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When Is The Best Time To Visit Sardinia, Italy?

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.

A half underwater photo taken with a Telesin GoPro dome

Swimming in the crystal clear water of the Archipelago of Maddalena in Sardinia, Italy

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.

Average temperature and rainfall days in Sardinia, Italy

Average temperature and rainfall days in Sardinia, Italy

Average sea temperature and daylight hours in Sardinia, Italy

Average sea temperature and daylight hours in Sardinia, Italy

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

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.

Sailing in Sardinia in June

Sailing in Sardinia in June

September

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.

Chilling at Cala Soraja, my personal favourite beach in the Archipelago della Maddalena

Enjoying an empty beach in Sardinia in September

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.

Cala Corsara on the island of Spargi in Sardinia, Italy

Cala Corsara on the island of Spargi in Sardinia in August (a bit too many boats!)

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 15th of 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.

A beach close to Palau in Sardinia in August, still beautiful but a bit too crowded

A beach close to Palau in Sardinia in August, still beautiful but a bit too crowded

Shoulder season (or 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. Shoulder season can be a great time to travel around Europe, and Sardinia isn’t any different.

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.

Blogger retreat in Sardinia June 2019

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 love 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.

If you’re on a second time visit, definitely hit up the shoulder months, you’ll be amazed at how empty and beautiful the beaches are!

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.

Regardless of what time of the year you visit, Sardinia is a beautiful island and you’re guaranteed to have an awesome time. Swimming in the crystal clear water of Sardinia is a must on any Italian bucket list!

Enjoying the empty out of season beaches

Enjoying the empty out of season beaches

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.

The natural pools of the Archipelago of Maddalena, between the islands of Budelli, Razzoli and Santa Maria

The natural pools of the Archipelago of Maddalena at the start of July (not completely overflowing with boats yet!)

Final thoughts on when to visit Sardinia, Italy

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.

Regardless of when you visit, I believe everyone should add Sardinia to their Italy itinerary!

Looking for more Italy travel tips? Check out my travel guides:

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Drone shot of a girl swimming in the clear water of Maddalena Island with text overlay saying "when is the best time to visit Sardinia? Italy"

Photo collage of a girl on a beach and a girl swimming in Sardinia with text overlay saying "When to visit Sardinia, Italy"

Photo of the natural pools of Maddalena with text overlay saying "when is the best time to visit Sardinia? Italy"

Allyson Estes

Monday 22nd of March 2021

Hi there! Thanks for the great information! My husband and I plan on visiting next April, as we both hate heat and humidity. Temps in the 50s or so is great for us, and we don't mind being active when the weather isn't that great. (We spent two weeks in Scotland where it rained every day, but we still kept on hiking and exploring!) I know things will not be as open, as it's not peak season, but we're okay with that.

Knowing the island as well as you do, if you had a week on the island, where would you stay as your base? My husband and I enjoying being outside, hiking and roaming, so would you suggest the north? South? We're not opposed to staying in more than one place, but we do prefer to get to know an area and not bounce from spot to spot.

Thanks so much for any advice you can give! Allyson Maine, U.S.

Oh...will it be difficult to drive there??

Isaac A Jones

Sunday 31st of January 2021

I was stationed in La Maddalena, Sardinia, for two years.

We arrived in November, and had to open the French doors because the late autumn sun overheated the apartment! That was in Palau. In December, we moved to La Maddalena.

In the winter, the strong winds caused the rain to blow sideways! It rarely froze (in fact, I don't remember seeing any frost while I was there) but that cold wind would blow right through you.

In the spring, the weather would calm down. Less wind, less rain, warmer temperatures. May and June were glorious!

In July, the tourists started arriving. Scandinavians towering over everyone! My wife and daughters went to the beach several times a week, just to cool off.

But autumn remains my favorite time there. Even in October, the water is warm enough for swimming, at least in some places. Restaurants would close, but rarely at the same time. We went back for a vacation in 2014, and I noticed only one restaurant closed. They were scheduled to reopen the next week.

So, that's my story.

Paul

Friday 20th of November 2020

Hi Greta, I was planning to travel to southern Sardinia on 9th July next year for ten nights! Will it be to busy then do you think? Thanks, paul,👍

matthew main

Friday 29th of November 2019

Hello, I visited the Olbia region in mid September with my family. The good bits where. The sea temperature, the outside temperature and the lack of crowds. The bad bits were. The wind ( I had planned 5 days on a boat and only got one). The taxi service being very expensive. ( I would rent a car next time) My question is. Due to unforeseen circumstances we cannot visit Sardinia in mid September this year. We have to visit for 10 days between 25th August and 5th September. We loved Sardinia and wanted to come back for how quite it was. Will returning a few weeks earlier than our previous visit be a totally different experience?

Sean Hogan

Wednesday 21st of August 2019

Ciao Greta

Penso di fare una vacanza in Sardegna nell' ulima settimana del Marzo 2020 in bici da corsa. Sara' troppo ventoso e ci sara' tanta pioggia.Vorei fare 100km ogni giorno durante la mia visita. Secondo te devo andare in Sardegna in un altro periodo, sono Irlandese.

sean