Castelsardo is a charming medieval town on the rugged northwestern coast of Sardinia. It hugs a hilltop overlooking a beautiful harbour, and is surrounded by pretty little coves and bays. The lovely old streets wind up lazily to the castle at the summit of the hill, and you can enjoy wonderful views from the town’s picturesque squares. There are lots of places to eat, drink and shop, and you can top up your tan on the town beach. There are lots more beaches within easy reach, from popular sandy bays to secluded by rocky coves. It’s an ideal destination for families and couples, with just the right balance of tranquillity and things to see and do.
Castelsardo is an enchanting, medieval town on a hilltop in northwestern Sardinia. It overlooks a boat-filled harbour, and the coastline is dotted with tiny coves and sandy bays. You can wander through the charming old streets up to the castle, and pause to gaze out at the gorgeous views. It’s popular with families and couples, who enjoy its gentle pace, beaches and picture-postcard charms. Head out to see Elephant Rock, part of a 5000-year-old tomb that has been sculpted out over time into the shape of an elephant. Or simply laze on one of the gorgeous sandy beaches and soak up the sun, before tucking into tasty Sardinian specialities at a seafront restaurant.
There is a fantastic choice of places to eat and drink in Castelsardo, whether you want to enjoy ultra-fresh seafood right on the beach, fancy tucking into some traditional Sardininan home-cooking, or just want a slice of pizza on the go. Like all Italian regions, there are lots of local specialities that are unique to the island. This includes a huge choice of cheeses and charcuterie, including pecorino and capra sarda (made with the milk of Sardinian goats), along with the horse-shoe shaped salsiccia sarda (Sardinian sausage), a pork sausage flavoured with fennel and anise. There’s lots of amazing seafood to try, along with all kinds of delicious lamb dishes. And you can enjoy it with whole range of wonderful local wines.
Castelsardo is a fantastic destination to enjoy a wonderful family holiday in Sardinia. The Sa Ferula and Ampurias beaches are particularly good if you’re travelling with children, with plenty of fine sand, shallow waters and good facilities. Older kids might enjoy the opportunities for snorkelling and diving, and there’s a fun water park about a 20-minute drive away. If you want to introduce them to some local history, take them out to Elephant Rock. This is a 5000-year-old tomb, which has been sculpted into the shape of an elephant over the centuries. The charming old town is full of family-friendly cafés and restaurants where your kids can run around happily and tuck into tasty local specialities.
Action & Adventure
Castelsardo is located in the beautiful, rugged northeastern corner of Sardinia, and offers all kinds of water sports plus some great hiking. The craggy coastline is dotted with sandy beaches and rocky bays, which you can explore with a snorkel, or by kayak or paddle-board. You could go sailing, or take one of the boat trips that depart from the marina to enjoy the gorgeous coastline. There are lots of wonderful walks around the coast and in the hills inland, including routes around Mount Ossoni, which offers panoramic views over the gulf. This area is also great for mountain-biking with several rewarding trails through the juniper pines and hills.
There’s a sandy beach near the harbour in the centre of Castelsardo, which is great for simply lazing about and working on your tan. If you want to swim or try some water sports, it’s best to head to the beaches in nearby Lu Bagnu, which boast golden sands and crystal-clear waters. The nearest to Castelsardo are the adjoining Sa Ferula and Ampurias beaches, which are the most popular in summer. It’s shallow enough for kids to swim safely, and the facilities include sunbeds and parasols for rent and a beach bar (plus lots of restaurants within an easy stroll). A whole string of smaller beaches and coves continue west along the coast to Punta La Capra. This headland offers wonderful views, and has a small, rocky beach where you can escape the crowds.
Castelsardo is a laid-back and peaceful seaside town, and the nightlife here consists mainly of ambling from bar to bar enjoying a drink with locals. Most of the bars are located in the charming old town, where you’ll find lots of atmospheric places tucked away in the narrow streets. They get a lot livelier during the high season in summer, when you might find a few live gigs and DJ sessions to get the atmosphere going. You might also enjoy a few drinks at one of the seafront restaurants, where you can sit out on the terrace with a bottle of local wine and soak up the wonderful views.
A picturesque, whitewashed town huddled on a hilltop overlooking a harbour, gorgeous beaches and wonderful local food and wine – what more could you want? Castelsardo is the perfect place for a romantic holiday in sunny Sardinia if you’re looking for laid-back charm. There are lots of pretty beaches and coves within easy reach, if you simply want to relax and work on your tans. You could stroll up through the narrow streets of the old town to reach the Doria Castle, which offers stunning views – and is particularly romantic at sunset. There are lots of things to do in the area, from vineyard visits to diving courses, and you’ll be able to enjoy delicious meals in the charming local restaurants.
Beautiful Castelsardo has a long history, attested to by the ancient walls, the 12th-century castle which crowns the town, and the beautiful 16th-century cathedral. The surrounding hills are dotted with nuraghe, megalithic buildings that were built during the Nuragic Age which endured on Sardinia from around 1900 to 750 BC. The castle – which is worth the climb for the fabulous views alone – is home to a fascinating museum of weaving, dedicated to the Sardinian traditional of hand-weaving with rushes, palms and other plants. The cathedral contains an altarpiece by the Master of Castelsardo, an accomplished painter who was active from the early 15th to the early 16th centuries. There are more fine artworks in the cathedral museum, located in the crypt, where you can also see the remnants of the earlier Romansque church that stood here. As you stroll the pretty little streets, you’ll also spot the handsome La Loggia Palace, the 12th-century town hall.