There is no doubt that Sardinia is one of the most beautiful islands for a summer holiday. I feel speechless to describe the color of the sea, those white sands, and the amazing landscapes of this island. Get ready to have postcard perfect Instagram photos and go swimming in the epic turquoise water of Sardinia!
Apart from having the best beaches, Sardinia offers impressive historic and archeological sites, great museums, hiking trails, and a delicious food scene with mouthwatering seafood restaurants and incredible Sardinian wines. There are a lot of fun things to do that will keep you busy the whole day so let’s find an answer to where to stay on the island of Sardinia!.
In this blog post I will talk about the 7 best towns in Sardinia and will give you a feel of their vibes as well as the best hotels from luxury to budget plus Airbnbs that I handpicked for you.
Especially during the summer months, hotels are selling too fast and I don’t want you to miss the chance to stay in the best places. That’s why you have to be quick and make a reservation in advance in order not to miss them. Many of the hotels have a free cancelation, so don’t worry if you change your mind.
Also, Sardinia is a very big island and the easiest way to get around on the island is by renting a car so I highly suggest you book that in advance too! Lastly, before we get started I would like to mention that there are 3 airports in Sardinia which are Olbia Airport, Cagliari Airport, and Alghero Airport.
Once you decide the area that you would like to stay, make sure to check which airport is the closest to your hotel to avoid a long car ride upon arrival (it takes 4 hours to drive across the whole island).
If you are ready, let’s get started exploring one of the best islands in Europe!
If you are in a hurry
Here are the best places to stay in Sardinia, with hotels from luxury to budget. They all have great reviews and ideal locations!
LU’ HOTEL MALADROXIA
Best luxury hotel
COZY ROOM OLBIA
An Airbnb with amazing reviews
LES SUITE ROYALES
Best value for money
RESIDENZA LE SCALETTE
Best affordable accommodation in the center
Here is a map about where to stay in Sardinia Island with all the best 7 areas I will be talking about in this blog post so you can easily visualize them.
1. Cagliari – where to stay in Sardinia for the first time
Cagliari is located on the southern coast of Sardina and is the capital of the island. The closest airport, (called the same), is 10 km (7 mi) away. Cagliari is the best place to stay to experience the culture of the island and see the most popular places from a convenient location. That’s why my answer for where to stay in Sardinia for the first time is for sure Cagliari.
Once you step into Cagliari you will be impressed with the architecture of the historic buildings. Start your day getting lost in the beautiful streets then head to Poetto Beach and have a dip in the crystal clear sea. After a beautiful day on the beach, it is time to discover lively local Sardinian restaurants and bars. Whether you are a history lover or a beach bum, it is not possible to be disappointed in Cagliari!
Being the major city on the island, you will find a great selection of resorts in Sardinia Cagliari and you don’t need to worry as I’ve already found the best hotels from luxury to budget for you. In order not to miss a chance to stay at these beautiful hotels please do not forget to make a booking in advance as these resorts are the best of the best, they can fill up too quickly.
Since we are talking about the charming Italian island, if you are looking for another holiday destination combining beautiful beaches and history you might want to check out the best places to stay in Sicily.
Let’s check out the best places to stay in Cagliari:
Located at the heart of the city, this 5-star hotel offers spacious rooms, a large swimming pool, an upscale spa, a nice restaurant, and a fabulous breakfast. At night you can enjoy a nice Sicilian meal in their exclusive restaurant and have cocktails on their beautiful terrace. Old Town is also just a short walk away!
Other accommodation options in Cagliari
Since this is the most popular area to stay in Sardinia and the hotels I gave you above are the best of the best, they may book out quickly. For those of you like me who aren’t quite so organized, here are some other great options in Cagliari city:
- Luxury – Le Palmette Suites
- Mid Priced – BB22 Bed Villanova
- Budget – Residenza Kastrum
- Airbnb – Cozy Design Apt
Things to do in Cagliari
- See the impressive Roman Amphitheatre and check out the views
- Spend time on one of the best beaches in Sardinia, Spiaggia del Poetto
- Visit the 12th century fortified castle of San Michele
- Head to the Parco di Monte Urpinu and enjoying chilling in the park
- See the beautiful Bastione Saint Remy
- Visit the gorgeous Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta e Santa Cecilia
- Take a day trip to Costa Rei to explore beautiful beaches
- Visit the National Archaeological Museum and learn about the culture of the island
2. Sant’ Antioco – where to stay in Sardinia for nightlife
Sant Antico is located in the southwestern part of Sardinia and is another authentic island in its own right. You can reach Sant’ Antioco by taking a ferry or by car with a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Cagliari. It is a very picturesque island offering scenic views with cliffs and beautiful beaches. How perfect is that!?
