Ancient and golden, this long, thin island off Italy’s west coast is a haven for sun and sand lovers. However, beyond the beach umbrellas and bars, Sardinia has thousands of years of history and culture to share with the intrepid visitor. Oh, and the food – how could we forget the food! Yes, Sardinia is a hidden gem and an underrated treasure you must experience.
Where to go
Walk through the winding limestone streets of Cagliari with an ice cream, dipping into fashion boutiques and tiny stores selling handicrafts, perfume and designer garments. Get up close to the strange and mysterious neolithic ‘Giant’s Tombs’ at Arzachena. Take a boat ride into the astonishing Grotta di Nettuno, with its weird and wonderful cave formations. See Greek and Roman objects that languished for two millennia under the sea at the Museo Archeologico in Olbia. Go hiking stark, yet striking mountains running across the island. Jet ski or water ski off the beach, or make the most of the sunshine on a towel with a good book and a cold drink.
Food & Drink
Sardinian cuisine features a lot of preserved meats, such as sausages and hams, in addition to beans, pulses and soups – easy to prepare meals a legacy of the island’s past as a land settled by shepherds and farmers. Our Sardinian favourites include Al Tuguri (Via Maiorca 113), in Alghero, for good, simple local dishes making use of herbs native to the island. For something a little more elegant, try Dal Corsaro in the Sardinian capital, Cagliari for standout Sardinian cuisine in refined surrounds.
As the summer hangout of half of the Italian west coast, yes, there is a thriving nightlife scene in Sardinia. To watch the glitzy crowds below in Porto Cervo, try Il Portico (La Piazzetta ) for their terrific cocktails. In Cagliari, the Caffè Libarium Nostrum (Via Santa Croce 33) on the city walls has great views and an impressive drink selection.
Where to stay
Sardinia has some very enticing luxury hotels to tempt the visitor. Hotel Relais Villa del Golfo & Spa
, close to Cannigione, offers bright, stylish suites, an idyllic spa, two restaurants and its own private yacht for trips around the island. Hotel Bajaloglia
, n the island’s north-west features an expansive relaxation area with pools and large white cushions in which to sink, on top of its large suites with sea views. Hotel Su Gologone
, near Nuoro
has been described as the island’s best hotel and is a perennial favourite with honeymooners and those seeking a romantic escape. The local cuisine served in the hotel restaurant is an absolute highlight. How to get there
To get to Sardinia, fly to Rome and catch one of the daily flights offered by Alitalia to Olbia airport on the island’s west coast.