SARDINIA. On an island that could be called the Caribbean of Europe, I had the opportunity to spend 6 of my vacations. In 2014 and after my first visit to Sardinia, I immediately knew that this was a destination where I would return regularly. Do you want to know why? Keep reading!
The food of course! You will get addicted to "Porchedu" a roasted suckling pig - a specialty on the island, which you would be served on a cork tray with some mirto leaves underneath as a decoration. Sardinia is a part of Italy and it means that you will find damn good food and wine there. Italy, together with neighboring France, are the greatest countries of good gastronomy, at least as far as Europe is concerned.
These are typical foods of Sardinia : pecorino cheese, roasted suckling pig, pane carasau bread, pasta called malloredus or gnocchetti sardi, seafood, white wine vermentino and red wine canonau. Of course there is many more to mention, but let's keep that for another blog post related to food of Sardinia only :-)
Agriculture and farming have a stronger role compared to the Italian average - sheep farming and sheep products are mainly relevant to the regional economy. Tourism is a key industry and mostly prevalent in the Northern coast of the island. One of the important sources of income is also tourism, which is largely developed in coastal areas. Many locals own so-called. agroturismo, which is basically a combination of a farm where farmers offer tourists accommodation + a restaruant where the farmers offer their own local products to tourists. These farmers breed livestock and make products such as pecorino cheese, salami (also from wild pigs or lamb) and grow vegetables. These products are offered to tourists (mostly Italians). If you visit a restaurant or agritourismo at the sea side, you might get to decide between "terra" and "mare" menu. In the inland you will mostly find the terra menu which is non-sea-produce option. To get an idea of typical menu consisting of "terra" products, let me name you an example: As a starter selection of pecorino cheese served in different maturity degrees, some lamb or wild pig salami, bread pane carasau. After, you can look forward to malloredus, pasta with salsiccia and tomato sauce. And the best comes now: Porchetto - roasted suckling pig with roasted potatoes, accompanied by some red wien Canonau. Already drooling? :-)
3. The beaches
Crystal clear water, white sandy and endlessly long beach.. It may sound like a cliché, but that is true Sardinia. Imagine a beach that is about 4 km long and connects two small villages. Your morning will begin by taking a stroll through the scenery which evokes Caribbean islands. When you enter the sea, you stop for a second and don't know if you are swimming in a pool or in a sea.. That's how I felt when I first entered the sea in Sardinia. Many beaches with crystal clear water and white sand can be found mainly in the north of Italy, where there are also little bays to be found, or crowded city beaches or long-distance beaches reaching very far, even several kilometers. Probably the most well known white sandy beaches will be La Pelosa in Stintino, Rena Bianca in Santa Teresa di Gallura or La Cinta in San Teodoro near Olbia. However, given that I'm not the kind of tourist, wo visits the most overcrowded fancy beaches with whole lot of services with beach volleybal pitch (which La Cinta definitely is), I look for beaches such as the one in a little village called La Caletta, on the northeastern coast . Another one which is absolutely stunning is Rena Majori. To get there, you firstly need to take a path across sandy dunes, which will take about 10 minutes. In the high season, beginning in July you have to count with many tourists, mainly Italians. Surely I recommend to visit also those beaches which are popular and therefore overcrowded, at least for few hours.. You will surely enjoy it anyway.
All inclusive resorts for 500 euros per week, as you may find in Greece? Do not look for those in Sardinia. If you want to spend your holiday in an all-inclusive 4 star hotel in Sardinia - there would be a very limited choice and very expensive. Sardinia, on the other hand, (apart from a few 5-star hotels in highly privileged places) is a destination for people traveling low budget. Yes you are reading right. Nowadays, there are many low cost airlines that fly to Cagliari, Alghero in the northwest or Olbia. Also it is easy and not expensive to get some of many ferries departing from big harbours of Italy, such as Livorno, heading to Sardinia. The journey takes about 6,5 hours and it is very comfortable. If you plan your vacation out of high season and you are not fussy about the location of your accomodation in Sardinia, you can get a fully equipped bungalow for 110 euros per week at the camping village, a return flight for 120 euros per person and 30 euros for a day car rental. Then, you will only need some money for the most delicious food in the world and that's it. The weather is mostly constant and at the end of September very warm, so you can look forward to a low cost sea side holiday for a good price. The locals live out of tourism, so you can get easily a nice B&B for reasonable price also in the high season. There are many websites such as booking.com or airbnb.com where you can find the best suitable one for you. (For more information, tips and reviews about my travels from Sardinia, click here or here)
5. Stunning nature & sports activities
The wild nature and the infinite number of sports and leisure activities is definitely something which comes to my mind when someone asks me: " Why do you go to Sardinia for the 7th time?"
In Sardinia, you'll love the fact that you never get bored here. Cycling, horseback riding, kayaking, windsurfing, kite surfing, renting a rubber board and exploring the nearby islands, snorkeling, discovering hiking trails nearby Nuoro, visiting farms where the pecorino cheese is produced, discovering hidden caves in western Sardinia etc.. There is so much fun waiting for you!
Have you visited Sardinia already? Or you would like to get some detailed tips and recommendations on restaurants, beaches and interesting places in Sardinia?
Then don't be shy and send me an email or contact me through my instagram account!
Salute amici e buona vacanza!