In Sant Antico, spend your day discovering the museums, historic churches, and archaeological sites, then head to the beautiful beaches to swim in the crystal clear sea. Make sure to recharge yourself enough on the beach because you have to be ready for the colorful nightlife in Sant Antico.
You will find tons of restaurants, bars, and clubs in this town and that’s why my pick for where to stay in Sardinia for the nightlife is definitely Sant’ Antioco!
I just want to remind you that especially in the summer months, hotels have high demand in Sardinia and I don’t want you to miss these incredible places. So in order to get better deals and guarantee your place, do not forget to make a booking in advance. If you want some more holiday inspiration with a nice coastline in Italy, I highly recommend you check out the best places to stay on Amalfi Coast.
For those looking for a colorful night scene, here are the best places to stay on this lively island:
This 4-star hotel offers rooms with amazing sea views, a large swimming pool and a kids pool, free parking, a fabulous breakfast, and a nice restaurant. The beach and the city center are just a short walk away. At night you can have a nice drink in Lu Hotel Maldroxia’s elegant bar and enjoy the beautiful views.
Other accommodation options in Sant’ Antioco
Things to do in Sant’ Antioco
- Visit Muma – Museo del Mare e dei Maestri d’ascia
- Swim in the crystal clear sea at the Cala Grotta
- Spend time at the beautiful beach, Spiaggia di Maladroxia
- Party at Aquarium Arena
- Enjoy a night out at Favola Club
- Chill on the beach at Cala Sapone
- Get a suntan at the spectacular beach, Spiaggia Grande
- Check out the lively bars and seafood restaurants in Sant’ Antioco
- Visit the Museo Archeologico “Ferruccio Barreca” – MAB Sant’Antioco Sardegna
3. Sassari – best town for history lovers
Sassari is located in the North-West part of Sardinia and two and a half hours drive from Cagliari. Alghero Airport is the closest airport to here and is 30 km (20 mi) away.
Sassari is the oldest town on the island offering spectacular historic and archeological sites. You can spend hours on the streets of Sassari checking out the beautiful buildings, museums, and churches. So if you are into history, Sassari is your place to stay in Sardinia!
Thanks to being 225 meters above sea level, Sassari offers amazing views from the cliffs. Make sure to keep your camera ready all the time because you will want to take a lot of photos here!
In Sassari apart from historic sites, you will be able to find many gorgeous beaches, local seafood restaurants as well as nice accommodation options for those who want to enjoy the historic atmosphere of Sardinia.
This family-run hotel offers spacious rooms with free wifi and is the perfect place to stay for families and couples. You can enjoy a nice Sicilian wine on your spacious terrace and enjoy the incredible views below. The city center and traditional restaurants are within walking distance and Alghero Airport is half an hour’s drive away.
Other accommodation options in Sassari
Things to do in Sassari
- Visit the archeological sites at Altare Monte d’Accoddi
- Go to the National Museum Giovanni Antonio Sanna
- See the interesting Saccargia Church
- Go for a walk at Piazza d’Italia
- Visit the National Picture Gallery of Sassari
- See the beautiful Fountain of the Rosello
- Go for a stroll on the coastline and swim in the crystal clear sea
- See the Basilica of San Gavino and the ruins of an ancient Roman bridge
4. Olbia – where to stay in Sardinia for the families
Olbia is located on the northeast coast and is 3 hours drive from Cagliari. The closest airport to this town is Olbia Airport and it is 10 km (7 mi) away. Thanks to its family-friendly hotels and beaches, Olbia is the best area to stay for families in Sardinia.
