The Ultimate Guide To The Best Beaches In Sardinia

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Beaches In Sardinia

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.

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. 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!

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

People can say whatever they way: to me Poetto remains one of the best beaches in Sardinia

My Personal Selection Of The 13 Best Beaches In Sardinia

Poetto (Cagliari)

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.

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.

Sardinia beaches

Poetto is undoubtedly one of Sardinia best beaches

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; 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.

Sardinia beaches

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, from the budget backpackers’ Hostel Marina to the one of the best hotels in town, T Hotel – which has the bonus of a fantastic spa, or the amazing Palazzo Dessy, in the heart of La Marina quarters.

To read more about Cagliari, check my post “Where to go in Sardinia: 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.

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:

Sardinia best beaches

Costa Rei is one of the best beaches 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.

To read more about Costa Rei, check my post “Costa Rei, one of the best beaches in Sardinia.” 

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.

Sardinia best beaches

Around Costa Rei there’s some more beautiful Sardinia beaches

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. 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.

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.

Finally, the best luxury resort in the area is Villas. 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.

Sardinia beaches

Porto Giunco is undeniably one of the best beaches in Sardinia – photo courtesy of Mattia Perra

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. The best place to stay is by far Hotel Cala Caterina, which is close to the beach. More central, there’s the brand new Hotel Belvir which is on Villasimius main street.

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!

Sardinia best beaches

Cala Antoniareddu – a new entry among my favorite Sardinia beaches

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 treating oneself to a fabulous luxury resort if among the best things to do in Sardinia Forte Village Resort is the place to go. Yet most of us don’t have an unlimited budget to count on, so Helianthus is a good option. There’s even some good camping sites.

Sardinia best beaches

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.

Sardinia best beaches

Another one of the amazing Sardinia beaches: Is Arutas

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’s 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 leave 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.

Sardinia beaches

Admiring the sunset is one of the best things to do in Sardinia

Where to stay in Cabras

At a mere 10 minutes walk from Is Aruttas beach, there’s a camping site called Is Arutas. 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. Alternatively, the best access point to Is Aruttas is the village of Cabras. Gioia Guest House is a good option.

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.

Sardinia beaches

Whichever way I look at it, Cala Goloritzé is one of the best beaches in Sardinia – photo courtesy of Marcello Chiodino

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.

Sardinia best beaches

More amazing Sardinia beaches near Cala Goloritzé – photo courtesy of Gian Marco Leoni

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. The nearest place to the beach is Il Rifugio, which functions both as a camping site and as a bed and breakfast. 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. 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.

Sardinia beaches


La Pelosa is by far one of the best beaches in Sardinia – photo courtesy of Marcello Chiodino

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. My choice is 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.

Sardinia beaches

Photos don’t do justice to Cala Sabina, one of Sardinia best beaches

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.

Sardinia best beaches

Located in Costa Smeralda, Capriccioli is one of the best beaches in Sardinia – photo courtesy of Marcello Chiodino

Capriccioli (Arzachena)

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.

Ca’ La Somara in San Pantaleo is a fantastic property at reasonable prices, that also allows self catering. Another good option is Bed and Breakfast Yin and Yang. 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.

Sardinia best beaches

Beautifully isolated, Cala Coticcio is one of the most amazing Sardinia beaches – photo courtesy of Marcello Chiodino

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

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. La Vecchia Fonte is a good place to stay. Alternatively, opt for a holiday home such as Casa Vittoria.

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.

Sardinia beaches

Highly protected Spiaggia Rosa in Budelli is one of Sardinia best beaches – photo courtesy of Marcello Chiodino

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, the options vary from holiday rentals such as Casa di Susanna, to bed and breakfast such as Leonardo da Vinci or Hotel Garibaldi, to more upscale places such as Residenza Mordini. Sottovento is a good option for those wanting to eat seafood.

Sardinia best beaches

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 such as Studio Mimula; “spread hotels” (where a hotel rents room across the village) such as the stylish Albergo Diffuso Mannois. I opted to stay at Kaktus, a good budget friendly option. As for restaurants, Belohorizonte is a good choice.

best beaches in Sardinia

Ready to enjoy Sardinia beaches?

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.”

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.

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?

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Discover the best beaches in Sardinia, Italy - via @clautavani

How I got to one of the best beaches in Sardinia (and almost killed myself there)

How I got to one of the best beaches in Sardinia (and almost killed myself there)

Writing a post on the best beaches in Sardinia is a difficult task, because Sardinia is packed with beautiful beaches, and they are all different. There is something for everybody: long sandy beaches which are easy to access and that are perfect for families with children; small coves; incredible beaches that get beaten up by the strong winds and where the most adventurous practice all sort of water sports; secluded beaches than can only be reached via a short boat ride or, even better, via a hike.

I love hiking, and in fact I think one of the things to do in Sardinia is going on a fabulous hike. I regularly do that, whatever the season and as long as it is not raining, always wearing the appropriate gear. This is how I get closer to nature and visit places that can’t be reached otherwise.

Check out my post “A Local’s Guide To The Things To Do In Sardinia.”

It is how I got to see the deepest canyon in Europe – Su Gorropu – as well as the mountains around my hometown Cagliari. Most people find that hiking during the summer months is insane and even a bit risky, as the weather in Sardinia is truly hot, perhaps too hot to endure the efforts of a long trek. However, considering that only via a strenuous hike it is possible to reach some of the best beaches in Sardinia, I take my chances and go.

