The 35 best sights of Sardinia – descriptions and photos

Sightseeing resort island of Sardinia

Sardinia is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, the second largest, second only to Sicily. The administrative center of Cagliari, the population of which is more than half a million people.

The island has a Mediterranean climate.

The climate of the island is Mediterranean. The average temperature is 8 ° C in January and 25 ° C in July. The main part of precipitation falls in winter. The best month for a holiday in Sardinia is July. Planning a trip to Sardinia, weigh the pros and cons, whether to go there on your own or to buy an all-inclusive package from a travel agency.

What to see in Sardinia?

In our article we will tell you about the most interesting sights of the island with their photos and descriptions, the best places for a family vacation, as well as the most beautiful beaches of Sardinia.

Su Nuraxi

Su Nuraxi is a valley where there are unique ancient structures made of stone, nuraghi, characteristic only for the island of Sardinia. At the end of the last century, the best preserved nuraghe, the Nuraghe Barumini, was recognized as a UNESCO heritage site – an argument in favor of the fact that when you come to Sardinia the valley of nuraghe should not be missed.

Su Nuraxi

The nurag of Casa Zapata has a museum where you can see objects dating back to the Bronze Age, found during the excavations of the Su Nuraxi archaeological site. These are jewelry, utensils, and weapons .

La Maddalena Archipelago

In 1994 La Maddalena Archipelago also drew the attention of UNESCO and was included in the World Heritage List. If you have chosen to travel around the archipelago, you will have the opportunity here to join a tour group . During the tour, you will be able to see the places, the way to which lies exclusively by sea, these beaches and coves with untouched nature.

La Maddalena archipelago

One of the best hotels in the archipelago is the five-star Grand Hotel Ma&Ma. Prefer a quiet, meditative atmosphere, as well as traveling with family, we recommend you to stay at La Casitta. There are few villas on the island of Santa Maria and La Casitta is one of them.

Faro di Capo Spartivento lighthouse

Faro di Capo Spartivento has been a lighthouse since 1856, but today it is a luxury hotel. This legendary lighthouse is called Faro di Capo Spartivento and it is still working. Until the 80s it was home to the family of the keeper. Then the lighthouse was modernized and converted into a luxury guesthouse, the authentic atmosphere of a real nineteenth century lighthouse remains intact.

Faro di Capo Spartivento lighthouse

The lighthouse has some interesting features: solar panels were installed here, thanks to which the heating system and water heating works. In addition, a wastewater treatment system is used here .

Su Gorropu Gorge

The gorge of Su Gorropu is a canyon in Sardinia, a record deep. Seeing it is not enough, it must be thoroughly explored: here you can see the unspoilt nature of the island and walk along the so-called “road of the long-livers”.

Gorge of Su Gorropu

According to popular belief, there is an enchanted land in Oliastre: whoever touches it will live a very long time. No one knows the exact location of the magic trail, but perhaps you can step on it quite by accident.

Neptune’s Grottoes

The most beautiful and most famous caves of the island with a total length of underground passages of 2.5 kilometers are dedicated to the Roman god of the sea and are known as the Grottoes of Neptune. In the caves there are two entrances: the first – from the sea, and to get to the caves through the entrance can only be approached by boat or boat, the second is cut into the rock manhole.

Neptune's Grottoes

To see the unforgettable beauty of the caves, you will need to overcome a length of six hundred and seventy-five steps down the stairs. Stalactites and stalagmites are really impressive.

Lake La Marmora

Lake La Marmora, one of the largest underground lakes in Europe (a hundred meters long) can also be seen here in the grottoes of Neptune. You will certainly be amazed by all this beauty, but remember that it is forbidden to take pictures in the caves.

  • Address: Porto Conte, Alghero, 07041 Sardegna, Italia.
  • Entrance for tourist groups from 11.00 to 16.00. There are hourly guided tours.
  • The price of the entrance ticket to the cave is 10 euros, with benefits for children and discounts for groups.