Olbia offers a nice local atmosphere with a small old town vibe, chic restaurants, shops, and a beautiful coastline. You will have a great holiday here spending time on the beautiful sandy beaches, swimming in the crystal clear sea, and making sandcastles with your kids. The beaches in Olbia will blow your mind and I’m sure the kids will love their time by the sea too!
With its easy access to the airport in Olbia, you will be able to find many family-friendly hotels from luxury to budget in this area and as it is a little less touristy, you will generally be able to get more space for your money which is perfect when you’re traveling with the little ones.
This 4 star hotel is a great place to stay in Sicily for families. Jazz hotel offers family-friendly rooms with an elegant terrace, a large swimming pool, free private parking, and a bar. You can relax in the bathtub in their spa and use the traditional Turkish bath. The town center and the restaurants are within walking distance making it a great place to stay in Olbia.
Other accommodation options in Olbia
Things to do in Olbia
- Have a walk to the marina to watch the sunset
- Go for a family picnic at the Parco Fausto Noce
- Visit the Archaeological Museum of Olbia
- Go on a day trip to the Arcipelago di La Maddalena National Park
- Swim in the crystal clear water at Porto Istana Beach
- See the Basilica di San Simplicio
- Spend time on the beautiful beach Spiaggia Le Saline
- See the roman ruins at Monumento Pozzo Sacro Sa Testa, Olbia
- Get a suntan and make sand castles at the nearby sandy beach Spiaggia di Marinella
5. Chia Coast – great place for relaxation
Chia Coast is located on the southern part of Sardinia island and 1-hour drive from Cagliari Airport. It is a laid-back town with very beautiful sandy beaches where you can chill all day and swim in the crystal clear water.
On the Chia Coast, it is not a surprise to see gorgeous lagoons and picturesque sand dunes. So make sure to have your beach essentials and camera with you and get ready to discover amazing beaches with a chilled vibe.
You will be able to find many restaurants and cafes by the beach on the Chia Coast, as well as some really nice accommodation options.
Here are the best places to stay on the Chia coast to relax and enjoy the beaches:
This 5 star hotel is the perfect place to stay in Sardinia for relaxing. The stunning hotel offers 3 swimming pools with Mediterranean views, spacious rooms, free private parking, a good breakfast, and a nice bar with a friendly atmosphere. The beaches are within walking distance and the Cagliari Airport is 40 km (30 miles) away.
Other accommodation options in Chia Coast
Things to do in Chia Coast
- Go for a walk to Torre di Chia and check out the amazing sea views.
- Chill on Su Giudeu Beach
- Discover Flavia and Zuddas Caves with a guided tour
- Go hiking to Capo Spartivento
- Swim in the crystal water at Sa Colonia Beach
- Spend time at the beautiful Spiaggia di Santa Margherita di Pula
6. Stintino – where to stay in Sardinia for the best beaches
Stintino is located on the northwest coast of Sardinia and is a 40-minute drive from Alghero Airport. This town offers some of the best beaches on the island so get ready to see all tones of blue water and some extremely scenic coastline!
In Stintino it is quite hard to decide which beach to go to among so many gorgeous choices. Lucky for you, I’m going to let you in on a little secret by breaking down your options into a few categories.
On the coast of Stintino to Porto Torres, the beaches you shouldn’t miss are Punta Negra and Cala Lupo. These beaches are super wide, have bright dry sand and some of the clearest water you will ever experience.
For the social media addicts amongst you, some of the most Instagrammable beaches you should definitely see are La Pelosa and Tamerici with their spectacular white sand and contrasting light blue water which stretches as far as the eye can see! You’ll be sure to make your friends jealous with the photos you will snap here!
Don’t forget, during the sunset you should have a walk along the beautiful coast and spend some time meeting the locals in the beautiful cafes and restaurants by the sea.
This is one of the best resorts in Stintino town. This beautiful resort offers a stunning pool, spacious rooms with Medieterian views, a large terrace, private parking, and easy access to the beaches. You can even enjoy a romantic sunset with Sicilian wine in the hotel’s garden! Villa Fola Con Piscina is for sure a perfect place to relax and discover the best beaches on the island.
