If this isn’t the first time on this blog, you will surely have read my mantra: Sardinia is great to visit year round. However, there is no denying that it mainly owes its fame to its beaches and summer events, making the hottest months of the year the real tourist season.
Visiting Sardinia in August means that you can enjoy a top-tier holiday experience. The best resorts, hotels, beaches, and activities all wait for you on this beautiful island at the heart of the Mediterranean. There are also plenty of events and festivals to join during the month.
On the other end, August is the most crowded month of the year in Sardinia. Although the great sunlight shows you colors and reflections you won’t see anywhere else, you could find it difficult to even find a small spot on the beaches. On top of that, prices tend to increase – like in every tourist destination during peak season; and you might end up spending a lot more money than you would if you planned the exact same holiday in June.
Overall, August has its pros and cons. If you can’t help but come to Sardinia during this month, maybe because it’s the only time you have for your holidays, you will still be able to enjoy it. Sardinia is stunning even when overcrowded.
Should You Visit Sardinia In August?
In my opinion, August is an ambivalent month to visit Sardinia.
If you are a social or party animal who likes to be surrounded by people, enjoying the nightlife, and meeting someone new every day, go ahead and start planning your holiday. If you are more of a lone wolf who prefers quiet, peaceful places to relax and spend a healing holiday, maybe you should visit during less busy months such as May or September.
The beaches and the public places are quite crowded 24/7, but that’s to be expected from a place like Sardinia. It has always been one of the most popular summer holidays destinations, so it comes with no surprise that August is, indeed, a very busy month.
To accommodate the big flux of tourists, many places organize fun events such as concerts, festivals, food fairs, and much more to keep the visitors engaged and busy even after the sunset.
This is to say that, if August is the only time of year you have to visit Sardinia, you should not let the crowds of tourists and the heat put you off: you will spend an unforgettable holiday anyway.
Weather In Sardinia In August
Sardinia has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. July and August are the hottest months of the year, with an average temperature of 24°C (75,2°F). Despite the average being quite pleasant, this is not the absolute temperature: it can spike up to above 40°C (104°F) during the day and go lower than 20°C (68°F) during the night – which is great for a good night’s sleep.
The good news is, even when the temperatures are very high, it’s only seldom that you will feel that horrible sensation of suffocating. Sardinia is constantly swept by the mistral wind, which makes the air always breathable and stops the humidity from clogging your lungs.
However, even if those 40 degrees don’t feel too unbearable, be always careful and wear sunscreen: the sunlight is quite strong and, even if you aren’t physically sweating, it doesn’t mean your skin is not suffering!
Head over to my post What’s The Weather In Sardinia Really Like?
How Busy Is Sardinia In August?
Sardinia is seriously busy in August. Many Italians, in fact, decide to spend their vacations on the island. And many of them traditionally take their vacation in August, meaning that Sardinia is indeed crowded during this month. Hotels and resorts are fully booked, beaches and archeological sites are always busy and people are roaming around every square and street.
However, since the island is so busy, there also is a multitude of events to take part in. My advice is to book your tickets in advance in case you want to attend some festival so that you have your spot secured. The same goes for limited-entry beaches, museums, and historical sites. And needless to say, you will have to book your flights or ferry and your accommodation, as well as your rental car, months in advance.
Last minute trips to Sardinia in August can be terribly expensive!
Is August Peak Season In Sardinia?
We can say that both July and August are peak season in Sardinia. A lot of businesses in Italy and southern Europe close in August, so this is the only chance some have to travel.
Moreover, August 15th is Ferragosto, the most important summer national holiday in Italy. During Ferragosto, it is a tradition to go and have a trip to the beach, lake, mountains, or wherever and enjoy a picnic with friends or family.
The whole month of August is quite busy for pubs, hotels and the like as well.
What To Wear In Sardinia In August
August in Sardinia is hot but not unbearable (unless the island is hit by a heatwave). The ideal outfit would be shorts and a t-shirt or a one-piece for both the day and the evening. If you are the type to feel cold with some breeze or once the sun is down, don’t forget a light jacket to wear when the mistral wind is blowing. And, of course, remember to pack your favorite swimming suits!
An essential item when you travel to Sardinia – any time of years – is a good pair of shoes: it depends on what you are planning to do, but my advice is to take with you some comfortable walking shoes, some flip flops for the beach and some sandals.
If you are planning to visit churches, museums or spending much time indoors, a good idea would be to bring some jeans/long pants and a light scarf to cover up. Many places won’t let you in if you are wearing revealing clothes or if your shoulders are exposed.
What To Eat In Sardinia In August
Sardinia offers a multitude of traditional dishes and many of them have a hundred variations – each city has its own version. The locals take the food making and its link with their identity very seriously and are always proud to show off their specialties.
