Sardinia travel guide

Moored in the bright blue waters of the Mediterranean, Sardinia is as close to North Africa as it is to mainland Europe and its wild landscape has played host to numerous peoples, from mysterious Nuragic tribes, members of one of Europe’s oldest civilizations, to Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Spanish. All of them have left their mark – in the buildings, the food and the proud, distinctive culture that is markedly different from that of the Italian motherland.
Sardinia may be small but you can embark on a different adventure every day, from mountain scrambles to underwater exploration and strolls through ancient history.
Sardinia is an island that’s ripe for adventure; where a fertile interior bursts with forests and herb scented mountain wilderness, and coastal paths skim the cliffs, winding past bright blue bays, ruined coastal cities and nature reserves. The mighty Su Gorrupu Canyon attracts climbers and walkers from across the world, and windsurfers and divers come to get their kicks both above and below water.

Sardinia is…

a whole other world to the rest of Italy, with North African and Spanish influences, a distinct dialect and an interesting take on cheese.

Sardinia isn’t…

all about the beach. Its mountains, ruins and national reserves offer equal eye popping splendour.

Our top Sardinia Vacation

Sardinia walking holiday, small group

Sardinia walking vacation, small group

Superb daywalks amid rich and charming scenery

From US $1899 to US $2049 8 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2023: 3 Jun, 17 Jun, 9 Sep, 16 Sep, 23 Sep, 30 Sep
2024: 13 Apr, 27 Apr, 4 May, 11 May, 18 May, 25 May, 1 Jun, 15 Jun, 24 Aug, 31 Aug, 7 Sep, 14 Sep, 21 Sep, 28 Sep
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Sardinia or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Sardinia map & highlights

Set off Italy’s west coast, Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean and has more than its fair share of highlights, from gorgeous coastline to lively cities to ancient historical sites. It’s the perfect destination for those of an active bent and there are plenty of walking and cycling trails to keep you busy, as well as windsurfing and diving for those who prefer to use their energy in the water. Trips tend to be active and small group, traveling with an expert guide, and they provide a great overview of the island. Read our Sardinia map and highlights page to find out more.

1. Barbagia

The Romans christened Sardinia’s mountains and valleys ‘Barbaria’ (barbarian) and left them unconquered. Now Barbagia, remains untamed, and fiercely attached to local music, folktales and dialects. Hike the Gennargentu Massif; carpeted with herb scented scrub and roamed by wild horses; admire murals in former bandit town Orgosolo and walk from Is Muralleddas to Texil through woods of oak, cherry and cork.
Costa del Sud

2. Costa del Sud

Stretching from the harbour town of Porto di Teulada to the popular resort of Chia, the Costa del Sud is home to some of the island’s best beaches and swimming spots. They are all joined together by a gorgeous coastal road, the Strada Panoramica della Costa del Sud, which winds its way along the cliff tops with beautiful views at every turn.
Costa Verde

3. Costa Verde

The windswept coastline of the Costa Verde couldn’t be more different that the managed glitz of the Costa Smeralda, Sardinia’s most popular beach spot. Stretching almost 50km from Capo Pecora in the south to the Torre dei Corsari in the north, the Costa Verde’s wild sands are backed by dunes, cliffs and mountains and the woods and scrubland beyond are home to Sardinian deer and rare birds.
Nuragic villages

4. Nuragic villages

Strewn across the landscape are over 7,000 prehistoric stone monuments and towers called Nuraghe. Constructed by Bronze Age Nuragic societies between 1800BC and 500BC the circular structures aren’t found anywhere else on earth, and little is known of their origins or purpose. One of Sardinia's biggest collections of these structures is at Serra Orrios, which consists of 100 or so circular huts and two temples.
Sinis Peninsula

5. Sinis Peninsula

This marine protected area is a low lying outcrop. Lush countryside gives way to gorgeous beaches, plus lagoons and marshes teeming with fish and, in season, birdlife. Nuragic ruins are scattered across the landscape and one of Sardinia’s most important archeological sites, the Punic-Roman site of Tharros, proudly overlooks the sea. It’s a fantastic place to explore by bike or on foot, and there’s surfing, windsurfing and diving.
Su Gorropu Gorge

6. Su Gorropu Gorge

Europe’s deepest canyon, this isolated and dramatic gorge is encased by limestone walls soaring up to 400m high and has been shaped over time by the force of the Rio Flumineddu, a river that still flows along its bed. It’s fantastic for hiking and climbing and it’s sometimes possible to spot mouflon (wild sheep) on the rocks and golden eagles soaring in the sky above.
Written by Nana Luckham
Photo credits: [Page banner: Cristiano Cani] [Temp pic: Tommie Hanson] [Is/isn't: usadifranci] [Barbagia: Max.oppo] [Costa del Sud: Claire Rowland] [Costa Verde: Brandon Atkinson] [Nuragic villages: Heather Cowper] [Sinis Peninsula: Larry Koester] [Su Gorropu Gorge: Pigiosu]