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If you want nothing more than to feel the heat of the blistering sun while sprawled out on the beach, but prefer your holiday hotspots a little less obvious, then stunning Sardinia is the perfect option. While it may tick all the boxes of a regular beach getaway, picturesquely planted along the Emerald Coast, this island paradise has so much more to offer. Centuries of history can be felt in the air, while there’s no shortage of fine dining establishments and cultural treasures – a holiday to Sardinia in 2019 / 2020 truly has something for everyone. If you just want to melt in the sun and top up your tan, take a dip in the shimmering waters of Costa Smeralda, or simply brush shoulders with the locals and soak up that authentic Italian atmosphere. You’ll never be bored here. For some quaint old time charm, you could even pay a visit to the medieval village of Castelsardo and pick up a handcrafted bargain, but make sure you hang around as the village is even more beautiful by night.

Top attractions

Top attractions

If you want nothing more than to feel the heat of the blistering sun while sprawled out on the beach, but prefer your holiday hotspots a little less obvious, then stunning Sardinia is the perfect option. While it may tick all the boxes of a regular beach getaway, picturesquely planted along the Emerald Coast, this island paradise has so much more to offer. Centuries of history can be felt in the air, while there’s no shortage of fine dining establishments and cultural treasures – a holiday to Sardinia in 2018 truly has something for everyone. If you just want to melt in the sun and top up your tan, take a dip in the shimmering waters of Costa Smeralda, or simply brush shoulders with the locals and soak up that authentic Italian atmosphere. You’ll never be bored here. For some quaint old time charm, you could even pay a visit to the medieval village of Castelsardo and pick up a handcrafted bargain, but make sure you hang around as the village is even more beautiful by night.

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Eating out

Eating out

Just south of France’s charming Corsica and northwest of its big sister island, Sicily, Sardinia is the second largest island of the Mediterranean and thus, is blessed with incredibly diverse landscapes and natural beauty. While this is often enough to sell a holiday destination, Sardinia always upholds the Italian tradition of taking dining seriously, with an amazing array of the freshest seafood on offer and an impressive selection of wines in store. The best part is, as a somewhat lesser travelled destination, a delicious meal in one of the island’s fine dining eateries won’t break the bank. Traditionally, Sardinian chefs have focused more on sourcing the freshest ingredients rather than making sure your meals presentation is immaculate – but, with the influx of visitors visiting their shores each year, the modern chefs strike a balance, using newer technique but including Sardinian favourites like myrtle leaves, sweet peppers, fennel and rosemary in their fusion dishes. For an unforgettable meal, why not start with some seafood antipasti or tapas, before moving onto some grilled octopus or gnocchi style pasta flavoured with saffron and served with a tomato sauce. Delicious.

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Families

Families

Similar to the majority of Italian holiday destinations, Sardinia is perfectly suited for children of all ages. Babies and toddlers will be treated like royalty, while bigger kids and teens can burn off some of that excess energy with a range of outdoor or aquatic activities, from horse riding on the beach to exploring the green coastal waters with a snorkel. On dry land, they have a choice from rock climbing to hiking along the coast in search of wildlife. Sardinia has grown popular but still retains a charming low key quality compared to other European hotspots that families flock to, which means that the beaches don’t get near as swarmed as other choices in the Mediterranean. Your kids will simply love the warm green waters and powder soft sand on their tiny feet, with plenty of sea to splish splash around in and enough sand for a million sandcastles. The majority of the resorts here have kids in mind, with wide promenades suitable for buggies and plenty of play areas and gelaterias, which we’re sure you’ll appreciate. As an added bonus, wherever you decide to base yourself, discounts are available for children on public transport and for admission to sights.

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Action & Adventure

Action & Adventure

There are a million things you can do in Sardinia if you manage to pull yourself away from that cosy spot you’ve found on the beach for a couple of hours. Sardinia has recently gained a reputation as a haven for water sports enthusiasts, and with its impressive coastal winds creating the ideal conditions for both windsurfing and kite surfing, this status is most definitely justified. Most surfers gather around Porto Pollo on the northeast coast, with conditions adept for all experience levels. So, if you’re in the mood to shred waves, this is your spot. If you’re after a glimpse of what lies beneath the surface, in every sense, then Cala Mariolu should be your first port of call. With the clearest waters in Sardinia, it’s perfect for a spot of diving or snorkelling. Explore the waters of a number of gorgeous beaches and coves, or try and spot some of the rare colourful fish that dwell here –  it’s up to you.

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Beaches

Beaches

With its warm and glittering green waters, Sardinia is known the world over for boasting some of the best beach escapes Italy has to offer. There’s plenty to choose from, but for our money head to the beaches of Chia on the south coast of the island to escape the throngs of beachgoers and find your own personal slice of paradise. While there’s no shortage of idyllic charm in the olde worlde village itself, when you discover the beaches that gently concave away from the bay, you’ll have found the perfect place to de-stress and decompress for a while. If you get lucky, you may even spot a flamboyance of flamingos staying cool in the hot sun. Now, how’s that for a vision of paradise? Elsewhere, Cala Golorotze is such a stunning beach it was even awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in the early nineties, and it hasn’t failed to uphold its reputation. Rough it out and scale the limestone cliffs and canyons, and you’ll be highly rewarded with a stunningly secluded beach covered by lush greenery on all sides. You may never want to leave.

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Nightlife

Nightlife

In terms of nightlife, Sardinia has risen in stature over the years and is now often considered a more laid back beach club version of Ibiza in its prime thirty years ago. The name Costa Smeralda has become synonymous with a jet-setting lifestyle of uber trendy clubs, beach parties and nursing prosecco hangovers by the coast, and any of its three party towns will provide plenty of hedonistic pleasure. Choose from Porto Rotondo, Porto Cervo and Baja Sardinia. These spots are never far from the action and are popular with the younger crowds, but there’s also decent nightlife in Palau and Cannigione. If that sounds a bit wild for your tastes, why not check out San Teodoro on the northern coast? Sixty km away from Olbia, this small town definitely packs a punch when it comes to night time entertainment, with a plethora of pubs, discos, and suave bars to keep you busy.

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Couples

Couples

There’s simply nothing quite like a romantic escape with a loved one to reconnect and rekindle your romance. Sardinia is a romantic hotspot that fires on all cylinders, so if you’re looking to pop the question, celebrate an anniversary or simply get away from it all for a while, there’s no better place than this island retreat. No one truly understands the concept of ‘amore’ quite like the Italians, so romance pretty much pervades every aspect of society here. If that doesn’t sweep you both off your feet, then surely the romantic backdrops, fine cuisine and sweltering sun will mean love is in the air. For a super romantic city break, why not jet off to the bustling capital of Cagliari in Southern Sardinia? With a dazzling selection of bars and restaurants, you could also take a romantic afternoon stroll around the medieval Old Quarter, or lay out on the beach hand in hand.

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Culture

Culture

Along with its stunning coastline and gorgeous golden crescents, Sardinia is well known for its festival culture, and what better way to live like the locals than attending one? With pagan myths and Mediterranean culture and customs colliding, Sardinian festivals are some of the most memorable you’ll find. Carnival is held in February each year and is the first major festival of the year. With a deeply personal connection to the farmers in the region, Barbaricino is immensely colourful and pits ferocious costumed characters against human beings and Mother Nature herself in an effort to effectively drive out winter. A more modern take on the festival tradition can be seen in Festadelmare which takes place in numerous regions at the start of September each year. A smorgasbord of music, art, culture, shows, and workshops blends together for an incredibly fun and festive atmosphere, with an extremely important environmental message to boot.

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