On the other side of Cagliari 30 km east is yet another epicenter of superfine beaches. One after another you will find amazing sandy beaches and emerald-green waters backed up with beautiful sandy dunes. You might spend a lazy day in one of the trendy beach lounges drinking cocktails, surf the waves for an active day in the water or get in safari mood and watch flamingos all day long.
Pula is a great base to discover the eastern side of Cagliari, especially as it turns out to be a true foodie capital with handful of excellent Italian seafood restaurants (see below top tips). If you do prefer to cook your own meal and eat whenever you please forgetting Italian timing (strictly 1-3 lunch, dinner only from 7 pm) stay in Chia in one of the self-catering apartments and enjoy the fact that some of the greatest beaches are just few steps away. For those who love 5 star all-inclusive hotel experience, you don’t need to go anywhere further than Santa Margherita di Pula and Forte village.
First beach you can find right in the village of Pula, you will recognize it by the medieval church across the bay. It is also very close to the archaeological site Nora, that is thought to be one of the first cities of Sardinia.
Beach is not the nicest in the area and if you have a chance go further east. You can walk to the beach from the town, but it is not close, so don’t forget sunscreen and some comfy shoes. If you are with a car, parking is free.
The Forte Village mega resort and it’s companion hotels has completely overtaken this place. From the roadside there is no visible access to the beach or any signage of a public beach, high fence around the resort does not welcome any strangers. Further ahead is a holiday apartment village, which could be the only way to get to the Santa Margherita di Pula beach, but we didn’t try it.
The main target of this side of Sardinia should be Chia, a lengthy stretch of golden sand beaches, that are separated in smaller bays. It has been voted the nicest beach of South Sardinia, and you just can’t argue with that. The whole area is very well organised parking spaces on every beach, uber cool beach bars in very different styles and endless rows of umbrellas and chairs to rent (prices are in between 15-25 euro per day) plus water sports activities available for rent on almost every beach. Don’t forget to get cash before you get on the beach as no cards are accepted here and cash machines are such a rare thing, I have to actually mention it (the only ATM in Chia is in the Chia Laguna Resort).
My personal favorite was the further east su Giudeu beach with poster beds as from glossy magazine ad and same style beach bar playing cool tunes whole day. There is a large windsurf & SUP rent place (the only one on the Chia beaches, that offers paddle boarding). It is the best spot for windsurfing, as after 12 o’clock Mistral wind come across the island, that brings proper speed to the windsurfers. In the sea there are a couple of inflatable water slides for kids and adults.
Water is very shallow, so perfect for families. Sand is in a bright golden colour and it looks perfectly well with the emerald-green waters. Winds in afternoon can get pretty strong, but you can always just walk to the next beach.
Second on my list was Campana beach, just next to su Gideu. With a cosy African style beach launch, it has some seriously tasty sandwiches & salads. There is a parking right on the back of the beach, with a daily fee of 4 Eur. No water sports available here, just chairs for rent.
This beach is much smaller, but it’s also quieter than others. From all of the beaches, it had the cutest palm tree beach bar, perfect place to get some shade, shot of Italian espresso and gellato on a stick. On the way to the beach you will pass large damp, where flamingos are breeding during the summer. It is quite a dramatic view as majestic pink birds dabble in the dirtiest water you can imagine.
Parking is pretty far from the beach, so it will take you good 10 minutes to walk to the beach. Don’t ignore the no parking signs as we did and parked on the road side just by the beach, we got a salty 20 euro penalty, which is quite pricey for a couple of hours parking.
La Collonia is the first one from Pula’s side. Lovely view over the ancient watch tower and full of holiday fun and equipment for water sports, it is great place, but quite busy as it’s the closest to the Chia village.
This was my final destination of the trip, after reading reviews I was preparing for THE best beach of the South Sardinia and I convinced my second half to drive a long, difficult mountain road to Teulada, to the fabulous Tuerradda beach… After almost an hour drive, we came to the rather average, but very crowded Sardinia beach. We turn around immediately, the compensation of this unsuccessful beach hunt was the fantastic scenery of the massive cliffs striking blue Mediterranean sea on the way back to Chia.
Best restaurants in Pula
#1 Zia Leunora: Fantastic family restaurant just outside the old town square. Fresh seafood and finger licking good pasta. Make a booking in advance, as it’s completely booked day in advance.
#2 Ristorante Da Giancarlo: Absolute gem of the town, place where you wouldn’t go inside if you wouldn’t know it’s a restaurant. But it is Italian cooking at it’s best.
3# Su Furriadroxu: Traditional Sardinia kitchen, with suckling pigling roasted on the open fire. Get a reservation especially if it’s weekend.
How to get there?
Arrive in Cagliari by plane or by ferry from the Italian mainland. And rent a car to drive 30 km east to Pula village.
Click here all the beaches on the map:
Find out about other beaches around Cagliari: