Hidden Gems in Sardinia
Sardinia is the perfect place to visit if you are searching for the slow-paced Italian lifestyle, cuisine and history but want to avoid the crowded mainland. The inviting coastline, clear skies and delicious seafood will entice you to return to the island, no matter how many times you have visited, there will always be something new for you to discover.
Cala Domestica is a stunning, secluded beach, at just over 250 metres wide you are encompassed by the surrounding limestone cliffs and golden sand dunes. The magical beach is perfect for an afternoon swim or if you want to further explore, then hire a kayak or canoe to discover the private coves and caves hidden away from anyone else on the beach. The little bay is dotted with rocks, which double up as a diving platform for when you’re feeling brave.
Bosa Old Town
The narrow alleys and cobbled streets will captivate you with their charm, as you stroll through the medieval town and stumble across traditional bars, markets and artisan shops. With palm trees and rocky hills surrounding the town, the multi-coloured pastel shades of the old buildings will brighten your day. The town is where the river Temo meets the sea, and fantastic sunsets can be enjoyed as they disappear below the water. The unmissable Malaspina medieval castle, built in 1112AD, can be seen from all over the town; the challenging hike up to the impressive structure is worth the journey as the stunning murals and views from the top are unmissable.
The impressive Roman Amphitheatre in Cagliari was built in the 2nd century AD. It was used for ceremonial slaughters and fights between men and wild animals. The arena is carved into the sloping rock of the hillside and can seat up to 10,000 spectators. The tiered seating at the time and where people could sit were decided by the social class. The underground tunnels are equally as interesting as what is above the ground, with ancient gladiator cells and fascinating animal cages. The amphitheatre is now used for music and theatre performance, the acoustics and authenticity of the place make for a fantastic evening.
The lagoons of Sardinia are an ideal resting place for pink flamingos on their migration and for some, a nesting spot. Bird watchers and inquisitive visitors come to the island to witness the natural spectacle. The flamingo has been a symbol of elegance and positivity, and Sardinians welcome them to the island. You are more likely to see them during May, and a couple of their favoured spots are Monte Urpinu and Poetto beach.
Sardinia is known worldwide amongst divers as one of the greatest places for visibility thanks to its crystal-clear waters. The Marine Protected Areas along the coastline are great for spotting a wide variety of fish, roman shipwrecks and other captivations. If you have never dived before, don’t let that stop you as there are several diving centres on the island, they will make you feel safe and take you on a dive that is suitable for your ability. For the more experienced divers, the Alghero has a network of underwater tunnels and lakes which must be seen to be believed.
File ‘e ferru
When in Sardinia, do as the Sardinians do! The File ‘e Ferru is the name of a brandy, and it literally translates to ‘iron wire.’ The name was given to the brandy centuries ago, when people were making the alcohol at home and having to bury it somewhere on the island to avoid paying alcohol taxes, the iron wire was used as a marker to remind people where they had put it. The brandy is made from the skins of grapes and is a very strong after dinner drink which is only produced on the island. Be sure to try some when you are staying at your luxury villas in Sardinia.
Sardinia is full of surprises, with natural beauty all around, delicious, authentic food and a rich history, a visit to the majestic island will beat all your expectations.
Image credit: Massino Frasson