The Ultimate Guide to the Best Things to Do in Sardinia

Top Things to do in Sardinia

Updated On: November 27, 2023 by   Nouran AshrafNouran Ashraf

Discover the captivating allure of Sardinia, an enchanting island located off the coast of Italy. With an array of unique attractions and breathtaking scenery, it offers a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be explored. From the vibrant city streets of Cagliari and Alghero to the quintessential charm of Bosa and Sassari, Sardinia’s towns are steeped in history and culture.

As the second largest island in the Mediterranean, Sardinia showcases an immaculate confluence of mesmerizing beaches, rugged mountain terrain, and deep-rooted traditions that add to its distinctive character. Let us take you on a journey through Sardinia as we uncover the top things to do and fascinating places to visit in this sun-kissed Mediterranean paradise. Sardinia has everything you need for relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion. 

Sardinia’s Best Cities

Visit some of Sardinia’s beautiful cities and be blown away by their history and culture. With plenty to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice.



Cagliari is the capital city of the beautiful island of Sardinia, located off the west coast of Italy. This bustling city is known for its rich history and stunning architecture, and it is a popular destination for tourists looking to experience the unique culture and Mediterranean charm of the region. One of the most iconic attractions in Cagliari is the Castello, a medieval walled quarter that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the sea.

Visitors can also explore the beautiful Cagliari Cathedral or take a stroll through the bustling Marina district. For history enthusiasts, the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari is a must-see, featuring an impressive collection of artefacts and exhibits spanning thousands of years of Sardinian history. And for those looking to relax and soak up the sun, Poetto Beach offers miles of pristine sandy shoreline and crystal-clear waters, making it the perfect spot for a day of sunbathing and swimming. 



Located on the northwest coast, Alghero is known as the coral city. The city is made up of a fortress on the sea with great bastion walls, narrow cobblestone streets, a fascinating square, a cathedral that dates back to the 14th century, and some amazing shops. The landscapes are spectacular, where you will see the charming sea, rugged mountain ranges, beautiful bays, and white sandy coves. You can go for a picnic to watch the sunset over the Mediterranean. Alghero is a great place to begin excursions and one of the famous attractions to visit the stalactites and stalagmites in Neptune’s Cave. It is one of the best cities to visit in Sardinia.



Located on the picturesque island of Sardinia, Italy, Bosa is a charming town known for its medieval streets, colourful houses, and stunning views of the River Temo. The town’s waterfront is lined with pastel-coloured buildings and offers a beautiful backdrop for a leisurely stroll or a boat ride along the river. The quaint town centre is filled with cosy cafes, family-owned restaurants, and artisan shops, making it a perfect place to experience authentic Sardinian culture.

One of the main attractions in Bosa is the Malaspina Castle, a well-preserved medieval fortress that offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding countryside. The nearby Bosa Marina is also a popular spot for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Bosa is a hidden gem in Sardinia, offering visitors a chance to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquillity of this historic Italian town.



Sassari is a charming city located on the Italian island of Sardinia. It is known for its rich history and beautiful architecture, making it a popular destination for tourists. The city is home to a number of attractions, including the impressive St. Nicholas Cathedral, which is known for its stunning baroque façade. Visitors can also explore the narrow streets of the old town, where they will find a mix of medieval and Renaissance buildings that showcase the city’s unique history. One of the most iconic buildings in Sassari is the Palazzo Ducale, a grand palace that was once the residence of the city’s rulers.

In addition to its architectural wonders, Sassari also offers a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and theatres that showcase the city’s artistic heritage. The city also hosts a number of festivals and events throughout the year, where visitors can experience the local traditions and customs. With its picturesque streets and fascinating history, Sassari is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the beauty of Sardinia.

Famous Attractions to Visit in Sardinia

From the ancient ruins of Nora and Tharros to the vibrant coastal town of Alghero, Sardinia offers a diverse range of experiences for travellers. The breathtaking landscapes of the Gola Su Gorropu canyon and the Maddalena Archipelago National Park provide ample opportunities for outdoor adventures. Whether it’s exploring historical sites, relaxing on picturesque beaches, or immersing in the island’s unique culture, Sardinia has something for every type of traveller.

