The island of Sardinia, permeated by a mystical charm and breathtaking beauty, is one of the most renowned summer destination in Italy and in whole Europe. Its territory offers unforgettable holidays through long beaches of golden sand and hidden coves of pebbles, but also imposing cliffs overlookingthe crystal-clear water of the Mediterranean Sea.
But Sardinia is also a land of picturesque villages, where a tourist can discover the ancient traditions and unique sceneries that characterize this island. From the seaside towns to the inner villages perched on rocky headlands, there are lots of places worth visiting.
In this article, we have listed down our 5 (+1) favorites villages in Sardinia. Let us know if we've missed something!
Capital of the island, the enchanting city of Cagliari overlooks the Gulf of the Angels from its dominant location atop a hill. Its historic centre preserves traces of the past and different civilizations that have lived here over the centuries.
Among the most representative attractions are the Pisan towers, located the medieval district of Castello, the Archaeological Museum, which houses relics of great historic value, and other fascinating monuments, such as theCathedral of Santa Maria, the Basilica of Bonaria and the Bastion of Saint Remy, symbol of the city that offers amazing views on the port.
In Cagliari is possible to breath an authentic Mediterranean atmosphere, taking a dip the scents and colors of the local nature, between long sandy beaches and fresh-water ponds dotted by pink colonies of flamingos. Don't miss an exciting walking guided tour of Cagliari to discover all its secrets!
Located in the west coast of Sardinia, the picturesque town of Bosa rises from the banks of the river Temo, in a land rich in beautiful natural sites. Here, the visitors can enjoy beaches, mountain and Mediterranean scrubland, as well as important archaeological and historical sites.
The town of Bosa is a magical place that will not disappoint you. You can stroll along the river, admiring the small fishing-boats docking, or explore the narrow streets in the historic center, with its characteristic pastel-colored houses, that will immerse yourself in a unique, tranquil atmosphere.
Also, there are a lot of activities that visitors can enjoy: hiking in the wilderness, surrounded by lush flora and fauna, marine excursions, unforgettable experience for lovers of the sea, trekking for the sporty ones, or simply relax in the beautiful surrounding beaches.
Lovely town with Catalan origins, Alghero will enchant you with its unique landscapes, the beauty of the beaches, the generous sun and mild temperatures all year round. Located in northwest Sardinia, this town boasts ancient traditions, rich history and delicious recipes not to be missed.
The historic centre is characterized by narrow stone-paved alleys and a panoramic waterfront, along the massive walls that surround the city. Lots of picturesque cafes, shops and restaurants animate the streets and squares, where you can sip a drink or taste the local dishes, as you feel the sea breeze.
Among the places not to be missed in Alghero is undoubtedly the“Neptune’s Grotto”, a geological wonder accessible by sea, with boats departing every day, or on foot through the “Escala del Cabirol” (The scale of roe) with its 660 steps carved into the cliff from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Gulf. Don't miss a guided tour of Alghero to discover all its secrets.
Castelsardo is a beautiful coastal town, perched on a hill overlooking the crystal clear Sardinian sea. Its historic centre exudes an atmosphere from the past, as it has preserved a medieval fortress structure, with soaring bastions, steep stairways and a maze of narrow alleys.
Among the main attractions of Castelsardo is the Doria castle, on the top of the promontory, which houses in its interior the Museum of Mediterranean Weaving; the 14th century cathedral of Sant'Antonio Abate, with its tall bell tower topped by a dome in coloured majolica tiles; and the Medieval church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, with a wooden crucifix of the Black Christ dating from the 14th century.
A journey in Castelsardo is not only the opportunity to discover one of the most picturesque towns in Sardinia, but also a deep dive into the ancient traditions of the island.
The picturesque town of Carloforte is located on the island of Saint Peter, one of the most popular summer destinations in whole Sardinia. Its wonderful beaches and coves with crystal-clear sea attracts every year thousands of tourists, who want to enjoy an unspoiled land, free from any kind of modernity, characterized by unique natural landscapes.
The town of Carloforte has Genoese origins, which can be felt immediately walking through the historic centre, as its citizens speak the language of Liguria! This romantic fishing town with Genoese, Sardinian and Arabic heritage, will offer you splendid sceneries: the views on the sea, its narrow streets surrounded by colorful houses, the calm and orderly pace, Carloforte is able to give you the peace of mind.
Also, the island is famous for its culinary tradition, including the prized tuna, tasty buns chickpeas and the Carloforte pesto... Not to be missed!
The mountain town of Orgosolo is located in the heart of the inner area of the Barbagia, which is considered the wildest area in Sardinia. Its surrounding are rich in traces of the ancient Sardinia civilizations: monuments dating back to the Bronze Age, such as the so-called "tombs of the giants" and the famous nuraghes. Towards the end of the 19th century, this small isolated town became known across Europe as a centre of banditry, as described by film director Vittorio De Seta with its movie Bandits of Orgosolo (1961), which depicts banditry as the result of the desperate fight of shepherds to defend their land from expropriation.
Walking through the narrow streets of Orgosolo you will come across several murals on the outer walls of the houses and even on some rocks around the town, with social, artistic and political themes. Orgosolo also preserves important Sardinian traditions, such as the tenores (polyphonic choir singing technique), native to the Barbagia.
The territory around Orgosolo offers great natural paths, where visitors can enjoy some trekking and hiking through the forests. A day trip to the Barbagia region is a must for all the nature lovers.