You might expect to hit the hotspots like Rome and Florence during an Italian holiday, but the beauty, flavors, and history of Sardinia are unmatched. On an Italy cruise with a stop in the port city of Cagliari, you’ll experience Sardinia in style. Experience a lesser-known side of the country on a Sardinia cruise and discover its unique Italian elegance and charm. Seaside adventures and incredible culinary experiences await you here.
As the capital city of Sardinia, Cagliari boasts impressive Roman architecture, ruins, and beautiful Mediterranean weather. Spend time in the outdoors and swim at Poetto Beach or hike up the limestone rockface of Sella del Diavolo. Explore Il Castello and the romantic cafes and restaurants on the area, or wile the afternoon away taking in thousands of years of history at the National Archaeological Museum. No Sardinian vacation is complete without experiencing its cafe culture, sipping an aperitif, or enjoying spaghetti with local clams.
Known as the citadel, Il Castello is one of the shining stars of the city, the medieval foundation that grew into the Cagliari we know today. The district is now becoming known for its cafes, restaurants, and romantic vibe. Book a walking tour of Il Castello for extraordinary panoramic views and photo ops.
Built in the 13th century, this Roman Catholic cathedral symbolizes the importance of religion to Sardinian culture. Unlike heavily touristed destinations like the Vatican, the Cathedral of Santa Maria is a quiet, peaceful place. Marvel at the paintings, murals, and sculptures of the cathedral on your visit.
Discover the history of the area on your Sardinia cruise at the National Archaeological Museum. On the ground floor, you’ll find expertly preserved artifacts, including early sets of tools, ancient jewelry, and terracotta formations. The bronze collection here provides a previously untold look at the history of the island of Sardinia.
For a more active approach to Sardinia, don’t miss an afternoon hike along the Gulf of Cagliari at the Sella del Diavolo, or “Devil’s Saddle”. Scale the white limestone structure stretching out to stunning gulf views, discover ancient ruins, and learn the famous origin story of Cagliari along the way.
If it’s beach time you’re craving, head to Poetto Beach, which is easily accessible by a short bus out of the city. Poetto Beach has restaurants, bars, and equipment rentals if you want to kayak the blue waters. Rent a bicycle and see the waterfront on two wheels, or set out your beach towel and lounge on the white sands.
Giorgino is a small fishing village off the Gulf of Cagliari. Lounge on its well-loved beach or tour the beautiful local church. If you’re looking for adventure, you can try kitesurfing here.
There’s no better way to experience the Sardinian cuisine than on a food tour. Sample local delicacies, taste wine, and learn about the gastronomic history of the region.
Spaghetti with clams, fish stews, and pretty much all types of local seafood are must-try dishes during your time in Cagliari, Sardinia. Anchovies and sardines from this region are particularly famous. Two classically Sardinian desserts are sebadas, which resemble a pancake stuffed with cheese and drizzled with honey, and pardulas, which are cakes filled with sweet ricotta. As on the mainland, coffee is a big part of the culture here, so head to a local cafe for an espresso.
Human settlement in the area began thousands of years ago with the Phoenicians. For centuries, this part of Sardinia traded hands from the Romans to the Byzantines, the Spanish, and other groups. After the unification of Italy in the late 19th century, Cagliari experienced a boom in its economy, population, and culture as a port city. Though the city suffered from massive destruction during World War II, it has since bounced back as a tourism destination. During a Sardinia cruise, don’t miss the opportunity to take in thousands of years of culture by visiting its ample ruins and incredible museums that make this capital city so fascinating.
You’ll arrive in Porto Cervo, where you’ll find cafes, shops, and internet. The center of town is within walking distance. There’s a tourist information center nearby to answer your questions and provide maps and recommendations.
In this part of Sardinia, you’ll find that cycling, boat tours, and the bus system are the main methods of transportation for locals. There are taxis as well. Since you only have a few hours to explore, book a shore excursion with transit included or walk around the central historic district. Be prepared and bring comfortable walking shoes.
You’ll find tourist and souvenir shacks near the cruise port and ample artisanal shopping and local goods all around the historic city center.
In Sardinia, the official currency is the euro, just like in other parts of Italy. You’ll find ATMs readily available throughout the city. Many places accept credit cards, but be sure to ask, particularly at smaller restaurants and establishments. Carrying a few extra euros to cover a coffee or a meal is recommended. At restaurants, a servizio and a coperto charge is included in your bill. Leaving behind a few extra euros is considered polite. Round up to the nearest euro for taxi drivers.