Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Other than the beautiful culture, the balmy Mediterranean climate, delicious cuisine, and the breathtaking inland geography, what else can one possibly love about Sardinia? Why it’s the beaches, of course!
During our latest trip to Italy, we really made it a point to make Sardinia the main item on our itineraries. There is just so much to explore in the island, not the least the spectacular beaches scattered throughout its coastline. And there’s just so many of these beaches that I don’t think a few days of vacation would suffice for one to explore all of them. That said, choosing just five beaches for my not-to-miss list is a feat on its own, but I will try my best!
I’ll begin with the first Sardinian beach we visited this year, which is Cala Mariolu. The beach is located on the eastern coast of Sardinia and is surrounded by the Golfo di Orosei. This stunning pebbled beach offers characteristic clear blue waters that seem to change hues according to the position of the sun. The water is shallow, which makes it the perfect beach for both families with little children and those who want to do some snorkelling. Cala Mariolu is also surrounded by a hillside covered in verdant vegetation and dotted with caves, a feature that is sure to delight avid trekkers and spelunkers alike.
And for a bit of trivia, the beach gets its name from the monk seal, which the local fishermen call “mariolu” or “thief” because it usually steals fish from their catch. I’m quite certain the beach will also steal your heart away!
Spiaggia Rosa at Arcipelago della Maddalena
Located on the northwestern coast of Sardinia, the Maddalena Archipelago comprises 7 major islands, namely La Maddalena, Caprera, Spargi, Santo Stefano, Santa Maria, Budelli, and Razzoli. That’s seven times the fun for anyone who plans to visit!
They have been inhabited since prehistoric times, so perhaps we can consider ourselves lucky that development has not been so invasive, and the islands still look so pristine. Since 1994, they have been designated as an Italian national park, truly a place to see for those who are into enjoying nature in all its unspoilt glory. The islands are surrounded by crystal-clear waters and wind-blown granite coastlines, and they are also popular as a haven for local wildlife.
Make sure to visit Spiaggia Rosa (Pink Beach) on Budelli, which is famous for its pink sand made from fine fragments of corals and sea shells.
This beach has the most unflattering name among Sardinian beaches, but it is arguably also the most famous. The name literally means “the hairy,” but don’t let that fool you. With its beautiful, fine white sand and calm turquoise-colored waters, La Pelosa is velvety smooth to the senses.
Besides swimming and simply lounging on the beach and sunbathing, there are a lot of other things you can do. History buffs can check out the 16th century Torre della Pelosa, while sports enthusiasts can go for some kayaking and hiking. Boat trips to the nearby Asinara Islands are also available.
Spiaggia di Tuerreda
Tuerreda beach is located in an inlet between Capo Malfatano and Capo Spartivento and is one of the most gorgeous beaches on the southern coast of Sardinia.
Upon arriving, visitors are greeted with breathtaking scenery that is reminiscent of white-sand beaches in the Caribbean and the Pacific. The water is so transparent and crystalline that you almost won’t believe your eyes! Framing the Tuerreda are lush Mediterranean hills, which make the place look even more postcard-perfect.
A small islet, also called Tuerreda, is located off the coast and is reachable by a short swim or through a kayak.
I end this list with a beach that is certainly not less stunning than the four already mentioned. Cala Goloritzè’s claim to fame is its being inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage list. It has also been declared as an Italian National Treasure.
Unlike many other beaches in Sardinia, this pretty beach is quite small and is somewhat secluded. It does attract quite a bit of a crowd, but one must be prepared for a bit of hiking through bushes, trees, and limestone rock formations to get there. It will be worth the walk, I promise you. Once you emerge from the path, you’ll behold a beautiful turquoise sea, which lies in stark contrast to the beach’s white sand and to the limestone formations covered in verdant foliage.
So which one sounds like the best Sardinian beach to you? Time to pack your bags to find out for yourself!
Priscila Siano is the Marketing Director of Tour Italy Now, an online tour operator specializing in Italy travel. She’s a respected expert on making dream Italy vacations a reality for clients. For more on Priscila and her work, connect with her on Google+ and on Twitter.
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