What to See in South sardinia
Can’t-miss places in the unspoilt charm of Southern Sardinia
What makes south Sardinia famous throughout the world? Certainly the beauty of its amazing and unspoiled beaches. Mother Nature has given its best in Sardinia. But besides the beaches you will find perfect scenarios for trekking, places rich in history and incredible natural landscapes to explore
If you wonder where to find such a beautiful and wild place in the Mediterranean, we will give you the answer: in the south of Sardinia.
Miles of coastline still intact with fine white sand and Caribbean island scenery
Although northern Sardinia is the most popular tourist destination thanks to places like the Costa Smeralda, Stintino or Alghero, the south offers a totally different charm that will win you over with incredible wild landscapes, sea and places where time stands still.
THE CATEGORIES OF THE SOUTH SARDINIA GUIDE
1. Cities in south Sardinia
Visit 9 charming small villages
Except Cagliari, the capital of the island – with over 150.000 inhabitants – there are no other large cities. The whole coast and the hinterland are scattered with tiny towns that come to life especially during the summer and become a destination for visitors and tourists. Discover the most characteristic small villages
How can you possibly not being in love with Cagliari?… say its inhabitants. You have the comforts of the big city and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world just a few minutes away by car. To visit Castello, the medieval quarter up on the hill from which to admire a wonderful panorama. Where are the best places to stay?
Read here: where to stay in Cagliari
Villasimius, one of the best known small urban centers with some of the best beaches in south Sardinia. Simius beach, Porto sa Ruxi beach, Giunco beach among the most spectacular. A visit to the Old Fortress is worth a break from the days at the beach. The marina area offers pleasant walks in the summer evenings between locals and restaurants
The old city of coal. Built with the need to lodge miners who in the early ’30s and ’40s reached nearly 40,000. Still remains in the old buildings the rationalist architectural style typical of the fascist era. Places to visit: the great mine of Serbariu, piazza Roma, necropolis of Monte Sirai.
Another ex-mining town in southern Sardinia, Iglesias has become a tourist destination in recent years thanks to its rich and interesting territory with unspoilt and wild landscapes. What to see in Iglesias? Porto Flavia, an old mines-tunnel with the view of the famous rock Pan di Zucchero. Things to do: the trekking Miniere del Blu among the most spectacular of the coast
See the hotels offers in Iglesias
Small town in the far south of Sardinia. Teulada is undoubtedly known for the beautiful beaches like the spectacular Tuerredda. A list includes Caribbean beaches such as Perdalonga, Porto Zafferano, Porto Pino. Unfortunately because of the presence of NATO military base some of the most beautiful beaches are off-limits and forbidden to the public.
SAN GAVINO MONREALE
San Gavino known as the city of saffron. Here is produced the red gold among the finest in the world. Very interesting to visit are the Murales. One of the main examples of street-art in Italy. Many Sardinian artists have contributed to enriching the city with murals that represent Sardinia and other social-contemporary themes. Among the artists also Giorgio Casu, who conquered the world with his “Magic Realism”. His murals are found in New York, Mexico, Miami, Australia.
Muravera is a small village in the south-eastern coast known for the great beaches of Costa Rei. Interesting to visit the church of San Nicola di Bari. Nearby you can also spot some interesting archaeological sites; in particular the Menhirs of Piscina Rei, nuraghe Scalas and Cuili Piras. In the photo the Portico Petretto which represents the entrance door to the historic center
In south Sardinia you cannot miss a visit to the town of Sant’Antioco. Despite being on an island, the city is connected to Sardinia by an isthmus of land and a bridge. You can get there easily by car. It has a very ancient history (it was one of the first colonies of the Roman Empire). There is so much to visit and see both for natural and historical sites. The Basilica of San’Antioco, one of the oldest in Sardinia
City on the island of San Pietro. Its Genoese origins are still maintained in the spoken language. It is typical to hear the Genoese dialect in the streets of Carloforte. Thanks to its North African and Genoese influences the cuisine offers a mix of flavors. Try the tuna (a typical dish to which an entire festival is dedicated), the cascà, a sort of cous cous adapted in Sardinian style, stockfish with tabarkina, the Ligurian farinata. It is very easy to reach Carloforte – elected one of the most beautiful villages in Italy – with a sea crossing of about 40 minutes from Calasetta or Portovesme
2. The beaches of south Sardinia
A journey among the 15 most beautiful beaches
The coast of south Sardinia offers miles of beaches, coves, bays and white sand dunes. A number of excellent ones are between Teulada, Villasimius, Chia and Costa Rei. You can experience an incredible tour of dream beaches.
