Sardinia. A little slice of heaven. Well actually not that little. Sardinia is a large Italian island that is a quick 50 minute flight from Rome, has 2000km of coastline, picturesque sandy beaches, turquoise crystal clear waters, hiking trails and amazing food. I recently spent a week in beautiful Sardinia and am already looking at planning my return. Yes it was that good. There is so much to explore and I obviously didn’t get to see everything. Here is your guide to Sardinia and the areas I visited.
p.s: The best time to go and to avoid the masses is in June. The weather is warm enough and everything is not completely swamped with tourists. July and August are hotter, but this is the peak tourist season and as a result many prices are higher. With average temperatures of 25 degrees celsius, you’ll be sure to catch a tan in June.
Everything about Sardinia captivates you as soon as you lay eyes on it. From emerald waters, snow white sandy beaches to the wild hinterland. This Italian island is the second largest island in the Mediterranean sea, after Sicily and before Cyprus.
Official Languages: Italian; Sardinian and various other dialects. Being Europe most people have at least a smattering of English so you shouldn’t find getting around or asking for help too difficult.
Currency: Euro €
Climate: The climate varies from area to area due to various factors
Where To Stay
There are so many amazing hotels and Airbnb’s to choose from. It really does depend on your budget and what you are looking for. We stayed at a lovely Airbnb villa. No matter your price range, there will be something perfect for you. Here are some great options in the North , Olbia and surrounds. I stayed in Costa Smeralda.
Budget -:Under ￡150 /night
Costa Smeralda and its surrounds are expensive. Locanda Sant’Andrea is a great option if you are on a budget and looking for something more affordable. With rooms from ￡54 per night, it really is affordable. This tranquil hotel is located ideally both 20 minutes from Olbia airport and the divine beaches of Costa S’meralda. This family run hotel has its own private pool, friendly staff and a restaurant. The rooms are on the smaller side but still comfortable. The best rooms are found on the first floor as these rooms either overlook the bare mountains or the courtyard and pool area.
Mid-Range: ￡ 150 -￡ 300 /night
This is a typical Sardinia five-star beachfront resort that is ideal for families and couples. It “all-in” packages make it very affordable. Colona Resort is ideally located in the centre of Costa Smeralda. It is only 20 miles from Olbia airport, has it’s own amazing private beach and facilities and is on he heart of one of the most sought after areas in Sardinia. Given its location a car is a necessity should you want to explore other beaches and places. Top tip: head on down to the private beach for a morning swim in the crystal clear waters.
Splurge : ￡400 + /night
If you’re after a real 5 star experience, then L’Ea Bianca Luxury Resort is a great choice. You’ll need a car if you choose to stay here, but it’s well worth the usual hassle of hiring a car. Picture landscaped lawns, a small private beach, a stylish modern boutique with character and the best location. You can easily find everything you need at the hotel. A hairdresser, gyms and a spar. If you like excursions then these can easily be arranged by the hotel. Quad biking, fishing trips, hiking trails you name it. If you are looking to holiday as a family then there are a number of hillside villas too. And babysitters can be arranged upon request as well. This resort is well worth every penny and you will already be planning your return before you have even left for your departing flight.
What To Do
Quite frankly, you cannot come to Sardinia and avoid a beach. The sandy white beaches and emerald green yet crystal clear waters are so inviting you’ll find yourself wanting to spend all day every day on the beach. The trick is to do some research as to which beach you would like to go to and what your needs at the beach will be. Here are my top picks:
Spiaggia Del Principe
This was by far one of my favourite beaches. Do note that it is set down a somewhat precarious coastal path. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk and not 4 minutes as websites and the car park guard would suggest. Please don’t let this deter you as it is well worth it. Make sure that you wear comfortable walking shoes. You will need to bring any food or drink that you would need for the day as there is no beach cafe. There is a little “table store” selling souvenirs and there are men who come around selling beautiful kaftans and throws. This was actually the first beach I went to when arriving in Sardinia and I must say that it set the bar very high. On your descent you will see the emerald waters popping through the rugged terrain, and you will stop numerous times too snap a pic. I mean just look at it.
Once you reach the sandy white beach find a spot, set up for the day and then head in to the crystal clear waters. The water is a little chilly, but so welcoming and offers great relief from the heat. We swam out quite far and enjoyed not being surrounded by hordes of people.
Spiaggia Bianca, or commonly known as White Beach. This long white sandy beach is ideal if you want a beach with a restaurant, bar, umbrellas and loungers. Park at the carpark and walk 5-8 minutes on the flat dirt road. Alternatively you can drive all the way to the beach and drop everyone off, but you cannot park here. Once on the beach there are a number of beach loungers that you can choose from and they differ in price range. I really liked this beach as it’s great to have a cafe and bar on the beach. After all that swimming and tanning its nice to grab a bite to eat and seek some refuge from the sun for a bit of a break.
Whilst this beach is a bit of a drive, it’s well worth it. Its advised that you use your Garmin as the turn off onto this dirt road can easily be missed. There is plenty of space once you reach the beach. There are in fact three or four different access points to different parts of this long beach. On the beach you will find a bar/restaurant and various different loungers. They vary in price. This beach is busier as it is much bigger. But with plenty of space, soft sand and beautiful views it’s a definite must.
If you’re looking to do something a little different then head down to the port and have a look at all the various boat trips that are available on a daily basis. This is a great way to spend a couple of hours.
Visit the Thursday market in San Pantaleo. San Pantaleo is known as an artists village and this Thursday market is every bit encapsulating with its cobbled streets, open air stores and unique artefacts. Within 15 minutes you can reach San Pantaleo by car from the Costa S’meralda area. The market is a real local market where you will be able to buy local produce such as cheeses, meats, nougat etc. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes surrounding the market square and in the narrow alleys panning out of the square. This market is very popular, so it is advised that you get there early so that you can get parking and avoid some of the crowds.
Where To Eat
It’s difficult to choose just one restaurant as there are so many. Most serve the same food so find a spot with a great view and ambiance. If you head down to the port in Porto Rotondo you will find many restaurants and you can sit overlooking the boats. There are many places to go for drinks to. It’s nice to meander around the port and just find a place along the way. If you are staying in an Airbnb and would like to cook for yourself then there are local supermarkets too. Just remember that the Italians too have a siesta time known as riposo. This means that many local stores will be closed between 1:30 -4 pm approximately. You will need to check the individual stores as their times may differ.
It is advised that you hire a car. Getting around is made so much easier if you have your own car. Someone in our party hired a car so I didn’t personally have to hire a car. I organised a taxi from the airport to the accommodation. Priced at almost € 50, it was well over priced for the distance travelled. There is actually a bus that you can take. I took the bus when going to the airport. It actually takes you within about 400 m of the airport and only costs € 1,50 ! I would definitely advise wearing comfortable walking shoes, especially when heading down the rugged coastal paths to the beach.
What To Pack
Being summer and all, and the fact that Sardinia is a beach holiday destination , you do not need to pack that much. Just your favourite bikinis, casual beach clothes and perhaps a nice outfit or two for smarter dinners, accessories and your toiletries. I know we always tend to overpack, but if you are just going on a beach holiday and not travelling anywhere afterwards then you really don’t need that much.