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A Quick Guide to Sardinia

Where to find the best spots on this Italian isle

WHERE — Sardinia, Italy
PHOTOGRAPHY — Sam Flaherty and Jessie Bush

Where to eat, stay and beach hunt on one of Italy’s dreamiest Mediterranean islands.

Although this was our second time in Sardinia and we managed to explore a decent chunk of the island, this is by no way a definitive guide. Sardinia is home to so many small family-owned restaurants,  agriturismo farm-stays and hidden beaches and bays that I feel you’d need to be a local to truly have the low-down on all the best spots. But as always, I’m happy to share our favourite finds of the trip. 

Stay

I don’t want to make assumptions, but I feel like if you go to Sardinia, you’re in search of a beach holiday. There are incredible beaches on every corner of the island, but I do love the east coast for its endless stretch of turquoise bays.

There’s also three types of lodging available on the island; traditional hotels, apartments and homes for rent (aka Airbnb), and agriturismo farm-stays – which are generally located in more rural areas, family run and often include daily set meals made from all local/organic produce.

Getting There/Around

Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean, and it’s well served by 3 different airports. It definitely pays to check where you’ll be flying in and out of and plan your trip around that to save driving hours on windy Italian roads when you arrive.

We hired a car (that we booked online and then picked up at the airport) which I would 100% recommend. Unfortunately it’s near impossible to get around without a car – taxis are pretty expensive and local buses aren’t super frequent (as we discovered on our first trip).

Do

Hire a boat and head out for a day on the sea! We drove north and hired ours from Noleggio Gommoni Nautica Service so we could explore the Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park nearby.

The national park and the surrounding islands are all beautiful with impossibly blue seas. We explored as much as we could (whilst also perfecting our water bomb technique, obv) and I feel as though we only saw a small snippet of the park. If we ever go back to Sardinia I would love to stay on La Maddalena itself – it looks deliciously remote and untouched.

Beach Hunting

Cala Fuili was easily our favourite beach – and like all good things in life it requires a bit of effort to find. Drive down the steep hill to Cala Gonone, then follow the windy coastal road to the South. Parking is precariously on the side of the road wherever you can find it, then walk down the dirt track (complete with a herd of goats bleating hello) fully equipped with an umbrella, towel, sunscreen, snacks and water as there’s nothing down there but the glorious sea.

We also loved Cala Brandinchi and Spiaggia di Lu Impostu; two bays right next to each other with soft sand and calm, turquoise water. Both spots have a few simple canteen-style cafes where you can get gelato, drinks and snacks.

Cala Moresca is pure magic for it’s lack of crowds, seclusion and crystal clear waters. The bay is located inside the nature reserve, which is about a 15 minute walk from the car park.

Spiaggia del Principle on the aptly named Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) is an hidden gem along what is generally a pretty popular spot. Shallow, clear water and soft golden sand in true Sardinian stye.

Eat

Be prepared to eat a pizza a day. We went to a lot of restaurants where the salads and mains were pretty average, but the pizza was amazing. Basically, when in doubt, go for the pizza.

Ristorante Pizzeria La Poltrona (which we stopped off on the way to Cala Fuili) was our favourite restaurant of the trip. It’s pretty unassuming, but has a sweet courtyard, sea views, super friendly staff, delicious homemade food and an extensive menu of locally produced wine and craft beer.
Ristorante Pizzeria La Poltrona, Zona centro sportivo, 08022 Cala Gonone

Agriturismo Muru Idda offers an authentic dining experience in true agriturismo style; a set menu of Sardinian dishes, all locally produced with ten stomach-stretching dishes for 35 euros. As it’s a set menu and they only produce what is needed for each evening, bookings are essential. It’s a real Sardinian experience – there are amazing agriturismo’s all over the island.
Agriturismo Muru Idda, Località San Lorenzo, 08020 Budoni

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