Cagliari

Sardinia’s largest city (with a little over 150,000 people) and its capital for centuries, Cagliari on the island’s south coast offers the perfect mix of recreation and exploration options. The five-mile-long Poetto Beach is among the best city beaches on the Mediterranean, and together with the adjacent Marina Piccola, satisfies all manner of sun and sea pursuits. Seekers of culture will love Cagliari’s old district, Castello, where 13th-century towers still guard the medieval city walls.