USEFUL TIPS TO VISIT MY PARADISE ISLAND
Every Year, around March/May, like a swiss clock, friends start emailing me with the same old request: ” Klelia, this summer I really want to go to Sardinia! Can you recommend the best places/ beaches and how to get there?”
So I thought, well…I have a travel blog now…and I’ve been so lucky to be born and raised in one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Let me share everything I know about it!
PROS AND CONS TO GO TO SARDINIA ON HOLIDAY:
Before you decide to take a plane and visit Sardinia, I put together a list of Pros and Cons to give you a better idea of what to expect:
- Almost 2000 Km of Coasts with turquoise transparent sandy beaches that have nothing to envy to the Caribbeans
- Nice and warm climate from may until September/October, which gives you plenty of choice to decide the best period for you to go!
- Variety of places to visit:you can find both quiet places and very mundane (mostly VIP) ones, beautiful beaches and cultural/Historical sites, and a very good filling cousin!
- Satisfies all types of tourists: from the Sultan of Brunei with a Yatch resembling the size of a transatlantic boat, to the young Backpacker without a penny!
- High season prices can be REALLY expensive if you don’t book way in advance
- Same applies for flights and boats: last minutes purchases can be either really expensive or NOT available anymore (best timing to book is march/april)
- It can get quite crowded, especially on the touristic beaches. You can easily avoid it by going in June/July instead of august, in that case you may even have the WHOLE beach for you if you are lucky…it happened to me and it was surreal!
- public transport can be a bit frustrating if you don’t know the place really well (I’m writing you some useful links about transport on the last part of the article)
WHERE TO GO: TOP 10 BEACHES IN SARDINIA
This is a tough one, but I try my best! I will start from my “less favorite” (which is nothing less than stunning anyway) to my “top of the top” beach: the one I drool over all the time…
I will also put a small note on the side about the cost of staying there on a low-budget (camping/bungalow) and how to get there by public transport.
# 10 : SAN GIOVANNI DI SINIS Lovely beach on the west coast near the city of Oristano
MAIN POINTS: It’s not as touristic as the other beaches, quite easy to reach by scooter/car (around 20 minutes from the main city – Oristano).
BUDGET: around 9/12 euros for camping in June/July/beg August.
House renting here is also a cheap option if you are 3/4 people and book a bit in advance. If you have a Caravan, the Oristano area is full of dedicated places and it’s quite easy to get around!
09: RENA BIANCA – SANTA TERESA DI GALLURA (Located on the top North of the Island)
MAIN POINTS: The atmosphere is breath-taking, with deep turquoise water and beautiful underwater formations, perfect forscuba diving!
BUDGET: camping in the area (not on the beach, which is strictly prohibited in Sardinia!) costs around 10/20 euros per day, depending if it slow or High season.
I’ve been here a few times for a really relaxing holiday. The small village of Santa Teresa is really nice and has some pretty little shops with hand-made typical Sardinian items (jewellery, small wooden statues, dresses etc)
# 08: SAN TEODORO (love love love this place!!)
MAIN POINTS: If you want spectacular sandy beaches, a cheap place to stay and A LOT OF FUN…. San Teodoro is the place for you!
I went camping there a few times while I was a penniless student and I remember those times as the funniest of my life!Parties on the beach, fantasticmusic/cocktail bars and a lot of new friends!
BUDGET:Camping was very cheap for the location (around 20/23 euros per day now) yet full of amenities. We had the possibility to rent the bikes to reach the main beaches. The one on the picture above is “La Cinta”, and one of the biggest camping is just in front of it, really convenient for those without a car. I remember spending my days laying down on the sun and paying beach tennis with my new friends….ahhhhhh! such nice memories!
San teodoro is also quite close to other very interesting locations such as “Golfo di Orosei“, and the famous VIP destination “Costa Smeralda“. You ca be there in 2/3 hour by bus .
#7: LA PELOSA BEACH – STINTINO
MAIN POINTS: Even if the name is not really flattering in Italian (Pelosa literally means: “hairy woman” ), the place is actually paradise on earth! Close to a small fishing village, the beach is stunning, with fine white sand, enclosed on the north by theseventeenth-century Torre della Pelosa.
