Is Sardinia Safe? Information for Tourists Going to Sardinia
A lot of people want to know about the amount of crime before they visit for a holiday. Like this they can see if there is anything they need to look out for. So is Sardinia safe?
Sardinian cities are the safest in all of Italy according to an annual crime report. Oristano in particular is known as the ‘safest city in Italy’. The data is also supported by 86% of Sardinian residents who think they live in areas with little to no risk of crime. Additionally 76% feel safe walking down the streets at night were they live.
With that quick overview I can get into more data and tackle some other safety topics.
Crime in Sardinia
Italy in general has seen a steady decline in crime over the years. Regardless, Sardinia has always been safer than the rest of Italy. Notwithstanding the bandits that affected the island between the 1970s and 90s. However this sort of stuff never directly affected tourists in any way.
Today Sardinia is known as one of the safest, if not the safest part of Italy. This is not just based on hearsay, but is supported by data.
Each year Sole 24 Ore which is an Italian daily business newspaper publish an annual crimes report. In 2021 most Sardinian towns and cities featured as some of the safest with the least crime.
In fact Oristano in Sardinia quickly got dubbed as “the safest city in Italy” by Italy’s newspapers. It features last in the 106th place in the crimes report. Oristano is a lovely area to visit, with some nice places to visit and activities like the Nuraghe Losa, Olive Groves, exploring the city and jewelry workshops. The Nuraghe Losa in particular is one of the best preserved nuraghe in Sardinia and a delight for history buffs. However Oristano is limited on what it has to offer, and no kids activities.
On the other hand Cagliari the capital city of Sardinia is in the 81st spot in the crimes report. It is still classified as safe and by far safer than most other cities within Europe. Plus for anyone visiting there are more sights and activities than a town like Oristano. Hence you can expect more organised tours to do in Cagliari ranging from historical attractions, to wine tasting, exploring the countryside and coastal areas in different ways.
The crime report is also supported by how residents in Sardinia feel overall. According to L’Unione Sarda (Italian site): 86.2% of Sardinians believe they live in areas with little or no risk of crime, a record percentage among the Italian regions.
I will go into more detail about other crime you may want to know about in Sardinia, but really there is no where you really need to avoid. Usually I would suggest particular areas to stay, but in this case since there is little crime and it’s not like you may want to avoid party areas like in Ibiza. The Sardinian land is your oyster – you can pick anywhere to stay or visit.
You may want to consider a number of things when booking so you may want to refer to the guides on Sardinia. There are interesting tours you can opt for, many beautiful beaches as well as kids activities.
Out of all the crimes recorded, theft is by far the highest number of reported crimes across Italy. However as you can see from the table, Sardinia has 50% less theft than the nation average. As a result Sardinia is further down the table as one of the safest regions.
Thefts for every 100,000 residents per region in Italy in 2022
|Region||Offenses Committed per 100k Residents|
|Friuli Venezia Giulia||700|
Pickpocketing in particular is an issue in some parts of Italy, but Sardinia it is not so much of a problem. This is not to say there are no pickpockets in Sardinia, but it is not such a prevalent problem.
In Oristano for example there were only 18 pickpocketing cases out of per 100,000 inhabitants. On the other hand Rimini over in the mainland had 1071 cases and Milan had 800 in comparison. This is based on old data. However since Oristano is the safest town in Italy today, then we can assume pickpocketing cases are still very low.
Italy is known to have a lot of illegal activity going on because of the mafia. The worst affected areas are mostly in Sicily and the southern part of Italy. To clarify there is a tiny amount of mafia activity in Sardinia, but it truly is nothing to concern over.
In fact Sardinia has 97% less mafia activity than Sicily. Moreover most people still travel to Sicily anyway. The reality is that people are not going to get caught out in a mafia shoot out or get kidnapped. As Andy outlined in is Sicily safe, the mafia focus on other thing, and they are not in the least bit interested in tourists.
Is Sardinia Safe at Night?
Since Sardinia overall has low crime rates it stands to reason that Sardinia is overall a safe country. Most residents feel safe most of the time, including night time. In fact 75.5% of Sardinians said they were very or quite sure they are safe walking down the streets at night where they live.
However this is an average and some towns may not have statistics that are this good. For example if we had to look at Cagliari, residents tend to feel less safe at night. This makes sense because most populated towns and cities tend to feel less safe than the rest of the country. Regardless most people still feel safe in Cagliari.
Sardinia does not have any seismic activity. It has an extinct volcano in Montiferru which is in the central-western part of the island. Moreover the 3 active volcanos in Italy; Mount Etna, Stromboli and Mount Vesuvius, are far from Sardinia.
As a result since volcanic activity and earthquakes tend to be interlinked, Sardinia does not experience earthquakes. The only natural threat is usually from strong winds which affect the island when storms hit.
Sardinia’s pristine waters are home to various species of jellyfish, offering a fascinating marine encounter for visitors. Thankfully, most of these jellyfish are harmless, and their presence adds to the natural beauty of the region’s coastal areas.
Most of the time, you can treat these stings with some vinegar, alcohol or After Bite, which is handy to have on hand. The good thing about After Bite it is effective for treating common jellyfish stings and comes in a small, portable bottle for easy carrying.
However, there are a couple of species do possess more potent stings that can lead to significant discomfort. Amidst the array of jellyfish species in Sardinia’s waters, one stands out for its rarity and potential danger – the Portuguese Man o’ War.
Although not a true jellyfish, this jellyfish-like organism is found in the Mediterranean and occasionally makes its way to Sardinia’s shores.
It is characterised by its striking appearance with a floating, gas-filled bladder in vivid shades of blue or purple and long, trailing tentacles. It should be treated with caution. Its venomous sting can cause excruciating pain and may pose a risk to human health.
If you spot or get stung by a Portuguese Man o’ War you should notify the lifeguard and call 112 immediately. For the best live bays to avoid jellyfish, treatments and additional information you can check out the article on jellyfish in Sardinia.
The Italian National Institute of Statistics data shows that less people are getting killed in road accidents in Sardinia. Similarly to other Italian regions. In fact between 2010 and 2019 there were 33% less fatalities.
However Sardinia had 34% more deaths in 2020 than 2019 from road accidents. This is even though national statistics were down.
Highway 131 and 130 take the cake for the most deaths for all the roads in Sardinia. You should take more care when you use these roads in particular, but make sure to not over speed and always wear a seat belt.
In the article is Mallorca safe I covered road safety. What I found is that Spain had made really good progress on road safety. However if people buckle up every time they get in the car, they are more likely to survive a car accident.
Additionally Sardinia’s roads are not well-maintained so you can expect potholes, cracks and uneven paving. These things do not make the roads as safe as they could be. So you should buckle up, do not overspeed and follow the rules of the road.
Is Sardinia Safe – Conclusion
Sardinia is a safe country with little crime. All you really need to do is take the basic precautions you would take elsewhere. However you can let your guard down a little in some areas in Sardinia because there is barely any crime. Whereas in other areas you have to be a little more careful.
Otherwise there are no other dangers in Sardinia, except when it comes to road safety. Always make sure to wear your seat belt and follow the rules of the road.