Where to Stay in Sardinia: Best Areas and Hotels
If you’re not sure where to stay in Sardinia, keep reading. This blog post is going to help you decide the best areas to stay in Sardinia for your vacation.
The 2nd largest island in the Mediterranean and a location that has been ruled by many different empires throughout the years, Sardinia is a beautiful destination that offers just as much in the way of culture and history as it does stunning beaches.
That said, the wealth of riches on offer can sometimes make deciding on the best location to stay quite challenging, especially for first-time visitors.
See more about Italy: Where to Stay in Rome Italy
Before we begin, there are a few things you should keep in mind while reading this, to help you come to your conclusion as quickly and easily as possible.
If you want to see the largest collection of historic buildings and sites first-hand then Cagliari would probably be your best bet, while those who prefer getting their history from museums would be much better suited to Nuoro.
Or what about the activities you have planned while on the island? If you’re planning a cruise then you’ll need to stay near Olbia, while those who enjoy festivals will find the best range in Alghero.
There’s even the matter of whether or not you’re travelling with family or small children, where a well-rounded destination like Oristano would be best suited.
If you keep these and other similarly important requirements in mind while reading, it’s sure to make your job a whole lot easier.
|💖 Best Area:||Cagliari (South Sardinia), the capital|
|💎 Best luxury hotel:||Palazzo Doglio|
|🏨 Best mid-range hotel:||Hotel Regina Margherita|
|💰 Best budget hotel:||Hotel Nautilus|
- Where to Stay in Sardinia: 21 Best Areas to Stay in Sardinia
- 📌 Cagliari (South Sardinia), the capital, best area for first time visitors
- 📌 Sassari, the coolest area to stay in the north-west Sardinia
- 📌 Alghero, a lovely resort town on the north-west Sardinia
- 📌 Porto Torres, a busy working port in Sardinia
- 📌 Olbia (north-east Sardinia), where to stay in Sardinia for families
- 📌 Costa Smeralda, a luxury place to stay in north east coast Sardinia
- 📌 Golfo Aranci, a small fishing town in Costa Smeralda region
- 📌 Iglesias, a historic town in southwestern Sardinia
- 📌 Oristano (western Sardinia), off the beaten path place in Sardinia
- 📌 Nuoro, where to stay in Sardinia on budget
- 📌 La Maddalena, where to stay in north-east Sardinia for boat tours
- 📌 Santa Teresa di Gallura, where to stay in north-east Sardinia for Vermentino lovers
- 📌 San Teodoro (north-west Sardinia) for nightlife & best beaches
- 📌 Porto Cervo, a resort town in northern Sardinia
- 📌 Castelsardo, staying on the north-west Sardinia for stunning views
- 📌 Orosei (central north-east Sardinia), where to stay for hiking
- 📌 Villasimius (South Sardinia), where to stay in Sardinia for diving
- 📌 Sant’Antioco, on the south west coast of Sardinia
- 📌 Costa Rei, a fabulous family gateaway in South Sardinia
- 📌 Santa Maria Navarrese & Tortolì, stay in East Sardinia for beaches
- 📌 Stintino-La Pelosa, where to stay in north-west Sardinia for best beaches
- FAQs on the best areas to Stay in Sardinia
📌 21 Best Areas to Stay in Sardinia
Now that you have a clear picture of what to be looking out for while reading, allow me to begin our tour of the best areas to stay in Sardinia.
Best Areas to Stay in Sardinia Map
To see more detail of where to stay in Sardinia Map, go to google map;
1. 💖 Cagliari (South Sardinia), the capital, best area for first time visitors
We begin our article in Cagliari, the capital and largest city in Sardinia, and the capital of the former Kingdom Of Sardinia until it became the Kingdom Of Italy in the mid-1800s. Located on the southern coast of Sardinia, close to Cagliari Elmas airport, it is the most popular tourist destination in all of Sardinia.
One of its primary draws is the abundance of historical attractions in the city, many of which are remnants of the historical city of Karalis. Locations such as the Tuvixeddu Necropolis, the largest of its kind remaining anywhere in the world, the 5th-century Basilica Of San Saturnino, the 13th-century Cagliari Cathedral, and the 18th-century Basilica Of Our Lady Of Bonaria are just some of the highlights on offer.
Other sites in the area further demonstrate the history of the city through the ages. A Medieval Town with its city walls and two imposing white limestone towers remains largely intact, while there’s also the ruins of a Roman Amphitheatre settlement, featuring an amphitheater, an aqueduct, a small temple, some cisterns, and a collection of other small buildings to explore.
While the above should be more than enough to keep most history buffs happy, those who would rather be told about the legacy of the city, as opposed to trawling around its historic locations themselves, will be met with a collection of museums and galleries that rivals anywhere else on earth.
Don’t worry if history isn’t your thing though, as the city has plenty of other things to offer.
First is its legendary cuisine, which is considered unique from the rest of the island. It Revolves largely around fresh seafood, brought daily into its port, which is one of the largest in all of the Mediterranean, and stunning wines, grown in the vineyards surrounding the city.
This provides visitors the opportunity to have a relaxing, yet sophisticated vacation, sampling the finer things in life while staring out at the beautiful views along the coast.
Speaking of which, the area also features a number of beautiful beaches, such as Spiaggia Del Poetto, making it a perfect spot for anyone looking to top up their tan or have fun in the surf and white sandy beaches.
