Sardinia gives you fun in the sun for less
At just two hours and 45 minutes direct from UK airports, Sardinia is enticingly close. Better yet, it’s also a cheaper place to go play than you might initially imagine.
It’s an Italian island well known for its natural beauty, broad beaches, rugged hilltops, and of course, its constant sunshine. For the smart holidaymaker, it’s also a place to escape to that doesn’t break the bank. In fact, Sardinia is regarded as one of the most budget friendly destinations in the Mediterranean. The coastal town of Alghero is rich in history and good food, but it doesn’t take a wealthy visitor to enjoy it. Beach life is enjoyed in style at inexpensive spots such as Baia Sardinia and Costa Smeralda, or you can do as the locals do and while away your days at streetside cafes with cheap yet flavoursome coffee in San Teodoro or Olbia.
Cheap days out in Sardinia
Sardinia’s laid-back love of life shines across the island, and you’re not going to be expected to waft your wallet at everything you find.
The islanders are generous with their beaches, most of which are completely free to access. Check out Mugoni Beach close to Alghero to see what we mean. It’s known as one of Europe’s top beaches, hidden from the world behind a grove of pine trees, so your days here are completely free from both spending and worries. A more active beach day can be had in Cala Banana in Olbia. Here, inexpensive raft and canoe rentals give you the chance to take on the waves for yourself, or you can instead savour the sunshine with a full wallet and an even fuller smile.
The rustic communities of the island deserve your attention too, especially as Sardinia’s culture differs from that of mainland Italy because of its Catalonian influences. Stroll the little streets of Olbia with your gelato in hand to snap some photos of days gone by, or head to the island’s capital, Cagliari, to see the sleepy style of classic Italian architecture. The city also hosts Parco di Molentargius, one of the only places in Europe that flamingos choose to nest. Across Sardinia, tales of folklore and witchcraft abound, so don’t be shy in speaking to the locals on the legends that make their island unlike any other.
Other popular holidays in Italy
A budget break to Italy is easier to come by than you think. If island life of another kind is what you’re after, see if Sicily’s hidden bargains take your fancy. Alternatively, the mainland isn’t always about splashing your cash. Tuscany’s rustic heartlands can be enjoyed for less than you think, and an idyllic retreat that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket can be found at the sumptuous Italian Lakes. That said, we’ve a soft spot for Sardinia, and once you’ve brushed up on your know-how in our Sardinia travel guide, take a look at our top budget hotel picks below.
Travelling on a budget doesn't mean your hotel has to be without elegance. In fact, with its own private bay and beach access just five minutes' stroll from your door, this treasure of Baja Sardinia comes highly recommended. Plus with free bicycle hire, it's a superb value if you're planning to explore the surrounding sights, and well positioned in close proximity to plenty of attractions and natural retreats.
Styled like a modern apartment block and right on the fringes of Alghero's pristine white beach, this hotel boasts sea views by the score. Affordable luxury is reflected in the pool terrace featuring a TV, and the incredible vistas at every turn. There's also a gym and an entertainment room, and you'll start each day with a filling buffet breakfast that factors in the finest Italian flavours.
You're hidden away in the countryside of San Teodoro at this resort complex, styled like a classic Italian village. Rolling hills sprawl around this stylish venue, with a secluded beach to one side of the hotel and a complimentary shuttle on offer to help you reach San Teodoro centre and additional beaches with ease. Aqua fitness in the spacious pool is included, along with dance classes and Pilates sessions, but if you don't fancy exerting yourself too much you can use the free Wi-Fi to send envy-inducing photos home from the poolside loungers instead.