12 Best Places to visit in Sardinia

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Sardinia is more than just its stunning Emerald Coast. The Mediterranean island is a rugged and varied place with so much to explore. From its lush green hills and valleys to its unique culture, there is something for everyone. Whether you want to explore the archaeological sites, sample the local cuisine, or simply relax on its pristine beaches, Sardinia has something for everyone. Its spectacular coastline, with its white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, is sure to take your breath away. Whatever your reason for visiting, Sardinia is sure to provide a memorable experience.

Sardinia, known for its stunning beaches, is a pleasant surprise for tourists visiting for the first time. It is an island that offers so much more than its beautiful coastline. With a few kilometers inland, the terrain is quickly transformed from soft sand and turquoise waters to rugged mountains and remote valleys. This diverse landscape offers something new to explore around every corner, and ensures that no two trips to Sardinia will ever be the same.

The sheer number of prehistoric sites in the Mediterranean region is truly remarkable. The most iconic of these sites are the mysterious round stone towers known as nuraghi. These forts and dwellings were built in the Bronze and Iron Ages, and their secrets are still largely unknown. Visitors can take a journey back in time by climbing the dark stone stairs and exploring the passageways of these ancient structures. Additionally, original Roman streets and ruins from the Phoenician era can also be found throughout the Mediterranean. Visiting these sites is a truly unique experience and a great way to soak up the history of this region.

1. Cagliari and the Southern

Cagliari is the capital of the Italian island of Sardinia, and is the perfect starting point for any tourist’s visit. A must-do is to climb the Bastione San Remy from Piazza della Costituzione. This historical landmark was built to defend the Castello quarter, which houses the beautiful cathedral and the stronghold of the city. From the Bastione, tourists will appreciate the stunning views of the city and bay. It is a great way to gain a perspective of the past and present of Cagliari.

The Museo Archeologico Nazionale is located just a short distance from the Bastione San Remy and is a must-see for anyone visiting Sardinia. The museum boasts an impressive array of artifacts from the Punic, Greek, and Roman civilizations, as well as some breathtaking gold work and other relics that were discovered in Sardinia’s mysterious round stone structures known as nuraghi. Visitors to the museum will also get a chance to admire the many nuraghi that can be found throughout the island.

Head east from the city and you’ll soon be soaking up the sun on one of Sardinia’s renowned beaches. The Costa Sud, south of Cagliari, offers a unique glimpse of the island’s varied landscape. From the medieval streets of Cagliari, you’re only a short distance away from the ruins of the ancient city of Nora, with its historical links to the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Romans. With its stunning beaches, picturesque historical sites, and abundance of activities, it’s no wonder why Sardinia is a favorite summer destination for many Europeans.

The Costa Sud, located beyond Nora, is home to some of Sardinia’s best beaches. These white-sanded havens are perfect for families looking for a day of fun in the sun. Some of these beaches, such as Porto Campana and Spiaggia Sa Colonia, are long stretches of sand with shallow drop-offs, perfect for kids. Other beaches, like Porticciolo Beach, are more secluded crescents of sand. Kiosks and facilities for water sports can be found at some of these beaches, making them great spots for a fun and relaxing day.

2. Take a tour of Nurag

The Su Nuraxi di Barumini is a remarkable archaeological site in Sardinia, Italy. It is the best preserved and most complete of the thousands of stone towers that scatter across the island. Located near the city of Cagliari, Su Nuraxi di Barumini offers 30-minute tours guided by English speaking staff, allowing visitors to learn about the history and context of the ruins. It is an incredible opportunity to explore the cultural heritage of the area, and gain an appreciation for the people who built these towers centuries ago.

The ancient tower of Mycenae is an incredible feat of engineering and architecture, as recognized by UNESCO. It is believed to have been built in the 11th or 12th century BC, with some of the timber found in its walls dated to 1,500 BC. Visitors can explore the tower and climb to its upper reaches to get a close-up view of the dome made of dry stones, which was constructed without the use of mortar. It’s an incredible experience to witness the impressive restoration of this ancient structure and to imagine it in its original form thousands of years ago.

Be sure to stop by the Casa Zapata Museum while exploring the ancient village surrounding the towers and foundations. This museum has many fascinating exhibits, including a nuraghe that has been excavated under the building. From the walkway above the walls, you get a bird’s-eye view of the construction, allowing you to appreciate the complexity of the architecture. This is a must-see for anyone interested in the history and culture of the area.