Sardinia best beaches

Things to do in Sardinia: jump into its clear waters – photo courtesy of Gian Michele Murru

Best beaches in Sardinia: Cala Goloritzé

With this in mind, and although we knew that the hottest weekend in the summer had just been forecasted, my friends and I decided to hike to what I – and many others – consider one of the best beaches in Sardinia: Cala Goloritzé. Located on the Southern side of the Gulf of Orosei, in an area that belongs to Baunei and the region of Ogliastra, Cala Goloritzé can only be fully enjoyed via a hike. It was created by a landslide in 1962, and it is famous for its 143 meters pinnacle which makes it a paradise for climbers. There also is an arch that opens on the right side of the bay. The beach is made of small white pebbles (that some disrespecting tourists occasionally try to steal, only to be reported to the police and fined) and sand. The colours of the water are incredible shades of turquoise.

Until a few years ago it was possible to reach Cala Goloritzé by boat from either Arbatax (further south on the coast) or the nearby Santa Maria Navarrese. But since 2007 the coast near the beach has been closed to traffic to preserve it from pollution and from too many tourists. As one of the best beaches in Sardinia that must be preserved from human damage, Cala Goloritzé has been declared a national monument and it also is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All the more reasons to make the effort to hike there.

Sardinia best beaches

Could one ever say this is not one of the best beaches in Sardinia?

Where to go in Sardinia to access some of its best beaches

I generally recommend people who visit Sardinia and ask me what are Sardinia best beaches and where to go in Sardinia in order to access them to visit the area of the Gulf of Orosei. I normally suggest to stay either in Baunei or Santa Maria Navarrese. The latter is the marine appendix of Baunei, a pretty seaside village that offers good services to tourists and from where boats leave at regular times to visit the various beaches of the Gulf of Orosei.

Baunei, on the other hand, is on the hills and from there there is a spectacular view of the valley and the coast below and it offers easy access to the Golgo Plateau, from where most of the hiking trails to the various coves begin. What people plan to do when they visit Sardinia should be a decisive factor in deciding whether to stay in Santa Maria Navarrese, Baunei or even the Golgo Plateau.

Where to go in Sardinia

Where to go in Sardinia for a unique experience: Golgo Plateau

If one likes a bit extra comfort and prefers visiting the area on a boat trip, Santa Maria Navarrese may be the best option. Going local is easier in Baunei which also offers easier access to the Golgo Plateau and the hiking trails. There is one lovely hotel and several bed and breakfasts, and most of all there are occasional village festivals that make the stay more eventful. Finally, staying in the Golgo Plateau – called “Su Sterru” by the locals, and which means “abyss” in the Sardinian language – implies being fully immersed in nature, with the chance to explore an impressive karst sinkhole at 400 meters above sea level.

One of the things to do in Sardinia is relaxing and enjoying nature, and there is hardly a better place to do it: there are some basic accommodation options there, and animals such as goats, cows, wild boars, horses and donkeys can be seen roaming freely. People who visit Sardinia find it that it is a good place to look at the stars: since there is no electricity in the Golgo Plateau (except that of power generators, which are switched off at night), this is where to go in Sardinia in order to look at the gorgeous sky.

things to do in Sardinia

Meeting the donkeys at the Golgo Plateau – one of the things to do in Sardinia

Planning our hike to one of the best beaches in Sardinia

My friends had never been to Cala Goloritzé but I had been several times (did I mention that to me is one of the best beaches in Sardinia?) so, being the expert traveller in the group, and considering that the hike would be my very own way to celebrate my birthday, I did all the planning for what turned out to be a fantastic experience. Although visiting Cala Goloritzé on a day trip from Cagliari can be done, we opted to spend the night nearby in order to have a fresh start the morning after.

Indeed, it takes almost 3 hours to drive the roughly 160 km from Cagliari to Baunei (the road is amazing and has great views, but it is not in great shape!), the nearest village to the Golgo Plateau, from where the hiking trail begin. We wanted to avoid the usual traffic jams caused on Sunday morning by the masses of people who go to the beaches near Cagliari, so we left on Saturday morning. Since we knew that the following day we’d be quite active, we opted to do one of the things to do in Sardinia: be lazy on a beach. We went to Lido di Orrì, a lovely beach not far from Tortolì, a small city about 30 km from Baunei.

Sardinia best beaches

Lido di Orrì is one of Sardinia best beaches

After bumming at the beach all day, we made our way to Baunei to then reach the Golgo Plateau. When some of my friends visit Sardinia they are shocked by the fact that hardly any road here is straight. The road that gets all the way to Baunei climbs up a steep hill, and, true to Sardinian tradition, is full of turns and curves and is best approached at a slow pace – which is also great to enjoy the amazing view below. Once in Baunei, we followed the directions to the Golgo and a few scary turns over some crazy cliffs later we were on the plateau, surrounded by nature, in a place that look completely different from the rest of Sardinia.

There are three accommodation options in the Golgo Plateau: two camping sites (one on the Rifugio Cooperativa Goloritzé and the other one at Su Porteddu, which is right where the hiking trail to Cala Goloritzé begins); bungalows for up to 4 persons with shared bathrooms and showers and private double or triple rooms. Another option would have been to rent a fully equipped camping car through Follow the Sun Sardinia, which also have a camping kitchen, chairs and tables.

We did not want to have to take our sleeping bags and pack our tents for such a short stay – although I always recommend camping as one of the things to do in Sardinia in order to save some pennies. And I wanted to splurge a bit as after all I was there to celebrate my birthday. So, we made reservations for double rooms and included the option to have dinner and breakfast included at the Rifugio as well. I thought it was a real bargain: for € 50 per person we had a private room and a feast for dinner.

Things to do in Sardinia: eat!

