SARDINIA BEST BEACHES, HOTELS & RESORTS
Last Updated for your Sardinia Holidays: April 2016
Every Year, around March/May, like a Swiss clock, my friends start emailing me with the same old request: “Clelia, this summer I really want to go to Sardinia! Can you recommend the best places/beaches and how to find cheap Hotels, Resorts and Villas in Sardinia?”
So I thought.. well, I have a travel blog now and I’ve been so lucky to be born on one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Let me share everything I know about it!
INDEX: CLICK ON THE CHAPTER AND SKIP THE REST!
PROS AND CONS TO GO TO SARDINIA ON HOLIDAY:
Before you decide to take a plane and visit Sardinia, I put together a list of Pros and Cons to give you an idea of what to expect:
Almost 2000 km of coasts with turquoise transparent sandy beaches that have nothing to envy to the Caribbean. In fact, people who’ve been to the Caribbeans and to Sardinia as well, usually prefer the latter in terms of colors of the sea. We don’t have the coral barrier like the tropical countries, but there are areas in Sardinia were scuba diving and snorkeling is still very interesting.
Sardinian weather is usually very nice, sunny and warm from May until September/October, which gives you plenty of choices to decide the best period for you to book your perfect holiday! There are people from Northern Europe and Russia who come to Sardinia in what we consider to be the “colder months” (from October to February) and still find it very enjoyable!
You can find both quiet and relaxing places or very mundane (mostly VIP) ones, beautiful beaches, Cultural/Historical sites, and not to mention a very tasty and filling cuisine! My favorite Sardinian dish is “Spaghetti alla Bottarga” and “Tallarinus”. I will be talking about what you should try in terms of food in my new Sardinia section, so stay tuned, a lot more coming up soon!
From the Sultan of Brunei, with a Yacht resembling the size of a transatlantic boat to the young penniless backpacker, Sardinia offers all kind of deals. Very cheap accommodation in lovely villas, and super expensive luxurious resorts with everything you could dream of (and much more, for a super fancy and comfortable Holiday).
High season prices:
They can be REALLY expensive if you don’t book way in advance. Same applies for flights and boats: last minutes purchases can be either really expensive or not available anymore. Best time to book is March/April. Don’t miss my article on “Why visit Sardinia in September/October!
During peak season, it can get quite crowded, especially on the touristic beaches. You can easily avoid it by visiting in June/September. It goes without saying that the more beautiful a place is, the more you have to fight to find your little piece of paradise, and get ready to share it!
Public transports in Sardinia can be very frustrating if you don’t know the area well. I will give you some useful links on public and private transport in the last part of the article. We are trying to improve, but there is still a lot to do, especially the connections between the east and the west coast. Read more on…
FOR EACH BEACH I WILL DESCRIBE:
A brief recap on why I included the beach in my Top 10 list with its specific features and peculiarities.
Costs for cheap Hotels, Resorts, Villas and Campings in Sardinia:
Camping/bungalow: Camping is not for everyone, but it’s a very popular and cheap way to enjoy your holiday in Sardinia! I tried it many times (I was a huge fan of camping when I was a teenager, now my back needs a bit more than a thin mattress, but it was a lot of fun! ). Ideal for students, backpackers, and adventurers of all ages!
Suggestions for Cheap Hotels, Villas, Resorts and B&B in Sardinia:
OK, if you (like me) need to rest on a comfy bed in a room with – possibly- an en-suite bathroom, finding the right place to stay, without spending a fortune is time-consuming.
Well, since I really want you to come to my beautiful Island, I did the job for you! It took me 3 full days to research the Best deals for Hotels in Sardinia on the web (from a trusted website I use myself obviously!). You just need to click on my suggestions and decide what’s best for you! Do you want a ready to use itinerary for one week in Sardinia? Read my new article here!
Reviews on what to do and the best activities in Sardinia:
I think it’s also important for you to know what other people think about a specific place/Accommodation/Hotel or activity. I want you to have the clearest idea of what suits you the best. You might be a single traveler, a family with kids, or traveling as a couple: your needs vary and what is good for you might not be good for someone else.
During my travels, I always check out TripAdvisor and I make sure to review the places I’ve stayed so that other people can benefit from my experience. I hope this will help you in your decision-making!
TOP 3 WEBSITES I USE TO BOOK MY TRIPS ONLINE
A new and cheap option compared to the other websites. I love it as it’s simple to use and allows you to save your favorite hotels in a “box”. Each hotel is linked to Tripadvisor and get your info in one place. Get a 10$ discount on your next booking. Click here! Read the review Here!
