Sardinia is one of the most stunning and diverse places in Italy to visit. Nestled in the Mediterranean, to the west of the mainland, it’s a relatively big island (as European islands go) and there’s so many of the best things to do in Sardina dotted all across its coast and inland valleys. 

Obviously, Italy is know for its incredible places, that’s a given! This is especially true with all the epic Italian cities that are totally gorgeous. 

That being said, what they end up doing is leaving you wanting to go back and explore more of Italy. This is exactly where the island of Sardinia comes in.

Honestly, Sardinia feels like the kind of place you visit for more of a sun-soaked holiday, and, being the second-largest island in the Mediterranean  (it’s even bigger than Cyprus), it’s got a heap of stunning bays and quaint little villages to explore.

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With that in mind, I wanted to share some of my favourite and the best things to do in Sardinia when you visit. It’s a gorgeous island, so make sure you spend some time exploring! Have the best time. 

1.) Cala Goloritze

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Perched in the Gulf of Orosei, Cala Goloritze is one stunning beach and coastline to explore when you’re in Baunei. 

Now, the beach itself is actually quite new! It was only (naturally) formed in the 1960s when a massive landslide caused this stunning little area to explore. It’s totally stunning.

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Also, close by, you’ll find the stunning landscapes of Le Figlie Della Aguglia. It’s such a unique spot on the island and easily one of the best things to do in Sardinia when you’re driving the coastal routes.

Read more: Best Italian islands to visit

2.) Cagliari

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Being the capital city of Sardinia, Cagliari is the perfect Italian city to visit if you fancy lots of little restaurants, mounds of history and quaint little streets. 

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Once here, make sure to explore Bastione Saint Remy, see the Cathedral of Saint Mary and Poetto if you fancy a city beach with plenty of bars.

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It’s a great place to start (or end) your trip in Sardinia and well worth staying for a few days.

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It’s such a gorgeous city.  

Read more: Best cities in Italy

3.) Pelosa Beach

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For me, visiting Pelosa Beach is a must when exploring the northern routes of Sardinia. It’s totally stunning and one of the best beach areas and coastal regions in all of Italy. Trust me, you’ll see why once you arrive! 

Now, the only thing to remember is that it can get pretty busy if you arrive in the high-season. Keep this in mind and try to avoid the weekend and you’ll have a much quieter and totally tranquil experience. 

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It’s gorgeous and relatively easy for a day trip from Sassari.

Also, if you fancy staying longer, take a trip over to Asinara Island (from Stintino) or take a boat tour to swim in the waters around the island itself. 

4.) Tavolara’s island

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Not too far from the city of Olbia, the coastline overlooking Tavolara’s island is a great place to explore. Dotted with little fishing villages and eating spots, you’ll be hard-pressed not to enjoy this place.

Honestly, it’s the kind of driving route where you escape the main roads and discover all the little villages and gorgeous coves, too. 

5.) Bosa

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Nestled on the western fringes of Sardinia, just shy of the coast, Bosa is a stunner of a town to explore whilst driving further north (or south).

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Now, it’s not the kind of place you’re going to spend a week exploring, but well worth a few hours stop, especially for lunch. Now, one authentic and totally intimate little foodie spot is Trattoria Sa Cariasa, they’re pasta is so good! 

Read more: Best places in Italy to visit

6.) Olbia

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Not too far from the coastal route (near Tavolara’s island), exploring Olbia is one of the best things to do in Sardinia if you love your history. You see, Olbia might be small but it’s packed full of historical spots to explore.

Once here, make sure to explore the Archeological Museum of Oblia, they have everything from Roman ships to ancient artefacts. It’s incredible and a perfect little spot to explore if you fancy some time out of the sun. 

7.) Arzachena

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Nestled close the northern coast of Sardinia, Sassari is a stunner of a town to visit whilst driving the northerly route. 

Once here, make sure to see the church of Saint Lucia and it’s colourful steps. Afterwards, pop over to the huge La Roccia del Fungo that has been carved by the wind over many thousands of years. 

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Also, just outside the town is the Nuraghe Albucciu, tempietto Malchittu and the Tombe dei Giganti. These settlement areas date back thousands of years and it’s so incredible to see. 

That being said, if you’re not into ancient history, you might wanna give it a miss. 

8.) Cala Luna

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Chilling at Cala Luna is one of the best things to do in Sardinia if you want a more relaxing day that’s totally epic. 

Nestled within Gennargentu National Park, the beach is well worth visiting if you’re exploring the eastern coastline. Just be sure to enjoy the whole area and drive, too. It’s a really special region of Sardinia. 

Read more: Best places in Italy to visit

9.) Alghero

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Based in the north of Sardinia, Alghero is the little sister of Cagliari and well worth a visit whilst on the island. Also, depending on who you fly with, you might end up actually landing here! This makes it a really easy city to visit before picking up your car and exploring the rest of Sardinia. 

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Once here, be sure to see the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, visit Chiesa di San Francesco and see the Nuraghe Palmavera. It’s said the latter was built all the way back in the bronze age. 

10.) Maddalena Archipelago National Park

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Just off the north coast of Sardinia is the Maddalena Archipelago National Park. It’s totally stunning and well worth visiting if you want a break from driving the island. 

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That being said, if you want to beyond La Maddalena, make sure to drive the northerly, more rural routes. It’s one of the best things to do in Sardinia, especially if you love national parks.

Read more: Best national parks in Italy

11.) Rocce Rosse (Red Rocks) Beach

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Right on the coast of Arbatax, Red Rocks Beach is well worth a little gander whilst near Tortoli. After taking a wander around the beach area, make sure to drive on over to San Gemiliano Tower.

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It’s only about a 5-minute drive and well worth seeing.

12.) Spiaggia del Principe

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Not too dar from Maddalena Island in the car, Spiaggia del Principe Beach is totally stunning. The whole beach has some of the most crystal-clear waters on the island and the sand is just so nice, too.

Now, you will need to pay to park, here. It’s around 20 Euro a day but totally worth it. Just remember, this is one of the best things to do in Sardinia, so it can get a little busy. If you prefer fewer crowds, avoid the weekends. 

Read more: Best places in Italy to visit

13.) Roman city of Tharros

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The ancient city of Tharros was once a bustling Roman centre for Sardinia and a must-see when on the island. 

Being almost 3000 years old, Tharros is now in ruins but you can still wander and see the serving structures that were once part of this colossal city.

It’s a great place to wander and really accessible, too. This means it’s one of the best things to do in Sardinia if you’ve got the whole family whit you. No massive hikes, or treacherous climbs! 

In total, you’ll probably spend about 1-2 hours here, making it a great little stop whilst driving the island. 

14.) San Marco Cape

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Not too far from the city of Oristano, San Marco Cape is a gorgeous area to visit after seeing the Roman City of Tharros. You see, Tharros is on the lower part of the cape itself, making it really easy to visit the ‘coastal spit’ after seeing the archaeological ruins.

It’s a stunning area and you’ll find a fair few restaurants and bars, too. 

15.) Costa Verde

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Just across the bay from San Marco Cape is the start of Costa Verde, that trails all the way down the western coastline from here.

It’s totally unspoilt and you’ll find loads of little coves and beaches (like Spiaggia di Funtanazza and Spiaggia di Piscinas) that are well worth visiting. It really is one of the best things to do in Sardinia if you fancy a beach day. 

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It’s totally gorgeous and one of the best things to do in Sardinia when exploring the western coastline. 

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