Secret Sardinia: The Hidden Beaches and Coves on Sant’Antioco Island - Al Fresco Holidays
Sant’Antioco is the fourth largest island of Italy, and also one of the least developed locations in the country. The north of Sardinia tends to be the preserve of the wealthy, with prestigious tourist developments lining every scenic shoreline. But venture down to the south of the country and cross over to the island of Sant’Antioco and you’ll be richly rewarded for your efforts.
Far away from the throngs of sun worshippers and tourists that clutter the upper reaches of Sardinia, Sant’Antioco offers a haven of peace and tranquillity, with unspoilt sandy beaches, hidden coves and historical towns and villages. If you want to capture a glimpse of the real Sardinia, then here it is!
Spending Time on Sant’Antioco: Places to Visit During Your Stay
Whether you’re visiting with the family or spending a romantic getaway with your partner, you’ll find that there’s plenty to do whilst staying on Sant’Antioco. Here are just a few highlights that the island has to offer:
La Saline Beach
If you prefer to enjoy your beaches free from military rows of sun loungers and towels, then pay a visit La Saline Beach. Only a few minutes’ drive from the pretty town of Calasetta, the quiet beach offers white sands, deep blue sea and plenty of spectacular scenery.
The waters here are shallow and relatively safe for bathing, making it an excellent choice for children, and young and old alike will be delighted at the colony of pink flamingo that reside in the salt-water pools just behind the beach.
If you’re looking for a break from the beach, or simply want to experience some of the culture of the island, then head to the main town, also named Sant’Antioco. Sophisticated is definitely not the word here, but instead, you’ll be treated to a town that oozes natural charm, rich history and genuine friendliness towards visitors.
The main highlight of the town is undoubtedly the basilica, under which lie some impressively atmospheric catacombs dating as far back as the 6th century BC.
If you’re a traveller who will go anywhere to experience a truly astonishing view, then drive to Capo Sperone. Located on the southern tip of the island, the clifftop offers unrivalled views of the little volcanic islands that lie a little further out to sea, including Vitellino and Toro. On a really good day, you can even see the distant shores of Africa.
The beach at Maladroxia is perfect for families. Not only is there a long stretch of sandy shoreline for kids to burn off some serious energy, but the area also has a number of cafes and restaurants, enabling you to spend the whole day in the area if you wanted to.
If you simply cannot resist the allure of a hidden cove, then Cala Lunga is the place to go. With its wild, natural feel, it is really the epitome of the secret cove, and it remains relatively quiet throughout the year, even in the busier summer months.
If you love snorkelling, then Cala Lunga is a great location, as the clear, still waters here are home to plenty of marine life; or alternatively, you can rest on the silky sand and take in the scenery, which can, at times, feel blissfully like your own private beach.
The large beach of Spiaggia Grande is more suited to people who prefer a bit more activity when staying by the sea. It’s the longest beach on the island, and because it is less sheltered than other beaches, it’s great for water sports such as wind surfing.
There is also an old fishery at the far end of the beach, which has been converted into a number of relaxed cafes and beachside restaurants.
If, after a day at the beach, you’re looking for somewhere to eat out in the evening, then head to Calasetta. This picturesque seaside town has a number of excellent restaurants, including a highly regarded pizzeria, and it also has its own beach.
Looking for a place to stay where you can easily reach Sant’Antioco?
There are plenty of good choices of accommodation situated close to the island of Sant’Antioco (which can be reached by car from mainland Sardinia). The Tonnara Holiday Park, situated on the beautiful Sulcis archipelago on Sant’Antioco, provides a great base from which to explore the island. It has a great range of facilities, including a large swimming pool, perfect for cooling off in the evenings!
Enjoy a slice of authentic Sardinian life, far from the bustling, tourist crowds of northern Sardinia, and immerse yourself in some truly magnificent natural scenery.