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Why Sardinia should be your next island road trip.

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

After spending a month travelling the idyllic coastline of Sardinia in our tiny home on wheels, I can confirm, it ABSOLUTELY exceeded our expectations. So, if you are here because you are pondering on whether Sardinia should be the destination for your next van life road trip adventure, DO IT! (But read this first please, thank you).

In this blog, I run through all the places we visited on our lap of the island, the suitability of road tripping in a van, accompanied by our truly honest opinions on each location, as well as some useful tips.

I have included all the park up locations below each place, so you can follow this route exactly if you think it's a winner (they were mostly scenic and dreamy).

It’s worth noting that we road tripped around Sardinia from 18th September 2022 to 20th October 2022 and travelled from South to North via the West coast, then briefly back down the East. Therefore, I can only describe our experience for this time of year, which worked out well, with mostly warm sunny days, cool evenings and the odd spatter of rain.

Getting to Sardinia

Before I rush off and tell you how great it is, lets get you there.

We reached Sardinia by ferry from Palermo, Sicily which was a 12-hour ferry ride. The ferry takes you into the port of Cagliari which is the capital of Sardinia. They run once a week on a Sunday and the ferry company was Grimaldi Ferries. You can also reach Sardinia from various other ports, its a well connected island. Click here to see a full schedule of ferry ports and times.

TIP: We booked a cabin, which was a bit sass of us, but it was only €40.00 (way cheaper than ferries we have been on before) and the cabin had its own bathroom, it was worth it for us as the ferry was really busy and there wasn’t anywhere to chill, so if you can afford it, book a cabin. Also, bonus if you don’t have a shower in your van and can use this one!


This was our first stop on our road trip, not too far from Cagliari, it took us just under an hour to reach Chia.

The beaches in Chia are lovely and were fairly quiet. When we arrived here, we thought we had found THE best beaches in Sardinia on day one. But I can now confirm, they get better as you keep travelling up the coast, making Chia beaches look average in hindsight (sorry Chia). This area is a “resort” location, so whilst it was nice to visit, I wouldn’t say it was the best location for travelling in a campervan. It’s worth stopping if you are in no rush, but if you don’t, you won’t be missing “the best of”.

Saying that, Chia did deliver one KEY element I was hoping would materialise from our trip to Sardinia. Before we had begun our serious search for FLAMINGOS (yes, there are flamingos in Sardinia!), we spotted a flamboyance (this is the actual word for a group of them, I KNOW) of them in a lake just behind Mount Cogoni Beach, about 2 minutes from where we were parked, I was stunned when we stumbled upon them. I was ready with a compass, binoculars and flamingo sniffer to find them (joke, but if that was a thing I would have brought it). I had pre-pinned all the potential flamingo spotting locations on the map in preparation, and this wasn’t one that was listed anywhere.

This also led me to believe that we would see loads more…spoiler alert: we didn’t! September/October is not prime time for flamingo spotting, so it was a bonus we saw them. If you manage to spot some of these majestic creatures this time of year, don’t assume you will see more in the better known locations like I did, doh.

TIP: There are no supermarkets in this area, and the small food shops are SUPER expensive, so stock up before you arrive.

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: Free

Internet Connection: 8/10

Porto Pino

Sand Dune Territory! This place was STUNNINGGGG, and also where the realisation Chia wasn't all that started to develop. The beach is made up of transparent turquoise waters and a huge 4km stretch of soft white sand, shouldered by beautiful white sand dunes, with the most picturesque and highest dunes located at the far right of the beach. This place is NOT to be missed.

We stayed one night, and the park up was van life bliss. We were parked up on a tiny strip of land between two lakes, directly behind the beach, with nobody around and the sun setting behind us. Two days and one night was more than enough to experience the dunes and laze about by the sea, it was a busy area, which is why we didn’t stay longer. (This was one of the notable places to see flamingos, there were no flamingos).

TIP: If you want the sand dunes to yourself, and are looking to snap some photos of the ridges unspoilt from visitor footprints, wake up early and visit at sunrise. I am so glad we did this; it was an unforgettable morning. If you do set out on this little adventure, be careful not to spoil the ridges yourself on your walk up and ruin your own snaps!

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: €10.00

Internet Connection: 7/10

Laveria Lamarmora (Miniera di Nebida)

This is a cool place to see, and an important part of Sardinian historic culture. We stopped here for a few hours whilst travelling up the coast, the drive from Porto Pino to here was road trip heaven, it consisted of mostly winding cliff side coastal roads (and new tarmac, what camper driver dreams are made of).

The mining site is free to visit, but this means it is unmanned and doesn’t look as though it is maintained at all, so if you want to wander around the site, be careful and watch your step, as it is not in great condition. It does look as though there was once a fence to stop people entering, but everybody seems to ignore this, we did too.

