Chia – South Sardinia
This rightly celebrated beach sits on a pristine bay backed by juniper-covered dunes which obscure the view of nearby buildings. And behind the dunes, there’s a lagoon where flamingos breed. The sand is pale peach, and the sea is Sardinia’s trademark bright turquoise.
An old tower decorates a nearby promontory and there are two offshore islets you can wade out to (take sandals with you to climb onto their rocks). Chia beach is nearly 1km long and 90m wide, but despite such size it can feel quite busy in July and August. If you come between April and June, you might catch the various excitements of the Chia Classic – an annual surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing event.
Costa Verde – Southwest Sardinia
If you want truly wild and untouched beaches, head south from the Sinis Peninsula to the magnificent Costa Verde coastline – so-named for its abundance of fragrant vegetation. This is a profoundly elemental place where you might have a spectacular beach all to yourself, even in the middle of August.
Stretching for 47km, the Costa Verde takes in a diverse range of landscapes – from wind-sculpted hills to towering amber cliffs, from high sand dunes to bushy swathes of green, and from small rocky bays to huge, expansive golden beaches. It is with this latter that the Costa Verde particularly excels. Three vast and beautiful beaches perfect for long walks flanked by dunes, hills and the vibrant-colored sea are Scivu, Mezzo and Pistis.
Costa Rei – Southeast Sardinia
Situated about 50km east of the Sardinian capital, Cagliari, the Costa Rei offers a beautiful 8km-long white beach fronted by crystalline seawater. It’s a nice mixture of unspoilt and modestly developed, with good facilities but an over-riding sense of space. Tourism reached southern Sardinia much later than it did the north, and there’s still a sense of up-and-coming in these parts.
The geography is wonderful – with rolling hills and sea smoothed boulders, nearby lakes and bird reserves – and there are facilities for all the usual seaside fun and games, such as volleyball, motorboats, pedalos, surfing and scuba diving. There are trampolines and carousels for children, and buzzing nightlife for adults. Plenty of restaurants offer views across the sand.