Various European influences
The power struggle for Sardinia lasted for centuries with many changes, and attempted changes, of rule. The Phoenicians, the Romans, German colonies and the Spanish all left their mark on the island at some time or another but the island has been under Italy's control for centuries now.
Spain's 400 years at the helm has not been forgotten about though with Spanish architecture and design evident in some areas but especially in Barcalonetta in Alghero. Also called Little Barcelona, this Catalan area celebrates both cultures in an area that is now known for good food and drink.
Ruins are found by Cagliari and within the Costa Smeralda region while many of the towns and cities display at least one prominent church which usually marks the centre of town.
Fun found day and night
The clear blue hue of the Mediterranean Sea is an appealing prospect and you will find it hard to resist a trip out onto the waves. Many boat trips can take you around the island while scuba instructors will help you dive into the deep.
Alghero is the spot to enjoy family activities with a bowling alley, go-kart track and tree-top assault course. On the other side of the island in Costa Smeralda is the Aquadream waterpark.
By night you have a choice between quiet cocktail bars by the coast and the occasional loud music bar or nightclub. Cagliari offers the most venues that can keep you up late while Costa Smeralda hides some special nightspots including the castle based Ritual Club.
Italian and Catalan cuisine
You may find that many of the Italian restaurants found within Sardinia are the highest of high-class dining. Floral displays decorate many eateries and some are even found within Italian gardens themselves. You're also likely to stumble upon the occasional Spanish restaurants with some Catalan cuisine; this is especially prominent in Barcelonetta.
Browse boutiques and barter at markets
The three main resorts of Sardinia are Alghero, Olbia and the capital, Cagliari. Each of these locations offers a great selection of shopping opportunities. You can browse products that range from simple souvenir stock to luxury jewellery and Italian fashion.
Markets are found within the island too where locals sell home-grown produce as well as unique crafts, ornaments and artwork. Olbia's night market offers the cultural keepsakes while Alghero specifies in local foods.
It will take between two and a half to three hours to fly into Sardinia from the UK. There are airports at Cagliari and Olbia but most flights will see you land at Alghero Airport. The transfer time from this airport will be around an hour and a half unless you're staying in Alghero itself.
Car hire is the easiest way to get around the island and to visit nearby beaches and ruin sites. If you wish to see all corners of the island then there is a train that runs between Cagliari, Alghero and Olbia.