Do you want to know the best places to visit and the best things to do in Sardinia, Italy, in autumn? Here you will find many exciting ideas.
Indeed, Sardinia is not only sea and beaches. It also offers an infinite range of possibilities for all tastes and all seasons.
What to do in Sardinia in autumn? Many natural wonders await you, including underground caves created over thousands of years, unspoilt nature, breathtaking itineraries, parks, excursions by boat or to the island's most mysterious areas. Not to mention archaeological sites, fascinating traditions that come alive in folkloric events and a food and wine tradition rooted in the ancient history of the Sardinian people. Sports enthusiasts, too, will find bread for their teeth here amidst outdoor activities and adrenaline.
In short, autumn is the ideal time to discover the authentic soul of this fantastic island in a mix of culture, art, history, gastronomy, nature and sport, where you are sure to find what you are looking for.
Sardinia: the ideal destination even in autumn
Sardinia is always beautiful, no matter what time of year it is.
Generally speaking, it has an essentially Mediterranean climate. However, it is an island surrounded by sea and far from the continents, exposing it to thermal variations between the slopes. However, the weather is temperate and characterised by sunshine and low rainfall. The mitigating action of the sea moderates the summer heat and, in winter, softens the temperatures, which never fall below zero except at high altitudes.
In any case, autumn is the ideal time to visit and explore Sardinia and appreciate every single aspect. Calmly, without the crowds of the summer season and with temperatures around 20 degrees, you can enjoy all that this wonderful island has to offer. Weather permitting, you can bathe in the crystal-clear sea that laps its entire coastline in peace and quiet and without the summer crowds.
Autumn is the perfect season to visit Sardinia as mild temperature makes it pleasant and undoubtedly more relaxing and soothing a tour of the island at 360°.
One of the things to do in Sardinia in autumn is to take a trip to discover the numerous nuraghi that dot the entire island. Through the countless archaeological testimonies present on the territory and the countless finds and treasures preserved in the museums, we will have a real encounter with the suggestive history of Sardinia. Here are some suggestions not to be missed.
Su Nuraxi of Barumini (province of Medio Campidano in the central-southern part of the island) is characterised by an imposing nuraghe, erected in different phases starting from the 15th century BC. Around it, there was a large village of huts that developed over the following centuries. A truly unique place full of charm, the largest Nuragic village in Sardinia was listed in the World Heritage Sites in 1997.
The Nuraghe Arrubiu, which means red in Sardinian language, is a Nuragic complex located in the municipality of Orroli in the province of South Sardinia. Its characteristic colour is due to the lichens that cover its entirety. Majestic and imposing with its five towers, it dominates an ancient ford of the Flumendosa river, where a dam stands. It is one of the largest on the island and in western Europe.
Another place not to be missed is the archaeological site of Tharros, located in the municipality of Cabras in the province of Oristano. The ancient city of Tharros is situated at the southern end of the Sinis Peninsula and offers spectacular views of a sea that merges with the sky. Tharros was founded between the 8th and 7th centuries BC by the Phoenicians. Its past remains, and beautiful views will enchant you.
We always recommend consulting the official sites for further details and information.
The Sardinian territory offers unmissable beauties to be discovered. For example, the beautiful caves will allow us to get to know a genuinely uncontaminated nature. Among the best known, as well as the largest, there are the Caves of Is Zuddas. Located in the southwestern part of Sardinia, in the Sulcis region, they are a natural work of art created over millions of years by the erosive action of water. Inside, the constant temperature is 16 degrees, so that it would be an excellent refuge even in summer. You can admire ravines and corridors, stalactites, stalagmites and waterfalls, as well as the "rock flowers", the natural halls of the Organ, of the Theatre and the Eccentrics: it will leave you breathless! It is worth mentioning that every year at Christmas, a large nativity scene is placed in the Organ hall, which is made even more impressive by the atmosphere of the caves.
About 150 km from the Is Zuddas caves, in Ulassai, in the province of Ogliastra, you can visit the Caves of Su Marmuri, recognised as some of the most important in Europe. In the Sardinian language, the name means Marble Caves due to their colour and morphological conformation. The touristic route is more than 850 metres long, with some points that reach a height of 70 metres. The temperature inside the caves does not exceed 10 degrees, so you need to be well equipped before entering. The caves are still 'alive', constantly evolving, with stalactites and stalagmites developing over time. Inside, they are divided into rooms, each one particular and different from the others. Among the most unique, we find the Cactus hall, due to the specific shape of the stalactites, and the Organ hall, due to the concretions that bring to mind the shape of the instrument's pipes. They can be visited from March/April until October.
We always recommend consulting the official sites for further details and information.
The Little Green Train and Parks
Among the things to do in Sardinia in autumn is a visit to the many city parks where you can stroll in the open air. For example, in Cagliari, the large Terramaini Park with children's games and various sports facilities, the Monte Urpinu Park or the Monte Claro Park. And again, the Sette Fratelli Regional Park wich extends to the southeast of the province of Cagliari, in the Sarrabus and Campidano di Cagliari. With its 58,846 hectares, it includes nine municipalities and is the largest in Sardinia. Moreover, the Giara di Gesturi Park winds through the four municipalities of Genoni, Gesturi, Setzu and Tuili for excursions to discover flora and fauna of a truly suggestive environment.
