Cala Mariolu, Cala Luna, Cala Goloritzé, Cala Brandinchi, Spiaggia di Is Arutas, La Pelosa, and Spiaggia di Piscinas are eight of the most stunning beaches in Sardinia. Each offers crystal clear waters and blissfully uncrowned beaches in the off-season. See photos and curated videos below of each to find out where the best place to go in Sardinia is for your dream beach vacation!
Best Sardinia Beaches
Map of Best Sardinia Beaches
Gulf of Orosei
If you only have time for one destination in Sardinia to see the best beaches head to Golfo di Orosei (Gulf of Orosei). The Gulf of Orosei is a series of crescent coves and bays with a gobsmackingly gorgeous coastline and two of the clearest waters beaches in all of Sardinia. Cala Gonone is the northernmost cove and the only one accessible by car. While you can reach some really beautiful beaches including Bidderosa, Su Barone, Sa Curcurica, Osalla, and Cala Fuili by car, that once-in-a-lifetime beach seen above can only be reached on foot or boat. The following curated video includes drone footage over many of the best beaches in Golfo di Orosei showing just how remote they can be.
Unless you’re an expert hiker with a few days, a Gulf of Orosei boat tour is the best way to see Sardinia’s most beautiful beaches. Both Orosei and Cala Gonone marinas offer boat tours.
Pro tip: Hit the bathroom before boarding the boat! Nearly all the boat tours start at the southern end of the Gulf of Oreosei and beach hop north along the coast. In other words, the first stop is the farthest. Plus the amenities get more sparse along the way. Outside of the sea, there are no public bathroom options that I saw south of Cala Luna.
Our rubber boat tour brought us up close enough to really admire the limestone caves and steep cliffs that make up the coastal section of Gennargentu National Park.
Gulf of Orosei Photos
Introverts head directly to the southern tip of Golfo di Orosei and thank me later. This is where you’ll find the least crowded and most beautiful beaches in the Gulf of Orosei in the off-season, and the first two beaches on our list. Mariolu Beach and Goloritzé Beach.
Fair warning, beaches this remote do not come with shops to buy sunscreen, beach umbrellas, or palm trees. Trust me on this one and take sturdy beach shoes for the rocky shores, a hat, and sunscreen. My wussy feet and freckled shoulders wished I had. Thankfully, I did have my trusty Stetson.
While you can hike to Cala Mariolu getting to Cala Goloritzé can be a bit treacherous on foot thanks to steep cliffs. The following video does a brilliant job of capturing that oh-my-goodness feeling you get when arriving on a boat to Cala Mariolu beach.
While either one could claim the top spot on Sardinia’s most beautiful beaches list, Cala Goloritzé gets my vote. Not just for its illusive location but for the tranquility of the water. Take a look at the following video which captures the crystalline tranquil waters of Cala Goloritzé Beach.
Why I’m wearing my sarong as a skirt is a story I’ll save for another post. Let’s just say, no one in their right mind can stay out of waters this clear. Not even in May.
Cala Goloritzé Beach feels like the dream beach you have waited your entire life to see. Hands down it is the single most stunning beach in Sardinia and a favorite for boaters.
Cala Luna Beach
Cala Luna is said to be the most spectacular beach in the Mediterranean and the jewel of the Gulf of Orosei. What makes Cala Luna Beach stand out among those in the Gulf of Orosei is its wild backdrop… with an outdoor bar! Jokes aside, over the years Rio Illune (Illune River) has carved a canyon and small lake, immediately behind the beach ringed by oleanders and Mediterranean scrub. The beach itself is an 800-meter-long crescent-shaped like its namesake the moon.
Unlike Goloritzé Beach and Mariolu Beach which are a bit difficult on bare feet, powderlike sand makes Cala Luna Beach a favorite among those who wish to lay back and relax. While rocky cliffs, reefs, and five caves entice those who wish to explore.
