Sardinia is a smorgasbord of colourful annual festivals that are held high in the mountains or close to the sea. Sardinia will not disappoint those looking for tradition, culture, energy and fantastic feasts.
Sardinia is yours to discover, on your own time and by your own two feet. Just try it and you will see.
Follow me on my voyage to discover and share Sardinia’s most imporant festivals.
Top 10 Fantastic Festivals & Events in Sardinia, Italy
10. Sa Die de Sa Sardigna (Sardinia Day) April 28th in Cagliari – A Sardinian population folk festival in commemoration to a revolt and the release of Sardinia from Piedmont control in 1794. This popular festival has gained momentum in the last few years with festivals being held in most major towns. The festivals recreates the events from 1794 with staged plays, evening concerts and ancient folk tales.
9. Sant Efisio May 1-4 in Cagliari – Is the single most important festival of traditional culture on the island. The celebration is in commemoration of the Saint who rescued the citizens of Cagliari in 1652 from the plague. It is considered the biggest and most colourful religious procession in the world. Over 5000 people participate in this four-day festival of feasts.
8. Cherry Festival in small town Belvi in the province of Nuoro held on the second Sunday in June. Sample the delicious cherries grown in the Gennargentu region of Sardinia and learn how to turn those cherries into locally baked goods at one of the conferences held throughout the day.
7. Sa Sartiglia in Oristano. Held in the middle of February and according to tradition in the town’s piazza the town crier will announce the beginning of this festival for all to hear. A grand display of equestrian knightly tournaments and military practise. Skilled riders joust in the ring as the public eagerly cheers on their hero. Where ancient duals are brought to present day light.
6. L’Ardia di San Costantino. On July 3rd – 5th various Sardinian villages host a ritual horse race dedicated to San Costantino. It’s a fast-paced, heart pounding, dangerous festival held in the streets of in Sedilo. Celebrations continue into the night with local folk music and dancing. This is one event not to miss!
5. Festa della Madonna degli Angeli on the first Sunday in August. This procession winds its way though the small streets of Castlesardo with local dancing, singing and performances by Sardinian poets, writers and singers. Celebrations carry on into the night at many of the restaurants, bars and pubs.
4. Sardinia Reggae Festival is held annually at the beginning of August. This is a super spectacular four-day concert event not to miss! Discover some of Sardinia’s leading Reggae artists and dance the night away on Sardinia’s warm sandy beach.
3. Cavalcata Sarda – One hundred and twelve years have passed since the first Cavalcata Sarda took place to honor King Umberto 1 and Queen Margherita, who made a visit to Sardegna in 1899. This colourful folk festival is held on the second-last Sunday of May, every year. Traditionally, there was a large horse race throughout town, where thousands of manned horses would speed through the cobblestone streets of Sassari. In the last few years the comune deemed this activity dangerous and moved the horse race to the Ippodromo (Domed stadium) in Sassari.
2. Festa di San Simplicio – an annual event held in Olbia. Attracting thousands of tourists and locals alike. The festival is in honour of the Patron Saint, San Simplicio and is one of the most important religious festivals in Sardinia. This event is spanned over the first two weeks of May. With hundreds of riders from twenty-six towns in the Gallura competing in this stunning equestrian event. Each rider is given three tries to grab the star. They have a maximum of sixteen seconds to complete the track and grab the star. The more stars speared, the better chances of winning the tournament Palio della Stella.
1. Festa della Birra Trinitaiese – held annually during the week of ferragosto (generally the second weekend in August). Traditional folk dance, traditional music, bands, street vendors and traditional Sardinian sweets and drinks. This is a brilliant time in Sardinia. And not to be missed! Take it from me, I live here! (There is no link available for this festival, and there probably won’t be. That’s just how we roll in Sardinia.)
Have you been to any one of these festivals? I would love to hear your tales, tell me below.