Visiting Sardinia in spring is probably the best time to see and enjoy what the island has to offer
Who said that Sardinia is only a summer destination? With so much to visit inland, fantastic archaeological sites and museums, and a huge wealth of local traditions, spring in Sardinia is a fantastic season.
If you have previously visited Sardinia in the summer, you will immediately notice the different landscape. In fact, while during summer fields and lands look mainly brown-yellow, in spring, you can enjoy colorful views of fields packed with common red poppies, white and yellow daisies, and also the beautiful white sea daffodils along the coast.
- 1 Weather in Sardinia in spring
- 2 Reasons to visit Sardinia in spring
- 3 What to do in spring in Sardinia
- 4 Best places to visit in Sardinia in spring
- 5 What to pack for Sardinia in spring
- 6 What to wear in spring in Sardinia
Weather in Sardinia in spring
Spring goes from March 21st to June 20th, so it overlaps a few months that are quite different from each other weather-wise.
Even though the climate is quite mild on the island, the weather in Sardinia in spring changes a lot and is obviously very different for example between March and June. Here is overall what you should expect if you decide to travel this time of the year.
Weather in Sardinia in April
Like in most Italian regions, also in Sardinia, April is a transition spring month. In fact, the weather can appear quite unstable with one day winter-cold and the next day summer-ish hot. This is a cool month to travel to Sardinia because it’s usually when Easter falls. Attending the local celebrations and trying traditional foods of this time of the year is a fantastic experience to live in Sardinia.
While you are going to encounter some showers, April in Sardinia is a quite dry month. This is why several hiking routes open and you will even see some tourists (hardly locals, mainly northern Europeans) swimming.
Traveling to other regions? Check out our guide to April in Italy.
Weather in Sardinia in May
Similarly to April, also May can be considered a transition month in Sardinia’s spring. May, however, is definitely warmer and more stable than the previous month. The beaches will be more populated and more people will be swimming and planning boat tours around the Sardinian coast.
May starts with a national holiday, Labour’s Day on the 1st. On this day, schools and offices are closed and while there are no particular celebrations around the island, its capital, Cagliari, is home to its most important festival, Sant’Efisio. If you can spend May 1st in Cagliari, do it and you won’t regret it. It’s usually a sunny day and you will see a fascinating parade of all the Sardinian traditional costumes from every town on the island.
Weather in Sardinia in June
I have known some cold-ish Junes in Sardinia but usually, this month that welcomes the summer is quite hot. In June, it’s totally OK to swim, I even go swimming and I always feel cold, so I’m sure anyone can.
The busiest travel season hasn’t started in Sardinia yet so you can actually enjoy the beach without the huge summer brigades. June is much more enjoyable than July and especially August because the beaches are quieter and cleaner, you will find more parking spaces, and also hotel prices will be cheaper.
Adding to that, if you are planning your Sardinia holiday for the first half of June, you are likely to find also the paid blue parking spots of many touristy areas free because often they activate the ticket machines from June 15th.
Reasons to visit Sardinia in spring
- Weather. Sardinia’s spring weather is fantastic. It can include some scattered showers and some windy days, but overall it’s sunny and fresh.
- Sightseeing. Spring is the perfect season for sightseeing in Sardinia. One of the biggest highlights is the archaeological sites all around the island, and visiting them under the summer sun is not that pleasant as all you will want is to rush back to the beach.
- Festivals. From Easter to local food fairs, in Sardinia, there is always some festival to attend. This happens all year round, not just in spring, but when the weather starts warming up, there are many “sagre” food fairs with plenty of traditional tastings.
- Hiking and outdoors. Thanks to the great weather, spring is the best time of the year to plan a hike or any other outdoor activity in Sardinia. Fall has also mild temperatures but November can have more rain than May and often the rain makes the routes slippery.
What to do in spring in Sardinia
Attend Easter celebrations
Easter in Sardinia is very rich in local celebrations and traditional foods that are different depending on the town. This is a fantastic time to visit Sardinia if you are curious about the local culture and customs where religion perfectly blends with old and ancestral rituals.
During Easter time in Sardinia don’t miss the local bread and pardulas pastries with ricotta and lemon because they are truly delicious.
Try traditional dishes
Any time is a good time to try traditional foods in Sardinia. From the bread of the Easter festivities to local dishes such as fregula pasta with seafood, Sardinian food is diverse and delicious.
Spring is a feast of local sagre food fairs, so if you are a foodie, try to attend at least a couple for plenty of free tastings and great food shopping opportunities. Among the products to source are wild asparagus, fresh fava beans, and fresh green peas. Don’t miss the delicious Sardinian artichokes, which you will recognize because they have thorns, unlike the round ones from Rome.