Eating a traditional meal is one of the things to do in Sardinia, so we did not want to miss on this one. As the traditional occupations of Sardinia used to be (and to a good extent still are) in shepardy (yes, even though it is an island!), most of the traditional food that is found on the island is based on lamb, goat, pork and cheese and olives. The Rifugio had a set meal for its guests, which included antipasti – lots of local cold cuts and grilled vegetables; culurgiones – a ravioli kind of pasta, filled with potatoes, cheese and mint and with a meat sauce; and roast suckling pig. It all came along with salad, bread, fruit and some very good wine.

things to do in Sardinia

One of the things to do in Sardinia is eating is wholesome, delicious food. These are “culurgiones” – photo courtesy of Maurizio Mascia

A few years ago, when I visited the area on a different occasion, I actually managed to get a tip to go eat at one of the local shepards. I had to make reservations by phone as he could only accommodate no more than 15 people at once, and meet him where the road forked, as his sheepfold was in the middle of the forest and we’d easily get lost trying to find it. It was a feast, with way too much food for only € 22. The problem with these kind of places is that they are improvised restaurants, so they can’t be found in guidebooks or even on Tripadvisor. They are as local as they get – a way to taste traditional Sardinian home cooking – and the best way to find them is to ask around.

… And finally, hiking to one of the best beaches in Sardinia!

Given the heat wave that hit Sardinia right when we had decided to hike to Cala Goloritzé, we thought it best to start our hike fairly early in the morning. We set our alarms at 6:30 am to have a good breakfast and prepare for the hike and at 8:00 am we were already on our way. As I had hiked there before, I knew what to expect and I insisted with my friends that they followed my advice on what to wear and what to carry. Although they were reluctant to do so, they admitted that I was right and ended up offering me a beer for that!

Here is what I recommend:

  • wear some good hiking shoes and socks. Yes, it may be incredibly hot and your feet may melt inside the shoes, but the path can be dusty and slippery and it is mostly downhill on the way to the beach. Having a little extra ankle support helps avoiding injuries and reduces the risk of falling. I have seen people going on this hike with plain running shoes and even sandals or flip flops. I wonder what their feet, knees and ankles felt like at the end of the hike.
  • carry plenty of cold water. It may be heavy on your back, but having a few sips of water every 15 minutes or so helps keeping hydrated and fight the effects of the extreme heat. Furthermore, there are no services at all in Cala Goloritzé: in order to preserve what really is one of the best beaches in Sardinia (and the world), no kiosk or toilets have been built there.
  • carry some lunch – for the same reasons above! I generally suggest some fresh fruit, some carrots (they are easy to carry and don’t get all mashed if carried in a bag) and sandwiches which can be easily bought in a supermarket.
  • carry an umbrella. For as heavy and as uncomfortable to carry as it may be, it is much needed when the sun is so warm. My friends and I have devised various ways to carry umbrellas. I had mine strapped at the bottom of my backpack. Newer ones generally come with a bag that has a strap and they are easy to carry.
  • wear lots of sunblock. The sun gets really strong during the summer, and one of the things to do in Sardinia in order to avoid a trip to the pharmacy or even to the emergency room is wearing lots of sunblock. I apply mine before leaving the house, and then re-apply it every couple of hours and every time after I swim.
Sardinia best beaches

Among the things to do in Sardinia when going on a hike, there is wearing the right gear

The hiking trail starts at the parking lot of Su Porteddu, a lovely coffee shop and camping site in the middle of the nature of the Golgo Plateau. The trail is little less than 4 km long and it is an out and back kind of trail, meaning that the same trail gets hikers to Cala Goloritzé and back. The main difficulty of the hike is having to endure the summer heat. The weather in Sardinia is very hot during the summer, especially during heat waves – that is why, at least on the way out, I recommend an early start. Depending on the number of stops (for pictures, water and resting) going down takes between 1 hour and 15 minutes and 1 hour and 45 minutes. We averaged at 1 hour and 30 minutes, taking our time to admire the scenery that surrounded us and take plenty of pictures.

Sardinia best beaches

Ready, set, GO! Preparing to get to one of the best beaches in Sardinia – photo courtesy of Gian Michele Murru

The first 15 minutes of the hike are steadily uphill. Once at the top, a wonderful view opens up and the incredibly blue sea can be seen in the distance, with mountains and vegetation framing it. Those who visit Sardinia are always amazed by the variety in the types of beaches. On this side of the island, mountains meet the see and drop directly in some of the most pristine waters that can be seen in the world. We took a moment to take in the view and take some pictures and then started descending.

Sardinia best beaches

Once at the top, we got our first peak of one of the best beaches in Sardinia

The descent is steep. We walked on dried creek banks (they only fill up in times of heavy rain) and on screes, under secular oaks and junipers. The vegetation is very thick. In the distance, we could hear the sound of the bells worn by goats that are free to roam. At times, we understood the goats were actually really close to us although we could not hear them, because their smell was unmistakable. That’s when I finally got to understand the Italian saying “puzzi come una capra” (you stink like a goat) – as the smell was really strong and less than pleasant.

As we kept descending, the vegetation kept getting thicker until at some point we could finally see the famous pinnacle of Goloritzé. We knew we were finally getting closer to our destination, one of the best beaches in Sardinia. Indeed, a few minutes later, the view completely opened up and not only we could see the pinnacle and the far away blue of the sea, but we could spot the small cove, people below at the beach and already swimming in the incredibly clear waters.

best beaches in Sardinia

When we could see the pinnacle, we knew we were getting closer to one of the best beaches in Sardinia

We started rushing down the staircase (which really is no more than wooden railings to hold on to when going down the steep rocks) and at the end we were greeted by the beach guard, who charged us one euro each for entering the beach and gave us recommendations such as not to drop garbage on the beach, including cigarette buts (there is no garbage disposal system as literally there is no way anything with an engine can reach this tiny cove) and, quite importantly, not to steal any of the tiny pebbles. Needless to say, we did our share to keep Cala Goloritzé, one of the best beaches in Sardinia, as pristine as we found it. And even showed a bit of envy for the guardian who gets to admire that spectacular view every day.

