Thinking of heading on holiday to Sardinia with kids? Great choice. Sardinia, the 2nd largest island in Italy, is very family friendly, and children are adored here. I travelled here with my 4 year old daughter and we were welcomed everywhere we went. There are playgrounds, family-friendly beaches and accommodations (many of which have swimming pools which are highly popular with children) as well as other things to do in Sardinia with kids.
You might be wondering which part of Sardinia to go to with kids, where to stay and what kinds of activities there are to do – you’re in the right place.
So, let’s jump in – everything you need to know about Sardinia with Kids!
Sardinia with Kids: Everything you Need to Know
Sardinia is a fascinating island. Aside from Caribbean-style beaches, it has a rich history from being inhabited since the prehistoric times. There are archaeological sites, medieval buildings and towns, interesting museums, and many activities to make memories together as a family.
Which part of Sardinia to Visit with Children
Most tourists in Sardinia stick to the east of the island when they visit Sardinia. The northeast part, the area near Olbia is called Costa Smeralda, and its the most expensive region in Sardinia to stay in. If cost isn’t an issue, then there are lots of beautiful towns, resorts and beaches in the Costa Smeralda that are kid friendly. If you’re wanting to travel to Sardinia on a budget however, then don’t worry – there are plenty of other places to stay in Sardinia outside of the Costa Smeralda region.
First of all, its important to know that all parts of Sardinia can be child-friendly. There are family-friendly beaches, resorts with swimming pools and playgrounds in all areas of the country. West Sardinia is less touristy than east Sardinia, but the tourism industry is alive and popular everywhere in Sardinia.
Things to Do in Sardinia with Kids (By Region)
Depending on which city you choose to fly (or take a ferry to) there will be different things in that region to do. Keep in mind, if you rent a car, you would still be able to easily reach the other cities fairly easily. But you may want to select your ‘home base’ based on what activities you’re interested in with your children.
We’ll start with the Costa Smeralda, since it is the most popular place to visit in Sardinia, and also the priciest, so expect to pay a little bit more for accommodations and food. However, there is a lot of breathtaking beauty. The main city in the Costa Smeralda is Olbia.
Things to do in the Costa Smeralda with Kids
- Paddle-board in the ocean with dolphins (8+ years old) or go bottlenose dolphin watching (all ages)
- Take a boat out to the Maddalenna Islands, which have been inhabited since prehistoric times. Have free time there for swimming, food and shopping
- Ride in a traditional tuk tuk around the old town of Olbia (3+ years old)
- Take an archaeological sightseeing tour from Olbia
- Family-friendly beaches in the Costa Smeralda include: Spiaggia Brandinchini, Spiaggia del Principe, and many more
Places to Stay in the Costa Smeralda with Kids
- Budget: Colonna Country Hotel Situated near the coast, with a swimming pool and a superb breakfast every morning
- Mid Range: Borgo Alba Barona Turismo Rurale Have stunning pools, a swimming pool, and a delicious breakfast to wake up to
- Luxury: Hotel Marana Have your own suite gorgeous views, an outdoor pool and the beach only 500 m away
The capital of Sardinia, Cagliari is in south Sardinia, and it has a lot of historical buildings and museums. Aside from that, there are many amazing beaches, and tourist towns in the south of Sardinia.
Things to do in South Sardinia with Kids
- Explore Cagliari’s underground. The kids will be amazed at this underground tunnel (all ages)
- Climb get a view of the city from the Bastion St. Remy
- Take a tour of Nora, a pre-Roman archaeological site (all ages)
- Family-friendly beaches in South Sardinia: Poetto Beach, an 8km sandy strip just 15 minutes from Cagliari, Cala Domestica, Spiaggia di Tuerredda, Spiaggia di Punta Molentis, Su Giudeo, and many more
Good to Know: Sardinian beach names often start with the word “spiaggia” meaning beach or “cala” meaning cove. Its good to know the Italian name, because this is often the name that appears on Google Maps
The city of Cagliari is worth spending a day visiting, but I wouldn’t stay here the whole time. With kids, it would be nicer to get out of the city, and be close to nature/outdoors for the majority of your trip.
