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Sardinia, a stunning island off the west coast of Italy, is second only to Sicily in size. Home to beautiful beaches with bright blue water and white sand, it appeals to those seeking sun and coastal Mediterranean vibes. But there is so much more to Sardinia. There are mountainous regions full of towns with medieval architecture and museums, hill hikes to vineyards, and its famous coastline.
If you love history, Sardinia boasts remnants of the arcane Nuragic, whose tombs (“tombe dei giganti” in Italian) and remains of buildings, wells, and temples can be found throughout the island. Like most of Bella Italia, Sardinia has wonderful regional food—try the pecorino Sardo, Su Porcheddu, and sea urchin. It’s a “blue zone,” meaning a place where many inhabitants live to be over 100 years old, and food is one of multiple contributing factors.
Take a day trip to visit the medieval Alghero (northwest coast), the pretty hill town of Bosa, Galtelli, a village made almost entirely of stone (where religious pilgrims trek to see its famous bronze Christ statue), or stroll the beachy Cala di Volpe, home to many high-end resorts. No matter what accommodations appeal to you, or your wallet, there are countless options—hotels, homestays, resorts, and farm stays called “agriturismo”— for individuals, couples, and families. I’ve rounded up some of the best places to stay in Sardinia. Warning: you may never want to leave this incredible island in Italy.
Best budget hotels in Sardinia
If you want to experience Sardinia next to the water, this hotel is steps away from a private beach on approximately 17 acres of beautiful land full of native plants like juniper, laurel, and olive trees. Discreetly tucked away, you can rent a holiday villa or a suite. While families are welcome, this could be a wonderful stay for couples seeking opportunities to relax and explore the southwestern coast of Sardinia. Reviews tend to be positive about the location, beach, and pool, but others say the rooms need an update. However, strong staff reviews and a stunning location put this four-star hotel on my list for affordability. Plus it includes an outdoor pool, airport shuttle service, bar, and restaurant. Pack your travel tote! Sardinia awaits.
09010 S. Santa Margherita di Pula, Cagliari, Italy
Cagliari Elmas Airport is roughly 45 minutes by taxi or shuttle.
Varies widely by date and room. In May 2024, a seven night stay for two adults can run approximately $3,650.
Is Morus Relais
If you’re traveling on a budget, consider the highly rated Le Corti Sarde Apartments, near the sea in Bari Sardo. It’s a beautiful hilly area surrounded by orchards and vineyards. Save money on eating out because you can make breakfast and lunch in the tiny European kitchen filled with everything you need, including a microwave, oven, refrigerator, coffee maker, and dishwasher. When it's time to go out for the day to the nearby beaches (about two miles away) or a hike, enjoy a packed lunch, compliments of the on-site caretaker at Le Corti—a nice touch. Most food offered on the property is locally sourced, rooms are reportedly very clean, and they offer air conditioning, which not all European homestays have.
13 Via Trento, 08042 Bari Sardo, Italy
Airport shuttle service is available. Cagliari Elmas Airport is 73 miles from the apartment.
Varies depending on season. Early summer can run approximately $1,000 a week.
Le Corti Sarde Apartments
If you prefer exploring towns and cities on foot, this lovely, sustainable guest house is surrounded by city views. You can stroll to the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari or the Church of St. Michael. The guesthouse is close to these and other sites of interest. Units here come with a kitchen (with a stovetop), bed linens and towels, plus air conditioning. Go for coffee or drinks at Il Chiostro’s onsite bar, too. It’s a perfect spot for couples and individuals.
22 Via Goffredo Mameli, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
Cagliari Elmas Airport is 6.2 miles from Il Chiostro. No airport shuttle service.
Varies by dates and seasons. Renting for approximately $600 to $900 a week is possible.
If you stay here, you're just a five-minute drive to beautiful beaches in Villasimius on the gorgeous southern coast of the island. Surrounded by gardens, this holiday villa containing two homes (with working kitchenettes) for rent offers rooms suitable for families, couples, and individuals. I love this location's price, beautiful garden, and beach proximity. It’s close to shops, including supermarkets. Pro tip: These are great places to pick up items for lunch and are fun for hunting down small souvenirs.
