Holidays in
North Sardinia

A scenic part of Sardinia

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.

Three tips for a top trip

Hire a carTo explore North Sardinia to the full, it’s best to hire a car. You’ll have the freedom to visit smaller towns and quiet coves on your own timetable.
Go to a festivalWhenever you’re in North Sardinia, there’s sure to be a festival going on somewhere. Expect colourful religious parades and celebrations of local food, or a combination of the two.
Explore inlandIt’s tempting to spend your holiday by the sea, but North Sardinia’s inland areas are similarly glorious. Visit a hilltop town such as Nuoro for masses of local culture.

Best attractions to see in North Sardinia

Capo Testa

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.

Cultural Nuoro

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.

Your North Sardinia questions, answered

North Sardinia can be great value. The upscale Costa Smeralda tends to be more expensive, but there are bargains to be found both on the coast and inland.

In the most popular parts, waiters and hoteliers will usually speak some English, but it’s always appreciated when visitors attempt a few words and phrases in Italian.

The north of the island has more rocky coves and dramatic scenery, as well as sandy stretches, while Sardinia’s southern coast has fewer ins-and-outs and longer beaches.