A Memorable Day at Port in Sardinia

Sponsored by Holland America Line

From sun-drenched white-sand beaches to flamingo-filled parks, Sardinia is a little slice of paradise in the heart of the Mediterranean.

The ultra-exclusive Costa Smeralda Yacht Club (YCC) plays host to wealthy Italian celebrities, with the club’s regattas drawing crowds each April. Smart spas dot the glamorous coastline, offering a seductive afternoon blend of deep exfoliation and sunshine. And thousands of Bronze Age stone sculptures are hidden throughout Sardinia’s landscape.

Your port day in Sardinia will feel like stepping in to a world of luxury!

Whether you’re sipping limencellos in a bustling café, sunbathing along the unspoiled coastline, or exploring Bronze Age ruins, here are some of our favorite things to do in Sardinia:

Sunbathe on Chia Beach

With crystal-clear waters in an astonishing shade of turquoise, Sardinia’s beaches are legendary and rightly draw comparisons to those in the Caribbean. The best beaches are in the northwest corner of the island along Costa Smeralda.

Chia Beach is undoubtedly the top sunbathing destination, where the Mediterranean’s healing saltwater mingles with the fragrant scents of jasmine, juniper and rosemary, which bloom abundantly along the coastline.

Uncover Sardinia’s secret past

Start your visit in Cagliari, the regional capital and main Sardinian harbor that is also home to the island’s National Museum of Archaeology and an old Roman amphitheater. Next, head inland to explore Sardinia’s Bronze-Age archeological sites at Barumini, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Keep an eye out for the beehive-shaped sculptures known as the “nuraghi” that dot the island.

Explore the Neptune Caves

While the coastline is dotted with caves, the most popular ware in Aleghero and are dedicated to the Ancient Roman sea god “Neptune”. Accessible via a ferry boat and a 600-step staircase, these caves are a must-visit thanks to their spectacular views of the sea and coastline.

Discover the Ruins of Nora

Some of the best Punic and Roman archaeological ruins are located in Nora, a Sardinian town famous for the “Stele of Nora”, the oldest written document showing the name of Sardinia is the Phoenician alphabet. The document is on exhibit in the archaeological museum.

Slow down life in Carloforte

With just 6400 inhabitants, the quiet, laid-back village of Carloforte is a collection of charming streets and small, pretty beaches. Located on the Island of S. Pietro, just off the Sardinian coast, Carloforte is the perfect destination for those seeking a quiet afternoon escape from the bustle of Sardinia’s main cities.

Step back in time in Castelsardo

This charming medieval village, which frequently finds itself listed among the most “beautiful villages in Italy”, is nestled on the northwest corner of the islands. Don’t miss Doria Castle, which offers stunning views over the gulf of Asinara.

Shop for artisan handicrafts

The Sardinian traditions of ceramics, basket-weaving and textile production dates back to ancient times, with its origins in Bronze Age and Roman traditions. Explore the island’s small artisan shops for the perfect gifts to bring back home to family and friends.

Discover Europe’s “Grand Canyon”

Su Gorroppu gorge is the deepest canyon on Sardinia and one of the deepest throughout Europe. Here you’ll come face-to-face with Sardinia’s wild nature: imagine hiking through fragrant jasmine-scented fields and down deep gorges to crystal clear springs. Local tradition states that those who journey through the canyon will have long life. Best suited to the adventurous, this day hike starts from Hotel Salina.

Spot flamingos

Attracted by the mild Sardinian winter, flamingos are concentrated in the ponds around Cagliari. Pack a picnic snack and visit Molentargius Natural Park for top flamingo spotting. For an adventurous afternoon, rent a bike to explore more of the park. If you’re especially lucky, time your visit at sunset to watch the sky fill with color behind the vibrant pink flamingos.

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