Lake La Marmora

Mamoada and Orgozolo

Mamoada and Orgozolo are small towns located in the central part of the island, in the region of Barbagia. About one hundred and fifty wall paintings called “murales” are the tourist highlight of Orgosolo. The town of Mamoiada is famous for its carnival masks. In the Museum of Mediterranean Masks you will find a huge variety of exhibits.

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Mamoada and Orgosolo

The Rock of Orso di Palau

The Rock of Orso di Palau

The geographer Ptolemy, in the second century A.D., described in his works a rock, the profile of which is very similar to that of a bear. It was feared by sailors because it supposedly had the ability to attract ships that passed by. Nowadays the Orso di Palau is one of Sardinia’s most famous natural attractions. The bizarre “bear” silhouette was formed by wind erosion. The unusual rock is five kilometers away from the town of Palau.

Porto Cervo Resort

Porto Cervo Resort

The resort of Porto Cervo is located in the north-east of Sardinia and is part of the Olbia-Tempio region. Porto Cervo is one of the bohemian tourist resorts visited by the rich and famous . Here you will see luxury villas, cars, yachts, and boutiques of fashionable brands and designers, but your children are likely to be bored here.

Alghero and Bosa

Alghero and Bosa

Alghero and Bosa are two Italian towns that are definitely worth your attention. Alghero has a particularly striking historic center and good beaches. Bosa is a city with a river harbor. It is the only city in Sardinia located on the river. Like all such cities, it has a very romantic atmosphere.

Entertainment for children

Sardinia has a lot of family-friendly resorts in the south. And rest assured, neither the kids nor the adults will be bored for a minute. While mom and dad are out shopping or sampling Italian wines, the kids will be babysat by hotel staff. Most hotels have good animators on staff .

Parco Naturale Molentargius-Saline

The most popular nature reserve in Cagliari is Molentargus. This tourist site is known for its multispecies fauna and for the fact that there are salt ponds in the area. Staying in the protected area fosters a caring attitude towards nature in children.

Waterfowl that nest and stop for flights right in the park are the main object of protection here. Many visit this place just to see the pink flamingos and take photos of them.

  • Address: Via La Palma Ex Saline- Stagni di Molentargius, 09126.
  • It is open daily from seven in the morning to eight in the evening. During the holidays the opening schedule can be changed.
  • Entrance is free.

Parco Naturale Molentargius-Saline

Aquapark Diverland

Aquapark Diverland is a large entertainment town, occupying an area of one hundred thousand square meters. Here you can find attractions for all ages and tastes. Slides at the water park – from child safe to extreme. Park infrastructure includes pools for water aerobics and gymnastics. Here you can also take a whirlpool bath.

  • The park is twenty kilometers from Cagliari at Strada Statale 125,19,500 Localita Cruxi Lilliu.
  • The water park is open to the public daily 10.00-18.00 from June to September.
  • The entrance fee is between 14 and 18 Euros.

Waterpark Diverland

Blu fan

Another wonderful water park is constructed two kilometers from Pula. The park is called Blu fan and offers its guests a wide variety of entertainment. Here are mini shows and professional animators for children.

  • Address: Strada Statale 19 rv 24, 650.

Blu fan

Park Dinosario

A place that will not leave any child indifferent is the Dinosario Park. It is an open-air paleontological museum. Visiting this park, you can learn a lot about the life of dinosaurs. Life-size figures of the ancient inhabitants of the Earth serve to illustrate .

  • Located at: Strada Provinciale 57, km 5, 850.

Dinosario Park

Beaches

Many experienced tourists write that the main attraction of Sardinia – the sea. First of all Sardinia attracts clean beaches with incredibly white sand . When you go into the sea, there are no sharp differences in depth, the bottom is not stony, no sharp stones, which are a danger to small children.

