The marvellous beaches will probably be the focus of your holiday.
They are to be found not only in the famed Costa Smeralda but all around the island. The typical Mediterranean climate and long summer, with coastal temperatures averaging 28.5°C (83°F) in July and August, means that the sea can be warm enough for swimming from May and remains pleasant through October. And the crystal-clear waters are a delight to bathe in.
With constant winds surrounding the island, water sports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing and surfing are popular pastimes. Major championships such as the Kitesurf World Cup and the Chia Classic windsurfing competition are held here giving you some idea of how superb the conditions are. The main hive of windsurfing activity is in Porto Pollo, the windiest part of the island on the north east coast with fantastic views of the Maddalena islands. Whether you are an expert or a novice, there is plenty of space for everyone. Protected by the double bay, there are safe areas for beginners or if you have the experience (and audacity), you may choose to head out into the channel where waves peak at challenging heights. There are several good hire and tuition centres here that will cater for all your needs.
Putzu Idu at San Giovanni di Sinis is another popular surfing beach offering a plethora of beach bars and windsurfing and kitesurfing outlets. This beautiful long sandy beach sits seventeen kilometres north of Tharros on the west coast. If you’re after a more casual surfing experience avoiding the fierce waves of the west and opting for a bit of leisurely fun then head for Stintino and the Spiaggia della Pelosa.
Sardinia is home to some of the longest and cleanest beaches in the Mediterranean so it is not surprising to hear that it is a divers’ paradise. The crystal clear waters are rich with marine life and dotted with little caves and gorges ripe for exploring. Some of the best island dives take you to underwater ruins or stunning coral illuminated by streaks of sunlight. In the northwest near Capo Caccia you can discover an underwater labyrinth of caves and tunnels complete with stalactites and corals. For beginners and snorkellers we particularly recommend the diving expeditions to La Maddalena National Park which leave from Capriccioli on the Costa Smeralda. The water in this protected area is only around 10 metres deep, clear with seaweed covered sandy sea bed and reefs.
There are dive centres located in most coastal resorts and usually offer special instruction and ‘baptism’ dives for beginners as well as dives for the more experienced. If you have never dived before, this is a fantastic place to start!
Wherever you stay on Sardinia you will not be too far from a stables as the island has a long tradition of horse riding. Hacks and excursions for all abilities are available including children's rides, tours through breathtaking mountain scenery and beach rides. Whether a beginner or an experienced rider this is a fantastic way to discover hidden Sardinia and explore areas that cannot be reached by car. Sardinia's Gennargentu mountain range is one of the last regions in Europe with free-roaming wild horses.
Horses play a large part in the culture of Sardinia which is reflected in their many festivals and processions. Bridleways vary from coastline paths with the chance to ride along the beach, to inland amidst the stunning landscapes. Many organised rides include a stop for swimming and some options even include night rides giving you the chance to watch the sunset and experience the countryside by moonlight.
Walking & Climbing
Whether you are a serious hiker or simply enjoy a stroll in beautiful surroundings, there is something for everyone on Sardinia and this is the perfect way to enjoy the island's tranquillity and natural beauty.
The varied terrain and undulations of Sardinia provide good walking for all levels and ages and paths are generally cleared and easy to follow. Good maps of the island can be bought in shops in both the UK and Sardinia and for walkers, local large scale maps (1:65000) show the most important footpaths and mule tracks.
The deep gorges and dramatic cliffs offer invigorating and often challenging locations for climbers.
True to its name, on Sardinia you really can go biking through the mountains and will not be disappointed with the views. One look at the map will show you exactly how wild the island is. You could cycle for days here without meeting anybody, crossing narrow trails, rough gravel tracks and steep climbs. Le Prigionette Nature Reserve at Porto Conte in the northwest is a great spot as are Gallura near Sassari and Gennargentu in the Nuoro region.
There are some first-class golf courses on Sardinia and golfers booking a twin centre holiday will want to sample the best the island has to offer as well as the golf of Sperone near Bonifacio in southern Corsica. The breathtaking scenery adds to the fantastic quality of the courses.
The Pevero near Olbia is one of the most important golf courses on Sardinia and is popular with locals and tourists all year round. Surrounded by dense vegetation and bizarre rock formations, this is one of Europe's most beautiful courses.
Is Molas is another superb course located in Santa Margherita di Pula with spectacular views of the Roman ruins of Nora and dazzling ocean.
With a fantastic number of golf schools and driving greens, this is the perfect place to play golf whether you are a novice or an expert.