On the other hand, if you are ordering food at a restaurant, some of the dishes you will want to try are spaghetti or risotto with sea urchins, culurgiones large dumplings stuffed with potatoes and mint from the Ogliastra region, and lamb in many forms, either spit-roasted or as a stew with artichokes.
Spring is the best season for hiking in Sardinia. The weather is not cold anymore and not too hot yet, so you walking for a long time is easier. In summer, hiking in the wild becomes really hard due to the incredible heat.
If you are in Sardinia in spring and would like to plan a hike, I would suggest you do it between April and May. June, in fact, except for some exceptional years, is usually quite hot and hiking is not so pleasant anymore. If you are in Sardinia only in June, I suggest you start your hiking day quite early in the morning.
From Su Gorropu gorge between the Ogliastra and the Barbagia regions to the scenic Sella del Diavolo in Cagliari to the fascinating former mining area between Masua and the bay of Cala Domestica, Sardinia is packed with fantastic hiking routes.
Spring in Sardinia is also a great season for sightseeing. In fact, much better than summer because walking around the streets of cities and villages under the stifling summer sun is not pleasant and you will end up skipping sights, especially if they are open-air.
Whether it’s a big city, a smaller town, or an archaeological site outside of urban centers, spring is one of the best seasons to enjoy the cultural side of Sardinia.
Go to the beach
That’s right, from mid-May through June, the last part of spring is a good time to visit the beach in Sardinia for sunbathing and even swimming. June especially is perfect because the water starts being warm enough to swim and outside is hot to get dry and enjoy a crowd-free coastline.
Best places to visit in Sardinia in spring
Cagliari is Sardinia’s capital and a gorgeous sunny city. If you are an urbanite, whether you are in Sardinia for a short city break or to know more about its culture, Cagliari has everything for a fantastic and diverse trip.
Since the weather is still pleasant, you can walk around the old town in the Castello central neighborhood, the lovely Marina quarter, and the port. If you feel like going to the beach, Cagliari has that too, and Poetto is one of the longest beaches in Sardinia.
You can also plan cool hikes and a day trip to the archaeological site of Nora near Pula, less than 40 km and some 45 to one-hour drive from Cagliari.
Su Gorropu, or Gorroppu, is a deep canyon gorge located near Dorgali and Urzulei in Nuoro province. It’s tucked away between the Ogliastra and the Barbagia regions and makes for a fantastic day out.
There are two routes to go down to the bottom of the gorge, one easier that can be followed by families, and one a little more challenging for more expert hikers. You will find also tours to Gorropu so you can go with a local guide and won’t risk getting lost or missing the best sights.
Su Nuraxi archaeological site
One of the most important archaeological sites in Sardinia, Su Nuraxi Nuraghe is located in the town of Barumini. All visits need to be run with a guide and the service is included in the ticket. Along with the Nuraghe, Su Nuraxi complex includes also the Nuraghic village with the rest of the houses and huts all around the main building.
For a more complete experience, after you have visited the archaeological site, head to the Casa Zapata museum inside Barumini, easy to reach with a short walk from the Nuraghe itself. Here, you will see the objects that were found during the digging for the main site.
Alghero is a beautiful city north of Sardinia that is perfect to visit in spring. Boasting a scenic seafront and a lovely old town to walk around, Alghero offers great opportunities for sightseeing, shopping, trying delicious local food, and cool day trips.
If you are staying a couple of days in Alghero, don’t miss a visit to the stunning Grotte di Nettuno (Neptune’s Grottoes) reachable by boat from the city’s port.
Tinnura is a very small Sardinian town near the island’s western coast where the only thing to see is the local street art. Its murals, however, are so beautiful and so filling of the town that makes it really worth a visit.
I visited Tinnura in the summer and being inland, it was really too hot and difficult to walk for a long time. Which is a pity because all murals deserve to be admired. This is why I recommend visiting in spring, a lovely stop if you are driving to Alghero from Oristano or Bosa.
Tharros archaeological site
Another important archaeological site in Sardinia is the ancient Punic-Roman city of Tharros in Oristano province near the town of Cabras. Tharros is a beautiful sight because right on the coast and the view of the tall Roman columns against the shimmering turquoise sea is breathtaking.
Tharros is located in the Sinis Peninsula of which you can have an overall view from the nearby tower of San Giovanni located before the entrance to the site. Of course, being a peninsula, close to Tharros are several beaches that happen to be among the most beautiful on the island.
The capital of its namesake province, Oristano is a lovely sunny city in central Sardinia. Named one of the best places to live and eat in Italy, here you can enjoy a walk around the city, cool shopping for handicrafts and traditional food, and also stray further to explore the surrounding towns.
In Oristano, don’t miss a visit to the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Archaeological Museum Antiquarium Arborense, and the beautiful Piazza Roma in the city center with the tall 13th-century tower of Mariano II.