1. Nuraghe Su Nuraxi


Nuraghe Su Nuraxi is an ancient archaeological site in Sardinia, Italy, dating back to the 17th century BC. It is one of the most well-preserved and impressive examples of a nuraghe, which is a type of ancient megalithic structure found exclusively in Sardinia. The main tower of Su Nuraxi stands around 18 metres tall and is surrounded by a complex system of smaller towers and defensive walls. The site was occupied for over a millennium and was likely a significant centre for the Nuragic civilisation.

The nuraghe was first excavated in the 1950s and has since been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its historical and cultural significance. Visitors to Su Nuraxi can explore the intricate stone architecture and gain insight into the advanced building techniques of the Nuragic people. The surrounding landscape is also dotted with other nuraghe, demonstrating the widespread influence of this ancient civilisation. The site offers a fascinating glimpse into the prehistoric past of Sardinia and is a must-see for history enthusiasts and those interested in ancient civilisations. With its towering stone walls and rich historical significance, Nuraghe Su Nuraxi remains a testament to the ingenuity and architectural prowess of its ancient builders.

2. Nuraghe Losa


Nuraghe Losa is an ancient megalithic structure located in Sardinia, Italy. It is one of the most well-preserved and impressive nuraghe on the island, dating back to the Middle and Late Bronze Ages. The site consists of a central tower surrounded by a complex system of walls and chambers built using large basalt blocks. The central tower is about 13 meters high and has a unique shape, with a bulging lower half and a narrower upper half. The purpose of Nuraghe Losa is still debated among archaeologists, with theories ranging from religious and ceremonial use to defensive and administrative functions. The site also features a well-preserved courtyard and a small secondary tower.

The construction of Nuraghe Losa showcases the skilled engineering and architectural abilities of the ancient Sardinian people, who were able to create such monumental structures without the use of mortar or any form of binding material. Today, the site is a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the world to marvel at its impressive and enigmatic architecture. It is also a testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of Sardinia, offering a glimpse into the ancient past of the island and the people who once inhabited it. Nuraghe Losa stands as a symbol of the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the ancient Nuragic civilization.

3. Arzachena Prehistoric Sites

Arzachena Prehistoric Sites, located in the northeastern region of Sardinia, Italy, are a collection of ancient archaeological sites dating back to the Bronze Age. The area is home to several well-preserved nuraghi, which are ancient stone structures unique to Sardinia, as well as megalithic tombs and sacred wells. One of the most famous sites within the Arzachena prehistoric collection is the Nuraghe Albucciu, a well-preserved nuraghe dating back to the 15th century BCE. The complex also includes a megalithic tomb and a sacred well, providing a fascinating glimpse into the customs and beliefs of the prehistoric inhabitants of the region.

Another notable site is the Coddu Vecchiu, a complex of megalithic tombs surrounded by picturesque granite boulders, offering visitors the opportunity to explore a truly ancient burial site. Visitors to the Arzachena Prehistoric Sites can also witness the stunning natural landscapes that have provided the backdrop for these ancient structures for millennia. The combination of historical significance and natural beauty makes the Arzachena Prehistoric Sites a must-see destination for anyone interested in the rich history of Sardinia and the ancient civilizations that once thrived there.

4. Asinara National Park

Asinara National Park is a stunning natural reserve located on the Asinara island off the coast of Sardinia, Italy. The park is known for its diverse ecosystem, including a rugged coastline, crystal-clear waters, and unique wildlife. Visitors can explore the island’s various trails, ancient ruins, and picturesque beaches while also spotting rare species, such as the albino donkey, native to the island. The park is also home to a former high-security prison, which adds a fascinating historical element to the area. With its rich biodiversity, pristine landscapes, and historical significance, Asinara National Park offers a captivating experience for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

5. Santa Cristina Nuraghe and the Holy Well


It is located in a place not far from Oristano and is one of the most wonderful attractions in Sardinia. The interesting thing there is the “holy well” that is well preserved from 1200-1100 BC. There is also the Nuraghe Tower, where you can climb to its roof to look down onto the prehistoric stone village that surrounds it. Another thing that you can see is the group of tiny stone pilgrim lodgings, former monks’ cells, between the well and the nuraghe that surrounds a 12th-century church, and pilgrimages still come here in May and October.