  • The famous beach Poetto is the longest in the country. Its length is six kilometers. The beach is located just away from the center of Cagliari. The bus can get there in 10 minutes. A distinctive feature of this place is a very wide shallow water, which makes the beach popular for holidays with children . Even if you do not know how to swim at all, this beach is safe for you. Those who wish can take dancing lessons and sing karaoke on the beach. It is open 24 hours a day. To rent a trestle bed for a day costs 8 euros, rent two trestle beds and an umbrella – 11 euros.
  • Kiya beach is known for its incredibly clean water. Tower – the namesake of the city has long been its symbol. Kia Tower can be seen from all the beaches in the city. Near Chia is Nora, the oldest settlement of Sardinia, founded by the Pannicans.
  • The beaches of Oristano . The province of Oristano can rightly be considered the most interesting in Sardinia . If you come to Sardinia for the architecture and historical monuments, in Oristano you will be offered the richest tour program. But at the same time, Oristano is one of the most popular tourist resorts on the island, with miles of white sandy beaches, tropical vegetation, colorful sunsets, rocky shores and picturesque blue lagoons.
  • Villasimius beaches . This resort offers a clean coast and a clear sea, everything you need for a quality holiday. Villasimius is known as a beautiful resort because of the port of Capo Carbonara, where the marine reserve is located.
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Tourist reviews

  • Tatosha (photographer, Italy-Russia)

I had a trip to Sardinia with three children. I recommend anyone who travels on the island to rent a car, because traveling in this region by car is very convenient. If renting a car you can’t afford, then head to the town of San Teodoro or Bayou Sardinia. The beaches are within walking distance, you can get there both for free and for a fee!

  • Alvik (Moscow)

If you’ll be in Sardinia, I recommend taking a boat trip around the Gulf of Orozea, or even rent a motor boat. This is an opportunity to see the beautiful beaches, inaccessible from the land. On the beach in Orozey there are special booths where tickets for such boats are sold.

  • Elena_F (Moscow).

Moving around Sardinia without a car is very difficult, especially in the east of the island. Public transport is not seen there at all. Perhaps in the east is better in Santa Maria. There are supermarkets in walking distance, where you can buy baby food and milk (especially needed when you travel with a child). The municipality of Orosea is famous for its beaches, but you can get to the supermarket or a restaurant only by cab.

Sardinia is called a little paradise in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. The most bohemian place on the island is considered to be the north, where millionaires and famous movie stars love to relax, but we told you about the south of Sardinia, where the beaches are as beautiful as the north.

Remember that the description of attractions on the internet or stories of other tourists will never replace a personal experience! Come to Sardinia and let the rest on this island will be unforgettable for you.

15 best places to see in Sardinia

Perhaps the only thing you’ve heard about Sardinia is that it has the famous Emerald Coast (Costa Smeralda). The coast got its name from the color of the water that rolls up waves on the white sand beaches. But this Mediterranean island is more than just a piece of land with beaches in the middle of the sea. Tourists coming to Sardinia for the first time are often surprised by a mountainous wilderness, which begins just a few kilometers from the white beaches.

Another thing tourists are usually surprised by a large number of archaeological sites from prehistoric times. Especially a lot of mysterious round megalithic towers, known as “nuragi” (in the singular “nurag” or “nuraga”). You’re sure to ponder the mysteries of these prehistoric fortresses/dwellings as you climb the time-darkened steps and walk through corridors built of stone in the Bronze and Iron Ages. In Sardinia you can also walk through the original Roman streets and visit the wind-blown ruins of Phoenician cities. The island of Sardinia is one of a kind. You won’t find folk customs and festivals like this anywhere else. Local cuisine differs greatly from that of other parts of Italy. Even the language is different (although everyone in Sardinia speaks Italian and many speak English).

1 Cagliari and South Sardinia

The southern coast of the island can give the tourist an idea of the infinite diversity of Sardinia. From the medieval streets and high bastions overlooking the capital Cagliari, it’s only a few kilometers to the ruins of the ancient city of Nora, once ruled by the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians and the Romans. Head east from the city and in minutes you’ll be on one of the legendary beaches that make Sardinia one of Europe’s most popular summer vacation destinations.