TIP: There is a steep staircase to take you down to the mining site, but there is also a much easier path to the left of the site to go back up if you don’t fancy climbing the stairs!

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: Free

Internet Connection: 9/10


We stopped here with the intention of visiting Porto Flavia, which was only around the corner, but this was one of the afternoons that we endured some rain and it was paired with some strong winds. When we arrived, we heard from some passers by that they had shut the site due to the weather. Initially I was pretty gutted, but then we also heard it’s a little underwhelming when you actually visit the site and the best way to see it is with a drone. The weather wasn’t suitable for drone flying, so we didn’t hang about to confirm this feedback and gave it a miss.

The beaches, however, were quite dreamy. There were two directly next to each other, both as lovely as one another and when we visited, both had beach bars that were open (it stopped raining before sunset, so we managed to enjoy them a little). The beaches were called Spiaggia di Porto Cauli & Molo di Masua It is a little out the way, so if you have no intention of visiting Porto Flavia or Grotto Azzurro, you could skip this.

TIP: There is a car park directly in front of the beaches, but it’s a paid car park and there is no view from this level. If you drive up the road behind the car park, you will have a perfect view of the sea and the beaches below as well as the sunset. It is also free!

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: Free

Internet Connection: 3/10

Dune di Piscinas

I have a bit of a clouded memory of this place. It was beautiful, but urghhhhhh, the drive there was…so tumultuous. It didn’t help that it had rained the day before. After you drive through a little picturesque, fairy-tale village in the middle of nowhere, perched on a very steep hill, you get to a dirt road filled with rocks and potholes, which makes up the last 30 minutes of the journey. I must admit, it is worth it when you arrive, but only go here if you are confident driving on these kinds of roads (thankfully Tay is, and he doesn’t get distracted when I am almost throwing up next to him riddled with vanxiety).

Once you arrive, you are parked up in the middle of desert-like golden sand dunes, with a vast sandy beach and blue waters to enjoy directly in front of you. If you make the pilgrimage, stay for at least a couple of days to make the drive worth it!

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: €5.00

Internet Connection: 4/10

Punta Maimoni

This place wasn’t originally on my list of stops, but after searching for park ups on Park4Night, this place looked like a great spot to chill and hang out for a few days right next to the beach (and recover from our exit drive from Dune di Piscinas). We weren’t expecting much to be honest, but after arriving, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t come across this place during my research of Sardinia. SO underrated, especially if you are travelling in a campervan.

It is a HUGE stretch of beach, made up of fine white quartz stone and steady aqua-blue waves. You can park pretty much all the way along the beach, within reason. People were kitesurfing here as it seems you get decent wind from time to time. We ended up staying a this spot for 4 nights with a few other van neighbours. The sunsets were breath-taking. For some reason I decided not to take a single decent photo in this location, so you will have to imagine and then go see it for yourselves!

TIP: Some areas of the beach are covered in seaweed, making it unpleasant or impossible to swim in the sea, BUT there are some spots with clear blue waters, so have a scout about before you make your final park up spot decision.

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: Free

Internet Connection: 10/10


Ahhh Bosa, amore mio. You will probably notice, I haven’t mentioned any quaint, picturesque towns we visited along the coast so far, and we are in Italy after all. Well, that’s because we hadn’t come across ANY yet. The west coastline of Sardinia is so unspoilt and unpopulated, which is what makes the island such a gem. This also makes the experience of arriving in Bosa all the more exciting.

Its simple architecturally urban buildings, coupled with warm coloured façades, all sitting neatly along the water’s edge makes this place SO photogenic, and this is just on one side of the river that runs through the centre. On the other side, the buildings are slightly more traditional, in the sense of what you would expect from Italian architecture, but all sporting brightly painted facades, clashing perfectly against one another. (Can you tell, I was really into this place?) Anyway, its glorious, make sure it’s a MUST on your list of stops.

TIP: Visit the castle whilst you are there, it's €5.00 entry, and the views of the town are gorgeous from the top, you can walk the full perimeter of the castle walls.

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: Free

Internet Connection: 9/10

Porto Conte National Park

We hadn’t really done any hiking since arriving in Sardinia, so felt it was time to ditch the crocs and give the hiking boots some airtime. We parked up at a spectacular viewpoint, where the sun rose on the left of us and set on the right. It was a great location to stay parked for a few days and reach several trails in this park. There are quite a few and we did most of them, some are easy, and some are quite steep, almost being a scramble the whole way, but from all the trails and viewpoints, the vistas are breath-taking. There are also a few small beaches in the park that are easy to reach and make for great spots to dive in the water after a sweaty hike. You can visit the Grotta di Nettuno from here, but it was closed when we were there due to strong winds (I know, not so lucky with the weather and the caves!).

