Sardinia: Main Sights
The Little Continent
Sardinia has endless sights and attractions all over the island and you might find it hard to visit them all if you are restricted on time. Listed below are the island’s main attractions and sights within the different areas of Sardinia.
Neptune’s Grotto can be found just outside of Alghero by an hour long boat tour. The tour takes visitors around the series of extraordinary caves and the neighbouring limestone headland, Capo Caccia. If you are feeling energetic you can catch a bus to Capo Caccia and walk down the 654 steps which lead to the caves.
Situated inside the Port a Mare, Piazza Civica was once visited by Charles V in 1541. The bumpy, busy square still has reminders of the medieval period.
Cattedrale di Santa Maria
Alghero’s magnificent 16th-century cathedral still has elements of Catalan Gothic style structure and features. Inside the building, the Renaissance style lies throughout.
Torre Porta a Terra
Once used as the main entrance into Alghero from the sea, this huge tower was used to help guards spot pirate ships and maintain the Catalan influence in the city.
Located just 10km outside of Alghero, the Anghelu Ruju is one of Sardinia’s most vital archaeological sites. The ancient caves are said to have been used between 3000 – 1500 BC and home to two different types of ancient tombs; calatoia and dromos burials.
This stunning castle was built by the Tuscan Malaspina family in 1112. The family were intent on gaining control of the Temo valley.
Nuraghe Su Nuraxi
These extraordinary round towers are said to be held together by gravity and engineer’s initiative. The Nuraghi were said to have been built in 1800 BC and are well preserved today.
Cattedrale di Santa Maria
Situated in the Piazza Palazzo, sits this 13th century beautiful Cathedral. Its authenticity has been altered slightly with a revamp in 1938 but once inside the building you will be blown away by the fine details of art and sculpture throughout the walls, ceiling and floors. Beneath the altar lies the Aula Capitolare, the crypt, where each stone wall and the ceiling have been decoratively sculpted.
The remains of the 2nd-century amphitheatre are still evident today despite the attacks in the subsequent centuries. Originally seating crowds of up to 10,000, the theatre was carved out of hillside rock and was home to gladiator battles with wild beasts. The remains of the theatre are still used today to host summer concerts.
The area of Il Castello presents the medieval white stone walls of Cagliari and the two last remaining Pisan towers, Torre dell’Elefante and the Torre di San Pancrazio, Built on the highest point of the city, the Torre di San Pancrazio provides stunning panoramic views of the city and beyond if you climb to the top of the tower.
Just east of Il Castello is an area popular with artisans, with winding wide roads and large piazzas, leading visitors to some of Cagliari’s oldest and infamous churches.
The Marina district is full of character and the seaside locale is home to alleyways lined with artisan shops and great places to eat. Home to picturesque churches and the town hall, Municipio, Marina is a popular area to relax and explore at your own pace.
These spectacular botanical gardens are home to over 500 species of tropical plants from all over the globe. The gardens are one of Italy’s most famous sights and you can take part in guided tours for as little as €3.
This 6km stretch of white sand, turquoise water, bustling restaurants, funfairs, bars and shops attracts visitors from all over. The beach has lidos with shower and changing facilities, canoes, and surf bikes, and if you fancy a spot of diving head to nearby Golfo di Cagliari to catch a glimpse of WWII shipwrecks.
Duomo & Chiesa di San Francesco
The onion-shaped bell tower of Chiesa di San Francesco is, Duomo, dominates the skyline of this town rich in history, from the Piazza Duomo. Inside the Chiesa di san Francesco lies the 14th-century wooden sculpture of Crocifisso di Nicodemo illustrating the remainders of the Gothic works.
Discover the archaeological delights in this museum in the old Palazzo Parpaglia. Collections include prehistoric spearheads, axes, bones, and jewellery, and discoveries from Roman Tharros and Carthaginian, including glassware and ceramics.
Ruins of Tharros
The ruins of thermal baths and temples can be explored in the ruins of Tharros just outside of Oristano. One of Sardinia’s most important archaeological finds, the search for new archaeological treasures still continues today.
This stunning large beach attracts crowds of visitors during summer months. There are plenty of water sport activities to take part in, and the beach is home to Sardinia’s tallest tower, Torre Grande. Built by Filippo II of Spain, this beautiful tower now guards the land as a lighthouse.
The Ruins of Nora
The Ruins of Nora are great for culture and archaeological enthusiasts. Situated just 3km from Pula, the ancient ruins make up a theatre, three thermal baths, foundations of a temple, and civil habitations.
Bue Marino Grotto
These stunning ancient caves attract visitors from afar with daily boat trips to the sites. It was said to have been used as a place of worship since the Neolithic Age. It is also one of the only places where rare sighting of the monk seal can be seen.
If you are fan of the outdoors and fancy a hike or bike ride, head up the Nuoro Mountains and visit Monte Ortobene for breath taking views of the island. There is also a bus which can ferry visitors to the top with a scenic route.
Fonte Sacra Su Tempiesu
Buried under a landslide for years, this temple was discovered in 1953. Its triangle entrance and deep lead well provides a fascinating sight for archaeological enthusiasts.
Su Gorropu Gorge
One of the world’s most spectacular gorges, the Su Gorropu resembles a canyon with heights of 500m. The bottom of the gorge is home to rare birds, small lakes, ponds, and smooth rocks and visitor can experience the natural beauty with the help of a tour guide.
Museo Nazionale Sanna
This national museum is one of the most important on the island and home to the art work of Giovanni Sanna, a mining engineer whose family built the museum.