Sardinia Gay Travel
Crystal Mediterranean waters make Sardinia gay travel perfect for couples. Discover the gay area of Sardinia, where to stay, Cagliari gay bars & gay beaches.
The Gay Travel Experience: Sardinia, Italy
Smack in the middle of the Mediterranean, the clear blue waters of Sardinia will take your breath away. I visited Sardinia with my wonderful partner Michael and we had an absolutely wonderful experience. You have to visit!
Not only is Sardinia gay-friendly, but the island is perfect for a romantic gay couple’s getaway. The staff at the hotels we stayed at were super welcoming of us as a gay couple.
There’s so much to see in Sardinia and everything is magically tranquil. By day you can trek rock formations along luminous blue waters. And by night, there’s plenty of authentic Italian food to enjoy and local gay bars to explore.
The Gay Area of Sardinia
Most gay life in Sardinia is in the south, near Cagliari. If you are only interested in visiting the Sardinia gay area, you should stay in the south.
It’ll still be easy to take day trips from Cagliari to the middle of the island to see the most beautiful beaches. Then in the. evening, you can explore the Cagliari gay bars.
There are no official gay bars in northern Sardinia, but there are still plenty of beautiful spots to explore. There are some gay beaches in the north though, which I’ll mention later in this guide.
If you do choose to stay in the north of Sardinia, you may still run into some other gay travelers. Many gay Italians visit the north coast of Sardinia!
Gay Sardinia: Hotels & Where to Stay
Sardinia is a large island and takes roughly three hours to traverse by car from north to south. This is an important first consideration when booking places to stay.
Travelers typically ask which area of Sardinia is best. This really depends on how much time you have—I’ll explain why.
If you have an entire week to spend, I suggest splitting your time between the north and the south. If you only have a few days, then I personally would spend most of your time in the south.
Cagliari is one of the best places to stay in Sardinia. Since the island’s gay area is here along the southern shore, many LGBT travelers choose this area. You can experience Cagliari and make day trips northward as desired.
Below I’ll mention some of the best hotels in each part of the island.
Where to Stay in North Sardinia
I loved staying at Sulià House by Hilton in Porto Rotundo, an LGBT-friendly hotel with a great location for exploring the north of Sardinia.
Sulià House was absolutely stunning in terms of design, service, and their incredible countryside views. It used to be called Thelocal Hotel, but changed names after being acquired by Hilton to be part of the brand’s Curio Collection.
Their restaurant is stellar and the pool area is heavenly. Michael and I enjoyed every moment! I was so impressed with this hotel and would return in a heartbeat.
There are tons of wonderful vacation rentals in Porto Rafael, where I stayed another couple of nights. Porto Rafael is a private neighborhood inhabited mostly by locals or vacation homeowners near the northern coast of Sardinia.
Michael and I rented an adorable guest house with a view directly over the seaside. It was a romantic little spot.
Another nice thing about the North Sardinia neighborhood of Porto Rafael is that it’s perched high above the seaside. Anything facing the water will have impeccable views.
Cagliari Hotels & Where to Stay in South Sardinia
I stayed at La Villa del Mare, a quaint beachfront hotel in Cagliari. A modern property right on the shore, you honestly can’t get a better location than this. Plus, it’s super close to Cagliari’s gay bars.
Plenty of travelers opt for the more urban Cagliari experience, though. There is a ton of nightlife, restaurant and bar activity in central/downtown Cagliari.
Leopoldo Rooms is one of the most beautiful, highest-rated accommodations in central Cagliari that is still walkable from the beach. Their rooms are modern, filled with light, and many have terraces where you can relax when you’re not out exploring.
Cagliari Central Rooms is just as highly-rated, but much more affordable. This is easily one of the best choices in the busier area of Cagliari. It’s perfect for budget travelers.
Booking a vacation rental in Piazza Yenne, Cagliari’s most bustling nightlife area, is also a nice option for a more urban feel.
Sardinia Luxury Vacation Rentals
Luxury vacation rentals in Sardinia curated by Plum Guide are the absolute best option if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind homes. There are breathtaking properties with unbeatable designs, available in both the north and south of the island.
Some are on the pricier side, which is to be expected with this tier of luxury apartments and homes. But, these places can be affordable if you’re traveling with a groups.
Sardinia Gay Travel Experiences
Everyone comes to Sardinia for beaches, beautiful views, sailing, and everything else that comes with island life. Below I’ll cover visiting the famous Porto Cervo, breathtaking natural sites, awesome pizza restaurants, cocktail bars & where to find the Sardinia gay beaches.