It’s located near Chia and among all the beaches in this area it is definitely the most beautiful! The beach is quite wide and separated by a small cliff from the nearby S’abba Durci beach. Golden sand, crystal clear sea. Surrounded by an intact and wild natural landscape
CALA PORTU S’ILLIXI
Close to Muravera, direction to Costa Rei. Even in high season it remains a uncrowded beach. The beach actually divided by two coves. For those who prefer the wildest nature to the classic beaches with comforts and services. Here, only sea and nature is what you get. Bring comfortable shoes because the journey is not the best.
DUNES OF IS ARENAS BIANCA
Near Teulada. Fine white sand dunes, crystal clear water. Also recommended for children due to the shallow and sandy at the shore. One of the must-see beaches in Teulada’s area
The south-eastern area of Costa Rei has really wonderful beaches. Costa rei is a large stretch of sand, about 1 km long. Generally not too crowded given the large size. Splendid water also good for snorkeling.
Near Marina di Arbus. This beach it’s an incredible place that actually exist. Miles of golden sand, ultra-clear blue-green water. Still intact and wild if you love the sea and tranquility you will enjoy a wonderful relaxing day
Naer Sant’Anna Arresi. The beach with large white dunes and a deep-blue sea in the background. It’s often windy due to the mistral but during the calm days it’s a paradise. Enjoy the soft snow-white sand!
Also this beach is part of the paradise of the extreme south-western coast. Tuerredda is located near Teulada. The beach is quite wide with transparent blue-green waters. Unmissable if you visit this area. To avoid in high season tough.
PORTO GIUNCO BEACH
In the south-eastern coast of Villasimius. Shallow water, long stretch of pure white sand. Beautiful blue water. The pond behind it adds some charm with the pink flamingos symbol of Villasimius. Nice also for trekking up to the Porto Giunco tower
On the small promontory of Punta Molentis near Villasimius. The beach is not very large and limited to a number of 300 people. To find some space in high season, you need to arrive before 8 am. The landscape around it is totally intact and the colors of the Caribbean water. Worth the early rising!
Small cove not far from Su Giudeu on the coast of Chia. Also very close to the beautiful S’Aqua Durci in the same area. The cove is sheltered and enclosed by two promontories making it look like a natural swimming pool.
Near Quartu Sant’Elena. The name means painted sea and this is the feeling in front of this beach: it really looks like a live painting. The shore is formed by pebble, not very usual in these mainly sandy stretches of coast. The sand then meets a few meters from the shore giving a splendid light blue color.
One of the symbolic beaches of the south-western coast in the province of Carbonia-Iglesias. There are not many beaches in this stretch of coast, and this is one of the most particular ones. It is enclosed by headlands, it has an incredible seabed with inlets and small caves perfect for snorkeling.
Near Arbus, much further north but it is worth the whole trip (not very practical) to get there. The spectacle of the immense pristine dunes that, after a long hike, thin out gently towards the sea. It’s not a simple beach it’s an experience. Seeing is believing!
Another beautiful beach in the Teulada area. Unfortunately due to the military base it cannot be reached from the road but only by sea. It can be visited only in the months of July, August and September by boat. There are also guided tours that allow you to get there.
Beach near Castiadas on the south-eastern side. Very spacious, comfortable with services and establishments. Partly free with space available even in high season. Ideal for a relaxing day at the beach. White sand and crystal clear sea are guaranteed
If you don’t have a car, we recommend booking online a guided tour of the south Sardinia beaches
Free cancellation up to 24h before. Immediate confirmation. Ticket on smartphone
Here are some options available
3. The Historical Sites of south Sardinia
Discover Sardinian history through these 9 archaeological sites located in the south
If Someone tells you that apart from the beaches there is not much to see in Sardinia…tell him he’s wrong! This is Absolutely Not True;-)
One of the oldest lands in the world, already inhabited 7-8 thousand years ago by the nuragic civilization of which important testimonies remain unique in the world. The land of longevity – the blue zone – the excellent quality of life, the ancient and ancestral traditions, the land of the Nuraghi, the sun and the wind and the incomparable hospitality
The ancient city of Nora rises on the promontory of Capo Pula in the extreme south of Sardinia. An important center that thanks to its favorable position allowed trade between Mediterranean ports. Over 3000 years of history. Still well preserved with excavations still in progress.
TEMPIO DI ANTAS
Temple dedicated to the worship of the Sardinian nuragic god “Sardus Pater”. It has passed through different eras from the Nuragic to the Punic to the Roman era. The valley where the temple rises is just a few kilometers away from Fluminimaggiore.
