Sardinia is the second-biggest island in the Mediterranean, sitting south of Corsica, west of the Italian mainland, and north of Africa. It’s a sun-drenched destination that has a lot to offer, and In this guide, we’ll show you how to get there and what to see and do when you’re there.

How to Get There

You can fly to Sardinia, but the easiest and often cheapest way to travel is by ferry.

You can take the ferry to Olbia from Livorno, Piombino, and Civitavecchia, the latter of which is a short journey from Rome and is thus a great option for international tourists using the capital as a base. Many of the ferries leave during the evening and arrive the following morning. You will be given a room on the boat that comes complete with a range of amenities, ensuring you’re comfortable while you travel.

Once you’re on the island, make use of its many buses and trains to travel quickly and cheaply. You can also rent a bicycle, doing your bit for the environment and your health while saving some cash in the process.

What to See

Sardinia is a big island with scores of destinations and no shortage of attractions. Here are some of the must-see attractions:

  • Sailing cruises: A great way to explore the Sardinian coast and venture further afield. These cruises are run by a number of companies and leave from ports across the island.
  • La Pelosa Beach: A beautifully serene beach that’s great for both swimming and relaxing.
  • Museums in Cagliari, the biggest city on the island, are packed with amazing museums—well worth a visit.
  • Bosa: A beautiful small village. It’s home to a gorgeous river and castle and has fewer than 9,000 inhabitants.
  • Archaeological sites: There are numerous archaeological sites scattered across the island, including one in Barumini, which is less than an hour’s drive/bus ride away from Cagliari.

What to Eat

The Sardinian diet is famed for its health benefits, and this goes hand-in-hand with the local lifestyle to create a happy and healthy population. Make sure you partake in some of the local dishes and delicacies when you’re there, including:

  • Fregula: A type of Sardinian pasta that can be enjoyed with a number of dishes.
  • Pardulas: Small pies filled with cheese and often eaten for breakfast.
  • Snails: These slimy little creatures aren’t just eaten in France. They are also pretty popular in Sardinia.
  • Seadas: A large deep-fried dumpling filled with cheese.
  • Lobster: Seafood is abundant in Sardinia, and lobster is a common menu item.
  • Burrida: A tasty and cheap dish made with catfish.

What to Drink

The western part of the island is littered with vineyards and these produce some very unique wines that are enjoyed throughout Italy. Vermentino di Gallura is the most famous of these. It’s a strong and dry white wine with denominazione di origine controllata e garantita (DOCG) status, which translates into “controlled and guaranteed designation of origin and guarantees the location and authenticity of the wine.

The description covers all Vermentino wines made on the island, so they can vary greatly, but they usually deliver strong floral notes on the nose and heavy flavours in the mouth. There are also vineyards making delicious red wines. You can find bottles in stores and at vineyards throughout the country, as well as on the wine lists at local restaurants.

Where to Stay

Sardinia spans more than 9,000 square miles and includes numerous towns and villages, so you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation. There are scores of luxury hotels, villas, and B&Bs. Airbnb also operates on the island, so be sure to check that out if you want to book a house for yourself for a few days.

In terms of destinations, Olbia is one of the better options. Not only do the most popular ferry routes begin and end here, but it’s a decent-sized city with many beaches. Cagliari is a good option too, but it is on the other side of the island and is about 3 hours away by car, so plan your route carefully if you’re arriving in Olbia but staying in Cagliari.

For more of a quaint experience, book a stay in a small town or village, such as Alghero or the aforementioned Bosa.

See More of Sardinia

Sardinia gives tourists a unique taste of Italy, one that is vastly different from exploring historical sites in Rome, going on a food and wine tour in Tuscany, or seeing what the City on the Water has to offer. There’s a lot to see and do, and with the right travel itinerary, you can make memories that will last a lifetime. So, if you’re planning a trip to Italy, put Sardinia at the top of your list and keep these tips in mind.