Best beaches in Sardinia: Costa Rei

Best beaches in Sardinia: Costa Rei

Feraxi, Muravera - one of the best beaches in Sardinia

Perfect for snorkeling – Feraxi is one of the best beaches in Sardinia

Snorkeling around Feraxi, one of Sardinia beaches

Snorkeling around Feraxi, one of Sardinia beaches

Costa Rei: one of the best beaches in Sardinia

Have you visited Cagliari and its surrounding, and are now looking for more things to do in Sardinia and now feel the urge to just lay at the beach, take long walks, have nice meals and a refreshing beer at sunset and just cool down after dinner? Are you looking for where to go in Sardinia? Look no more! Costa Rei is a top holiday destination where you can be a total beach bum and it is quite easy to reach from Cagliari. And, guess what? It is one of the best beaches in Sardinia, so much so that Lonely Planet states that beaches in the area are “out of this world” .

You just need to hop on an ARST bus from the main bus station in Piazza Matteotti. Should you have your own car, you just need to drive towards Strada Statale 554 and then follow the directions to Muravera to reach Strada Statale 125, then take the exit “Costa Rei”. Driving should take no longer than one hour. The bus ride is longer as it goes along the coast, but those 2 hours will fly away while you enjoy the amazing view over the many small beaches of the gulf.

Sardinia best beaches include Costa Rei

Sardinia best beaches include Costa Rei

I admit I am a bit biased when it comes to Costa Rei, I have been coming here since I was a toddler and I have so many memories of this place. It is mostly geared towards families with children. It offers little in terms nightlife (just a few bars, a market, some live music in Piazza Italia – for more action head to the nearby Villasimius), but the long, white, sandy beach and the crystal clear water are free to access, making it an excellent cheap holiday destination.

No wonder a lot of people who visit Sardinia head straight there. If you are looking for things to do in Sardinia, besides snorkeling, you can also splurge and try all sorts of water sports – including water skiing, windsurf and kite surf. Just ask at any of the kiosks at the beach; they can also organise boat trips to the nearby Isola dei Cavoli and the various other beaches in the area (prices should be not over €40). Another option is asking at the information desk Butterfly Service.

If you have your own car or a bike, it will be easier to reach Cala Pira with its Spanish tower, Cala Sinzias, a nesting spot for caretta caretta turtles,

Cala Sinzias, one of the best beaches in Sardinia

Cala Sinzias, one of the best beaches in Sardinia

the tiny Monte Turnu and the further away Punta Molentis

Crystal clear water in Punta Molentis - no wonder it is one of the best beaches in Sardinia

Crystal clear water in Punta Molentis – no wonder it is one of the best beaches in Sardinia

and Porto Giunco (nearer Villasimius). If you have a taste for skinny dipping, closer to Capo Ferrato you will find a nudist beach – ask around for information.

A more hidden spot – slightly harder to reach – is Feraxi. From Costa Rei, follow the directions to Capo Ferrato, then drive further along following the signs to Feraxi. The road will turn into a dirt one, and you will eventually get to a parking lot which is on the right hand side. From there, it is a short – if only slightly slippery – walk to two small beaches. One is longer and sandier, the other one is encaved among rocks and is perfect for snorkeling. This is also a great mountain biking itinerary, and you can easily rent bikes at Butterfly Service in Costa Rei.

If you are looking for what to do in Sardinia on a late afternoon, you may want go on an easy hike near Costa Rei, opt for the lighthouse of Capo Ferrato: plan to be there around sunset time for the perfect view.

Where to stay and eat

Most people who go to Costa Rei either opt for an all-inclusive village or rent a flat. There are many local agencies that can provide information – you can find them all by doing a simple google search. The cheapest option are camping sites where you can pitch your tent or rent a bungalow. Among them, Camping Capo Ferrato and Camping Le Dune.