Besides the main beach – Poetto Beach, you also have Calamosca Beach, Cala Fighera Beach, Sant’Elia Beach, Cala Regina Beach, Mari Pintau Beach, and Nora Beach. Best beaches near Cagliari include Chia Beach-Su Giudeu, Costa Rei- Marina Rei, Villasimius-Punta Molentis, Tuerredda Beach.
Other attractions including the Marina, the Galleria Comunale d’Arte, the Giardini Publicci, the Santuario & Basilica di Nostra Signora di Bonaria, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, the Chiesa di Sant’Efisio, the Jesuit Chiesa di San Michele, or you can hike at Sella del Diavolo mountain.
You combine all of this and it should become clear that Cagliari is an incredibly well-rounded destination, suitable for people with a wide range of tastes and interests.
Stay in Cagliari if you are interested in the history of the city, you want to sample its unique cuisine, you enjoy beautiful beaches, you want to visit one of the biggest ports in the Mediterranean, and you are a fan of wine.
Best Hotels in Cagliari:
Best luxury hotel: Palazzo Doglio This is a 5-star hotel is located within walking distance from San Saturnino Basilica, Via Roma, also near Poetto Beach, Spiaggia della Diga Beach, Spiaggia di Giorgino Beach, Sardinia International Fair, and Cagliari Elmas Airport. The hotel offers comfortable rooms with free wifi, a private bathroom, a wardrobe, a TV, and an onsite restaurant. Other attractions nearby including Cagliari Courthouse, Bastione di Saint Remy, Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria, Cathedral of Saint Mary, Cagliari University, and Cagliari Port.
Best mid-range hotel: Hotel Regina Margherita This 4-star hotel is located in Cagliari’s historic centre, just a 10-minute walk from Cagliari Cathedral and the harbor, and surrounded by restaurants, bars and shops. It offers modern air-conditioned rooms with a hydromassage shower or bath, carpeted floors, and contemporary furnishings. Top attractions nearby are the Church of Saint Ephysius, the Church of Saint Michael, the Piazza del Carmine, the Cagliari Railway Station, and the Tower of San Pancrazio.
Best budget hotel: Hotel Nautilus Offers stunning views of Poetto Beach, this 3-star hotel offers a garden, free wifi, a bar, and rooms with air-conditioning, a private bathroom, and free toiletries. You can easily explore attractions nearby such as Molentargius – Saline Natural Park, Sant’Elia Stadium, National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari, Via Dante, and Cala Mosca Beach.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN CAGLIARI
2. Sassari, the coolest area to stay in the north-west Sardinia
Moving on to our second destination takes us to the northwest of the island, to Sardinia’s second-largest city, Sassari. Despite being the closest competitor to Cagliari in size, the two cities differ from one another in a variety of ways.
Sassari is a lesser visited destination, it’s 30km from the nearest airport Alghero Fertilia Airport, about 30 minutes driving.
For starters, while there is still plenty of history on offer in the city, most of it is from a much more recent time, with it having been settled in the 12th century. This means you will find different styles in the architecture here, such as Baroque, Gothic and Neoclassic.
Churches, cathedrals, and even a cemetery perfectly display this changing style, with many additions and repairs to the existing buildings displaying a distinctly different vibe to their foundations.
There are still a few older sites to be found here as well, such as the prehistoric pyramid Monte d’Accoddi and the remains of a previously demolished castle.
Perhaps the most famous attractions in the city are the 13th-century walls that surround it, originally featuring 36 towers, of which 6 remain, and the Fountain Of The Rosello, a stunning fountain, built at the very start of the 17th-century, that is recognized as the symbol of the city.
Another of the city’s main attractions is actually located outside of its walls. Surrounded by olive plantations, this is the primary place in Sardinia for growing the fruit. That makes it ideal for anyone who wants to take a trip around a plantation, enjoy some fresh olives, or taste some of the finest olive oil you will ever come across.
Other attractions including the Museo della Brigata Sassari, the Sassari Brigade, the cathedral of San Nicola di Bari, the church of Santa Maria di Betlem, Piazza d’Italia in the heart of the historic Old Town, the Giardini Pubblici, the Rosello Fountain, Corso Victor Emanuele II, Asinara National Park, Parco Naturale Regionale di Porto Conte, and Romanesque Basilica della Santissima Trinità di Saccargia.
The best beaches nearby are Spiaggia di Porto Ferro Beach, Mugoni Beach, Spiaggia di Maria Pia, Spiaggia delle Bombarde, and Spiaggia La Pelosa.
While its inland location will likely deter those looking for a beach vacation, what it does is provides visitors the opportunity to have a more traditional, relaxing and cultured trip than you are likely to get in a destination surrounded by tourists.
Stay in Sassari if you are interested in the history and culture of the city, you want to sample some fresh olives and olive oil or visit a plantation, you aren’t interested in the beach, you want to see architecture from a wide range of artistic styles.
Best Hotels in Sassari:
- Best luxury hotel: Cafe Bleu Relais This hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with a desk, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet, a wardrobe,continental breakfast, and free wifi.
- Best mid-range hotel: Hotel Carlo Felice This 3-star hotel offers free on site parking, an on-site restaurant, rooms with wooden floors, air conditioned, a satellite flat-screen TV, a minibar, aprivate bathroom has a hairdryer, and free wifi.
- Best budget hotel: Al Vicolo Tre This guest house has family rooms with air conditioning, a dishwasher, a microwave, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a desk, a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, free wifi, and an Italian breakfast.
