The Nuragic culture and more
As well as all the sheep, a standout feature of Sardinia are the unusual stone standing towers and other examples of the ancient Nuragic civilisation. This civilisation mightn’t have left any written records about itself, but remnants of their villages, graves and monuments can still be seen if you take a drive to Sardinia’s interior. Carthaginian and Roman ruins also jostle for attention across the island. And you can even party in the ruined castle in Costa Smeralda.
Wonderful long beaches
If your idea of holiday bliss is to stretch out on the sand and take in the rays then you’ve come to the right place. The Italians call Sardinia’s plentiful beaches ‘bellissima’ – and they certainly are most beautiful. Porto Cervo in Costa Smerelda is where the fashionistas go to stay. And the colourful Italian president, Silvio Berlusconi, even had a villa here, so this is a pukka place for some celeb spotting.
The tempting sands of Sardinia’s northwest coast are picture postcard beautiful. A trip to Spiaggio Bombarde, close to Alghero, is popular for the quality of its sand, and its amenities. It has sunbeds and parasols as well as a couple of restaurants close to the beach.
Just a 10 minute drive away from Alghero is the fantastic natural playground of La Speranza. The shallow waters surrounding this cove are wonderful for children to paddle in and there’s also a restaurant near the beach for meals and drinks.
Fiery, tasty food
The food in Sardinia is renowned for its robust flavours and distinctive recipes. This is the time to experiment, and not to simply stick with what you know. If you’re staying in Olbia, known by the Greeks as ‘the Happy City’, try the local zuppa gallurese, a hearty dish made from bread, cheese and beef broth.
Seafood is very popular in Sardinia, and the spaghetti con bottarga, made with grey mullet roe, is delicious. Expect to see local lamb on many of the restaurant’s menus, as rearing sheep was the main economy on the island before the arrival of tourism.
Charming historic towns
Whichever part of Sardinia you visit, you might literally fall over some of its fascinating history. Olbia has an ancient centre away from the flash and the cash of Costa Smerelda, and Alghero is one of the jewels in Sardinia’s historic crown. With its Medieval heritage visible in the ‘centro storico’, you’re in for a treat when wandering here.
Further afield, an hour’s drive away from Alghero, is another intriguing medieval town, Bosa. Spending time wandering around Bosa’s ancient alleyways, or hanging out in the town’s marina in a wonderful restaurant is a fantastic way to pass your time.
Exploring the water
As you’d expect from an island, Sardinia is a magnet for watersports. Whether you enjoy a simple boat trip exploring the coast or you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie, you’ll soon find that each resort is close to some exciting watersports activites.
Diving is very popular, and there are many centres all along the Sardinian coastline. Additionally, Porto Pollo is rated as one of the best kitesurfing centres on the island – it’s a 50-minute drive away from Olbia.