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 boyfriend Michael and we had an absolutely wonderful experience.
I must be honest…this trip would not have been as incredible as it was without him! Not only is Sardinia gay-friendly, the island is perfect for a romantic gay couple’s getaway.
Everything about Sardinia is tranquil. You can trek along jagged rock formations toward luminous blue beaches by day and eat delicious authentic Italian dishes every evening.
Not only is there plenty to see, but there are several gay beaches and fun gay bars. Sardinia gay travel is only going to grow as more vacationers discover this wonderful European paradise.
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. You can still take day trips from here to the middle of the island to see the most beautiful beaches. By night 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 are detailed later in this guide. Many gay Italians do visit the north coast of Sardinia as well, so you may run into some friends here anyway!
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Gay Sardinia: Where to Stay
Sardinia is a large island and takes roughly three hours to traverse by car from the north to the south. This is an important first consideration when booking places to stay in Sardinia, so I’ll help you make your decision here.
While planning holidays, the first concern of every traveler is where to stay in Sardinia. The north or south? Which is better? Well, it 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 the time in the south, if not your entire trip. Cagliari is one of the best places to stay in Sardinia (more on Cagliari below).
Since the island’s south shore is the gay area of Sardinia, keeping your base here is more comfortable. You can experience Cagliari and make day trips northward as desired. You can always go to Sardinia for holiday a second time and stay up north. Now I’ll share some specifics on where to stay in the north and south.
Where to Stay in North Sardinia
I started my trip staying at the Local Hotel in Porto Rotundo, a great location for exploring the north of Sardinia. The Local Hotel was absolutely stunning in terms of design, service, and incredible countryside views.
Their restaurant is stellar and the pool area is heavenly. Michael and I enjoyed every moment! I was very impressed with the hotel and would return in a heartbeat.
I spent another couple of nights in one of the many wonderful Airbnb options in Porto Rafael. Porto Rafael is a private neighborhood mostly inhabited by locals or vacation home owners near the northern coast of Sardinia. Michael and I had an adorable guest house with a stunning view directly over the seaside. It was a romantic little spot.
If you’re looking for something similar, Porto Rafael is a great area to check out because it is perched high above the seaside. Anything facing the water will have impeccable views. There’s nothing like waking up to gorgeous vistas every day!
Where to Stay in South Sardinia
Cagliari is the most popular area in south Sardinia. I recommend gay travelers stay in Cagliari since most of the Sardinia gay life is here. There are gay beaches and drag shows to experience and you’ll still have a charming town center with plenty of restaurants. I stayed a few days in a quaint beachfront hotel called La Villa del Mare.
The most relaxing place to stay in Cagliari is directly along the seashore. Easy access to beach, waterfront cocktail lounges and restaurants will be quite convenient. If you stay too far away from the shoreline, you will definitely want to take a taxi to the beach.
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. In my opinion, it’s best to rent an Airbnb in this area of central Cagliari to be right in the hub of nightlife activity.
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, top pizza restaurants, cocktail bars & more. After, I’ll tell you where to find the Sardinia gay beaches as well as the most breathtaking natural sites.
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 more tasty. It’s sold pretty much everywhere on the island!
Visit Porto Cervo, Sardinia
Porto Cervo is an ultra-luxury destination in Sardinia. It’s the perfect date spot! There is some serious wealth that passes through this part of the island. You’ll surely see the mega-yachts, high-end car salesman 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 Porto Cervo area is an outdoor shopping mall. It is not exactly well-known that Porto Cervo is not exactly an outdoor neighborhood. If you are looking for directions, enter Promenade du Port into your map application.
Once you arrive at the port, you will need to find parking. On-street parking in Porto Cervo is not really available. There is a large parking garage directly in the port along the water. This garage is most convenient.
Sardinia Restaurants & Cocktail Bars
Myrto Pizza in Porto Cervo was delicious! The portions were very large and they make a mean Aperol Spritz. The restaurant area is in an adorable open-air dining room within the Porto Cervo shopping mall. Prices are reasonable, too.
The Porto Cervo waterfront area has a trendy Nikki Beach cocktail bar. It is a chain establishment, but Michael and I still stopped in for a cocktail. I wanted to get a taste of the Porto Cervo luxury ambiance.
