12 of Sardinia's best beaches
Renowned for its spectacular coastal scenery, Sardinia is home to some of Italy's most beautiful beaches. The island's crystal-clear waters, fine white sands, and marine life attract their share of beach goers, snorkellers, and scuba divers, and the great news is that there are more options than ever when it comes to booking a holiday to Sardinia. Thomson has a selection of resorts in both Olbia and Alghero, which makes great bases for exploring the following beaches, bays, and islets. Read on for some serious day trip inspiration.
1. Spiaggia di Cala Luna
Flanked by a steep wall of rock, the beach of Cala Luna is located in the Golfo di Orosei. The fine sand is mixed with small stones, and the coruscating waters change hues from emerald green to blue, as the vegetation and sun reflect on the seabed. Its rocky wall comprises deep clefts that provide shelter from the sun, while the shallow waters of the beachfront make it ideal for children to swim. The beach is accessed by boat from Cala Gonone or from Marina di Orosei.
2. Cala Spinosa
A steep twisting path leads to Cala Spinosa, a secluded little beach tucked away in a gorgeous bay and sheltered by cliffs of granite rock. Its crystal-clear waters and rich seabed attract snorkellers and scuba divers alike. You will find it in Capo Testa along the northern coast of the island.
3. Cala Coticcio
Located in La Maddalena Archipelago National Park on the island of Caprera, just off Sardinia's northeastern shore, this magnificent beach is characterised by two coves surrounded by pink granite formations where juniper, heather, and rockrose grow abundantly. The sand is powdery white, and the clear turquoise waters have earned the beach the nickname "Tahiti". The island of Caprera is where Italian general and politician Giuseppe Garibaldi spent the last 26 years of his life. History fans should not miss the Garibaldi Compendium, which houses his Casa Bianca residence along with his grave.
4. La Pelosa
About 2 km north of the harbour village of Stintino in the province of Sassari, is La Pelosa, a white-sand beach lapped by clear, shallow waters. It offers lovely views of Isola Piana and the larger Isola Asinara, while an old Saracen tower built in granite rock serves as backdrop. It's a popular snorkelling and diving area, and can get busy during the peak season.
5. Punta Molentis
With a white sandy shore, Punta Molentis has a hilly backdrop that rises to just over 100 m. The beautiful beach, with its wonderfully blue waters, is characterised by scattered rocks that reach up to 15 m in height. The name "molentis" derives from the Sardinian for donkey ("su molenti"), animals that were once used in granite mining activities that thrived in the area.
6. Cala Corsara
Another hit within the La Maddalena Archipelago National Park is Cala Corsara, located on the southern tip of Spargi, an island off the northeastern coast of Sardinia. Comprising four small beaches with fine grains of sand, the western end features granite rocks in different shapes and sizes, while to the east are small sand dunes sprinkled with endemic plants including bright pink sea roses and creamy white sea daffodils. The beach can only be accessed by boat.
7. Spiaggia Rosa
This is one of Italy's - and the world's - most unusual beaches: the sand is a pretty shade of pink, rich in coral, granite, mollusc shells, and seashells. Part of La Maddalena Archipelago National Park on Budelli Island, it is rich in endemic flora and fauna. The beach is no longer accessible to the public and can only be viewed from nearby Spiaggia del Cavaliere with a marine guide. Why the pink colour? Its unique hue is due to fragments of a single-celled organism, miniacina miniacea, which lives among the seagrass a short distance from the beach. When the organisms die the shells are washed up onto the shore, eventually crumbling into tiny pieces.
8. Cala Mariolu
Located within the Golfo di Orosei National Park, this gorgeous stretch of beach is characterised by white sand mixed with tiny white and pink pebbles. The area is peppered with caves, one of which is accessible from the beach itself. Further along the limestone cliffs is the Grotta del Fico, or Fico Cave, considered to be one of the island's most beautiful. It is home to numerous siphons that were once access points for monk seals.
9. Spiaggia di Tuerredda
Tucked away in an inlet between Capo Malfatano and Capo Spartivento, this white-sand beach is sheltered from the mistral winds. It is surrounded by Mediterranean verdure including lentisk and juniper, and its clear waters range in colour from light blue to turquoise. A short swim from the shore is the eponymous islet with small sandy stretches, smooth rocks and a verdant interior inhabited by gulls and other birds.
10. Cala Goloritzé
Located on the northeastern coast, this white-pebbled beach is only accessible on foot, typically taking about one hour to reach (about an hour and half for the uphill return) along a trekking trail that winds through greenery. This gorgeous cove is a national natural heritage site, renowned for its turquoise sea and marble rocks. A stone arch stretching out into the sea from Punta Goloritzé attracts plenty of free rock climbers. Its majestic cliffs and vegetation are home to Eleonora's falcon, named after Eleonor of Arborea, a powerful 14th century Sardinian judge who is the island's heroine.
11. Cala Cipolla
Surrounded by junipers and pines, this white-sand beach with granite rocks is renowned for its clear emerald green and turquoise waters. This small cove is sheltered by the wind and has a sandy shore with fine golden sand and shallow waters. It is located near Capo Spartivento, from where there are lovely views of the area's white beaches, ponds, and the rocky promontories around Chia.
12. Spiaggia Li Cossi
Li Cossi is located in a wind-sheltered cove surrounded by jagged grey-pink granite slopes that are carpeted in wild Mediterranean vegetation. Named after the river that runs behind it, its waters are emerald green and its sand golden yellow. The shallow shore is ideal for children to swim and play in, while the deep waters abundant in fish attract scuba divers and snorkellers alike.
Clearly, Sardinia is a must for beach lovers with so much to choose from be it soft and sandy or pretty and pebbly. If you are planning a summer 2017 break to Sardinia, check out the latest deals from Thomson. You can also use our 'best time to go' tool and read our Sardinia weather guide for tips on when to visit for the best weather.
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