One of the great perks of living and traveling in Europe is that you can hop on a plane and be wherever you need to be in a matter of a couple of hours which is always handy when you live in a bustling city like London and crave a change of scenery now and then. And so one evening, after a particularly hectic week, I knew I needed a break; I’ve opened Google Maps and stared onto Mediterranean sea for a reason unknown to me. What caught my glimpse was Sardinia. I knew next to nothing about Sardinia, yet heard a lot of great things about this island; I wanted to learn more.
And so before the dust settles in, I’ve decided to sit down and share the fantastic experience of visiting Sardinia and I hope that one day you will decide to visit this heaven on Earth too. Enjoy!
What is Sardinia Famous For?
Sardinia has the most beautiful European sea and white sandy beaches stretching for miles and miles, and its countryside ranging from tall mountains to luscious green hills rolling up and down – is pretty wild and little populated.
The food in Sardinia is delicious, the people are smiling and welcoming, and living cost is quite cheap. A special liqueur called “Mirto” that is made of myrtle berries and given to you at the restaurants after a big meal deserves a special note.
Pane Carasau also called in Italian “Carta da musica” meaning music paper is a must-try; it’s a very crusty and thin bread with the shape of a music record, no fats guaranteed!
If you are a pescatarian, just like yours truly, delicious fish and seafood recipes (you can find everything in the surrounding sea waters) will never leave you disappointed.
Oh, and Sardinian Wines (Vermentino – white, Cannonau – red, Vernaccia – white) are renowned and appreciated worldwide. In Sardinia,”Ichnusa” (the ancient Phoenician name of the Island) a kind of light beer is very popular as well.
Here’s a TED talk by Dan Buettner that studies world’s “Blue Zones,” communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. In his talk, he shares the nine common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100 – I shall mention that this particular TED talk made me curious and inspired me to look closer into Blue Zones, and, consequently learn even more about Sardinia by hopping on a plane and getting there.
Amazing Places You Have to See in Sardinia
This was my first visit, and I only spend seven days in Sardinia barely scratching the surface of ALL the things worth doing and seeing that the island has to offer. And yet I managed to cover quite a few astonishingly beautiful places worth visiting and putting on your bucket list.
Alghero and its surrounding areas are nothing short of stunning. And if you rent a car you have lots of opportunities to discover the area around starting with:
- Alghero itself
- Nettuno’s cave
- Sella & Mosca vineyard
- The stunning beaches in and around Stintino
All of this is in a space of just 50 km / 31 miles!
Food Wise: I had one of the most spectacular dinners with friends in a place called Trattoria Marco Polo Da Gian Luca (Alghero – Via Cavour, 46 – tel. +39 079 9738476) the food was straight out of this world and chatting with the friendly staff about history and culture of Sardinia was amazing.
Calstelsardo is located about 70 km north of Alghero and is the place where I stayed. Speaking of the place where I stayed. For those interested, it was a beautiful apartment on the top of the hill overlooking the bay that was hired via Airbnb, go and have a look, the lady Maria Caterina is nothing short of the super host! Maria’s apartment is beautiful with jaw-dropping views of the bay (the above picture is of the fantastic sunset from the balcony).
Castelsardo is a stone throw away from the restaurants and bars and souvenir shops, besides, it’s a great place to explore North Sardinia from by car.
Food Wise: there’s a shop called Eurospin and another one nearby called Conad City where you can get everything you need for a nice home-cooked dinner, of course, if you are into home cooking adventure.
If you don’t feel like cooking, there are plenty of restaurants to discover delicious local cuisine, take Il Cormorano Restaurant for instance (Via Cristoforo Colombo, 7, 07031 Castelsardo SS – tel. +39 079 470628) – I have to tell you, the seafood dishes were outrageously great and the desserts were to die for – we rolled out of the table at the end of the evening, consider yourself forewarned 😋
3. Parco Regionale di Porto Conte
The northwestern part of Sardinia boasts with its immense expanse of wild landscapes with breath-taking views of the sea, unique plants and animal species, and a rare concentration of interesting and significant archaeological remains.
The Porto Conte regional park is perfect for exploring the area by hicking and by boat; am pretty sure you can dive there during the summer season as well. Fellow PADI divers, am winking at you as I’ve seen lots of delicious-looking dive sites in Sardinia well worth exploring!
4. Capo Testa and its Scenic Destinations With Rocky Coves
I absolutely loved Capo Testa, which is a peninsula but feels more like a small island, even though it’s connected by a narrow isthmus to the Sardinian mainland near Santa Teresa Gallura. What makes it so special is the mix of beautiful beaches and interesting rock formations.
5. S’Archittu Beach in Sardinia
6. Gola di Gorropu: Grand Canyon of Sardinia
Now kids, before we continue, if you are considering visiting the Grand Canyon of Europe – Gola di Gorropu, make sure you get there nice and early – the entire adventure took us 6 hours and was one of the most heart accelerating, picturesque and breathtaking hikes in my life! So please make sure you have the whole day well-planned and dedicated to this place to explore and enjoy.
I could write about Sardinia forever – it’s such a marvelous place that refused to stop blowing my little socks off with its astonishing natural beauty — Sardinia is a precious jewel of the Mediterranean sea that fills your heart and mind with endless wonder… now, it’s your time to explore and share your experience! Go ahead and do it!