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While you've probably heard that you simply can't miss relaxing by the stunning crystal waters of the Sardinian Sea - and this is good advice, it's amazing! - after one day at the beach, it's time to explore Sardinia's fascinating history and get out to the mountains. There you'll find the true hidden gems, and soon realize that there's so much more to discover: Canyons, caves, food, cities, archaeology and more!

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Beach Goer
  • Like a Local

15 Places

7 City Tips

Print
Map

15 Places

Day 1

Cala Goloritze

Beaches

Spiaggia di Is Arutas

Beaches

Cala Brandinchi

Beaches

Area Marina Protetta Capo Carbonara

Nature & Wildlife Areas

Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago di La Maddalena

National Parks

Day 2

Su Nuraxi

Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Porto Flavia

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Mines, Lookouts

Cagliari

Destinations

Citadel of Castelsardo

Castles

Grotta su Marmuri

Caverns & Caves

Day 3

Gola di Gorropu

Canyons

Sa Dommo e sos Corraine - Casa Museo di Orgosolo

Speciality Museums

Agriturismo Montiferru

Restaurants

Museo delle Maschere Mediterranee

Art Museums

Il Trenino Verde della Sardegna

Rail Tours

Elena Z's City Tips

  • In Sardinia there are three airports: Cagliari (south), Alghero (northwest) and Olbia (northeast), as well as three main ports (Cagliari, Olbia and Porto Torres).
  • If you visit a church in Sardinia, like everywhere in Italy, wear something that covers your shoulders.
  • To get around in Sardinia, a car is highly recommended. Public transportation is not efficient, and you'll lose a lot of time.
  • Cyclists and motorbikers love Sardinia: Secondary streets are often not crowded and quite well-preserved.
  • If you want to see Sardinia from a different perspective, sailing is an amazing experience. There is better infrastructure in the north of the island, but it's also more crowded.
  • Please be respectful of the environment. Don't take sand with you -- it's beautiful just where it belongs!
  • A 15% service gratuity is usually added to the cost of your meal at restaurants (unless otherwise specified).
    Day 1
  • Cala Goloritze
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    Everyone who makes the trek to this beach -- whether on foot (a one-hour hike) or by boat -- is left speechless. This tiny, rocky, beautiful beach is situated on the west coast of the Island, and if you hike a little further, you can also visit Cala Luna, Cala Mariolu and Cala Biriola. All are amazing!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Avoid hiking in July or August -- it can get very hot and the way back is all uphill!
    • If you love trekking, here you have the chance to do an unforgettable trek: Selvaggio Blu.
    • You can rent a dinghy or join a boat trip from Santa Maria Navarrese or Cala Gonone.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 23 things to do in Baunei
    • Book to see Cala Goloritze. 30/07/2021
    • Review for TripAdvisor Service 21/07/2021
    • Cala Goloritze
    Address:
    Golfo di Orosei
    08040, Baunei, Sardinia
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 347 602 7626
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 20:00
    Other:
  • Spiaggia di Is Arutas
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    In Sardinia there are so many wonderful beaches that it's very difficult to make a choice. This beach is truly special though: The sand looks just like silken arborio rice!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    Tips
    • Not far from here, you can visit the archaeological site Tharros and discover why Phoenicians and Romans chose this little peninsula, called "Sinis," for their commerce.
    • Please be respectful and leave the sand where it belongs.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 27 things to do in Cabras
    • wild and nice. 01/10/2020
    • Underwhelming... 22/09/2020
    • Spiaggia di Is Arutas
    Other:
  • Cala Brandinchi
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    In Sardinia there are beaches for all tastes, and this is a pure, white sandy one. Simply relax and enjoy its beauty.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    Tips
    • This beach can get very crowded in August, so it's not the best time to visit if you're looking for peace and quiet.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Capo Coda Cavallo
    • Beautiful white sand clear water beach 10/10/2020
    • Wonderful 14/09/2020
    • Cala Brandinchi
    Phone:
    +39 320 619 6115
  • Area Marina Protetta Capo Carbonara
    Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    This is a protected area in the very south of Sardinia. Fishing and navigation are partially prohibited, which means that the sea flora and fauna are very well preserved here. You'll find many environmental and educational activities for discovering the sea world on offer, a paradise for divers, plus a wide choice of beaches to visit.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The beach Punta Molentis is a very special one.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 25 things to do in Villasimius
    • Awesome Landscape & blu sea 30/09/2018
    • A look into what the Mediterranean could be again 07/06/2017
    • Area Marina Protetta Capo Carbonara
    Address:
    Via Roma 60
    09049, Villasimius, Sardinia
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 070 790234
    Other:
  • Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago di La Maddalena
    National Parks
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    This national natural park is just stunning. It's a perfect spot for sailing both in summer and in winter. There are also boat trips offered that will take you around to places that you'll never forget.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • You may have heard of the famous "spiaggia rosa," the pink beach. It's still here, but today it's unfortunately inaccessible for environmental protection reasons.
    • Have you ever heard of Garibaldi? He played an important role in Italy's reunification and choose this place for his exile. Not a bad idea ...
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 32 things to do in La Maddalena
    • A road trip around La Maddelana 24/09/2020
    • Beautiful 😍 07/09/2020
    • Parco Nazionale dell'Arcipelago di La Maddalena
    Address:
    Via Giulio Cesare 7
    07024, Sardinia
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 0789 790211
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Su Nuraxi
    Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    Everywhere in Sardinia, you can see old, crumbling towers ('nuraghi') -- there are more than 7,000 around the island. Made of huge stones, these towers served as fortifications against invaders during the Nuragic era (about 3,500 years ago). Sardinia has a long and fascinating history, and according to some theories, the island is actually the 'Atlantis' described by Plato!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Just a few of the 7,000-some "nuraghi" are accessible to the public. Outside Barumini, you can also visit Nuraghe Losa in Abbasanta or Nuraghe Santu Antine in Torralba.
    • The towers along the coast are not "nuraghi," but medieval Spanish towers.
    • Other monuments from the Nuragic era include giants' tombs and "domus de janas" (witch or fairy tombs). You can find them all over the island.
