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Sardinia in winter

6 reasons why Sardinia is the perfect destination for a winter holiday

More than the sea. From archaeological trekking to marine wellness, the winter season is ideal for rediscovering Sardinian history and traditions.

4 minutes

If you are looking for a paradise all to yourself, away from the beaten track to unplug in the cold months, the most magical discovery you can give yourself is a trip to the beaches and mountains, villages and towns of Sardinia in winter. Genuine luxury, within everyone's reach, will reveal unprecedented nuances of the island, which reveals its innermost soul, the heart of its traditions and ancient culture in the winter.

Thanks to the temperatures, which are never cold on the coasts, and the sun, which is warm even in the middle of winter, it is possible to explore the island far and wide, even at times that are severe for outdoor activities in summer. And if the sea is too cold for a swim, you will uncover an abundance of experiences that will enrich your idea of the island. Here we suggest six for you because we’re certain you will discover many more during your visit...

Sardinian beaches and their sea water : a natural health and beauty spa

Sardinia's beach and sea

Costa Rei, Pelosa, Tuerredda, Su Giudeu, Rena Majore, Cala Spinosa... imagine being able to enjoy the enchantment of Sardinia's most beautiful beaches, in complete solitude or in romantic company, and seeing them transform into a natural beauty spa.

The sea is wellness: it improves the mood, relieves stress and strengthens the immune system. Jogging on the sand, walking ankle-deep in sparkling water, or practising yoga or pilates on the beach is a powerful tonic for circulation that utilises the natural scrub of sand therapy. Then with stone therapy you can reactivate all your dormant energy as you feel the pressure of sun-warmed stones on your body. 

Excursions in Sardinia are open-air explorations

Nuraghi in Sardinia

The warmth of the sun and the hours of light in the Sardinian winter also allow for countless outdoor activities. From any point on the coast, you can connect to the Cammino delle 100 Torri, an itinerary around the island that touches all the coastal towers; or you can follow some of the stages of the Sentiero minerario di Santa Barbara, a touristic-religious route among disused mines, overhanging tunnels, railways and ghost towns in the Sulcis Iglesiente and Guspinese area. You can experience this itinerary also by bicycle.

There are actually many paths for hiking, biking and horseback riding along the coast of Sardinia, and several streams where you can practise canyoning, canoeing and kayaking. If you prefer to have a closer view of the sea, there is the possibility of diving in the crystal-clear water of the seabeds teeming with life and colour.

The enchantment of skiing on top of the Gennargentu

Snow-covered mountain

Going up from the sea to the mountains, particularly those of the Gennargentu Massif, whose peaks are over 1,800 metres above sea level and in winter are often covered by heavy snowfall, here is another electrifying surprise: Sardinia in winter also has a short ski season in store for you, from December to March.

The main areas are located on the slopes of Bruncu Spina, one of the highest peaks of the massif, which can be reached from Fonni, at an altitude of 1,000 metres.

The thousand-year history of the Nuraghi

Nuragic complex of Palmavera in Sardinia

Sardinia's cool climate in winter also favours a more in-depth exploration of its main archaeological sites. Scenic trekking routes often cover the Nuraghi, the classic turreted fortress-houses with a truncated-cone shape which bear witness to a thousand-year-old civilisation.

Among the must-see nuraghi in Sardinia: the Su Nuraxi complex in Barumini, the nuragic village of Palmavera near Alghero, or Riu Mulinu on the Olbia coast. To best explore its mysterious charm, rely on an experienced guide.

Carnival: the authentic Sardinian spirit

Carnival of Mamoiada

One of the most deep-rooted attractions, which summer tourists unfortunately miss, is the Sardinian Carnival, which is called Karrasegare here and allows total immersion in the most authentic island spirit. The celebrations begin between 16 and 17 January, with the feast of St Anthony Abbot.

For the occasion, a bonfire is lit in each village in honour of the saint and typical products accompanied by good wine are tasted. The epicentre of Carnival, however, is in Mamoiada, a village in the middle of the island. Here, the parade of the Mamuthones and Issohadores, the world-famous masks, enlivens the festivities. The Carnival of Oristano, called Sartiglia, is a different tradition, an ancient one involving an equestrian joust in medieval costume.

Art cities and typical Sardinian dishes

Carasau bread

Among the places to see in Sardinia in winter are the towns and villages that are unfortunately neglected in summer. Cagliari with its charming Castello district, white and enchanting Sassari and Alghero, the picturesque views of Castelsardo and Bosa, and the murals of Orgosolo.

It is also an opportunity to explore the typical Sardinian dishes, real delicacies: from spaghetti with sea urchins and carasau bread to broad beans with lard, typical of Carnival, to the famous and tasty seadas, a typical Sardinian sweet made of semolina and cheese enriched with sweet honey.

Accompany everything with the best Sardinian wines. Among the reds, without a doubt the Cannonau is perfect for carnival dishes, while among the whites, what could be better than a Vermentino with sea urchins?

Sardinia, Italy's happy island, hides endless opportunities, experiences and adventures to be enjoyed in every season.

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