It’s not for nothing that Sardinian beaches are often compared to the Caribbean. There is hardly any other place in Europe where you will find so many snow-white sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise water that will transport you mentally to exotic climes. Along the coast, long wide beaches full of tourist hustle and bustle alternate with secluded bays protected from the wind, and especially in the low season, you have many beautiful beaches in Sardinia all to yourself. There are even beaches with pink flamingos! Here we present some of the best-known destinations and some insider tips in the form of a round trip. Are the best beaches in North or South Sardinia? We compare the two parts of the island to find out where the best beaches in Sardinia are.
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Best beaches in Sardinia: The North
If you book a stay at the Hotel TUI BLUE Matta Village, you will have a dream beach right on your doorstep: the kilometre-long Spiaggia Iscraios, which stretches south of the mouth of the Rio Posada. The Sardinian word Iscraios means swamp and refers to the wetlands at the mouth of the river. Because of its length, there is always plenty of space here. Several beach kiosks, called chiosco here, provide you with drinks and snacks. The scent of the pine forests are so typical about the mediterranean and that’s what we are looking for, right?
Only a few kilometres to the north, the Tahiti of Sardinia awaits you: Cala Brandinchi. The dreamlike beach cannot be described, you simply have to experience it for yourself. The spacious cove of Cala Brandinchi is framed by rocks where you can explore the underwater world while snorkelling in the crystal-clear blue water. The neighbouring beach of La Cinta, bordered by water on both sides, is the domain of kitesurfers and windsurfers. Cala Brandinchi is definitely one of the best beaches in Sardinia.
Costa Smeralda: the coast of the Rich and Famous
Behind Olbia begins the famous Costa Smeralda, which became the destination of the international jet set in the 1960s. It takes its name Costa Smeralda from the many small bathing bays with emerald-green shimmering shallow water. The place with the highest density of celebrities is Porto Cervo, in whose harbour super yachts anchor all summer long. Some of these coves and beaches in Sardinia are now taken over by luxury resorts, but others are freely accessible. Visit the beach of the prince (Spiaggia del Principe) or the beautiful bay of Cala Granu. South of it you will find white sand in Grande Pevero. As expensive as it is – the Costa Smeralda has some the best beaches in Sardinia!
Quieter spots of the Costa Smeralda
Less expensive and more natural are the beaches and coves around Santa Teresa Gallura in the far north of the Costa Smeralda. Rena Bianca beach, which slopes gently into the shallow turquoise water, is popular with families with small children. Here you will also find tourist facilities such as sunbed rental and snack bars. The long Rena di Ponente beach at the transition to the Capo Testa peninsula is quieter and still one of the best beaches in Sardinia.
Adults-only-Hotel auf Sardinien
The island world of La Maddalena
Many beautiful beaches in the north of Sardinia can only be reached by boat: they belong to the offshore archipelago of La Maddalena, which is almost completely protected as a national park. To get to the rock formations, take the ferry from Palau to La Maddalena. The largest island is partly connected to the neighbouring islands by bridges. You will be rewarded with wonderful bathing bays such as:
- Bassa Trinità
- Punta Tegge
- Testa del Polpo
- Cala Lunga
- Cala Spalmatore
The pink beach Spiaggia Rosa on the island of Budelli is famous for its pink sand, but you can only visit it on a guided boat tour. A tip: Be sure to bring your diving goggles and snorkel and explore the untouched underwater world in the national park between the islands! If you’re interested in history, you’ll find the Giuseppe Garibaldi museum on the island of Caprera. From there he left for Rome. Garibaldi is a national hero in Italy and played an important role in the unification of the Italian states in the 19th century.
Best beaches in Sardinia: The South
A pristine natural landscape, reminiscent of the beaches on the Canary Island of Fuerteventura, awaits you in the southeast of the island. The Costa Verde offers some beautiful beaches in Sardinia that are not overcrowded even in the high season in August. Here, the kilometre-long Spiaggia di Scivu in the north merges into the Spiaggia di Piscinas with its impressive dune landscape. A small disadvantage: the west coast of Sardinia is windier and the sea correspondingly more turbulent. Swimming here is only recommended for experienced swimmers.
Best beaches in the South of Sardinia for families
If you are travelling with children, the Costa Rei, the King’s Coast, in the southeast is the better choice. Here you can not only enjoy snow-white beaches, but even watch wild pink flamingos in the lagoon of Notteri. A short hike will take you to Capo Carbonara with a great view of the offshore islet of Cavoli. Further south is the small cove of Punta Molentis sheltered by the wind.
Finally: The Gulf of Orosei
Our round trip ends halfway up the east coast at the Gulf of Orosei. The rugged coastline with its rock formations is somewhat reminiscent of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal, where impressive rugged cliffs also alternate with fine sandy beaches. Many bays can only be reached by boat or by a longer walk, for example Cala Goloritzè. The entrance fee and the hike there ensure that it never gets crowded here and you enjoy paradisiacal solitude by the turquoise water. Here are some of the best beaches in Sardinia in the Gulf of Orosei:
Located on Sardinia’s eastern coastline, Cala Mariolu is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia. It offers some of the best snorkling on the island. At Cala Mariolu, you can enjoy relaxing at the beach on the white sand, swimming in the sea, and enjoying the views from the cliffs.
Cala dei Gabbiani
Cala dei Gabbiani sits just off the coast of Sardinia, surrounded by rugged cliffs and beautiful beaches. With its crystal clear waters with all shades of blue and green, white sand shores and lush greenery, the small bay offers a truly idyllic spot for families seeking a relaxing holiday. The area is known for its spectacular views and picturesque scenery, making it one of the most popular destinations along the island’s coastline. Visitors come here to enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, including the nearby town of Porto Torres, famous for its historic buildings dating back hundreds of years.
On the eastern side of the island, near the secluded beaches of Cala Biriola, you’ll find an idyllic setting in the white sand for relaxing during your stay in Sardinia. Sheltered by rocks from the wind and waves, snorkelling and diving are popular water sports while hiking is popular inland. It’s not surprising that Cala Biriola is considered one of Sardinia’s best beaches.
Which part of Sardinia has best beaches?
Whether quiet bays or family-friendly sandy beaches, you will find beautiful beaches everywhere in Sardinia that are worth a visit. Most of them have at least one beach kiosk where you can get refreshments and sometimes rent deckchairs. If you value sanitary facilities or want to take advantage of water sports in between, it’s best to stick to the larger beaches in the holiday resorts. For a real sense of adventure, charter a boat to take you to a secluded bay or offshore island. With a bit of luck, you won’t see a soul here.
Practical info about beaches in Sardinia
At some beaches you will have to pay for parking. Beaches that are not labeled as free beaches (“spiaggia libera”) so called “lidi” require you to pay for an umbrella and deck chair to be able to use their services. This can get quite expensive, but it’s more comfortable.