I can say that I have seen many countries in the world and many seas, but when they ask me what is the most beautiful sea I've ever seen I never have doubts: the sea and the beaches of our Sardinia. For me there are no Caribbean, Maldives, Seychelles, Thailand or other places that hold !! The colors of the Mediterranean are unique and, with the sand or the rock formations of Sardinia, something incredible comes out (which the whole world envies us by chance!). After the article on the Sulcis and Iglesiente area, I finally decided to tell you about the Northern Sardinia (which I have been attending for a while now). Drawing up a ranking of the most beautiful beaches in this area is not easy (because they are all really beautiful!), And the list you will find will be linked to my personal opinion (and I would add affection). So don't be offended if you don't find your favorite beach there !! Everyone has their own tastes and preferences and in Sardinia, however, waterfalls are always standing! In addition to the beaches, I will also talk about the other places that, again in my opinion, are not to be missed when you come to Northern Sardinia.
Northern Sardinia: how to reach it
Northern Sardinia can be reached by plane from several Italian cities flying to Olbia (Costa Smeralda Airport) or your Alghero. If you are interested in visiting mainly the north-west coast, you should fly to Alghero, if instead you plan to concentrate on the north-east it is better to fly to Olbia.
If you want to travel with your car, or you simply don't like flying, you can reach Northern Sardinia comfortably by ferry. Several companies (eg. Tirrenia, Moby, Grimaldi, etc.) they connect Civitavecchia, Genoa and Livorno with Olbia, Arbatax or Porto Torres.
How to organize a trip to Northern Sardinia
Being a very tourist area in summer (especially in July and August), if you intend to visit the beaches of Northern Sardinia in these periods I recommend that you book everything well in advance, especially ferries and hotels. If you do not have the time or desire to do it and prefer to book later on, I recommend that you consult this site of last minute offers where you can find many valid opportunities.
The 10 most beautiful beaches in Northern Sardinia
1.La Pelosa (Stintino)
Going from west to east, the first of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia is she, the very famous La Pelosa beach in Stintino. This beach is one of the most photographed in Sardinia for its shallow and crystal clear turquoise sea. The beach reaches up to Capo Falcone and the view that sweeps up to the islands of Piana and Asinara is really crazy! The only flaw is that to enjoy the beach without the crowds you have to come at dawn. From 1 June to 30 September 2020, there is also a limited number (there is a maximum of 1500 people per day) and for a fee (3,5 euros per person) between 8am and 18pm. At the entrance you will be given a biodegradable bracelet in a different color according to the day of the week. To be able to stop on the beach you can also use only the mats (and not the towels), under penalty of a nice fine (ditto if you get caught smoking on the beach!).
2.Island of Asinara
Obviously I could not not include the Asinara! As I told you in the article about this magnificent island, l’Asinara for me it almost represents paradise! The fact that it is a natural park where cars do not circulate makes it truly one of the most beautiful places in Sardinia. Take a bath a Cala dei Detainees and then you will tell me if you don't imagine paradise with that sea!
3.Isola Rossa (Costa Rossa)
Halfway between Castelsardo and Costa Paradiso, Isola Rossa a small fishing village on the Costa Rossa surrounded by a beautiful cliff with several coves and different paths that allow you to reach magnificent beaches (such as Marinedda beach for instance). If you are looking for a nice beach that is not too crowded and not too posh, this is probably the right one! The beach is long, with white sand and crystal clear water.
4.Li Cossi (Costa Paradiso)
Moving east we then find the Li Cossi beach, in Costa Paradiso. I was there just last summer and I fell in love with it! Costa Paradiso, for the uninitiated, is an area with many houses but well camouflaged between the Mediterranean scrub and the pink granite blocks, typical of this area of Sardinia. To reach Li Cossi you will have to walk a path of about 20 '(within everyone's reach!) Until you see this magnificent beach consisting of a strip of sand that separates a lagoon from the sea. There is a kind of little bar, but there are no bathrooms.
5. Archipelago of the Maddalena
The island of La Maddalena it is located just 2 km from the coast (it can be reached by ferry from Palau) and it is here that there is the only town of the archipelago. Having a car you can reach several beautiful beaches, but I recommend you to explore the whole area by boat (you will not have difficulty finding an agency that sells you a boat / catamaran / sailboat trip!). In this way you can reach the smaller islands and coves (including Spargi and Budelli, now inaccessible) that are truly insane.
6.Cala Coticchio (Caprera)
The island of Caprera it is connected to La Maddalena by a bridge and has always been protected by building development so there are only a few tourist complexes there besides Garibaldi's house and the famous sailing school. The rest of the island is wild and covered in vegetation. There is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches of Caprera Cala Coticchio, which can be reached with an hour of trekking. This beach is also called Tahiti and it is not difficult to understand why: the color of the water and the rocks really resembles that of Polynesian beaches! Come early in the morning because the beach is very small.
