Position of Sardinia in Italy, map

Index


Introduction



In Sardinia, an island of Southern Italy, the climate is Mediterranean, with mild, fairly rainy winters and hot, sunny summers, a bit sultry but tempered by sea breezes. At sea level, the daily average temperature ranges from about 10 °C (50 °F) in January and February to 24/25 °C (75/77 °F) in July and August.
Rainfall is not abundant, in fact, it typically ranges from 400 to 550 millimeters (15.5 to 21.5 inches) per year on the coast (but it can locally drop even below, for instance, in the southeastern tip of the island) and follows the Mediterranean pattern, that is, it is more common in autumn and winter, it gradually decreases during spring, and hits a low in summer, when it almost never rains. In inland areas, rainfall locally exceeds 700 millimeters (27.5 inches) per year in hilly areas and 1,000 mm (40 in) in the mountains.
Sardinia is a windy island, especially from October to April. This happens because of the Maestrale, the northwest wind, which blows from France (where it is called Mistral) and affects particularly the western part and the Strait of Bonifacio, but also because of the "Ponente", which blows from the west. In summer, sea breezes blow, but they are welcome because they make the heat more bearable; on other occasions, the "Scirocco" can blow from the south-east, bringing heat waves from Africa, which are felt especially in inland plains and valleys, with peaks of 40 °C (104 °F) and more.
The island is quite sheltered from cold waves; along the coasts and in the plains, snowfall is quite rare, but it can occur in the coldest winters (as happened in January 1985 and February 2012), more easily in the north of the island. An exception is represented by the Costa Smeralda ("Emerald Coast", see Olbia), in the northeast, where snowfalls, though usually not abundant, are a bit more frequent. Night frosts in the plains are rare, and when they occur, they are light: generally the temperature does not drop below -2/-3 °C (27/28 °F). On the other hand, in inland areas, already at an altitude of a few hundred meters (see Nuoro, Macomer, Tempio Pausania), snow is relatively more frequent and abundant.

Coast and plain


Alghero

In Alghero, located on the coast, in the north-west of the island, the average temperature ranges from 10 °C (49.5 °F) in January to 24 °C (75 °F) in August. Here are the average temperatures.
Alghero - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)667812151718161397
Max (°C)141416182226293027221815
Min (°F)434345465459636461554845
Max (°F)575761647279848681726459

In Alghero, rainfall amounts to 570 mm (22.5 in) per year, with a maximum in October and November, and rare rains in the summer (in Cagliari, the largest city and the capital of the region, situated on the coast, in the southern part of the island, rainfall is lower, and amounts to 395 mm or 15.5 in per year). Here is the average rainfall in Alghero.
Alghero - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)70556050251552540808065570
Prec.(in)2.82.22.4210.60.211.63.13.12.622.4
Days88774212478765

The amount of sunshine in Sardinia is very good in summer, especially along the coast, when clear skies prevail, while it's not so high from November to February. However, some sunny periods can also occur in winter.
Here are the average daily sunshine hours in Alghero.
Alghero - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours456791011108654

In inland plains (which in any case are not extensive), the climate is slightly more continental. Here, for example, are the average temperatures of Decimomannu, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north-west of Cagliari.
Decimomannu - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)456811151819161396
Max (°C)141517192428323228231815
Min (°F)394143465259646661554843
Max (°F)575963667582909082736459

Caprera

The temperature of the sea is fairly uniform on the island, and just lower in the western part. The sea is warm enough for swimming from July to September; in contrast, it's a bit cool in June and October. Here, for example, is the sea temperature near Porto Cervo, on the Costa Smeralda.
Porto Cervo - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)141414141720232523201815
Temp (°F)575757576368737773686459

Inland areas



In the interior, where hills and mountains are found, the climate becomes gradually colder with increasing altitude, and as mentioned, the rains in some areas are more abundant as well, so much so that thick forests are found. The highest peak, 1,834 meters (6,017 feet) high, is located in the Gennargentu Massif, where snowfalls are quite frequent in winter.

Gennargentu

Fonni

Here are the average temperatures of Fonni, located north of Gennargentu, at 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) of altitude.
Fonni - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)22359131617131063
Max (°C)771012172226262216119
Min (°F)363637414855616355504337
Max (°F)454550546372797972615248

Fonni receives 750 mm (29.5 in) of rain or snow per year. Here is the average precipitation.
Fonni - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)858070856030121550759590750
Prec.(in)3.33.12.83.32.41.20.50.6233.73.529.5
Days91091174226911888

Best Time


The best time to visit Sardinia for a beach holiday is the summer, from June to August. The sea temperature is comfortable enough from July to September, although in September, which in any case is still a good month (especially in the first half), the first periods of bad weather can occur. In June, as mentioned, the sea is still a bit cool, while it's even cold in May, when the air can sometimes be a little cold for sunbathing as well.
April and May are advisable months for hiking and for visiting cities, while in summer, it can sometimes be too hot to get around with ease. In October, temperatures are mild or pleasantly warm, but the days are shorter and the weather can be rainy and windy.

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