2 Su Nuraxi di Barumini

There are thousands of megalithic towers scattered across Sardinia, many of which are literally piles of ancient stone. Su Nuraxi di Barumini is the largest and best preserved nuraghic complex on the island. It is located not far from Cagliari. There are half-hour tours of the megalithic complex with English-speaking guides. If you have the opportunity to see only one prehistoric monument, choose Su Nuraxi, you will not fail. UNESCO considers Su Nuraxi di Barumini one of the most important archaeological sites in the Mediterranean.

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Radiocarbon analysis of the wood found in the walls of the central tower showed that it is about 3.5 millennia old. The outer towers were built in the 11th or 12th century BC. You can go inside the tower and climb to the top of the dome, built of stone without the use of mortar. The walls are 1.8 m thick. The three floors of the tower are connected by spiral stone stairs. Even people far from construction can appreciate the level of engineering skill achieved by the prehistoric builders. After exploring the towers and foundations of the ancient village houses, don’t forget to check out the Casa Zapata museum, located in the village. The museum has many interesting exhibits and another nuraga found under the museum building itself.

Address: Highway 131, Barumini (near Sanluri)

3 Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast)

Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are located in the rocky coves between the port town of Olbia and the tip of the Cape Testa (Capo de Testa). The beaches, bathed by clear and green water, are known worldwide as the Costa Smeralda, the Emerald Coast. The comparison with one of the most expensive gems can refer not only to the resort itself, but also to its guests. Tourist life of the Emerald Coast began in the 1960s, when the Aga Khan IV decided to turn part of the northern coast of Sardinia in the “reservation for millionaires. Resort “villages” are built in the form of seaside towns on Greek islands. The largest center of the coast is Porto Cervo (Porto Cervo), a resort village and marina for private yachts, built in the 1960s. The only local attraction for those not involved in resort life is the MdM, a stylish contemporary art museum with changing exhibitions and a cafeteria with a summer terrace overlooking Porto Cervo. The most affordable resort on the coast is the lively little town of Cannigione by the bay of Arzacena.

Don’t be surprised if you think the locals speak some other language. It is – it’s almost Spanish. In many corners of the city you can still see signs and signs in Spanish. In the 14th century, the pope gave Sardinia to the King of Aragon, so that the island is not taken over by Pisa or Genoa, at that time feuding with the Vatican. He gave land to about four hundred families from Aragon and Catalonia on the condition that they settle on the island, namely in Alghero, replacing the local population. Church services in the local church of St. Francis are still conducted in Catalan. It is worth visiting the church and seeing the magnificent 13th-century covered gallery, which can be accessed through the sacristy to the left of the altar. The cathedral has a 14th century Spanish Gothic doorway. Closer in the evening, climb the walls built by the Spanish to defend against attack from the sea and join the locals as they take an evening stroll by the mighty bastions and admire the sunset over the sea.

If you’ve seen a few nuraghe and haven’t been “hooked” by these mysterious towers, chances are nothing will surprise you. But most tourists quickly fall under the fascination of these megalithic structures, about which almost nothing is known, and notice that they are quite different from each other. The Vine, one of the top three nuraghe, has several features. There is lighting inside and even without a lantern you can clearly see the walls and the inner surface of the domes. The Vine is one of the largest complexes, consisting of a large central tower and three outer towers forming a triangular bastion, which you can explore by walking through a maze of stone corridors that rise in a spiral inside the massive walls. The second floor is well-preserved and the roof is also intact. Although the complex dates back to the 12th and 14th centuries BC (Bronze Age), the large central hall is in excellent condition and its appearance is more refined than most of the other rooms. In the small museum you can see bronze bracelets and other artifacts. Location: off Highway 131, near Abbasanta Offsite: www.nuraghelosa.net

6 Prehistoric Monuments of Artsakhena

One of the largest clusters of Stone and Copper Age structures is a few kilometers from the Emerald Coast, but it feels like another world. Six notable complexes include nuraghes, burials and curious chamber tombs known as tomba gigante (“tombs of giants”). In the chamber tomb of Coddu Vecchiu, an 18th-century B.C. tunnel tomb, the entrance is lined with flat stones added several centuries later. The entrance in the Li Lolghi tomb is very similar, but here a 3.5m upright standing stone is set at the entrance. In the nearby Li Muri necropolis, the stone tombs are arranged inside circles of flat standing stones, once covered by earth. The oval shape of the nuraga of Albuccu is unusual. Nuraga. Artsakhena is also known for its bizarre rock formations, which have been subject to erosion for many centuries. One of them, on the east side of Artsakhena, looks like a giant mushroom.