7.Capo Testa (Santa Teresa di Gallura)
The beaches that are located on Capo Testa (a few km from Santa Teresa di Gallura) they are universally recognized among the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia. We are talking about a rocky promontory surrounded by turquoise waters from which you can also enjoy a beautiful view of Corsica. Here you will find a beach where there are the remains of some Roman columns (very suggestive), the beach "of the two seas" which has the sea on both sides or the Ponente beach just to name a few .. but you will find magnificent beaches all over the promontory.
8.Liscia Ruja (Costa Smeralda)
Also the Liscia Ruja beach it has been repeatedly elected as the most beautiful beach and certainly could not be missing from this list. This long beach (also called long beach) is the queen of the Costa Smeralda. About 10 km south of Porto Cervo, Liscia Ruja beach is an equipped beach, known for its fine white sand, with golden and reddish shades, and for its unmistakable clear and turquoise sea. If you are looking for a smaller cove, 3 km from Porto Cervo (to the north) there is the beautiful one Liscia di Vacca beach.
9.La Cinta (San Teodoro)
Passing Olbia and descending along the east coast of Sardinia you will find San Teodoro, a very famous holiday resort. For the sake of brevity I have indicated only the La Cinta beach (which is the most famous), but the ones are beautiful too Porto Istana beaches, of Budoni and those of islands of Tavolara and Molara (which can be reached by taking boat trips). La Cinta is a very long beach (about 3km long) that has the lagoon on one side and the sea on the other, and is a very famous beach also for surfers.
10.Cala Luna (Cala Gonone)
I close this very personal ranking with another stretch of coast that literally drove me crazy, namely that of the north east of Gulf of Orosei, which goes from Cala Gonone to Arbatax. This stretch of coast is characterized by very high cliffs, mostly overlooking the sea, and can be reached and visited almost exclusively by boat (unless you decide to follow the famous Wild Blue trekking). Boat excursions depart from Cala Gonone and reach the beautiful beach of Cala Luna, passing through several caves (such as the cave of the Bue Marino) and other beaches such as Sisine Shut o Cala Goloritzè.
What to see in Northern Sardinia
Always starting from the north-west coast, the first town that deserves a visit is definitely Bosa, 40 km south of Alghero. Surrounded by mountains, Bosa is famous for the colorful houses of the historic district of sa Costa, dominated from above by the ruined Malaspina castle. Built on the banks of the Temo river (the only navigable river in Sardinia), it is right on the riverside that the Conce Museum; from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, Bosa was in fact famous for the production of high quality leathers. Among the ancient traditions that have been preserved there is also the Carnival which is one of the most characteristic and populated of Sardinia. The sea is just a few kilometers away and the beaches around Bosa are, as always, all up to par.
Alghero for me it is, together with Cagliari, the most beautiful city in Sardinia. I have been there several times and every time I fall in love with it again. The city was colonized by the Spaniards (or rather by the Catalans) in the fourteenth century and this domination is clearly visible in the architecture of the historic center. An intricate maze of alleys enclosed within the ramparts, today all pedestrian for luck, where it is really nice to walk. As is walking at sunset on the ramparts, full of restaurants and bars. If you are looking for a little movement, Alghero can be the perfect base for exploring the entire north-west coast and the beaches around are more beautiful than the other (the beach of Le Bombarde, Lazzaretto, Porto Ferro ..). Also worth seeing in the surrounding area is Capo Caccia with the Grotta di Nettuno.
Sassari it is the second largest city in Sardinia, but not being on the sea, it is often skipped by tourists. In reality Sassari is a beautiful city of medieval origin which preserves several very interesting palaces and churches. The historic center is gathered inside what remains of the ancient city walls and is connected to the new city through the imposing one Italy Square. University seat, Sassari was the birthplace of several politicians and former presidents of the Republic such as Enrico Berlinguer, Antonio Segni and Francesco Cossiga. It has a great variety of bars and restaurants and can certainly also be evaluated as a base (certainly cheaper) for the beaches of the coast.
If you arrive from Porto Torres along the coastal road you will see its perched castle appear from afar. The original nucleus of Castelsardo it was in fact built around the medieval Doria castle from which the alleys and steep stairs that lead to the rest of the town unravel. Today it is part of the exclusive Club dei most beautiful villages in Italy and it is one of the most touristic places in Northern Sardinia. Stop to watch the sunset from the base of the castle because it's really worth it!
Gorropu Gorge and Cedrino Valley
I close this review on the places not to be missed in Northern Sardinia with two truly spectacular natural landscapes found in the province of Nuoro: the Gorropu gorge and Cedrino Valley. The Gola di Gorropu, with its over 500 m in height and a width that varies from 4 meters in the narrowest points to a few dozen in others, is considered il canyon deeper thanItaly and one of the deepest in Europe. The gorge can be crossed in almost its entire length between April and October (but always ask for information on the state and level of the Flumineddu river before entering!). The excursion requires a minimum of 3 hours. There Cedrino Valley It is near Dorgali (the river flows into Orosei) and it is possible to do various outdoor activities such as trekking or cycling. It is a very nice area to visit, if only to do something other than beach life.