Love Italian Holidays a Sardinian Holiday

a Sardinian Holiday

We know and love Sardinia for it’s eclectic mix of fine food, culture and glorious beaches but it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer density of historical and archaeological sites that are all around you on a Sardinian holiday and which make this Italian island so famous.

Find your perfect Sardinian holiday

Begin your Sardinian holiday with a visit to the circular nuraghi (stone ruins) which rise up on grassy hillocks as testimony to the unique prehistoric villages built by the Nuraghic civilisation. Nuraghe Su Nuraxi in Barumini is described by UNESCO as the finest, most complete example of this prehistoric architecture. Like a beehive, the huge, central tower is surrounded by a honeycomb of the remains of the complex of buildings, estimated to date back to 1500 BC.

The capital, Cagliari, known as the city of water and light, has an enviable setting overlooking its gulf, the Bay of Angels. It’s a tantalising pot pourri of ancient and modern whose historic heart is the Castello quarter, cradled by ancient ramparts which enclose beautiful architectural gems and historical treasures. Beneath the ramparts, the Marina quarter is the perfect place for strolling and dining in the labyrinthine streets behind the Via Roma.

For a Sardinian holiday based further inland, look to the Nuoro province, where you will discover the heartland of the island’s traditions. Orgosolo, a town once infamous for its bandits, is now famous for its murals which adorn every street and make it an open-air art museum. Political, satirical, folkloric, comic, or downright brutalist – including murder, kidnapping and sheep rustling – no subject escapes these artists’ palettes. Every year on 15th of August the Festa dell’Assunta – one of Sardinia‘s most colourful and spectacular processions, is staged here.

Nearby, the Golfo di Orosei, is spectacularly unspoiled where holm oak forest and limestone cliffs plunge down to the sea and the coastline is indented with coves and grottoes. The rugged landscape of Sardinia, its glorious beaches and walks along its craggy coastal cliffs all have to be seen to be believed. Some are accessible only by boat or by hiking down mule tracks, but crescents of softest white sands lapped by crystal aquamarine waters, such as the exquisite Cala Luna beach, are the prize.

For many taking a Sardinian holiday, it’s the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) the draws them to this famous island. In the 1950s the fabulously wealthy Prince Karim Aga Khan IV and his fellow yachters were spellbound by the beauty of the crystalline emerald-green sea, romantic little coves which created a private paradise allowing them to enjoy their own slice of la dolce vita.

Famously a playground for heads of state, billionaires, glitterati and paparazzi where only the sea out sparkles the precious jewels on display. But with more than 80 sandy beaches, people-watching, window-gazing and enjoying an aperitivo at Porto Cervo’s Piazzetta, there’s something for everyone. Sardinian holidays happily accommodate all tastes regardless of the depth of your pockets.

Seven dreamy islands make up the Arcipélago della Maddalena, characterised by fantastical pinkish-ochre granite rock formations. The only inhabited island is La Maddalena from where there’s a causeway to pine-covered La Caprera, the former home and burial site of the revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi (often likened to an Italian Che Guevara). Perfect for walking or biking around and taking a boat trip to see the other islands, including Spargi and Budelli with its glorious pink beach, Spiaggia Rosa.

View all tour operators for Sardinian holidays.

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Top Tips

Check out our favourite beaches of Le Bombarde Lazzareto and La Speranza during your holidays to Sardinia. These beautiful beaches can be found along the coastal road towards Bosa. Also La Pelosa at Stintino is wonderful early or late season.

Hot Tip from Sardinian Places

Try horse riding on 3km of sand at La Cinta beach near San Teodoro in north east Sardinia.

Tip from Experto Italy

The best way to see the stunning coastline is to hire a rib from beaches/marina's (half day approximately €150). If you are feeling a little more adventurous, charter a yacht or catamaran to sail between Sardinia and Corsica. The colour of the sea is unbelievable.

Tip from Just Sardinia

Beach vacations and water activities are unforgettable in Sardinia. Holidays can include boat trips from various ports around the Smeralda Coast which sail north around the Maddalena islands offering snorkeling adventures in crystal clear turquoise water.

Take a boat trip from various ports around the Smeralda Coast to sail north around the Maddalena islands to snorkel in crystal clear turquoise water.

Try a two centre holiday. Stay one week close to the Smeralda coast in the north east and then drive 2.5 hours west  across the island to Alghero, a historic walled city with a huge variety of wonderful shops, restaurants, bars and beaches.

For families with small children planning holidays to Sardinia, fly to Cagliari airport in Southern Sardinia and stay around the southern tip where the beaches are white and the warm clear sea is very shallow.

Where to eat and drink

We love the family run restaurant Mabrouk in Alghero because of its fantastic selection of  fresh fish dishes.

Hot Tip from Sardinian Places

Not many people know about Jerry's Beach Bar, a blue and white shack on the white sandy Razza di Junco beach in Olbia. Excellent value lunches and stunning views.

Hot Tip from Sardinian Places

The perfect place for an excellent value pizza is Ichnos Pizzeria in the centre of lovely San Pantaleo, Costa Smeralda.
Hot Tip from Sardinian Places

When planning your holidays to Sardinia, don't miss the degustazione at Wine Country Resort Leda d'Ittiri, usually once or twice a week.

Hot Tip from Sardinian Places

For the most stunning 360 degree views, climb the steps up to the belvedere lookout point at Porto Rafael. Visit at the end of the day with a bottle of wine.

The Gelateria dell'Angolo in Palau - possibly the best and the biggest selection of ice cream in Sardinia.

For the best beach 'al fresco' dining, go to the Dolphin Bar/restaurant right on the beach at Porto Pollo – toes in the sand, drink in hand and dish of the day in the oven – a magical place for sure.

Tips from Essential Italy

Another highlight of the area, and an experience not to be missed, is the local cuisine of Sardinia. Holidays would not be complete without sampling the traditional delicacies including 'pane carasau' a light, crispy, bread delicious served with olive oil, sprinkled with herbs. A speciality is spit-roasted suckling pig with garlic and rosemary potatoes (porceddu) and grilled lamb, beef and kid goat. Spaghetti alla bottarga is pasta with mullet or tuna eggs, known as 'Sardinian caviar' and fish and seafood is excellent around the coast, such as sea bass, tuna, squid, octopus and lobster (aragosta) - is a great favourite, especially around Alghero.

Sardinia also produces some excellent wines: look out for reds from the local Cannonau grape and for whites Vermentino and Vernaccia. Good dessert wines include Moscato and Malvasiaand Mirto is a speciality, made from Sardinian myrtle berries. The local firewater (rather like grappa) is called su fil'e ferru, meaning rod of iron-beware, it's around 40% proof.