Other accommodation options in Stintino
Things to do in Stintino
- Visit the MuT – Museo della Tonnara di Stintino
- Go for a stroll at Spiaggetta d’Azzena
- Swim in the crystal clear water at Spiaggia La Pelosa and spend time at sandy beach Spiaggia del Gabbiano
- Take a day trip for hiking at Asinara National Park
- Take photos of the Instagrammable beach Tamerici
- See the church of Immacolata concezione
- Take a dip at Punta Negra and Cala Lupo
- Enjoy suntanning on the white sand beach La Pelosa
- Check out the beautiful beaches along the Porto Torres coast like Spiaggia Della Pelosetta or Spiaggia Punta Negra
7. Costa Smeralda – a glamorous town for luxury travelers
Costa Smeralda is located on the north east coast of Sardina and half an hour drive from Olbia Airport. This is a town where jet setting high rollers head for their holiday in Sardinia so if you want to have a posh holiday and receive the VIP treatment you deserve, Costa Smeralda is the perfect place to stay for you!
Once you step into the Costa Smeralda you will be amazed by the color of the water and the stunning landscapes around the beach (as with most of Sardinia). Here you will find upscale beach clubs, restaurants, and a beautiful harbor.
Your days here should be spent relaxing in the beautiful beaches, then have a walk in the gorgeous marina while watching the sunset and sailing boats float past. After the sun goes down it’s time to treat yourself to a fancy dinner – you deserve it, you’re on holiday!
If you are a luxury traveler looking for your next favorite destination, you will see that there is nothing missing in Costa Smeralda for a glamorous holiday. Speaking of luxury, in Costa Smeralda, you will be able to find accommodations with celebrity treatment so here are my top picks for you:
This luxury resort overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean coast offers a private beach, a fabulous breakfast, and an amazing restaurant where you can have delicious meals watching the sea view with some incredible Sardinian wines in the town of Porto Cervo. You can go hiking to the mountains around the town, and arrange boat trips from the resort, relax in the wellness center or play a game of tennis. It is a perfect resort to enjoy the beautiful coastline in style with golden sand and turquoise water!
Other accommodation options in Costa Smeralda
Things to do in Costa Smeralda
- Head to the impressive Giant tombs of Coddu Ecchju
- Watch the sunset at Porto Cervo
- Take a day trip to La Maddalena archipelago for amazing landscapes and sandy beaches
- Swim in the crystal clear water at Spiaggia Poltu Di Li Cogghj beach
- Spend time at fancy White Beach Club
- Get a suntan and watch the sunset at Phi Beach
- See the Roman ruins at Nuraghe la Prisgiona
- Take a day trip to the beautiful beach Spiaggia Le Piscine
|👑 Luxury price:||€500|
|💵 Mid-range hotel:||€200|
|💰 Accommodation prices:||High|
|📍 Best Area:||Cagliari|
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:||Costa Smeralda Resort|
|👛 Best budget hotel:||Residenza le Scalette|
BONUS 1: 3 Things to know about Sardinia before you travel
Now that you’ve got your accommodation sorted, it’s time to learn a little bit more in order to plan the perfect getaway. Sardinia Island is a very popular holiday destination but there are still some things that you should know before visiting so I would like to give some information about some facts that could be helpful for your holiday.
1. The best time to visit Sardinia
For sure the best time to visit Sardinia is the summer months (June – August) to enjoy beautiful weather and swim in the crystal clear water. However, if you are not good with high temperatures you can visit Sardinia between April and June as it is a bit cooler and during this period you can also see blooming flowers and also get better deals on hotels.
2. Sardinia Island is in Italy
As Sardinia is a big island, some people think that it is a country in its own. Adding to the confusion, even though it is part of Italy it has its own language. Sardinian is declared one of the minority languages by the European Union and even listed in UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages. But don’t worry if you don’t speak a word of the dialect, thanks to being a popular travel destination, in touristy places, you can communicate in English or regular Italian.