6. Nuoro and the Gennargentu


Nuoro is a picturesque town located in the mountainous region of Sardinia, Italy, known for its distinct cultural identity and as the birthplace of several famous writers and artists. The town serves as a gateway to the Gennargentu mountain range, the highest in Sardinia, offering breathtaking landscapes and outdoor activities such as hiking and rock climbing. The Gennargentu is also home to a variety of wildlife, including the rare Sardinian deer and mouflon.

Visitors to Nuoro can explore the rugged terrain of the Gennargentu, visit traditional Sardinian shepherds’ huts known as “cortes”, and experience the unique local cuisine and artisan crafts. The area’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage make Nuoro and the Gennargentu a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

7. Tharros


Tharros is an ancient archaeological site located on the west coast of Sardinia, Italy. The site dates back to the 8th century BC when it was founded by the Phoenicians. Over the centuries, Tharros was also inhabited by the Punics and the Romans, resulting in a rich and diverse history that is evident in the ruins that still stand today. The most prominent feature of Tharros is the remains of a large Roman city, including a forum, baths, and a complex network of streets and houses. The site also features a Phoenician Tophet, a sacred area where children were once buried.

Visitors to Tharros can explore the archaeological remains, which provide a glimpse into the ancient civilizations that once thrived in this coastal region. The site also offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the Mediterranean Sea. Tharros is a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in the rich cultural heritage of Sardinia. Its historical significance and beautiful setting make it a must-see attraction for tourists visiting the island.

8. Valle Dei Nuraghi (Valley of Nuraghi)

Valle Dei Nuraghi, also known as the Valley of Nuraghi, is a region in Sardinia, Italy, known for its ancient stone structures called nuraghi. These nuraghi are prehistoric tower fortresses that dot the landscape of the valley, dating back to the Bronze Age. The valley is home to over 7,000 of these mysterious structures, which are thought to have been used for religious, military, or civil purposes. The Valle Dei Nuraghi is a UNESCO World Heritage site, attracting history enthusiasts and archaeology buffs from all over the world. Visitors can explore the area, marvel at the architectural feats of the Nuraghi, and learn about the ancient Sardinian civilization that once thrived in this remarkable valley.

9. Grotta di Nettuno (Neptune’s Grotto)


Named after the Roman god of the sea, Neptune’s Grotto is a stunning sea cave located in the Capo Caccia cliffs of the island of Sardinia, Italy. Accessible only by boat or a steep staircase of 654 steps carved into the cliffside, the grotto features a labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, and stunning natural formations. Visitors can take guided tours to explore the fascinating stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over thousands of years. The grotto’s crystal-clear waters and the unique acoustics created by its natural formations make it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, offering a truly magical and unforgettable experience.

10 Costa Smeralda

Costa Smeralda, located on the beautiful island of Sardinia, is renowned for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and luxurious resorts. This stretch of coastline on the northeast of Sardinia became a popular destination for the international jet set in the 1960s and has since retained its reputation as a playground for the rich and famous.

Visitors to Costa Smeralda can indulge in a range of activities, from relaxing on the white sandy beaches to exploring the charming villages and sampling the delicious local cuisine. The area is also a paradise for water sports enthusiasts, offering opportunities for sailing, diving, and snorkelling. With its picturesque landscapes and glamorous atmosphere, Costa Smeralda is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a luxurious and unforgettable vacation experience.

11. National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum of Sardinia is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. Located in Cagliari, the museum houses an extensive collection of artefacts and relics that provide insight into the rich and diverse history of the island. Visitors can explore prehistoric, Nuragic, Phoenician, Punic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic artefacts, offering a comprehensive view of Sardinia’s past. The museum also showcases a wide range of archaeological finds, including jewellery, pottery, tools, and statues, allowing visitors to step back in time and imagine what life was like in ancient Sardinia. With its impressive collection and engaging exhibits, the National Archaeological Museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the island’s past and is a must-see for anyone interested in Sardinian history and culture.

