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A heavenly island of white sand beaches, clear turquoise waters and citrus groves
A little less than 120 miles from the Italian mainland, Sardinia is a breathtaking Mediterranean island of rolling hills, dramatic mountains, soft sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Its beautifully rugged scenery and unhurried pace make it the perfect destination for a relaxing beach holiday.
Sardinia’s appeal is not limited to its clear emerald waters and the powdery white sand beaches, but it is also visible through the archaeological evidence left by ancient cultures, the scenic mountains and the wind-eroded landscapes. Hire a car to explore this stunning island at your own pace.
Popular Areas in Sardinia
Best time to visit
From April to September
Sardinia's breathtaking beaches are renowned the world over and some of the most beautiful bays and coves can be found along the island's incredible southern coast. The Medieval centre of Sardinia's capital Cagliari, which is one of the Mediterranean's largest ports, sits on a hill overlooking the bustling Gulf of Cagliari. Visitors can witness the well-preserved city walls, wander through the cobbled piazzas, discover the island's history at a number of museums and dine on delectable traditional Sardinian cuisine at one of the quarter's many restaurants which spill out onto the streets.
Further southwest along the coast, close to the southern most point of the island, is the sleepy village of Chia which boasts pristine bays, five and a half miles of silky-sand beaches that are lapped by crystalline waters, 30 metre high rolling sand dunes, and, further inland, tranquil saltwater lagoons where vibrant flamingos can often be spotted. Just three miles from Chia lies another popular beachside resort – Santa Margherita di Pula which is the location of the expansive Forte Village Resort with its collection of Four and Five Star hotels, array of fantastic facilities and long stretch of beach.
Located on Sardinia's northern shores, between the Bay of Arzachena and the Gulf of Cugnana, is the exclusive tourist destination of Costa Smeralda or the 'Emerald Coast'. A haven for the rich and famous since the 1960s, the most famous corner of this Mediterranean isle boasts luxury hotels, some of the most expensive real estate in Europe and a plethora of exclusive events which are held throughout the summer months. At the heart of the coast is the town of Porto Cervo where the streets are lined with chic cafés, restaurants and bars where people come to see and be seen.
Just two miles along the shore is the popular resort of Baia Sardinia which enjoys a beautiful setting opposite the Maddalena Archipelago and is one of the more affordable destinations along the Costa Smeralda. The town is known for both its excellent watersports, particularly windsurfing, and its glamorous nightlife, offering a wide range of restaurants, bars and clubs.
Those looking for an unspoilt and authentic destination on the island's north coast will enjoy a stay in the 19th Century resort of Santa Teresa Gallura. Situated at Sardinia's northern tip, this village offers a breathtaking natural backdrop and panoramic views of the sparkling Mediterranean and, over the Stretto de Bonifacio on a clear day, the shoreline of Corsica.
Scattered throughout the island there are a number of ancient megalithic structures known as nuraghe which were built between 1900 and 730 BC. These Bronze Age towers have mystified historians for centuries and continue to cause wonder to visitors of the island today. The most impressive examples can be found at the UNESCO-listed archaeological site of Su Nuraxi di Barumini, situated on a small plateau in the heart of Sardinia. Visitors can witness the incredible fortress which is made up of a number of bee-hive-like towers, including the central tower which was once over 19 metres high.