Sardinia has become my favourite beach holiday destination with the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen – take that from a well-travelled girl! It surprised me: there’s one white sand beach after the other and it’s impossible to miss the beautiful shades of the vibrant turquoise blue waters! Even Google maps will prove it… Plus, it’s easily accessible from Barcelona.
Sure, Sardinia has a lot to offer, from mountain hikes to medieval towns and plenty of historical monuments, but its beaches are absolutely stunning and clearly the biggest attraction. We travelled off-season taking advantage of lower rates and pretty much empty beaches. Here are my favourite beaches, all in easily accessible areas, i.e. avoiding those slow and windy roads:
North west: Stintino
If you fly into Alghero or travel by Ferry via Porto Torres, go the extra few miles and don’t miss out on Stintino’s beaches further north: La Pelosa is definitely the most photogenic one!
Alghero is a beautiful small town with medieval roots and seems well prepared for tourist needs with beaches right at your doorstep and hidden gems like La Bombarde beach.
West coast: Oristano
Check out the peninsula near San Giovanni de Sini and Tharros archeological site, where we did a lovely circular hike to the lighthouse and back along the west coast.
Don’t miss Is Arutas beaches further north: it’s a protected maritime area with white sand and pink-grey-ish quartz.
The nearby landscape somehow reminded me of Iceland’s Northwestern fjords, so quiet and peaceful! There’s a campsite at walking distance. I’ll definitely come back when I have more time.
East coast: Dorgali/Cala Gonone
The beaches to the south allow you to get an impression of Sardinia’s highest mountains. You can leave the car at Cala Fuili and follow the well signposted hiking trail via Bue Marino caves to Cala Luna. The trail itself doesn’t allow for too many great views as it is in the woods for most of the time and you really need to watch you step (to avoid stumbling over roots and stones) but it’s a great reward reaching Cala Luna. You can continue the trail to the next bay Cala Sisine or even take the boat back to Cala Gonone/Fuili. The beaches further away like Cala Mariolu and Cala Goloritze’ are supposedly very pretty and can also be reached by boat from Cala Gonone or Arbatax further south.
The area is very popular for climbing and kayaking. Nuoro is the next biggest town and the Gennartentu National Park also offers great hiking.
Costa del Sur
I imagine these to be the busier beaches in summer, such as Chia Beach and Tuaredda.
Cagliari capital also makes a nice day trip visit. It seems less tidy if not less developed as a tourist destination than Alghero but has definitely lots of culture to offer.
We didn’t quite make it to the coast closest to Corsica as it’s not that easy to access and we were running out of time. However the coast near Santa Teresa du Gallura and La Maddalena are meant to feature very beautiful beaches.
I also find this infographic quite helpful when planning your trip.
Don’t underestimate the size of the island. It’s so much bigger than it looks, so I’d recommend picking a particular area to discover or to make it a road trip. Be aware, as soon as you come off the main roads connecting Alghero, Cagliari and Nuoro, little windy roads will take you a lot of time to navigate. Public transport is limited, car rental however can be fairly cheap off-season.
What did you like most about Sardinia?