This guest article is contributed by Martina Munzittu, the acclaimed author of A Deal with a Stranger.
Martina is a born and bred Sardinian who knows the island inside and out. In this article Martina shares the beach she loves most in Sardinia. If you're feeling hungry though her food article is a great place to head.
Before I get onto the article proper I would like to recommend a few places to stay near the Chia Bay beaches. Top choice is the excellent Chia Laguna Resort. The other option is a little way away, it is the fabulous Is Morus Relais in Santa Margherita di Pula - quite lovely and definitely worth considering!
Onto Chia Beach we go...
Every Sunday during the summer, we would organize a trip to a beach. We were a group of 12-15 friends, and depending on whether the wind was blowing from east, or west, we would decide on which beach to head to.Our favourite of Italian beaches was Chia – in the south west coast of Sardinia. Chia is a wonderful sandy beach, it’s long and wide, so, no matter how many people got there, it never felt too busy.
Food is very important to us and an essential part of enjoying Italian beaches properly.
We would get organized on time: if you were good at desserts, you brought desserts, if you were great at primi, you’d bring a pasta dish, if you excelled at secondi, you’d bring escalopes, the lazy ones brought the drinks – and the even lazier ones brought the table cloth, napkins, plastic plates, glasses and cutlery.
We’d set off early in the morning, so that we’d arrive at Chia by 7:00 am. It was important for us to choose the spot with some trees, and establish our territory. Then, we’d plant our portable fridges, bags, rucksacks, deck chairs, and some towels. At this point the beach was ours...
You could see from the top of the dune, that the golden sand was still untouched from the night before. The only footprints on it were the seagulls’.
We couldn’t wait to take our clothes off: only armed with our swimming costumes we would run down the dune, and hurried towards the shore, until we dived into the sea. What an amazing way to wake up.
Some of us would stay a long time in the water, I personally get cold quickly and would get out – I couldn’t wait to lie on my towel and be kissed by those gentle sunrays.
Time for a mid-morning snack. We’d share our goodies and drinks – not too much if you wanted to have another swim. Some of us would stay under the trees, some others would spend time playing volleyball on the beach, whilst others just sat on the shore, and let the waves massage their legs.
Lunchtime would always come too soon. By 12:30 the sun is too hot anyway, so we would all find refuge under our trees. We would lay the table cloth on the sand, and start setting our ‘table’.
Each one of us had several plates, one for antipasto, one for primo, one for secondo, one for fruit or dolce. And many more, just in case. The food was delicious, it always tasted nicer on the beach...
After lunch no-one dared leave the shadow of the trees. Some of us would take a nap, some others would play cards, the rest would gossip and chat about anything. Either way, there was always some music in the background. I often tried to sleep but couldn’t stop singing along the various tunes. What an awful distraction.
At around 4pm it was time to get out of the shade and go for a swim again. We have this rule in Italy whereby you don’t go swimming until after 3 hours have passed from your main meal.
We were always checking our watches – those 3 hours seemed the longest ever. Some would sneak out earlier, saying that they hadn’t eaten much. As if!
At this time Italian beaches always get more lively, more families and groups of friends arrive, so running down the dune towards the shore wasn’t recommended. We would gently walk the distance.
More swimming, more playing, more sunbathing. Those afternoons would turn into evenings. We would wait until the sunset, before we’d head home, as we wanted to avoid the traffic.
Like the dawn, the sunset on a beach has a very special feel to it. The sand was no longer immaculate, but completely devastated with footprints of various sizes, smashed sandcastles, and the occasional abandoned toy.
The sea had now turned into a darker blue, and yet the sun on the horizon would cast this striking orange light over its surface . We didn’t do much, nor talk much at this point. The scenery did it all.
Looking for a hotel in Sardinia? These are my recommendations.
Need more gorgeous Italian Beaches? Try these!
Here's our map of these and the other top Sardinian beaches.
For more on Chia Beach and the other beaches in Sardinia click here.