Sardinia best beaches

Celebratory selfie for getting to one of the best beaches in Sardinia – photo courtesy of Gian Michele Murru

best beaches in Sardinia

The view opened and we got to see one of the best beaches in Sardinia: Cala Goloritzé

How I nearly killed myself in one of the best beaches in Sardinia

As soon as we arrived at the beach, we dropped our bags and planted our umbrellas. And within 5 minutes we were already jumping in the inviting and calm waters. It was a gorgeous day! The water is immediately quite steep, but so calm that children are usually safe there. It also is quite cold due to the presence of several fresh water sources sprouting from the rocks and mountains surrounding the cove. We were not put off by it. In fact, we wore our swimming goggles and swam all the way to the arch, cameras at hand. The water is around 12 meters deep there.

Sardinia best beaches

Time to jump in the water of one of the best beaches in Sardinia

Among the things to do in Sardinia, I have already mentioned hiking, swimming in its clear waters and enjoying its incredible food. But there are other things to do in Sardinia that lots of people enjoy and that I hardly ever say no to. One of them is jumping off cliffs, directly into the water. Cala Goloritzé is surrounded by cliffs and to a reckless person like me, there is nothing better than climbing those cliffs and then jump. Or, there used to be nothing better. Because this time, I really thought I was going to kill myself.

Sardinia best beaches

Jumping off the arch in Cala Goloritzé is not among the things to do in Sardinia!

As soon as I got near the arch, I saw another guy staring at it. I asked him if he was considering going up and jumping and he in turn he asked me if I thought it was doable. I said that of course it was – I had done it years before. What I forgot is that, the other time I had done it, many people where there and a human chain meant we all helped each other to climb. This time, it was just me and this poor guy I involved in my crazy plan. We started climbing, in our swimsuits, naked hands and feet. Once I got about halfway I got stuck.

I realised I am way too short to be able to climb over some of those rocks, and there was no way I could get down either: if, for whatever reason, I fell, I would crush on them and kill myself. That’s when I started getting nervous. My left leg was twitching. My heart was pounding. I felt lightheaded. I begged the poor guy not to let go of my arm and there I stood, waiting for someone else who was reckless enough to climb up. I was lucky, because a minute later two guys started climbing and I begged them to help me. They all pulled me up (and I scratched my legs on the rock in the process, but who cares!) and then I made my way to what I considered a good jumping point. There I stood, 12 meters above water, surrounded by the various shades of blue, my friends below filming the entire event. I was still trembling, but I knew it would not go away, so I jumped.

Sardinia best beaches

It was hard to resist the waters of one of the best beaches in Sardinia – photo courtesy of Maurizio Mascia

It was scary as hell. And I will never do it again. I don’t mind heights at all, really, but I did not fancy the idea of falling on those rocks and the last thing I wanted to do on a day on one of the best beaches in Sardinia was having an accident and get injured. I suppose I am getting old, because I think that next time I climb a rock I want to be strapped up, wear a helmet and wear proper gear! Anyways, I was happy to be alive, so soon afterwards we swam back to shore and set to spent the rest of the day at one of Sardinia best beaches. We relaxed, we ate our lunch, we went for more swims all over the area and just had a good time.

UPDATE! A few days after I visited Cala Goloritzé, the news reported of a guy who, having had my same idea, had to be rescued because he could not make it up to jump, or go back down. He was stuck. A boat passed by and the people on board saw him and called the rangers as the poor guy really looked like he needed help. He was ok in the end, although obviously shaken and dehydrated for the heat.

What is a goat doing in one of the best beaches in Sardinia?

People visit Sardinia to explore its magic beauty. Sardinia always surprises its visitors and even the locals. Imagine the expression people had on their faces when they saw that just there, on one of the best beaches in Sardinia, a goat had decided to have a drink of water at one of the fresh water sources. The best part of it is that, really, we all felt as intruders as it was quite obvious that he belonged there much more than we did: he showed a grace in climbing those rocks that none of us could master; he was not bothered by our presence and in fact proceeded to do what he had come for as he owned the place and, to top this off, the guardian warned us against bothering him because if he was bothered he may throw stones at us!

things to do in Sardinia

A goat decided he wanted to also spend some time at one of the best beaches in Sardinia

Later on during the day, three more goats came to the beach to have a drink and stare at the people.

Hiking back up

At about 4:30 pm the beach starts being in the shade: the mountains behind drop their shade on Cala Goloritzé. That means it is about time to hike back up. At 5:00 pm we packed our stuff and started puffing our way up the trail. Once we passed the main cliff, it was still very bright and only the trees provided a bit of shelter from the sun. I won’t lie and say it was easy. It was challenging – it was not a long hike back, but it was 90% uphill and predictably, the weather in Sardinia was very hot that day.

I am a good hiker and in good shape, and I much prefer going uphill than downhill, as it is easier on my knees and back. Whenever I hike uphill, I get into a steady pace and if I see that I am getting too tired, I don’t stop but just slow down. I didn’t stop this time either: I kept drinking small sips of water and on wetting my head with it, to fight the effects of the extreme heat. However, I must admit that I was relieved when I finally made it back to the parking lot, about 1 hour and 20 minutes later (actually faster than going down) and could enjoy a much deserved beer.

