When most people think of island regions in Italy, their first thought is often Sicily. But Sardinia is another unique part of the country that is found floating in the Mediterranean to the west of the mainland, offering travellers and holidaymakers a different experience of Italian life and culture.
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and the third-largest region in Italy, known for its beautiful beaches and impressive geological formations. With a history that stretches back to Neolithic times, the island has been home to a wide variety of inhabitants over the centuries that have left it with a distinct culture and a fascinating array of local stories.
The region gained autonomy from mainland Italy in the 20th century, and it was only then that Sardinia’s infrastructure was developed and the island became the popular holiday destination that it still is today. Now it’s a beautiful part of Europe that is known for its beaches, mountains, countryside and charming little towns and villages.
Many people come to Sardinia over the summer to enjoy the region’s excellent selection of resorts, coastal accommodation and hot, sunny weather. August is part of the peak season for tourism in the country, but there’s no better time to visit Sardinia if you’re after perfect weather, soaring temperatures and a brilliant range of different things to see and do.
Here’s our guide to making the most out of your trip to Sardinia in August.
August is right in the middle of summer in Sardinia, which is one of the reasons why so many people come and stay on the island at this time of year. You can expect hot weather for the majority of the month, so remember to pack a lot of sunscreen and try to avoid staying out in the sunshine in the middle of the day.
The average high temperature in Sardinia in August is 30°C, so it’s not the best time to come and visit if you know you don’t cope well with warm weather. The average low is 19°C during the month, but it won’t always get this cool so you are strongly advised to check that you’re staying somewhere with good air conditioning!
This hot weather makes for the ideal conditions to spend time on the beach, and with average water temperatures of 25°C throughout August, swimming in the sea around Sardinia is a very pleasant experience. There are around 10 hours of sunshine every day, so you’ve got plenty of time to work on topping up your tan.
Holidays to Sardinia in August offer one of the best guarantees for good weather of the whole year, with only around 5 days during the month seeing any kind of rain. Only around 2mm actually falls in August anyway, so even if you do get caught in a shower it’s more likely to be refreshing than anything else.
How to Get There
As an island region, Sardinia is a little harder to get to than other Italian holiday destinations. But a steady increase in tourism over the decades has meant that multiple transport links have now been developed between Sardinia and the mainland, as well as direct routes from other, nearby countries.
If you want to fly into Sardinia then you have the pick of three different airports; Cagliari Elmas Airport, Olbia Airport, and Alghero Fertilia Airport. In August, there is an increased number of direct flights to Sardinia from plenty of international countries, making this one of the easiest ways to get to the island.
There are also frequent flights to Sardinia from a lot of locations in mainland Italy, so if you are visiting the island as part of a larger trip around the country, you can just hop over the Mediterranean Sea and then fly on to your next destination.
The next most popular way to travel to Sardinia is by ferry. There are several different routes connecting mainland Italy with the island, as well as several services arriving from Sicily. France and Spain also have ferry services that sail directly to and from the region, but these are known to get very busy in the summer months so it may not be the best choice if you are visiting Sardinia in August.
You can get to Sardina by car if you drive to a ferry port and then bring your car over to the island with you. It is also possible to get the train to a port in mainland Italy, France or Spain and again catch the ferry across to Sardinia, but this isn’t a particularly direct way of travelling.
Festivals and Events
Time in Jazz Festival
Any music lover heading to Sardina in August should make sure not to miss the Time in Jazz festival. Originally organised and directed by the famous Afro-American musician Paolo Fresu in 1988, it’s one of the biggest live music events that is held on the island at the start of the month every year.
Time in Jazz is held predominantly in the town of Berchidda in the north of Sardinia, and whilst there is a key focus on music, art, cinema and environmental preservation are also aspects of the festival program. Other events connected to the festival are held in nearby towns, and the program usually lasts for ten days.
I Candelieri Sassari
Religion is a key part of local culture in Sardinia, and the I Candelieri Sassari is an event that has been taking place on the island for over 700 years. Held in the city of Sassari, it’s a celebration of Our Lady of the Assumption who was said to have stopped plagues from wiping out the population, held on the 14th August every year.
