As for much of Italy, Sardinia promises an unforgettable family adventure that blends pristine natural landscapes with mysterious archeological sites, flavorful food and welcoming people, all set in the captivating atmosphere of the Mediterranean Sea’s second-largest island.

With sunny weather most of the year and outdoor activities to suit every age and interest, Sardinia guarantees to keep your kids entertained and wanting to come back for more.

Is Sardinia good for kids?

Attractions specifically designed for children may not be abundant in Sardinia, but plan your trip right, and you’ll find that the island’s rich tapestry of history and nature can turn into an enthralling adventure for kids and adults alike.

Stunning beaches and rugged countryside form the backdrop of a destination where toddlers will inevitably have their cheeks pinched by friendly locals, and teenagers will be able to snorkel in clear waters, hike above cliffs in search of incredible vistas and be fascinated by the remnants of the ancient Nuragic civilization.

While some of the more remote coves and coastal areas can be difficult to reach with strollers due to uneven paths carved in the rocky landscape, there are plenty of resorts and equipped beaches catering to families.

Discounts are available for children in museums, archeological sites and public transport. Plus, the cuisine is sure to delight – gelato and sweet seadas are perfect treats, while restaurants will usually be happy to provide smaller portions on request.

Young woman and a man riding horses in the Sardinian countryside during sunset.
Sardinia is also famous for its horses © Renata Apanaviciene / Shutterstock

Where is best in Sardinia for kids?

Each of Sardinia’s sub-regions has something to offer kids – you truly can’t go wrong choosing where to stay.

Gallura, in northwestern Sardinia, has many child-friend beaches with gently sloping shorelines, well-equipped resorts and plenty of entertainment for the whole family.

Similarly, Costa Rei in the southeast of the island, offers family-friendly accommodation and campgrounds with activities suited for kids and teens. White sands and clear waters also characterize the northwest, together with opportunities to hike and cycle in nature reserves, explore caves and snorkel above coral reefs.

Choosing when to go is perhaps more important than deciding where to go. In the peak summer months of July and August, the heat can be extreme, and popular beaches can be crowded, while during winter, theme parks, museums and attractions can be closed. Late spring and early autumn typically offer the ideal balance between weather, travel costs and tourist flows.

A view of Cala Goloritzé beach, Sardegna, Italy
Sardinia has plenty of beaches with gentle sloping sand that are perfect for families © maniscule / Getty Images

Best things to do in Sardinia with babies and toddlers

Relax at a child-friendly beach

The allure of turquoise waters draws people of all ages to Sardinia’s coastline, but some beaches are more suitable than others when it comes to visiting with young children. Villasimius, east of Cagliari, is one of southern Sardinia’s most popular resort towns, offering both playgrounds and shallow waters, plus archeological ruins from the Nuragic Age found on the interior. Near Olbia is also the beach of San Teodoro, where entertainment and full-serviced resorts abound.

Explore a toddler-sized Sardinia at Sardegna in Miniatura

Located near Barumini, an hour's drive from Cagliari, the Parco Sardegna in Miniatura presents many of Sardinia’s most famous monuments in miniature size, offering the chance to tour the island in just a few hours. Near this mini-Sardinia, you’ll also find an archeological park, a planetarium, a botanic garden and an area dedicated to baby dinosaurs, where you’ll see reproductions of prehistoric creatures moving through the flora.

Observe sea life at Cala Gonone’s aquarium

Besides wonderful beaches, Cala Gonone is home to Sardinia’s largest aquarium – a chance to discover the animals living below sea level in the Mediterranean. Walk through 25 tanks to get up close and personal with turtles, sharks and octopuses.

Love a day at the beach? Check out the top 10 beaches to get to in Sardinia. 

Green Train of Sardinia in the countryside
The Green Train of Sardinia is best for a slow travel experience with your kids © Lucky Team Studio / Shutterstock

Best things to do in Sardinia with kids

Take the Green Train through remote Sardinia

The Trenino Verde della Sardegna (Sardinia’s little green train) runs on a century-old narrow-gauge railway through the remote landscapes at 20km/h, offering a full immersion in some of the island’s most remote corners. There are five itineraries to choose from, ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 hours, linking towns and villages in central, northern and eastern Sardinia. See the world go by from the historic carriages of the slow-moving train, running between April and October.

Spot wild horses at La Giara di Gesturi

Covering an area of nearly 4,500 hectares, the park of La Giara di Gesturi in central Sardinia is home to a large population of cavallini, some of Europe’s last wild horses known for their long manes and tails. Visit in spring to see the reserve’s nature come to life and try to spot the small horses roaming freely together with hares, foxes and hundreds of species of birds.

Best things to do in Sardinia with teenagers and tweenagers

Go caving in Grotta di Nettuno

Enter Grotta di Nettuno (Neptune’s Cave), one of northwestern Sardinia’s most impressive natural attractions to access the belly of Capo Caccia, the promontory found north of Alghero dropping right into the Mediterranean Sea. Tour the interior of the rock formation by walking through the passageways passing stalactites, stalagmites and freshwater lakes that have formed over the course of centuries. 

Learn about the obscure Nuragic civilization

Approximately 7000 nuraghi dot Sardinia, offering a glimpse into the mysterious Nuragic civilization that lived on the island between 1800 and 700 BCE. Archeologists are still unsure of the function of these castle-like, stone-built structures. Visiting them is a fascinating journey into the origins of Sardinian culture. Some of the most impressive sites are Su Nuraxi in Barumini and Palmavera, near Alghero.

Discover coves, hidden beaches and trails at Golfo di Orosei

Rocky cliffs popular with climbers drop in transparent waters in the Golfo di Orosei, in northeastern Sardinia, where picturesque coves dot the rugged coastline. Hire a kayak or walk along the trails that intersect white sand beaches to find the perfect snorkeling spot. 

Discover where else to go in Italy with kids.

Family having meal on patio overlooking sea in Sardinia
Make memories for a lifetime on an intergenerational trip to Sardinia © Johner Images / Getty Images

Planning tips

When booking your trip to Sardinia, it’s worth comparing ferry transport from mainland Italy to flights. While low-cost flights abound – especially in low season – ferries run by Corsica Sardinia Ferries, Tirrenia, Moby Lines and Toremar offer free travel to children below the age of 4 and a 50% discount on tickets for children aged between 4 and 12. Ferries depart from Genova, Livorno, Piombino, Civitavecchia, Naples and Palermo.

Discounts are available for public transport around Sardinia, but the most efficient way of exploring is with a car. You can transport your own vehicle on the ferry or rent one on arrival in all major cities. If you decide to go with the second option in the high season, make sure to book your car well in advance.

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