10 Best Things To Do in Sardinia

You’ll no doubt already know about the idyllic beaches of the Italian island, but there’s plenty more things to do in Sardinia than sunbathing and swimming. If you’re here for a week or more, it’s definitely worth exploring the different towns, architecture and nearby islands too. Plan your stay with this list of the 10 best things to do in Sardinia.

Best Things To Do In Sardinia

Sardinia used to be the lesser-known island compared to Scilly. But it seems like over the last five years or so, people are really starting to notice just how beautiful the Sardinian beaches are (or maybe that’s because Instagram keeps targeting me with ads). Regardless, it’s easy to see why so many travellers are drawn to the island. It truly has some of the most picture-perfect beaches imaginable.

But beyond the clear waters and white sand that rivals the Caribbean or Maldives, Sardinia has some beautiful cities, towns and landmarks that are worth visiting too. There’s also historical ruins, hidden coves and hiking trails and of course, delicious Italian food.

If I’m starting to sound like a travel brochure, it’s because Sardinia really is that good.

So if you’re travelling to the island and want to find out more about the island’s history, culture and traditions – as well as the best beaches, here are some of the best things to do in Sardinia.

Best Things To Do in Sardinia

If you are planning a trip to Sardinia, it’s important to know what parts of this incredible island you should check out. Here are the 10 best things to do in Sardinia!

1. La Pelosa Beach

As this is Sardinia, I had to start with one of the most beautiful beaches to visit. La Pelosa is a dreamy slice of sand stretching out for about 300 meters, tucked away in Stintino it’s perfect for both sunbathing and swimming.

La Pelosa Beach in Sardinia is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island

It’s usually pretty calm here, but there are days – depending on when you go – where it can be a little windy. In this case, La Pelosa is great for things like windsurfing or flying a kite.

During the summer, it can get a little busy at La Pelosa Beach. It’s one of the popular beaches in Sardinia for good reason, but it just means it’s a good idea to reserve a spot on the beach. You can buy La Pelosa beach tickets online, which will cost you €15. It’s surrounded by a natural reserve that protects wildlife and the beach, which is one of the reasons La Pelosa can get busy, but still seem pretty perfect at the same time.

2. Arzachena

Arzachena is a colourful town with lots of churches, narrow streets and alleyways and nods to the ancient Nuraghic civilisation. With small museums, archaeological sites and the coast, Arzachena is a great place to spend a day exploring and one the best things to do in Sardinia.

Arzachena ancient ruins in Sardinia

In the centre is Plaza Risorgimento, where you can see the iconic Church of Santa Maria della Neve. The church dates back to 1716 – you can even see the year etched into the architrave of the bell tower, and is famous for its rainbow staircase. Painted by local artists, these steps are the perfect place for taking phenomenal photos.

This amazing town also allows you to experience the rich history of Sardinia. For instance, you can visit Roccia del fungo, a historic rock and natural monument that is in the shape of a mushroom. There’s also a museum called Scatola del Tempo, but also known as the littlest museum in Italy. It’s filled with old maps and photographs as well as objects and different memorabilia.

3. Cagliari

This is another must-visit place in Sardinia on your trip. Cagliari is the capital city and has the best things to do in Sardinia, from historical attractions to impressive landmarks, architecture and a castle.

Calgliari is the capital city in Sardinia and offers lots of things to do

If you spend a few days here then you’ll be able to visit the Bastion Saint Remy, which is an old fort made with limestone pillars and arches. It’s in front of a large square and sometimes has events on. There’s also Domus de Janas, a chamber tomb and Castle of San Michele, which are perfect if you want to see some of Sardinia’s history.

Of course, like pretty much everywhere in Sardinia, Cagliari also has green spaces, like the Park of Monte Claro, and lots of beaches. Cala Regina is a hidden cove nearby that’s good for snorkelling, or you could try Sant’ Elia, which is quiet and the kind of local beach you’d see on adverts for perfume/aftershave.

4. Cala Goloritze

If you’re searching for a brilliant beach, you cannot go wrong with Cala Goloritze, in the town of Baunei, Sardinia. The beach is the result of a landslide in the 1960s, so it’s not that easy to get to. You can only reach it by foot, which admittedly isn’t the easiest but should be fine for most, or boat.

Cala Goloritze in Baunei Sardinia

Once you reach Cala Goloritze, you’ll understand why it’s worth the effort of getting to it. It has white sand, pebbles and crystal-clear waters. It’s also set in a ravine with cliffs behind, so really is a postcard-perfect spot of natural beauty.

5. Olbia

If you’re looking to do some shopping or try out some delicious Sardinian food, Olbia is a good place to head to. It’s part of the Sassari province, and is most known for the lively main street Corso Umberto. Here you can find lots of boutique stores and other shops to browse around.

best tings to do in sardinia

But apart from shopping, there are lots of other things to do in Oblia, Sardinia. There’s the Museo Archeologico di Olbia, where you can see things like full reconstructions of Roman warships and large models of the old Roman city. For more history you could also see the tomb of Su Monte ‘e S’ Ape, which stems back to the Nuragic age.

Olbia dinner time

When it comes to food, Olbia is a great place for seafood lovers – although most of Sardinia is to be fair. But Olbia is known for dishes like sea urchins, mussels, and burrida (dogfish boiled and seasoned with a sauce based on fish liver).

6. Sant’Antioco Island, off the coast of Sardinia

In the southwest of Sardinia, you can find the spectacular Sant’Antioco Island. It’s the second-largest after Sardinia in the group of islands, and is similarly home to incredible nature, historical landmarks and cultural things to do.

