Sampling Sardinia’s beautiful beaches, mountains, boutique hotels, delicious cuisine and local wines

Sampling Sardinia’s beautiful beaches, mountains, boutique hotels, delicious cuisine and local wines

Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and offers long white sandy beaches, secluded coves fringed with olive groves, clear blue skies and sunshine, crystal clear waters, chic marinas and coastal towns, boutique hotels, towering granite mountain peaks and delicious cuisine and local wines.

During a long weekend break in September whilst I toured the north east of the island, I experienced many of the delights that Sardinia has to offer.   After a short flight to Olbia, I headed to the heart of Barbagia, an area rich in traditions and history. Ancient olive trees and vineyards cling to the slopes of the mountainous Supramonte area where the air is fragrant with myrtle and rosemary – an ideal area for walks and hikes in the wild Sardinian countryside mountains.

Sardinia has many boutique hotels full of charm, character and warm Italian hospitality and I was privileged to stay in a number of family owned and run hotels. All offering something a little bit different from secret courtyards, authentic experiences, access to historical sites, wildlife, spas and spectacular views.  At Su Gologone, there was opportunity to attend craft workshops, cookery classes, star-gazing evenings in clear skies – completely unaffected by light pollution.  I chose to attend a wine tasting, where we tried some of the local Sardinian wines from the hotel’s own cellar and watched local women make pane carasau, a Sardinian paper thin flat-bread.  Madonna, George Clooney and Richard Gere have all stayed here!

After Barbagia, I journeyed to the east coast along the coastal road which is dotted with small villages and glorious beaches.  I visited San Teodoro, part of the protected Tavolara marine park, where flamingos come to rest during migration and where you can take boat trips over to the private islands of Tavolara and Molara for long lazy lunches and swimming / snorkelling in the crystal clear waters.

Further up the coast, I stopped at Golfo Aranci, a coastal gem near Olbia, where I stayed in a family run, award winning boutique hotel, Gabbiano Azzuro, set on a white sandy beach with beautifully shallow waters.   From here, it was easy to reach Costa Smerelda, the Emerald Coast, Sardinia’s most glamorous resort with stylish nightlife, stunning beaches, shopping opportunities galore and exclusive golf courses.  The marina of Porto Cervo is at its heart, offering chic piazzas perfect for sun-downers, elegant boutiques and fine dining.  It was the perfect end to my short autumn break.

If you are looking for mountains, powder white sand, azure waters, culture, history, friendly people, mouth watering food and excellent wine or a combination of it all, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Sardinia.

Debs travelled to Sardinia in September.

Helen Thomas