Sandwiched between Corsica and Sicily, Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean with an area of 24,000 kilometers and nearly 2,000 kilometers of coastline. It might belong to Italy, but Sardinian feels like its own country with rugged hinterlands and paradisical shores. If you’re wondering what to do on your family getaway to Sardinia, our guide has you covered.
Sardinia is one of the most family-friendly destinations in Italy with plenty to keep the kids occupied, but what do children love more than a day on the beach? From the exciting resorts in the south to the snorkeling havens in the north, Sardinia is brimming with great sands for the whole family to enjoy.
We’ve rounded up 9 of the best beaches for families in Sardinia so that you can start planning your next getaway. Grab your sun lotion and snorkel, Sardinia’s turquoise waters are waiting. Let’s get into it.
Simius Beach, Villasimius
Nested in southeast Sardinia, Villasimius is a coastal town renowned for its great beaches, protected wildlife, and family-friendly appeal. Capo Carbonara is a Marine Bioreserve where you’ll find barracuda, seagrass meadows, and fantastic dive sites.
Still, if you’re after simple family fun, Simius beach is a long stretch of white sand located very close to the town. You’ll find all the modern comforts you could need with sunbeds, toilets, and restaurants, but natural beauty that is out of this world. Turquoise waters lap the shores and they’re teeming with fish—a snorkeller’s dream.
The beach is clean and the waters are safe, shallow, and easy to enter. Spiaggia del Riso is a smaller beach just around the bay in between Villasimius Marina and the dunes of Campulongu. This little white sand beach has more rocks but equally clear waters. Head here in the high season if you want to escape the crowds.
La Cinta, San Teodoro
Taking a trip up to the northeast coast, San Teodoro a bustling seaside town with great beaches, good food, and its own big flock of pink flamingos who grace the Stagno di San Teodoro lagoon every summer. San Teodoro has its own fair share of fine, white sands, but La Cinta is one of the most popular with something for everyone.
The long beach that curves around the bay is mostly located on a sandspit between the open ocean and the lagoon. Thanks to the shelter from the bay, the waters are calm, shallow, and effortlessly clear, but in windy weather, it becomes a hotspot for kitesurfers. Fear not, this is isolated to the Fuchítta area – a dedicated kite zone for those who want to practice the sport – but there are plenty of kitesurfing schools and instructors down here if you and the family fancy giving it a go.
The beach is within walking distance of the center of San Teodoro and sprawls for five kilometers with plenty of space to find somewhere and set up camp for the day. That said, it’s one of the busier beaches in the region so we recommend getting there early to claim a sunbed or visit in the shoulder season. On top of loungers and umbrellas, you’ll find water sporting equipment for rent, plenty of kiosks, and nearby parking.
After looking for the flamingos from the shade of the Mediterranean brush, head into town for the Museo Della Civilitá del Mare, San Teodoro’s very own maritime museum where you’ll find a trove of treasures from the ocean floor. Kids will love the fragments of Roman helmets, ancient amphorae, and other fascinating archaeological finds on display.
Argentiera Beach, Sassari
Argentiera is a quiet mining town on the northwest coast of Sardinia with a rich history. There are plenty of small pebbly beaches in the Baia dell’Argentiera, but Argentiera Beach is the prettiest. The cove is divided into a free and private section of the beach, served by a bar/restaurant. It is much quieter up here and rarely crowded.
Parking is located just a free hundred yards from the beach, and it’s not far from the historic city of Alghero – around 45 minutes by car – with its ancient walls and Gothic buildings, but Argentiera is far less trodden. Kids will enjoy the cozy bay with its still, shallow waters and plenty of rock pools for exploring.
Lazzaretto Beach, Alghero
Spiaggia del Lazzaretto is located on the Riveria del Corallo, near the villages of Fertilia and Lido San Giovanni on the west coast of Sardinia. The 300-meter-long white sand beach has many little coves nearby, great views, and crystal clear waters. There’s also a small bar that serves great food and drinks.
Lazzaretto is even closer to Alghero than Argentiera—only around 20 minutes by car, but there’s also plenty of nearby localities with cheaper accommodation options than you’ll find in the south. The road to the beach is well-signposted from SS127 Fertilia but hidden away enough to deter the crowds. That said, parking can be hard in the high season.
The south end of Spiaggia del Lazzaretto is anchored by the Torre del Lazzaretto, a large, round limestone tower built in 1580 with a great sea view terrace that the whole family can explore after everyone’s had enough sun. Lazzaretto is also regarded for its fantastic sunsets thanks to its southwestern-facing position, so stick around and watch the sun disappear behind the horizon from the castle terrace or the lively bar on the beach.
Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia and brimming with medieval heritage. It’s best known for the hilltop Castello, a walled medieval fort that looks over the town, but there’s also the 13th-century Cagliari Cathedral, the National Archaeological Museum of Cagliari with its Bronze Age treasures, and, not to mention, some amazing sandy beaches.
Poetto is the city’s main beach and one of its most beautiful. It stretches for eight kilometers from the Quartu Sant’Elena coast to Sella Del Diavolo. The beach shares its name with the neighborhood nestled on the western strip between the beach and Molentargius-Saline Regional Park.