The Forte Su Pisu close to Sardinia

One of the most interesting things to do is visit the Ferruccio Barreca Archaeological Museum. The majority of this collection dates back to the 8th century and has been well-preserved. You’ll come away knowing more about the history of both Sant’Antioco Island and Sardinia itself. 

It’s also worth going to The Forte Su Pisu, a historic fort that was built in the 19th century. It’s not only great if you love history, but also if you want to see great views of the Sant’Antioco town and island. You can get panoramic views up there so make sure you pack your camera or phone.

7. Alghero

Alghero offers all sorts of wonderful things to do in Sardinia, whether you want to visit architecture and churches, or explore beaches and grottos.

Neptune's Grotto

Neptune’s Grotto is a beautiful cave with rooms formed by limestone and lots of lakes. One is the famous La Marmora Lake, which is one of the biggest saltwater basins in Europe! Tickets include a tour and cost €14 for adults and €10 for those aged between 7 and 14, and over 65. Young children under 7 and disabled visitors can enter for free.

Alghero in Sardinia

In Alghero, you can also do some shopping in and around the Civic Square. It’s in the centre of the medieval city and has lots of shops, cafes and restaurants. There’s also the archaeological site Nuraghe Palmavera and historic San Francesco Church if you’re looking more history.

8. Bosa

Bosa is one of the prettiest towns in Sardinia with a small population. Therefore it’s a great option for anyone wanting to escape the big crowds of other larger cities.

This ancient village has a rustic character, seen in areas such as Centro Storico or landmarks like the Bosa city clock and hilltop castle. But generally wandering around Bosa is one of the nicest things to do in Sardinia, as the streets are so colourful and there’s a river flowing through the town.

Bosa Sardinia is a small town with less crowds

When walking through the streets of this town, you will feel as though you are living in the past. You can even see some of the former tanneries that were lucrative during the 19th century.

9. Torre Della Pelosa

Translated as the Pelosa Tower, this monument dates back to 1572. It’s located off the coast of Stintino on an islet. This stone tower was built to be the main defence system of the Sardinian coast. From this position, the tower could be used to protect Sardinia from invasion.

Torre Della Pelosa is a tower off the coast of Stintino Sardinia

Though this island appears to be easy to reach by foot, it is deceptively difficult to reach.  I recommend that you hire a paddle boat if you want to visit this historic landmark. Or you can still see it perfectly well from the coast instead.

10. Tavolara Island

Last but not least, Tavolara Island is a unique spot that’s found off the coast of Olbia in Sardinia. The island has a truly breathtaking landscape that’s packed with steep cliffs. You’ll find unbeatable views of the region that are perfect for sharing on social media.

Visiting Tavolara Island is one of the best things to do in Sardinia

If you want to try scuba diving, Tavolara Island is a popular spot for this water sport. The area is known for its abundant aquatic life. 

The island is only 5km long and 1km wide, so it’s pretty small. But it’s got the most perfect beach – Spiaggia Spalmatore, and is great for taking photos to make everyone back home jealous!

Things to do in Sardinia

The Italian island is like an escape into a world of history, archaeology and idyllic beaches. You could spend all your time lazing on Sardinian beaches (and I wouldn’t blame you), but there are so many things to do in Sardinia that it’s worth planning a few day trips in between working on that golden tan!

things to do sardinia

Whether that’s visiting archaeological sites, castles on a hill, towers on an island, or caves, grottos or beaches further away…

Sardinia is an ideal spot for all kinds of interests and tourists. It’s great for families thanks to the super-soft sand and calm sea, and it’s great for couples looking for romantic cosy, coves to escape together. It’s also an incredible island if you love history, architecture, seafood (or just great food in general), wine, watersports and much more.

So why not add some of these destinations to your itinerary if you plan on visiting Sardinia?

Quicklist of things to see and do in Sardinia

  • La Pelosa Beach
  • Arzachena
  • Cagliari
  • Cala Goloritze
  • Olbia
  • Sant’Antioco Island
  • Alghero
  • Bosa
  • Torre Della Pelosa
  • Tavolara Island

What you can’t miss in Sardinia?

There are several must-see spots in Sardinia, including the capital city of Cagliari, with its impressive castle, bustling markets, and numerous places to eat. For beaches, Costa Smeralda is the place to head to with beautiful blue waters and soft white sand. There’s also natural beauty like Neptune’s Grotto and plenty of historical sites to see too!

What Is The Best Month To Visit Sardinia?

If you want to make the most of your vacation to Sardinia, it’s recommended that you visit the island between March and May or between September and October.
Between these months, the temperatures will be warm and the flowers will be blooming. But it shouldn’t be overwhelmingly hot during these periods.

How Many Days In Sardinia Is Enough?

At the very least, you should spend at least two nights in Sardinia. But spending longer will give you more time to explore what the island has to offer and all the things you can do in Sardinia. I would personally recommend a week as this will give you plenty of time to visit some of the aforementioned attractions. If you want to visit Italy for just a couple of days, read my advice on where to go for a long weekend.

What is Sardinia best known for?

Sardinia is perhaps best known for its stunning coastline and crystal-clear waters, often compared to the Caribbean. It’s particularly famed for the Costa Smeralda, or “Emerald Coast,” a stretch of coastline renowned for its turquoise waters and white sand beaches. Sardinia is also known for its rich history and unique cultural heritage, evident in its prehistoric Nuraghi towers, traditional festivals, and distinctive cuisine.

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