12. Molentargius Saline Regional Park

Another natural beauty in the south of Sardinia is the Molentarguis Saline Regional Park, located between Urpinu Hill and Poetto Beach, where you can spend the morning in the park relaxing at the beach. The park consists of a wetland of shallow pools home to many birds. The protected area has included ancient salt mines since Roman times, and the pond in the park is where the birds always hang out. The best way to explore every bit of the park is by bike, so take your time and spend the day there.

13. Saint Remy Bastion


Saint Remy Bastion is one of the famous landmarks in Cagliari that date back to the Middle Ages. When you visit the place, you can go through the staircase and see a fantastic view from the Umberto I terrace, where you will see coloured rooftops, a wonderful ocean, and the curve of the mountains. While you are there in summer, sit at the café and enjoy live music until the city lights up magnificently.

14. Torre del Elefante (Elephant Tower)


 One of the most iconic structures in the city of Cagliari, Sardinia, is the Torre del Elefante (Elephant Tower). This medieval tower, built in the 14th century, is located in the historic district of Castello and is a significant historical and architectural landmark in the region. The tower is known for its unique design, featuring a large, elephant-shaped sculpture at its entrance, which is where it gets its name from.

The Torre del Elefante offers visitors panoramic views of the city and the surrounding area, making it a popular tourist attraction. Its strategic location also served as a crucial defence point during ancient times. Today, the tower stands as a reminder of the rich history and cultural heritage of Sardinia.

15. Roman Amphitheater


The Roman Amphitheater was built at the end of the first century and is located in a natural curve in the hillside’s rocky slope. This attraction is one of the important Roman remains in the city of Cagliari and is used for concerts and performances most of the time.

16. Santuario di Bonaria

The Santuario di Bonaria is a prominent religious site located in Cagliari, the capital city of Sardinia. The sanctuary is dedicated to the Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Bonaria, who is regarded as the patron saint of Sardinia. The history of the sanctuary dates back to the 14th century, and it is a significant pilgrimage site for both locals and visitors.

The sanctuary houses a statue of the Black Madonna, which is believed to have miraculous powers and is highly venerated by the people of Sardinia. The architectural design of the sanctuary is a combination of Gothic, Baroque, and Neoclassical styles, making it a visually stunning attraction. The Santuario di Bonaria not only holds religious significance but also serves as a cultural and historical landmark in Sardinia.

17. Il Castello

It is the main street of the old town. The streets look like a warren of arched passageways, steep lanes, and flights of steps. Santa Maria is located in the streets, a cathedral which was built by the Pisans in 1312. When you go higher in the street, there is the Palazzo Arcivescovile and the Palazzo Reggio, where the Savoy royal family lived after Napoleon captured Turin. You can have a tour in the streets for 2 hours by Cagliari Segway Tour, which takes you through the Bastione San Remy, the cathedral, the Marina district, the Public Gardens, and the Castello neighbourhood.

18. Via Santa Croce

This is the perfect place to see the beautiful sunset in the city, walk through the streets around the Church of Santa Croce down Via Santa Croce, and onto the elegant terrace. Also, visit Libarium Nostrum and have a drink while enjoying the fantastic view from there.

19. Mercato di San Benedetto (San Benedetto Market)


It is a lovely place to visit to sample delicious seafood. It is one of the largest and best fish markets in Italy. Also, you can see the seasonal products of Sardinia in the market and look for the sheep cheese that is famous in Sardinia as well as in the pasta shops.

20. Villanova Neighborhood

It is one of the four historical quarters of the city, which was established in the 13th century. You can explore the neighbourhood’s narrow streets and alleyways. There is the street of San Giovanni, which is decorated with a spectrum of blossoming flowers. The popular places to see are the churches of St. James and St. Dominic, and you will come across small artisanal shops along the way.

