The best beaches near Cagliari that will steal your heart
When it comes to beaches, Sardinia has nothing to envy to exotic places. The WOW effect is guaranteed when you stand in front of Sardinia beaches.
But (with the exception of this year), better to avoid July and August, too much crowds.
Though we can’t travel right now, nothing is stopping us from dreaming about our next trip, right?
I’ve prepared a list of the best beaches near Cagliari, all within about one hour drive from Cagliari. The only exception is Golfo di Orosei but, believe me, it’s a piece of paradise that is worth a longer trip.
Best Beaches near Cagliari # 1
It’s considered one of the best beaches in Sardinia and you’ll understand why when you first see it from above. It looks like a painting: the myriad blue hues of the water, the endless white sandy beach, and the green cliff dominated by an ancient watchtower. Simply perfect!
Once you reach the seaside, I’m sure you’ll literally throw your stuff on the beach to go immediately for a swim. The water is so transparent that you can see shoals of fish.
You can easily spend the whole day in this paradise.
- There are signs to Tuerreda beach and to the parking lots within easy walking distance to the beach (parking fee: 7€)
- There is a beach bar where you can eat/drink
Best Beaches near Cagliari # 2
The natural beauty of Golfo di Orosei is outstanding. Words and pictures don’t do justice to this place.
Rugged cliffs and high mountains plunge into a pristine sea. Along the coast, you’ll pass coves and lagoons where the contrast of the bright azure of the water and the green of the vegetation on the mountains will make you wonder if all of this is just a dream.
The best way to experience the countless coves and beaches of Golfo di Orosei (among which there is Cala Mariolu, considered the best beach in Sardinia) is by boat.
I promise, Golfo di Orosei will steal your heart!
- Remember that the best spots are the ones you have to work for! Some of these stunning spots are accessible on foot with a two-hour walk. That’s why to enjoy Golfo di Orosei, I suggest a boat tour (but stay away from tours done with big boats).
- I had a tour with Fuorirotta Charter and I can recommend it: we stopped at 3 beaches (Cala Mariolu, Cala Biriola, Cala dei Gabbiani) and we visited one cave (Grotta del Fico). From the boat we saw many unspoiled corners like Cala Goloritzé and Venus pools, while eating amazing fresh fish. The tour starts from Santa Maria Navarrese which is around 2 hours drive from Cagliari.
- Besides Santa Maria Navarrese, the other towns where you can find boat tours for Golfo d’Orosei are Cala Gonone, Arbatax and Orosei
Best Beaches near Cagliari # 3
Is Arenas Biancas
Close your eyes and picture a desert with sand dunes in front of unbelievable turquoise waters. Well, this is the beach of Is Arenas Biancas. When I wrote that Sardinia has nothing to envy to exotic places, I wasn’t exaggerating.
Two kilometers of a dreamy landscape. The fine white sand, the spectacular dunes shaped by the wind and the wild nature make Is Arenas Biancas one of my favorite places in Sardinia.
The beach is so long and isolated that even in high season you won’t find it crowded (who has been in Sardinia in July or August understands how exceptional this is 😉)
Close to Is Arenas Biancas there is Faro Capo Spartivento.
Faro Capo Spartivento is a lighthouse which has been restored and turned into a luxury hotel. The lighthouse is completely immersed in the nature and it dominates a high cliff which collides with the sea. When I heard about this place, I thought this was an experience I couldn’t miss.
The infinity pool overlooking the Mediterranen sea, the silent interrupted only by the sound of waves crashing on the coast… Unforgettable!
The lighthouse is perfect for relax. But it’s also the ideal location for hiking along the wild coast and a good starting point to reach two amazing beaches: Cala Cipolla and Su Giudeu.
That’s me enjoying the landscape from the lighthouse!
To have a look at this unique place, click here and if you book your stay on Booking.com by clicking through that link, I’ll get a small commission from Booking, at no cost for you. It’s a way (free for you) to let me know you liked my post 😊
Tips for Is Arenas Biancas beach:
- There are two parking areas. I suggest you the one closer to the dunes: type “Parcheggio Dunes Is Arenas Biancas” in Google Maps. From the main road to the parking there are 6 km of unpaved road, but doable for all cars. The parking (fee: 5€) is 500 meters from the beach
- Is Arenas Biancas can be accessed from June till September
- More than in other beaches, here a good sun protection is needed: the sand is so white that you feel more the sun, especially for those like me who are fair-skinned and don’t tan easily (lucky us!).
