Sardinia and Sicily are two islands you absolutely shouldn’t miss when you travel to Italy. After seeing these areas, I wonder why so many people choose to go to the overcrowded Cinque Terre when these islands have so much more to offer. Sardinia is just glorious with a lot to see and do.
Here are 6 things to do in Sardina that you won’t want to miss:
1. Neptune’s Grotto
Neptune’s Grotto was the most astonishing cave I’ve ever been to. Neptune’s Grotto is near the town of Alghero at the foot of the Capo Caccia cliffs. Whatever you do, don’t take the boat ride here. Part of the beauty was the stunning scenery on the way to Neptune’s Grotto. Plus, I’ve heard of many people getting seasick on the boat.
You can take the bus from Alghero to reach Neptune’s Grotto, and some people even rode bicycles there, though it’s a 25 kilometer trip, so that’s a long bike ride. There is also parking available if you rent a car. I took the tourist route and took the big red double-decker Trotollo bus, as they stopped at some of the prettiest spots along the way so that people could take pictures. I usually hate these kinds of touristy buses, but I actually enjoyed this one. I liked that they had a recorded audio narration with headphones so that you could learn more about the area, but if you just wanted to enjoy the scenery, you weren’t forced to listen to someone’s canned spiel.
At the cave, there are 656 steps down to the grotto, but it’s worth every step. It’s also not really as hard as it sounds. The views and not the steps are what take your breath away. It’s a truly glorious walk. I went in April, when the wildflowers were in bloom, and while the skies were a little stormy, the flowers just added to the enchantment of this beautiful spot.
Once inside the cave, you must go with a guide, but they give you plenty of time to appreciate the stalactites, stalagmites, and the stunning salt lake inside.
After your hike, make sure to have lunch at the cafe’ inside. It’s not on the menu, but if you ask nicely, they will make you pasta with bottarga (fish roe). It really was one of the best pasta dishes I had in Italy.
2. Visit The Nuraghi
The Nuraghi are stone structures from the Bronze Age that look like beehives and are found only in Sardinia. No one knows what purpose they served. Some of the theories are that they were religious temples, houses, or military strongholds. The highest one is the Nuraghe Santu Antine near the village of Torralba.
3. Eat, Nosh, Mangia!
Some of the best food that I ate in all of Italy, I had in Sardinia. It was a different style of cooking than the rest of Italy. They had some of the best antipasti I’ve ever had, and I loved the tradition of roasting meat on the streets. I also had the greatest version of tiramisu ever at La Botteghina in Sardinia. Also, don’t forget to go to the local markets to get some of the Italian cheese. You will pay much less at the markets than you will by ordering a cheese plate at a restaurant.
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4. Go For A Walk
You should never just use taxis to get around. You will miss so much. If you are looking for things to do in Sardinia, go on a walk. Let Sardinia come to you. I met artists, made new friends, and got to see beauty in the small details of ordinary life by just walking around.
5. Ride The Bus
The coastline is the most stunning things about Sardinia, and you can easily see it from the windows of a bus. I often just jumped on random buses and went to the small towns they were going to, so I could see the scenery. You can also rent a car, but since I was traveling alone, I didn’t want to miss the glorious views by having to keep my eyes on the road.
6. Enjoy Some Of The Most Glorious Beaches In The World
Sardinia is known for having some of the best beaches in the world. The turquoise waters are crystal clear, and it’s still possible to find remote beaches that don’t have very many tourists on them. Don’t miss Is Arutas in Oristano. It is known as the beach of the grains of rice. The sand is actually made of small grains of quartz and is pink, green, and white. In fact, the Oristano area is full of breathtaking beaches, many of them not often visited by other people.
Have you been to Sardinia? What was your favorite thing to do?
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