3. Go to Costa Smeralda

The Emerald Coast, also known as Costa Smeralda, is a stunning stretch of coastline in the northwest of Sardinia, Italy. Starting from the port town of Olbia, the coast reaches up to the tip of Capo de Testa, boasting some of the world’s most beautiful beaches set in craggy coves and washed by a sea that is a stunningly clear and vibrant green. Whether you’re looking to relax in the sun or explore the many coves and bays, the Emerald Coast promises a truly magical experience.

The Aga Khan’s vision for the coast since the 1960s is that of a place for the uber-wealthy. It has developed into a series of cosseted resort villages that resemble Greek islands and the Riviera. It is no surprise then that the comparison with one of the most expensive jewels is often made. These coastal resorts are frequented by the elite, and provide them with the ultimate luxury experience. It is a place where they can rest and unwind in style.

Porto Cervo is the heart of the Costa Smeralda and has become a premier destination for luxurious holidays. This resort village and marina was built in the 1960s and is a playground for the elite, with private yachts taking visitors to secluded beaches. People-watching is a popular activity in Porto Cervo, and the nearby town of Cannigione offers a more modest yet lively atmosphere for visitors. With its stunning beaches, upscale resorts, and vibrant atmosphere, Porto Cervo is one of the most sought-after destinations in the region.

4. Alghero

If you find yourself in the seaside city of Sardinia, don’t be surprised to hear a language that sounds a bit like Spanish. In fact, it is! You may even find some signs and labels in Spanish as well. This is because of the 14th-century Pope who gave the island to the King of Aragon. By doing so, he hoped to remove the island from the control of Pisa and Genoa. Even today, this influence is still felt throughout Sardinia.

The island of Sardinia is an interesting place with a unique history. The King of Aragon and Catalonia gave fiefdoms to about 400 families in the 12th century if they would settle the island and establish a base in Alghero. This resulted in the displacement of the native population. Today, Mass in the church of San Francesco is still said in Catalan, and it is well worth visiting. Inside, you can see the graceful 13th-century cloister, which you can access by going through the sacristy to the left of the altar. This is a wonderful experience that will give you a glimpse into the history of the island.

The 14th-century cathedral is a sight to behold with its Spanish Gothic doorway. As the sun begins to set, many make the climb up the walls built by the Spanish to protect the city from attacks by sea to take in the stunning views. At sunset, locals gather along the wide bastions for a tranquil evening promenade, admiring the beautiful views of the Mediterranean. It is a truly magical experience and something not to be missed while visiting this incredible city.

5. Nurag

If you’re traveling in Sardinia, you may be tempted to stop at every nuraghe you come across. While not necessary, many tourists quickly become enchanted with these mysterious towers, of which so much remains unknown. Each one is unique, and it’s worth taking the time to explore and appreciate them. They are a part of Sardinia’s rich history and culture, and each one has something special to offer. So, if you find yourself drawn to them, don’t hesitate to explore!

Losa is considered one of the three best towers of its kind and has several fascinating features. Its interior is illuminated by recessed lamps, allowing visitors to explore its stacked stone thalos domes without the need of a flashlight. Its complex structure consists of a large tower with three outer towers forming a triangular bastion, and its walls are filled with a maze of stone passageways that spiral up inside. Whether you’re an experienced explorer or just an admirer of its impressive architecture, Losa is definitely worth a visit.

The second floor of the main tower of the Bronze Age building is still intact and the roof is complete, making it a remarkable example of ancient architecture. Dating from around the 12th to 14th centuries BC, the large central room is in excellent condition and is more refined in its construction than most other Bronze Age buildings. In addition, a tiny museum contains bronze bracelets and other artifacts which were found at the site, showcasing the importance and history of the building. This is a truly special building and a reminder of the impressive structures that were built in the Bronze Age.

6. The Prehistoric Sites

If you’re looking for some of the most significant Stone and Copper Ages attractions, look no further than a few kilometers from the Costa Smeralda resorts. This area contains six notable sites, such as nuraghi, burial sites, and the mysterious chambered tombs known as tomba gigante (giants’ graves), offering a unique experience for those interested in discovering the ancient past. It’s a world away from the luxury resorts of the region, but well worth the visit.