In front of the beach lies the Asinara Island ( an amazing Natural Park where the only human construction is a prison. Yeah I know, a really terrible place to be incarcerated!!) you can buy a ticket to get to the island for a 1 day tour. Worth it!
BUDGET: Unfortunately there are no camping sites really close to Stintino. the closest one is at around 45 minutes by car and it’s quite cheap (15/20 euros per night). There is a bus service running from the main city Porto Torres to ” La Pelosa” beach every day, to check the departure time you can go the bus company website ARST (see links below )
N.06: MARI PINTAU – ( Villasimius)
MAIN POINTS: The name of this beach is much better than our hairy woman above! “Mari Pintau” is a Sardinian expression that means“Painted sea” (not difficult to guess why!).
This beach is located in one of my favorites part of the Sardinian coasts…The main road is on the edge of a cliff degrading directly to the turquoise sea, creating a beautiful scenery for many kilometers, up until Villasimius town (a very touristic and famous area).
BUDGET: camping in the surrounding areas is quite cheap (around 10/13 euros depending on the seasonality). There is also a bus service on the main road from Cagliari to Villasimius that stop in every small beach (cheap and panoramic trip, but a bit slow)
#05: CHIA BEACH
MAIN POINTS: Chia is MY BEACH!
It’s just 45 min from my house and I’ve been there a million times, so i can say this is definitely my territory!
The beach is huge and very long, golden fine sand and spectacular water with 2 little islands just in front of it. You can reach them by walking on the sea and “climb” the biggest one to see the entire bay from the top. Worth it! but don’t forget some sort of shoes (sandals) to avoid hurting your feet on the rocks!
Perfect beach for everything: water sports like windsurf, surf and canoeing are really popular there as well as just relaxing swimming and sunbathing all day!
Warnings: there are no restaurants nearby, just a few bungalow size bars that sell chips and ice creams, so get something ready if you want to stay all day long.
Also, getting there walking from the main road bus stop is a bit long (i never did it, bu i’d say at least 30 minutes…) The best way to enjoy the beach is searching accommodation nearby and rent a bike.
BUDGET: Camping is around 16/23 euros depending on the seasonality…the beach is a bit secluded so it is a bit more expensive compared to the other areas. There is a huge resort, fantastic but so pricy that you need to be quite wealthy to be able to afford it.
#4: ARCIPELAGO DELLA MADDALENA
MAIN POINTS: One of the most beautiful Marine National Parks, is located in the north , if you come to Sardinia i strongly recommend to take a few days and visit it, it’s breath-taking!!
Day trips by boat are available at a reasonable price (around 20-30 euros) and you can choose what itinerary you want (some boats let you stay in one or 2 beaches for the entire day, while others allow you to see more islands but for a limited amount of time.
BUDGET: “La maddalena” , is the only island in the archipelago that has a small inhabited village where you can find some sort of accommodation. The place is really nice, but rather expensive.
For camping a good base cap would be the small town of Arzachena/Cannigione. I’ve been there a couple of years, and it was amazingly cheap for the location (around 20/30 euros up to date). From there you can choose buses or mini buses that takes you to the main harbor for the boat trips.
There are also buses that takes you to the closest attractions of “Costa Smeralda“, theVIP part of the Island. I’m not crazy about it, but many people find it fascinating and gives them the “portofino” feeling of luxury. If you are there why not? trying never hurt anybody right?
MAIN POINTS: If i could choose the best beach on my area, Tuerredda would be # 1!
Just a few kilometers away from Chia beach, Tuerredda is a piece of paradise. It has EVERYTHING you need for the perfect beach: A breath-taking scenery when you arrive (you can see a very similar view to the one of the picture if arriving from Cagliari), perfect fine white sand, bushes and rocks at the two ends of the beach, and a sea which is SO clear, blue and crystalline that the first thing i do every time i go there is throwing my stuff on the beach and have a swim. I just can’t resist!
