Five beautiful places to visit in Sardinia, Italy

Ellie Swain

Senior Contributor

Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, is filled with diverse natural beauty, from azure waters and idyllic beaches to craggy mountains and hidden historical sites. Here, we journey through five must-visit places encapsulating Sardinia’s special beauty and charm.


Nestled in the northwestern tip of Sardinia, Stintino is a picturesque fishing village home to some of the island’s most stunning beaches. La Pelosa's fine caster sugar white sand and turquoise waters are so beautiful that they almost feel surreal. The calm, shallow waters make it perfect for swimming and snorkelling, allowing you to duck beneath the surface to glimpse the colourful marine life below.

Between swimming and sunbathing, make sure to meander to Pelosa Tower. This historic watchtower, dating back to the 16th century, provides visitors with sweeping views of the shimmering Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding sun-bleached terrain.

The Maddalena Archipelago

Voyage the Maddalena Archipelago, a constellation of islands renowned for their surreal beauty. This protected marine and land area is a paradise for nature lovers and adventurers alike. The archipelago is famed for its translucent waters, thriving underwater life, and secluded coves - so make sure to bring your swimming and snorkelling gear along.

To reach the Maddalena Archipelago from mainland Sardinia, hop on a ferry from Palau, a town on Sardinia's northeastern coast. The ferry ride to La Maddalena, the archipelago's main island, is relatively short, typically around 20 minutes, offering both vehicle and passenger transport. Upon arrival, you can explore La Maddalena and the surrounding smaller islands either by renting a boat or joining guided tours. Spend your time sailing between the islands, diving into the refreshing sea, and basking on sun-kissed beaches. 

Cala Mariolu

Cala Mariolu, hidden along the Gulf of Orosei, is a pale pebble-stone beach that meets emerald waters. This secluded beach is accessible only by boat or a challenging hike, making it a paradise reward for those who seek it. Plunge into the crystal-clear waters, adventuring among the rocks and marine life.

Hop on a boat from the nearby towns of Cala Gonone, Arbatax, or Santa Maria Navarrese to reach Cala Mariolu and admire Sardinia's sparkling shoreline as you glide through the water. Alternatively, the hike to Cala Mariolu from the Baunei area involves a demanding descent through Sardinia's mountainous terrain. This several-hour trek requires careful navigation and a good level of physical fitness, but the reward is worth it.

Tiscali Village

Snug within a large cave, the mysterious Tiscali Village is evidence of Sardinia’s rich history and culture. This archaeological site, dating back to the Nuragic civilisation, offers a peek into the island’s ancient past, and the journey to Tiscali is as captivating as the village itself. Journey through the Supramonte mountains in central Sardinia, leading to the village hidden within a large limestone sinkhole. This moderate to challenging hike, taking about two to four hours round trip depending on the starting point, winds through lush forests, rocky landscapes, and along mountain paths. Standing within the cave, surrounded by remnants of history, you’ll feel a profound connection to the generations that once thrived here. 

Where to Stay

After days filled with exploration and discovery, a restful haven to relax and reflect on your adventures is essential. Nestled within the dazzling Costa Smeralda in northeastern Sardinia, Hotel Cala di Volpe embodies an inviting blend of rustic charm and modern luxury. This iconic hotel, designed to mimic a quaint fishing village, delights guests with its understated elegance and sophisticated atmosphere, from the nature-designed interiors to the postcard-worthy sea views offered by each of its 121 stylish rooms. Beyond its private beach and Olympic-size saltwater pool, the hotel provides exquisite Mediterranean dining, a range of leisure activities, and the nearby Pevero Golf Club, ensuring an unforgettable stay in one of the most beautiful corners of Sardinia.

On the other side of the island, Hotel Il Borgo, nestled within the expansive Forte Village Resort on Sardinia's southern coast, presents a perfect Mediterranean retreat for visitors seeking relaxation and adventure. This all-bungalow hotel blends style with simplicity, offering guests bright, airy accommodations with private patios and pretty gardens. Il Borgo provides endless entertainment for its younger guests, while adults can indulge in upscale shopping, a luxurious spa, and a diverse sports and nightlife scene. With dining options that cater to every palate, including dishes crafted by Michelin-starred chefs and a Gourmet Cooking Academy, Il Borgo offers a memorable stay for families and other visitors looking to experience the best of Sardinian hospitality and charm.

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