The best place to look for reviews of activities, places, and restaurants in Sardinia online! (now available for Hotel reviews directly on the Younderbound booking website!). Tripadvisor is my first choice before deciding where to book. I consider it a MUST!
So, now that you have all the tools to help you decide the holiday of your dreams in Sardinia …LET’S GET STARTED!
TOP 10 BEACHES AND HOTELS IN SARDINIA
This is a tough one, but I try my best! I will start from my “least favorite” (which is nothing less than stunning anyway) to my “top of the top” beach, the one I drool over all the time! In addition to this, I will put my recommendations for Cheap Hotels and Resorts in the area!
Lovely beach on the west coast near the city of Oristano and Cabras.
It’s not as touristic as the other beaches, and quite easy to reach by scooter or car (around 20 minutes from the main city – Oristano).
LOW BUDGET AVERAGE COST IN ORISTANO:
Around 9/12 euros for Camping in June/July/beginning of August. Renting a house here is also a cheap option if you are 3/4 people and book a bit in advance. If you have a Caravan, the Oristano area is full of dedicated places and it’s quite easy to get around!
CHEAP ACCOMMODATION, HOTELS AND RESORTS IN ORISTANO:
Oristano is one of the less touristic areas in Sardinia, so it’s easy to find cheap hotels and B&B. (Click on the link to see more).
Want to know more? Click on this link, Tripadvisor Reviews for Oristano Hotels, activities and highlights!
My Suggestions: Hotels and Resorts near Oristano
-Located in the top North of the Island-
The atmosphere is breath-taking, with deep turquoise water and beautiful underwater formations, which make Santa Teresa di Gallura the perfect location for Scuba Diving lovers!
LOW BUDGET AVERAGE COST IN SANTA TERESA DI GALLURA:
Camping in the area (not on the beach, which is strictly prohibited in Sardinia!) costs around 10/20 euros per day, depending if it slow or high season. Click in HERE to see the reviews online for camping in Santa Teresa di Gallura. One very popular camping site in the area is Camping La Liccia check it out!
CHEAP ACCOMMODATION, HOTELS AND RESORTS IN SANTA TERESA DI GALLURA:
Here is the link to Santa Teresa Di Gallura’s best deals. Alternatively, if you are traveling with your family or in a group of at least 3/4 people, one of the best options would be to rent a villa. This way you will have all the comfort of staying in your private house and cook your own meals if you want, and save money!
I love this option, and I had great experiences all around Sardinia by renting a villa with my friends and sometimes with my family.
Check out the main attractions and things to do in Santa Teresa Di Gallura on Tripadvisor. There are plenty of activities to discover for everyone!
My Suggestions: Hotels and Resorts near Santa Teresa
If you want spectacular sandy beaches, a cheap place to stay and A LOT OF FUN…. San Teodoro is the place for you!
I went camping there a few times while I was a penniless student and I remember those times as the funnest of my life! Parties on the beach, fantastic music, cocktail bars and a lot of new friends!
LOW BUDGET AVERAGE COST:
Camping is very cheap for the location (around 20/30 euros per day now), yet full of amenities. We had the possibility to rent the bikes to reach the main beaches.
The one on the picture above is La Cinta, and one of the biggest camping sites is just in front of it, really convenient for those without a car. I remember spending my days laying down ni the sun and playing beach tennis with my new friends….ahhhhhh! Such amazing memories!
CHEAP ACCOMMODATION, HOTELS AND RESORTS IN SAN TEODORO:
Again, to make your life easier, here is the link to some pages for the cheapest accommodation in the area: San Teodoro best deals.
Here is the link for you to check out what other people say about San Teodoro on Tripadvisor. (if you don’t trust me that it is indeed a paradise!)
My Suggestions: Hotels and Resorts near SanTeodoro
There are many other Hotels, Villas and Resorts to check out on Booking.com: so many cheap options that your head will spin! I’ve used this website many times and I always found great deals. Highly recommended.
My only advice here is: Book as soon as possible!
The best Villas/ Hotels will be sold out if you wait too long. January, February and March are the best months to book. If you start your research later you might find out that many places are already fully booked up until September-October.
San Teodoro is also quite close to other very interesting locations such as “Golfo di Orosei”, and the famous VIP destination Costa Smeralda. You can reach these areas in less than 2/3 hour by bus or car.
