If you are looking for the best beaches near Cagliari, this is the post for you. I’m Cagliari born and bred, and cannot wait to tell you about the most beautiful breaches, all of which have different landscape, services, and area.
If you are in Cagliari, I recommend spending a day in Poetto, the most famous beach in the city, where, in addition to swimming and enjoying the views from Sella del Diavolo, you will be able to walk along the Lungomare, try the typical panini con cavallo at the food trucks, and enjoying an ice cream at sunset.
If you want to explain the area around the capital, map or Google Maps in hand, these are the best beaches near Cagliari.
The best beaches on the coast are near Cagliari
Let us start on the East coast, where you can find my absolute favourite: Mari Pintau, which literally means “painted sea”. After driving along the coast and the bright-blue sea, stop at this small rocky beach. Here you will find no sand, but pebbles smoothed down by time. If you don’t like to walk on rocky terrain, don’t worry: you will be fine if you just wear your usual shoes. But believe me, stopping here is really worth it.
Parking spaces are extremely few, so I recommend coming very early in the morning or in the late afternoon. In the summer, there’s a beach bar, which perfect for a beer at sunset.
Solanas, wide and sandy, is a perfect beach for families. Crystal-clear water and an expanse of fine golden sand, surrounded by wild nature and the scent of Mediterranean scrub. You can also rent inflatables and other means to explore the coast.
Porto Giunco, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, is on the South coast. Kilometres of extremely white sand, and a wide range of establishments scattered along the coastline. You will have to pay to park at Porto Giunco in the same. You can reach the beaches of hotels such as Timi Hama, which has luxury facilities, or go to the empty beach. You will find plenty of bars, restaurants overlooking the sea, and, for nature lovers, trekking routes, like those at Torre di Porto Giunco and Capo Carbonara. If you go to the beach at Villasimius, make a stop at the local villages and have a delicious meal of fried fish and seafood overlooking the sea.
Another great beach area near Cagliari is Costarei, one of the loveliest stretches of coastline in Southeast Sardinia. Here too you will find typical restaurants, family-friendly establishments, and vast expanses of golden sand.
If you love coves, you shouldn’t miss Cala Sinzias, Cala Pira, and the Peppino cliffs.
The most beautiful beaches on the Southwest coast of Sardinia
Starting from Cagliari, the first beach which you shouldn’t miss is Nora, w which has borne witness to the Phoenician, Punic, and Roman history that has shaped the Sardinian coastline over the millennia. At Nora you will be able not only to plunge into the crystal-clear sea, but also visit the Archaeological Park to learn more about the ancient Sardinian culture. Standing by the beach you will find Sant’Efisio church – if you don’t know the story of the patron saint of Cagliari, I wrote about it in my post on the main festivals in Sardinian tradition.
Other beaches close to Cagliari: Pula, Nora, and Costa Verde
Consider making a stop at Pula, where in addition to Santa Margherita beach and the coastline of white sand and crystal-clear water, you can walk through the picturesque town centre.
When talking about the best swimming areas in Sardinia, I couldn’t leave out Chia: a number of different beaches, all with vast expanses of sand and a shallow seabed, which are perfect for families. One of the most beautiful beaches at Chia is Cala Cipolla, which can be reached by foot only, with a spectacular view of the Capo Spartivento lighthouse.
Su Giudeu is a masterpiece of nature – you will never forget the contrast between its golden sand and the emerald water. Stagno di Spartivento, very close to Su Giudeu is also a must: a natural oasis where gorgeous flamingos make a stop while migrating.
My last recommendation is a real gem, the home to Sardinian deer, where sea turtles come to lay their eggs, sheltered by ancient junipers. The sand dunes at Piscinas, on the Costa Verde, are a precious jewel of biodiversity on the island. Stretches of golden sand that bring to mind the landscapes in One Thousand and One Nights – a unique place, among the most beautiful you will find in Sardinia.
Now all you have to do is choose your perfect beach near Cagliari. If you need more inspiration for your trip to Sardinia, you can find my advice here.