City Break in Sardinia

Discover the picturesque towns of Sardinia during a city trip! Visit the atmospheric Alghero, the port city of Olbia and of course the bustling capital Cagliari. Taste the delicious Sardinian culinary specialties, get to know the culture and traditions, and don't forget to shop!

The best Sardinian cities to visit...

Sardinia has a rich history where various peoples have ruled the island, this is clearly reflected in the many small, picturesque towns of the island. On the west coast of the island lies the city of Alghero, a 12th century city where you can still find the watchtowers and the city walls from the time of Catalan rule. A little further east inland is Nuoro, this city is the centre for artists and writers on the island. In the North East is the important port city of Olbia, the place where many tourists take their first steps in Sardinia. In the south of Sardinia, you can find the largest city on the island and also the capital  Cagliari. In the old historic centre of this city it quickly becomes apparent that North African peoples have also ruled the island. 

Alghero Old Town coast fortifications


Alghero is a town located on the west coast of the island in the province of Sassari and has about 41,000 inhabitants. Alghero is also called little Barcelona. The city has a rich history with years of Aragonese rule and there are many Catalan influences to be found. For example, in the old centre you will find all name plates with both the Sardinian and the Catalan name. The main attractions in Alghero are the Cathedral of Santa Maria and the San Fransesco church. In addition, a walk on the old fortress walls of the city is also recommended. Alghero is located by the sea and has different city beaches. Strolling through the city can therefore be alternated with relaxing on the beach. Many other beaches can be found in the vicinity of Alghero, Il Lazzaretto, Porto Ferro, Calabona, Punta Negra and Maria Pia are all a short distance away. 

The historic Alghero


Historic centre of Olbia main street


Olbia is the fourth largest city in Sardinia and an important port on the island. Olbia is a well-known name for tourists because the port where the ferry boats arrive, and the airport are the gateway to Sardinia for many. However, it is worth to explore the city and the immediate surroundings before travelling around the rest of the island. Olbia has a historic centre with numerous shops, boutiques, restaurants, and beautiful old buildings. The city also has many monumental churches, visit for example the Basilica of San Simplicio, the patron saint of the city. 

view of the Museum of archaeology in Olbia with small harbourA visit to the National Archaeological Museum should also be on the list for your visit to Olbia. This museum is located on a small island (Peddone) near the city and has an interesting and sophisticated modern architecture. Inside you will learn about the history of the city. Admission is free.


In the green hilly landscape around Olbia, several important archaeological sites can be visited such as the Nuraghe of Riu Mulinu, the Tombe dei Giganti at Su Monte de S'Abe, the Nuragic civilisation sacred water source of Sa Testa, the castle of Pedres and the remains of the Roman Aqueduct, the only one still intact in Sardinia. Spring is the ideal time for a city trip and from 13 to 18 May you can also enjoy the annual Festival in honor of San Simplicio. A festival that attracts a large audience, with a gourmet mussel party, a parade through the old streets of Olbia with historical Sardinian costumes, a poetry festival, traditional Sardinian music and dance, a horse race, the Palio of the star and of course fireworks.

Old town of Cagliari in Sardinia


With 165,000 inhabitants, the capital Cagliari is the largest city on the island. The city is located in a large bay on the south of Sardinia. The old centre and the many Roman remain such as the amphitheatre and the Roman villa di Tigellio make Cagliari the perfect destination for a city trip. The old city centre is located on a hill which gives a beautiful view over the harbour, the new city and the coastline. Lifts can be taken at various places to the old part of the city. Another sight not to be missed during a city trip in Cagliari is the Basilica of San Santurnino. This is a Romanesque church from the 5th century BC. Cagliari also offers the wonderful variety of strolling through the city and relaxing on the beach. The city’s beach, Il Poetto is 6 km away, and can be reached even by bike or public transport.                                         

                                                        Poetto beach Cagliari


Cagliari, the city of the sun!  

Fancy a short stay in Sardinia? Check our accommodation tips for a Sardinia city trip on the right of the page.


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