You really can’t go wrong because it’s all wonderful but in case you want to cruise…
In the North
On the northwestern coast around the area of Sassari and Alghero, you can find the island of Asinara, a nature preserve, lined with isolated sandy beaches and Alghero where the inhabitants still speak a medieval version of Catalan, a relic of more than 800 years of domination by the Kingdom of Aragon and later the Kingdom of Castille and Leon. Here in Alghero, walking beside the ramparts along the sea, a gentle Maestrale breeze blowing, sheik restaurants along the walls of the city and enjoying all the charms of the old part of the city is one of the most beautiful feelings that one can experience on the island. Sassari, is the second largest city in Sardinia and holds an important part in Sardinian history as well as the identity of the people of Northern Sardinia. You can follow the coastal road from Alghero to Bosa, the Florence of Sardinia, where a gentle river connects the town to the sea and seems like something out of a movie with the houses painted in various colors on a mountainside with a large castle dominating from above. Here you can rent a bike, ride to the beach and relax the afternoons away in a charming plaza far away from the crowds and tourist traps of the Italian Peninsula.
From Sassari following the northern coast you arrive to the Costa Esmeralda where Italia’s richest have their summer homes and the location of Sardinia’s most famous beaches. People come from all around to see the amazing color of the water here. This entire region is protected under the Mediterraneans largest marine nature reserve, The Bocche di Bonifacio, in an international effort to help preserve the pristine state of the turquoise waters that are found in the Strait of Bonifaccio. In Santa Teresa of Gallura you can catch a boat to Bonifacio in beautiful Corsica. The capital of this region is Olbia, home to fantastic views of the Maddelena Archipelago and departing port for boats to Genoa and Pisa and the portal to the zone of Nuoro and the Eastern Coast of Sardinia.
From Nuoro, the capital of the province, you can find entry into the mountain region of La Barbagia. From Nuoro to the islands’s highest mountain Gennargentu, 6000 ft or 1600 meters high, we go through the Wild West of the island. Here has always been a place apart, ever since the Nuraghic people found refugee here 2000 years ago from Roman invaders.
Long thought of by Sardinians as a dangerous place to visit, the people of Barbagia in some places still continue to live according to the code of their clan and some villages govern themselves even without a mayor or any governing body, settling all affairs according to their traditions and customs. The area is also home to great hiking trails, wine, cuisine and many of the villages are filled with beautiful murals on the walls of the houses, an open-air museum where popular art celebrates the lives of these people. If you are interested you can discover the intact Nuraghic village of Tiscali or the beautiful valleys of Oliena.
You can drive all the way from Olbia to the southern part of the island and while the northern coast is rapidly being developed, here in Ogliastra there are long stretches of natural beaches where the only way to get access is to arrive by boat or a two hour walk through the woods to the beach. In the zones of Dorgali or Baunei, we find Sardinia’s perhaps most picturesque beaches where you can lose yourself and relax the day away putting your feet in the sand and enjoying the peace of the world around you. For those adventure lovers out there, you can camp on the beaches as long as you like, as long as you don’t use a tent or make a fire you are perfectly free to sleep on the beach.
Southern Sardinia is home to the biggest city, Cagliari, where you can walk through the old city, see the medieval gates, eat a delicious meal on a side street of Via Roma or enjoy the fine shopping of a European city. To the west of Cagliari, are the beaches of Chia, Teluada and on ahead the lovely island of Sant Antioco, where a particular culture has developed here when a group of Genovans were exiled here and merged with the Arab and Sardinian cultures that existed on the island. “The island in the south of Sardinia is still a world apart where you can enjoy dream-like beaches and lose yourself in perfumes of the wild scrub of the Mediterranean. Sant Antioco is famous for its bread, bisso and the tuna harvest where it’s still caught by hand where men wade into the sea with enormous nets and a fascinating place that is still waiting to be discovered.
Along the SW coast, aside from great beaches there are these spectacular points of interest along the old mining ports. Porto Flavia, holds this spectacular view and let’s visitors discover for themselves the old gallerys and stories of the mining history.