Italian Islands Uncovered: The Scoop on Sardinia
Sardinia may very well be the Italy’s best kept secret. The Italian island is bigger than Cyprus, more rugged than the Balearics and less busy than Sicily. It is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the Mediterranean. Rocky bays of azure blue water, steep sun-baked mountains and picture-postcard towns and villages, where time slips by unnoticed, Sardinia is an island where relaxation is a way of life.
Sardinia’s coastline is a bejewelled with gleaming white beaches and gin-clear seas, the list is endless and extends from the famous resorts of Costa Smeralda in the north, the picture-perfect Cala Luna at the remote Orosei National Park on the eastern coast to the stunning blue waters surrounding the capital Cagliari in the south. Many of the most beautiful beaches are accessible only by boat or a lengthy trek through the rugged landscape but you’ll be rewarded by pristine beauty and a sense of time having been suspended.
A short hop that’s a world away
Cagliari is a short 2hr 20-minute flight from the UK meaning you can squeeze in an in-flight movie before you touch down in this culturally rich capital. The town’s deep history is evident everywhere, ancient chapels and fortified towers, there is a spectacular roman amphitheatre carved into the hills on the western side of the city. Cagliari is also one of Italy’s greenest cities, jacaranda and juniper are everywhere, and city parks explode with colour from springtime onwards through the long, hot summers.
It’s not just a feast for your eyes
Sardinia is a foodie’s paradise, rich local flavours collide with traditional Italian classics, however, it’s the seafood, the local cheeses, rustic favourites such as suckling pig and roasted lamb that compete for your tastebud attention everywhere you go. Peruse the menu at a beach side restaurant in glitzy Porto Cervo or sip a glass ofmirto, the local liqueur, at family run bar in the mountain village of Aggius. A visit to the wonderful San Benedetto market in Cagliari is highly recommended for those who wish to stock up on all the Sardinian delicacies.
New resorts and ancient ruins
The Costa Smeralda is Sardinia’s riviera. Gleaming yachts bob in the emerald, green waters of the harbour and while there has been a port here for millennia the resort itself was dreamt up by architects in the 1960s. It now regularly tops the list of most expensive locations in Europe. Fans of James Bond will recognise it from the 1977 film The Spy Who loved Me.
The island is peppered with thousands of ancient ruins that predate 1000BC, your tour of Sardinia will take in Tharros, a Carthaginian and Roman port built by the Phoenicians during the 8th Century BC. Today, Tharros is one huge archaeological site with a museum displaying some incredible artefacts from antiquity.
While the coast of Sardinia is dotted with gorgeous towns and villages ranging from the megalithic to medieval to modern day mega-glitzy, the interior is as rugged and dramatic as they come. Travelling through the island will give you a glimpse of all the incredible reasons why Sardinia stands out and why so many travellers return.
If you’d like to find out more about our Sardinia holidays, contact our expert travel advisors today
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