On the hill of Monte Sirai rise the remains of an ancient civilization. A real city where houses, squares and necropolises can still be seen. A splendid panorama can be seen from the top of the archaeological site near Carbonia. Add some history to your trekking day
Discovered quite recently in 1950 it’s the largest nuragic village in Sardinia “Su Nuraxi-Il nuraghe”. The huge complex deserves to be visited for its timeless charm. The imposing central structure while the circular huts develop around it. A pleasant car ride will take you to the heart of ancient Sardinia
MINIERA DI MONTEVECCHIO
A complete tour of the old Montevecchio mine in Guspini. Active from 1848 to 1991 it will be possible to visit the inside of the mines, the humble homes of the miners and the luxurious owner’s palace. Various tours can be booked from the official website
CATHEDRAL OF SAN PANTALEO
One of the main Romanesque monuments of Sardinia dated 1200. The decorations are particularly fascinating both inside and outside the Cathedral. Located in the center of Dolianova,which is also famous for hosting one of the largest winery in Sardinia
MUSEUM OF COAL OF THE GREAT MINE OF SERBARIU
The former mine of Serbariu was active between 1937 and 1964 and one of the most productive in the 50s and 60s in Italy. It was recovered and adapted to become the Coal Museum. It is possible to visit the rooms with work tools, large machinery, cages that carried underground miners, original films and photographic exhibitions. Very interesting.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF PRANU MUTTEDU
The archaeological complex rises in a park of age-old oaks and typical Mediterranean plants. A natural and historical heritage where important remains of the nuragic age, numerous tombs and even 60 menhirs. In the heart of south-eastern Sardinia, just minutes from the small town of Goni, province of Cagliari
A beautiful walk on the Masua promontory will take you to the entrance of this incredible construction from the Sardinian mining period. The tunnel was entirely dug by hand and was used to transport minerals extracted from the mines into the sea. The view enjoyed from the entrance of Porto Flavia is spectacular with the Pan di Zucchero rock
4. The caves of southern Sardinia
Visit the 3 most important natural caves
SU MANNAU CAVES
Travelling around the mining area of south Sardinia you can visit this splendid cave of over 540 million years. Descend for 500 meters underground for about an hour of excursion through walkways, waterfalls and ponds. Immense stallatites that form natural pillars. The cave was connected to the nearby Temple of Antas by a path traced by the Romans. The cave is located in Fluminimaggiore and is open all year.
SAN GIOVANNI CAVES
This cave in Domusnovas is one of the rare natural caves in the world that can be crossed by car. Excavated by the flow of a burying river that has generated the cavity that still exists today. Due to its protection as declared a natural heritage it has been closed to traffic. Also much appreciated by climbing enthusiasts
IS ZUDDAS CAVES
Another extraordinary example of very well preserved natural erosion. Some years ago it was used for marble extraction. Today the Grotto, open to public, can be visited for about 500 meters. With a constant temperature of 16 ° it will be a pleasant break from the summer heat. Inside the particular formations similar to large crystal tufts called cave flowers. Very suggestive at Christmas time when a large nativity scene is set up inside. Near Santadi in the province of Carbonia-Iglesias.
5. Activities in southern Sardinia
Fun things to do and local experiences
If you want to live th authentic local culture in a experiences-rich way, NxtStopSardinia takes you to discover the best places away from mass tourism in South Sardinia.
What is NxtStopSardinia?
It’s a young and dynamic tour operator that helps you to organizes your tailor-made trip in southern Sardinia. Providing you the best Tours adapted to your needs, created by local experts with flexible bookings and departures.
Contact Michela to organize your Southern Sardinia trip-experience
6. Public Transport in south Sardinia
How to arrive and get around in the south
Cagliari-Elmas airport is the only one in the south of Sardinia. It’s the largest international airport and well connected to the main Italian and European cities.
The direct train connection from the airport allows you to reach the center of Cagliari in just 10 minutes
The Sardinian rail network has many shortcomings despite having been slightly modernized in recent years. The main rail connection from the south depart from Cagliari to Olbia, Oristano and Sassari.
You can check timetables, departures and buy train tickets by clicking below
The Sardinian bus company ARST serves the entire island. From Cagliari station buses leave for the nearby towns and the north cities. However, it is not easy to disentangle the pdf schedules of the ARST website. Other private companies offer transport to the north and to the airports of Alghero and Olbia.
7. Useful Info
RENT A CAR
If you want to discover and move around in Sardinia having a car is essential. We recommend renting a car online and prior in advance to get the best rate and avoid long queues at your arrival
WHERE TO STAY
RESPECT THE NATURE
THANK YOU for choosing Sardinia for your holidays and we hope will leave you good feelings and the desire to return. But please treat this land with respect and love for the environment. Do not take away shells or sand, use waste containers and if you can’t temporary find them, do not leave your rubbish in the roadside or under a tree. The beach is not an ashtray, please remember that