Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of Italy’s few regions that are located on an island close to the country’s mainland. Whilst Sicily often gets the most attention, Sardinia is a wonderful destination for an Italian holiday that offers everything from pristine beaches to volcanic rock formations.
The island has a varied history of inhabitants and cultures, with evidence to suggest that it has been inhabited since the Neolithic times. Sardinia became a part of the united country of Italy in the 1800s, but it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that the island was given autonomy over its infrastructure and allowed to flourish into the location it is today.
As well as having plenty of rural countryside, Sardinia is also dotted with towns, cities and villages that offer a wide range of experiences for visitors to the region. It’s a really popular destination for beach holidays and there are many resorts along the coast, but there are also mountain ranges, miles of untouched scenery, evidence of historical civilisations and modern settlements to be discovered.
Sardinia can get incredibly busy over summer as many Italians come to the island to enjoy their holidays along with tourists from all over the world. A great way to enjoy the region without having to deal with crowds and high season prices is to visit in April when the weather is blissful and many of the towns, cities and resorts are empty of other travellers.
Spring is in full swing in Sardinia in April, and the weather only gets warmer as the month progresses. It’s one of the best times of year to visit this part of Italy because temperatures aren’t as high as the summer months but there is still plenty of sunshine to enjoy.
Sardinia’s Mediterannean location gives it a wonderfully warm climate, and in April the average high temperature is around 18°C. This can drop down to 9°C in the evenings, with areas by the coast tending to feel cooler than those in the centre of the island and the mountains.
Whilst Sardinia is a very popular beach destination in the summer, in April the average sea temperature is only around 15°C which most people will find too cold for swimming. You’ll be fine dipping your toes in the water however, and those who are used to cold-water swimming shouldn’t find the ocean too chilly.
There is an average of 13 days of rain in Sardinia in April, but these showers tend to be very short-lived and light. Whilst some days might be overcast, you can expect a lot of sunshine as well and it is unlikely that any of your plans will end up derailed because of the weather.
Within the 13 hours of daylight that Sardinia sees each day, there is an average of 7 hours of bright sunshine. You won’t get the crazy heat and humidity of the Mediterranean in the summer, but if you’re coming from another country in the northern hemisphere then these conditions will feel lovely.
How to Get There
Sardinia is an island found on the west of Italy in the Mediterranean Ocean, making it a harder region to reach than those on the mainland. However, its popularity as a holiday destination means that transport links have improved, and now there are numerous different ways to get there.
There are three airports in Sardinia; Cagliari Elmas Airport, Olbia Airport, and Alghero Fertilia Airport. Many international countries have direct flights to these airports, with the frequency of these trips increasing over the summer months. You can also fly to Sardinia from a lot of the airports in mainland Italy, which is ideal if you’re only planning to visit the island for a short period as part of a larger Italian holiday.
Sardinia is also connected to Italy with several different ferry routes, with the length of these journeys depending on which part of the mainland you depart from and where you decide to stay on the island. Ferries also arrive directly at Sardinia from Sicily, France and Spain, and in the summer months, these tend to get very crowded with other holidaymakers.
It is possible to reach Sardinia by car if you drive to a port in either France or Italy and then get the ferry across to the island. Sardinia is a useful island to have a car on, but it might be easier to just hire one when you arrive.
Finally, if you’re a fan of train travel then it is possible to reach one of the island’s nearby countries on the train and then get a ferry or fly over to Sardinia. Many people prefer to stick to only one mode of transport however, so this isn’t a very popular option.
Festivals and Events
Easter is one of the most important annual events celebrated in Italy, and the religious holiday frequently falls in April. In Sardinia, ‘Holy Week’ is celebrated with a combination of religious and pagan rituals including numerous processions and gathering in towns across the island, beginning with a parade through the streets on Palm Sunday.
Various stages from the last week of the religious figure Jesus’ life are reenacted in different parts of Sardinia throughout the week leading up to Easter. On Good Friday, processions take place where statues of Jesus and other religious figures are carried around different churches accompanied by local people and religious fraternities. The details of these events differ between towns, but all are very solemn and profound occasions.
Easter Sunday is celebrated with church services, traditional food and drink and gathering with family and friends across Sardinia. It’s one of the busiest times of the year on the island, but also one of the most interesting because of the historical origins of the religious ceremonies that take place.