The archaeological site of Coddu Vecchiu, located in Sardinia, Italy, is a chambered tomb from the 18th century BC. This tomb, which is the principal one at the site, has an entry facade made of flat stones, added several centuries after its initial construction. Another tomb at the site, Li Lolghi, also has a similar entrance, except it has a three-and-a-half-meter standing stone in front. This site provides a unique insight into the cultural practices of people living in Sardinia in the 18th century BC.

The archaeological site of Li Muri is home to a necropolis constructed of stone graves situated inside circles of flat standing stones. The most unique feature of the site is the Nuraghi Albucciu, an oval-shaped structure with one side formed by a large stone outcrop. Another notable site is the Nuraghe La Prisgiona, the most recently excavated structure with a central tower, two side towers, and the remains of a village. This fascinating site provides a unique insight into the ancient culture of the area and is a must-see for those interested in archaeology.

This region around Arzachena is known for its unique and stunning rock formations, with one in particular resembling a giant mushroom. Visitors to the area can delight in the beauty of it all from the terraces of Tenuta Pilastru, a collection of tastefully decorated cottages with locally crafted furnishings and art. Here you can take in the views while also enjoying the delicious meals at the outstanding onsite restaurant.

7.The Santa Cristina Nuraghe and the accompanying

At the archaeological attraction near Oristano, visitors can experience a unique and fascinating journey back in time. This site features a well temple from 1200-1100 BC, as well as a nuraghe tower that allows you to climb to the top and enjoy stunning views of the ancient stone village that once surrounded it. The roof of the tower is covered with wildflowers, adding to the atmosphere of the place. This is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of Sardinia.

Visiting the oblong house with its stone roof still intact is a fascinating experience. Taking a flashlight along with you to explore inside the nuraghe roof is a must. For a deeper understanding of the area, don’t forget to stop between the well and the nuraghe to explore the group of tiny stone pilgrim lodgings and 12th century church. Pilgrimages to this area still occur twice a year in May and October, a reminder of the long and fascinating history of this site.

8. Nuoro and the Gennargentu

Nuoro is a small, picturesque town clinging to the top of a steep mountain ridge. Its winding, precipitous streets offer breathtakingly beautiful views of the valley below. The 19th-century cathedral of Santa Maria della Neve sits atop a cliff that drops off into the valley, and the small plaza in front of the church is the only flat spot in town. From almost any vantage point, the stunning views of the surrounding mountain range are truly breathtaking. It’s easy to see why Nuoro is a popular tourist destination for those seeking a peaceful escape in the midst of nature.

Nuoro is an excellent starting point for exploring the stunning Gennargentu Mountains of Sardinia. Located in the heart of the island, the region is known for its stunning scenery and remote villages such as Mamoiada, which remain largely untouched by modernity. The landscape is captivating, with towns perched high on steep mountainsides and a culture that still reflects the antiquity of the region. Exploring this area is an experience like no other, and Nuoro is the perfect place to begin.

Driving in Nuoro, Sardinia is an adventure, with roads that are narrow, steep and full of hairpin turns with no railings. It is not for the faint of heart, making for a unique and thrilling experience. To learn more about the local villages and their interesting customs, a visit to the Museo Etnografico Sardo is a must. It is an outstanding museum that is full of information about the region and its traditions, making it well worth a stopover in Nuoro.

Located in Cagliari, Italy, the National Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is home to the island’s best collection of Sardinian costume and decorative art. The clothing is beautifully displayed on models with jewelry and accessories worn for weddings and festivals. In addition, an entire gallery is dedicated to traditional masks. Visitors to the museum also have the chance to explore the National Archeological Museum, where collections from Neolithic sites and fossils are on display. It is an incredible opportunity to discover the culture, heritage, and history of Sardinia.

9. The Valley of the Nuraghi is a

The Nuraghe Santu Antine, a 16-meter-tall prehistoric site, is one of the most iconic features of the broad, flat valley surrounded by ancient volcanoes. This valley is full of eroded rock formations and has numerous other prehistoric sites to explore. It is a fascinating place to visit and explore the history and beauty of the area. The Nuraghe Santu Antine is a particularly impressive site to behold as it stands tall, overlooking the valley and its many other sites.