    • The archeological discovery of "Giganti di Monte Prama," (fragments of statues of giants), on the west coast has re-opened questions about the timing of the island's history.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Barumini
    • Well preserved nuraghic archeological site 24/04/2021
    • Great bit of ancient history 18/10/2020
    • Su Nuraxi
    Address:
    Viale Su Nuraxi
    09021 Barumini, Sardinia
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 070 936 8128
    Price range:
    US$17 - US$17
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Porto Flavia
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Mines, Lookouts
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    The southeast part of the island was, until the end of the 20th century, a very important mining area. Coal, silver and even gold were extracted and exported, high-level engineering projects took place, and the city of Carbonia was founded to exploit coal deposits. Porto Flavia served as a port connected to the extraction sites, and is located in a unique spot in front of 'Pan di Zucchero,' a rock in the Sulcis Iglesiente area. Mining villages and old mines are all part of the unique landscape here.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Pause on the tiny beach, Masua, just next to the site.
    • Some of the old mines are accessible to the public. Visit "Gran Miniera di Serbariu" in the city of Carbonia.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 36 things to do in Iglesias
    • Not a mine, a transport tunnel, interesting but not really for kids 24/11/2019
    • Office shut 16/09/2019
    • Porto Flavia
    Address:
    Localita Nuova Masua SNC
    09016, Iglesias, Sardinia
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 0781 274507
    Price range:
    US$14 - US$14
    Hours:
    Sun - Mon
    09:30 - 17:45
    Tue - Thu
    09:30 - 12:30
    Fri - Sat
    09:30 - 16:30
    Other:
  • Cagliari
    Destinations
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    Cagliari is Sardinia's biggest city. People from Cagliari love their city beach Poetto, located close to the city center: When you can enjoy your lunch break at the beach, you really feel you are living in paradise! The historical city centre is very pretty and interesting, with traces of many cultures, from Phoenician and Roman, to Spanish and Pisan.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Trendsetter
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Have a walk on top of the hill "Sella del Diavolo" to enjoy the best views of the city.
    • A drink at Bastione San Remy in the Castello neighborhood is a must.
    • Best ice cream in town? Stop by Tutto Gelato on the way back from the beach or Stefino in the city center.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    • Cagliari
  • Citadel of Castelsardo
    Castles
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    This is a medieval town with a well preserved castle from the 12th century. It's considered one of the most beautiful villages in Sardinia, together with Bosa, OT and Carloforte, CA. In its surrounding area, you also have the chance to visit some interesting archaeological sites from the Nuragic period, 'domus de janas' (witch or fairy tombs), and many beautiful beaches.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Across the water, you can see Asinara Island and sometimes even Corsica's southern coast on a clear day.
    • In the museum of weaving, you can learn all about this important Sardinian tradition.
    • While you're in the northern part of the island, don't miss an opportunity to visit the Catalan city Alghero.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #164 of 2 501 things to do in Sardinia
    • The Romance in Sardinia 06/03/2020
    • The most unfriendly town ever visited. 05/01/2020
    • Citadel of Castelsardo
  • Grotta su Marmuri
    Caverns & Caves
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    Grotte Su Marmuri is a spectacular cave in the Ogliastra region. It opens at 880 meters above sea level and stretches for some 850 meters. As you walk, you will reach a depth of -34 meters and see numerous big chambers such as the 'Organ Chamber,' whose concretions look like the pipes of the musical instrument, and the 'Cactus Chamber' with tall stalagmites similar to cactus plants.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrill Seeker
    Tips
    • The temperature inside the cave is around 10°C, so dress warmly.
    • The mountains around Ulassai and Osini are a great place for trekking and climbing, with lots of natural monuments to explore.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 11 things to do in Ulassai
    • Not worth it! 29/06/2019
    • Absolutely amazing 29/06/2019
    • Grotta su Marmuri
    Address:
    Pl. Grotte Su Murmuri
    08040 Ulassai, Sardinia
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 0782 79859
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Gola di Gorropu
    Canyons
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    Sardinian mountains are unknown to most travelers so you may be surprised to learn that the Gorroppu canyon is one of the deepest in Europe: It's spectacular and impressive. To reach the canyon, you will need to hike for several hours. Then, you can walk along the canyon until the stones become too big to pass.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Like a Local
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • In the famous Valle della Luna in Aggius (OT), you can see many caves, cliffs and impressive works of nature.
    • If you want to reach the other end of the canyon, in Urzueli, you will need to do some climbing.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 270 things to do in Province of Nuoro
    • breath takin 22/09/2020
    • Worth the effort! 22/09/2020
    • Gola di Gorropu
    Address:
    Strada Statale 125 km 183
    08040, Sardinia
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 328 897 6563
    Price range:
    US$7 - US$7
    Other:
  • Sa Dommo e sos Corraine - Casa Museo di Orgosolo
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    Here you are in the very heart of the Barbagia region, where traditions have been kept very much alive. Orgosolo is one of the most famous villages in Sardinia, not because of its amazing architecture, but because of its open air museum, filled with political wall paintings.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Sardinian bandits used to hide in the mountains of this region. If you want to know more, visit the Bandits' Museum in Aggius.
    • Between September and December, many villages in this region organize festivals, collectively marketed as "Autunno in Barbagia."
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 14 things to do in Orgosolo
    • A beautiful historical throwback tour 31/07/2020
    • Simply lovely 28/08/2019
    • Sa Dommo e sos Corraine - Casa Museo di Orgosolo
    Address:
    Corso Repubblica 103
    08027 Orgosolo, Sardinia
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 334 360 0934
  • Agriturismo Montiferru
    Restaurants (Italian, Mediterranean, Sardinian, Southern-Italian)
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    You can't leave Sardinia without tasting 'pecorino sardo' (Sardinian sheep cheese), Cannoanu wine, 'porcetto' (pork) and 'culurgiones' (ravioli). This is a good agriturismo committed to '0 km' philosophy, where all Sardinian food specialties are made right in the heart of town!