Expenses breakdown

One would think that getting to such a paradise as one of the best beaches in Sardinia has to be expensive. I say, think twice. I actually splurged and in total I spent no more than €75 for two full days of fun. This was parted in this way:

Accommodation: € 30 per person, for a double private room

Food: € 30 for a traditional dinner and breakfast, and two days worth of packed lunch consisting of a sandwich, fruit, vegetables and lots of cold water.

Petrol and parking: € 10 – we shared the costs between 4 persons.

Access to Cala Goloritzé: € 1 – I would say that getting to one of the best beaches in Sardinia for so little money is a real bargain.

It is actually possible to go much cheaper: sleeping in a bungalow costs €10 per person per night (but it is necessary to carry a sleeping bag and towels) and it is even cheaper to just pitch a tent.

Sardinia best beaches

Things to do in Sardinia: hiking to Cala Goloritzé!

Hiking to Cala Goloritzé is one of the things to do in Sardinia and I highly recommend it to anybody who visit Sardinia and wants to have an incredible experience that mixes nature and a gorgeous beach.

Have you ever been to Sardinia? What did you like the most about it?

 

 

 

 

Sardinia dos and donts: what to do in Sardinia

Sardinia dos and donts: what to do in Sardinia

Best beaches in Sardinia: Crazy gorgeous fjords of Cala Domestica

Best beaches in Sardinia: Crazy gorgeous fjords of Cala Domestica

Things to do in Sardinia: watch the Sartiglia

Things to do in Sardinia: watch the Sartiglia in Oristano – photo courtesy of Marcello Treglia

Things to do in Sardinia

Things to do in Sardinia: watch the Sant’Efisio parade of traditional Sardinia costumes – photo courtesy of Marcello Treglia

Where to go in Sardinia: Roman ruins and lighthouse in Nora

Where to go in Sardinia: Roman ruins and lighthouse in Nora

Visit Sardinia: Barumini

Visit Sardinia: Su Nuraxi – Barumini

At the heart of the Mediterranean, Sardinia will make you feel like you are a world apart from the rest of the world. Here you can switch off from your daily routine, without having to cross an ocean; you can enjoy lush nature, incredible beaches, wild mountains, tasty food and a secular cultural traditions. The good news is that although it is almost mythologically described as a place for a few rich people, it can actually be visited on a budget and there are so many things to do in Sardinia that you could spend a year without ever getting bored.

Here are a few simple rules for your low budget holidays. For more ideas on things to do in Sardinia, check my post “A Local’s Guide To The Things To Do In Sardinia”.

Dos

Do book your flight in advance, making sure you catch one during the week (avoid weekends) and playing around with the dates (be flexible). This way you can even catch a round trip ticket for less than €50. There are three airports: Alghero, Cagliari and Olbia, all a great starting point for a tour of the island. Most budget airlines have fights to Sardinia from a number of cities in Italy and Europe.

Do use public transport: it links the main cities, villages and tourist destinations. While a bit slow, it is cheap enough, and once you get to your destination you can walk, rent a bike, or participate in organised tours that offer pick up services. For information on bus and train schedules visit the pages of ARST and Trenitalia.

Do consider a car rental. A splurge if travelling alone or as a couple, but if there is a few of you it may actually turn out cheap and you will have the opportunity to roam around independently. Most well known agencies have stands at the airport and are quite convenient. But book in advance to catch special deals.

Do book your accommodation early. Most cities have budget places and all tourist destinations provide camping sites. Rooms are easy to find in the low season, but during the summer, when Sardinia is at its peak season, it may be harder to get cheap accommodation. Camping sites are good options if you can carry your tent, and they often have bungalows for rent.

If travelling in a group, do consider holiday home rentals: prices are surprisingly cheap and estate agencies and apartments can be easily found online. Considering you will have your own kitchen, your budget will benefit in the end.

Do enjoy your days at some of the best beaches in Sardinia, which all have free access: carry your umbrella, towel and plenty of sunblock and relax for free.

Do go on a boat tour: some of Sardinia best beaches, especially in the Golfo di Orosei or La Maddalena, can only reached this way. Although not too cheap it is completely worth it. Do book a day or two in advance!

Best beaches in Sardinia: Cala Luna

Best beaches in Sardinia: Cala Luna

Do go on a free trekking: hiking is one of the best ways to visit Sardinia. There is a gorgeous path to Cala Goloritzé leaving from the Altipiano del Golgo; a well signaled hike to Cala Domestica; a roughly 2 hours walk from Cala Fuili to Cala Luna; or try any of the trails in Isola dell’Asinara.

Do enjoy free festivals and cultural events. If you are searching for what to do in Sardinia and feeling in the mood for some cultural activity, you will be glad to know that on first of May Cagliari hosts the spectacular “parata di Sant’Efisio”: people from villages all over Sardinia, wearing their traditional dresses, go on a march in honour of the Saint patron of the island (Sant’Efisio). In February, the beautiful Sartiglia takes place in Oristano: men (and women) wearing traditional carnival costumes gallop down a street mounded with sand as fast as they can and attempt skewering a hanging star using their foil – pure adrenaline.

If you are a jazz and nature lover, don’t miss Time in Jazz in Berchidda, patroned by trumpet player and native Paolo Fresu. Picture a whole week of jazz, across a number of villages in the area, with open air concerts (free to attend) and the possibility to stay in camping sites. This is only one of the many jazz festivals here: listening to live quality music is one of the things to do in Sardinia.