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: Free

Internet Connection: 5/10


We stopped here for a day and a night on our way to La Pelosa, we were heading towards another park up spot we had pinned but passed this and it looked ideal and easy. It was a huge free parking area just for campervans, right next to a beach.

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: Free

Internet Connection: 9/10

La Pelosa

From what I could gather, this is one of the most popular beaches in Sardinia, and for good reason. It is made up of pure white, fluffy sand and miles of shallow aquamarine waters, which is overlooked by an ancient Saracen watchtower. But I’ll be honest, it wasn’t great for visiting in a campervan. The parking areas are very limited, and it is surrounded by hotels, so I can imagine peak summer, this place is a no go for campers.

We decided to arrive after 5pm, enjoy the sunset and spend the night, then wake up for sunrise and experience the beach before it got busy. Sunrise was a beautiful experience, it's hard to explain this place, photos don’t do it justice. But, at 7.30am we were asked to leave. We were a bit confused but when we did some research, you actually need to have tickets to access this beach during the day (an indication of how busy it gets…!) I would say it's one not to miss, but just plan ahead when visiting this one and probably avoid peak summer.

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: Free

Internet Connection: 9/10

Cala Sarraina

This was another place we didn’t plan to stop (my plan was getting thrown out the window by this point). I had the well-known beach of Isola Rossa pinned on this stretch of coastline, but when looking on Park4Night, the park up options looked very limited. After scouring up the coastline on the Park4Night app, we came across what looked like a great spot next to Cala Sarraina, so that was decision made, we were heading to Cala Sarraina. I mean, WOW. We didn’t visit Isola Rossa, but I don’t know what else you could ask for from a beach on this stretch of coastline. I was looking for pink rocks and chrysocolla-blue waters and this place was brimming with exactly that, let me set the scene a bit for you; scattered clusters of setting-plaster pink rocks, dotted with mustard coloured moss and pastel-green plants, crystal clear turquoise waters gently crashing against the rock formations and flowing in-between the clusters. It really is idyllic and felt a bit like how I imagine Mars to look? I don’t know, but it was great.

There is the main beach, which is a stunning sandy beach enclosed by some of those rock clusters I gushingly describe above, but if you walk 5 minutes to the left of the main beach, you will find little coves formed within the rocks, which feel like your own private beach if you can claim one for yourselves. You can swim out from the little coves to the rock clusters in the middle of the water and climb up onto them to explore if you want.

All of that, and you can park literally next to the main beach and enjoy dreamy sunset views from your little home on wheels. This would now be a must on my list of places to visit.

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: Free

Internet Connection: 0/10

Capo Testa

After all the picturesque rock excitement at Cala Sarraina, we thought why not continue on with that theme and head to Capo Testa. I didn’t have many expectations from this place, other than a friend had recommended it. But again, it’s now a must visit. I don’t know how to describe it, it’s just like nothing we have ever seen before, the rock formations, patterns (if you can call them that, I'm not a geologist if you hadn’t noticed?!) and colours are honestly mystical. There is the main area of Capo Testa where the light house is situated which you can access via the main gate, which is great to explore and see, also at the beginning just before the entrance gate, there is a small path to your left, with a picnic bench and a little book swap, make sure you walk this way as well as the main area! This was my favourite part, I don’t know how to explain it, I really don’t!

Fun fact, we found out after we visited there is a hippy commune that reside in the caves in this area permanently, we did see some people and assumed they were just camping, but it was pretty cool to find out they live there! If you do come across any residents (which we did not) be sure to respect that it is their home.

We managed to park up near to the entrance with a lovely view, but this area was quite busy, so we were lucky with the space we nabbed, but I can imagine it could be difficult to get parked at peak times. I would recommend arriving in the evening or early morning.

TIP: We did swing by the pretty port town of Santa Teresa before heading to Capo Testa, its worth stopping by, but not practical for staying overnight.

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here (this is the designated parking for motorhomes, they are not allowed on the peninsula, but as we are a "van" We managed to park right at the top of the peninsula with no issues).

Cost: Free

Internet Connection: 8/10

Baja Sardinia

I know what you are thinking, they skipped La Maddalena Islands? Well, yes. We did. Not necessarily out of choice, but my parents were visiting for a week and they stayed in the Baja Sardinia area, so we spent a week hanging out there instead and we ran out of time to go before they arrived.

The weather unfortunately took a turn for the worse the week we were at Baja (my poor parents) so the boat trip we had planned to La Maddalena Islands didn’t go ahead. I would highly recommend you squeeze the islands into your trip though, they are meant to be bliss. We plan to return to Sardinia and spend a couple of weeks in this area.

Not much to report on Baja Sardinia, it was really quiet when we were there, and another “resort" area. Some absolutely stunning beaches to explore though and a great park up.