Our Lady of Valverde
Celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter every year in Alghero, this religious event is held in honour of Our Lady of Valverde. Many religious inhabitants of the island and beyond come to the town of Alghero to participate in local rituals, the most important of which is a pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Valverde, 7km out of the town.
Sardinian People’s Day
Sa die de sa Sardigna, also known as the day of the Sardinian people, is a celebration of national pride that takes place on the 28th of April every year. It’s a holiday that first took place in 1993, and commemorates the success of the island’s rebellion against Viceroy Balbiano’s rule which took place on the same day in 1794.
As well as being a public holiday, Sardinian People’s Day is often commemorated by performances reenacting the island’s successful revolution. Parties and performances may be held in different towns across the island, and the overall atmosphere is very celebratory.
Things to See and Do
Explore the Countryside
April is known for being one of the most beautiful months in Sardinia because of the array of different wildlife that blooms at this time of year in the countryside. The hills explode in a riot of different colours and fragrance, and visiting the island’s countryside is like stepping into paradise.
The Gallura region is particularly beautiful at this time of the year, with classic Mediterranean vegetation providing an incredible backdrop for walks, photos and picnics. On days when the sun is shining and the air is warm, there’s no better place to be.
Travel by Bike
Sardinia’s climate in April is ideal for physical activity as it’s warm enough that you’ll want to be in the great outdoors but won’t get too warm because of any humidity or uncomfortable heat. It’s low season for tourism as well which means that the roads will be quiet and perfect for travelling by bike.
Cycling around Sardinia is a popular holiday activity for both keen cyclists and those who just want something to do that’s a bit different during their stay. Surrounded by beautiful countryside with glimpses of the ocean at the crest of every hill – what could be better?
Visit the Beach
The weather might not be warm enough to splash about in the sea in Sardinia in April, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the coast. The lack of other travellers on the island in April means that many popular beaches will be pretty empty, providing the perfect opportunity to explore them on your own.
On days when the weather is particularly warm, you might feel like braving the water, or even just going for a paddle! We recommend La Pelosa in Stintino for an experience of bright white sand and clear blue water or the famous Cala Luca, which is surrounded by limestone cliffs and has numerous caves beside the beach that you can explore.
Hike the North of the Island
We’ve already mentioned that April is a brilliant time to enjoy sporting activities in Sardinia, and hiking around the island is an obvious choice for what to do. The northern parts of Sardinia are known for being particularly beautiful in the spring because of their wildlife, but you’ll find incredible views wherever you go.
Hiking from Arbus to Montevecchio is a very popular route on the island, offering wonderful volcanic landscapes and impressive rock formations. Monte Torru in Ittiri is another good place to hike, with more volcanic rock formations to discover and examples of ancient Nuragic settlements.
Enjoy a Thermal Bath
Sardinia is home to a number of thermal baths thanks to the naturally occurring pools of hot water that are caused by underground geothermal currents. Soaking in hot springs is said to have numerous health benefits, and if you’re after some rest and relaxation on your holiday then this experience should definitely be on your list.
There are many free spots to enjoy thermal pools, or thermae, around Sardinia, or you can enjoy the facilities at one of the many spa resorts dotted around the island. If you are trying to find a naturally occurring pool be sure to do your research before you arrive and read up on appropriate etiquette for using thermal baths that are found in the wild.
To really enjoy everything that Sardinia has to offer during your holiday in April, here are some of our tops tips for visiting the island…
Whilst Italian is the most widely spoken language on the island, Sardinian is also spoken by many of the locals and may sound totally foreign when you first hear it. You should only need to learn basic Italian to get by on the island however, and in bigger cities and popular tourist areas you will come across a lot of Sardinia’s who speak good English.
Having a car whilst in Sardinia can be incredibly useful, as public transport on the island is very sparse and a car allows you to easily get between locations and discover more rural parts of the countryside. If you are out on the roads however, watch out for animals like sheep as they actually have right of way on the roads and are often found holding up traffic.
Finally, if you are visiting the region in April then it is possible that your trip will overlap with Easter celebrations. This is one of the busiest times of the year on the island so you should be prepared for a lot more tourists and visitors, particularly in towns that are hosting parades or other religious events.
To find out more about the island of Sardinia and what it has to offer those visiting on holiday, read more of the articles on the Italian Breaks website and discover expert advice on where to stay, what to see and what to do.