3. There are 3(!) airports in Sardinia
For many people, it can be confusing to choose the most convenient airport. You should check the closest airport to your hotel or resort in order to avoid long rides when traveling to Sardinia. If you are planning to stay on the northern coast, the closest airport will be Olbia Airport, for the southern coast Cagliari Airport and for the west coast Alghero Airport is the closest one.
BONUS 2: 5 Extra places to visit in Sardinia (other than the towns above)
I’ve already mentioned the best towns to stay in Sardinia and although the towns themselves are pretty amazing there are some more places around the island that are definitely worth a visit! The best way to visit these magical spots is by renting a car as it gives you the most flexibility to explore at your own pace.
Here are some day trip recommendations for your trip to Sardinia:
1. Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa is located on the north coast next to Costa Smeralda and offers very picturesque beaches. The first place you should stop in Santa Teresa is Spiaggia Rena Bianca with its amazing white sand and turquoise colored water. Then you should head west to Capo Testa for some incredible landscapes. Imagine emerald coloured water with beaches surrounded by interesting rocks – that’s exactly what you will see there!
And last but not least, when you’re in the region make sure to also make a stop at Rena Majore town which is located 9 km (6 mi) south of Santa Teresa. Rena Majore offers a long stretch of yellow-sand beach with an amazing landscape. You will be looking forward to posting the photos you took here!
2. Spiaggia di Piscinas
Spiaggia di Piscinas is located on the west coast and 1.5 hours drive from Cagliari. This beach is completely different from the more touristy beaches offering huge sand dunes with an epic view. If you want to discover hidden gems of Sardinia you should add Spiaggia di Piscinas to your travel itinerary!
3. Porto Cervo
Porto Cervo is located on the north east coast and is a part of Costa Smeralda. In the summertime, this town becomes the home to some of the world’s biggest yachts and some of the wealthiest people in the world. It is a great place to take scenic photos and enjoy watching people. You never know who you might spot here!
4. Neptune’s Grotto
Neptune’s Grotto is a 40-minute drive from Sassari in the north west of Sardinia and is a very magical place that must be on your travel itinerary if you want to have impressive photos. It is one of the largest marine caves in Italy with 656 steps. There is an amazing cliff where you can have a panoramic view of the Mediterranean coast.
5. La Maddalena Archipelago
On the northern coast of Sardinia, there are 7 Archipelago islands and Maddalena is the biggest and most beautiful one. There is a big national park offering scenic views and activities such as scuba diving, hiking, and boat trips. So you can have beautiful photos and have fun doing outdoor activities in La Maddalena!
Frequently asked questions about Sardinia
🗺️ Which area is best to stay in Sardinia?
🏖️ What is the most beautiful part of Sardinia?
🧭 Is north or south Sardinia better?
🏠 Where to stay on the west coast of Sardinia?
🛏️ What are some cool places to stay in Sardinia?
🚗 How long does it take to travel around Sardinia?
From the north coast to the south coast a car ride takes about 4 hours.
🕐 How many days do you need in Sardinia?
Sardinia is a big island and the beaches are spread out. If you want to discover both the north and the south coast you should allow a minimum of 5 days.
Here we came to the end of our island journey and it is time for me to say goodbye to you. In this blog post, I talked about the best places to stay on Sardinia Island with the hotels from luxury to budget as well as Airbnbs in each city and gave information about the things that you can do there.
As I’ve already mentioned, Cagliari is the best city to stay in for first-timers. However, as Sardinia is a very big island I highly recommend you rent a car to get around the island and discover other areas and beaches easily.
I would like to remind you again that Sardinia is a very popular summer holiday destination. That’s why I highly recommend you make a reservation in advance to not miss your favorite place too!
I know I’ve already listed many resorts in each city but to sum up, here are the best 2 resorts in Sardinia Island with a great location as well as good reviews. I definitely recommend you to stay in one of these if you can’t decide between the awesome options in this list!
- Lu’ Hotel Maladroxia – One of the best hotels in Sardinia located in Sant Antico
- L’Essenza Hotel – A great hotel located in Olbia
If you have any other suggestions or questions about Sardinia or Italy, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to leave a reply to them!
Have an amazing holiday,