    Good for
    • Foodie
    Tips
    • This is just the beginning of your culinary experience in Sardinia: Between September and December, gastronomy plays an important part in the many local festivals in the Barbagia region.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #39 of 6 527 restaurants in Sardinia
    • The perfect Sunday lunch 27/09/2020
    • Amazing feast in lovely location 06/10/2019
    • Agriturismo Montiferru
    Address:
    Monte di Sant'Antonio
    Località Monte Sant'Antonio
    Macomer, Sardinia
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 328 192 4348
    Price range:
    US$42 - US$53
    Hours:
    Sun
    00:00 - 23:59
    Other:
  • Museo delle Maschere Mediterranee
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    Carnival in Sardinia is a heartfelt tradition and is celebrated in many villages with a variety of masks that portray something between man and beast. The most famous are the 'mamuthones' -- masks from the Mamoiada village. In this museum, you can learn about the traditions behind these Sardinian masks, and those from the greater Mediterranean region.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • During Carnival (January/February), visit Mamoiada or other villages like Ottana, Fonni or Oristano, for their unique "Sa Sartiglia" Carnival festival.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 20 things to do in Mamoiada
    • First rate small museum 08/02/2020
    • Well worth a visit 06/07/2019
    • Museo delle Maschere Mediterranee
    Address:
    Piazza Europa 15
    08024 Mamoiada, Sardinia
    Italy
    Phone:
    +39 0784 569018
    Price range:
    US$7 - US$7
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 13:00
    15:00 - 19:00
    Other:
  • Il Trenino Verde della Sardegna
    Rail Tours
    See more photos
    Elena Z Says:

    Want to take a trip into the past? Jump on this train and prepare to be amazed by what you see: Untouched nature, beautiful old villages and amazing landscapes that you only have the chance to discover on the Trenino Verde routes.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Don't expect any comfort -- it's old and noisy!
    • The whole trip takes about 8 hours. To avoid making the return trip in one day, better spend the night in one of the tiny villages on the way.
    • Two villages on the way that are worth longer visits to are Aggius and Sadali.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #31 of 94 Tours in Cagliari
    • It is really fun! 20/09/2019
    • It’s a non runner 09/09/2019
    • Il Trenino Verde della Sardegna
    Phone:
    +39 348 603 3960
    Other:
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