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Despite the advent of low-cost airlines, which have increased access to (and the popularity of) Sardinia, the island does not cater to year round mass tourism. However, this can be seen as an advantage if what you seek is to get away from crowds of tourists that the island hosts during the late summer months. Due to its size, ancient heritage and startlingly beautiful scenery, Sardinia is more than just a mass tourist destination. Therefore all is not lost if you are looking for a break away from more northern climes at times other than summer. A distinction is to be made between areas which have no identity beyond being tourist resorts, such as Porto Cervo and the Costa Smeralda, and those which are more authentic towns and villages which operate according to their own rhythms all the year round, such as Alghero. The Season in Porto Cervo is confined to July - August, whilst in Alghero, the tourist season runs from May - October. It can be rewarding to visit Sardinia at different times of year, especially if you are seeking a peaceful but adventurous holiday amongst fantastic, wild scenery and welcoming people. Just don't expect to lie on the beach all the year round; it will not be warm enough.
Potential visitors should realize that trains, buses and ferries may not run outside High Season, or will run to very restricted timetables. Most holiday accomodation on the island may be closed outside of the summer months, although some may be available at off season prices. To avoid disappointment and wasted expenditure, it is important to ensure that transfers and accomodation are available and confirmed prior to flights being booked. It is also a good idea to hire/rent a car rather than rely on public transport, unless you are planning to stay in one place, or that you have confirmed that you can travel there by public transport or taxi.
Provided that you have taken note of the guidance above, any time of the year is a good time to visit Sardinia. A popular time for non-mainstream tourists is during the spring and early summer. According to many, the absolute best months to visit are March, April and May, because during these months there are flowers in bloom and the trees and grasses are at their greenest and most beautiful. Also, the weather during these months is not too hot and not too cold. In May, it reaches 30C/85F and is sometimes warm enough to take a dip in the sea. However, even if only 20C/68F, it is still incredible to leave a cold, grey, drizzly November day in the UK and arrive to a bright, warm day in Sardinia. And if you are interested in local customs or tradition, there are many festivals and holidays throughout the year, which can be a focus of interest for the discerning traveller during virtually any month of the year. You can find information on these in guidebooks and websites, but often these only list a tiny proportion of what is literally hundreds of events all over the island.
Summertime in Sardinia can get crowded with locals and tourists. The island sees many visitors who arrive by boat and, increasingly, by air (owing to the growth of low cost Eurpoean airlines.) Most of these visitors are from various European countries. The busiest month in Sardinia is August, for this is when Italy closes down for holidays, and lovely Sardinia is the holiday destination of choice for families from the mainland. It is also due to the fact that the most important festival here (the Saint Mary Feast aka Ferragosto) takes place on August 15. The summer is an amazing experience of heat, intense sunlight and a golden brown landscape of dried vegetation. The sky is a deep blue and the sea is shades of turquoise. On the northwest side of the island, the prevailing wind, the Mistral, brings cooling breezes most afternoons. This is the time of year to do as the Italians do, and take an afternoon Pausa, coming out again in the cooler evenings to stroll, chat with friends, and eat or drink outside at pavement cafes and bars. Being outdoors under the stars or moon in the warm night air is one of the joys of the summer months.
The autumn in Sardinia can be also be very warm. In 2005 and 2006, temperatures remained hovering around 30C/85F right up until the end of November. The sea is at its warmest at that time of the year, although the cooling, evening air temperatures may make swimming in the sea somewhat bracing.
The winters in Sardinia tend to be fairly short, lasting from late December to February. The island sometimes sees snow, but it’s rare. As during all other months of the year, there are plenty of festivals and parades during the winter season. A weather phenomen that affects Sardinia in January is the "Secche di Gennaio" - The Dry of January. Normally occuring in the middle two weeks of the month, the island enjoys warm, dry weather, with temperatures reaching and sometimes exceeding 20C/68F.
Most of the island's rainfall comes during January and February, falling in heavy and dramatic showers. This brings a lush green vibrancy to the plantlife. On a sunny, dry day in March you can almost see the plants growing after the wetter winter season and you can sense that everything is about to burst forth with exuberant fertility.
Rather than trust your luck to the many and varied weather sites on the web, if you want to see for yourself what the weather is actually like in Alghero, in real time, then you may care to vist one or more of the live webcams that are sighted around this city. The ones at Punta Negra are particularly useful as the face acroos the bay towards Alghero. The webcam link can be found on the Alghero public information site: www.Algheroweb.it