Check out my virtual tour about some of the best locations to stay in Sardinia here:
3. Alghero, a lovely resort town on the north-west Sardinia
Not too far from Sassari, on the southwest coast of Sardinia, you’ll find our next destination of Alghero, which features a population less than 1/3rd of either location we’ve looked at so far.
Due to its strategic location on the Mediterranean, Alghero was fortified as early as 1100 A.D. The walls of these fortifications can still be seen today, with 7 towers and 3 forts located along their perimeter. Don’t miss out on towers such as the Torre di Sant’Elmo, the Torre di San Giacomo, and the Torre Della Polveriera.
Despite the city as we know it today being settled in the 12th-century, the area has been inhabited since as far back as 4000 B.C. For anyone interested in learning more about its prehistoric past and how it has evolved over thousands of years, sites such as the Anghelu Necropolis, the Santu Pedru Hill, and the Villa Romana Of Santa Imbenia all remain in incredible condition despite their age.
There are even a number of Nuraghe, traditional authentic Sardinian dwellings, dotted around the area and open for people to explore.
For those so inclined, there is also a great deal of religious architecture in the area to discover and learn from. Sites like the Chiesa Della Purissima Di Iglesias, the Alghero Cathedral, the Madonna Del Santo Rosario and the churches of St. Francis and St. Michael are all beautiful examples of the evolving architecture in the area through the years.
Despite its abundance of history, that isn’t actually the main draw that brings people to Alghero. That distinction belongs to the city’s fabulous collection of beaches, bars, cafes, restaurants, and shops.
These give you a wide range of choices when you’re looking for a vacation all about relaxing in the sun. Much quieter than other similar destinations, you can spend your days lazing on the beach and in cafes or browsing through the collection of local and traditional shops.
Then, when night falls, you can sample some of the island’s exquisite cuisine in a beautiful restaurant, while looking out at the serene waters off the coast.
For the more adventurous of you, there are even a couple of fantastic nature parks in the area, perfect for those who like to get out on a hike and experience the region’s more natural side.
Other attractions including the limestone cliffs of Capo Caccio, the medieval Piazza Civica with its cobbled streets, the Chiesa di San Francesco, Santa Maria cathedral, Our Lady of Valverde, Campanile Bell Tower, and Neptune Caves.
Best beaches near Alghero include Stintino-La Pelosa Beach, Argentiera Beach, Mugoni Beach – Alghero, Le Bombarde Beach – Alghero.
Stay in Alghero if you enjoy hiking, you love beautiful beaches, you are a fan of religious architecture, you want to spend some time in a nature park, you are interested in historic military fortifications.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN ALGHERO
4. Porto Torres, a busy working port in Sardinia
Another destination found only a short distance from Sassari, this time to the north, Porto Torres is a popular destination with tourists who want to mix culture and history with relaxation but prefer to slightly prioritise the latter of those two things.
The reason for this is that Porto Torres is an area surrounded by a large number of stunning beaches. No fewer than 9 beaches can be found in the area, with varying levels of activities, amenities and visitors, providing you with the chance to find a beach perfectly suited to your own personal taste.
If beaches aren’t your personal preference when it comes to relaxing, there are also a number of parks and protected areas in the region, where you can spend the days walking and taking in the natural beauty of the region.
Perhaps the most famous of these is Asinara National Park. Located on an island just off the coast, the island has an incredible history. It was originally used as a quarantine island, before being turned into a prison camp during World War 1, which was repurposed into a high security prison during the 70’s, until it gained its protected status in 1996.
Other attractions are Basilica di San Gavino, the archaeological museum, a Roman bridge, and Domus dei Mosaici.
Also known as “Devil Island”, due to its past uses, the name literally translates to “donkey inhabited”, which better represents its current standing, as a destination filled with beautiful natural habitats and even a sanctuary for marine mammals.
For those looking for a little more culture from the area, there are plenty of traditional nuraghes, churches, military structures and both Roman and Greek ruins to spend your days exploring. Throw in the area’s reputation for fresh produce and seafood and you have yourself a perfect destination for a well-rounded, relaxing getaway in the sun.
Stay in Porto Torres if your main interest is beaches, you want to explore a national park with a unique history, you enjoy fresh seafood, you still want to see some of the local history and culture while you’re here.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN PORTO TORRES
5. Olbia (north-east coast), where to stay in Sardinia for families
We now move across the island, to the city of Olbia, located in a bay on the north-east coast of Sardinia, the gateway to Costa Smeralda, 5km from Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport. While not notorious as a tourist destination in its own right, it does have one feature that makes it an attractive prospect to visitors, which is its port.
Located in the well protected Gulf Of Olbia, Porto Olbia is one of the most active ports on the island, particularly with cruise ships, and is considered to be the main gateway to mainland Italy.
The Best Beaches Near Olbia are Cala Brandinchi, Lu Impostu, Cala Moresca, Pittulongu, Punta Molara, Porto Taverna, and Le Saline.
Featuring both an airport and a train station that connects it to the rest of the island, as well as being only a short distance from some of the best beach resorts in Sardinia, Olbia is an ideal choice for people staying on the island for a couple of days while on a cruise or planning to use it as the launching point for one.
That said, the area is not without attractions of its own either. There is the 11th-century Basilica Of San Simplicio and the medieval Church Of St Paul The Apostle for those looking to see some of the island’s religious history. Then the Pedres Castle and remains of both Carthaginian walls and a Roman aqueduct and forum should satisfy fans of a more ancient type of history.
There’s even the National Archaeology Museum (Museo Archeologico di Olbia), for those looking for a little more information on the artifacts they are seeing, as well as a collection of dolmens, menhirs and nuraghes, for anyone who simply wants to experience the traditional dwellings and structures of the region.
It is even home to the largest park in Sardinia, Fausto Noce Park, and the River Park Of Padrongianus, so is perfect for those who enjoy walking and exploring the region’s more natural side.
At the end of the day, while this is a destination aimed more at people looking for something specific than the public in general, it’s a location that is ideal if you fall into its target demographic.
Stay in Olbia if you are taking a cruise, you want to visit mainland Italy, you want a popular beach resort not too far away, you’re a fan of nature walks.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN OLBIA
6. Costa Smeralda, a luxury place to stay in north east coast Sardinia
While looking at our previous option, I mentioned a few nearby beach destinations on a number of occasions, one of which is where we are going to look at now. The destination in question is the area of Costa Smeralda, perhaps the most popular tourist destination in Sardinia for anyone who is seeking a beach vacation with crystal clear sea and clean white sandy beaches. It’s located between the bay of Arzachena and the Gulf of Cugnana.
Home to a number of the best beaches on the island, people flock here from all over the world, to relax on its golden sands. However, it has to be noted that Costa Smeralda is what you would consider an exclusive destination, as it is recognized as the most expensive location in Europe.
Some of the best beaches nearby Costa Smeralda are:
- Spiaggia del Principe (Prince’s Beach), known as Portu Li Coggi Beach, a fine white sand beach with turquoise waters
- Capriccioli Beach, with shallow, clear, and calm water
- Piccolo And Grande Pevero Beach, Piccolo Pevero (Little Pevero) or Pevero beach – set alongside Grande Pevero
- Liscia Ruja Beach, Long Beach, fine sand with a pink hue, clear water
- La Maddalena Beaches
While this may put many visitors off, it will also make it an ideal location for a number of others. Featuring high end shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, it gives you the chance to treat yourself to a luxurious vacation.
With days spent lazing on the beach or browsing the exclusive shops and boutiques, to evenings enjoying fine dining and sipping drinks while looking out over the stunning marina, you can truly embrace the highlife and let go of all your cares for a while.
Stay in Costa Smeralda if you aren’t worried about price, you prefer a more exclusive location, you prioritize stunning beaches, you enjoy fine dining.
Best Places to Stay near Costa Smeralda:
- Best luxury hotel: Hotel Cala di Volpe Resort This 5-star resort offers large with air-conditioned, a seating area, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and DVD player. Rooms overlook Cala di Volpe Bay and the hotel gardens from the private balcony. It also has a huge salt-water pool, sports and wellness facilities, a stunning private beach, free parking, free wifi.
- Best mid-range hotel: Colonna Hotel Country & Sporting A 4-star hotel is located in Cala Granu white sand beach in Costa Smeralda regions.
- Best budget hotel: Case Della Marina A self-catering apartments is within walking distance from Porto Cervo Marina, Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is 26km away.
7. Golfo Aranci, a small fishing town in Costa Smeralda region
If many of the features at our previous destination appealed to you but the price or exclusive feeling put you off, then Golfo Aranci may be your perfect destination. Located just south of Costa Smeralda, between it and Olbia, Golfo Aranci has many of the same trademarks as its neighbour but is generally a more accessible destination for most.
While the stunning beaches remain, prices are considerably lower and there is a more relaxed, family-friendly environment. Many of the high-end establishments have instead been replaced with more affordable alternatives.
The beaches are slightly less focused on being relaxing places for you to top up your tan, although that is still definitely possible, and are instead places for people to unwind and have fun in the surf and white sand.
This doesn’t by any means lead to a dip in the quality of what’s on offer here, it’s simply a different style in which it is presented. Restaurants serve incredible food, with menus fuelled by the thriving fishing industry in the town that provides them with seafood.
Bars are plentiful and feature a great range of styles, prices, and locations, ensuring there is likely something for everyone.
What you essentially have here is your traditional beach destination, a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can come for a good time in the sun.
Stay in Golfo Aranci if your priority is great beaches, you are watching what you spend, you aren’t a fan of “exclusive” destinations, you are traveling with kids.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN GOLFO ARANCI
8. Iglesias, a historic town in southwestern Sardinia
We move now to the south west coast of the island, to the city of Iglesias. Located in the hills around 7 miles inland, it is certainly possible to visit the numerous beaches and bays in the area during your stay, however this is a destination that primarily revolves around its cultural and historical offerings.
With Sardinia under Spanish rule until the 18th century, Iglesias was considered one of the most important locations on the island by the Crown Of Aragon. As such, there are an incredible collection of buildings and artifacts remaining, which provide great insights into the region during that time.
From castles and medieval fortifications to its cathedral and incredible number of historic churches, the city is brimming with locations that demonstrate its culture from that era. The area also featured a prominent mining industry, with the Monteponi Mine and Mining Art Museum allowing visitors the chance to understand the focal point of the city’s economy.
Whether you want to truly delve into the depths of the history or simply stroll around the streets and piazza’s, enjoying the beauty of the buildings and structures around you, Iglesias has plenty to keep you in awe throughout your stay.
Stay in Iglesias if you are interested in the medieval history of the island, you want to learn more about the history of mining in the area, you want to explore an incredible collection of churches, you prefer to stay up in the hills.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN IGLESIAS
9. Oristano (western Sardinia), off the beaten path place in Sardinia
For our penultimate destination we will travel north up the coast from Iglesias, to the city of Oristano. Another slightly inland town, it is again a destination where the main attraction on offer is its historical sites, particularly of the religious kind.
A collection of churches, chapels and cloisters, some dating as far back as the Roman era, surround one of the city’s standout features, the 12th-century St. Marys Cathedral. This and the Tower Of St Christophoros combine to form a powerful memorial to the city’s past, showing the grandeur and architectural prowess that they possessed.
One of the most popular draws to the city occurs on carnival Sunday and Mardi Gras, in the form of a festival known as Sa Sartiglia, which has been taking place for more than 500 years. The event is an equestrian tournament, where masked riders gallop through the streets around the cathedral with swords, attempting to claim ribbons suspended above them.
This unique sight draws people from around the world to witness a spectacle unlike anything else they are likely to have experienced.
While it is similar to Iglesias in many ways, one in which it does differ is that it is much closer to the coast and beaches. This makes it considerably easier for anyone wanting to mix a few days of lazing on the beach with seeing the sights and spectacles of the city.
You should stay in Oristano if you are attending the Sa Sartiglia festival, you are interested in religious architecture, you don’t want to be too far from the beach.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN ORISTANO
10. Nuoro, where to stay in Sardinia on budget
Our final destination of Nuoro is located in the heart of the island and is another where history is its major draw, even being recognized as one of the most important cultural centers of the region.
The birthplace of countless painters, poets, sculptors, and writers, the city is filled with stunning buildings, cathedrals, churches, monuments, and piazzas. However, it is one particular type of building that makes the city so attractive.
The type of building in question is museums, as Nuoro is home to some of the most important in all Sardinia. The Sardinian Ethnographic Museum, the National Archaeological Museum Of Nuoro, and the Modern Art Museum Of The Nuoro Province are just a few of the institutions available in Nuoro.
So, if you’re someone who’s a fan of museums, you should have Nuoro right at the top of your list when it comes to picking a destination.
Stay in Nuoro if you want a central, inland location, and you are a fan of museums.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN NUORO
11. La Maddalena Archipelago, where to stay in north-east Sardinia for boat tours
The town of this name is on the La Maddalena Archipelago in Sassari Province in the north of Sardinia. Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily which is also part of Italy.
La Maddalena is just inland from the coastline that faces Corsica. Its heart is Piazza Umberto and Via Garibaldi, an area where you will find shops, bars, and restaurants.
Tourism is a major source of income for La Maddalena. You can only reach the Island of La Maddalena by boat with access available from the Italian Mainland. Once there, you can enjoy its many beaches with the two most notable, Bassa Trinita and Spaimatore.
There are archaeological remains from Roman times when this rocky island was an important defensive position. For centuries no one lived here until the 12th Century when Genoa and Pisa disputed ownership. Monasteries existed here until the Ottomans destroyed them towards the end of the 16th Century. However, this has been Italian territory for centuries despite efforts from Napoleon to take control in the 19th Century.
Stay in La Maddalena Archipelago If you want a coastal base for your holiday, you enjoy local history and a flavour of Sardinia, you are arriving from Corsica.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN LA MADDALENA
12. Santa Teresa di Gallura, where to stay in north-east Sardinia for Vermentino lovers
The Island of Corsica is visible from this town in Sassari Province on the Strait of Bonifacio. The ancient city of Tibula was in this region. Little is known of it other than it was the popular landing place for those heading to Sardinia from Corsica in the north.
The north of Sardinia has most of the Island’s ferry connections with Italy as well as Spain and Portugal. The main airport in Sardinia is close to Cagliari, the capital, in the southeast of the Island. There are rail and coach connections, but the train journey is three and a half hours, and the road journey is often not significantly quicker.
Visitors looking for flights in should instead look for Alghero or secondly Olbia. Tourism is important for the town’s economy. Up to 15,000 can be here in mid-summer, three times the permanent population. Life revolves around the main square and this is where you will find the most restaurants and shops. Some close in the winter.
Its beach, Rena Bianca, is immediately north of the town. In the summer, crowds enjoy the beach and the warm water.
A scene from the James Bond film, ‘’The Spy Who Loved Me’’ with Roger Moore took place here involving a car chase.
You Should Stay in Santa Teresa di Gallura If you want a place close to nice beaches, you are unconcerned about tourist crowds in the summer.
Best places to stay in Santa Teresa di Gallura:
- Meta Hotel This budget hotel is located in Santa Teresa Gallura, within walking distance the tourist harbour with ferries linking to Corsica.
- Hotel Da Cecco Located within short distance from from Santa Teresa Gallura’s beach on the northern coast of Sardinia, and close to bus stop to Olbia and Sassari.
- Hotel Corallaro Set in historical centre of Santa Teresa di Gallura, near Rena Bianca beach, ferry port to Corsica connect to Corsica. Isola dei Gabbiani for kite surfing is just 30 minute away by car.
13. San Teodoro (north-west Sardinia) for nightlife & best beaches
Another northern district in Sassari Province is San Teodoro. Its population is 3,500 who are spread over a series of small hamlets covering 40 square miles. It is the east coast of Sardinia which faces Italy. Olbia Airport is just 12 miles away, so San Teodoro is a very accessible part of Sardinia.
Its major attraction is the beaches, La Cinta and Lu Impostu among them. The latter gets the nickname, Little Tahiti because of the beauty of the sea. The beaches are white and sandy, the water shallow, warm and clear. Wetlands are behind the beaches while Monte Nieddu, a local mountain, is worth a hike.
The lagoon, Stagno di San Teodoro is a place where you have a good chance of seeing pink flamingos. Flamingos are very shy, but you will certainly see a splash of colour if they are there.
The Museo delle Civilta del Mare has some excellent exhibits of things found locally. They include a piece of a Roman helmet, ceramics, and sundry archaeological items.
Stay in San Teodoro If you want to enjoy the natural environment, nice beaches and warm shallow waters are a priority, making it ideal for families with small children, and you want some good hiking options.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN SAN TEODORO
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14. Porto Cervo, a resort town in northern Sardinia
This resort is the work of investors including Prince Karim Aga Khan, among others. The choice of Porto Cervo close to the Sardinian town of Arzachena in the northern province of Sassari has proved successful. Porto Cuervo is one of the world’s most expensive resorts. You will need serious money to spend time here, and a luxury yacht as well.
There is the original port and a very modern marina. In the 1960s, the port was for fishermen and subsequently, the marina was developed to its west. Mega Yachts abound and in all, there are 700 berths, which can be reserved.
You will find a community south and east of the old port in which there are bars, restaurants, and shops.
Enquire about a hotel room in the new development. You may find the price eye-watering.
Stay in Porto Cervo If you want a special few days and are prepared to pay for it, you enjoy sailing and understand the costs involved.
15. Castelsardo, staying on the north-west Sardinia for stunning views
Another Sassari Province town, you will find Castelsardo on the Gulf of Asinara at its eastern end. It is another settlement with evidence of human activity long before the Romans.
The Doria family from Genoa built a castle here in the 12th-13th Century while the nearby monastery of Nostra Signora di Tergu is from a similar age. Aragon ruled here from the mid-15th Century until the emergence of the Kingdom of Sardinia.
Notable landmarks to see here other than the castle include:
- St. Anthony the Abbot with its crypt housing a museum, Marestro di Castelsardo.
- Church of St. Mary whose highlight is the wooden Black Christ.
- Pre-Nuragic megalithic walls
- La Loggia Palace
- Palace of Eleonora of Arborea. Eleonora married into the Doria family and became a judge when her siblings were both killed. She retained that role for 20 years until her death in 1404. She is arguably Sardinia’s most famous heroine.
Stay in Castelsardo If you have a keen interest in history, you want some variety in your holiday combining beach life with other things.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN CASTELSARDO
16. Orosei (central north-east Sardinia), where to stay for hiking
Orosei is a picturesque town on Sardinia’s east coast. It is just a small place, but it is ideal as a base. There are lovely small bays, stunning beaches and this is ideal hiking country. The wild cliff coastline is a fragrant nature reserve with beauty at every turn.
Within the town of 5,000 people, there are 13 churches. The Baroque Church of San Giacomo Apostolo, the medieval castle, and Sa Preione Vezza, once a prison, are the main landmarks. Many of the small shops sell local artisan work that makes great presents for friends and family.
You can get guided tours around Orosei if you wish. There are some pleasant hikes through the surrounding countryside as well. Wine is made locally, and you can see its production, sample it with local cheese or even take breakfast with a shepherd.
Stay in Orosei if you are keen on the natural environment, you want to learn more about the local history, you want a flavour of authentic Sardinian life, A wine and cheese experience sounds interesting.
17. Villasimius (South Sardinia), where to stay in Sardinia for diving
Villasimius has a long history, dating back long before Roman times. Villasimius is in the south of Sardinia and suffered numerous raids over the centuries with pirates being a constant threat. The economy was always agricultural with some granite mining until the growth of tourism just over half a century ago.
Just over 20 years ago, the creation of the Capo Carbonara National Marine Park meant that there was an additional attraction for visitors to enjoy. There is an old fortress on the western side of the promontory. Pink flamingos head for the easter side along the Tyrrhenian Sea while you will see a lighthouse that the Italian Air Force runs these days.
Villasimius is proud of its beaches with Punta Molentis regularly mentioned in reviews. Others include Burroni, Caterina, Porto Sa Ruxi and Spiaggia del Riso.
Stay in Villasimius if ou want a choice of beaches and a quiet day now and again, you like the idea of seeing a pink flamingo colony.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN VILLASIMIUS
18. Sant’Antioco, on the south west coast of Sardinia
The island and town of Sant’Antioco in southern west Sardinia is home to almost 12,000 people. Antiquity places it as the second city of Sardinia. The island covers 42 square miles with a modern bridge connecting it to Cagliari.
You will find a few settlements on the island including Maladroxia and Cussorgia. Maladroxia is one of the main beaches alongside Coaquaddus as well as Sotto Torre, Le Saline with turquoise waters, and Spiaggia Grande in the neighboring municipality of Calasetta.
You can find old tombs here predating the Romans by centuries; the Phoenicians landed here during that time and the island became a Carthaginian colony.
The town and island take the name of St. Antiochus, a 2nd Century martyr. Its rich history from early times passes Romans, and Saracens to French occupation at the end of the 18th Century. It was the 18th Century that saw the place populated.