Do enjoy nightlife in Cagliari: locals go out no earlier than 10 pm. You can either walk around Largo Carlo Felice, or, for some fresh air, Libarium, in Castello, which has a great terrace and view of the city; or Caffè degli Spiriti or De Candia in the Bastione – the lattest occasionally have some live concerts: look for local bands such as Sikitikis for real fun. Cocktails cost between € 7 and 9, wine and beer are cheaper (around 3 or 4 euros).

Do enjoy a romantic dinner at Quintilio, right outside Alghero, and admire the great view of the city, the bay and Capo Caccia. Sunset is the best time to go. Do book in advance to seat outside.

Do try traditional Sardinian food: piglet on the spit, malloreddus (small gnocchi), mussles soup, fregola (a sort of cous cous made with seafood), pecorino cheese, seadas (sweet fried pastries filled with cheese and topped with honey)… There is a lot of variety.

Donts

Don’t miss Isola dell’Asinara, originally a fishing community, later on a criminal colony, a peasant colony and leprosy centre, and a maximum security jail; it was finally turned into a National Park in 1997. Should you not have much time to sleep on the only hostel in the island (highly recommended!), book a guided tour on a jeep. This will allow you to visit the sites of historical and natural importance, such as the historic jail of Cala d’Oliva and of Fornelli, and some of the best beaches in Sardinia, such as Cala Sabina, Cala Trabuccato and Cala d’Arena. You can also go on one of the many hikes (free and well signaled) or opt for a bike tour.

Where to go in Sardinia? Asinara, for sure!

Where to go in Sardinia? Asinara, for sure!

Asinara - Sardinia

Donkeys are the only inhabitants of Asinara, together with boars, cats, goats…

Don’t miss a sunset walk on the beautiful bastion overlooking the sea in Alghero. The same goes for Cagliari and its lovely bastion or the Poetto beach: they are gorgeous at sunset. You can’t visit Sardinia and miss a sunset here!

Don’t think Sardinia is only beautiful in the summer. It is just as nice in the winter, although weather in Sardinia can be brutal in the winter months. But of course summer is the best season to enjoy the beaches.

Don’t litter: all beaches have bins for garbage and if they don’t, carry your garbage back with your and throw where appropriate.

Don’t forget to try “gelato artigianale”: ice-cream made from scratch. Tip to know it is the real thing: it melts really fast!

Don’t miss a sip of mirto or fil’e ferru: the first one is a strong liquor made of myrtle berries. The second is more like a grappa. They are very much Sardinian!

Don’t miss the archeological sites such as the beautiful roman ruins of Nora, are easy to access from Cagliari, or the many “nuraghe” which are unique to Sardinia such as that of Barumini. Take lots of pictures!

Don’t miss some off the beaten path places, such as Is Aruttas beach, with its incredible white tiny pebbles; S’Archittu, with a rock formation in the shape of an arch, Masua Pan di Zucchero, Buggerru and Cala Domestica, and Porto Pino, famous for its sand dunes.

Sardinia best beaches: Masua Pan di Zucchero

Sardinia best beaches: Masua Pan di Zucchero

Don’t be afraid to communicate with Sardinians, as they are very friendly. They may not all speak English, but they will always help out.

Don’t forget to read my other posts on Sardinia for more information and to ask me if you have any more questions!

Where to go in Sardinia: the North-West and the West Coast

Where to go in Sardinia: the North-West and the West Coast

Villanova Monteleone, yet one reason to visit Sardinia

Villanova Monteleone, yet one reason to visit Sardinia

Isola dell’Asinara and Stintino:

Let’s face it, sometimes we want to get away from it all. Are you looking for where to go in Sardinia for when you feel like staying immersed in nature and enjoying more more of the best beaches in Sardinia? Then, visit Isola dell’Asinara. It is not hard to get there: from Castel Sardo or Alghero, go to Stintino. You won’t have any problem in finding a cheap bed and breakfast for one night. The following morning, hop on a ferry from the harbour of Stintino to Fornelli. My advice if you have little time is to book the guided tour of the island on a jeep (you can look for one of the companies running the tour on the official webpage of the island, which unfortunately is only in Italian). This way you will visit various sites of historical and natural importance, among them the historic jails in Cala d’Oliva and Fornelli, the sanatorium, and the beautiful beaches of Cala Sabina, Cala Trabuccato and Cala d’Arena, where the sea is clean, transparent and full of fishes. This is a protected area so nobody can go fishing. If you have more time, and are looking for more fun things to do in Sardinia, you can go on one of the many free hikes or opt for a biking tour (a bit harder, under the sun!). Finally, Asinara is also great for diving.

Yes, Asinara is THAT gorgeous! Here are some of the best beaches in Sardinia

Yes, Asinara is THAT gorgeous! Here are some of the best beaches in Sardinia

Asinara was originally a fishing community, which later on became a criminal and leper colony, to be finally turned into a maximum security jail which hosted, among others, mafia boss Totò Riina. It was finally turned into a National Park in 1997. The island made the national and international news when, from 24 February 2010 for over a year a group of redundant workers of Vinyls (a petroleum company based in the nearby Porto Torres) occupied the old prison of Cala D’Oliva in a protest to be returned to their job.

If you visit Sardinia do not skip Asinara

Flowers at the jail window: if you visit Sardinia do not skip Asinara

My advice is to spend at least one night on the island. There is only one hostel, in Cala D’Oliva. This used to be a guest house for prison guards and it is rather plain, but the atmosphere is relaxing. There is no kitchen use but meals (dinner and breakfast) are included in the price and are consumed family style. You can also have packed lunches. There are private rooms and dorms, all with shared bathroom. The place is clean and the staff friendly, and you will have plenty of chances to get to know other guests. After dinner, go for a walk to look at the stars and enjoy the silence. In the only bar in Cala D’Oliva, where guests of the hostel meet for after dinner drinks, you will be soon enough reached by Andrea, a goat who will go around begging for salt and pats; you will see boars walking around, a number of cats and white donkeys.

