Sardinia Road Trip: 4 Days Across The Island, South to North, Via The Most Beautiful Beaches of Italy

If you are employed, you’re bound to have the same problem all of us have every summer: too little time off, too hot for a staycation in the city. Say you have 4 days off, because you’ve been smart enough to turn a weekend into a long weekend, and have a desperate need for sunshine and the sea, then there’s one thing to do: go to Sardinia. Is there anybody left who doesn’t know Sardinian beaches are the best in the country – and in Europe? That’s exactly why you can’t miss out on this region. So to make the most of the little time you have available, here’s a Sardinia itinerary from South to North to guide you to all the most charming beaches. You just have to book your flights to Cagliari e rent a car – we’ll take care of the rest.

DAY 1: Cagliari
Ideally, you should reach Cagliari the night before, no matter how late, so you can fully enjoy your first day. The main city of Sardinia, in its southernmost region, will be your starting point. The best beaches in the area are by Villasimius: Porto Giunco, Campulongo and Porto Sa Ruxi are just a few hundred yards from each other and thus make the ideal destinations for you to explore over the course of the day. After a nice, intense, and sunshine-filled day, it’s time to get back to the city and enjoy a stunning sunset in Cagliari, on the terrace of the Bastione di Saint Remy (right in the city center). Order your favorite drink and wait for the sun to set behind the breath-taking view. After spending the entire day on the beach and a nice stroll through downtown, believe us – you WILL be hungry. How about some seafood? There’s no want of excellent seafood in Cagliari, as you can imagine, but if you want to be sure to have an amazing dinner, try Antica Cagliari, in one of the city’s narrow streets, and get yourself some spaghetti alle vongole (clam spaghetti) – one of life’s finest pleasures. Or go to Lillicu and get some local dishes – they’re the best!

Porto Giunco (Flickr Gabriele Frau)
Traditional habit
Antica Cagliari
Cagliari (Flickr Antonio Trogu)

DAY 2: San Teodoro
After an early wake up, it’s time to head to San Teodoro, about 2.5 hours from Cagliari. Since you’re aiming for the best beaches in Sardinia, you can’t miss La Cinta, a larger beach than many in the region, where – do we need to say this? – the sand and water are just amazing. Later in the day (there’s too much to see to spend too long in one place!), less than 10 minutes away, you’ll find a beach that’ll wow you: it’s called Cala Brandinchi and human language just doesn’t have a word to describe how blue the water is here: you just have to see for yourself. In the late afternoon, it’s happy hour time, and then you can head to dinner at La Margherita where you just have to try the linguine all’astice (lobster linguine) or lados (a typical Sardinian pasta that resembles dumplings a bit) with sausage, pecorino cheese cream and ricotta. No need for dessert – you’re better off with a glass of mirto, the local digestivo.

Cala Brandinchi (Flickr Simone Zucchelli)
Cala Brandinchi (Flickr Cristian Viariso)

DAY 3: Stintino
New day, new beach: this time, you’re going to one of the northernmost areas of the island, namely Stintino, not too far from Sassari. Believe us, you’ve never seen anything like it. The beach at La Pelosa is incredibly white and the water is so blue it puts the Maldives to shame. In addition, Stintino has the cutest bars and cafes, where you can enjoy a radler and forget how hot it gets under the Sardinian sun (beware though: the local radler, Lemon Ichnusa, is so good it’s addictive). Other beaches in this area include the Spiaggia delle Saline and Cala Lupo, which are just as amazing as Stintino. For dinner, we recommend you explore the local, inland specialties at a place such as the Agriturismo Depalmas: no need to tell you you can’t leave without trying the renowned porceddu (pork meat) and wash it down with a bottle of Cannonau!

Stintino (Flickr )
Stintino (Flickr Pasquale Marella)

DAY 4: Alghero
Your vacation through the most beautiful parts of Sardinia is coming to an end. As your last stop, we’ve chosen Alghero, a city that’ll surprise you. Beaches are very close to the city center, but if you’re looking for a quieter spot, you can head over to the Spiaggia delle Bombarde. At dinner time, come back to Alghero, which has plenty of lovely and really good restaurants with amazing views. Pick one of the restaurants on the city walls for a romantic view. After dinner, take the required stroll on the seaside: in the harbour, you’ll see archaeological remains from the two World Wars, and you can follow the city walls up to the castle, where the city’s commercial life now resides and the cutest shops and bars can be found. Don’t be surprised to see the streets have Catalan names; one in five Alghero resident is fluent in the language, due to past and present connections with Spain (and nowadays, Alghero has three twin cities in the country).

Alghero (Flickr Su Burning)
Alghero (Flickr Alessandro Caproni)

As much as you don’t want to, it’s time to leave this wonderful island and go back to city life – a shade more tanned and a lot richer in experiences!

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