Sardinia holidays

Experience Sardinia

Experience [destination]

Best Places to Visit

Package holidays to Sardinia wouldn’t be complete without appreciating its stunning coast. The coastline is ever-present when you visit this beautiful island. Make time to appreciate the stunning views from its cliff tops, the luscious beaches and water sports on offer, like snorkelling and scuba diving. Every inch of the island has something new to offer. Head to the nearest beach or consider a trip further along the coast to see how the landscape changes.

Stintino, in north-west Sardinia, is a relatively humble community, which has plenty to offer visitors. Located on the very tip of the island, it's quite small, not to mention remote, more than 150 miles north of Cagliari on a spur of land jutting out from the north-west corner of the island. Your reward for travelling to this remote location is a tourist paradise, where you can take in the architecture of a small Sardinian community, and watch the fishing boats bobbing around in the harbour. The beach here, La Pelosa, is almost too good to be true, with brilliant white sands and shallow turquoise water, a true idyll within just a couple of kilometres of Stintino itself. If you have small children, the gentle slope of the shallows makes this a perfect beach, allowing them to paddle out quite far.

By contrast, take a short boat trip to the far north-east and the archipelago of La Maddalena. Since 1994, the archipelago has been home to the Archipelago di La Maddalena National Park, which unusually incorporates not only a section of land but also a section of sea. Together these span 180 km of the island's coastline and more than 12,000 hectares of surface area. Once again, it's a big journey, especially if you are based in the south of the island, but it's worth it for the unspoilt nature and the beautiful beaches of the archipelago.

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Top Landmarks

As you might imagine, many of Sardinia's landmarks are based around the island's coastline. One of the most spectacular among these is the vertical cliff face of Capo Caccia, which is easy to get to if you hire a car. While it may be fairly busy at peak times of year, the area is likely to be deserted out of the summer season, and a visit in the winter gives you the perfect opportunity to explore the area in peace. Take a slow walk and enjoy the magical views with every step, as no two areas are the same.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria in Cagliari is one of those buildings that offers a multitude of different things to appreciate. For some people, it's the workmanship in the facade, for others it's the inside that takes their breath away. The stained glass windows capture the hearts of many, and for others, a visit to the cathedral isn’t complete without exploring the crypts.

Finally, if you are in the Pula area, head for the ancient city of Nora, but bear in mind that it can only be accessed as part of a guided tour. The site is wonderfully preserved, and the guides will enrich your visit with historical trivia. One possible bone of contention here is if you are the only English speakers in an otherwise Italian group, you may find your tour guide speaking in Italian the whole way round the tour. Despite this risk, visiting these archaeological ruins is still essential for those on Sardinia holidays.

Entertainment

Sardinia is a world away from the Italian mainland, and the people who live on the island aren’t as boisterous as other Mediterranean residents. As such, you are less likely to find raucous entertainment here, but this can make for a package holiday with a pleasant difference. Many of the best places to spend a few hours are centred on relaxation rather than excitement, for instance spending a day in a hammock on the beach, or after dark heading to a quaint pub. There are a number of nightclubs, but these can be very exclusive, and some are largely preserved for the rich and famous, unless you book your entry weeks in advance.

The best option might simply be to head out on foot to the town or village where you’re staying, and browse the venues until you come across one with the perfect atmosphere. From local bands playing live music to DJs pumping out chart hits, Sardinia holidays offer something for every taste. Sardinia's seductive and sedentary way of life is sure to impress the most energetic of revellers. The perfect way to enjoy holidays to Sardinia is to sit at a beachfront bar with a drink in hand, taking in the views of luscious sand and calming harbour water. Time moves much slower in this part of the world, allowing you to take in every minute.

Dining Out

Sardinian cuisine is largely similar to that on the Italian mainland, and you may find pasta, gnocchi and pizza widely available. However, the creature for which the island is believed to take its name is the famous sardine. The oily fish was once abundant around the Mediterranean island and can still be found on many menus. One Sardinian speciality to try is Culurgiones. These pasta parcels might remind you of Ravioli, but inside they are stuffed with Pecorino cheese, potatoes, garlic, mint, onion and egg. A further local delicacy is Casu marzu, which is basically rotten cheese. While the cheese is prohibited to sell, it is allowed to be produced, so if you want to experience it for yourself, you will need to befriend a local resident and find a way to procure yourself a supply without falling foul of the law! Work is underway to have Casu marzu declared a 'traditional' food, which would avoid the legalities about its production, but until this happens it is unclear whether or not it can legally be bought and sold.

