Read any guide book or travel article about Sardinia and the advice is to avoid August as a month to visit this beautiful island. High prices, low availability, crowds and excessive heat are cited as the main reasons for staying away. Great advice, but not very practical, for families with school age children.
With Africa to its south and Corsica to its north, Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean. Blessed with stunning beaches, turquoise waters and spectacular limestone and granite mountain ranges, and just a 2 hour flight from London, Sardinia is just too good a family holiday destination to avoid in the summer.
After visiting Sardinia this August, I know that families can still have an authentic, comparatively crowd free, well-priced holiday on this beautiful island in peak season.
So here are 5 good reasons for families to visit Sardinia in August:
Choice of stunning beaches
There are SO many stunning beaches in Sardinia, that even in August, you can find space away from the crowds (and even more so if you go later in the afternoon). The five-star beaches of the glamorous Costa Smeralda coastline in the north east, are obviously busy, but there are gorgeous beaches, coves and inlets around the whole island. Beaches I visited in the north, around La Maddalena Archipelago and in the east, were all stunning, ranging from fine shingle/coarse sand to Maldives-like white fine sand.
Clear, warm, turquoise sea
The sea in Sardinia seems to be always described as ‘turquoise’ in travel magazines, but it’s true! The many shades of turquoise, blues and greens are breathtaking and the water is very clear. Go in August and you’ll swim in average sea temperatures of 24°C (it was warmer than that this August). The choice of beaches mean you can find shallow, safe water play for younger children or ‘wave surfing’ fun for stronger swimmers. Sardinia is a favourite with divers and snorkellers and I would really recommend a family friendly snorkelling excursion.
Guaranteed sun and heat
August is not the time for families to be taking advantage of the beautiful treks in Sardinia, but with temperatures of around 30°C and high humidity, August IS a great month for guaranteed sunshine and heat, and for those who like it hot. Enjoy 10 hours of sunshine a day and only an average of 5 rainy days per month! Beach breezes help you stay cool – as does the purchase of a beach umbrella. Drink plenty of water and make sure your accommodation has aircon or, at the very least, insect screens on your windows. A delicious gelato each day also helps the family stay cool!
Family friendly watersports
Though there are plenty of sheltered coves, seasoned sailors and surfers will know that Sardinia is also known as the ‘isola del vento’, the windy island, with the Mistral, Sirocco and other winds affecting the island. But with warmer, gentler winds, August is a great time to try out some family friendly sailing, windsurfing and kite surfing.
Authentic places to stay
While the five-star resorts in Costa Smeralda are near capacity, travel a little away from the tourist hotspots and, even better, inland, and you’ll find better availability and prices – even at the last minute* – in wonderful, authentic accommodation. This can range from local campsites, eco-friendly agriturismos, self catering villas and family-run hotels. You may not hear much English, but you’ll get a taste of real Sardinian hospitality. A half board stay in an agriturismo is well worth experiencing.
So if you’re a parent with school age children, there’s every reason to plan a holiday to Sardinia in August. There are too many things the island has to offer for it not to be considered.
* Lastminute availability can be found in August, but it’s always best to plan and book ahead if you can. This is particularly the case with car hire, as the demand for the limited stock on the island is high in August, and so prices get pushed up.
I have to add though that Sardinia is a fantastic holiday destination for a good chunk of the year and even in October, it’s still warm enough to swim in the sea. If you have would like more information or recommendations, please do contact me at Your Holiday Planner.