On your journey, make sure to try some Ichnusa beer, the local beer of Sardinia! The traditional Ichnusa is delicious, but the non-filtrata Ichnusa is even tastier. It’s sold pretty much everywhere on the island.
Visit Porto Cervo, Sardinia
Porto Cervo is an ultra-luxury destination in north Sardinia. It’s the perfect date spot! There is some serious wealth that passes through this part of the island.
You’ll see the mega-yachts, high-end car salesmen, and beautiful cocktail bars like Nikki Beach while you stroll through the port.
Porto Cervo is essentially a large pedestrian plaza. Apart from the dock areas, the area is essentially an outdoor shopping center.
Most travelers don’t know that Porto Cervo is built this way, as opposed to a traditional urban neighborhood. To get there, set your map destination to Promenade du Port.
Once you arrive at the port, you will need to find parking. On-street parking in Porto Cervo is sparse. There is a large parking garage directly in the port along the water that’s easy and convenient.
Sardinia Restaurants & Cocktail Bars
Myrto Pizza in Porto Cervo was delicious! The portions were large and they make a perfect Aperol Spritz. The restaurant is in an adorable open-air dining area within the Porto Cervo shopping mall. Prices are reasonable, too.
The trendy Nikki Beach cocktail bar chain has a location right on the Porto Cervo promenade. Michael and I still stopped in for a cocktail and to get a taste of the luxurious Porto Cervo ambiance.
Famous for its stunning evening vibe, several Italian friends of mine recommended visiting Phi Beach for cocktails.
Michael and I had a fun time in Cagliari enjoying sweet cocktails at Il Miraggio, a bar with cozy outdoor seating right on the beach.
Most of the beachfront bars and restaurants here in Cagliari more or less look the same, all built-in similar structures with indoor/outdoor seating. Each of them caters to different crowds, ranging from Spanish Salsa enthusiasts to rock music lovers.
Grotta Marcello was fantastic for Pizza in Cagliari. We sat outside in the evening enjoying some delicious cocktails and sharing pizza.
The area in Piazza Yenne in Cagliari is filled with outdoor restaurants. It’s nice to peruse this part of town and choose a restaurant that looks good to you.
Sardinia Gay Travel: Top Beaches
There are countless beautiful beach coves to find in Sardinia. The Mediterranean waters are amazingly blue all around the island. Each beach is a little different though.
The sand color, amount of seaweed, and the amount of time it takes to reach the shore from the parking area will all vary with each beach.
While Sardinia has clear water all around, the best Sardinia beaches with the bluest water are tucked away in certain areas of the coast. The most stunning ones are along the east coast, roughly halfway down the island’s coastline.
Best Beaches in Sardinia: The Ultimate List
Here is a list of most of the best Sardinia beaches you can find! If you can get to all of these amazing spots, I commend you. It takes work! Also, you will absolutely need to rent a car to see them.
Cala Fuili is impressively clear. Without a doubt, this spot has with the bluest water! The beach is made of bright white stone and is located along the island’s east coast.
Since the shoreline is made up of large white cobblestones, the water glows beautifully when the sun shines brightly. Don’t forget a beach towel!
Getting to Cala Fuili might be a little strenuous for some. From the parking area, you will need to descend about 100 uneven steps. It’s a little bit of a workout. Definitely wear some lightweight sneakers.
Spiaggia de La Sciumara
Spiaggia de La Sciumara is the best Sardinia beach to see the sun set in Palau. You can also swim here, but I preferred to swim on beaches farther south.
There are a bunch of rocks along the cove at Spiaggia La Sciumara, so the area is a great area to sit and have a snack or take in the water’s serenity.
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La Cinta San Teodoro
Spiaggia La Cinta San Teodoro is one of the most popular beaches in Sardinia because the water is clear, shallow and you can walk directly onto the beach from the parking lot.
The sand here is soft and has a beautiful tinge of white. I love how you can walk almost 100 feet out into the sea, yet still only be in the water up to your knees.
La Cinta San Teodoro was the most crowded beach I saw in Sardinia. It also had the most children, which makes sense given how easy it is to get to. But since the beachfront is so large, everyone still has plenty of space.
Cala Goloritzè is one of the most famous beaches in Sardinia, known for white sand and crystal blue waters. It is also one of the most difficult to reach.
Most people visit Cala Goloritzè along with other hard-to-reach beaches on a boat tour of the Baunei Coast. There are also boat rides available from the Cala Gonone area to the north, so you can park there and grab a beautiful boat ride.
