5 Amazing Places You Have to See in Sardinia

Amazing Places in Sardinia

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.

What is Sardinia Famous For

📌 Sardinia is one out of five Blue Zones: the island has an above average life expectancy of 90 years, and has the highest rate of centenarians in the entire world, with there being 22 people aged over 100 per 100,000 inhabitants. What gives the people of Sardinia extraordinary longevity? Find out how genetics, lifestyle, and even laughter may all play a role!

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.

1. Alghero

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:

  1. Alghero itself
  2. Nettuno’s cave
  3. Sella & Mosca vineyard
  4. 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.

Alghero Sardinia

📌 Alghero is a city on the northwest coast of Sardinia. Encircled by ancient walls, it’s known for its cobblestoned old center. Its Catalan Gothic buildings include the Cattedrale di Santa Maria, with an imposing bell tower, Palazzo Guillot and Chiesa di San Francesco, a 14th-century church. The nearby Chiesa San Michele has a colorful tiled dome. The Museo del Corallo di Alghero contains red coral displays you absolutely have to see with your own eyes.

Alghero Sardinia

📌 The narrow, cobbled streets of Alghero’s medieval citadel, packed with boutiques, bars, and restaurants, slope towards the harbor and sweeping bay. Built in a buttery sandstone that glows a soft apricot shade in the setting sun, it’s Sardinia’s one of the most picturesque Old Towns. Spanish-style palazzos and street signs in Italian and Catalan reflect its proud heritage: 300 years of Aragon rule. Fringed by pine forests, long sandy beaches, hotels, and bars curve away towards green headlands. It’s an idyllic setting.

2. Castelsardo

best location to stay in Sardinia

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.

📌Castelsardo by night + Full Moon

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!

📌 as you can tell, LL gets bored easily by the unspeakable natural beauty of Sardinia, so much so it all puts her to sleep 🙂

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.

Capo Testa, Sardinia

📌 Capo Testa was once a small mining town where the Romans extracted enormous amounts of granite which would then be used to construct the legendary city of Rome. Capo Testa also served as the main site of an ancient colony of Tibula, and even today, the street guides are still visible on its rocky side. This is a wonderful spot for past cultural learning, observation, and appreciation of the unique natural beauty all around.

Capo Testa, Sardinia

📌 Located just a few km west of Santa Teresa di Gallura, Capo Testa is the farthest point of Northeastern Sardinia in the province of Olbia-Tempio.

Spiaggia Rena Di Ponente, Sardinia

📌 Honestly? With enchanting seascapes, rugged hiking trails and endless natural beauty, Capo Testa is one of the highlights of a trip to Sardinia which left me wanting to explore even more of this stunning heaven on Earth.

5. S’Archittu Beach in Sardinia

📌 S’Archittu beach got its name from a rock arch which is one of the largest natural bridges in Sardinia. The entire area surrounding S’Archittu is spectacularly scenic and won’t leave you disappointed.

6. Gola di Gorropu: Grand Canyon of Sardinia

Gola Di Gorropu

📌 Gorropu is a canyon located in the Supramonte and marks the border between the towns of Orgosolo and Urzulei. The gorge originated due to intense erosive action caused by the Rio Flumineddu waters. Gorge Gorropu, with its more than 500 m in height and a width that varies from a few dozen to 4 meters, is considered one of the deepest canyons in Europe.

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.

📌 Please note, some stretches of the trail towards Gola di Gorropu could be in direct sunlight and get very hot, so please, prepare yourself –– take A LOT OF WATER, a proper sunscreen, good sunglasses and comfortable shoes (think: hiking or sports shoes). Remember that there are no places to buy food and drinks on the way; there is, however, two freshwater springs safe to drink from 💦

Sardinia Must See

📌 It’s easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top. – Henry Ward Beecher. With that said, the trail is well marked and insanely easy to navigate. The hike is tiring, but mainly because of the heat when it’s sunny, duh. Havingtimers, I will note again, be sure to start early before it heats up. The canyon opens at 10.30 am.

📌 The gorge itself was nothing short of amazing – please note, that it does involve more bouldering than walking, so be prepared!  At some point, the hike becomes increasingly difficult as you proceed further, but don’t fret, you will have to turn back in the end anyway (it’s a dead end), so you can stop when it becomes too much. The canyon is beautiful and the bouldering is LOTS of fun.

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!

 

Lesya Li

Lesya Li

Founder, Head of Content at HavingTime
Lesya Li is a founder of HavingTime – a digitally native story magazine for people that need to share inspiration and be inspired.
Lesya Li
Lesya Li
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