Discover the highlights and places to visit in Sardinia, Italian island in the Mediterranean...
The Italian island of Sardinia is located in the Mediterranean, off the western coast of Italy. The French island of Corsica lies a little way to the north of Sardinia. Very popular with both Italians and other travellers, Sardinia has a wide range of places and scenic highlights, from the sophistication of the Costa Smerelda to the rugged mountains of the interior, and many very popular beaches and resorts.
Because of its location right in the middle of the Mediterranean plus its 1129 miles of coastline, Sardinia is one of the most sought-after destinations for seaside holidays. It’s not just its beauty, beaches, history, and ideal Mediterranean climate that make it such a busy island, but the overwhelming hospitality of the islanders provides a holiday that won’t soon be forgotten.
With its turquoise waters and beautiful sandy beaches, the average temperature is between 57 and 68 degrees with the coastal regions seeing about 85 degrees in the summer months. Inland on the plateaus in the summer it can get much warmer.
There are many things to draw visitors to Sardinia, such as the seaside resorts and the beaches of the Palau & Arcipelago di las Maddealena and towns that offer a taste of history. Scattered across the Sardinian landscape are over 7000 nuraghi, which are cone-shaped stone fortresses, along with unusual temples and whole villages that date to the Bronze Age.
As you approach the island by boat you’ll see what a striking island Sardinia is with its many colored rocks. While it was controlled by many different powers at one time or another, today it is the favorite spot of those who are extremely wealthy.
HIGHLIGHTS: TOWNS AND HISTORICAL SIGHTS
Cagliari: at the southern gulf of Sardinia and the island’s main harbor. Cagliari has been the capital of Sardinia from as far back as Roman times and is one of the main entries to the island. There are ferry services to Cagliari from Sicily and Naples.
The Bastione San Remy provides a great access to the older city as well as a great view of the harbor. The view also includes a number of Pisan towers that used to be part of the city’s defensive structure, a Spanish Castle, and the 13th century Cathedral on Piazza Palazzo. See Cagliari.
Alghero: once used as a fortress for the Spanish Viceroy. You can still see many sixteenth century examples of architecture. There are seven towers that were used for defense that seem to dominate this walled city. Once out of the old town, most of the activity is in and around the port where you will find row upon row of fishing boats with plenty of bars and places to eat along the way.
Quick trips outside the town lead to the beaches at Porto Conte and to the impressive Palmavera Nurag ruins. See Alghero
Nuoro: many feel that for a taste of the true Sardinia you should head into the mountains to the town of Nuoro. The region is very remote and the people here still speak the original language of Sardo and have hung on to many of their old traditions. One of their long traditions is that of craft making. This entire region is thought of as a cultural center where artists, authors, and poets like to gather.
The landscape here is wild and beautiful. The town is surround by three different mountain ranges. See Nuoro.
Of the beaches on Sardinia there are a few areas that stand out.
Costa Smeralda: The “Emerald Coast” is the preferred spot on the island for the rich and famous of the world to come to play. Its beaches are hard to beat and there are many beautiful coves as well. There are 80 bays where the swimming beaches are a pinkish white. This area includes the archipelago La Maddalena that is made up of 27 islands, each of which is a national park. See Costa Smerelda
Cagliari: besides the cultural sites here and great shopping and restaurants, Cagliari features one of Sardinia’s longest beaches
Portobello: The town of Portobello is on the northern coast of the island and is thought of as the most romantic place in Sardinia. It sits right on what is thought of as a perfect “swimmer’s beach.”
Sardinia bases much of their food on the seafood that is so abundant from spicy fish soup called Burrida, to lobster, crab, anchovies, squid, and clams that are extremely popular in the local dishes. Don’t pass up the famous pasta dishes that include the Sardinian’s own versions of gnocchi and ravioli served with pungent cheeses. These dishes are wonderful served with one of their Sardinian wines with Spanish influences.
Sardinia Tourism Awards
There are two villages on Sardinia that are classified as 'most beautiful villages in Italy: Bosa and Castelsardo. There are also several towns and villages that have received the Italian 'Orange Flag Award' for sustainable tourism: Aggius, Galtellì, Gavoi, Laconi, Oliena and Sardara.