And why not take advantage of the autumn season to explore the island through a more intimate look at nature and adventure? An absolute must is an excursion by boat on Lake Flumendosa, formed by the river of the same name, which runs through central-southern Sardinia for about 127 km. Also highly recommended is a unique and memorable trip on the Trenino Verde (in Italian Trenino Verde literally means little green train). A railroad will cross the most real soul of the island, allowing you to get to know the most unusual, mysterious and unknown areas: a journey through the scenic and natural beauty of the most authentic Sardinia.
Traditions, wine and food
Sardinia is undoubtedly a region with a solid gastronomic vocation that boasts millenary origins. Families with children, in particular, can opt for unforgettable and fun trips to some agritourism or educational farm. Visiting such places can be a valid alternative to include among the things to do in Sardinia in autumn and at any time of the year. This way, the little ones will be free to play in contact with nature and watch the milking or bread being made. Adults can enjoy good food and wine. An idea of tourism based on taste!
One of the events dedicated to wine is Benvenuto Vermentino with the Vermentino wine-literary competition.
There are countless initiatives, festivals and fairs that allow us to discover the local traditions typical of this season. The opening of numerous wine cellars, which involve visitors in activities suitable for adults and children, is exceptional. Tastings, local festivals, food and wine tours, and grape harvests: many events discover the typical local products.
If you find yourself in Sardinia in autumn, check the calendars of events in the nearest towns. You really won't know what to choose!
What to do in autumn in Sardinia if you love outdoor activities and sports
Suppose you are planning things to do on your visit to Sardinia in the autumn. In that case, there is no shortage of excursions and trekking through the island's most evocative places amidst the colours of wild nature, rocky landscapes and paths capable of offering peace and wellbeing. Climbing, surfing, mountain biking inland or for coast-to-coast adventures to regenerate body and mind!
Sardinia is the ideal place to play golf, especially around Porto Cervo. For fishing enthusiasts, we recommend the ports of Alghero, Castelsardo or Cagliari, with the possibility of renting a boat. In the province of Oristano, it is possible to go on excursions along the ancient charcoal-burner's routes, through mountains, dense woods, torrents and steep waterfalls. From Gallura to Alghero, the North of Sardinia is an inexhaustible source of discoveries and breathtaking itineraries: the cliffs of Capo Caccia in the Gulf of Alghero, the cork forests of Calangianus, the Mount Limbara or the granite rocks of Tempio. Another popular sport is diving in the Penisola del Sinis marine nature reserve, not far from Oristano and Cabras, with a wide variety of seabeds rich in spectacular flora and fauna.
Due to its conformation and exposure, Sardinia is a paradise for surfers and windsurfers. In the Oristano area, at Capo Mannu above Putzu Idu or at Funtana Meiga, or Chia, when the easterly or southerly winds blow. The famous Chia Classic Invitational, the Master of windsurfing in Italy, has been held here for several years. The more daring opt for Oristano and its surroundings where the Mistral wind is extreme, and the waves can be 3-5 metres high.
"When most of the yachts have gone away, this place becomes again what it is. You can find the largest crowd in autumn during the Autumn in Barbagia, which takes place on weekends from September to December. And there you can taste cheeses, liqueurs and other traditional foods and wines. Moreover, in autumn, prices drop, making a stay in Costa Smeralda convenient, very famous during the hottest months of the summer."
Autumn in Barbagia - Cortes Apertas
The usual appointment with the event Autumn in Barbagia, also known as Cortes Apertas (in Sardinian language "open courtyards") is a real journey that allows us to enter and discover the heart of Sardinia's most authentic and deepest: the Barbagia. This territory extends in the central mountainous area of Sardinia, in the wildest hinterland, in a region that preserves intact the most typical expressions of culture, history and nature of the entire island.Close to the Gennargentu massif and the smaller mountains around it, the area is an authentic circuit characterized by ancient traditions in their most genuine expressions. Crafts, arts, culture and typical cuisine, centuries-old villages, landscapes, customs that the community jealously guards with great pride.
From September to mid-December, a busy calendar of events from village to village. You will experience their pride in wearing the typical costumes, an unmistakable sense of belonging to the territory, the local knowledge, the language, the taste or the shape of typical pastry, the way to produce the cheese, the way to carve the wood or to work the cork. About 30 hamlets - mainly in the province of Nuoro and part of the new province of Ogliastra - open the doors of their historic centres and make themselves known to visitors from the rest of Sardinia, Italy and the world, giving the best in a truly unforgettable experience to live. This is the truest sense of Cortes Apertas: offering itineraries of flavours and knowledge to taste and discover. Indeed, attending an event like this is one of the unmissable things to do if you are in Sardinia at this time of year.
Events in northern Sardinia
North Sardinia is also full of evocative events that are a must to discover this part of the island most intimately and authentically. They are many and varied and range from food and wine to ancient traditions, both secular and religious, to music, to the celebration of the beautiful nature of the places they involve. These events are part of the 'Salude & Trigu' programme that the Sassari Chamber of Commerce promotes. Currently, the project involves the territories of the provinces of Sassari and Olbia-Tempio. It aims to promote the traditions, folklore and culture of this Sardinian sub-region, to bring visitors into contact with the local people.
Here you can get a taste of Sardinia in the flesh, a region that is not just made up of sea and picture-postcard beaches, but of millenary traditions jealously and proudly guarded by a people proud of their past. An island that turns out to be a mosaic of unspoilt nature, history, art, culture and gastronomic excellence, capable of offering endless possibilities and unique and unrepeatable experiences in any season of the year: spring, summer, autumn or winter. A land that changes its colours, smells and always has new things to offer to those who choose it and continue to choose it in an ever new and different discovery.