Santu Antine is one of the three largest and most complex islands in the world, built in the 16th century BC. It is a fascinating island to explore, with its three towers connected by a defensive wall. Visitors can climb the stairs inside the central tower to the second and third floors, both of which are still intact. An upper corridor connects the west and north towers, making for an exciting journey to the top. Those who make the climb to the top will be rewarded with stunning views of the island and the surrounding area.

Sant’Andrea Priu is an incredible prehistoric site located near the top of the nuraghi. It is believed to have been carved between 4000 and 3000 BC, and was used during medieval times as hermitages. Inside some of the tombs, you can find frescoes that were painted long ago. Although the site is not open regularly, you can still see it from the entrance and take a nearby trail to get a closer look at the tombs on the top. It is a truly remarkable sight, and a must-see for anyone interested in history.

10. Have a great time at the Capo Testa

Capo Testa, located in Northern Sardinia between the Costa Smeralda and the Maddalena Islands, is a stunningly beautiful destination. It is renowned for its gorgeous turquoise waters and pristine sandy beaches, many of which are bordered by spectacular cliffs and rock formations that have been shaped by the wind into incredible shapes. These beaches are among the most picturesque on the entire island and make Capo Testa an absolute must-see for any traveler.

The beautiful beaches of the north coast of Sardinia are some of the best in the world. Unlike the Costa Smeralda, the beaches here are free and easily accessible – no need to take a boat! Near the town of Santa Teresa Gallura, there are three Blue Flag beaches: Rena di Ponente, Rena Levante, and Rena Bianca, with the latter being the largest and having a gentle slope and shallow waters. For those looking for a bit more adventure, Santa Reparata is the perfect spot for windsurfing and snorkeling.

11.The Maddalena Archipelago

The picturesque little port of Palau is a hub of activity with ferries departing regularly for the half-hour journey to La Maddalena, the only town in the archipelago in the Strait of Bonifacio between Sardinia and Corsica. Tourists come here to explore the numerous stunning beaches, many of which are only accessible by boat. The causeway and bridge to the neighboring island of Caprera also attracts visitors, making it a popular destination for travelers looking for a unique and unforgettable experience.

Giuseppe Garibaldi’s home on the island is a national monument and a major attraction for visitors from near and far. On the other side of the island, visitors can find a number of beautiful beaches, accessible by paths from the main road. The island’s surrounding seas are a popular destination for sailors, offering stunning views and plenty of opportunities for exploration. Giuseppe Garibaldi’s legacy and the beauty of the island make this a must-visit destination.

The La Maddalena Archipelago Boat Tour from Palau is a great way to explore the beaches of the Maddalena Archipelago. The tour stops at several islands, including the Isle of Budelli, which is home to the famous Spiaggia Rosa (Pink Beach). The beautiful pink sand and crystal clear waters of the beach make it a must-see destination. The boat tour is an easy and convenient way to experience the beauty of this region and its many islands.

12. Thar

Walking along the rocky point of the remains of Phoenician, Carthaginian, and Roman cultures is a truly unique experience. Taking in the sights of the remains of the Roman streets, one can almost imagine the hustle and bustle of the shops that once stood there, with only doorsteps and foundations remaining. Columns from the baths, parts of the aqueduct, and the remains of temples still stand tall. The amphitheater overlooks the sea, providing a stunning view of the surrounding area. It’s a breathtaking sight to see, allowing one to imagine what it must have been like to be there in the days of the Romans.

The hilltop above Cabras, Italy, is a fantastic spot to explore the ancient Phoenician culture. It is home to a necropolis, left behind by the Phoenicians who inhabited the area around 650 BC. For a more in-depth look at the artifacts found in the area, visit the Museo Civico Giovanni Marongiu in the town of Cabras. Here, visitors can explore the intricately carved stone stele, funerary urns, and other finds that have been carefully placed in their original positions. It is an amazing opportunity to travel back in time and gain an insight into the ancient culture of the Phoenicians.

The city of Oristano, located nearby the Antiquarium Arborense museum, is home to the Duomo of Santa Maria. This majestic structure dates back to medieval times and was even renovated in the 18th and 19th centuries under Spanish rule. The changes from this period are still visible today, as the domes are covered in colorful tiles. Visitors are able to explore this magnificent cathedral and the many other treasures this city has to offer.

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