Best Areas to Stay in Sardinia for All Budgets and Styles

Angela Corrias in Tharros Sardinia

Angela Corrias

One of the first questions my readers ask me when they start planning their trip involves the best areas to stay in Sardinia and what hotels I suggest. While the island is most famous for being a summer and beach destination, many visitors arrive to explore the local foods, archaeological sites, local festivals, or simply to enjoy the relaxed lifestyle.

Cities like Cagliari and Olbia are great for beaches and history but also for nightlife and food. But smaller towns like Alghero, Oristano, and San Sperate are wonderful places to stay in Sardinia to discover the local handicrafts, traditions, and culinary specialties.

Find out where to stay in Sardinia depending on your travel needs, whether you want to relax on the beach, have a romantic trip, or go for a scenic hike.

Image: S'Archittu is one of the places to stay in Sardinia.

Best places to stay in Sardinia – Full guide

Where to stay in Sardinia for beaches

In Sardinia, you are never more than an hour’s drive from the beach. This means that even if you don’t book your hotel right on the beach, you can always reach the coast quite quickly.

This being said, if you want a hotel on the beachfront, there are plenty of options that vary depending on your travel needs and budget.

If you want to stay near the beach in Sardinia, you can opt for a beach town or city, or for an all-inclusive resort. Often, luxury resorts in Sardinia feature a private beach like Baglioni Resorts Sardinia in San Teodoro, Li Finistreddi Exclusive Country Retreat in Arzachena near Costa Smeralda, and Mangia’s Santa Teresa Sardinia, Curio Collection by Hilton in Santa Teresa di Gallura, perfect for guests to enjoy crowd-free swimming and sunbathing.

If you would rather opt for a hotel that’s still close to the beach but more affordable than a luxury resort, you can search for the different types of accommodations in towns and cities near the coast.

Thankfully, these in Sardinia are not hard to find. The same capital, Cagliari, is a beautiful city on the beach (Poetto), and there are plenty of hotels, B&Bs, and guesthouses to choose from. Click here to see some options.

Among the other cities, Olbia is also near the beach as well as Oristano and Alghero.

Check out our guide to the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia!

Image: Sinis Peninsula has some of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia.

Best areas to stay in Sardinia for families

If you are traveling to Sardinia with your family and are not already coming with your campervan, I suggest renting a car to move more comfortably. Once you have your own car, you have also more freedom in choosing where to stay.

Among the places where to stay in Sardinia with kids, I would opt for towns and cities because they have all the services you need including restaurants, shops, and pharmacies.

The city of Cagliari is perfect if you want to relax on the beach but also delve into the local history and culture. From there, you can also plan some great day trips such as to Nora ancient city, one of Sardinia’s most important archaeological sites.

Among the best areas to stay in Sardinia for families are also beach towns like Alghero, San Giovanni di Sinis, or S’Archittu, or towns that are very close but need a few minutes by car such as Bosa, Riola, Narbolia, Cabras, Dorgali, or Orosei.

Looking for a customized itinerary and experience in Sardinia? Book our travel planning services!

Image: Bosa is where to stay in Sardinia for beaches and food.

Where to stay in Sardinia for couples

Among the best places to stay in Sardinia for couples are certainly the hotels and resorts on the beach. On the western coast, you will enjoy the best sunset and if you have dinner near the beach, romance is guaranteed.

If you are looking for the best areas to stay in Sardinia for a romantic getaway, the wonderful archipelago of La Maddalena off the northern coast is a truly wonderful place. Apart from panoramic hotels with a view, here you can also go on a scenic boat tour around the islands.

Among the best hotels you can find around La Maddalena archipelago in Sardinia are the adult-only Grand Hotel Resort Ma&Ma, Hotel Cala Lunga, and LH Porto Rafael Altura Resort in Palau.

Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), too, is a favorite corner for a romantic VIP-style holiday and beautiful bays and beaches. Not far from La Maddalena archipelago, beautiful hotels you can book in the area include L’Ea Bianca Luxury Resort in Baja Sardinia (Arzachena), Cervo Hotel Costa Smeralda Resort, 7Pines Resort Sardinia By Hyatt also in Baja Sardinia, and Hotel delle Rose in Porto Cervo.

The regional capital too, Cagliari, is a fantastic location to stay in Sardinia if you are looking for a romantic trip. Cagliari offers plenty of beautiful views whether you are in the Castello neighborhood, on St. Remy’s Bastion, or hiking the Devil’s Saddle.

Check out our tips if you can’t decide between Cagliari or Olbia!

Image: Ogliastra is one of the best areas to stay in Sardinia.

Best places to stay in Sardinia for an authentic experience

If you are planning your trip to enjoy a more authentic experience, in my opinion, the best places to stay in Sardinia are inland. My suggestion is to pick a town in Sardinia, explore it, blend in with the locals, and take day trips to explore other surrounding villages.

Places like Ghilarza, Sedilo, Fordongianus, Seneghe, San Sperate but also Alghero, Bosa, and Oristano are sure to give you an unforgettable experience whether you are visiting for a festival, to explore an ancient ruin, or to just enjoy the local relaxed vibe.

A fantastic authentic Sardinian experience is also what you will find visiting the Ogliastra and Barbagia regions in the Nuoro province. Here, you can stay in the city of Nuoro as well as smaller towns like Mamoiada, Orgosolo, and Dorgali.

Admittedly, to visit most of these places you will need a car, especially because you will certainly want to explore the surroundings. Even though trains connect many smaller towns, to visit most villages and landmarks in the countryside, renting a car becomes necessary.

Are you stuck with the planning process? Check out my complete planner in PDF you can also consult offline!

Image: Ghilarza is one of the towns to stay in Sardinia for authentic experiences.

Where to stay in Sardinia for hiking

Sardinia is also a wonderful destination for hiking fans. From Sella del Diavolo in Cagliari to the gorgeous Gorropu Canyon in the Ogliastra region to the stunning coast of Buggerru where they organize scenic hiking trips to Masua and Cala Domestica.

If you are planning to hike Su Gorropu or Tiscali Nuraghic village, you can book your hotel in nearby towns such as Dorgali and Urzulei. If you are heading to Masua and Cala Domestica, you can stay in the lovely town of Buggerru.

Pro tip! The booking websites we usually check out when looking for accommodation are Booking.com, Expedia, and VRBO.

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