Even if the name is not really flattering in Italian -Pelosa literally means: “hairy woman”- 🙂 the place is actually paradise on earth! Close to a small fishing village, the beach is stunning, with fine white sand, enclosed on the north by the seventeenth-century Torre della Pelosa.
In front of the beach lies the Asinara Island Natural Park where the only human construction is a prison. Yeah, I know, a really terrible place to be incarcerated! You can buy a ticket to get to the island for a 1-day tour. Worth it!
LOW BUDGET AVERAGE COST IN STINTINO:
Unfortunately, there are no camping sites really close to Stintino. The closest one is at around 45 minutes by car and it’s quite cheap (15/20 euros per night).
There is a bus service running from the main city Porto Torres to La Pelosa beach every day, to check the departure time you can go the bus company’s website ARST (see links below ).
CHEAP ACCOMMODATION, HOTELS AND RESORTS NEAR STINTINO:
Here is the link for the best deals in Stintino.
Here are the reviews on Stintino and surrounding areas collected from Tripadvisor.
My Suggestions: Hotels and Resorts near Stintino
The name of this beach is much better than our hairy woman above! “Mari Pintau” is a Sardinian expression that means “Painted sea” (not difficult to guess why!).
This beach is located in one of my favorite parts of the Sardinian coast… The main road is on the edge of a cliff degrading directly to the turquoise sea, creating a beautiful scenery for many kilometers, up until Villasimius town (a very touristic and famous area).
LOW BUDGET AVERAGE COST IN VILLASIMIUS:
Camping in the surrounding areas is quite cheap (around 10/13 euros depending on the season). There is also a bus service on the main road from Cagliari to Villasimius that stops at every small beach (cheap and panoramic trip, but a bit slow).
CHEAP ACCOMMODATION, HOTELS AND RESORTS IN VILLASIMIUS:
Link to the best deals in the Villasimius area from this website. I Love Villasimius, there are so many small beaches that it was impossible to list them all.
As usual, here is the link to the Tripadvisor Page for the reviews on activities and places to stay in Villasimius.
Before giving you the names of my favorites I have one warning here: As I already told you, I’m checking the places one by one (it’s taking me forever to guarantee you the best possible choices!) and for Villasimius most of the places are already fully booked, so my main suggestion here is HURRY UP!
My Suggestions: Hotels and Resorts near Villasimius
Chia is MY BEACH! It’s just 45 min from my house and I’ve been there a million times, so I can say this is definitely my territory! The beach is huge and very long, golden fine sand and spectacular water with 2 little islands just in front of it.
You can reach them by walking in the sea and “climb” the biggest one to see the entire bay from the top. Worth it! But don’t forget to wear sandals to avoid hurting your feet on the rocks! Perfect beach for everything: water sports like windsurf, surf and canoeing are really popular here as well as just relaxing by swimming and sunbathing all day!
- Warnings: There are no restaurants nearby, just a few bungalow size bars that sell chips and ice creams, so bring some packed lunch with you if you want to stay all day long.
- Getting to Chia beach: Walking from the main road bus stop will take a bit long (I never did it, but I’d say it would take at least 30 minutes). The best way to enjoy the beach is searching accommodation nearby and rent a bike.
LOW BUDGET AVERAGE COST IN CHIA:
Camping is around 16/25 euros depending on the season. The beach is a bit secluded so it is more expensive compared to the other areas. There is a huge resort nearby the beach: “Chia Laguna Resort“ which is fantastic but obviously a bit more pricey, if you want to splurge a bit…this might be the perfect place for you. I LOVE IT!
FUN/SAD NOTE:Every time I pass the resort to go to the beach, I give it a longing look, thinking about those lucky people who can afford to stay in there! I’ve seen it from the inside when I used to work in the kitchen to pay for my studies, and it’s something out of this world!
CHEAP ACCOMMODATION, HOTELS AND RESORTS IN CHIA:
Chia is not a very cheap area, but you can still find reasonable prices if you book in advance and is patient to research for the perfect deal for you. In the link, there is a list of all the Villas/hotels/resorts in the area: Accommodation in Chia (From the cheapest options to the Luxury Resorts).
Activities and places to see around Chia reviewed on Tripadvisor.
My Recommendation here is: BOOK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! It was very challenging to find these deals (even in low season), as almost all the cheapest options were already fully booked until September!
My Suggestions: Hotels and Resorts near Chia
One of the most beautiful Marine National Parks is located in the north. If you come to Sardinia I strongly recommend taking a few days and visit it, it’s breath-taking!!
