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Considering Sardinia for family vacation

Hello,
I've posted on here before about our upcoming trip in June to Rome with our two kids 5 and 9. I was considering after Rome to head to Ischia and then to Praiano to complete our two week vacation. Our flights our into and out of FCO. After doing further research, I'm thinking Ischia and Praiano may not be the best choice for the family. I'm looking for amazing beaches and although my kids are quite athletic, I think the elevation may be an issue on the Amalfi Coast. I'd like to get some ideas on either riding the ferry or flying. I'm leaning more towards the ferry because I think it overall may be easier but not sure. If flying, which airport? I'd also like any opinions on where to stay. Since it is quite a large island, we are planning to rent a car but thinking about maybe staying at two places while we are there for the week. Thank you in advance for any input!

Posted by
1032 posts

We have just completed setting up our trip to Sardinia for the week of 22 through 29 June and it was very tough getting two places to stay because most of the (now) available Air bnb's required at least a weeks' stay. Suggest you look at flying into either Cagliari, Alghero, or Oblia rather than wasting most of two days on the ferry. Cagliari has good connections from FCO, however, can't speak about ther other two cities. We are flying into Olbia from Paris, and back out of Cagliari on Easyjet-the flight back was for €12.50 plus bag, while going to Olbia was€30 plus bag, so probably cheaper than the ferry from Rome. Good luck with your planning.

Posted by
855 posts

Have you considered Elba? That just came to mind as easier overall. Something like Ponza could also be special. I've been to neither but have been to exceptional beaches on the Tuscan coast (I prefer natural beaches--sand, plant life).
I am saving Sardinia for its own trip when I can fly directly there and spend a lot of time. You would definitely have to fly to make it worth the while, and I just can't get excited about doing that in the middle of a trip.

Posted by
25 posts

Thank you! I hadn't looked into Elba but that's an idea. Cheapest flight I could find was Ryanair flying into Cagliari for $476 round trip. Ferry was $294 so not a huge difference. Time wise I wasn't too worried about the trip into Sardinia as we'd be eating up a lot of time getting to Ischia and Praiano. I've already booked my stays for both Ischia and Praiano but I'm second guessing myself. Do you still think these would be fine destinations for kiddos?

Posted by
855 posts

I think Ischia would be great for kids (have not been there but read about it and seen pics), and a fast train and ferry don't seem as worrisome as a low-cost air carrier or very long ferry to Sardinia. Praiano would be a bit of a slog to do any day trips from, so I would only go there to stay put. I don't think I would put too much emphasis on getting to Pompeii because going with a five year old sounds like fresh hell. Maiori has a nice beach and appeared family friendly.

Posted by
25 posts

“Fresh hell”. Love that! I decided against Pompeii yesterday. Just can’t see where I’d make it work without doing an overnight in Naples. Plus I’m not too sure they would get much out of it. I’d rather see the museum in Naples with all the artifacts. I’m glad to hear you think my original plan may work.

Posted by
3871 posts

Sardinia is a big place (bigger than most people might think at first). In the summer, beaches will be crowded (there are some very nice beaches, but you will have to share them with a LOT of Italians and other European tourists). You definitely would want a car there. Unless you have unlimited time, taking a ferry there seems crazy to me.

Finally, this (below) doesn't make any sense at all to me:

I'm looking for amazing beaches and although my kids are quite athletic, I think the elevation may be an issue on the Amalfi Coast.

Um, elevation...at the beach? I assume you're familiar with the term "sea level" and its meaning...

Posted by
25 posts

I can see why that made no sense! I was talking about all the stairs on the Amalfi coast.

Posted by
11158 posts

I’ve written numerous posts on Sardinia over the years in this forum. If you enter “Sardinia” in the search box they will all come up.
I’ve been to Sardinia multiple times but only on the northern side, which I think is the best.
For the northern side the airports of Olbia (OLB) and Alghero (AHO) are best. Both have flights to Rome.
Don’t bother with the ferry, between loading, unloading, and the 5 hour crossing, the best part of a day will be gone. You will need a car once there.
It is not true that Sardinian beaches are crowded with tourists. There are literally hundreds of beaches, many are huge and secluded, and only few locations get a substantial amount of visitors, but certainly not in June when you go. There are simply not enough tourists to fill the many beaches of that huge island. I have never gone in August, presumably the peak month, but none of the beaches were overly crowded, not even in July. Compared to any beach locations in the mainland, including the Amalfi Coast, in most Sardinian beaches you will not feel like crowded. In June you and your family will probably be the only ones in sight in many cases.

Posted by
11158 posts

if you decide to go to the Amalfi Coast with small kids, more than elevation, you must be aware of sudden drops in depth. The area is mostly cliffs, not sandy beaches, therefore the water will be 10ft deep within steps from the shore. If the sea is even slightly rough, it is dangerous even for expert swimmers. That is true for many cliffy locations anywhere in Italy but both the Amalfi Coast and the Cinque Terre are nothing but cliffs and rocks.

If you plan to spend less than a week, then Sardinia May be too big to consider. The island of Ponza near Rome or the Tuscan Archipelago (Elba, Gilglio) May be better choices for shorter visits.

Posted by
25 posts

Roberto,

Are the beaches in Sardinia relatively free of the drops in elevation as mentioned above?

Posted by
11158 posts

Sardinia is so huge that you can find all types of beaches you want: long white sandy (or even pink) beaches, small sandy coves, cliffs, you name it. You have 1150 miles of coastline at your disposal, a coastline longer than any island in the entire Mediterranean, or if you prefer, longer than the coastline of all Hawaiian islands combined and even longer than the entire coastline of California. You can’t compare it to the Amalfi Coast or the Cinque Terre. It would be like comparing Ellis island with the State of New York. Once you elect the area to visit (you can’t visit all of Sardinia in a week), use the guide linked above to select the beaches you want to visit in the area. There are so many you will feel like a boy in a huge toy store. Do a search on Google Images using the key words BEST BEACHES SARDINIA and your jaw will drop.
Sardinia is not only amazing beaches or scuba diving however, there is much more. Below some websites you can peruse.

https://www.sardegnaturismo.it/en
https://www.sardegna.com/en/visit-sardinia/