The main sights to visit while you are here are:
- The Palaeo-Christian Basilica of Sant’Antioco and its catacombs.
- Phoenician and Carthaginian necropolises
- Ferruccio Barreca Archaeological Museum has many interesting exhibits. They are mostly local with the oldest dating back to the 8th Century BC.
- The Forte Su Pisu is an old fort whose small garrison was attacked and killed by over 1,000 Tunisia pirates early in the 19th Century.
- The Phoenician Tofet was a form of sanctuary.
- Hypogaeum Village has numerous Punic tombs dated between the 6th and 3rd Centuries BC. In later years, the poor used them for homes.
Stay in Sant’Antioco if You have a keen interest in history, Nice beaches and warm water are essential, You want a good tourist infrastructure.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN SANT´ANTIOCO
19. Costa Rei, a fabulous family gateaway in South Sardinia
Costa Rei is where to stay if you want a beautiful beach with easy access, and don’t feel like driving. The main beach will do for those who just want to relax on the sand all day long, but it’s also close enough to Monte Turno, Cala Sinzias, and Cala Pira beaches that exploring becomes tempting! Plus Costa Rei close to Cagliari and Villasimius as well!
Costa Rei is perfect for beach lovers looking to relax with its shallow seas and gently sloping shorelines that are ideal for kids or families who want some quality time together at low costs!
The area has become quite busy given recent media attention but nevertheless maintains tranquility due to its lackadaisical atmosphere during off-peak seasons (i.e., outside August).🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN COSTA REI
20. Santa Maria Navarrese & Tortolì, stay in East Sardinia for beaches
Tortolì is a fertile haven with gentle, rolling hills and aquamarine seas. This beautiful coastal town also has an incredible red rock formation running parallel to the coastline called Rocce Rosse which provides a stunning contrast against the sea’s striking color–and it isn’t just for show!
Every year at Tortolì there’s a huge blues music festival held in August aptly named “Rocce Rosse Blues Festival.”
Santa Maria Navarrese is a small coastal village in the province of Nuoro, on the central-eastern coast of Sardinia. It’s also right next door to Tortolì and only about an hour away from Olbia Airport!
One thing that makes Santa Maria so special are its beaches like Cala Sisine and Goloritzè which you can reach by boat for some beautiful views or just walk down steps nearby into town.🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN TORTOLI
21. Stintino-La Pelosa, where to stay in north-west Sardinia for best beaches
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of mainland Sardinia by visiting Stintino, where you can enjoy stunning seaside views in peace.
Situated 50 kilometers west of Alghero but away from any major touristy areas, this small fishing village is home to 1,600 people who make their homes among peaceful lanes lined with whitewashed houses draped with bougainvillea or brightly-colored laundry hanging on clotheslines strung across alleyways that back onto the sea.
La Pelosa Beach is a gorgeous beach with crystal-clear, turquoise waters. You can watch the sun set over Asinara Island in front of you from this remote location! Palm trees sway on either side as you relax and enjoy some time to yourself.
The other three beaches are all great spots if your looking for something less crowded or different scenery–Le Saline has unique pebble shores that glisten under the sunlight; Ezzi Mannu features bright colors and tiny rocks jutting out at varying height levels while Tamarisk’s white sand will leave an impression on visitors long after they’ve left their footprints🔍FIND BEST HOTELS IN STINTINO
However, for those who are still undecided, I will now answer some of the most frequently asked questions people have about Sardinia, to try and help you make your decision too.
- Should You Stay In Sardinia North Or South?
- Where To Stay In Sardinia Without A Car?
- Where To Stay In Sardinia In April?
- Where To Stay In Sardinia In June?
- Where To Stay In Sardinia In July?
- Where To Stay In Sardinia In August?
- Where To Stay In Sardinia In September?
- Where To Stay In Sardinia In October?
- Best Time To Visit Sardinia?
- How To Get Around Sardinia?
- Best Things To Do And See In Sardinia?
Should You Stay In Sardinia North Or South?
Whether it is better to stay in northern Sardinia or southern Sardinia is purely down to personal preference. Southern Sardinia is filled with historic, cultural destinations, like Cagliari and beautiful, calm white sandy beaches. If you simply want to stroll along the sand or through fabled streets, then this is probably a good choice for you.
While there is still plenty of history, culture and white sand beaches in northern Sardinia, it also has a little bit more of an edge to it, and I’m not just taking about the caves and coves along the rugged coastline. With high octane destinations like Costa Smerelda and cities like Alghero hosting festivals that last 6-months, it certainly seems there’s a little more life to things up here.
At the end of the day, both are fabulous choices, which one you pick is entirely down to your personal preferences.
Where to Stay In Sardinia Without A Car?
While I was tempted to recommend Cagliari for this one, in the end I had to go with Olbia for its transport links.
With its port and airport allowing you to conveniently arrive and leave Sardinia, trains running to other cities on the island and regular buses to some of its most amazing beaches, Olbia is a destination where you can experience a little bit of everything, even without renting a car.
The Hotel Panorama is a perfect choice for such a visit. A 4-star hotel, with a “superb” 9.1/10 rating, located in the heart of the city, it combines quality and convenience in a single package.
Where To Stay In Sardinia In April?
For those visiting Sardinia in April, I would recommend staying in Alghero, as this is when the Festival Alguer will begin. With an array of open-air musicals, live jazz shows, theatrical performances and cultural events, held at two of the city’s most historic venues, it is a truly magnificent spectacle to be a part of.