- Along the beach, there are 3 small bars with umbrellas and sun beds where you can also get something to eat and drink
Best Beaches near Cagliari # 4
Porto Sa Ruxi
Wild and secluded, Porto Sa Ruxi is the right place for those who like non-touristic beaches.
The boulders which frame the enchanting cove, the turquoise and blue hues of the water and the Mediterranean forest make this spot one of my favorites in South Sardinia.
The road which brings you here is on the edge of a cliff degrading to the sea. The more you see this breathtaking scenery, the more you look forward to reaching the seaside.
- There are signs to reach the small parking close to Porto Sa Ruxi (parking fee: 5€). From there, a short trail will take you to the beach
- Bring something to eat/drink
Best Beaches near Cagliari # 5
Scoglio di Peppino
The explosion of colors is what catches your eye in front of this landscape. The water ranges from aquamarine to cobalt, from azure to blue… It’s a postcard. I couldn’t stop taking pictures!
But I know what you’re wondering… What is Scoglio di Peppino?
Scoglio di Peppino is a huge rock shaped like a whale which emerges from the sea (others say that the rock is shaped like a turtle; better to leave that to your imagination 😉). The water is so shallow that you could reach the rock with a walk.
Scoglio di Peppino is very close to Costa Rei and Villasimius, two seaside resorts that each year appear in world rankings for their beaches. So wherever you stop in this stretch of coastline, you won’t be disappointed.
- From June to September, on the left side of Scoglio di Peppino, there’s a summer village; because of that, the atmosphere of this paradise is a bit sacrified! So, to enjoy this place at its best, I suggest to stop at the beach of Santa Giusta which is on the right side of Scoglio di Peppino
- Very close to beach of Santa Giusta and to Scoglio di Peppino, there’s a small parking (to reach it, type “Parcheggi per lo Scoglio di Peppino” in Google Maps). Parking fee for a day: 8€
- Bring something to eat/drink; otherwise on Santa Giusta beach, you can find one beach bar/restaurant
Best Beaches near Cagliari # 6
It’s no wonder why Porto Giunco has been chosen by many advertisers as location for their ads.
One kilometer of white sandy beach which separates the crystal-clear sea from the pond of Notteri, a natural habitat of pink flamingoes.
One tip: walk up to the watchtower which dominates the promontory behind Porto Giunco… you’ll enjoy the landscape from a different perspective! To reach the watchtower, take the path that starts from the beach.
Porto Giunco is located within the marine protected area of Capo Carbonara. A good way to experience this natural reserve is by boat.
And here it comes my regret: I have not yet done that!
I was told about a local company that organizes a tour with a sailing ship dating back to 1944. They bring you to Cavoli Island where you can snorkeling and dive. This spot is also famous for the statue of the Madonna which lies on the seabed. And if you are lucky, you might spot dolphins!
I normally suggest only activities that I personally tried, but I heard so good reviews about this excursion that I thought it could be a hint to give you. The company is Maby Mare, here’s the link.
- There are signs to Porto Giunco and to the parking lots within easy walking distance to the beach (parking fee: 5€)
- There are 3 beach bars where you can get something to eat and drink
It’s not easy to rank the most beautiful beaches of Sardinia with its 1.800 km-plus of coastline… Every beach on this island is jaw-dropping.
That’s why the beaches near Cagliari I’ve shared in this post, besides having amazing waters and sand, have also something unique: like the dunes at Is Arenas Biancas or the spectacular landscapes at Golfo di Orosei.
If you liked the post, share it or leave your comment to tell me if you have been to Sardinia or if you would like to go when we could travel again. Stay strong!
And, if you want to discover more amazing beaches in Italy, read my post on Tuscany and its Maremma beaches: https://italytraveltreasures.com/maremma-beaches/