Via Ungaretti 13, 09049 Villasimius, Italy
Cagliari Elmas Airport is approximately 40 miles/60 minutes by taxi.
Varies. A seven night stay in May 2024 for two adults is just under $1,000.
Villasimius Villa Agorà
Best luxury hotels in Sardinia
If you’re looking for a hotel with excellent amenities, like swimming pools and a spa, easy beach access, and award-winning restaurants on site, this resort may be for you—if you don’t mind the luxury price tag. Located on the coast, Cala di Volpe ticks the boxes for a Sardinian vacation in style. It’s suitable for families and couples.
Pack your best swimsuit—and your tennis racket. A private white-sand beach with a lifeguard (good for little ones) is five minutes away by ferry or a 15-minute walk, plus you can practice your swing at one of four tennis courts. There’s also an indoor and outdoor gym, a wellness center spa, and a massive saltwater swimming pool for those days when you want to skip the sand. Film buffs will enjoy that the James Bond classic, “The Spy Who Loved Me,” was filmed at this luxury getaway.
Cala di Volpe, Porto Servo, Costa Smeralda, 07021 Porto Cervo, Italy
Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is approximately 31 minutes by car. Hotel airport shuttle is available
Prices for one week (two adults) can range from $3,500 to $22,000 or more, depending on the season and room.
Hotel Cala di Volpe
Enjoy ocean views and steps to the beach—this five-star hotel spotlights what’s magical about Sardinia’s sea. This hotel won TripAdvisor’s 2023 Travelers’ Choice award and is situated on the Gulf of Asinara on the stretch of coast known as the Costa Rossa. The landscape is breathtaking, with bright blue seas, red rocks, and white sands. This hotel is good for families, couples, and individuals who are looking for amenities like a wellness spa, swimming pools, kids clubs, and activities like guided coastal trail hikes, windsurfing, deep-sea diving, and more.
Isola Rossa, 07038 Isola Rossa, Trinita d'Agultu e Vignola, Sardinia, Italy
Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is over an hour away (contact the hotel for taxi suggestions.)
Varies by time, room, and season. A seven night stay in May 2024 for two adults starts at $1,270.
Hotel Marinedda Thalasso & Spa
If you’re searching for a retreat in Sardinia away from the coast, this upscale hotel outside San Pantaleo offers relaxing rooms, suites, and a range of spa and wellness treatments. Enjoy Turkish baths, saunas, and a modern open-air gym. The rooms are situated in traditional stone buildings throughout the grounds. There’s a large pool, and the main building hosts a Michelin-star restaurant where you can try authentic Sardinian cuisine. Petra Segreta Resort is designed to delight couples and individuals seeking a tranquil and beautiful retreat, but families may find they need more to entertain young children than what this gorgeous retreat has to offer.
Strada di Buddeo cp 130-07026 San Pantaleo, Italy
Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is approximately 27 minutes by taxi.
Varies widely by time, room, and season. A seven night stay in April 2024 for two adults starts at about $2,000, but in July it can be just under $5,000.
Petra Segreta Resort & Spa
Best family hotels in Sardinia
If you and your family love swimming, this hotel boasts seven saltwater pools and a small private beach. Breakfast is included in your stay, and you can order a delicious drink as you lounge by the water or down some blood orange juice at Colonna’s day spa. If you plan to spend time with your spouse or partner, the kids’ club is an excellent place for children up to age 10 to enjoy arts and crafts and games. The grounds are extensive and made for relaxing walks around palm trees and gardens. Excursions and activities such as wine tasting, mountain hikes, dolphin-watching boat rides, and more can also be arranged during your stay.
If you like to practice your swing on-site, there’s a practice golf course, and you can play a full round of golf at the nearby golf club. The resort’s restaurant has a beautiful outdoor terrace and serves various entrees, including Sardinian dishes, depending on the season. Light lunch and drinks are served daily at the resort’s bar. It’s secluded, so if you really want to experience life outside the resort, you can arrange day trips to Olbia and Alghero, Take advantage of the daily shuttle to and from Porto Cervo Marina, with access to shopping and dining opportunities.