Where To Stay In Sardinia In June?
For anyone visiting the island in June, I would highly recommend staying in Olbia, as this is when Le Cozze Di Olbia, also known as Mussel Month, takes place. A festival where more than 30 different restaurants provide exhibitions and cook unique and interesting dishes, if you’re a fan of seafood, this is an experience you aren’t going to want to miss.
La Maddalena is also is great option to stay in Sardinia till mid June.
As I mentioned in the “where to stay without a car” section, the Hotel Panorama is the best choice for accommodation with a free parking in the city, to keep you right in the thick of things at all times.
Best Places To Stay In Sardinia In July?
With July being the height of the season for destinations like this, there is plenty going on across the island to keep you entertained. That said, if I had to narrow it down to a single destination for visiting at this time of year, I would go with Sardinia’s capital of Cagliari.
The reason for this is that there are two festivals occurring in the region at this time: the Ross Tango Art Festival in the city and the Sagra Delle Pesche peach festival in the nearby village of San Sperate.
While neither are going to make you travel to the island by themselves, they both offer an additional insight into the fabulous culture on offer here.
The city also offers you the perfect place to stay, in the shape of the Palazzo Doglio. A 5-star hotel with a “superb” rating, provides a shared lounge and a bar, swimming pool, it will allow you to spend your entire trip surrounded by luxury.
Best Places To Stay In Sardinia In August?
Of all the attractions on the island in August, perhaps none are as special as the Festival Of Monti Vermentino. A 2-day wine festival, featuring wine tasting, folk dancing, live local music and fresh food stalls, all held in an old-fashioned wine village, what better way to soak up the true local culture of the island.
While I wouldn’t recommend staying in the village itself, as there is little else to do, nearby Golfo Aranci and its Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites offer a perfect alternative. Not only is it located close to the village but the historic train that runs between the two will add even more to the experience.
Best Places To Stay In Sardinia In September?
For those visiting Sardinia in September, I would again recommend Alghero. While I already mentioned the Festival Alguer, this is when the Saint Miquel takes place. Essentially the closing ceremonies of a 6-month long festival in the city, everything goes into overdrive now. All of the attractions, performances and culture you could dream of come to life throughout the entire city, making for a truly wonderful experience.
La Maddalena is also is great place to stay in Sardinia in from mid September.
Considering I recommended the Hotel Catalunya for those visiting Sardinia in April, I will do so again, as its selling points are no less valuable now than they were before.
Best Areas To Stay In Sardinia In October?
When it comes to visiting the island in October, I am going to recommend Alghero and the Hotel Catalunya one last time. This time it is for a different reason though, as it is now that the city hosts the Alghero Challenge Cup.
A regatta held by the Alghero Yacht Club, it features many spectator events in the harbour that visitors can enjoy, as well as some in the town, such as a torch lit procession through the streets.
What better way to add a little extra to your trip than getting to watch everything unfold while eating or drinking in one of the city’s fabulous bars and restaurants.
Best Time To Visit Sardinia?
If I had to recommend the best time to visit Sardinia, I would go with either June or September, for two reasons.
Firstly, the weather is beautiful at this time of year but isn’t quite as hot as the two months in between, meaning you can enjoy it without things becoming a little too much. Then there is the fact that schools will be in during that time, which means you won’t have to contend with overly large crowds on the beaches or at the attractions.
You combine these two factors, and it becomes clear that June and September are the ideal months to visit the island of Sardinia.
How To Get Around Sardinia?
When it comes to travelling around Sardinia, you do have a few options. If you plan to stay in a single location, you could simply walk around and take in the beauty of the island on your way between stops. Alternately, those who would prefer to see more of the island could also make use of the public transport, with buses and trains available in certain destinations.
For the more extravagant of you, you could even hire a boat or yacht and sail your way from place to place along the coast. However, despite all of that, on an island the size of Sardinia, easily the most cost and time efficient option is to rent a car.
With so much to do and see here, being able to get from place to place with as little fuss or wasted time as possible is essential if you want to fit everything in. Considering the alternatives, if you have your heart set on travelling around, I strongly recommend renting a car for the duration of your stay.
Best Things To Do And See In Sardinia?
Narrowing down what to do and see in Sardinia is quite a challenge, given how much the island offers. However, there are a few options that particularly stand out.
First there is Asinara National Park. With such a unique history and beautiful landscape, it provides something so different to everything else on the island that it will help you spice things up a bit.
Second is the olive plantations around Sassari. Given how synonymous the fruit is with Italian culture, you simply have to take the opportunity to experience it at the source.
Then you have the capital city of Cagliari, which is simply brimming with history and culture in every direction. No matter why you are visiting or where you are staying, I highly recommend everyone spend at least a day here.
Beyond that, you could easily spend your time hiking through nature parks, exploring historic locations, relaxing on glorious beaches or taking incredible cruises. While I couldn’t possibly list everything to do, just know you certainly won’t be left wanting for activities in Sardinia.
Sardinia is a wonderful place, filled with history, culture, golden beaches and stunning scenery, so it’s no surprise so many people want to visit. Hopefully, now that you know what many of the locations have to offer, you will know where to stay in Sardinia to get the most out of your own personal trip.
That mean’s all that’s left to do is to go and start getting things booked, so you can experience the island’s wonders for yourself.