A shallow seabed that extends for a few meters allows children along the shore at Cala Luna Beach. Venturing out a few more meters leads to a quick descent into waters ideal for snorkeling and diving among schools of fish, octopuses, and starfish.
Getting to Cala Luna on foot is taxing. For those who want to simply arrive, lay down, and relax, be sure to pre-book a one-day mini-cruise.
However, the Gulf of Orosei is not the only place to find beautiful beaches in Sardinia! For those looking for soft white sand, there is Cala Brandinchi.
If you have more time in Sardinia and are comfortable driving in Italy, the next four beaches are worth pulling yourself away from the vacation perfection that is Golfo di Orosei.
On the northeastern coast of Sardinia, Cala Brandinchi nicknamed “Little Tahiti” is the see-and-be-seen beach of Sardinia.
Shocking white sand gradually ripples into turquoise waters favored by marine life and snorkelers.
Craving a more rugged, less crowded beach? A walk through wildflowers leads to Spiaggia di Is Arutas.
Spiaggia di Is Arutas Beach
Considered the pearl of the Sinis peninsula Spiaggia di Is Arutas (Is Arutas Beach) is in the center of the western coast of Sardinia. Two rocky cliffs hug a crescent beach of quartz color grains your feet will be happy to sink into.
Spiaggia di Is Arutas beach also happens to be a rather cinematic location often serving as the backdrop of Italian films.
Prefer not to ruff it? If you love picturesque views and having amenities nearby head to Stintino. Stintino is a small village on the northwest coast of Sardinia that boasts multiple beaches including Spiaggia La Pelosa (Pelosa Beach).
La Pelosa Beach
A quick story about visiting La Pelosa in the off-season. In May La Pelosa was sparsely populated by local tanned Sardi and pale tourists flying kites.
This particular afternoon only the young and stubborn dared the brisk chill of the water. Slipping off my shoes and cuffing my jeans, I joined the ranks of the determined and stepped into the clear calm water.
With slow waves lapping at my ankles, I marveled at how far from the shore I could walk. I began to wonder if, in the warmer season, one could walk right up to the Torre della Pelosa. Paolo stuck to the beach, snapping photos. Notes for our memoir as he calls them. Beginning to shiver, I returned to Paolo’s side, still curious about what secrets the tower held. Paolo reading my expression vowed to bring me back when the weather warmed, then promptly distracted me with the promise of Gelato. Looking back at how happy we were in this photo, I wonder if Paolo already knew that I was determined to move to Italy.
Last but certainly not least is one of the 21 Most Beautiful Beaches in The World according to National Geographic.
Spiaggia di Piscinas Beach
In south-western Sardina, the desert meets the sea at Piscina Beach. Sea Turtles and introverts are both grateful Piscina Beach is not that easy to reach. The long steep drive past historic red earth mines is harrowing. Ochre sand is the reward.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site Spiaggia di Piscina is constantly being reshaped by winds. Warm golden sand dunes nearly 200 feet high drift into the surrounding Mediterranean scrub. We have more photos but right after this shot I said to Paolo “I’m going in.” For the second time on our trip to Sardinia, I swore I’d never travel off-season without a swimsuit again. Thankfully topless sunbathing is acceptable in Italy. That’s however a story for another post!
La Maddalena Park Beaches
Crystal-clear waters and enchanting landscapes are the treasures of La Maddalena Archipelago. La Maddalena was created in 1994 and was the first national park in Sardinia. With more than 20,000 hectares of sea and land and 180 kilometers of coast, exploring Maddelena is best done with an overnight stay. Making up over one-tenth of the Sardinian coast La Maddalena National Park includes several pink granite islands and islets with small beaches. A stay on Maddelena Island off the northeastern tip of Sardinia just might yield a private day at the beach. Our stay at an unassuming apartment found on booking.com came with a private beach with rose gold sunsets for two.
Sardinia is one of the best places in Italy to strike a balance between a trip and a vacation. In the off-season, Sardinia also offers an affordable way to see some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Which in my mind makes Sardinia a must on every beach lover travel list.