Poetto is a vast and breathtaking city beach, comprising powdery white sands, turquoise seas, and lofty palms. The beach is over an hour on foot from the center of Cagliari, but it’s easily accessible by bus or car. You’ll find all the services you could need on the sands with sunbeds, restaurants, toilets, and water sports equipment for hire.
Ginepro Cove, Gulf of Oresei
The Gulf of Orosei sprawls for 30 kilometers along Sardinia’s eastern coast, characterized by its imposing rock formations, hidden coves, and mesmerizing blue seas at the foothills of the Supramonte Massif. The region is a hiker’s paradise, but it’s also highly regarded for its great snorkeling opportunities that the whole family can immerse themselves in.
Ginepro Cove is located a few hundred meters north of Cala Liberotto, but the grove of Juniper Trees from which it gets its name separates the beach from the main roads of Orosei. The verdant forest contrasts the shimmering blue sea, but even more magical are the pink granite rocks that poke out from beneath the water at low tide.
The pines offer shade for visitors while the sun-bleached white sands are soft underfoot. The beach is easily accessible by car if you’re coming from any of the nearby towns, but it is never overthrown by tourists and there aren’t crowds of sunbeds and noisy bars to ruin the atmosphere.
La Pelosa, Stintino
Stintino is a small fishing village and typical seaside town jutting out on a peninsula at the northwest tip of Sardinia where national parks, desert islands, and marine reserves dominate the waters. La Pelosa is a cozy beach with clean white sands and clear, shallow waters. It can get busy in the high season, but not enough to steal its charms. One bar at the southern end serves the small beach, but you’ll find a few kiosks dishing up gelato, snacks, drinks, and beach equipment for hire.
La Pelosa is just 300 meters long and around 60 meters wide. It is incredibly scenic and faces Isola Paina, a small island that is part of the marine protected area in Tavolara—only adding to the desert-island feel of this paradisical cove. The beach is around 600 meters from Piana, and a little further north you’ll find Asinara Island, one of Sardinia’s most impressive national parks.
La Pelosa is quite exposed to the wind, but this makes it perfect for practicing windsurfing and kitesurfing. When there isn’t a breeze, the tranquil seas are great for paddle boarding, kayaking, and snorkeling too.
Two diving centers are located nearby (Roccaruja Diving Center and Asinara Diving Center) where you can sign up for expeditions to Capo Falcone and Asinara. Roccaruja is based out of the Roccaruja Hotel on Spiaggia del Gabbiano which is the next beach along from La Pelosa.
Sa Colonia, Chia
Chia, also known as Baia di Chia, is a vibrant coastal stretch in southern Sardinia. The town is quaint and traditional, but very popular with tourists because of its Caribbean-esque beaches, backed by juniper-draped dunes.
Sa Colonia is one of the best beaches for families along the Chia coast, with its shallow waters, wide, golden sands, parking opportunities, and convenient beach facilities. Sa Colonia is one of Chia’s prized beaches. The seabed slopes gently towards the emerald waters and the bars and sunbeds are spread out enough to leave large expanses of clear sand for lounging and building sand castles.
That said, it does get busy here, but it’s not hard to see why and there’s plenty to keep children entertained. There are a lot of accommodation options nearby and the Chia strip is one of the best destinations for families to stay in Sardinia.
Santa Giusta, Oristano
Santa Giusta is a quiet comune on the mid-west coast of Sardinia, located around 90 kilometers northwest of Cagliari and three kilometers southeast of Oristano. The town is home to a historic cathedral and plenty of family-owned trattorias, but one of its highlights is the Green Flag beach of the same name, close to the marine-protected Mal di Ventre Island.
Not to be confused with Spiaggia di Santa Giusta on the east coast of Sardinia near Sant’Elmo, this region is far less-trodden but Santa Gusta in Oristano is one of Sardinia’s most child-friendly beaches. The Italian Paediatrician Association awarded it their coveted Green Flag thanks to the clean and safe shores.
The beach is narrow but long, with golden sands. The shallow, sloping seabed makes it perfect for children to play, and the beach overlooks the Gulf of Oristano meaning its always sheltered from winds and strong currents. There aren’t many tourist facilities and rolling Mediterranean scrub-clad dunes separate the beach from the road, but you’ll find plenty of parking since it never gets too busy here, even in the high season.
When is the best time to visit Sardinia with the kids?
The school holidays can be some of the busiest times to visit Sardinia, especially during the summer. If you want to take the family away but avoid the high prices and crowds, consider the shoulder seasons in spring and fall when the sea is still warm enough for swimming and the temperatures are pleasant. Easter and half-term are busy on the island, but nothing compared to summer.
Is Sardinia expensive?
Sardinia is home to some expensive resorts where the rich and famous spend their summers, but most of the island is actually cheaper than a lot of European destinations and much of Italy. You can eat out and find nice hotels for half the price you’ll spend on the Amalfi Coast or in Lombardy, especially if you avoid the most popular tourist areas.
What part of Sardinia has the best beaches?
The sprawling white sands on the south and east coasts of Sardinia are most popular with holidaymakers. However, the Sinis Peninsula, extending into the Gulf of Oristano on Sardinia’s mid-west shores is home to some of the most picturesque beaches on the island—part of a Marine Protected area with amazing sealife and clean waters. A number of these beaches are awarded Green Flag status for being particularly kid-friendly, and, better yet, most are known only to Sardinians so you’ll find fewer high-season crowds.