The island of Sardinia offers a full day of fun

Sardinia, Italy
Sardinia, Italy

When many people think about a European cruise, the first thoughts are of famous cities and timeless landmarks. While these are obviously an important part of the vacation, many of the ports that aren't located on the mainland are just as exciting and memorable.

The island of Sardinia off the coast of Italy is a prime example. You'll start your journey in Alghero, the island's main port. This city has a lot of history, as it was a point of contention for the medieval countries of Spain and Italy. As such, it is one of the only places on Earth that mixes Italian traditions with Catalan influence.

Head to the city's "old town" area to view the Church of San Francesco, one of the more popular landmarks on the entire island. This Gothic cathedral was built in the 14th century and is definitely worth a stop for anyone interested in architecture.

Outside of Alghero, the coast of Sardinia is famous for its many underwater caves. Perhaps the most visited is Neptune's Grotto, an absolutely gorgeous cave the features hundreds of stalactites reflecting in the murky water.

If you want to explore a different type of Sardinian city, be sure to head to Bosa, which is located just south of Alghero. Here you'll be able to sample delicious wine and olive oil that makes the short trip from the main harbor well worth it.