The most important cities of Sardinia

Cagliari-buildings
Most tourists visiting Sardinia They use search engines like Google to find out which are their best beaches. It is normal, since it is an island that is very successful because of its beautiful sandy areas, not because of what you can find in its cities.

Even though their localities are not as popular as those of Sicily or like those in other parts of Italy, I think it is worth knowing them in depth to discover everything they can offer us. The most important are those that I describe below.

Cagliari

Cagliari
It is the most populous city in Sardinia (about 150,000 inhabitants) and also its capital. Its name means "Castle" in Sardinian, something that is not surprising if we consider that its streets have a lot of history. It is located in the south of the island, right in the Golfo degli Angeli (Gulf of the Angels). I recommend a minimum of two days to enjoy the Cathedral of Santa María de Cagliari, the Castle of San Michele, the Palazzo Regio or the Torre dell’Elefante, made with limestone blocks and with a height of 30 meters. You can go up to the highest to contemplate beautiful views of the city.


Olbia

Olbia
It is the most important city in the area where the best beaches are. It is located in the northeast of the island, in the beautiful Emerald coast, and some 55,000 inhabitants live in it. In addition to its privileged beaches, you can visit its archaeological museum, the Basilica of San Simplicio, the Tomb of the Giants or the archipelago of La Maddalena, for which I recommend hiring an excursion.

Sassari

Sassari-plaza
We could say that it is the second city in importance after Cagliari. Some 130,000 inhabitants live in it and it is said to have been founded in the early Middle Ages. Tourists love visiting its museums (there are several), the Basilica of Saccargia, the Cathedral of Sassari or the Fontana di Rosello, which we could say is the symbol of the city.

Alghero

Alghero
I must admit that I have a special weakness for this walled city, which is probably the most beautiful in all of Sardinia. In addition, I am amused that Catalan is still spoken there, although it is true that it is a somewhat different dialect that over time is being lost. In this old fishing village you can enjoy numerous religious buildings and the odd beach that is very good. If you want to know what you cannot miss, I recommend you take a look at the article I published about what to see in Alghero.


Oristan

Oristano
Just over 30,000 inhabitants live in this city located in the western part of Sardinia. Its name, which comes from Aurum Stanis in Latin, means «Pond of Gold«. It is named for the Santa Giusta pond, which is very close and allows fishermen to fish. In fact, this is where the Oristano gold is obtained, a product that contains mullet roe and that you will hardly find far from the island. The Tower of Santo Cristóforo or the Cathedral of Oristán are two of the most recommended places to visit.

Nuoro

Nuoro
A short distance from Oristano, following the path drawn by the only motorway with a face and eyes in Sardinia, we come across Nuoro. It is a city with about 37,000 inhabitants that is in the central mountains. They say it's there where the Sardinians are most proud its roots, something that is revealed in museums such as the Sardinian Ethnographic, which is essential to learn about Sardinian culture.

Santa Teresa di Gallura

Santa-Teresa-di-Gallura
It is the northernmost city on the island and has just 6,000 inhabitants, a number that multiplies when summer arrives. It is when the town comes to life, as its bars and restaurants reopen and organize street stalls in which jewelry, clothing and all kinds of objects are sold that can capture the attention of the tourist who has not yet gone to sleep. The central square is very beautiful, and it is there where you can hire an excursion that will take you to the archipelago of La Maddalena. Also, the Rena di Ponente beach is highly recommended.


Saint Theodore

Saint-Theodore
When you take a walk through San Teodoro you realize that you are in a coastal town close to the best beaches in Sardinia. There is a great atmosphere at night and during the day you have the best plan in the world: relax on a beach with crystal clear waters and fine sand. Its population barely reaches 5,000 inhabitants, but in summer that number skyrockets. It is located in the northeast of the island and we could say that it offers nothing beyond good gastronomy and beaches. What beaches? The ones that I recommend in the article I published about San Teodoro years ago.

Recommended articles:

Tours and excursions in Sardinia

The best beaches and coves of Sardinia

Island of Light - One of the most exclusive holiday destinations in the Mediterranean (December 2020)


  • Sardinia, cities, islands
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