Sardinia: Places to Explore


  • Alghero

    A tourist-friendly town of about 45,000 inhabitants with a distinctly Spanish flavor, Alghero is also known as "Barcelonetta" (little Barcelona). Rich wrought-iron scrollwork decorates balconies and screened... Read more

  • Cagliari

    Known in Sardinia as Casteddu, the island's capital of nearly 160,000 inhabitants has steep streets and impressive Italianate architecture in styles ranging from modern to medieval. Cagliari is characterized... Read more

  • Castelsardo

    The walled seaside citadel of Castelsardo is a delight for craft lovers, with tiny shops crammed with all kinds of souvenirs, particularly woven baskets. The appropriately shaped Roccia dell'Elefante (Elephant... Read more

  • Costa Verde

    If you've come to Sardinia in search of untrammeled wilderness and sweeping sands as far as the eye can see, this deserted coast is the place to find them. Hidden away in the forgotten southwest corner... Read more

  • Fonni

    In the heart of the Barbagia region, Fonni, with walls covered in murals, is the highest town on the island. This mountainous district, including Monte Spada and the Bruncu Spina refuge on the Gennargentu... Read more

  • Giara di Gesturi

    On the 45-square-km (28-square-mile) basalt plateau of Giara di Gesturi roams some of the island's more exotic wildlife, including a species of wild dwarf horse. Another rare species in the Giara is the... Read more

  • Golfo Aranci

    At the mouth of the Gulf of Olbia, Golfo Aranci is a small-scale resort and major arrival point for ferries from the mainland. Tour the village to relax on an outdoor terrace or shop in one of many quaint... Read more

  • La Maddalena

    From the port of Palau you can visit the archipelago of La Maddalena, seven granite islands embellished with lush green scrub and wind-bent pines that belong to the Olbia-Tempio province. Car ferries make... Read more

  • Nuoro

    The somewhat shabby provincial capital of Nuoro is on the edge of a gorge in the harsh mountainous area that culminates in Gennargentu, the island's highest massif (6,000 feet). Not much happens here... Read more

  • Olbia

    Amid the resorts of Sardinia's northeastern coast, Olbia, a town of about 60,000, is a lively little seaport and port of call for mainland ferries at the head of a long, wide bay.... Read more

  • Oristano

    The beautiful small colonial center exudes a distinct serenity. Oristano's evening passeggiata (pre-dinner stroll) teems with vivacious young children and has a relaxed friendliness about it. The city's... Read more

  • Porto Cervo

    Sardinia's northeastern coast is fringed with low cliffs, inlets, and small bays. This has become an upscale vacationland, with glossy resorts such as Baia Sardinia and Porto Rotondo just outside the confines... Read more

  • Pula

    Resort villages sprawl along the coast southwest of the capital, which has its share of fine scenery and good beaches. On the marshy shoreline between Cagliari's Aeroporto di Elmas and Pula, huge flocks... Read more

  • San Pietro

    A ferry at the small northern port of Calasetta connects Sant'Antioco with Carloforte, the main town on the smaller island of San Pietro. This classic little Italian port village and its surrounding coastline... Read more

  • Sant'Antioco

    Off Sardinia's southwest coast is the sleepy island of Sant'Antioco—the most hectic activity seems to be the silent repairing of nets by local fishermen who have already pulled in their daily catch. It... Read more

  • Santa Teresa di Gallura

    At the northern tip of Sardinia, Santa Teresa di Gallura retains the relaxed, carefree air of a former fishing village. Nearby beaches rival those farther down the coast, but manage not to seem overcrowded... Read more

  • Sassari

    The island's second largest city and relatively chaotic with cars, Sassari is an important university town and administrative center, notable for its history of intellectualism and bohemian student culture... Read more

  • Su Nuraxi (Barumini)

    It's definitely worth a detour to see the extraordinary stone village-fortress of Su Nuraxi, in the quiet town of Barumini.... Read more

  • Tharros