Three of the 22 most beautiful beaches in Europe are in Sardinia. It is European travellers themselves who say so, according to a survey carried out by European Best Destinations, an organisation that, every year, studies the trends, tastes and requirements of European tourists seeking unforgettable locations. The ‘queen’ is Baunei, boasting two of the gems in the ranking. In fourth place outright, there is a symbol of the Island, where sea, mountains and woods embrace each other in harmony - it's Cala Goloritzé, a picture painted by nature, turquoise waters gushing from underwater karst springs, a carpet of white pebbles and an arch of cliffs - a destination for climbers – encircling the bay. You can get to it by sea, from Arbatax, Cala Gonone or Santa Maria Navarrese, or you can follow a trekking trail in the Supramonte area. So much wild beauty is not easy to conquer!
Cala dei Gabbiani is also in the top 20 and is considered the ‘little sister’ of the more famous Cala Mariolu. Travellers appreciate its intimate nature and the atmosphere of a ‘secret retreat’. Once again, you can only get to it by sea or on foot, with about four hours of trekking along the Golgo plateau, then you will be able to swim in transparent, shimmering waters with infinite shades of blue. The beach is a mixture of white sand and multicoloured, white, pink and cream-coloured pebbles. An inlet contains the third beach in the ranking, this time in the southern seas: it is Cala Cipolla, the westernmost stretch of the enchanting coastline of Chia, the coastal district of Domus de Maria. It is bordered by pink granite cliffs on the sides and sandy dunes and a fragrant forest of pine and juniper trees behind it. The colours of the water range from turquoise to emerald green and the waters are shallow for tens of metres.
Soft white sand dunes and a shimmering sea characterise the seven ‘pearls’ of Chia, often chosen for films and advertisements. Setting off from Cala Cipolla and moving eastwards, each beach catches the eye and arouses emotions. It’s no coincidence that the British daily newspaper The Guardian included sa Colonia, one of the easternmost stretches of Chia, among the 40 European beaches not to be missed. The reason? It has everything you could possibly want: sand as soft as talcum powder, a crystal-clear sea - ideal for snorkelling and a place where dolphins sometimes appear -, pink flamingos that can be admired in the nearby pond and it is also exposed to the wind, an irresistible attraction for windsurfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts. Not to be forgotten, is the scenario offered by the promontory on which a Spanish tower stands and the traces of the ancient town of Bithia dating back thousands of years and spread between the beach, the cliffs and the islet of su Cardulinu.
Picturesque views, sculpted and shaped by water and wind and embellished with a thousand colours. It’s hard not to immortalise them using cameras and smartphones and it’s impossible not to share the best shots on Instagram. The Thinking Traveller portal listed the ten European beaches with the greatest number of hashtags: two of them are Sardinian. In third place, there is La Pelosa, a corner of the tropics, but in Stintino, in the extreme north-west of the Island. Instagram users are filled with emotion by the infinite colours of the sea - from turquoise to light blue, emerald green and dark blue, the almost impalpable sand and the dunes covered with junipers. The other beach takes us back to the Gulf of Orosei, a treasure chest of nature: in sixth place outright there is Cala Luna, a strip of golden sand set between the cliffs, in front of the sea. You will ‘capture’ it from inside the caves that open up in the north, taking it with you in the photos and in your heart.