For anyone heading to Italy in the summer, a day or two (or three…) at the beach would definitely be on their to-do list, and where better to enjoy the waters of the Mediterranean, than in Sardinia? Known as the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily, Sardinia has long stretches of coastline that is punctuated by numerous beaches, resorts, and coastal villages. While the island is also known for its traditions, museums, parks, and nature reserves, those wanting to relax and enjoy some sun and sand might want to check out the Sardinia’s best beaches.
Spiaggia Rosa (Pink Beach)
In Sardinia, there belongs a group of tiny islands known collectively as the La Maddalena, and in this group is the island of Budelli, and on this island is the beach of the pink sands, Spiaggia Rosa. Yes, you read that right: the sand on this beach is colored pink. This gorgeous hue is mainly attributed to the fact that the sand contains a rich amount of seashells, mollusk shells, coral fragments, and specks of granite.
Take note, however, that visitors are no longer allowed to actually get on the beach itself, as tourists in recent years have been taking bits of sand with them when they leave, which led to the deterioration of the beach. It can still be viewed from boats, under the direction of La Maddalena National Marine Park guides, and the waters in the area are known to be frequented by cetaceans, especially during summer months. So if you’re taking a boat tour to view the lovely Spiaggia Rosa, don’t be surprised if you find your craft escorted by dolphins!
Spiaggia dei Monti d’Arena (Sand Mountain Beach)
One of Sardinia’s prettiest beaches, the Spiaggia dei Monti d’Arena is marked by a tall sand dune from which it takes its name from. A beautiful natural spot, it is relatively quiet and secluded, as it nests in a small bay and is huddled at the base of a small mountain range. The waters at this white sand beach are crystal-clear and a beautiful turquoise color, which makes it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, pedal boats, and various water sports. The beach also has a number of kiosks that offer refreshments to visitors, as well as ample parking space for those who wish to travel to there by car.
Spiaggia del Cavaliere (Knight Beach)
Another beach that can be found on the island of Budelli in Sardinia is Spiaggia del Cavaliere. It features fine, white sands, and crystal-clear waters that allow visitors to swim and snorkel in it with ease. Other than the sand and sea, however, this beach is also a treat for nature lovers and bird-watchers. The beach is surrounded by beautiful rock formations and exotic Mediterranean flowers and plants, and right behind the beach, there is also a lagoon that is inhabited by various types of waterfowl such as herons, mallards, and egrets. Take note, however, that this area is still within a protected natural reserve, and as such is only accessible via boats and a single dock. Visitors are not allowed to use motorized water vehicles, except at designated spots.
Considered as the main tourist spot in Sardinia, Costa Smeralda is known for its white sand beaches, night life, and its carefree, affluent atmosphere. Known to be one of the playgrounds of the rich and famous, many VIPs can be spotted lounging at the beach or just taking a break at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area, particularly in the town of Porto Cervo where a number of five-star hotels are located. Other than “star-gazing”, though, the beaches at Costa Smeralda are also favorite spots for activities such as swimming, scuba diving, surfing, and other water sports. The annual Sardinia Cup boat races are also held here, and for those who prefer sports on land, polo matches are held between April and October, and there is also a golf course nearby.
Baia di Chia (Chia Beach)
Picturesque Baia Chia is a paradise for beach and nature lovers. The beach itself has silky, white sands, as well as sand dunes, and its waters are crystal-clear. It is another favorite spot among water sports enthusiasts, particularly scuba divers, as the bay right next to Baia di Chia, Cala Cipolla, boasts seven reefs. Surfers also enjoy visiting this beach, as the waters can be calm and great for swimming when there isn’t any wind, or it could be a fun day of riding the waves when the winds do pick up. And who knows, on a good day, one might even find oneself surfing with dolphins, as these wonderful creatures are also known to visit this area. Meanwhile, after a full morning of sun and sand, one can also explore the nearby lake reserve which serves as home to a number of migratory birds, including beautiful pink flamingoes!
No matter which one among Sardinia’s dozen of beaches you choose, though, take the time to immerse yourself in such beautiful natural surroundings, and most importantly, have fun! Relax and enjoy your time in the sand, sea, surf, and the Sardinian sun!