Sardinia is the beautiful autonomous region of Italy in the Mediterranean. Known for its rich history, alluring beaches and breathtaking landscapes, it is the perfect place to see all that Italy has to offer without the hustle and bustle of the mainland.
Divided into eight provinces, the most populous province of the island is the province of Cagliari in the southeast. Aside from the beaches and the coastal views, the best part about Sardinia is visiting the many Sardinian cities.
To get the most of your visit to Sardinia, you have to visit some of the best cities in Sardinia. We’ve covered some of our favorite regions and cities to explore.
The best cities in Sardinia
Here are some of the best regions and cities in Sardinia.
Bosa: Small but fine medieval Sardinian town
Bosa is located on the north-west coast of Sardinia, 45 km south of Alghero, on a spectacular coastal road. It is a mix of the traditional and the modern and has a unique and fascinating historical center. There is a maze of cobblestone streets with pastel colored medieval tower houses called Sa Costa.
The old town’s main street, Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, is lined with 19th-century palaces with wrought-iron balconies and interesting shops, cafes and bars. The Castello Malaspina from 1112 guards Bosa at the top of the hill. The Temo River flows through Bosa and is lined with palm trees on one bank and derelict tanneries that are of historical and national importance.
Bosa has an illustrious and rich past due to its location in a well-protected valley on the only navigable river in Sardinia and its (now defunct) leather tannery. In the city and the surrounding area there is a large cathedral and many smaller churches. The feeling is relaxed and the locals are friendly and welcoming.
As a real work town, albeit small (8,000 inhabitants), it has an authentic, original character and not just a substitute tourist village. Tourists come to Bosa, but they are more like people looking Culture, history, natural and architectural beauties as well as a sun and beach vacation.
There are numerous beaches nearby. The largest is Bosa Marina, which is regularly voted the cleanest beach in Italy. It’s a sandy beach lined with bars and cafes run by locals, sheltered by a rocky arm with a Catalan tower at the end. There are also smaller bay beaches accessible on foot or by boat, as well as stunning and unusual rock formations and natural swimming pools. The sea is clear and in amazing shades of blue. The prevailing northwest wind, La Mistrale, cools the air during the hottest summer months.
South of Bosa is a fertile valley where Malvasia di Bosa, a sherry-like wine, is made small artisanal vineyards. There is a wine route and there is the option to take part in tasting tours. The sun is shining strongly and the colors are bright – if you are visually oriented the place will amaze you. If you like music and dance, folk festivals and open-air concerts are held regularly.
If you have a spirit of adventure and discover new things every day, Bosa won’t disappoint. It is a Great place for a family vacation or to relax and unwind and get in touch with yourself. If you are looking for a place with a lot of clubs and pubs full of drunk young people this is not the place. There is a lot to do and see in the area, but it is cool rather than hectic.
Costa Smeralda: Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world
Costa Smeralda is a coastal area in northeastern Sardinia, between Palau and Olbia. it is Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world – ideal for sun worshipers. To get to the best beaches, you will likely need to rent a car (mopeds are not that good on the bumpy trails to the beaches).
As you drive the coastal roads, you have great views over the yacht-lined coast of the Costa Smeralda. the The best beaches are Liscia Ruia, Cappriccioli and Romazzino.
You can get great bargains from the beach vendors who sell jewelry, clothing, CDs, etc. However, if you want to be as stylish as the wealthy tourists of the Costa Smeralda, you can go to Porto Cervo or Porto Rotondo to shop for expensive clothes.
You can get very close to the super yachts when they arrive in Porto Cervo in the evening. For snorkeling you can go on an excursion around the Della Maddalena archipelago from Porto Palau.
Most of the restaurants on the Costa Smerelda are overpriced. For authentic Sardinian cuisine, try the campsite restaurants where all the locals go.
It can be quite difficult to find accommodation on the Costa Smeralda as the area is mainly served by Italian tour operators, but some local providers offer detailed accommodation information online. If you don’t have your own private yacht to stay in and can’t afford the exclusive hotels’ £ 300 per night rates, you might want to rent a villa through a website. Alternatively, you can rent bungalows at some of Sardinia’s coastal campsites, the best of which is Isola dei Gabbiani, which is located on a promontory in the sea west of Palau. It has a particularly good restaurant and is the right place for windsurfing. Alternatively, try Villagio Camping Cugnana which is on the road and has great facilities and a huge swimming pool.
Cala Gonone: A small fishing village before it became famous among travelers
Cala Gonone is a city in Sardinia, Italy. It is on the border of the Orosei Bay and Gennargentu Bay National Park. It was a small fishing village before becoming a famous tourist destination for its beautiful beaches. The full variety of seafood is available in local restaurants.
A highlight is too Take a boat tour to Cala Luna, Grotta del Bue Marino, Cala Mariolu, Cala Goloritzè. You can choose from a variety of tours offered at the local port. Rent a boat to explore Orosei Bay on your own. Boat rental is available for around € 80 for a day + gas. You can also visit the Gennargentu National Park and / or climb in Cala Luna.
Ogliastra: A wonderful natural theater
Ogliastra is a wonderful natural theater that opens from the mountains of “Supramonte” on the border with Barbargia to the central-eastern Sardinian coast. The name comes for “Olivastro”, the local three wild olive.
Ogliastra is known and admired for its wonderful coastal landscape, all surrounded by mountains and cliffs and covering some of Italy’s most pristine coastlines.
Its natural mountain-sea park includes famous places and landmarks such as the “Cale” (beach harbors); the best known are Cala Gonone, Cala Sisine, Cala Goloritze and Cala Luna.
Another impressive natural monument is the massive “Pedra Longa”, a natural cliff literally planted in the sea. Ogliastra is becoming a popular area for nature lovers, wild landscapes and fabulous local cuisine.
The two largest cities in the area are Lanusei and Tortoli. Together they form the administrative capitals of the newly created “Province of Ogliastra”.
- Lanusei is a very old mountain town overlooking the valley of the Ogliastra.
- Tortoli is a coastal settlement that, thanks to its proximity to the port of Arbatax, the main gateway to the area from the sea, has achieved the status of an economic center of Ogliastra.
The population in Ogliastra is very small, only around 45,000 people, with some of the lowest densities in Italy. Dozens of tiny villages shape the Ogliastra region, each with its tradition and proud heritage. The Sardinian language, like most parts of the island, is widely spoken. English is spoken among the young people, while some older people can speak German surprisingly well thanks to the emigration of the 1960s and 1970s.
The best cities in Sardinia are characterized by a typical Italian small-town atmosphere – good food, beautiful sights, picturesque buildings and of course cobblestone streets.