Like the idea of leisurely dips in turquoise waters and basking on beaches with silky-soft sands? North Sardinia holidays will suit you swimmingly. The northern coast of this Italian isle has far more inlets than the south, and alternates between dramatic sculptural coves and pristine sand dunes. At the coast you’ll find the glamorous Costa Smeralda and the pristine Maddalena archipelago, but head inland – where charismatic towns pepper the hills – and you’ll find it just as alluring.
There are numerous seaside resorts to choose from on holidays to North Sardinia. Picturesque Santa Teresa di Gallura is the closest town to Corsica, and has boats that run to Sardinia’s island neighbour. Sassari, Sardinia’s second-largest city, has a handsome centre and it sits close to one of the island’s best beaches, La Pelosa, which is lapped by translucent waters. Beautiful Valledoria lies at the mouth of the Coghinas River, close to lagoons and bird-filled wetlands.
Away from the coast, the scenery is mountainous, dramatic and spectacular – especially in the northeast. Head to fascinating Nuoro, a heartland of Sardinian culture, surrounded by dark green hills. Whether you want to escape to the coast or the mountains – or even better, combine the two – North Sardinia offers spine-tingling scenery all-round.
Close to the Costa Smeralda, Capo Testa is a secluded and extraordinarily beautiful area with criss-crossing hiking trails, the bluest sea and kooky, weather-worn rocks.
The Maddalena Islands
It’s well worth visiting this tremendously pretty archipelago of seven islands. Explore by boat and you can discover beaches and spot dolphins as you go.
The inland hilltop town of Nuoro has been a guardian of Sardinian culture for centuries. Visit its many fascinating museums as well as the cobbled town centre.