Day trips by boat to the Arcipelago della Maddalena are available at a reasonable price (around 30 euros), and you can choose what itinerary you want (some boats let you stay in one or 2 beaches for the entire day, while others allow you to see more islands, but for a limited amount of time).
Tip: To get the best price go directly to the local agencies or to the box offices at the pier for more info.
There are also buses that take you to the closest attractions of Costa Smeralda, the VIP part of the Island. I’m not crazy about it, but many people find it fascinating and give them the “Portofino” feeling of luxury. If you are there why not? Trying never hurt anybody right? 🙂
LOW BUDGET AVERAGE COST AT ARCIPELAGO DELLA MADDALENA:
“La Maddalena” is the only island in the archipelago that has a small inhabited village where you can find some sort of accommodation. The place is really nice, but rather expensive.
For camping and accommodation, a good base camp is the small village of Arzachena/Cannigione. I’ve been there for a couple of years, and it was amazingly cheap for the location (around 25/30 euros up to date). From there you can choose local buses or mini buses that will takes you to the pier for the boat trips.
CHEAP ACCOMMODATION AND HOTELS AT ARCIPELAGO DELLA MADDALENA:
Good news here! Even if the place is located in one of the most popular VIP areas, if you choose to stay in Cannigione/Arzachena, the prices are considerably lower. Here is a full list of accommodation available for Arzachena and Cannigione:
Here are the top attractions and things to do and see, reviewed on TripAdvisor.
My Suggestions: Hotels and Resorts near La Maddalena – Sardinia
If I could choose the best beach in my area, Tuerredda would be # 1! Just a few kilometers away from Chia beach, Tuerredda is a piece of paradise.
It has EVERYTHING you need to define it as “the perfect beach”: A breath-taking scenery when you arrive, perfect fine white sand, bushes and rocks at the two ends of the beach, and a sea which is so clear, blue and crystalline that the first thing I do every time I go there is throw my stuff on the beach and go for a swim. I just can’t resist!
LOW BUDGET AVERAGE COST IN TUERREDDA:
Tuerredda isn’t cheap. People that can afford to rent a house for a couple of weeks are spending A LOT of money for it! So how can you still enjoy this paradise without spending a fortune? Well, first of all: GO LOW SEASON!
In June the weather is already very good, prices are down and you can even have the beach to yourself! (Maybe not entirely, but nothing compared to the August crowds!).
My suggestion is to go for a cheap camping area around, there are a few for just 20/25 euros per night, and take the local bus to get there (this way you will avoid the ridiculously high price for the parking area too!).
CHEAP ACCOMMODATION AND HOTELS IN TUERREDDA:
Not all the hope is lost here. If you are not into camping at all, you could still find a villa at affordable prices. Here is a link to plenty of options for Hotels/Resorts and Villas around the area: Tuerredda hotels and cheap villas (this includes all the accommodation in the area of Domus the Maria, the municipality to which Tuerredda belongs to).
And HERE you can find cheap Hotels deals for the Domus De Maria area.
Here are the reviews for Tuerredda beach from TripAdvisor. It ranked number one of places to see close to Teulada (See? You can trust me after all!). In the next link there are the reviews for all the activities in the Teulada and Domus de Maria area.
My Suggestions: Hotels and Resorts near Tuerredda
2: CALA GOLORITZE’
Cala Goloritze has been declared World Heritage site by UNESCO. It is a very secluded beach out of reach from ANY possible road. It is located on the east coast on the “Golfo di Orosei”, around 2 hrs from Olbia.
You can get there through an amazing (but quite tiring!) path that goes through bushes, oaks and whitish limestone walls. As you descend in altitude between the canyons, you can see the deep blue sea and sky. After 1 or 2 hours walking and sweating, as soon as you see it, you instantly know it was WELL WORTH IT!.
If you go there early in the morning, you will literally have the small beach all to yourself. All the areas around the “Golfo di Orosei” is truly AMAZING. I like the contrast between the turquoise of the sea and the high mountains full of green trees and bushes behind the beach. It’s just amazing!! I can’t get enough of that view!
LOW BUDGET AVERAGE COST CLOSE TO CALA GOLORITZE’ :
As you can imagine, it is not allowed to stay on the beach overnight. You need to collect your remaining energy and get back on the same path for a 3 hours climb back to the main road. Quite something after a day swimming and roasting under the sun!
The good part is that you can sleep for one or two nights in a bed and breakfast in one of the small villages around (Baunei being the closest one).