Famous for a stunning evening ambiance, several Italian friends recommended that I visit Phi Beach for cocktails. I didn’t have enough time for a drive to Phi Beach, but this evening hotspot remains high on many travel lists for best places for cocktails in Sardinia. Let me know if you end up loving it!
Michael and I had a fun time in Cagliari enjoying sweet cocktails at Il Mareggio, right near the beach. Most of the beachfront bars and restaurants in Cagliari more or less look the same. They are all built in similar structures with indoor/outdoor seating.
Il Miraggio was my favorite of the beachfront restaurants in Cagliari because they played lots of popular Spanish music. Other nearby restaurants cater to different crowds ,including rock music lovers!
Grotta Marcello was fantastic for Pizza in Cagliari. We sat outside in the evening enjoying some delicious cocktails and sharing two pizzas. The area in Piazza Jenne in Cagliari is filled with outdoor restaurants. It’s a perfectly good idea to peruse this part of town and choose a restaurant that looks good to you.
Sardinia Gay Travel: Top Beaches
There are countless beautiful coves to find in Sardinia. The Mediterranean is amazingly blue all around the island. Each beach is different, however. The sand color, amount of seaweed, amount of time is takes to each the shore from the parking area all vary depending on where you are on the island.
Sardinia certainly has clear water all around, but the best Sardinia beaches with the bluest water are tucked away in certain areas of the coast. Most other Sardinia blue water beaches can be found on the east coast, roughly halfway down the coastline
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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!
Cala Fuili is impressively clear. It’s definitely the Sardinia beach with the bluest water, at least from everything I saw! The beach is made of bright white stone and located along the island’s east coast.
Since the shoreline is made up of large white cobblestones, everything glows a beautiful light blue when the sun shines brightly.
How do you get to Cala Fuili? Well, it might be a little strenuous for some. From the parking area, you will need to descend roughly 100 or so uneven steps. It’s a little bit of a workout. Wear 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 in 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.
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 is soft and 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.
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 get to. To get to Cala Goloritzè, most people take a boat. There are 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 Sardinia.
Sardinia Gay Beaches
There are a few noteworthy Sardinia gay beaches which I’ll identify below. Gay beaches in Sardinia are not exclusively men and different gay beaches tend to have different amounts of gay men.
The best Sardinia gay beach is definitely Mari Pintau. 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 for me and Michael in Sardinia.
Liscia Ruja is a popular beach in the very north of Sardinia, the area known as the Emerald Coast. The beach is popular for the clean white sand in the main beach area. The gay area of Liscia Ruja is a bit of a walk (or short drive) from the main beach area.
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
Just north of Porto Cervo, there is an island called La Maddalena, which has some of the clearest blue water in Sardinia. This area is only reachable by ferry, so it is best for a day trip. 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.
Cala Serena is the most famous beach on La Maddalena. Tucked away between rock formations, Cala Serena is considered to be a partially gay beach.
Gay guys tend to congregate on a portion 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.
If you are up for a 30 to 45-minute hike while at Cala Serena, it is possible to reach Cala Pigna by 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 is very remote.
Sardinia Gay Bars
All of the official Sardinia gay bars are in the south of the island. Cagliari has a gay bar called Fico d’India. Drag shows at Fico d’India are popular on the weekend. They also have some drag shows during the week in the summer.
Drag shows are put on in the summer months until the beginning of September. Sardinia gay travel is not complete without a visit to this classic Cagliari gay bar.
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 when I visited.
Darkness Club is a very popular Cagliari gay bar. A few locals recommended I visit, but it was not open during the days I was in 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
Water shoes are the best investment you can make before heading on a vacation to Sardinia. Sardinia is extremely rocky and you will need to hike to many of the beautiful beaches. Water shoes will make this much easier and more comfortable. They will protect you from burning hot sand and jagged beach rocks.
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.
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.
Keep an eye out for some Fico d’India fruits. They’re these cute little fruits everywhere in Sardinia!
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 absolutely need a car to properly tour Sardinia. 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. Check out Auto Europe’s selection for available Car Rentals in Italy before your trip to Sardinia.
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.
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