Top 10 places to visit in Sardinia
Bosa e Alghero
Bosa is a picturesque fishing village recently nominated one of the prettiest in Italy. It captures the look of visitors with the pastel-coloured houses and buildings and for the fact that has it the only navigable river in Sardinia. The presence of nice architecture, many monuments and churches and the tranquil lifestyle of the locals make this town quite romantic and relaxing. Considering its proximity to the sea the cuisine focuses on fish dishes which are always accompanied by the local famous white wine Malvasia. The Malaspina castle dominates the town from the hill nearby which was built around 1100AC and definitely deserves a visit as well as the local marina. The coastline between Bosa and Alghero offers spectacular coastline views and we highly recommend anyone to either drive there by car or bicycle (about 40 Kilometres).
Its origins started in the 12th Century by the Doria family which also founded Castelsardo. Alghero became a very popular destination in recent years due to its lovely old town, the marina and the exciting nightlife.
The city was conquered by the Aragonese and Catalans during the middle age and even today it still preserves strong elements of Spanish influence. Alghero offers lovely beaches and countryside and plenty of opportunities for active tourism. The Capo Caccia promontory and its Neptune caves are definitely among the biggest attractions in this area of Sardinia.
Santa Teresa di Gallura and Archipelago of La Maddalena
Santa Teresa di Gallura is a lovely and elegant town in the North East of Sardinia. It is surrounded by gorgeous beaches and impressive granite mountains covered with lush forests of Mediterranean vegetation and pine groves. The Capo Testa peninsula is dotted with multiform massive granite rocks and turquoise clear sea waters that make the entire area pretty unique.
La Maddalena and its archipelago are one of the most beautiful places to visit in Sardinia. The sea lovers will please their eyes with the crystal clear sea and lovely white sand beaches of the islands forming the archipelago. The entire area became a marine park since 1997 to protect the truly beautiful and fragile environment. This is also a great place for the regattas lovers due to the almost constant breeze.
Posada and surroundings
Posada rises on top of a limestone and is dominated by the ruins of its castle (Castello della Fava). From its top you can enjoy magnificent views on the nearby beaches and marsh that provide shelter to many bird species including flamingos.
Posada has a strong medieval character with its stone narrow streets connected by steep stairways not accessible by car. It is a quiet and discrete town, an ideal escape for those looking to relax and enjoy the local food and wine. There are plenty of cultural activities especially during the summer months that include jazz music, theatre, opera singing and poetry reading.
The surrounding areas include the fabulous beaches under the territory of Siniscola, among them San Giovanni, La Caletta and Santa Lucia are quite popular also for their pine groves.
Just few kilometres inland visitors can explore the hills of Monte Albo with long and pleasant trails for hikers and walkers alike.
Gennargentu National Park
It extends for almost 60,000 hectares mainly located into the Nuoro region. It contains wild and mountainous landscapes and includes the Sardinian highest peak Punta La Marmora (1834 meters above sea level).
The entire area is unspoiled and wild and is very much loved by hikers, walkers and naturalists alike for its spectacular sights. It is frequent to see raptors flying in search of prey and sometimes even small groups of wild mountain ship called mouflons. They walk free in the vast oak and chestnut forests cut by small streams descending from the highest summits around.
Top spots in the region are certainly the prehistoric village of Tiscali (1500 BC), the incredible Gorroppu gorge and Su Gologone spring.
Dorgali, Orosei and surroundings
This is the area of Sardinia where mountains meet the sea to create some amazing wild scenery. The area offers plenty of options for the sea lovers to enjoy fantastic boat tours in the turquoise water and pristine beaches of Gulf of Orosei. The coastline is rich in incredible caves which can be reached by sea (Bue Marino grotto and grotto del Fico from Cala Gonone) and the impressive Ispinigoli grotto with its 38 meters stalagmite which is more inland.
There are plenty of archaeological sites also to be visited, in particular the Nuragic village of Serra Orrios close to Dorgali.
