Live the Dolce Vita in Sardinia, the Mediterranean’s second-largest island after Sicily. Italy gets the lucky claim on both of these breathtakingly beautiful places, but Sardinia stands out for having Europe’s best beaches. Even though the swanky northern coast is more well-known, it’s the southern portion that beckons travelers who want a more laid-back experience on this splendid island. Beyond sunning by the tranquil sea, Sardinia’s got a whole lot of other delights. These are the five things you can’t miss on a trip to Sardinia.
No journey to Italy is complete without sampling the delicious dishes. Sardinia’s got the Italian basics like pizza and gelato (which are exceptionally tasty), but there are other meals that make its cuisine unique. Try the hearty dish culurgiones, a dumpling filled with chopped mint and mashed potatoes, and malloreddus, a typical pasta that soaks up fragrant sauces and is simply filling accompanied with a glass of wine. Sample the pane caresau, a crispy, thin sheet of bread topped with roasted vegetables and goat cheese crumbles. As you roll through the dips and dives of the hilly countryside, you will see goats and sheep herds that provide fresh milk and cheese; sometimes they even block the roads. But don’t worry, you aren’t in a rush when you are living the slow-paced Mediterranean lifestyle.
Sardinians celebrate their traditions with pomp and flair. Women dress in elaborate, full red skirts and black billowy blouses, adorned with gold necklaces with a white veil topping their heads. The men play a local instrument similar to a bagpipe during solemn religious processions when biblical floats are carried through the rose petal-strewn streets.
During the evening passeggiata find yourself in Cagliari’s Castello district, a Medieval pocket towering above the rest of the city. As the sun begins to set, it casts a golden glow on the pastel yellow and powdery pink buildings. Narrow cobblestone lanes open to church courtyards and pretty piazzas; you can find locals here chatting and sit alfresco at quaint restaurants.
Even though most of your days will be spent splashing, swimming, and soaking in the sea, it’s still impossible not to notice the subtle reminders that you are in an ancient place. Lookout towers strategically placed on hills overlooking the Mediterranean are scattered along the coast and are easy to spot when you are floating in cozy coves. Sardinia’s location meant that it attracted a series of invaders from the Romans (you can see an ancient site in Nora) to the Phoenicians.
It’s a wonder to witness hundreds of pink flamingos wading in salty lagoons, flapping their pink and black wings in the air, and a grand reminder of Sardinia’s natural beauty. Sardinia’s southern coast is a wonderland of jaw-dropping, cloud-draped mountains reaching the heavens. Deep green valleys are dotted by tiny villages where locals walk up steep inclines to go to church or visit friends. With all the fresh air and ease of walking, it’s not surprising that the residents of Sardinia have some of the world’s longest life spans, making it one of the world’s Blue Zones: areas where there are a high number of centenarians.
We had to save the best for last. Sardinia’s beaches are beyond compare: tranquil, cerulean blue, and utterly perfect. There are so many calas (coves) and spiaggias (beaches) to choose from. Wind your way along the steep and scenic coastal roads and wile the day away visiting as many as you can. Ker & Downey can arrange a journey to the Gulf of Orosei on the eastern coast, awash with out-of-this-world cliffs, caves, and only accessible by boat. When the captain invites you to jump into the crystal clear depths, you will not hesitate at all. A beautiful world of friendly fish, soft sands, and pebble beaches awaits.
Jump into a journey to Sardinia with Ker & Downy by contacting your luxury travel consultant.