Sun-bleached beaches, glistening shores and mouth-watering food: Sardinia is a holiday destination from heaven. While the island is known for its winning sun-sea-sand combination, this Italian gem is full of surprises too. Lush mountains, hidden grottoes, Roman ruins and a cultural capital all offer some exciting alternatives to lazy days by the beach – and all just a three-hour flight away!
If we’ve got you in the holiday mood, here are just five reasons why Sardinia should be on your radar when booking your next escape.
1. It’s a beach lover’s paradise
Imagine swathes of powder-white sand kissed by crystal clear shores, heated by the Italian summer sun. Sounds like paradise, right? Whether you’re a family looking for shallow waters and gently sloping sands, or a couple seeking a secluded spot off the beaten track, Sardinia has a beach – or spiaggia – for everyone.
With over 1,800km of pristine coastline, you’ll be spoilt for choice on where to stay. Cala Brandinchi, nicknamed ‘Little Tahiti’, is probably the island’s most famous beach. This thin arc of soft sand lapped by crystalline turquoise waters certainly lives up to its name. Its shallow waters are perfect for swimming, while the surrounding pine trees offer plenty of shade.
Families will love the soft sands and shallow waters of Chia’s Spiaggia Sa Colonia and Spiaggia Su Portu in the south of the island. Don’t forget to look out for the wild flamingos in the lagoon! Or if you’re looking for some peace and quiet, look no further than Spiaggia di Piscinas along the Costa Verde (Green Coast). This ribbon of golden sand is home to a vast expanse of dunes, rising up to 60m.
2. The food is divine
Sardinia’s food is enough reason to visit alone. A wealth of local culinary traditions mixed with the island’s Mediterranean and Italian influences combine to create a delicious cuisine heavy in grilled and spit-roasted meats, not to mention a mouth-watering array of breads and cheeses.
You’ll find all the classic Italian favourites such as pizza and pasta on most menus, but the local specialties are well worth a try. Su Porcheddu, or roast suckling pig, is a must-try for meat-eaters while vegetarians will love Culurgiones – pasta filled with potato, pecorino cheese, garlic and mint leaves, layered with a sweet tomato sauce.
3. It’s more than just a beach break
From colourful villages and rustic towns soaked in history to ancient stone buildings dating back thousands of years, Sardinia has plenty of sights and experiences to coax you away from the sand.
With a culture rich in history and tradition, there’s something new and exciting to discover around almost every corner. Walk the city walls of Alghero, explore Roman ruins in Nora or visit in the shoulder season and take a hiking trip into the island’s lush green mountains.
If you’re feeling adventurous, but want to stay close to your resort, you could even throw yourself into some water sports. Sailing, windsurfing and scuba diving opportunities await!
4. It’s the land of luxury
Wake up to a view of the sparkling sea, treat yourself to a spa treatment, while away your afternoon in designer boutiques before enjoying a dinner fit for a king: there’s a reason why Sardinia is so popular with the rich and famous.
The Costa Smeralda region in the north is synonymous with glitz and glamour. This glistening stretch of coastline, starting in Porto Cervo and travelling around the headland to Portisco, oozes style and sophistication. Pick your favourite superyacht, treat yourself to lunch in a gourmet restaurant and people-watch from a charming pavement cafe. Oh, and keep an eye out for famous faces! Sardinia’s beauty attracts billionaires and celebrities from all over the globe.
5. The holiday season is long
Blessed with a warm Mediterranean climate from April to October, Sardinia is renowned for its ‘six-month summers’. The island is at its hottest in July and August, with temperatures reaching a scorching 30°C. This is the perfect time to visit if you fancy lazing around on the beach, topping up the tan and soaking up the holiday atmosphere.
However, Sardinia also enjoys a balmy climate in April, May, September and October, giving you the chance to stretch out your summer for longer. The shoulder season is a great time to visit if you’re looking for a quieter escape and slightly cooler temperatures. It’s also a prime time to buckle up your walking boots and do some exploring.