If you’re looking for an Italian break without the noise and stress of the mainland Sardinia can offer some of the Mediterranean’s most seductive beaches. The Costa Smeralda coast is studded with elite hotels, five-star beaches and Beverly Hills-type shops. You’ll find swimming spots to die for on every coast.
There is plenty to explore, the magnificent rugged landscape of the granite interior, the fabulous seafood and, for history buffs, the strange and evocative remnants of Sardinia’s ancient nuraghic culture, not to mention a scattering of Carthaginian and Roman ruins, Pisan churches and Spanish Baroque.
Among the towns, Cagliari, Sassari and Alghero have most to offer visitors in Sardinia. But you’ll find some of the smaller centres equally or more rewarding: for example Sant’Antioco, an isle off the southwestern coast, Cala Gonone on the east coast, or Castelsardo, on the north coast. And if you can bear to abandon the beaches, you’ll greatly enhance your Sardinian experience by venturing inland to explore the mountainous Barbagia region, south of Nuoro, for an authentic slice of Sard culture.