My first connection with Italy happened in Sardinia. I fall in love with it so deeply. Actually, I fall in love with everything: breathtaking nature, hospitable people, strange food and, as it was my first place in this country, with Italy in general. So, are you ready to put a new destination in your bucket list?
Sardinia definitely attracts with its coast. Every beach is absolutely amazing, so my first important tip is to take a car, travelling by bus would be highly difficult. You can choose one place to sleep and drive every day to a new beach nearby.
Why Cagliari is a good idea where to stay? Firstly, the airport near. City nightlife. Poetto, beach in the city with protected area for flamingos. And, the best part, in 30 min/ 1 h you can reach all the beaches on south of island.
Cagliari is very typical Italian city, which you probably see in old movies. Small streets, drying clothes everywhere, family shops, and neighbour who is screaming “Buongiorno” early morning. I was excited to see a church from my balcony in 1 m away from me. Though this excitement quickly disappeared the morning after when its bell started to ring at 6 AM.
As I was mentioning above from Cagliari you can reach easily in max 1 h any beach on south. Villasimius (white sand beach), Teulada, Mari Pintau, Punta Molentis etc. By the way, when we went to Teulada, we like this beach so much that then we returned for romantic dinner.
I would recommend to spend one full day on San Pietro Island with wonderful town Carlo Forte. You can drive to Calasetta by car and then take ferry.
The most beautiful beach I saw in Sardinia is Cala Goritzè. I call it Italian Maldives, because while watching it from the top of mountain you can see boats “floating in the sky”. Unfortunately, the price for its beauty is the difficulty to reach it. There are two possible ways: either by sea or trekking. I did both, and I would do it again and again. The easiest one is to rent a yacht or take coat tour. Unfortunately, the coast near the beach (200 m from the shore) is completely closed to the traffic of all boats to preserve the beach. So you can enjoy this amazing view from the sea. But we took the boat tour and in 1 day we were able to reach all amazing spots on Orosei Gulf (some caves, Cala Luna, Cala Fuili) and swim on some beaches near. You can actually reach Cala Goritzè by crossing the mountain by feet. It takes about 1 h and not such difficult way considering that even small kids are doing it. But please, be aware that there is an entrance cost.
In special shop with typical Sardenian products you can buy mirto (liquor of blueberry), pane curasau (thin isks of bread), interesting sweets and many other specialities. In restaurants you will see menu mostly based on sea food. There are numerous types of traditional Sardenian pasta like Semola, Gnocchetti sardi or Culurgiones.
And the last advice. Sardinia is perfect for summer holidays from May to September, maybe avoid August because of extreme hot and amount of people (this is my general advice not just for Sardinia but for all Italy).
Sagre (celebration of village with traditional dish as protagonist)
Boat tour around Orosei Gulf
Flamingos in Poetta beach or in San Teodoro lagoon.
Sardegna, second (after Sicily) big island in Italy. Perfect for summer beach holidays from May to September, maybe avoid August because of extreme hot and amount of people (this is my general advice not just for Sardegna but for all Italy).