BUDGET: Tuerredda isn’t cheap… people that can afford to rent a house for a couple of weeks are spending A LOT of money for it!. So how can we enjoy this paradise without spending a fortune? well, first of all: go LOW SEASON! in June the weather is already very good, prices are down and you can even have the beach for yourself! (not entirely maybe but nothing compared to the August crowds!). My suggestion is to go for a cheap camping area around (there are a few for just 20/25 euros per night), and take the local bus to get there (this way you will avoid the ridiculously high price for the parking area too!)
I wouldn’t recommend bikes just because of the road, which can be quite dangerous sometimes.
# 02: CALA GOLORITZE’
MAIN POINTS: Cala Golorotze ’ has been declared World Heritage site by UNESCO. It is a very secluded beach out of reach from ANY possible road.
It is located on the east coast on the “Golfo di Orosei“ , around 2 hrs from Olbia.
You can get there through an amazing (but quite tiring!)path that goes through bushes, oaks and whitish limestone walls. As you descend in altitude, between the canyons you can see the deep blue sea and sky… and after 2 hours walking and sweating, as soon as you see it, you instantly know it was WELL WORTH IT!. If you go there early morning, you literally have the small beach all for yourself. All the area around the “golfo di Orosei” is truly AMAZING.
I like the contrast between the turquoise of the sea and the high mountains full of green trees and bushes behind the beach. It’s just amazing!! I can’t get enough of that view!
BUDGET: As you can imagine, is not allowed to stay on the beach for the night… you need to collect all your remaining energies and get back on the same path for around 3/4 hours and climb back on the main road. Quite something after a day swimming and roasting under the sun!
The good part is that you can sleep for one or two nights in a bed and breakfast in one of the small villages around (Baunei being the closest one). Cost is around 20/25 per night, so not bad at all. Transports to the main road are also quite difficult and you need to have a scooter or a car on your own. But again, is well worth it for a 1 or 2 day tour.
This is the most spectacular beach in Sardinia (my modest opinion!)
First of all, the picture doesn’t make justice to the beach! this is just one part of it, on the left there are other 2, separated byBig White rocks.
You ca reach the beachby boat (if you are on a low-budget, you can use the 1 day trip boats and choose one that allows you to stay there the whole day.
I think this is the best way to enjoy this spectacular beach, as it can get quite crowded when the boats arrives and let people on the beach for a couple of hours. This way you can stay there when everyone else goes back on the boat, and have fewer people on the beach until the next boat full of tourists arrives.
The day trip by boat is around 25/30 euros, and i would happily spend them every summer to get to my favorite beach!
I also tried scuba diving there and here is the proof that i did it and that i was there
HOW TO GET THERE:
CAGLIARI / ORISTANO and surrounding TOURISTIC areas:
From mainland italy, fly to Cagliari/Elmas Airport, from there you can take a direct bus to Cagliari and then take a local bus to your destination (Bus is the most convenient way to reach touristic destinations that are away from the main cities, private/public bus lines cover almost every single tourist place).
The bus is generally quite slow, takes a couple of hours or more for 100 km, since it stops at the main villages, but it’s cheap and comfortable. Trains are also available from Cagliari to the main cities of the island. Alternatively you can take the Passengers boat from Livorno or Rome to Cagliari and the bus station is just 5 minutes walking from the harbor.
2. OLBIA / SASSARI and touristic areas (Costa smeralda, Golfo di Orosei, Arcipelago della Maddalena, Stintino)
From mainland Italy, fly to Olbia airport/ Alghero airport and take one of the local buses to the touristic destinations.
Alternatively you can take the Passengers boat to Porto Torres or Olbia and get the direct trains available for all the main cities of the island or the many private/public buses for the tourist destinations.
Useful Links to the main private/public transport companies in Sardinia:
ARST: public service buses to the main touristic destinations
TURMO TRAVEL: another well-known bus company
TIRRENIA: passengers boats from mainland Italy to Sardinia
MOBY LINE: passenger boat from mainland italy to Sardinia
SARDINIA FERRIES: passenger boat from mainland italy to Sardinia
SO MY DEAR FRIENDS, ENJOY SARDINIA AND MAKE THE MOST OF IT! THIS IS A REALLY SPECIAL ISLAND! IF I CONVINCED YOU AND YOU WANT SOME MORE INFO, CONTACT ME OR LEAVE ME A MESSAGE HERE AND I’LL TRY TO HELP!