Sardinia

Italy
Cagliari - Villasimius - Southern Sardinia which includes street scenes

This independent Italian region is known for luxurious coastal beaches and a wild, unexplored interior. 

The large Mediterranean island of Sardinia has some of Italy’s most beautiful beaches. Come to the island’s east coast with glamorous oceanfront resorts. For an altogether different experience, explore the unspoiled interior, where you’ll find secluded grottoes, imposing granite cliffs and ancient ruins from the various civilizations that have lived here over the centuries.

Investigate Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda or Emerald Coast. You’ll immediately see why this destination is popular among celebrities and millionaires. Glistening white sands meet deep emerald waters. The coastline includes some of the most expensive resorts on the continent.

The fishing port of Alghero has retained its unique character in spite of its popularity with tourists. Also known as "Barcelonetta" (Little Barcelona), the town exudes a distinctly Spanish ambiance. Wander through its gorgeous historic center, which is among the most well-preserved in Sardinia or explore the pristine beaches found nearby, including Le Bombarde and Lazaretto.

Venture toward the center of the island, a relatively untouched region known for its excellent hiking and bird-watching. Traditional ways of life persist in these remote regions, with many families still earning their livelihood as shepherds. Nuoro, one of the larger interior towns, is a convenient stopover for exploring the nearby Gennargentu mountain range as well as the region’s smaller towns and villages.

Don’t miss the mystical Nuragic complexes in various locations across the island. These prehistoric ruins were built by the Nuragic civilization, a society unique to Sardinia living on the island between 1500 and 500 B.C. One of the largest complexes is the Nuraghe Su Nuraxi, located in the village of Barumini, which is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

July and August are Sardinia’s busiest months. Visit during the off-peak seasons of April to June or September to October to avoid crowds. Sardinia is served by Aeroporto-Cagliari-Elmas, which is well connected to Italy and the rest of Europe. Although it’s possible to tour the island by bus and train, public transportation services can be unreliable. Consider renting a car for more flexibility.

Popular cities in Sardinia

Cagliari showing a city
Cagliari
Ancient relics, monumental structures and an underground crypt with the bones of martyrs. The capital city of Sardinia captivates with its history and beauty.

Reasons to visit

  • Cagliari Cathedral
  • Bastion of Saint Remy
  • Sanctuary and Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria
Alghero featuring a coastal town and general coastal views
Alghero
Visit a picturesque coastal resort in northwestern Sardinia, known for its ancient history, spectacular natural attractions and the beauty of its beaches.

Reasons to visit

  • Neptune's Grotto
  • Piazza Civica
  • Nuraghe di Palmavera
Le Saline Beach featuring a beach, swimming and landscape views
Olbia
On the Mediterranean island of Sardinia off Italy’s western coast is a city known for its beaches, archeological ruins and ancient churches.  

Reasons to visit

  • Port of Olbia
  • Basilica of San Simplicio
Romazzino Beach featuring rugged coastline and general coastal views
Arzachena
This peaceful Sardinian town features ancient tombs and burial sites as well as pristine beaches and exclusive resorts of Costa Smeralda.
Sassari featuring heritage elements, a statue or sculpture and a square or plaza
Sassari
Explore this university city’s stately palazzi and charming piazzas before delving into its medieval history in one of the many heritage churches and museums.
La Maddalena featuring tropical scenes, a lake or waterhole and tranquil scenes
La Maddalena
Sail to this dream-like island off the Costa Smeralda to let its granite rocks, blue lagoons, white-sand beaches and ochre houses work their magic on you.