Donkeys are the only inhabitants of Asinara, together with boars, cats, goats...

Donkeys are the only inhabitants of Asinara, together with boars, cats, goats…

Once you (sadly) leave Asinara, since the ferry lands in Stintino, don’t miss the chance to spend a day in one of the best beaches in Sardinia (as well as possibly the most crowded, to be honest!): La Pelosa. Fighting for a few centimeters of sand will be the price to pay in order to enjoy the gorgeous, calm sea. But it will be worth it!

La Pelosa, one of the best beaches in Sardinia. Or in the world?

La Pelosa, one of the best beaches in Sardinia. Or in the world?

Alghero and Bosa:

From Stintino it is fairly easy to reach Alghero, also known as “little Barcelona” for its catalan linguistic roots. Alghero is where to go in Sardinia if you want to feel somewhere yet more diverse. It is vibrant, lively, packed with restaurants and bars, nightlife, it is simply pretty and a must see. Near Alghero there are the some of the most famous (and crowded, but access is free) and best beaches in Sardinia: Le Bombarde and Il Lazzaretto. A bit further away and harder to reach, the gorgeous Argentiera, with its transparent water and its old minerary village behind.

Things to do in Sardinia: go to the beach AND visit a mine, all in the same day

Things to do in Sardinia: go to the beach AND visit a mine, all in the same day – Argentiera

Near Alghero there also is Capocaccia, from where you can access the Neptune Caves (you can walk down the over 600 steps, and then back up, to keep extra fit). This is also where you can go on one of the best dives in Sardinia.

Things to do in Sardinia: diving in Capocaccia

Things to do in Sardinia: diving in Capocaccia

Looking for what to do in Sardinia on a lazy afternoon? About 40 minutes south by car, there is Bosa, a lovely colorful small town on the river Temo. From the Castle of Malaspina you can admire a great view.

Visiting Bosa: what to do in Sardinia on a lazy afternoon - a view from the Malaspina Castle

Visiting Bosa: what to do in Sardinia on a lazy afternoon – a view from the Malaspina Castle

Where to stay and eat

There are many hotels and b&bs in Alghero, geared to all budgets: it is a top tourist destination. Book in advance as rooms sell out quickly. There are also a number of camping sites: among them La Mariposa, Camping Village Laguna Blu, and Torre del Porticciolo.

One of the best activities when you visit Sardinia is going on a sunset walk on the beautiful bastion overlooking the sea, and across the small streets of the historic centre, with its many lovely shops and boutiques. You can eat in one of the many restaurants. For a good pizza, go to Il Vecchio Mulino. If you are in search of a romantic atmosphere, Quintilio is right outside town and has a spectacular view over the city, the bay and up to Capo Caccia. Go there at sunset, for an aperitif or for a light (and a bit expensive) dinner of fresh seafood. For after dinner drinks go to Baraonda.

Less touristy destinations:

Ok, that is slightly an overstatement, but anyways these are some of Sardinia best beaches which are not as crowded, a bit harder to reach but equally beautiful: Is Aruttas beach with its white crystals tiny pebbles;

Sardinia best beaches: is Aruttas

Sardinia best beaches: is Aruttas

Funny rock formations at Is Aruttas

Funny rock formations at Is Aruttas

S’Archittu, with a rock formation in the shape of an arch. In the Sulcis area, Masua Pan di Zucchero

Masua Pan di Zucchero - sunset on the South West coast is a must when you visit Sardinia

Masua Pan di Zucchero – sunset on the South West coast is a must when you visit Sardinia

Buggerru and Cala Domestica (the latter also offers a beautiful and free trekking through a well signaled path) all deserve a visit, possibly in addition to a tour of the old mines.

Where to go in Sardinia: Crazy gorgeous fjords in Cala Domestica

Where to go in Sardinia: Crazy gorgeous fjords in Cala Domestica

Last but not least, Porto Pino, famous for its sand dunes.

Find out more things to do in Sardinia on my post “A Local’s Guide To The Things To Do In Sardinia.”

Visit Sardinia on a budget: the East Coast and the North

Visit Sardinia on a budget: the East Coast and the North

Where to go in Sardinia for your budget holiday

Su Gorropu and Golfo di Orisei:

If you are looking for some of the best beaches in Sardinia, head to the East coast. From Costa Rei, you can catch a bus (ARST) to Tortolì and once there go to Baunei.There are so many things to do in Sardinia, that the area also offers some of the best hikes in Europe: from Cagliari you can join one of the many guided tours to hike the Gorropu Canyon (the deepest in Europe).

Hiking Su Gorropu is one of the things to do in Sardinia

Things to do in Sardinia: go on a hike!

The trek is not difficult, but it is easy to get lost so better having a guide. For more information, ask the cooperative that watches over the canyon. Make sure to wear appropriate hiking shoes and to carry plenty of water and food. Although the path is often shaded, weather in Sardinia can get pretty extreme and it does get really hot in the summer season. Once you finish the hike, you will be in the area of Dorgali.

You can stop in Dorgali for a few nights, and stay at agriturismo Canales, completely immersed in the nature and with a gorgeous view over the lake Cedrino, and which offers delicious traditional Sardinian food. It also rents kayak to reach the source of Su Cologone.