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7 Nuraga Santa Cristina and the Shrine of the Well

Just north of Oristano is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in Sardinia. Here you can see the beautifully preserved “sacred well” – the temple-well of 1200-1100 B.C. – and the nuragic tower, the roof of which overlooks the prehistoric stone village surrounding the temple. One of the oblong houses still shows the original stone roof. Climbing up to the roof of the nuraga is more convenient with a lantern. If you want to see another layer of history, pay attention to the small stone “bags” between the well and the nuraga. These are the monks’ cells surrounding the 12th century church. Pilgrims still make pilgrimages here in May and October. Location: Cabras, 19 km west of Oristano

8 Nuoro and Gennargentu

The streets of Nuoro, sprawling on top of a mountain range, offer beautiful views in all directions. The cathedral of Santa Maria della Neve (19th century) stands on a rock “growing” from the valley floor, and the small square in front of the church is practically the only flat area in the whole town. Nuoro is a good base for exploring the Gennardgentu National Park, where the most beautiful mountains of Sardinia are located. There are also remote villages here that seem to be still in the 19th century. Amazing places where small towns nestle on the steep mountain slopes, and the traditions have not changed for centuries. You have to be extremely careful when driving here because of the narrow roads and steep turns and rises. Learn more about the local villages and traditions at the outstanding Ethnographic Museum of the traditions of Sardinia, located in Nuoro. The museum has the best collections of Sardinian costumes and decorative art. A separate gallery is dedicated to traditional masks. The National Archaeological Museum, with artifacts from the Neolithic period and fossils, is also worth a visit.

9 Nurag Valley

A wide flat valley surrounded by the cones of ancient volcanoes, known for its eroded rock formations and prehistoric monuments, the most famous of which is the 16-meter-high nurag of St. Anthony. One of the three largest nuraghe in Sardinia and the most complex consists of three towers connected by a defensive wall. Santo Antine dates from the 16th century B.C. You can climb the steps inside the thick walls to reach the well-preserved second and third levels of the central tower and take the upper corridor to the west and north towers. Several other nuraghe can be seen from above. Not far from the complex there are tombs carved into the rocks from 4000-3000 BC. In the Middle Ages they were used as hermitages and inside some of them you can still see frescoes. The attraction is far from always open, but even without getting inside there is a lot to admire. Location: off highway 131, Torralba

Wander among the stone heritage of Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman cultures in the ruins of the city of Tarros. Try to imagine what the place looked like before the houses and benches were reduced to ruins of foundations and doorways. There are still columns from Roman baths, fragments of an aqueduct, temples and an amphitheater overlooking the sea. At the top of the hill is a Phoenician necropolis (the Phoenicians left here in about 650 BC). What archaeologists found in the ruins of Tarros can be seen in the Civico Giovanni Marongiu Museum in Cabras, where carved stone steles, funerary urns and other artefacts are on display. More treasures are on display at the Antiquarium Arborense in the small town of Oristano. The Cathedral of the Virgin Mary in Oristano dates back to medieval times, but it was restored under the Spanish in the 18th and 19th centuries. The colorful tiles on the domes of the cathedral belong to this time. Location: Cabras, 19 km west of Oristano

Since the ninth century B.C., Bosa rises above the mouth of Sardinia’s only navigable river, in a valley now widely used as farmland. The labyrinth of medieval streets stretches from the old stone bridge and pastel houses at the waterfront to Malaspina Castle at the top of the hill. Although you can drive right up to the castle, don’t miss the opportunity to wander through the ancient streets where modest huts are juxtaposed with large noblemen’s mansions. The restored Deriu House works as a museum with furnished rooms and an art gallery. In the castle you can see a 13th-century chapel with unusual 14th-century frescoes. The seaside road from Boza to Alghero offers very scenic views. And you’ll have hair on your head only in certain sections.