I Candelieri consists of a procession of locals carrying ornately decorated candles, organised by the nine different worker guilds in Sardinia. Several processions usually take place so that everyone can get involved, and it’s a very special occasion that will give you an insight into local life on the island.
Calici di Stelle
For wine lovers visiting the island, Calici di Stelle is the most exciting event that takes place in Sardinia in August. Held in Jerzu, the festival has been taking place for over 40 years and is a celebration of the famous wine that is produced around this area.
The wine festival is the key event of the Calici di Stelle, with plenty of chances to sample different flavours and purchase a range of bottles. But there is also food, music, entertainment and guided tours of Jezu organised at this time, making it a brilliant time to go and visit.
Sagra del Redentore
Perhaps the biggest cultural celebration that takes place in Sardinia in August is Sagra del Redentore. It’s not only a religious event but also one that is steeped in folklore. Held in Nuoro in the mountainous Barbagia region, the festival is held in honour of the placement of the massive statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of Monte Ortobene, commissioned by Pope Leone XIII after the 1900 Jubilee.
The festival takes place on the 29th of August, bringing tourists from all over the island. Mass is held in honour of the statue and then a procession takes place, with many Sardinians wearing traditional costumes.
Things to See and Do
Hit the Beach
We couldn’t write a post about holidays to Sardinia in August without recommending that you visit the beach. With the warm weather and the warm water temperatures, there’s no better way to spend the day than lounging on the sand, cooling off in the ocean and then heading home as the sun starts to set.
There are hundreds of different beaches around Sardinia, ranging from massive stretches of sand that are lined with resorts, restaurants and bars to quiet, secluded coves that don’t see too many tourists, even in the summer. Whichever part of the island you’re staying on, it can be worth speaking to a few locals to ask for their beach recommendations, as this information is likely to be much more valuable than any information in guidebooks.
Sardinia is known for its windy weather all year round, which makes it an excellent location for activities like sailing and windsurfing. Because the sea is so warm, August is a brilliant time to take a couple of lessons and learn to navigate the waters with only a board and a sail.
Take a Roadtrip
Some of the most popular towns, cities and resorts in Sardinia can be absolutely crammed in August, so a great way to get away from the crowds is to plan a road trip that will let you come and go as you please, finding hidden gems along the route. You can bring a car across the water to Sardinia on a ferry, or most of the cities and large towns have car rental companies that will lend you a vehicle for your trip.
Visit Neptune’s Grotto
Neptunes Grotto is a large cave found on the northwest of the island that is about 9 metres deep and a brilliant example of the naturally occurring geological formations and caverns that are found across Sardinia. Coming to the grotto in August is an excellent idea, as the cavern is deep underground and will feel very cool even in the middle of the day.
Tour the Island’s Castles
Sardinia is home to 82 different castles, so whether you’re a fan of history or architecture, there’s something for everyone. The most famous example is Castello della Fava in Posada, but the Castello Serravalle in Posa has absolutely stunning views, and the Castello di Burgos is perched dramatically on top of a granite hillside – perfect for photographs!
August is the best time to visit Sardinia if you’re looking for an unforgettable summer holiday. Here are some final pieces of advice to ensure you make the most of your trip…
Firstly, be aware that it is the high season for tourism on the island. Booking your flights, accommodation and activities well in advance will help you to save money, and if you’re not a big fan of crowds then you should definitely do your research into some of the more rural areas of the island so you know where you can go to enjoy some quiet.
Next, unless you’re staying at a holiday resort that has all amenities in easy reach, it can be worth hiring a car when you visit Sardinia so you can get around the island easily. Public transport in the region is pretty good, but if you’re hoping to discover some of the more authentic parts of the island then it can be easier to explore under your own steam.
Finally, whilst a lot of people on the island speak Italian, and many in more touristy areas will speak English, be prepared to hear locals talking to each other in Sardinian as well. No, you’ve not totally forgotten all the Italian you learn before your trip, you’re just hearing a dialect that is unique to this region!
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.