Festival and events
The country festivals that take place in Sardinia all year round are the genuine expressions of many different centuries-old local traditions.
The celebration of these local events expresses the values of an ancient, proud and noble population, both with its origins and its traditions.
An intriguing cohesion of the sacred and the profane, that will amaze you pleasantly.
Sardinian festivals are many and varied, so it is hard to choose which ones to experience; our purpose is explain and inform you in advance of some of our history and traditions. With this knowledge, it is easy to see how amazing your stay in Sardinia can be, even in the wintertime. At this time of year, the beaches are pleasantly devoid of tourists and the climate and fauna reveal another side to our island.
Our staff will be more than happy to give you suggestions, via e-mail or by phone, about the most interesting events that will take place during your stay, whatever time of year you choose to visit.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any information you need regarding your stay or to enquireabout using one of our guides or services.
One of the most interesting events we recommend you not to miss is the “Autunno in Barbagia”: The festival takes place in the wild highlands of the interior and starts at the end of September and carries on through until the beginning of December. During this period, many local villages provide handicraft exhibits, where you can witness up close many local crafts. Whilst also taking in many musical and cultural events offering you the chance to sample, the local products like cheese, wine and the amazing selections of cured meats and salamis.
Another remarkable festival takes place on the small Island of Carloforte off the South West Coast between May and June; it is known by the name of “Girotonno” and this unique event is one huge cooking competition. The best chefs from around the world compete one against the other in order to prepare the best tuna-fish dish.
This event also offers the unsuspecting visitor many dances and musical shows and again offers the chance to taste many excellent local products.
Those devoted to Blues music can feel spoilt for choice on the island. In-fact Sardinia has a very rich culture of providing Blues music concerts and events. Starting from July, you can enjoy “Narcao Blues Festival”, from there you can keep on enjoying Jazz and Blues concerts with the “Rocce Rosse Blues Festival” and “Time in Jazz”, two of the most famous Jazz and Blues musical events this is due to the participation of some of the most celebrated international Jazz bands and musicians.
Another more contemporary and popular musical event is the “Mondo Ichnusa”, a three-day pop and rock music festival, held in July in Oristano on the North West coast of the island.
Starting from February Sardinia celebrates its Traditional Carnival, an event in which many of the interior villages are involved.
The Festival consists of different parades where traditional Sardinian costumes are worn and local people parade alongside floats.
During this period of the year, you can also enjoy the “Sartiglia”, which is one of the most original and unique of Sardinia’s feasts, in which the visitor can experience the noble Sardinian horse-riding tradition in all its glory.
The festival takes place every year in Oristano and it provides breath-taking horse-riding exhibitions performed by the most experienced and boldest riders of Sardinia.
In May, the small island of Sant’Antioco gets a leading role in the celebration as this centuries old religious festival dedicated to the local martyr Antioco, patron saint of the island gets under way.
The religious festival consists of a procession, during which the statue of the saint is carried on an embellished and decorated carriage through the village as a celebration of this ancient feast. Many of the faithful attend the procession and carriages coming from all over the island join and follow it.
Whilst on the subject of religious festivals, how can we not mention one of the most relevant of them?
The religious festival of Sant’Efisio, which takes place in Cagliari every year, on the 1st day of May, this has happened every year since 1657.
The celebration remembers and renews a solemn vow made to the saint by the citizens of Cagliari in the XVII century, when the plague devastated the population.
The religious festival follows a procession where the statue of the saint is paraded on a carriage specifically decorated for that occasion and during which is taken out from the church of Saint Efisius toward the small village of Nora, located 40 km away from Cagliari, where, according to tradition, the saint was then martyred by the Romans.
The festival lasts four days and it is one of the most impressive in Sardinia, this is due to the mass of groups coming from all over the island in traditional clothes, marching side by side with the musicians who play the traditional woodwind instrument: the launeddas.
Following them are the riders and also the religious confraternities, the local officers and the carriage of the saint, pulled by two oxen.
At the beginning of July, the small village of Sedilo hosts one of the most folkloric events in Sardinia: The Ardia, a breath-taking horse-race performed by truly skilled riders. This is in order to celebrate the victory of Constantine the Emperor, against Massenzio over the Milvio Bridge in 312 C.E.
A truly unmissable event for those devoted to the Saint and for all those fond of strong traditions and authentic emotions.
Last but not least, how can we not mention the events involved with the sampling of wine, generally organized by the most representative wineries of the island?
Among the most famous, we would recommend “The Porto Cervo Wine festival”, which is held in Porto Cervo in May. The “Calici di Stelle”, which is scheduled to take place in August in the village of Serdiana, as well as “Jerzu Wine Music Festival”, in the small village of Jerzu, in the inner part of Sardinia and the “Monserrato Wine Festival”, which happens in the area of Monserrato, located in the south of the island.
Lastly, a deserved mention goes to the events that celebrate the production of local artisanal beers like “Birras” and “Birrajo”, both of them take place in the month of July, the first one being in Montevecchio and the second one in Uta both are in the South of the Island.