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: Free

Internet Connection: 10/10

Spiaggia di Lu Impostu

Our first stop on the east coast, and what a spot. I have honestly never seen a beach like it. Have you seen photos of the Maldives? That perfectly calm incandescent water, gently washing over pure white sand? (Disclaimer, I haven’t been there), this beach had all of that and more going on. It is B-E-A-UTIFUL. The beach is effectively a long, narrow strip of dough white sand, with a shallow lagoon behind it. You also get an amazing view of Isola Ruia from the beach, and the sunrise here is divine. (apparently you can see flamingos here sometimes, we didn’t see any).

Spiaggia di Lu Impostu is one of three beaches of its kind along this coastline, with Spiaggia La Cinta being the most popular, but in my opinion, this is the gem of the three, especially for campervans as we parked up right next to the beach in the car park with a stunning view, the beach itself was also the quietest. From what we could see this wasn’t possible at all at Spiaggia La Cinta & Cala Brandinchi.

TIP: You can easily walk to all three beaches from Lu Impostu, so even if you park up at one, you can still experience all of them.

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here (this is the designated parking for motorhomes, but we actually parked in the car park right next to the beach as it was quiet and the Polizia did not mind).

Cost: Free (paid parking in action during the high season)

Internet Connection: 6/10

Cala Goloritze

Before I share how magical this place was, I need to talk about the drive from Lu Impostu to here. WOW. This is probably one of the best routes we have driven since living in the van. The road takes you through the dramatic hills of the east coast, along some unbelievably scenic roads (again, all new tarmac!). It was an adventure in itself. But when you get closer to Cala Goloritze, it gets a bit wavey; the bends are sharp and steep in places so approach with caution. We managed it fine in Loki the Van though.

You can only access this beach via a hike, it’s a protected area so even if you visit by boat, the boats are not allowed within 200 metres of the beach. This means that it is an unspoilt gem on the island and the best way to experience it is hike there.

The hike is about 1 hour and 10 minutes there and about 1 hour 30 minutes on the way back. Why the difference? Nope, its not because there are two separate routes, its because the whole way there is downhill, and you know what that means…what goes down must come up. I wont lie to you, the return was a bit tough, but it was 1000000% worth it. Timings will of course depend on your personal fitness levels, we're pretty avid hikers and I did struggle on the up a bit, but overall it’s a fairly easy hike.

Once you reach the top of the stairs that take you down to the beach, you won’t be disappointed, it is yet again a spectacular beach. The fragmented cliffside backdrop, ashen and pastel coloured stones and the calm clear waters make for quite the dramatic scenes. Once you get in the water, it gets deep quite suddenly, this due to how the beach was formed (look it up) and that paired with the protection zone, not only is it a feast for the eyes on land, but it’s a perfect spot for snorkelling. This is a MUST visit for me.

There is a car park right at the start of the hike, which is free to park in, it also has shower and toilet facilities on site and a restaurant, so it’s set up for campervans, and they are happy to have you. The restaurant also has Wi-Fi they are happy to let you use as long as you buy a drink etc.

TIP: Ensure you wear suitable footwear for the hike, boots or trainers. If you want the beach to yourself, wake up and head down as the sun is rising (just as its light enough) so you can enjoy having it to yourself before it gets busy.

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: Free

Internet Connection: 0/10 (the restaurant does have WiFi you can use if you buy something, but its not great, don't rely on it).


This was our final stop on our island lap, and yep, we rushed the east coast a bit as you can see. Although saying that, after chatting with a few people I know from Sardinia when planning our trip, they recommended the route we took and had far more location recommendations for the west coast and the north of the island, so we rolled with that.

Anyway, Cagliari. What a cool city! It has got a really chill, laid-back vibe about it and doesn’t feel too overcrowded considering it’s the capital of Sardinia. We spent our time wandering around the historical streets, admiring the tall colourful buildings whilst fascinated by the lack of bustle.

As you can imagine, parking wasn’t great here. We only spent one night before we caught the ferry. We parked in the harbour car park, which is €2.00 an hour between 9am – 1pm and 4pm – 8pm, the rest of the time its free and it’s a manned carpark so we felt safe. It was noisy but fine for one night.

TIP: Head up to the top of Bastion Saint Remy for sunset, then grab a drink at Caffe De Candia after, it’s the perfect tucked away city spot to enjoy an Aperitivo.

Parking Location: To see on Park4Night Click Here

Cost: €2.00 per hour between 9am-2pm and 4pm-8pm, free the rest of the time.

Internet Connection: 10/10

And that concludes our lap of Sardinia.

Every corner of this island that we visited really did dazzle us. So, get that ferry booked and go explore this slice of Mediterranean heaven. If you do visit, and follow any of our tips, please get in touch and let us know, we love nothing more than chatting with fellow road trippers!

OK Byeeeeee.

1 Comment

Unknown member
Nov 20, 2022

Well done guys! This is so detailed and useful!


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