21. Nora

The Phoenician settlement of Nora, located on the southern coast of Sardinia, was one of the oldest and most important Phoenician colonies in the Mediterranean. Founded in the 8th century BC, Nora quickly became a hub for trade and commerce, connecting the Phoenicians to the indigenous Sardinian population. The city thrived for several centuries before eventually falling under Roman control in 238 BC.

The Phoenician influence in Nora can still be seen today through the ruins of its ancient buildings, including a well-preserved amphitheatre, temples, and streets. Archaeological excavations have also uncovered artefacts such as pottery, jewellery, and inscriptions that shed light on the daily life and culture of the Phoenician inhabitants. The settlement of Nora serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Phoenician civilization in the ancient world.

22. Costa Sud

In the Southwest of Cagliari, the Costa Sud is a coastline of headlands where you can find lovely sandy beaches that are stretches of fine sand backed by dunes and have activities for water sports, including paddle boarding and kiteboarding. There are also other beaches, like Spiaggia Sa Colonia and Spiaggia Su Portu, where you can find a place to relax even in August when all beaches are the busiest.

23. Capo Testa

This wonderful place is located between the Maddalena Islands and the Costa Smeralda. The beaches there are public and easily accessible by land. Capo Testa has amazing water, soft sand, and backings of rock outcrops and cliffs. There is also Santa Teresa Gallura, which contains three beaches: Rena Bianca, Rena di Ponente, and Rena Levante. Rena Bianca is a beautiful stretch of white sand sloping gently into the green water. Reparata Beach is best for windsurfing and snorkelling.

Places to Stay While You Visit Sardinia

When planning a visit to Sardinia, there are various accommodation options to consider. For those looking for luxury and convenience, hotels are the ideal choice. There are numerous hotels scattered throughout the island, offering top-notch amenities, stunning views, and exceptional service. On the other hand, for a more personalized and local experience, Airbnb rentals are a popular choice. Whether you prefer a cosy apartment in the heart of a charming town or a beachfront villa with all the comforts of home, Airbnb offers a wide range of options for solo travellers, couples, and families.

For budget-conscious travellers, hostels are a great option for accommodation. Sardinia has a selection of well-maintained and affordable hostels that cater to backpackers and those who prefer a more communal and social atmosphere. Staying in a hostel can also be a great way to meet other like-minded travellers and make new friends during your trip. No matter your preference, Sardinia offers a variety of places to stay that cater to every budget and travel style, making it easy to find the perfect accommodation for a memorable stay on this beautiful Mediterranean island.

  1. Villa del Golfo Lifestyle Resort – A luxurious resort located in Cannigione, offering stunning views of the coastline and easy access to the beach.
  2. Hotel La Rocca Resort & Spa – A peaceful and relaxing resort with a spa located in Baja Sardinia, offering beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.
  3. Hotel Villa Fanny – A charming boutique hotel located in Cagliari, offering a mix of modern facilities and traditional Sardinian architecture.
  4. Hotel Aquadulci – A beachfront hotel located in Chia that offers panoramic views of the sea and a range of water sports activities.
  5. Colonna Resort – A five-star resort located in Porto Cervo, offering elegant accommodation and a range of luxurious amenities, including a private beach and multiple swimming pools.
  6. Lu’ Hotel – A contemporary and stylish hotel located in Carbonia, offering comfortable rooms and a range of facilities, including a wellness centre and a rooftop terrace with a pool.
  7. Agriturismo Il Melograno – A charming farmhouse located in Alghero, offering a tranquil and authentic Sardinian experience with comfortable accommodations and locally sourced food.
  8. Forte Village Resort – A luxury beach resort located in Santa Margherita di Pula, offering a wide range of accommodation options from bungalows to suites and a variety of leisure activities.

Sardinia is truly a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Whether you are drawn to the historic charm of Cagliari, the stunning beaches of Costa Smeralda, or the unique culture of Alghero, this island has something to offer every traveller. With its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and warm hospitality, Sardinia is an ideal destination for those seeking an unforgettable and authentic Italian experience. So pack your bags and get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of Sardinia—an island that is sure to capture your heart and leave you longing to return.

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