Cost is around 20/25 euros per night, so not bad at all. Transports to the main road are also quite difficult and you need to have a scooter or a car of your own. But again, it is well worth it for a 1 or 2-day tour.
CHEAP ACCOMMODATION AND HOTELS NEAR CALA GOLORITZE’:
The closest village is Baunei where you can find some cheap Hotels and B&B at reasonable prices. Here is a list of Hotels and B&B in Baunei.
You can read the reviews from Tripadvisor on Cala Goloritzè beach in HERE, and the reviews for other activities close to the Baunei Area HERE. If you are interested in discovering the beauty of Golfo di Orosei, there are further reviews HERE. Enjoy!
My Suggestions: Hotels and Resorts near Cala Goloritzè
1: CALA MARIOLU
CALA MARIOLU MAIN POINTS:
This is the most spectacular beach in Sardinia (my modest opinion!). I actually just discovered that it is also ranking #1 on TripAdvisor.
First of all, the picture doesn’t make any justice to the beach! This is just a part of it, on the left there are other 2 beaches separated by big white rocks. You can reach the beach by boat. If you are on a low-budget, you can use the 1-day trip boats and choose one that allows you to stay there the whole day.
I think this is the best way to enjoy this spectacular beach, as it can get quite crowded when the boats arrive and let people on the beach for a couple of hours. This way you can stay there when everyone else goes back on the boat, and have fewer people on the beach, until the next boat full of tourists arrives.
The day trip by boat is around 35/40 euros, and I would happily spend it every summer to get to my favorite beach! I also tried scuba diving there. The picture below is the proof 🙂
LOW BUDGET AVERAGE COST NEAR CALA MARIOLU:
As for Cala Goloritze, you can’t stay overnight, so the best option is to find accommodation in one of the villages nearby (Baunei and Orosei) and start your day trip from the Arbatax pier. For some options on cheap Hotels and villas near Cala Mariolu, check out the point below.
CHEAP ACCOMMODATION AND HOTELS NEAR CALA MARIOLU:
The best places to search for cheap accommodation are Baunei and Orosei, but if you just try the one-day trip and have a car, anywhere within the Golfo di Orosei is a good place to stay.
Below are the links to the main hotels/villas/apartments you should check out:
Here is the link to the best things to do and see in Orosei from the TripAdvisor website.
My Suggestions: Hotels and Resorts near Cala Mariolu
UPDATE: CHECK OUT MY LATEST ARTICLES
Option #1: CAGLIARI/ORISTANO AND SURROUNDING TOURISTIC AREAS:
The bus is generally quite slow, takes a couple of hours or more per 100 km since it stops at the main villages, but it’s cheap and comfortable. Trains are also available from Cagliari to the main cities of the island. Alternatively you can take the Passengers boat from Livorno or Rome to Cagliari, as the bus station is just a 5 minute walk from the harbor.
Option #2: OLBIA/SASSARI AND TOURISTIC AREAS (Costa Smeralda, Golfo di Orosei, Arcipelago della Maddalena, Stintino)
From mainland Italy, fly to Olbia airport or Alghero airport and take one of the local buses to your preferred destinations.
Alternatively you can take the Passengers boat to Porto Torres or Olbia, and from there take the direct trains available to all the main cities on the island OR take one of the many private/public buses to your destination.
Do you want to book a ferry to and from Sardinia? Or just check the availability and routes?
Below is the most useful tool to find all the companies operating to all routes! That’s the only thing I use to book my ferry to Sardinia.
ARST: Public service buses to the main touristic destinations.
TURMO TRAVEL: Another well-known bus company.
Do you want more? Check out my homemade video! it’s not the best quality as I took the pictures with an old mobile, but it gives you a great idea on what paradise is, even with bad quality pictures 🙂
Do you want to receive updates from me via email? I’m currently working on tailored guides for different types of tourists coming to Sardinia. If you want to receive a free copy, take 1 minute to subscribe. All for free and no Spam! 🙂
SO MY DEAR FRIENDS, ENJOY SARDINIA AND MAKE THE MOST OF IT! THIS IS A REALLY SPECIAL ISLAND! IF I CONVINCED YOU AND YOU WANT SOME MORE INFO, CONTACT ME OR LEAVE ME A MESSAGE HERE AND I’LL TRY TO HELP! 🙂
Sardinia is definitely an amazing place to discover, if you want to know more, check out this article on the most amazing beaches in Europe (no surprise that Sardinia is included twice in the list!).
Do you want to read about other amazing destinations? Here is my post (a very honest one) about Sri Lanka!