Sardinia’s capital still keeps some secrets – in spite of its dimensions. In the labyrinth-like alleys of the Castello, one can get to the bottom of Cagliari’s long history as well as catch a glimpse of Italy's medieval history. “The Castle”, as the locals call it, is not only the main entry port into yacht charter Sardinia but also a prosperous cultural and economic center that offers many yacht charter Italy opportunities to tourists.
Safely tucked away in a natural bay in the southern tip of the island of Sardinia, the port of Cagliari also happens to be the capital city of this region of Italy. To enthusiasts who come here to spend a few days in the sun the name Cagliari doesn’t mean anything, but to the locals Casteddu (Sardinian) means “the castle”.
Apart from being the main entry point into Sardinia, the old town of Cagliari is also a vibrant cultural and economic hub set in a very picturesque region of Sardinia which is known for the numerous sunny days which earned it the nickname “The City of Sun” from the community.
Travel & Arrival
There are a couple of airlines that fly to Cagliari airport which is located within the urban area, on a small peninsula in the bay. The actual distance from the airport to the port is just under 8km so visitors should have no trouble in getting on the water as soon as they tough down. Also, the town center is just 10 minutes away from the airport so a taxi ride shouldn’t cost that much.
There’s also the option for arriving by ferry which are operated by the Tirrenia Company and provide links with Civitavecchia, Arbatax, Naples, Palermo, Trapani and even Tunisia. As always with ferry boats, tourists are advised to make reservation early on because these tend to get very busy, especially during the summer months. Some ferries provide the option of carrying cars too, so it’s possible to drive into Cagliari if you wish.
Avant & Apres Sail
Cagliari actually divides into two separate parts, the old town and the new town, each offering the guest something unique to sample, but for a complete experience, you’re advised to visit both. The historic center has lots of buildings that are worth checking out which are all within walking distance along the via Roma such as the Castello or the National Pictures Gallery.
The new town began expansion after the Second World War and has its fair share of monuments, such as the church of S. Lucifero, the Basilica of S. Saturnino (the oldest temples in Sardinia) as well as numerous museums for those tourists with an educational vacation in mind: the Museum of Minralogy, Petrology, Geochemistry and the Museum of Geology, Paleontology and Geography.
Most of the shopping in the new district is centered in the pavilions of the Fiera internazionale in Viale Diaz. In the old quarter, the Castello provides many craft shops which specialize in ceramics, paper mache, wrought iron and leather products, as well as some furniture and antiques, which prove to be a hit with groups of nosy shoppers.
If you’re looking for a bite to eat, then the Marina is where you want to go, lots of specialty shops are located on the Via Sardegna and also family venues called trattorie which have a wonderful menu of fish recipes at decent prices. For more fancy dining choices head out to Via Regina Margherita or Via Torino, where the aroma of fish mingles with that of roasted coffee beans and tobacco from the Manifattura, something to scent those holidays and give you something to remember Cagliari for.
The bulk of the night clubs and other after dark venues tends to be concentrated around the old quarters, especially around the Via Roma which exudes a very Latin, turn of the century feel. However, there are also places where the more modern holidaymaker can enjoy himself, lik the famous Poetto Beach.
Events & Actions
The most important event in Cagliari is the Sagra di S. Efisio, which is a religious celebration mixed with a lot of folklore elements. Some of the local traditions can also be observed during the Holy Week celebrations and also the Sa die De Sa Sardinia festival which is dedicated to Sardinian people. tourists should generally take into consideration the rule that during the summer months there are a lot of musical events, while in the colder season, it’s more about theater, drama and opera.
The main activity here is having fun at the beach. This is the reason during summer, Cagliari become such an agglomeration of sailors and enthusiasts. Considering the fact that Cagliari is home to one of the longest stretches of beach in the Mediterranean – 8 km – it’s no wonder that so many people come here to catch a tan.
What makes Cagliari a unique sailing destination in Italy?Cagliari, the capital of the Italian island of Sardinia, is a fascinating mix of old-world charm and stunning natural beauty. Its strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea makes it a preferred sailing destination. Sailors can explore its beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and experience the vibrant Sardinian culture.
What facilities are available at the Cagliari Marina?Marina del Sole and Marina di Sant'Elmo are the primary marinas in Cagliari. They offer facilities such as water and electricity supply, fuel station, waste collection, Wi-Fi, and boat repair services. Additionally, they are located close to the city center, making it convenient for sailors to access restaurants, shops, and other amenities.
What are some recommended anchorages near Cagliari?While the marinas in Cagliari are well-equipped, there are also beautiful spots to anchor in nearby regions. The Villasimius area, for example, offers calm waters and stunning scenery. Chia Bay, known for its turquoise waters and sandy beaches, is another excellent place to anchor.
What are the must-visit attractions in and around Cagliari?The old city of Cagliari, known as Castello, is a must-visit, with its medieval towers, cathedrals, and stunning views over the city. The Poetto Beach, one of the longest sandy beaches in Italy, and the Molentargius-Saline Regional Park, famous for its pink flamingos, are other highlights. A sail to the mesmerizing beaches of Villasimius and Costa Rei is also recommended.
What water activities can I enjoy in Cagliari?In addition to sailing, Cagliari offers a wide range of water sports. The clear waters of the beaches around Cagliari are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. You can also try your hand at windsurfing or kitesurfing at Poetto Beach, thanks to the perfect wind conditions.
What are some local dishes I should try in Cagliari?Cagliari offers a taste of authentic Sardinian cuisine. Try the "fregola con arselle," a typical Sardinian pasta with clams, or "porceddu," a dish of suckling pig roasted over an open fire. Pair your meal with a glass of local Cannonau wine, and finish with seadas, a traditional Sardinian dessert.
Are there any sailing events or regattas in Cagliari?Cagliari often hosts sailing events and regattas, including the prestigious America's Cup World Series. These events offer a fantastic opportunity to see some of the world's best sailors in action and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.
Any tips for sailing around Cagliari?The sailing season in Cagliari typically starts in April and lasts until October, with the summer months being the warmest. Keep in mind that the winds can be strong in this region, especially the Mistral from the northwest, so it's crucial to check the weather forecast before setting sail. Always respect the marine protected areas around Sardinia, and enjoy the incredible beauty that this region has to offer.