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Sardinia Travel Guide

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  • Photo: Sailorr / Shutterstock

Plan Your Sardinia Vacation

The second-largest island in the Mediterranean, Sardinia remains unique and enigmatic with its stretches of rugged coastline and white-sand beaches, dramatic granite cliffs, and mountainous inland tracts. Glamorous resorts lie within a short distance of quiet, medieval villages, and ruined castles and ancient churches testify to an eventful history. But although conquerors from all directions—Phoenicians,

Carthaginians, Romans, Catalans, Pisans, Piemontese—have left their traces, no single outside culture has had a dominant impact. Pockets of foreign influence persist along the coasts (for example, the walled Catalan city of Alghero), but inland, a proud Sardinian culture and language flourish.

As a travel destination, Sardinia's identity is split: the island has some of Europe's most expensive resorts, but it's also home to untamed, naturally pristine areas, untouched by commercial development. Fine sand and clean waters draw summer sun worshippers to beaches, among the best in the Mediterranean. Most famous are those along the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), where the überrich have anchored their yachts since the 1960s. Less exclusive beach holidays can be found elsewhere on the island at La Maddalena, Villasimius, and Pula. There are also wonderfully intact medieval towns—Cagliari, Oristano, Sassari—on or near the water.

Apart from the glamorous shores and upscale locales found in the east, most of Sardinia’s coast is rugged and unreachable, a jagged series of wildly beautiful inlets accessible only by sea. Inland, Sardinia remains shepherd's country, silent and stark. Against this landscape are the striking and mysterious stone nuraghi (ancient defensive structures) that provide clues to the island’s ancient culture. Found only on Sardinia, these sites have been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in what is considered "the finest and most complete example of a remarkable form of prehistoric architecture."

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Relax on idyllic beaches Covering more than 1,200 miles of coastline, Sardinia's beaches beckon with their turquoise waters, white sand, and rippled dunes.
  2. Discover natural beauty A network of trails explores Sardinia’s resplendent mountains, deep gorges, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls.
  3. Explore charming towns and villages From coastal towns to rural villages, the island is dotted with a variety of settlements that take pride in their history and tradition. Each has its own culture, cuisine, and unique way of life.
  4. Dive or snorkel the outer reefs Crystalline waters, warm weather and outer reefs make Sardinia a paradise for underwater adventurers. Sunken ships and marine reserves provide the ideal place to discover marine life.
  5. Savor Sardinian delicacies From pasta and prosciutto to lamb and cheese, the island's cuisine is sure to satisfy any appetite.

When To Go

When to Go

The best time to visit Sardinia is May through September. European vacationers flock to the island for sunshine in July and August. Expect to...

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