One thing to bear in mind is that dining out on Sardinia package holidays can be a challenge in the early afternoon. Traditionally, between 4 pm and 7 pm, no food is served in restaurants. If you do want to eat at this time, you will have to head to one of the tourist areas of the island and hope for the best. The alternative is a cold sandwich with ham and cheese, which is called a 'panini' but bears little resemblance to the flattened and grilled hot sandwiches served under that name in the UK. Restaurants to visit on Sardinia package holidays include Gelateria L Bastioni, St Remy and Trattoria Biancospino, the latter being a cosy little spot near the cathedral.

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Need to know

Need to know [destination]

Language

While you’re in the larger towns and cities on Sardinia, there is a good chance of hearing people speak English. However, once you leave the more densely populated areas where English-speaking tourists are most often encountered, you find yourself surrounded by people who only speak Italian and their own dialect of Sardinian. One exception to this is that some people may speak French as their third language, a possible common tongue worth trying if you know some basics. Alternatively, invest in a simple phrase book before you head on Sardinia holidays, the locals are bound to appreciate the effort made.

Currency

The local currency on Sardinia is the euro, and you can expect to see many notes and coins that feature Italian designs. This is because each participating country in the Eurozone has its own bespoke images and patterns. There are plenty of ATMs on the island - look for the word 'bancomat', literally indicating an 'automatic bank'.

Visas

Sardinia is an autonomous region of Italy, so generally the same entry requirements apply. This means you should be able to travel to Sardinia without a visa of any kind. You will need to hold a valid British passport in order to travel, and this should not expire during your stay. As long as the expiration date is after your return journey though, there is no need for any additional valid period - unlike some countries where you can only travel if you have six months or more left on your passport. Some nationalities need a Schengen visa.

Climate

Sardinia is warmest where it is closest to sea level, and a little cooler at high altitudes, giving it a beautiful summer temperature of around 30°C. Winter is warm, staying in or around double figures at sea level, and it's unusual to see more than two inches of rain in a month. If the breeze is blowing in from the north-west, it might be the mistral, a cool and dry wind most often felt in spring and winter, and credited with making the island a paradise for sailors. August is usually the hottest month to visit on holidays to Sardinia.

Main Airports

Reaching Sardinia from the UK, you have several options. The island has three main airports, all well-connected with departure points in Western Europe and Great Britain. Cagliari-Elmas Airport is the biggest of the three and is about 6 km west of Cagliari itself. It ranks among Europe's 100 busiest airports, with well over three million passengers each year, and onward connections are easily made thanks to the frequent bus service.

Sardinia's second airport is Olbia, 3 km south-west of the town with the same name. Again, a regular bus service connects Olbia with its airport, allowing passengers to make the transfer roughly every 30 minutes throughout the day. Alghero-Riviera del Corallo Airport is an international airport situated around 10km north-west of Alghero

Flight Options

Routes served by Olbia Airport include direct flights to and from Britain, as well as Europe, including France, Germany and Spain. Finally, Alghero-Fertilia Airport handles around half as much traffic as Cagliari, but still ranks as the 20th busiest airport in Italy. It is located 10km north-west of Alghero, and although the bus service runs hourly, the slightly longer distance between the airport and the town can make for a slower transfer time.

Travel Advice

Alghero-Fertilia Airport mainly serves domestic flights, although both Frankfurt and London airports have links with it. Together, the three airports provide plenty of choice when planning a journey to Sardinia, and all three benefit from frequent transfer buses, helping to avoid the extra expense of a taxi.

Other Transport Options

As an island, it should come as no surprise that sailing is a preferred way to reach parts of Sardinia. If you have the budget, there are yacht charter companies that offer stylish sailing trips, bound to impress onlookers. Alternatively, you can charter a sailboat, with or without a crew.

Getting Around

Travelling around Sardinia isn’t too difficult. Bus and train services are regular and there are many opportunities to hire a car, so you can explore the island at your own pace. There are also ferry services that allow holidaymakers to explore other nearby islands or even venture to the mainland.

Bus

Bus services are regular and cheap, although not always reliable. This can slow your journey down considerably- an issue that’s escalated further if you have to change bus routes halfway through. If you're in no hurry then, at least, you can take in the stunning sights, rather than have to concentrate on the road.

Train

Sardinia Rail has four main train lines that cover over 1000km of the island. This makes it an easy way to explore the entire island on package holidays to Sardinia.

MAP

SARDINIA`S WEATHER TODAY

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FACTS

  1. Sardinia is not part of Italy, although many people who live there use Italian as their first choice of language. It is an autonomous region, although it is officially owned by Italy.
  2. Sardinia is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea. If you need to picture its position, imagine the 'boot' shape of Italy - Sardinia lies in the west, just to the north of Tunisia.

FACTS

  1. Sardinia is not part of Italy, although many people who live there use Italian as their first choice of language. It is an autonomous region, although it is officially owned by Italy.
  2. Sardinia is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea. If you need to picture its position, imagine the 'boot' shape of Italy - Sardinia lies in the west, just to the north of Tunisia.

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