Mediterranean magic: The finest matters to do in Sardinia – isles



Alghero in northwestern Sardinia (proper)

Getting relished the delights of southern Corsica a few of yrs ago, in which we gazed across the Strait of Bonifacio to Sardinia some eight miles absent, this summer months my spouse Victoria and I determined to take a look at the Mediterranean’s 2nd greatest island to see how it compares to its French-talking neighbour.

In some techniques, Sardinia feels very Italian, but it also has a robust identity of its have. The community language, Sardinian – or Sardo – is as usually spoken as Italian listed here, and it has additional in common with the Corsican dialect than it does with that of Rome or Tuscany.

The island’s strategic place as a investing article and army stronghold has also offered it a one of a kind architectural heritage, with the Romans, Phoenicians, Vandals, Byzantines and Spanish all leaving their mark. The city of Alghero, in the west of the island, was colonised by the Spanish Catalans for generations and its avenue indicators are nonetheless published in Catalan. 

All this historical past, combined with a amazing all-natural attractiveness, wonderful temperature, astounding meals and drink, and a welcoming welcome from the locals, make Sardinia just one of the most memorable sites both of us have frequented.

We stayed at Lu Lioni villa, a wonderful regular 4-bed room assets with a swimming pool, barbecue area and comprehensive lush gardens, in which the air is loaded with the heady scent of jasmine, and flashes of vivid colour from bougainvillea and oleanders catch the eye at every turn.

Established in the countryside a few miles from the island’s north-east coastline, the villa is such a wonderful location to “decompress” into holiday getaway method that we truly spent the entire of our first day there, soaking up the sunlight, swimming and consuming in the views of the mountains looming about Arzachena, the closest town.

I had listened to wonderful matters about the shorelines in Sardinia, but was delighted to discover the actuality truly exceeded the expectation. And there is no scarcity of range – smaller rocky coves, secluded sandy shorelines and lengthy stretches of dunes were being all inside of simple achieve of our villa – and we appeared to be lucky in that just about every beach we frequented was additional magical than the final.

Possibly the finest recognised area of Sardinia is the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast), specially the vacation resort of Porto Cervo, which appeals to the rich and renowned from Italy and beyond in the summer months. On the balmy night we frequented, just one of the first people we spied was former Chelsea and Germany footballer Michael Ballack. 


Sardinia is the great location to learn to dive

Produced in the sixties by the Aga Khan, Porto Cervo exudes glamour and opulence, from the super yachts lined up in the marina to the special boutiques and galleries. For mere mortals, it is nonetheless feasible to eat perfectly listed here at rates that will not make your eyes h2o – we relished the superb pasta and immaculate services at Elit on Promenade du Port, increased by a wonderful sunset and a glass of community Cannonau pink wine. 

On day three, we took a boat vacation from Palau to the Maddalena Islands. There is fairly a alternative of excursions, and we opted for the Woman Luna two, a entire-day excursion which provided stops at Santa Maria, Budelli and Spargi.

All three islands, but specially Spargi, have shorelines that are additional than a match for nearly anything the Caribbean can provide – extreme turquoise waters, white sand and interesting granite cliffs which have been eroded about the generations into numerous animal designs, just about every with a community legend hooked up. 

The boat vacation provided a delicious lunch and a end on the archipelago’s main island, La Maddalena. Other excursions include the island of Caprera, in which Giuseppe Garibaldi, just one of the founders of modern-day Italy, spent his remaining yrs. His residence is now a museum, largely unchanged due to the fact his death in 1882. 

A single of the biggest matters about Sardinia is its sheer range, specially if you retain the services of a car. We were being entire of anticipation just about every day about what we would learn, and were being under no circumstances disappointed with what this enchanting location had to provide.

Way to go

George travelled with Sardinian Sites, the UK’s foremost Sardinia holiday getaway specialist. Lu Lioni, a 4-bed room villa with private pool and gardens, is just fifteen minutes’ drive from the shorelines of the Costa Smeralda and options inside of the company’s Quality Assortment. Charges get started from £438pp (travelling October seven, 2017), which consists of flights and car retain the services of, based on eight sharing. Contact 01489 866959 or take a look at isles.

Ten matters you ought to do in Sardinia

1 Visit a winery. Sardinia creates a lot of superb wine, significantly the gentle to medium-bodied Cannonau reds.

two Blend with the super-yacht established at the island’s most glamorous vacation resort, Porto Cervo. It’s a shopper’s paradise, way too, brimming with cosmopolitan design and style.

three Discover to dive. Sardinia has some of the clearest h2o you will ever see and an astounding array of marine caves and underwater cliffs to explore.

4 Just take a boat excursion to the wonderful Maddalena islands. This amazing archipelago off the north coastline of Sardinia has shorelines to rival anyplace in the Caribbean.

five Move back again in time at just one of the island’s many historical sites. Sardinia is house to a host of Roman, Phoenician, and prehistoric Nuragic ruins and burial sites.

6 Get your going for walks boots on and explore the Gola Su Gorropu, an isolated and dramatic gorge described as “Europe’s Grand Canyon”.

seven Enjoy a spherical of golf. There are several superb golf courses listed here, including Is Molas, which on a regular basis hosts the Italian Open.

8 Saddle up. Sardinia has a deep-rooted equestrian custom (jockeys Frankie Dettori and Andrea Atzeni both of those hail from the island) and presents a array of using and trekking activities.

9 Take a look at the Grotta di Nettuno (Neptune’s Grotto), a amazing sea cave in the vicinity of Alghero that bristles with stalagmites and stalactites, reflected in an underground lake.

ten Get haggling at a meals market. San Benedetto in Cagliari and Olbia’s farmers’ market in the Piazza Mercato are a sensory overload of sights, sounds, scents and flavours.  

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