Discover the Beautiful Towns of Sardinia

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

Standing proudly in the northern Mediterranean Sea, the Italian island of Sardinia is rich with history and scenic landscapes. From the designer boutiques of Porto Cervo, and the medieval hilltop castles of Castelsardo, to creative art-filled streets of Orgosolo, there’s much to satisfy adventurous travellers. When you’ve explored the main tourist hubs of Costa Smeralda and Cagliari, why not hire a car and discover the beautiful towns that makes this island so special?

Sip Wine at Sunset in Bosa

The pretty Sardinian town of Bosa lies on northwestern shores, an hour south of Alghero. The town’s medieval quarter – Sa Costa, sits aside River Temo, with a labyrinth of narrow cobbled lanes which lead to the 12th century hilltop castle. Throughout the alleyways, shops hidden in houses sell pure olive oil, gold filigree and aromatic island wines for you to purchase. The castle itself boasts stunning views and you can stroll through the old church, glimpsing ancient frescoes, before descending to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II for a further spot of retail therapy. As the sun sets and Bosa illuminates, find a seat by the river, sip a glass of Malvasia wine and marvel as pastel houses reflect onto the water, creating a shimmering kaleidoscope of indigo, ochre and apricot.

Hike to the Ruins of Castelsardo

Castelsardo is one of the most exciting towns on Sardinia. According to archaeological discoveries, it shows human presence since the Nuragic civilisation. In surrounding countryside, you can still see Elephant’s Rock and megalithic structures of Nuraghe Paddaju, but perhaps the most intriguing attraction is Doria Castle overlooking the town. As you walk the ramparts and explore the Museum of Mediterranean Weaving, imagine life during times when invaders and traders arrived from distant shores to make their mark on the island. On your walk back into the centre, pay a visit to Cathedral of Sant’Antonio Abate. Perched on a rock overlooking the sea, it offers incredible views over the Gulf of Asinara where you can capture memorable photographs of your trip.

Sunbathe on La Pelosa Beach at Stintino

Of all the beaches on the island, La Pelosa near Stintino in northwestern Sardinia is perhaps the most beautiful. Crystal-clear aquamarine waters shimmer beneath cobalt sunlit skies, and beaches of the finest white sands easily rival those of the Caribbean. The waters around La Pelosa are ripe for exploration with scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing and kayaking on offer. Alternatively, if you prefer, relax under a parasol with a well-deserved cocktail and marvel at the undeniable natural beauty of Sardinia from your sun lounger.

Walk Ancient City Walls of Alghero

Ok, it’s technically not a town, rather a small city in Sardinia, but Alghero is still well worth a mention on our list. This historic city, also known as Barceloneta, was dominated by Catalan colonists for several centuries and even today, hundreds of residents still speak in Algherese Catalan dialect in respect of their heritage. Clues to the city’s past life can be seen in Catalan-Gothic style buildings including San Francesco Church, Alghero Cathedral and structures in Civic Square. However, the main highlight is walking the city’s ancient walls and bastions dedicated to great explorers – Marco Polo, Columbus, Magellan and Pigafetta. Arrive just before sunset for the best photos and venture to chic restaurants near Bastioni Marco Polo for a romantic dinner and drinks.

Live the Glamorous Lifestyle at Porto Cervo

Nestled in a secluded cove with a backdrop of lush green landscapes, celebrity hangout Porto Cervo is Sardinia’s answer to Monte Carlo. Located in Costa Smeralda on the island’s northeastern shores, it is one of the most glamorous towns on the island. Spend leisurely days browsing Roberto Cavalli, Prada and Gucci stores and warm balmy evenings drinking and dining in fine restaurants such as the delightful Al Pescatore. In addition to designer shopping, Porto Cervo also hosts annual sailing regattas, boasts nature trails, yacht charter trips and horseback riding. You too can live ‘La Dolce Vita’ if you choose to stay in luxurious Colonna Resort – a beautiful bayside hotel with its own private beach and state-of-the-art wellness spa.

See Creative Street Art of Orgosolo

The pretty town of Orgosolo, close to Foresta di Montes in the island’s interior is worth a day trip or longer. On almost every street corner of this sleepy town, towering frescoes and thought-provoking pieces of street art prompt conversation about politics, life and international issues. Stories about revered local residents are told in pictures and village life is broadcast on walls for all to see. Townsfolk are deep-rooted in historic traditions, and as you stroll along art-filled streets you may hear the soft echo of canto a tenòre - local folk singing, evoking the spirit, atmosphere and characters of Orgosolo’s past.

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