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12 Archipelago Maddalena

From the small port of Palau, there are regular half-hour boat trips to Maddalena, the archipelago’s only town in the Straits of Bonifacio, between Sardinia and Corsica. In addition to the beaches, the farthest of which can only be reached by boat, tourists come here to cross the embankment and bridge to the neighboring island of Caprera. Giuseppe Garibaldi, the father of Italian statehood and leader of the struggle for Italian unification and independence, lived here. Garibaldi’s monument attracts visitors to the island from all over Italy and many other countries. There are several beaches on the opposite side of the island, easy to find by the paths that branch off the only road. Ofsite: www.compendiogaribaldino.it

Castelsardo is an attractive and lively fishing town with pastel houses “climbing” up the mountainside. Above the settlement is a medieval village enclosed by defensive walls. At the very top of the town towers above the castle of the XII century with a good museum of local crafts. Particularly interesting is the basket weaving exhibit. Narrow streets wind around the castle and descend down the mountainside, turning into stairs in the steepest places. Women can be seen at the doors of the houses weaving baskets. Views from the top extend in two directions, along the coast and out to sea, all the way to Corsica. In the church in the little square of Castelsardo there is one of the finest altars in Sardinia, dating back to the fifteenth century. The wood carvings on the choir are also magnificent. The bell tower of the church was once a lighthouse.

14 Grotta di Nettuno

Cruise from Banchin-Dogan (bay) in Alghero to the tip of Cape Caccia, where there is a beautiful cave with stalactites and stalagmites reflecting in an underground lake. Neptune’s Grotto was washed out by sea waves in the 304-meter-high coastal cliffs. The entrance to the cave is at sea level, and the most interesting, though not always easy, to get into the grotto is by sea. You can also go by car from Alghero (about 14 kilometers), passing on the road interesting nuraghe. On the ground will have to descend the 656 steps Escala del Cabirol (“goat stairs”). The steps are carved into the rock. Location: Cape of Caccia, Alghero, Sardinia

Sassari, Sardinia’s second largest city, is a lively university and cultural center with interesting examples of Catalan Gothic, Neoclassic and Baroque architecture. Walk down Via Victor Emmanuel II, the city’s main street since the Middle Ages. Admire the ancient porticoes and windows on the houses of the Spanish period. The National Museum of Sanna, one of the best museums in Sardinia, displays archaeological collections including nuragic bronze figures and jewelry, as well as ancient Roman artifacts. Don’t miss the main cathedral of Sassari, notable for its amazing 17th-century carved ornaments on the facade by Milanese artisans. Several other churches in the city are also worth a visit, if they are open. But the most notable local religious structure is about twelve kilometers south of Sassari on Route 131. The tower in black and white stripes towers over the church and the ruins of the monastery of Santissima Trinita di Saccargia, the best example of Pisan architecture in all of Sardinia. Inside, if you’re lucky and the church is open, you can see 13th-century frescoes.

How to get there

Sardinia and mainland Italy are connected by car ferries. The distance from the island to the mainland – 193 kilometers. Less often there are ships to Mediterranean ports in other countries, France and Spain. Ferries leave from Savona (western Italian Riviera), Genoa, Livorno (near Pisa) and Civitavecchia (Rome), arriving at the Sardinian ports of Cagliari (capital of the south island), Arbatax (east coast), Olbia (Costa Smeralda) and Porto Torres (north coast). Companies serving Sardinia: Tirrenia, Moby Lines, Grandi Navi Veloci, Grimaldi Lines, Corsica/Sardinia Ferries. Regular flights connect Cagliari international airport, Rome and other major Italian cities. Aircraft with local flights also land at the smaller airports of Olbia and Alghero.

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