From Oristano, you can easily reach the beaches of the province, towns like Cabras, and beaches like S’Archittu or the beautiful Putzu Idu perfect for families with children.
Ghilarza is a small town in the central Guilcer region that apparently has little to see but that still attracts curious travelers because it’s here that you can visit the house of Italian politician and co-founder of the Italian Communist Party Antonio Gramsci. Located in central Corso Umberto street, Casa Museo di Antonio Gramsci can be visited independently or with a guide.
Apart from Gramsci’s house, an Aragonese tower, and the main cathedral, the town of Ghilarza itself doesn’t count many other attractions, but it’s a fantastic base to visit the region around. From here, in fact, you can visit towns like Sedilo for the Iloi archaeological park, Fordongianus with the Roman-era thermal baths, and the Omodeo Lake where is the historical dam not operative anymore.
If you are planning to spend Easter in Sardinia and experience the local traditions, a stop in the tiny hamlet of Tadasuni will add huge value to your trip to Sardinia. Counting around 150 residents, Tadasuni is very little inhabited but old traditions are still alive among the population. Like many other places on the island, here, public transport is seldom seen so renting a car in Sardinia becomes a necessity if you are planning to visit smaller towns and get out of the city.
Plus, the view is lovely, there is a great BBQ restaurant for meat lovers, and nearby you can visit the little village of Zuri for its wonderful 13th-century red-brick church.
Nuoro is the capital of its namesake province and while in winter it can be quite cold, in spring the weather is clean and crisp. This is the typical city with the vibe of a smaller traditional town.
In Nuoro are some of my favorite museums in Sardinia, the house of Literature Nobel prize winner Grazia Deledda and the Ethnographic Museum, also known as Museo del Costume (Costume Museum).
But that’s not all. Another important museum in Nuoro is the MAN Art Museum, while if you are into nature, I suggest driving to the Ortobene Mount for a fantastic hike and to see the local wildlife and vegetation.
If you are based in Nuoro, a nice day trip will be also to Orgosolo to see the local street art that made the town famous and the beaches of the Orosei Gulf.
What to pack for Sardinia in spring
- Travel documents. If you are a resident of the European Union, to travel to Sardinia, your national ID will be enough, while if you are coming from outside the EU, you will need a passport and likely an Italian visa.
- Sunscreen. The sun of the Sardinian spring is high and warm so protection is a must. If you have fair skin, I suggest a strong SPF of 50+.
- Hat. When visiting archaeological sites in the open-air and countryside, wearing a hat is a good idea because it gives extra protection against the sun that already in May and June starts beating.
- Reusable water bottle. This is very handy to carry around when sightseeing and fill whenever you can.
- Backpack. A backpack will become necessary, especially on day trips or if you are planning some hikes. A crossbody bag will probably be a better choice if you are sightseeing inside a city.
- Swimwear. If you are traveling towards the end of the spring, you will definitely go to the beach so packing a bikini or any swimwear will take little space and save you the time to look for it while here.
What to wear in spring in Sardinia
- Walking/hiking shoes. Wherever you are in Sardinia in spring, whether you are wandering around an old town’s alleys or the countryside, a pair of comfortable shoes is a must. If you are planning to go for a hike or a trek, you might want to pack accordingly and wear a more appropriate pair of sports shoes.
- Long-sleeve tops. Especially if you are coming end of March or April, long-sleeve tops are a good option. You can pack some light and some a little heavier in case you are going out in the evening or the day is fresh.
- T-shirts. In Sardinia in spring you are likely to wear often a T-shirt, this is why I suggest packing more than a few. This is probably the most frequent item you will wear
- Spring jacket. There won’t be many cold days but I have experienced quite a few temperature drops in Sardinia even in the second half of April, so if you are coming at the beginning of the season, I suggest you pack a jacket. For the last months, especially from mid-May, you might find some cooler nights but the only jacket you will be wearing would be a very light one, if any.
- Shawl. In case of humid evenings or wind, a shawl protects me from stiff neck and shoulder pain.
- Fancier outfit. If you are attending some Easter celebrations or planning some restaurant dinners, you can wear a pair of fancier trousers or midi skirts for women, a button-down shirt or blouse, and a fancy jacket.
- Fancier shoes. Fancier shoes can be Camper style for men and decolleté or ballerinas for women.
- Cotton/linen trousers. For sightseeing or walking around the towns, a pair of trousers made of natural material such as cotton or linen will keep you comfortable and away from sweating.
- Shorts. Towards the end of the season, shorts are the best option to stay light and fresh.
- Midi skirts. Large and loose midi skirts are also a comfortable option for walking and sightseeing. You can wear it with a pair of sneakers or comfortable sandals.