A WEEKEND IN NORTHERN SARDINIA
Sardinia, just 2 hours from Gatwick to Olbia, is famed for its crystal clear turquoise sea, and as well as the sailing there are many other attractions including wineries, walking trails and food which brings the rich and famous to the island. I visited for a long weekend to see what all the fuss was about!
My first stop was Golfo Aranci, around 25 minutes from Olbia airport. Hotel Gabbiano Azzurro is ideally placed on the peninsula, with a private section of beach and four other beaches within walking distance. The town, a traditional fishing village, is a 10 - 15 minute walk with plenty of bars and shops on the way. Twice a day you can see the Sea Siren - a bronze mermaid sculpture that rises from the water on the seafront to traditional Sardinian music. From Golfo Aranci there are also several walking trails to be enjoyed and, if you are lucky, you may even spot a dolphin or two from the coastal paths.
Venturing into the Costa Smerelda, Porto Cervo is the main town and gateway into the area. During July and August, the harbour fills with expensive yachts and the luxury designer boutiques are open for business. From Porto Cervo you can also visit Cala di Volpe which is famously featured in the James Bond Film, The Spy Who Loved Me. However, I stayed in the town of Cannigione which is a good place to be based if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of Porto Cervo. Hotel Villa Del Golfo provides beautiful views over the inlet and is set back from the centre of town, so it provides a peaceful break, with the option of walking to shops and restaurants.
Next, I tried one of the most popular excursions in Sardinia, a boat trip to the Maddalena archipelago, named after its largest island and town. The group of islands is a haven for wildlife and is a designated national park. A 20-minute ferry takes visitors from Palau to the striking town of La Maddalena, with its colourful buildings scattered around the hillside. Many hotels also run day trips by boat around the islands, which visit small, sandy coves such as the protected Pink Beach, and of course no boat trip would be complete without a dip in the warm crystal-clear water.
Finally, we stayed at Valle Dell’Erica, which is a great family hotel with a large kids club and professionally run activities throughout the day until 11oclock in the evening. Although the hotel is in a remote location, it is a short drive to the nearest town Santa Teresa Gallura. However, the hotel has nearly everything you need including seven restaurants, a golf school and on site doctor and pharmacy. Its speciality is its Thalasso Pools in the Wellness Centre which are a circuit of four salt water pools heated to differing temperatures, and which are supposed to have beneficial effects on the skin and circulation.
My time in Sardinia had come to an end, but there was so much more to discover. From the mountainous central region to the long stretches of beach on the south coast.
If you’d like to visit Sardinia, for a short break …. or even longer, I’d love to help! Meet me in the gallery!
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No, I'm not a Travel Guru, but I have loved travelling since I was five years old, and more than love travel... I love to share my experiences... and show you our Wonderful World through my eyes!