Traditionally, the island has a strong agricultural background and in the past, meals had to be filling and give the workers energy for the day. So, traditional food tends to be on the rich side. This doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can eat in August: you just need to sit down at a restaurant (and enjoy some fresh air, which is not bad).
Fresh fruit and vegetables about in the summer in Sardinia. You can buy fresh products every day at the local markets and in the stalls that sometimes the farmers themselves set up.
The best choice – and the most popular – is a slice of fresh watermelon. It will keep you hydrated and it’s not heavy. You can eat as many slices as you like, and your diet won’t suffer!
Peaches are another great and common choice. Sardinia’s sunny weather is perfect for growing peaches. Plus, they are super cheap! You can have a tasty snack without going bankrupt.
Check out my post The Best Sardinian Food.
What To Do In Sardinia In August
There are plenty of things to do to make the most of your August holiday in Sardinia.
Go to the beach
Visiting the beaches is a must in Sardinia in August. The sunlight during this month makes the water shine with colors you won’t see during any other time of the year, and the water is warm and pleasant compared to the previous months. Depending on the area you visit, you can also enjoy the nightlife, especially if you’re staying in the North of the island or in the Cagliari area.
Many beaches are now enforcing a limited-entry policy to preserve their sand and environment. Be sure to book your visit in advance!
Read my post The Best Beaches In Sardinia.
Visit a museum
There are plenty of excellent museums in Sardinia! Since August can be very warm, spending a few hours indoors is not a bad idea. You can enjoy both the air conditioning and the artworks! Sardinian cities offer a wide variety of museums, ranging from the Archeological Museum (like the one in Cagliari) to more peculiar and unique places showcasing the island’s traditions and folklore, like the Mediterranean Masks’ Museum in Mamoiada or the Coal Museum in Carbonia.
Check out my selection of The Best Museums In Sardinia.
Visit some ancient ruins
Sardinia has seen several civilizations rise, leave their footprints, and disappear. From the 7000+ nuraghe built by the indigenous populations starting from about 2300 BC (the most famous one is Su Nuraxi, in Barumini) to the Punic-Roman ruins of Nora and Tharros, from the Middle Ages castles owned by the Aragonese, Spanish, Pisan, and Genoese to the watchtowers built to protect the island from the Saracen pirates, you won’t have shortage of interesting archeological sites.
If you plan to visit some ancient ruins, include a hat in your outfit, bring a lot of water with you, and avoid the warmest hours of the day. The weather is unforgiving, and the August sun can be pretty harsh on your body!
Head over to my post The Most Interesting Archeological Sites In Sardinia.
What Not To Do In August In Sardinia
One thing I do not generally recommend doing in August is hiking. While you can definitely enjoy a short, easy hike to an isolated beach – for example Cala Goloritzé, which is otherwise not accessible; hiking in Sardinia during the summer months is generally off limits as it can be seriously too hot and you risk heat exhaustion and sun strokes!
If you still decide to hike despite my warnings, make sure to be fully prepared with good hiking shoes, lots of water and a hat, and wear lots of sunblock!
Main Events In Sardinia In August
Taking place at the beginning of August in Muravera, the main town of the Sarrabus region (about one hour drive from Cagliari), this event is commonly called “the summer carnival”. People dress up with the traditional Carnival masks and parade through the city streets, performing the same tricks and rituals they do in February.
This music festival takes place in the first to second week of August and is a must-go for every jazz enthusiast. Founded by Paolo Fresu in 1988, the festival is a meeting occasion for many artists of international fame. It takes place in Berchidda and the nearby cities and, in addition to the jazz-themed events, it also hosts other performances like the yearly homage to Fabrizio de André and several film showings.
Sassari’s Faradda dei Candelieri
Considered the biggest festival for the city of Sassari and celebrated on August 14th of each year, the Faradda is a 700-years-long festivity that attracts thousands of visitors every year. It was first celebrated to thank the Virgin Mary after Sassari was saved from a terrible plague in 1650 and it kept being repeated until nowadays. The main event is the procession when people carry wooden columns (called candelieri) through the city streets while dancing.
Nuoro’s Redentore Festival
Taking place on August 25th, this festival had its first edition in 1900 AD, when the Redentore statue was placed on top of Mt. Ortobene, and has been celebrated ever since. The parade of people dressed in their traditional costumes, coming from all around the island, is something worth traveling to Nuoro for. Moreover, the religious rites and the prayers are very suggestive and have a mystic, almost out-of-this-world vibe that leaves everyone impressed and silent.
For more festivals and events in Sardinia, read this post.
In addition to these large festivals, there also are many other, smaller festivals that are dedicated to patron saints and were originally pagan rites to celebrate abundance, fertility, and a good crop and were therefore held during summer.
Wherever you are, there will surely be either a religious festival or a fair of some sorts, often dedicated to some traditional food.