Best Kid-Friendly Places to Stay in South Sardinia
- Budget: Hotel i Colori Very colourful hotel near the coast, with balconies, free breakfast, and an outdoor swimming pool
- Mid Range: Hotel Villa Gli Asfodeli Near the beach, with a swimming pool, great breakfast, and an airport shuttle
- Luxury: Chia Laguana Hotel Village Outdoor swimming pool, private beach, kid’s club, excellent breakfast and dinner included
The airport in north Sardinia is Alghero, and other major cities are Porto Torres and the Golfo Aranci. There are beaches, caves, hiking, and medieval towns in North Sardinia and there’s a lot to do as a family.
Things to Do in North Sardinia with Kids
- Oasi Biderosa, a large nature reserve with hiking and beautiful beaches (its a 5 km or miles) stroller-friendly hike to the beach
- Go kayaking in crystal-clear waters in the Golfo Aranci (5+)
- Explore Neptune Caves (also known as Neptunes Grotto) outside Alghero
- Stroll through the old town of Alghero
- Family-friendly beaches in north Sardinia include: Spiaggia di Li Cossi, Spiaggia Longa, and many others
Places to Stay in North Sardinia with Kids
- Budget: Charlotte Apartment Specifically for families and groups, this 2-bedroom holiday house is close to beaches and offers gorgeous views
- Mid-Range: Il Rifugio Have everything you need in this air-conditioned holiday home, and a garden to relax in after days exploring the beaches, caves and other sites in the north
- Luxury: Casa Vacanza Sardegna il Corbezzolo Spacious holiday home with gorgeous views and a hot tub, close to the beach
West Sardinia is a less-visited gem, this means you can often find more affordable hotels and activities. If you’re looking to escape the tourist crowds but still want to experience the beauty of Sardinia, then this might be for you.
Things to Do in West Sardinia with Kids
- Half day snorkeling tour in the Bosa coastline (5+ years old)
- Jeep adventure tour in southwest Sardinia (4+ years old)
- Visit Tharros Archaeological Site
- Kid friendly beaches in west Sardinia include: Spiaggia di San Nicolo (southwest Sardinia), Spiaggia di Is Arenas, Spiaggia di Porto Alabe, and many more.
Places to Stay in West Sardinia with Kids
- Budget: Maison Belle Époque & Suites Have a well-situated, spacious and clean family apartment with an outdoor swimming pool
- Mid-Range: Turismo Rurale Pertunge Stay in your own peaceful farmhouse, with spectacular views and air conditioning
- Luxury: Hotel Lido Beach Have your own suite right on the beachfront with free breakfast, and an outdoor swimming pool
East Sardinia, south of Sardinia is breathtakingly beautiful. You’re close enough to the Costa Smeralda to be able to drive there, but there’s also a lot to do in East Sardinia as well.
Things to Do with Kids in East Sardinia:
- Family-friendly beaches in east Sardinia include: Spiaggia sa Curcurica, Spiaggia di Bidderosa, Spiaggia di Capo Comino and many more
Places to Stay in East Sardinia with Kids
- Budget: Villagio Camping Tesonis Beach You’ll have access to a beautiful private beach, a minimart on site, and a bus stop 600 m away.
- Mid-Range: Via Roma Charming Rooms Have a terrace with gorgeous mountain views
- Luxury: Sa Iba Resort Can’t get much better than this with an air-conditioned flat with two swimming pools and a great breakfast
Kid Friendly Beaches in Sardinia
As you’ve probably seen from reading through this article, Sardinia offers a lot in terms of history and culture, but it goes without saying that beaches are one of the main draw to Sardinia. Some of the beaches in Sardinia might be more suited to adults, because of the force of the waves (which is ideal for surfing) and some beaches are a mix of both – good for surfing on some days, depending on the weather, but family-friendly as well.
There are countless beaches in Sardinia, so its impossible to list all of them that are family friendly. However, here are some of the most well-known family-friendly beaches in Sardinia, by region:
- North Sardinia: Spiaggia di Li Cossi, Spiaggia Longa
- Costa Smeralda: Spiaggia Brandinchini, Spiaggia del Principe
- South Sardinia: Poetto Beach, Cala Domestica, Spiaggia di Tuerredda, Spiaggia di Punta Molentis, Su Giudeo
- East Sardinia: Spiaggia sa Curcurica, Spiaggia di Bidderosa, Spiaggia di Capo Comino
- West Sardinia: Spiaggia di San Nicolo, Spiaggia di Is Arenas, Spiaggia di Porto Alabe
Good to Know: Many beaches in Sardinia, especially the more popular ones, require you to call in advance to book sun-beds in advance. (If they have them.) If you’re visiting a popular and well-serviced beach, to visit the beach website before your beach day to reserve a sun-bed if you want one.
How to Get to Sardinia with Kids
The cheapest and fastest way to get to Sardinia (with or without kids) is to fly. You can fly from several airports in Italy, as well as several destinations in mainland Europe.
If you’re in Rome, somewhere else in mainland Italy or southern Europe, then you can also take the ferry to Sardinia. Read more about taking the ferry from Rome to Sardinia here. The nice thing about taking the ferry to Sardinia is that there are play areas and things to do for kids on board. Flying however, being quicker and cheaper might be easier on most families, depending on where you’re coming from.
Reminder: Use Skyscanner to see all the flight options from all the airlines, and Direct Ferries to see all the ferry options. This saves time
How to Get Around Sardinia with Kids
There are a few ways of getting around Sardinia, here’s an outline of what you need to know about each
Sardinia by Car with Kids
I’d highly recommend renting a car in Sardinia with kids. Its possible to get around Sardinia without a car, but it is much easier with a car. Currently, Uber is not used in Sardinia (nor is any ride share program) so it would need to be your own car rental that you drive yourself.
We rented a car and chose to drive around the country, I found this the most convenient and fulfilling. I pulled over so many times to take pictures. Keep in mind, that children will need to be in a child seat until they reach 4 ft 9 inches in height, or 12 years of age. You can either bring a carseat from home, or you can rent one for a surcharge from the car rental company that you choose. (Verify with them in advance that they have one for the weight of your child.)
Public Transportation (Bus and Train)
Italy’s main train company, Trenitalia, operates trains in Sardinia, and its decently serviced to most major cities. You can buy train tickets online or at the train station. You can buy bus tickets from convenience stores, and bus stations or directly from the driver.
Best Sardinia Holiday Resorts with Kids
If you’re not particular about which part of Sardinia you go to, and are just looking for the best family resorts, where you can be taken care of and have a relaxing holiday with your family, then look no further. Here are the best Sardinia family holiday resorts on the island
- Chia Laguna Hotel Village Breakfast and dinner included at this air conditioned resort with a swimming pool and private beach area
- Arbatax Park Resort Can’t get much better than several swimming pools, a private beach, and lots of amenities for both kids and parents
- Is Molas Resort We like this one because of the breathtaking views, private beach area and swimming pool
Sardinia with Kids: FAQ
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about travelling to or around Sardinia as a family with kids
Is Sardinia suitable for kids?
Sardinia is very suitable for kids. Aside from the fact that Sardinians love children, Sardinia has lots of child-friendly beaches, and history for them to learn about, explore and engage in. There are outdoor activities like hiking, interesting museums,
Which part of Sardinia is best for families?
Regardless of if you choose north Sardinia, south, east or west – there are places to stay and things to do in each area that are great for families.
Is it easy to get around Sardinia without a car?
Sardinia has a bus system, but its much easier to get around Sardinia with a car. There are many popular companies to rent a car from in Sardinia, and its the most common way for tourists to get around the island.
Is Sardinia a party island?
Sardinia isn’t considered to be a party island, like Ibizia. Sardinia is very popular with honeymooners, couples on vacation, and even families with kids. It has a lot of rich history, world class beaches and classic cuisine. Sardinia is great for snorkeling or diving, hiking in the mountains, and touring old towns and archaeological sites.
Sardinia with Kids: Final Thoughts
Sardinia is a beautiful, diverse island. It has beaches that look like Tahiti, and old, medieval cities and archaeological sites. Having been settled by the Romans, it has such a rich history, along with delicious cuisine. Its a great place to travel as a family. Along with places on mainland Italy such as Rome, Florence and Venice, you can find many deeply enriching things to do for the whole family in Sardinia.
Sardinia was my favourite place to visit in Italy. It has a different atmosphere and feels almost like a separate country in some ways. I’m positive you’ll be glad you took the time to visit this gem, and I hope this guide helps you make many special family memories. Buon Viaggio!