Close to the ancient and historic city of Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, are the delightful villages of Pula and Chia, each of which offers a glimpse of Sardinia unlike any other.
The glorious landscape of the Southern region is as beautiful as any, yet it is the wonderful coastal stretches occupied by these two very pretty towns that make them popular with tourists.
Lively by night and enticing by day, Pula and Chia can each lay claim to interesting cultural backgrounds, and are among the most attractive towns on the island.
Pula – Charming Slice of Sardinian Life
The appeal of the sea can never be underestimated, and the beautiful beaches of Pula are always popular with tourists thanks to the fine weather and excellent location.
Likewise, the charming traditional central square in the village is the place to be in the evenings, for it abounds with wonderful cafes serving local produce or, for those with a taste for fine dining, some superb restaurants.
The bars in the square welcome locals and tourists with a friendly flourish, and late night shopping is the norm in warm summer evenings. This really is a slice of Sardinian life at its very best, and will appeal to families and couples alike.
Perhaps the best way to get around the region is to rent a car in Cagliari airport but there are facilities to do so in Pula itself where you can pick up or drop off your vehicle.
The roads around the region are wonderful to drive, and this method of travel will allow you to explore the landscape, including the stunning ancient Roman town of Nora, complete with its well preserved temples and mosaic floors, and the city of Cagliari itself which is a short drive away.
With plentiful accommodation available, and easy access by car from Cagliari Airport, Pula makes for a fine holiday destination.
Chia – Surfers Paradise and Beach-Lover’s Delight
A short drive by hire car from Pula – or from Cagliari – is Chia, and the journey itself could not be more beautiful. Quiet roads lead you towards the famous “Costa del Sud”, the Southern Coast of Sardinia, with its stunning pale sands, quaint islands and miles of unspoilt beaches.
This is where water-sports enthusiasts gather to relish in the perfect weather and waves for surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing. Indeed, the beach is home to the classic Easter windsurfing competition each year, a colourful pageant that attracts many tourists.
Chia is regarded as a very pretty village and is home to some fine restaurants and cafes serving a wide choice of local produce – seafood is predominant, unsurprisingly, but do not miss out on the glorious local fruit – and many bars which are lively yet friendly places to stop for a drink in the fine summer evenings.
Moreover, the beach of Chia has been awarded once again by Legambiente (a non-profit organisation which monitors the Italian environment) as the most beautiful beach in Italy in 2017 on the basis of environmental quality, bathing water and receptive services.
Relaxing yet lively enough in the evenings for enjoyable nightlife, Chia is left alone by many who are attracted to the bigger towns, but is well worth considering.
Getting to Pula and Chia by Road
Hiring a car gives you the very best opportunity to explore the areas around Chia and Pula, and there is plenty to see and do. Most tourists arrive via Cagliari International Airport (CAG), which is very convenient for the villages and has car hire facilities.
The journey to Pula is a straightforward one, well signposted on the SS195 and taking a little over half an hour at around 35km. For Chia, continue past Pula on the SS195 for a further 15km, a journey that will take you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Sardinia.
The area surrounding Cagliari has much to offer in the way of pretty towns and villages, glorious coastline and a wealth of historical sights, and is one of the most popular in Italy.
For families looking for a beach holiday it is hard to beat, and for a romantic break is perfect.