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Things to do in Sardinia

Things to do in  Sardinia

Welcome to Sardinia

Wild, sheep-covered hills ringed by swanky beaches where celebrities frolic—Sardinia is an island of captivating contrasts. From the northern Costa Smeralda’s exclusive bays and the protected waters of the La Maddalena Archipelago to the snorkeling paradise of Costa del Sud, the Sardinian coastline offers a dazzling backdrop for kayak and boat excursions, as well as hiking and Jeep adventures. Venture inland to experience the less glitzy side of the island, including enigmatic Bronze Age nuraghi ruins, family-run wineries, and traditional culinary specialties like culurgiones dumplings and pecorino sheep cheese.

Top 15 attractions in Sardinia

Maddalena Archipelago (Arcipelago della Maddalena)

For deserted lagoons, turquoise waves, and fabulous beaches, set sail for the Maddalena Archipelago (Arcipelago della Maddalena), just off the Costa Smeralda. The group of seven islands and dozens of islets between Sardinia and Corsica is a national park, with crystalline waters for diving and unspoiled coastlines.More

Devil's Saddle (Sella del Diavolo)

This saddle-shaped indentation in the St. Elia promontory overlooking Cagliari’s popular Poetto beach is one of the most striking natural features along the coastline and a popular destination for hikers and kayakers. Though there are a number of ancient ruins nearby, the biggest draw is the view over the Gulf of Angels from the hilltop.More

Molentargius - Saline Regional Park (Parco Naturale Regionale Molentargius - Saline)

Italy’s idyllic island of Sardinia is known for its beaches and turquoise waters, which encircle beautiful inland parks and natural areas. One of the most important is Molentargius - Saline Regional Park (Parco Naturale Regionale Molentargius - Saline), a wetland of shallow pools once used to harvest salt that now hosts a wealth of bird life.More

Nuraghe di Palmavera

A cluster of the island’s unique limestone edifices dating from between the Bronze and Iron ages, this 3,500-year-old Nuragic village is one of the most captivating megalithic sites in Sardinia. Tour the main towers and meeting hut to learn about the enigmatic Nuragic culture and its striking architecture.More

Cagliari National Museum of Archaeology (Museo Archeologico Nazionale)

Sardinia has a history that stretches more than 6,000 years, and is rich in archaeological sites where scores of important artifacts have been unearthed. See some of the island’s most important ancient treasures in Cagliari’s excellent National Museum of Archaeology, home to finds from the Pre-Nuragic era to the Punic colonization.More

Su Nuraxi

Set in the lush countryside outside the town of Barumini, Su Nuraxi is Sardinia’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the island’s most important Nuragic-age ruins. The highlight is the main tower, dating from 1500 BC and incorporated over time into a vast fortified nuraghe compound.More

Necropolis of Anghelu Ruju (Necropoli di Anghelu Ruju)

One of the most important archaeological sites in Sardinia, this group of 38 burial chambers carved into the sandstone date from as far back as 4200 BC and are known as domus de janas, or “fairy houses.” Tour the site to see Neolithic engravings of bull’s horns, false doors, and other enigmatic designs.More

Nora Archaeological Area (Area Archeologica di Nora)

The ancient city of Nora was once among the most powerful settlements on Sardinia. Founded by the Phoenicians, this coastal capital later became an important Punic and Roman metropolis. Inside the ruins, you can visit a Roman theater and baths and see mosaic fragments and other archaeological artefacts.More

Casa Zapata Museum

Housed in the 16th-century residence of the Zapata family (who once ruled southern Sardinia), this small museum complex includes the remains of an Iron Age Nuragic settlement, artefacts from the nearby Su Nuraxi archaeological site, and exhibitions about the local culture and the Zapata dynasty.More

Caves of Is Zuddas (Grotte Is Zuddas)

Located in the countryside southwest of Cagliari, the Caves of Is Zuddas (Grotte Is Zuddas are one of the natural wonders of Sardinia. This network of tunnels and caverns stretches more than a mile (1.6 km underground and is home to incredible stalactite and stalagmite formations, including twiggy helictites in the main hall.More

Gulf of Cagliari (Golfo di Cagliari)

The Gulf of Cagliari (Golfo di Cagliari—also known as the Golfo degli Angeli, or Gulf of Angels—on Sardinia’s southern coast offers something for everyone. Swim at the Poetto or Calamosca beaches, paddle along the coastline by kayak, hike to Devil’s Saddle atop the St. Elia promontory, or check out the ancient ruins at Nora.More
Asinara National Park (Parco Nazionale dell'Asinara)

Asinara National Park (Parco Nazionale dell'Asinara)

The Italian island of Sardinia (Sardegna) is known for its stunning natural beauty, including a pristine coastline and tiny offshore islets. In 1997 one of these, the island of Asinara, became Asinara National Park (Parco Nazionale dell'Asinara)—a nature reserve that is home to wild animals, historic ruins, hiking trails, and idyllic beaches.More
Cala Gonone Acquarium (Acquario Cala Gonone)

Cala Gonone Acquarium (Acquario Cala Gonone)

Set in a stylish contemporary building overlooking the Sardinian coastline, this small gem of an aquarium is a fun attraction for both kids and adults. Spend a pleasant hour looking at the various river and ocean creatures housed in open sea, deep sea, and tropical tanks, including piranhas, hound sharks, clownfish, and tortoises.More
Lu Brandali Nuragic Complex (Complesso Nuragico di Lu Brandali)

Lu Brandali Nuragic Complex (Complesso Nuragico di Lu Brandali)

One of the premier megalithic sites in northern Sardinia, the Lu Brandali Nuragic Complex (Complesso Nuragico di Lu Brandali) was discovered in the 1960s. Comprising a group of nuraghi—limestone dwellings dating from between the Bronze and Iron ages—the site offers some insight into the mysterious Nuragic culture.More
Giovanni Lilliu Centre (Centro Giovanni Lilliu)

Giovanni Lilliu Centre (Centro Giovanni Lilliu)

Best visited in conjunction with the nearby Su Nuraxi archaeological site, this center is dedicated to Sardinian culture and civilization from the Bronze Age to now. Check out historic photographs and a scale model of Su Nuraxi to see what the neolithic structures once looked like, and learn about the island’s artisan traditions.More

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