Sardinia was the first place I ever went in Italy and has long been one of my favorite regions. Famous for the beach resorts of the rich and famous in the north, the rest of the island remains a place where visitors can experience traditional life and enjoy spectacular festivals and the local cuisine. Visit a few of Sardinia’s top beaches but be sure to leave the coast and head inland, too, where it sometimes feels like you’ve taken a step back in time.
A good place to start a visit of the island is the capital city of Cagliari, with both an airport and ferry port making it easily accessible from the mainland. North of Cagliari is Barumini Nuraghe, a good place for an introduction to the ancient stone towers that dot the landscape. On the way stop at the mural town of San Sperate.
One of Sardinia’s top cities to visit is Alghero, in the northwest, a town that still retains its Catalan heritage. A nice place to stay there is Villa las Tronas, just outside the city.
There are many archeological sites on the island, some of them right on the beach like the Roman and Punic site of Nora and the Phoenician-Roman Port of Tharros. Sardinia’s Romanesque Churches are some of the best preserved in Italy.
One of my favorite places to stay is Hotel Su Gologone, where you’ll find English speaking staff and a great introduction to Sardinian traditions and food. A good way to explore the island is with a persoanl tour guide. I recommend Paola Loi, an English-speaking native of Cagliari.