Located in the Mediterranean Sea, the island of Sardinia is one of the most beautiful and underrated regions in Italy. The island region boasts beautiful coastlines and mountainous landscapes with white sand beaches in the northern part of the island, historic towns in the south, and idyllic farms in its inland. Ancient ruins also sprawl around Sardinia, including those that date back to the Bronze Age.
Aside from its breathtaking views, Sardinia is also known to be the home of the world’s longest-living men and women a.k.a. the centenarians. Scientific studies suggest that it’s the Sardinian diet that enables these happy Italians to live over a hundred years old. But something tells us, at Viyahe, that the secret to a long happy life isn’t solely found in food, it must be the region itself. So, here’s a guide on how to best enjoy Sardinia, Italy. And who knows, you might just unlock the secret to long life when you visit this gorgeous destination!
Where to begin your adventure?
There are 3 major airports in Sardinia that will guide you on how to explore this Italian island. The Cagliari Elmas Airport, located in the south, is the gateway to medieval Sardinia and the capital city. Alghero Airport in the northwest gives you access to the province’s port city and sprawling beaches. The third airport, Olbia Costa Smeralda, brings you closer to the most beautiful Mediterranean coastlines.
Our travel experts suggest that you can start your journey in Cagliari and then travel your way up to the northern part of Sardinia to get a full immersion of the region. However, if you only want some sun-and-sand kind of fun, just head straight to Olbia and explore its gorgeous beaches.
What sites to see?
If your trip’s start point is Cagliari, make sure to stroll around Piazza Palazzo where you can marvel at historic landmarks, such as Palazzo Regio and Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral. You can also hike and have a nice picnic at Parco di Monte Urpinu, which leads to Cagliari’s panoramic viewpoint.
In the inland, there are plenty of ancient ruins situated in valleys and mountains. One notable site is Nuraghe Funtana Bona, a historical landmark that connects visitors to the Stone Age Nuragic civilization. The mysterious fort complex of Su Nuraxi di Barumini is also a popular tourist attraction in Sardinia. If you’re in the northwest area, drive along Strada Statale in Sassari to see Roccia dell Elefante or Elephant Rock, a prehistoric rock formation with elephant-like features.
For breathtaking beaches and coastlines, the northeast part of Sardinia is the place to be. Costa Smeralda or Emerald Coasts offers enchanting coves with turquoise waters and white sand beaches. One hotspot is Porto Cervo that attracts affluent vacationers with superyachts—thanks to Porto Cervo’s luxury resorts, fancy restaurants, and fashion boutiques. La Cinta Beach is a perfect spot for families and groups of friends who are looking for a nice leisure time by the ocean. But if you’re looking for a secluded beach escape, locals consider La Maddalena island’s Rosa Beach as their favorite secret spot.
What to eat and drink?
The agricultural life of Sardinia reflects its cuisine. In the inland or mountainous areas, Lamb with artichokes would be its finest dish. Porcheddu or roasted suckling pig is another festive dish enjoyed by locals. Sardinians are also proud of their Pecorino cheese, a hard cheese made from sheep’s whole milk. Pecorino has two varieties: Sardo Dolce, a mild-tasting hard cheese, and Sardo Maturo, a stronger tasting cheese matured for at least 2 months. Locals love pairing their sheep cheese with Pane Carasau, a crisp flatbread seasoned with sea salt and rosemary.
This island also offers delicious seafood dishes, such as Octopus Salad, Prawn Fregola with Saffron, and Catalan Lobster Salad. If you are looking for a delicacy, try bottarga, a cured fish roe from a tuna or mullet fish. Foodies describe bottarga as cheese with an umami taste, others compare it to caviar.
Sardinia also has great wine selections. Local to this region are Cannonau (known as Grenache), Nuragus, Vernaccia, Vermentino, and Torbato.
When to visit?
Spring or April to June is the best time to visit Sardinia as the temperatures aren’t too high around the region. This allows tourists to enjoy the beaches and marvel at gardens in full bloom. For fewer crowds, the months of September and October would be ideal. Although July to August is the island’s busiest, there are festivals and events to be enjoyed in this season.
Need help in planning your dream vacation to Sardinia? Don’t worry, Viyahe got you covered. Just drop a chat on the Viyahe app to ask us about Sardinia flights and hotels.