Sardinia was a complete surprise to us. We booked a week here after seeing some beautiful beach shots on Instagram (I know, how millennial of us).
We stayed in Cagliari, the Capitol and loved the historic charm of the city. Laden with alfresco dining, cobblestone streets and cosmopolitan high streets, you would be forgiven for thinking you were in Paris or Prague but a short drive from the city you’re reminded you’ve stumbled upon an island paradise.
Top spots in Cagliari
Bastion of Saint Remi and the Castello
Cagliari’s hilltop citadel is the perfect vantage point to see a picturesque sunset. The walled medieval city within a city transports you to a bygone era as you wind through the narrow lane-ways and peer through ancient windows into dark little terrace houses. The city’s protective Torre Dell’Elefante defensive tower make you feel like you’re on the set of a movie with their iron gates.
Eleanor loves crawling around in the great outdoors and the Botanical Gardens in Cagliari were a nice break from the hot city. We threw together a picnic and chilled out under the palm trees for a few hours.
Roman Amphitheatre of Cagliari
Unlike the famous stand-alone Collusium in Rome the Cagliari Amphitheatre is carved into the side of a hill. With seating for 10,000 spectators this ancient structure now hosts concerts, which we would have loved but everything was booked out. Still amazing to see, even if you aren’t a history buff.
We couldn’t skip town without letting Daniel run loose in the market. We hung out with the locals eating cheese, downing a coffee and eating cannoli. We stocked up on lunch for the week for 40 Euro. Not bad.
Beaches We Loved
We hired a car and cruised the Coastal Road. You could pick any beach along the way and be in awe, each one is more spectacular than the last.
Porto Giunco Beach
Distance from Cagliari: 62km
First stop, Flamingos… Yes, those delightful Pink birds roam around the Stagno Notteri lagoon. Although, you can’t frolic with these gorgeous feathered creatures, which was disappointing, Ellie really fancied making a Flamingo friend.
Mari Pintau Beach
Distance from Cagliari: 36km
This gorgeous beach reminded me of one of my step-mother, Gail’s watercolour paintings (check them out here). Although it was a stunning beach we didn’t stop for a swim, it was so busy.
Distance from Cagliari: 64km
We had grand plans of continuing up the Coastal Road but we couldn’t pass the beauty of this beach and lazed around in the crystal clear water until the sun set. This beach was paradise, perfect white sand, an amazing contrast between the sky and the sea. Take me back!
Distance from Cagliari: 5km
Only 5km from Cagliari , this 8km stretch of yellow sand is as much a spectacle because of it’s popularity as its beauty. We have never seen that many people pack out a beach before. It was 40 degrees celsius and fighting the crowds down to the sea was tricky with a little one, so we sat in a bungalow and sipped ice cold Aperol Spritz with all the other pastey white tourists.