Top Ten Things to Do
1| Nuraghe of Barumini
The ‘Nuraghe’ is the main kind of ancient megalithic edifice found on the island of Sardinia and the Nuraghe of Barumini is the most well preserved of the 7,000 structures from the Nuragic Age spread across this part of Italy. Cited as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nuraghe of Barumini is an iconic symbol of Sardinia and a must-see tourist attraction.
2| Cala Gonone
This famous seaside town is a defining area of Sardinia. Named the “secret seaside” of the vast island by Telegraph Travel, Cala Gonone is one of the best lesser known beach resorts. With spectacular mountain backdrops, your seaside experience here will be one like no other.
3| Cala Goloritz
Voted the ‘Travellers’ Choice Winner’ on Trip Advisor in 2014, Cala Goloritz is one of the better known beach resorts of Sardinia. This little piece of paradise boasts bright turquoise waters, dramatic limestone cliffs and a number of national parks nearby which are all worth exploring.
4| Il Castello Cagliari
This hilltop castle is the most iconic structure of Cagliari, Sardinia’s capital. Overlooking the rest of the city, and with great views of the sea, the castle is home to a university, cathedral and museums. It is also the trading ground for many boutique shops and arty bars or cafes. Head to the impressive fortress to experience the city’s bohemian side.
5| Piazza Yenne, Cagliari
There is so much to do and see in Cagliari. The capital is filled with exciting tourist attractions but no visit to this municipality is complete without experiencing the electric atmosphere of Piazza Yenne. It’s a local meeting place which lights up at night. Come here to rub shoulders with stylish Sardinians and grab a cocktail at Bar Centrale or supper at Grotta Marcello.
6| Costa Smeralda
In the northern part of the island is Costa Smeralda, quite possibly Sardinia’s most desirable coastal resort. Costa Smeralda is a beach lover’s paradise, with around 20km of white, powdery beaches. Costa Smeralda is the Italian equivalent of St. Tropez, offering a choice of prestigious golf clubs, luxury hotels and villas, and a view of millionaires’ yachts dotting the harbour. Brimming with celebrities and an affluent crowd, dining out can be pricey but everywhere you go the service will be nothing short of excellent.
The striking city of Olbia is in the north eastern part of Sardinia and often overlooked by travellers heading to Costa Smeralda for white sandy beaches. But this lesser known coastal city is a Sardinian treasure that has all the beauty of Smeralda yet the charm of the south. With an international airport, Olbia is one of the most accessible cities of Sardinia; it’s the perfect base for those looking to explore the northern coast as well as other coastal communes such as San Teodoro, Golfo Aranci or Posada.
8| Su Gorropu Gorge
For some outdoor adventure, head to “Europe’s Grand Canyon”, Su Gorropu Gorge. Despite the appeal of kicking back at the flawless beaches, locals will insist that the only way to truly experience Sardinia’s coast is to hike. And the Su Gorropu Gorge in the Parco Nazionale del Gennargentu (along the eastern coast), is one of the top natural sites for hikers. Make your base at Cala Gonone and take a few days to explore the beautiful national park.
9| Alghero e Bosa
Explore Sardinia’s Roman Catholic history in the religious administration of Alghero e Bosa. For history buffs or practicing Catholics, this Roman Catholic diocese under the rule of a bishop is an interesting and peaceful destination. Alghero e Bosa can be reached by bus; it has some wonderful religious architecture and monuments, and offers fantastic views of the sea.
10| Maddalena Archipelago
Off the northern coast, the Maddalena Archipelago entices holiday makers with low-key tourism and crystal clear waters. Escape the glitz and glam of the Costa Smeralda and explore the smaller islands of the Maddalena Archipelago. The 7 major islands are Isola Maddalena, Caprera, Budelli, Santo Stefano, Santa Maria, Spargi and Razzoli but there are 55 other small islands which complete the group.