The alternative way to get to Cala Goloritzè is to hike some rough terrain for about two hours. This is some serious commitment! Since Michael and I were limited on time and couldn’t possibly reach every beach, we decided to skip this one.
Spiaggia del Poetto
Lastly, Spiaggia del Poetto is a picturesque white sand beach in Cagliari, south Sardinia. The water has absolutely no seaweed, so I loved it very much!
Spiaggia del Poetto is popular with all types of people from tourists to gay locals. It was one of the most picturesque places I swam in while visiting Sardinia.
Sardinia Gay Beaches
There are a few noteworthy Sardinia gay beaches that I’ll share below. Gay beaches in Sardinia are not exclusively men and different gay beaches tend to have different amounts of gay men.
Mari Pintau is definitely the best Sardinia gay beach. The water at Mari Pintau is super clear and the beach is quite easy to reach by foot.
Many small groups of local gay Sardinians frequent Mari Pintau. I had an amazing time here and stayed way past sunset. It was one of the most memorable days of my trip.
When visiting Liscia Ruja, drive your car to the farthest point eastward down the dirt path. From here, walk toward the water and you should find a quiet area where a bunch of gay guys hang out.
La Maddalena & Cala Serena
The ferry runs quite frequently, so there is a lot of timing flexibility. You can also bring your car onto the ferry so that you can drive to the more remote beaches.
You can also explore the beautiful blue waters of this part of Sardinia with a full-day Maddalena archipelago catamaran tour. It’s quite affordable and definitely luxurious.
Gay guys tend to congregate on a section of this beach. They also tend to travel some of the dirt pathways leading to smaller coves to the north. Cala Serena may have some gay activity, but I would not say there are too many gay guys hanging out here.
Cala Serena along with other beaches on La Maddalena takes a bit of a hike to reach. On foot, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to reach Cala Serena.
If you are up for a 30 to 45-minute hike while at Cala Serena, it is possible to reach Cala Pigna on foot. Note that there are no actual paths that connect these two areas; Cala Pigna is normally reached by boat.
This will be quite a treacherous excursion, only appropriate for those that are comfortable traversing rock formations. Be very careful in this area as it’s quite remote.
Sardinia Gay Bars
All of the official Sardinia gay bars are in the south of the island, although overall there is a ton of nightlife in Sardinia.
Cagliari has a gay bar called Fico d’India that hosts popular drag shows on the weekend. They also host drag shows during the week in the summer.
According to locals, the bar Caffè dell’Elfo is supposed to be a gay hangout in Cagliari. I had a few drinks here, but I personally didn’t feel much of a gay vibe. It was a cute spot in the heart of Cagliari, but not so ostentatiously gay.
Darkness Club is a popular Cagliari gay cruising bar. A few locals recommended I visit, but it was not open during the days I visited Cagliari.
Darkness Club is only open on Friday and Saturday nights late into the morning and on Sunday until 1:30 AM. Let me know what it’s like if you get there!
Sardinia Gay Travel Tips
You'll Need Water Shoes
Quality water shoes are the best investment you can make before heading to Sardinia. They will make everything so much more comfortable and protect you from burning hot sand and jagged beach rocks.
Grab Some Groceries
Restaurants can be more on the expensive side in north Sardinia. If you’d like to save some cash, remember that local supermarkets are just as cheap as everywhere in Italy. A supermarket is perfect to stock up on beer and snacks.
Parking in Cagliari
Cagliari parking is very difficult. You may need to drive around for a little while to find a parking spot. The easiest way to avoid wasting time is to enter the parking area right near the port. Usually, this lot will have space after everything else fills up. Parking very close to restaurants is difficult.
Sardinia has Several Airports
Driving in Sardinia & Rental Cars
Drivers in Sardinia can be quite aggressive! They are used to navigating the winding roadways of the island. If a car comes speeding up behind you, make sure to pull over and let it pass.
Many roads in Sardinia allow cars to pass one another using the lane that goes in the opposite direction, so it can be dangerous if cars try to outpace each other.
Also, it seems the speed limit is expected to be exceeded. I rarely saw any cars driving less than the speed limit.
You will 100% need to rent a car in Sardinia to properly explore the island. Keep in mind that most car rentals will be manual cars, so if you are not able to drive a stick-shift, you should try to request an automatic transmission car well in advance.
If your vehicle doesn’t come with built-in GPS navigation, you should invest in a windshield phone mount to safely view directions.
Also, pay close attention to whether the car is benzene or diesel. Different models of the same car can vary and putting the wrong type of fuel in a rental car could be disastrous.
Keep an eye out for some Fico d’India fruits. They’re these cute little fruits everywhere in Sardinia!
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