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Sardinia, Italy - Great Beaches and Rich History
About Sardinia, Italy (Sardegna)
Sardinia is a vast and beautiful Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea.
In Sardinia you can find wonderful nature, amazing beaches, history, and great food. Depending in what area you stay, you can enjoy a relaxed and undisturbed environment, or a mundane and active one.
The island offers a lot of choices for places to visit and see, beginning from the famous northern beaches like Alghero, Porto Cervo, and Porto Rotondo, to the Big cities like Cagliari and Oristano, and the beautiful mountainous areas, that offer breathtaking views.
If you can’t decide where to go in Sardinia, you can get a good map, rent a car, and visit several of the locations mentioned in this article.
Famous mostly for its coastline and beaches, Sardinia also bounds in spectacular natural scenery and numerous archeological ruins scattered all around the island.
Vacation in Northern Sardinia
Northern Sardinia is the best area to find wonderful beaches with white sand and crystalline waters. This is a very lively touristic area, especially in summer, vivacious and with bubbly night life. The northern part, called Costa Smeralda, is really beautiful and popular, but quite expensive.
Alghero has a beautiful coast, where you can dive in the Sea and admire the gorgeous red coral.
Olbia, city rich with life and tourism, handles most of the Sardinian visitor traffic, with its port and airport the city serves as main arrival point.
Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo aretwo very popular summer destinations. These two locations are top rated for VIPs and rich tourists from all around the world, and harbor the most impressive boats in their little ports.
The Maddalena Arcipelago is made up by seven islands: Maddalena, Caprera, Santo Stefano, Spargi, Budelli, Razzoli, and Santa Maria. The arcipelago is inhabited and offers tranquility and unspoiled surroundings, perfect for boat trips, sunbathing, and swimming in solitude.
La Maddalena IslandClick thumbnail to view full-size
Vacation in Southern Sardinia
Southern Sardinia has some of the most unspoiled coasts on the island with undisturbed coves and beaches. The landscape varies with tall sand dunes, marshland populated by pink flamingos, and interesting prehistoric sites.
If you’d rather stay in a city, you can visit Cagliari, the island capital, founded by Phoenician sailors in the 8th century BC, and later conquered by the Spanish, who left the most enduring landmarks and buildings.
Oristano, founded in 1070, stands in the center of a fertile plain. Its historic center, once protected by walls, is small and mostly pedestrian. Oristano has several beautiful churches and monuments, and shows the true Sardinian lifestyle.
Well worth a visit in Southern Sardinia are Quartu St. Elena, Villasimius, and the beautiful island of St. Antioco, where you can jump into history at the Archeological Museum, that shows a wide selection of archeological findings from all around Sardinia, some about 5000 years old.
If you like wild and rocky landscapes, the mountains around the city of Nuoro will not disappoint you. Here you can visit several sites with the famous Sardinian nuraghi.
Mediterranean Sea in Sardinia
What are Nuraghi?
Before the Phoenicians sailors arrived in Sardinia, the island was inhabited by an unknown and mysterious population, since the second millennium BC.
This ancient population, who left no written testimony, built a very unique kind of dwelling: the nuraghe. They are tower-fortresses that were built starting from about 1800 BC.
7,000 nuraghi (plural) can be still found in every area of Sardinia.
Initially a nuraghe consisted of a single tower made of huge stones, with no mortar. Later more towers were added, resulting in more complex structures. The towers, who served as dwelling and fortress, were usually surrounded by a village.
Near the nuraghi many bronze figures have been found, now on display in Sardinia’s museums.
Map of Sardinia, Italy
© 2012 Robie Benve