Cruise Port Atlas | Cagliari (Sardinia), Italy Day Trips | Attractions

Cagliari (Sardinia), Italy Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Caliari: Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Viking River Cruises

Key Attractions: Cagliari Cathedral, Cagliari Citadel, Cagliari Archaeological Museum, Orto Botanica, Tuvixeddu Necropolis, Poetto Beach, Cap Sant'Elia, Devil's Saddle, Molentargus wetlands, Nora Archaeological Site, Su Nuraxi (Nuraghic Tower), Sant'Antioco, Tophet of Solci, Sant'Antioco Archaeological Museum(

Cagliari Attractions

Cruise Terminal to Cathedral - 1.9 KM, 8 minutes
Cruise Terminal to Citadel - 2.6 KM, 9 minutes
Cruise Terminal to Orto Botanica - 2.9 KM, 10 minutes
Cruise Terminal to Roman Amphitheater - 3.3 KM, 11 minutes
Cruise Terminal to Tuvixeddu Necropolis - 3.6 KM, 10 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

About 2 kilometers from the cruise terminal is the hilly old town section known as the Castello, offering guests good views of the port and a number of important museums, including the Sardinian Archaeological Museum which houses the largest collection of Nuraghic artifacts from the Bronze Age peoples who left towers and other buildings all over the island. On the port side of the hill is the Pisan style Cathedral built during the 13th century, but renovated in the 20th century. Not far to the west of the Castello is the 19th century Orto Botanico and the modernized Roman Amphitheater. On the hill in the northern section of the old city is the hill known as Tuvixeddu, where a large paleolithic necropolis is situated and where a museum dedicated to prehistoric Sardinians is under construction.

        

   

Photo of Cagliari Cathedral by Giova81, Photo of Tuvixeddu Necropolis by Cristiano Cani

Cagliari Beaches and Natural Attractions

Cruise Terminal to Cap Sant'Elia / Devil's Saddle - 6.3 KM, 12 minutes
Cruise Terminal to Poetto Beach - 7 KM, 13 minutes
Cruise Terminal to Molentargius Lagoon - About 15 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Within the city limits of Cagliari are several lovely natural sites that offer interesting experiences. Part of Cagliari's eastern swampland is the Molentargius, a salty lagoon famous for its thousands of flamingos and colorful salt pans. One of Cagliari's hills is Sant'Elia, located on a Cape to southeast of the city. Much of the city is parkland centering around the scenic and rugged Devil's Saddle which offers a short trek with amazing views of the city, the harbor, the Molentagius lagoon, and Poetta Beach. There are also minor archaeological sites along the trails.

Just east of the city and Molentargius lagoon and north of the Devil's Saddle is the 8 kilometer long Poetto Beach which not only has loads of sand, but offers the city's wildest parties and discos. On the way to the archaeological site at Nora is the Pula beach area, which like Poetto offers fine white sand and clear waters.

              

   

Photo of Devil's Saddle from Poetto Beach by prc74, Photo of Molentargius Lagoon by Criatiano Cani

Archaeological Site at Nora

Cruise Terminal to Nora - 37 KM, 53 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

On a narrow peninsula southwest of Cagliari is an ancient settlement that was the site of several successive civilizations beginning at least as early as the Nuraghic peoples. The Phoenicians used it as one of a series of trading posts along the coast of Sardinia. It was later dominated by the Carthaginians and then captured by the Romans during the Punic Wars. Each of these civilizations has left ruins and artifacts that can be viewed during visits to the scenic site. The nearby town of Pula has an archaeological museum that is a good starting point for tours of the area.

        

   

Photo of Nora site by Archeologo

Su Nuraxi

Cruise Terminal to Su Nuraxi - 44 KM, 52 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Su Nuraxi (which means the Nuraghi in local Sardinian) is an ancient site begun in the 16th century BCE and completed in the 11th century BCE. It is considered one of the finest and earliest examples of Nuraghic construction. The Nuraghe peoples were named after the iconic towers they built between the 20th and 8th centuries BCE. Built of large stones, these roughly beehive-shaped structures were clearly central to the culture and were likely used as lookouts, since they were commonly built on top of hills. Su Nuraxi is a large complex with several towers including a massive central tower that is over 50 feet high. It is surrounded by what remains of a stone village and smaller towers. This site is one of the most important of its type because of its long habitation and the historic progression of structures that are found there.

           

   

Photo of Su Nuraxi Site by Ciamabue

Sant'Antioco Island

Cruise Terminal to Sant'Antioco - 97 KM, 1 hour 35 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The island of Sant'Antioco, off the southwest coast of Sardinia, is Italy's fourth largest island and the location of several important prehistoric and Bronze Age archaeological sites including the Tophet of Sulci, an infant necropolis of the Phoenician era. Named for a local saint who martyred in the early 2nd century AD, the island is now a popular beach resort area with lovely sand beaches. It is reached from Sardinia via a causeway which was originally built by the Romans. The other attractions that the island offers are an Acropolis, an Archaeological Museum, several remains of Nuraghe towers and a museum dedicated to Byssos, the ancient silk-like fabric that was made from filaments produced by certain mollusks to attach themselves to rocks.

        

   

Photo of Tophet of Sulci by Olivier Levy

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible