With its white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise water Sardinia has become known as the Maldives of Italy, and is becoming an increasingly popular tourist beach destination. After all, who wouldn’t want to visit such a paradise on earth without having to fly hours to reach it? If you’re set on visiting Sardinia and you’re wondering when the best time to visit is, this post will tell you that. I’m originally from Milan but have spent every summer of my life in Sardinia, often visiting also out of season in both spring, autumn and winter after my mum moved to Sardinia. This guide on the best times to visit Sardinia is based on my own personal experience and general weather forecasts.
What is the weather like in Sardinia?
The graphs below give you an overall idea of what the weather is generally like in Sardinia throughout the year. Bear in mind Sardinia is a big island and the weather can change quite drastically from the coast to inland, this is just an approximate estimate. Check out the latest accurate weather forecasts to help you plan your trip here.
The best months to visit Sardinia
In my opinion the months of June and September are the best ones to visit Sardinia. The weather is good enough to be considered summer so that you can enjoy a fun beach holiday, without the crowds of July and August.
June is my favourite month of the year (and not just because it’s my birthday month) but also because it’s the start of the summer. The days are long, the temperatures are high, without being unbearable, and the skies are usually clear of clouds and rain. The only disadvantage if you’re visiting Sardinia for a beach holiday is that in June the water can still be a bit cold. It obviously depends on personal preference but with an average of 20°C, you will find it hard to spend long periods of time in the water swimming and snorkelling. I usually swim in the sea anyway in June but not for very long.
After June, September is the second best month of the year to visit Sardinia. The weather is still generally warm and clear, with the added benefit that the seawater has had all summer to heat up and is now warm enough to pleasantly swim in the sea. However compared to June it becomes darker much earlier (7PM vs 9PM)meaning your beach days will be cut short.
When to avoid Sardinia
Now that you know the best times to visit Sardinia, let’s look at the months you should avoid entirely (if you can).
December, January & February
I know some people like travelling to popular tourist destinations out of season so as to enjoy them without the crowds, however the months of December, January and February in Sardinia are not the time and place to do so. Just by looking at the weather forecast chart you might think that it doesn’t sound too bad, a mild 15°C could still make for a pleasant winter getaway after all. What the forecast doesn’t take into account is the wind. Sardinia is a very windy destination, that nice Mistral breeze that cools you down during those hot August days is the same one that will blow you off your feet in winter.
Sardinia is also a very seasonal destination. As soon as the tourist masses leave at the end of summer most of the shops, bars, restaurants, tour operators and general services close up for the winter. Depending on where you go it might well be that everything is closed and you won’t even be able to go out for dinner.
July & August
I know this is peak summer and you were already imagining yourself tanning on white sand beaches and swimming around in the crystal clear water of Sardinia, but I’m sorry to inform you that July and August are actually amongst the worst times to visit Sardinia. As soon as schools finish Italian families swarm to Sardinia (and plenty of international tourists too) and drive up all the prices, be it of accommodation, food, flights or ferries, tours and even cocktails in bars. The start of July is still bearable but it gets progressively worst as you approach and get into August, to then peak on the 15thof August and the Italian celebration of “Ferragosto”. The weather can at times also be too hot. During particularly hot summers you’ll find that even jumping in the sea won’t cool you down, since even the water can reach 25°C.
However don’t let this deter you from visiting Sardinia completely. If you are only able to travel to Sardinia in July and August due to school holidays or other commitments you should still go. You’ll just have to search a little bit harder for an empty beach but you will still have an amazing time. Just make sure you book your flight or ferry and accommodation early enough in advance so that the prices aren’t too inflated.
The in-between months
So we’ve gone over the best and worst times to visit Sardinia, but what about all the other months of the year? Surely they can’t all be bad? The remaining months of the year are the ones considered out of season but that can still make for a pleasant visit.
April, May & October
April and May in spring and October in autumn are the very start and the very end of the season. Bars, restaurants and shops are timidly starting to open up, maybe not every day just yet but once or twice a week, or towards the end of the season they start having part closures, but at least you know that you will find some services available and they won’t be overpriced. The weather isn’t always the best, but if you know where to go looking for sheltered beaches it’ll be good enough to get in a swimsuit and attempt a very fast dip in the sea.
I filmed the video below during a short trip to Sardinia at the start of April. It gives you an idea of what the beaches and weather are like out of season. I personally enjoy Sardinia during these months but if it’s your first time visiting I wouldn’t come then as the weather can be quite unpredictable and you don’t want to end up spending your holiday indoors.
March & November
If you visit in March or November you can expect the weather to be similar to the other “in-between months”; a pleasant out of season heat without being unbearable, but with an increased risk of very windy or rainy days and with water a bit too chilly to properly enjoy swimming in the sea. In terms of services however it’ll be more similar to the winter months from December to February, with very limited restaurants and shops open. I wouldn’t recommend visiting Sardinia in March or November.
What to pack for Sardinia
Regardless of what time of the year you decide to visit Sardinia, there are some essentials that you should always pack with you.
Windproof jacket: Like I already mentioned Sardinia is a very windy destination. It may be pleasant in the heat of August, but in any other month you’ll want a windproof jacket to keep the wind out.
Fast-drying towel: If you’re going to Sardinia for a beach holiday you’ll want to bring one of these with you. They take up little space and dry quickly, the perfect beach towels to pack in your bag and bring out and about with you all day.
Sunscreen: Even out of season the sun can be pretty strong in Sardinia. Even if you want to go home after your trip with a beautiful golden tan make sure to pack a high factor SPF with you and protect yourself from the damaging effects of the sun.
Have you been to Sardinia before? At what time of the year and how did you find it? Let me know in the comments below! This guide to the best time to visit Sardinia is based on my own personal experiences of having visited Sardinia for 24 years in pretty much every season. It is also based on the assumption that you are visiting Sardinia primarily for a beach holiday, if you’re headed to Sardinia to see the cities or inland, you might have different priorities.
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