Food and wine lovers won’t certainly be disappointed with the local cuisine. You just need to stop in any restaurant of the area or in one of the many agriturismo there to enjoy authentic Sardinian recipes and aromas.
Surrounded by lovely beaches the old city of Tharros was founded by the Phoenicians around 730 BC in a strategic point that guaranteed shelter and safe anchorage to the ships carrying goods and minerals. The city remained an important port for many centuries even during the Roman Empire. Today, the archaeological site of Tharros still shows the elaborated structure of thermal baths, baking oven and various meeting areas.
Top spot in the area are certainly the lovely city of Oristano and the fishing village of Cabras.
In recent times, excavations nearby Tharros have brought to light what appears to be one of the most incredible archaeological discovery of the last decade in the Southern Europe. 2.5 meters high full-relief sculptures of warriors, archers and other figures that appear to be the oldest of this kind found in the entire Mediterranean region. They are dated around 1000BC and are called the Giants of Mount Prama. Some of them are exposed in the Cabras Civic Museum.
Barumini and Marmilla region
The Nuragic Complex of Barumini is the most impressive of Sardinia also named UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Discovered by the local archaeologist Giovanni Lilliu in the forties “The Nuraxi” is a must see attraction in Sardinia.
Barumini is also included into the region of Marmilla, a lovely hilly area that hosts hundreds of Nuragic and prehistoric sites, great cuisine, lovely surroundings and excellent wines. Many of local villages have their own museums of local traditions, Sardinian history and art galleries. They also very well preserve their traditions and festivals. This area was also used by the Romansas one of their granary due to the fertile grounds.
There are plenty of little villages that deserve a visit: Villanovaforru, Siddi, Barumini, Pauli Arbarei, Lunamatrona, Ales, etc. Many of them still keep the lovely old fashion stone built houses and roads that deserve a visit.
It is the Capital of Sardinia and a lovely city rich in history culture and of course great cuisine. Visitors will find an endless list of things to see and do in there, from visiting the old town with its lovely monuments, churches and the picturesque narrow streets of Castello to the Roman Amphitheatre, the Botanic Garden (Orto Botanico), the Bastione and of course the fascinating museums. Alternatively, the charming Poetto beach is just about 5 km from the city centre and certainly deserves a visit. Cagliari is a vibrant city with many events happening all year around. Especially during the summer months you will be entertained with many music concerts, opera and several sport events.
Nature lovers have also plenty of opportunities for birdwatching in the ponds around the city (Stagno di Molentargius and Saline di Quartu and Saline di Santa Gilla). In addition, the Monte Arcosu Natural Reserve is just few kilometres from the city centre and provides excellent trails for walkers surrounded by lovely Mediterranean vegetation.
The South East of the Island is strongly connected to the history of mining in Sardinia. That started almost 7000 years ago with the first use of copper to create everyday tools. The entire region was exploit since the Neolithic era also for the presence of silver, zinc and other minerals. This part of Sardinia has a varied landscape with high sand dunes around Piscinas and many cork oak and holm oak forests that give shelter to the Sardinian deer, wild boars, martens and many other animals.
Nowadays the region, a part from the lovely beaches and landscapes, offers great experiences in visiting mining sites and fascinating tunnels. A perfect place for outdoor activities that include an excellent combination of lovely surroundings, culture and of course, excellent food and wine. Not to be missed is the red Carignano del Sulcis!
Villasimius and Costa Rei
It can be considered the most important touristic resort of the South East Sardinia. Surrounded by wonderful long white sand beaches and crystal clear waters it is a great destination for visitors. Located only about 1 hour drive from Cagliari airport can be reached through a lovely coastline road in the South of the Island called SP17. You will certainly stop on the way to admire the panoramas of Mari Pintau and Solanas, just to mention some..
Undoubtedly, Villasimius and the Costa Rei host some of the most sensational beaches in Sardinia surrounded by unspoiled Mediterranean landscapes. Beaches have usually shallow waters and are ideal for families. There is also plenty of entertainment in the area with concerts, local festivals, and much more. A must see are the Porto Giunco beach, Cala Pira and Campulongu beach.