My top ten favourite things about Sardinia
Not my usual holiday activity but tried it a couple of years ago in Sardinia and it was fab! Sardinia is a paradise for windsurfers with thousands of kilometres of coastline and wind blowing from every direction. There are plenty of windsurfing schools, so no problem if you are a beginner like me. For the real experts, Porto Pollo near Palau is renowned as one of the best locations in Europe! Oristano in the West, Villasimius on the South-Est coast and the Costa Rei are also great spots.
This town is amazing! I made the mistake on my first visit to Sardinia by bypassing the town as it was where I flew into. How wrong could I have been? I think it is probably the best town in Sardinia. Beautiful old streets, quaint squares, a lovely historic centre and great port. This is a perfect destination for eating out in the many restaurants, sitting in the port with an aperitivo and watching the world go by or shopping in the many cute boutiques. Don’t miss it!
The Maddalena archipelago off the coast of Sardinia's Costa Smeralda is simply stunning! It’s a quiet place of turquoise seas and sandy coves. The seven large islands and 55 tiny islands has some of the most spectacular beaches you'll find anywhere in Italy with the most clear water.You can reach the island in 20 minutes by ferry from the Sardinian port of Palau and after a day of relaxing, it’s worth spending some time in the town of Maddelena itself. It’s a lively, sophisticated town, buzzing with bars, shops and restaurants. If you are into exploring, then this is a must!
4. Taking a Vespa
I do like to spend some time on a Vespa and although you could do this anywhere in Italy, in Sardinia it really is fantastic. From the bike you can really take in the island’s breath-taking landscapes and feel the salty breeze, whilst catching some sun. It’s a real adventure for a day away from your car rental and the reason that I presser it here on the island is simple the space and freedom and lack of traffic and congestion.
5. The food!
I love Italian cuisine – my Dad has a restaurant, so it’s in the family. What I love about the food on this island is that its true Mediterranean cuisine with a wealth of strong local tradition. Sardinia is by tradition a largely shepherd country, and this is reflected in its cuisine. Staples are grilled or spit roasted meat, cheeses, breads, salamis and olives. Flavours are simple, intense and natural. You will be spoilt for choice with restaurants but here are 3 of my favourites:
1. Agriturismo Montiferru, south of Alghero in the countryside offers a real Italian agriturismo experience.
2. Kings is an excellent restaurant right by the seaside in Alghero. The food, service and atmosphere are amazing.
3. If you are in search of a great pizza, Pizza D'Autore close to Cagliari was really some of the best pizza I have ever tasted.
6. Vista sul porto
Whilst I have stayed in our villas and apartments over the years, I really enjoyed our stay in Vista sul Porto apartment last year. It has great views over Porto Cervo, was so relaxing and we had direct access to the sea. We were also very close to the town and its very upmarket harbour. I can’t recommend this holiday retreat enough!
7. Hiring a boat for the day
It’s not as expensive as you think and you can often combine with another small group. I think a holiday in Sardinia is not the same without going on a boat. A day charter is often the most memorable part of the holiday - swimming at a secluded beach away from the crowds, snorkelling and just seeing the islands’ beautiful coastline and coves. There is no better way to discover the real Sardinia, it’s most beautiful beaches and bays!
I can’t help but go back to this fab place each time I return to the island. Stintino is a really quaint coastal community filled with culture and history and well known for La Pelosa beach. The town is cute and there are plenty of great restaurants serving excellent seafood. The beaches are out of this world – plenty of fine white sands which are lapped by shallow, warm, tranquil waters and you can catch a boat to nearby islands.
9. Sardinian history
People just associate the island with sun and sand and I think that’s a shame. There is a great culture here with some fantastic traditions, festivals and events. For culture vultures, I would recommend visiting the Nuraghi, the beehive-like stone dwellings from the Bronze Age, and can only be found on Sardinia. Exact use of the Nuraghi is unknown, but many believe that they were either used as religious temples, or military strongholds. The most well-known one is Nuraxi su Barumini, which has been declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. At Tharros, near Oristano in the west, or Nora, near Pula in the south, you can also visit Roman ruins as both sites are practically open-air museums!
10. The glamour of Porto Cervo
I normally prefer quaint and unassuming Italian towns but there is something about the glitz and glam of Porto Cervo which is magnetic. The Costa Smeralda, in the North-East of Sardinia, is the favourite holiday destination of some of the wealthiest people in the world. This is really the place to do the ‘passeggiata’ and watch the world, or should I say the yachts go by.
View our Sardinia guide