Amazing Day Trips to Take Around Sardinia by Boat

Sardinias ruggedly beautiful coastline lends itself perfectly to boating tours
Sardinia's ruggedly beautiful coastline lends itself perfectly to boating tours | © Dream Yacht Charter
Julia Hammond

Sophisticated Sardinia boasts 1,149mi (1,849km) of coastline. Its rocky headlands are cradled by some of the best beaches in Italy and, indeed, the entire Mediterranean region. Blessed with plenty of picturesque anchorages and lively marinas, it’s an ideal place for a yachting holiday. Swim or snorkel in secluded coves or dive to wrecks teeming with marine life. Step ashore to visit archaeological sites and colourful fishing villages or hike coastal trails that snake up to panoramic viewpoints. Here we reveal some of the best trips to take around Sardinia by boat.


Discover the top spots around Italy’s coast by Culture Trip’s Sailing Trips.

Golfo Aranci

Midway between Olbia and Costa Smeralda you’ll find the pretty fishing village of Golfo Aranci. Visitors come here for its pristine beaches and to snorkel or free dive in its clear waters. On land, follow the path that leads to Capo Figari, through a nature reserve carpeted with holm oak and juniper trees. Wild sheep known as mouflons graze its slopes and peregrine falcons soar overhead. The panoramic views across the bay are your reward for the slog up to the promontory’s soaring peak.

Set anchor off the pyramid-shaped Figarolo Island, conveniently close to Olbia. Oak trees and olive groves blanket the limestone rock. Beneath, swim or snorkel in the warm turquoise water; you might catch sight of a pod of bottlenose dolphins. Book a tour to admire the black corals, sponges and sea urchins below the surface. The submerged granite nativity figures at Cala Corsi make this a popular dive site, along with the cathedral-like Grotta del Bracco.

Spiaggia Rosa

The sand at photogenic Spiaggia Rosa is, as its name suggests, a pretty shade of pink. It gets its unusual colour from the crushed shells of a micro-organism that grows here and, in order to see it, you’ll need to drop anchor off Cala di Roto on Budelli island, part of the La Maddalena archipelago. Swimming offshore and going on land is forbidden as the area is protected, but even from a distance, it has an extraordinary beauty.

Caprera Island

Caprera is famed for its beaches and coves. Swim or snorkel at Cala Coticcio, nicknamed Sardinia’s Tahiti. Gnarly rocks enclose a narrow inlet, while powdery sands are gently lapped by aquamarine waters. Just down the coast is Spiaggia del Relitto (Shipwreck Beach). The skeleton of this unfortunate vessel is still visible below the water. If you tire of Caprera’s beaches, visit Garibaldi’s house, now a museum dedicated to the life of this venerated Italian general.

Capo Caccia

Sail from Alghero to Italy’s highest lighthouse at Capo Caccia, built in 1864. A flight of more than 600 steps, known as the Escala del Cabirol (Staircase of the Roe Deer), connects it to Neptune’s Grotto below. Guided tours enable visitors to admire its atmospheric interior, strewn with stalactites and stalagmites. Don scuba gear to explore the network of arches and tunnels in Nereo Cave which are adorned by bright red and yellow corals.

Bosa

Bosa’s colourful buildings make this fishing village one of the most popular visitor destinations in Sardinia and an easy excursion from Alghero. Sail south until you spot the Torre di Bosa. It guards the estuary of the River Temo, where you can moor up and meander upstream. Cross the Ponte Vecchio and on its south bank, you’ll find the Conce Museum which tells the story of the tanneries whose origins can be traced back to Roman times.

Capo Carbonara

The marine reserve at Capo Carbonara is reachable by boat from Cagliari. It boasts several unspoilt coves, including Cala Burroni. Flocks of migratory pink flamingos spend the winter at the Notteri wetland behind Porto Giunco beach. Hike to the hilltop Torre di Porto Giunco and you’ll find a 16th-century watchtower erected by Spaniards in a bid to spot pirates. Across the bay, the rocky shoreline of Punta Molentis is spectacular, especially when the falling tide uncovers heaps of granite boulders fringed by a broad strip of sand.

Chia

Backed by dunes, surrounded by juniper trees and interspersed with rocky headlands, Chia’s beaches are worlds away from the bustle of nearby Cagliari. Windsurfers, paddleboarders and surfers congregate at Su Portu, while Su Giudeu attracts scuba divers and snorkelers. You can also hike the Antica Strada Romana, a scenic coastal path along the clifftop, rent a kayak to explore the area’s sea caves, or cycle to the ancient city of Nora, which dates from the ninth century BCE.
Discover the top spots around Italy’s coast by Culture Trip’s Sailing Trips.
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