What to do in Sardinia, another beautiful island which is still too little known.
Most people are familiar with the Italian island of Sicily, but everyone does not know the other large island off the coast of Italy. Sardinia (Sardegna in Italian) is located west of the Mediterranean Sea peninsula, just south of Corsica. Sicily is the largest Mediterranean island, Sardinia is much less visited, and it seemed wise to present the best things to see and visit the island.
Situated between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Sea of Sardinia, Sardinia is a region of Italy. Surrounded by the crystal clear waters, the beauty of the island is breathtaking and the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) is a favorite vacation spot for celebrities.
The coast is mostly high and rocky and is surrounded by several small islands, such as Asinara, the Maddalena Archipelago, Tavolara, San Pietro and Sant’Antioco. The area is also known for its mountainous and rugged landscapes. There are Roman remains and unique archaeological remains called “nuraghi” (nuraghi). These date back to before the Romans and nobody knows what they were in their time.
So what to do in Sardinia?
1. Visit one of 7000 Nuraghi Island
Nuraghi (Nuraghi in Italian) are constructions in stone beehive-shaped or cone dating from the Bronze Age, found primarily in Sardinia. The exact use of these structures is unknown, but many believe that they were used as religious temples, and military bastions. The best known is Nuraghe Su Nuraxi Barumini, which was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The town of Barumini is located about 60 kilometers north of the Sardinian capital Cagliari.
2. The Sardinian beaches
They say that Sardinia has the most beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean. Beaches such as Cala Gonone, Li Coggi, or those more touristy Costa Smeralda consistently appear in the top rankings of the “most beautiful beaches in the world” international magazines and travel websites. However, the most amazing beach is La Pelosa, near Stintino, about 50 kilometers north of Alghero airport. Usually, the small town of Stintino has only 1,200 inhabitants, but this number is much higher during the summer, when thousands of Sardis and tourists visit these beautiful beaches.
3. Capture photos of wildlife in Sardinia
Like many other islands, Sardinia has a very rich and unique wildlife. None of the animals that live on or near Sardinia are dangerous, so you can explore the island without fear. Unique species of deer and foxes live in the woods and mountains, while different types of birds, including the Chaffinch and the flamingo, visit the island every year in large numbers. The Mediterranean monk seal and turtles live in the Sardinian waters and fin whales can been spotted near the banks quite regularly.
4. The archipelago of La Maddalena
Parco Nazionale Arcipelago di La Maddalena is a national park in the north of Sardinia. In the most clear days you can see the coast of Corsica from the northernmost island of La Maddalena, Isola Razzoli. This archipelago, most of the islands are accessible only by boat, offers unspoiled nature, beautiful views, friendly people, and almost everything you need to feel completely away from this world.
5. The Bastione di Saint Remy
The capital of Sardinia, Cagliari, was built on seven hills. The oldest part of the city, quartiere Castello, lies on top of one of these hills, offering stunning views of the Gulf of Cagliari, or Golfo degli Angeli. The Bastione di Saint Remy, which was built with the typical white limestone of the region, you can see most of the other districts of Cagliari, and the Mediterranean Sea. When you’ve reached the top of the bastion, Cagliari the beautiful Romanesque cathedral is within walking distance, which makes it even more interesting climb.
6. Porto Cervo
Costa Smeralda, in the northeast of Sardinia, is the favorite holiday destination of celebrities. Since the Prince Karim Aga Khan visited the region in the 60s, many celebrities have chosen the Emerald Coast to spend their holidays. This makes the search for a cheap hotel during the summer months rather difficult, but there is much to see when you walk along the shore.
In the marina of Porto Cervo, one can admire the yachts whose value exceeds several million.
7. Observe the remains of Roman civilization in Nora or Tharros
If you plan rather to archaeological discoveries, rather than drool over luxury yachts, this is possible too. In Tharros, near Oristano, west, or Nora, near Pula, in the south, you can see what the Romans left behind there two thousand years. Both sites are open-air museums, allowing you to wander through the ancient Roman streets, observing the ruins, columns and baths. Tharros and Nora are located near the sea, which makes it even more interesting tour because you can take a dip and cool off.
8. Taste cooking and local drinks
As with any journey, it is imperative that you taste the local food. Sardinian cuisine is characterized by very strong flavors, like the Cannonau, the local wine, which is the perfect example. The Pane carasau (known for its fineness), the Porcheddu (a young watered frequently pig), and culurgiones (stuffed pasta with pecorino cheese, mint and other ingredients) are part of the traditional dishes of Sardinia. The liquor Filu e ferru is also being tested. In Cagliari and throughout the island, restaurants to discover the local gastronomy abound.
9. The Sardinian Mines
The long mining history of Sardinia began probably around the 6th millennium BC, which means that mining has played an important role in the history of the island. The small village of Ingurtosu, alongside Montevecchio, were one of the most important mining regions of Sardinia, until the middle of last century. To avoid that this area be abandoned, UNESCO decided to declare World Heritage. Many old mining facilities have been renovated, restored or even transformed into a hotel, or are open for tours, making the region an attractive place for travelers and culture lovers who want to avoid mass tourism.
10. Other ideas for visits in Sardinia
- Visit the Museum of Life and Popular Traditions in Nuoro Sardis
- Still Nuoro, take part in the Festa del Redentore (Feast of the Redeemer) on the last Sunday of August
- Visit Sassari, Sardinia’s second city
- Go see the island of Caprera, known to have been, for over twenty years, the last residence of Giuseppe Garibaldi.
- The beautiful colored houses Castelsardo
Have you been to Sardinia?