As in any cheap beach holiday destinations, there are many restaurants for all budgets. Chaplin is specialised in seafood and is among the cheapest. You can have a good pizza at Escargot, which has a great terrace overlooking the sea. Sa Cardiga e Su Pisci is the priciest and most reknown restaurant in the area. I Menhirs, near Olia Speciosa, offers a traditional Sardinian menu with organic, locally grown produce, with appetizers, freshly made pasta and meat dishes (such as the traditional piglet), dessert and drinks for around 30 euro. Su Tostoini, on the way to Villasimius, is a cheap pizzeria very popular with the locals. Arrive early to get your table or put your name on the list and wait patiently.

Festivals and events

If you care for more cultural things to do in Sardinia that show a good part of the local traditions, the Carnevale di Muravera takes places around 10 August each year. Muravera can be easily reached from Costa Rei (about 30 minutes drive, or via public transportation). There are other village festivals in Castiadas and Villaputzu, also not far from Costa Rei.

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

To read more about the incredible beaches in Sardinia, check my post “The Ultimate Guide To The Best Beaches In Sardinia.”

Things to do in Peru: visit Lima

Things to do in Peru: visit Lima

Places to visit in Peru: Lima

I have heard a few times, from people who went on trips to Peru, that Lima is less than interesting. I have a different view. A few capitals in Latin America are as interesting as Lima to me. The second world’s driest capital, while my first impression here may be that of a modern city, with overwhelming, never stopping chaos – the deafening sound of car horns may drive you insane – the fog that swallows Miraflores’s cliffs giving it a mysterious aura, the gourmet restaurants, the museums, the archeological sites make the city truly fascinating and definitely make it one of the places to visit in Peru.

Things to do in Lima

Things to do in Lima: looking at workers scrubbing those skyscrapers

Where to sleep in Lima:

My recommendation for “quiet” backpackers – ie those who don’t have much of a taste for loud parties but prefer a quiet, friendly and relaxed atmosphere – is to stay at Lima Backpackers, a lovely hostel in Santiago de Surco. It is only a few bus stops from Miraflores and Barranco, but a world away from their noise. Book well in advance, as there only are 8 beds (one mixed dorm and one all female dorm). More than a hostel, it feels like an apartment to share with friends, with a perfectly equipped kitchen, a lovely living room, and with the host, Marco, who somehow creates a great friendly environment, taking care of tired travellers, making sure they bond, giving suggestions on things to do in Lima and even teaching them how to make a delicious Pisco Sour.

Things to do in Lima:

Plaza de Armas and its surroundings are definitely places to visit in Peru – for museums and history lovers, and archeology junkies will love the ruins of Huaca Pucllana.

Places to visit in Peru

Things to do in Lima: visiting the airy Plaza de Armas in Lima

One of my favourite things to see in Peru are the Miraflores’ Cliffs, from where I can enjoy one of the most amazing sunsets I will ever see. I spent a good hour looking at surfers riding the waves of the freezing cold Pacific Ocean; admiring the guts of paragliders.

Things to do in Lima Peru: admire the sunset from Miraflores

Things to do in Lima Peru: admire the sunset from Miraflores

Things to do in Lima: paragliding in Miraflores

Things to do in Lima: paragliding in Miraflores

Kitties in Parque Kennedy

Kitties in Parque Kennedy

Heading back to town, animal lovers must stop at Kennedy Park, home of more than 50 cats and a few dogs, who will reluctantly move from the benches to allow tourists to rest. I had to share those benches.

Since I was in a bit of a hurry and I needed some help in organising your trip through Peru, arranging tours in Lima and seek more advice on places to visit in Peru, I found that there is an agency in Miraflores run by the lovely Aldo Dolci, it is located in Avenida Jose Pardo 610, office 4, and the email contact is info@tourperu.net

Food in Lima:

One of the things to do in Peru is trying its amazing food. Recommending a place to eat in Lima is pretty much pointless: this is the gourmet capital of Latin America, home to some of the best chefs in the continent, land of fusion cuisine. From ceviche to sushi, from pizza to steaks, from Chinese food to seafood, it really is difficult to go wrong in Lima, and there is anything for all budgets. And, when I was keen to prepare my own meals, the upscale supermarket near Lima Backpackers suites all my needs.

Wishing to explore more of Peru? Find out how here.