa is a great place for hiking and biking too.
Avoid Oasi Bidderosa on windy days, as sand flies all over and it is not safe to place umbrellas. Alternatively, the pine forests provides shelter from the sun and the wind.
The best access point to Oasi Bidderosa is Orosei, from where you must follow SS125 until Oasi Biderosa. Orosei can be reached from SS131 bis and then SS129. Once at the main gate, it is another 2 to 7 km to get to the various oasis. A shuttle bus goes from the main gate to the various oasis in case you don’t have a car.
Not far from Orosei and Oasi Bidderosa, you will find some other beautiful beaches.
Cala Liberotto is a fantastic beach with clear waters perfect for snorkeling and diving in the summer, and a great spot for surfing in the winter. Right next to it, Cala Ginepro has beautiful sand dunes and Mediterranean vegetation at its back, and iridescent waters.
Berchida, in the territory of Siniscola, is a long, wide sandy beach with shallow turquoise waters that is perfect for a family day in the sun. Further north, Capo Comino is a long beach of very fine white sand with some of the most beautiful sand dunes in Sardinia and clear, shallow waters.
Sardinia Beaches Etiquette
Don’t take sand!
Never steal any sand from Sardinia beaches. It is strictly forbidden by law and if you are caught with it, like it happened to this French couple, you will end up paying an expensive fine.
Smoke in designated areas
As of summer 2019, it is forbidden to smoke at La Pelosa and other beaches (there are designated areas for that). Where smoking is still permitted, bring a portable ashtray and do not leave 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, so that you don’t end up taking sand home with you.
Don’t abandon trash
There usually are garbage bins on all beaches. When there’s none (some beaches are just too isolated) bring back your trash with you and dispose of it. Recycling and door to door pick up is very common in Sardinia.
There are some dedicated dog beaches around Sardinia which are usually well marked. Most people aren’t bothered by well behaved dogs at the beach, but if you bring your dog to a public (non-dog) beach and someone complains, you will have to leave.
Get a car
The island is ideal for road trips and having a car (or motorbike) is the best way to reach the beaches. Check out the prices of car rental here.
When To Enjoy Sardinia Best Beaches
Sardinia is great year round, but the best time to enjoy its beaches is the summer. The island is most crowded in August, when Italians take their summer holidays. Visit in June (long days, very cold water) or September (shorter days but warmer water) if you care for a more peaceful experience.
Have you ever been to Sardinia? Of the best beaches in Sardinia, which one did you like the most?
Further readings about Sardinia
Make sure to check out my other posts about Sardinia:
- Where Is Sardinia, Anyways?
- A Local’s Guide To The Things To Do In Sardinia
- A Complete Guide To Bosa Sardinia
- A Guide To Sardinian Food