Spiaggia Capo Ferro, 07021 Porto Cervo SS, Italy
Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is 38 minutes by car. The resort offers transportation to and from the airport.
Varies by season and room. A seven night stay in May 2024 starts at just under $2,000.
For an all-inclusive destination in Sardinia that appeals to children and adults, the Tirreno Resort is a stone’s throw away from the azure waters of the Cala Liberotto in the Gulf of Orosei. Free sports facilities include bocce, tennis courts, mini golf, mountain bikes, and more. If your family needs time apart, there’s a well-reviewed kids' club with an outdoor and indoor playground, plus a kid-friendly pool area with a pirate ship and waterslides. Everyone can enjoy the massive swimming pool or sip a spritz under one of the many umbrellas.
When hunger strikes, you can choose from two restaurants that offer Sardinian and Italian specialties from around the country. If your kids (or you) prefer something more familiar, Tirreno offers an American-style buffet breakfast, à la carte lunch items, plus a buffet-style dinner, in addition to full menus.
Viale Lungomare 3 Cala Liberotto, 08028, Orosei, Sardinia, Italy
Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is 45 miles from the resort (shuttle available.)
Varies. Spring 2024 had rooms available for $162 a night and up. By June, a one week stay for two adults starts at just under $2,000.
When you stay here, you can choose to reside in one of five four-star hotels on the resort property. If you stay with kids (even those still in a stroller), they can enjoy amenities galore. Le Dune’s attention to detail is superb, especially for families traveling with young children. There’s a nursery with a bottle preparation area (yes, you read that right, bottles for babies), a children’s restaurant set in a castle, a vegetable garden and a chicken coop, plus playgrounds, and seven swimming pools. There are 10 restaurants on site, many designed to appeal to adult family members, and a wellness center and spa for when you want to unwind away from your children. There’s even an on-site doctor.
Located in Badesi, a picturesque seaside town on the Gulf of Asinara, guests can enjoy nearly five miles of private Li Junchi beachfront, with activities like sailing, surfing, windsurfing, and numerous boating and fishing excursions. There are little shops on the grounds, and you can also book trips to vineyards, hikes, and day explorations to nearby towns and cities. However, you may have so much fun on-site at Le Dune that you and your family may be tempted to stay put.
Località Li Junchi, 07030 Badesi, Sardinia, Italy
Alghero-Fertilia airport is one hour by car.
Varies by season, room, hotel. For May 2024, I found rooms listed for $167 a night.
Resort & Spa Le Dune
How to get to Sardinia
The best way to get to Sardinia is to fly to Rome and then take another flight directly to one of its three airports. If you can travel light with your carry-on luggage, you can easily hop around without having to worry about lugging heavy bags. There are two airports in the north and one in the south, a popular area of the island. You can also take a ferry from Rome. The trip is roughly six hours, although some destinations may take longer.
Best times to go to Sardinia
Most travel experts recommend visiting between April and June for optimal weather, but that’s no reason to ignore the quieter shoulder seasons (spring and fall). Sardinia gets hot in July and August, so some visitors may find the heat excessive. Prices are also highest during the summer. If you can, aim for shoulder seasons or early summer when the water is comfortable, the air is warm, and the flowers and vegetation are blooming.
Things to do in Sardinia
There are so many things to do in Sardinia. Besides its stunning beaches, you can enjoy natural parks, like the Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park, a collection of islands off the northeastern coast. Or you can take in the glamour of Costa Smerelda’s resort town of Porto Cervo, full of exclusive resorts, beautiful beaches, and glamorous nightlife.
There are also vineyards, farmlands (if you can, visit Sardinian miniature donkeys), and trails worthy of your hiking boots. If you’re interested in ancient civilizations, visit the numerous prehistoric Nuragic structures from the Bronze Age. The ancient Nuragic people are still a bit of a mystery in Sardinia, but their wells, temples, and stone buildings (some look like stone castles) are dotted across the island near or in towns such as Orroli, Su Nuraxi, Bartumini, Santu Antine, Torralba, and Abbasanta, to name a few.
Take a ferry or a flight from Italy’s mainland to experience all that this Mediterranean island paradise has to offer to families, solo travelers, and couples.
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