White-sand beaches, historic towns and rural ruins
The king-sized Italian island of Sardinia is synonymous with beaches. Stretches of white sand that wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean edge the lengthy coastline, and it’s all paired with glass-clear waters.
Beaches change from north to south. Up top, you’ve got the secluded coves of the Maddalena Archipelago and the yacht-dotted bays along ritzy Costa Smeralda. Head south, and you’ll come across huge swathes of sand.
Get-up-and-goers will find plenty of towns, cities and sights to explore. Island capital Cagliari is home to museums, art galleries and markets. Alghero is another one to put on your to-see list – its Catalan heritage mixes Italian and Spanish culture. Meanwhile, the south coast town of Nora sits next to a peninsula packed with ruined Roman temples, villas and baths.
But Sardinia’s history reaches further back than Roman times; in fact, it’s got some of the best-preserved prehistoric remains in the world. These are called nuraghi – around 700 buildings that mark the centre of prehistoric farming communities.
The southern village of Chia is for beach connoisseurs, thanks to a coastline that’s a smorgasbord of dune-backed sands, rocky coves, tower-topped headlands and seaside lagoons.
The seaside town of Palau burrows into the craggy far north of Sardinia, where dramatic coves, quirky rock formations, and the wild Maddalena Archipelago sculpt the coastline.
Santa Teresa Gallura is a bite-sized seaside town with a deep port on one side and a craggy coastline of beaches and headlands on the other.
Flight time from the UK to Sardinia is around 2 hours 30 minutes.
Sardinia is a great summer destination, with temperatures reaching their highest (around 30 degrees) in July and August. Temperatures in spring and autumn typically stay in the early 20s and visitors at this time of year are generally fewer, so it’s ideal if you want to avoid the crowds and do some exploring.
British citizens do not currently require a visa to visit Italy.
When you dine out in Italy, you will generally be charged a coperto (cover charge), which is for the bread, tablecloth, cutlery, etc. Tipping in Italy is not customary, but is always appreciated.
The official language of Italy is Italian. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.