Kayaking on Lake Cedrino - one of the things to do in Sardinia

Kayaking on Lake Cedrino – one of the things to do in Sardinia

From Dorgali, you can go to Cala Gonone, from where numerous boats leave daily to the spectacular Golfo di Orosei, taking you to some ofSardinia best beaches, that can only be reached via boat or via a hike. There are many hotels and bed and breakfasts and there is also a camping site for travellers on a tight budget. In Golfo di Orosei, do not miss the long, sandy beach of Berchida.

Berchida is one of the best beaches in Sardinia

Berchida is one of the best beaches in Sardinia

From Cala Gonone, you can reach Cala Fuili, from where you can start the free trekking to the beautiful Cala Luna, set of a number of movies including the recent “Swept Away” featuring Madonna and among Sardinia best beaches.

Swept away in Cala Luna, one of Sardinia best beaches

Swept away in Cala Luna, one of Sardinia best beaches

Alternatively, you can go to Baunei and reach the plateau of Golgo (Altipiano del Golgo). From there, you can join together some of the best things to do in Sardinia – going on hikes, rafting, diving in freshwater underground caves, and visiting some of the best beaches in Sardinia. The wild wild east of Sardinia, as Lonely Planet calls it, is the best for outdoor activities. There you can sleep in a wonderful hostel immersed in nature and surrounded by animals left free to roam (there are rooms for any budget, including rustic cabins or pitching your tent, which only costs 5 euro per person per day). It is run by Cooperativa Goloritzè, which is the same that organises boat tours around the Golfo di Orosei leaving from Santa Maria Navarrese (around € 40 for the whole day, carry your own lunch), a number of hiking tours and the beautiful 7 day long backpacking trip “Selvaggio Blu” (wild blue) which takes you from beach to beach in a path across nature.

You can eat in the delicious restaurant of the hostel (between €20 and €30 per person for a set menu which is enough for 2 people, actually – so be clever and order just one and share, you will not regret it and food will not be wasted; or else, you can pay a la carte). There is also a packed lunch service. If you manage to get a tip, get the number of one of the local shepards and go have dinner at his place. It will be a rustic set meal for about €25 (including drinks), where you can fill on his production of cheese, season vegetables, culurgiones di patate (potatoes and cheese filled fresh pasta, which is a local specialty), piglet and seadas (sweet fried cheese filled pastries served hot with honey).

Things to do in Sardinia: jumping off cliffs

Things to do in Sardinia: jumping off cliffs

From Golgo plateau, you can do a number of independent and free activities, as there are hiking trails to some of Sardinia best beaches (calculate that you will be going downhill on the way there, and uphill coming back, but the duration is roughly the same) which you really can’t miss when you visit Sardinia, such as Cala Mariolu, Cala Sisine, Cala Biriola, etc., including what I value as one of the most spectacular beaches not only in Sardinia, but in the entire world: climbing paradise Cala Goloritzé.

A walk in the woods, which will eventually open up to reveal the most crystal clear, transparent water you can imagine. The beach is tiny, a real gem where several sources of fresh water end, making the sea very cold but pleasantly refreshing on hot days. Cala Goloritzé is famous for its 143 meters spire hanging over the beach, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Carry plenty of water and some food, there are no services at all on the route and at the beach.

Costa Smeralda, Arcipelago de La Maddalena, Santa Teresa di Gallura and Castel Sardo:

Going to the North of Sardinia, you can reach Olbia from Tortolì by bus. This is as a starting point to visit the world famous Costa Smeralda, home of some of the best beaches in Sardinia. If you enjoy a good nightlife, stay in San Teodoro, a lively village offering many shops, restaurants, ice cream parlours and bars. There are hotels, bed and breafasts and apartments for rents, and for those on a tight budget even a camping site. There are many beaches that can be visited in this area and, guess what?, access is free in all of them. If you travel with your own car, you will at most have to pay for parking.

You can pick among many: Cala Brandinchi, Capriccioli, Baja Sardinia, Cannigione… and go for a walk in Porto Cervo. Amongst boutiques with prices accessible only to the richest, you can still go window shopping and have a gelato (which, by the way, will cost just like anywhere else). If you wonder where to go in Sardinia for something slightly, make your way to Porto San Paolo and catch the 10 minute ferry ride for a day trip to Isola di Tavolara: nobody lives there, there is just a small hostel and a kiosk!

Tavolara is where to go in Sardinia

Tavolara is where to go in Sardinia

Further North, Palau is where to go in Sardinia to catch one of the boat tours the Maddalena Archipelago, offering the chance to visit Spargi, Budelli, Caprera and a famous beach known locally as Tahiti.

Can you deny Spargi is one of the best beaches in Sardinia?

Can you deny Spargi is one of the best beaches in Sardinia?

For information and prices, you can visit the sites www.giteinbarca.it and www.elenatour.it. Asking locally, you may be able to find a private company and local guide. This is more comfortable and faster (not to mention, there are less people on it) and if you are in a large group you may save considerably – the more people, the cheaper. Calculate an average price of € 40, but it will be totally worth it. Finally, you can rent your own small zodiac (the small ones do not require you to have a special license) if you are up to manouvering it!

Not far from Palau, there is the lovely village of Santa Teresa di Gallura and, near it, the promontory of Capo Testa. The Torre di Longosardo (built around the 14th century under instructions of the king of Spain Philip the Second) is an interesting place to visit, and is found on the outer edge of the village. Following on the same route you can reach Castelsardo, with its beautiful Castello dei Doria, a castle built in 1102, and many other monuments and places of interest.

Check out my post on the best beaches in Sardinia and read “A Local’s Guide To The Things To Do In Sardinia.”