- Emerald sea and rocky mountain
- Coast life
- Yachts and fishing boats
This Mediterranean island has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and if you venture inland you’ll find breathtaking countryside.
It may be Italian now, but this isle's rich, varied history has seen visits from the Phoenicians, Romans, Pisans, Genoese and Spaniards, as reflected in its architecture, food and culture. If you have time and inclination, there’s a lot to see here, from the flamingoes and mediaeval traces in its cosmopolitan capital, Cagliari, to the Spanish influence on Alghero on the Coral Riviera. But you may find it difficult to prise yourself away from the magnificent white sands and crystal-clear waters...
Suitably SardiniaSecret Sardinia If you can tear yourself away from that emerald coastline, head inland to discover another aspect of the second largest of the Med's islands. Centuries of attack from the sea mean that Sardinians headed for the hills and left the coast alone; there’s a whole different vibe and culture here, a world away from mainland Italy, and a wild landscape that includes stunning valleys and gorges.
- Taxis are cheap. It’s not usually possible to hail them in the street, but your hotel can book cars for you, and there are cab ranks in the larger towns and villages.
- Tipping culture
- At restaurants, the service charge is included in the bill, although an additional small tip of a few euros is usually expected. It is common to tip hotel staff, porters, taxi drivers and tour guides.
- Packing tips
- Take good quality sunglasses if you plan to do any driving. And it's also de rigueur style-wise on this glamorous island.
- Recommended reads
- Sardinian author Grazia Deledda was the first woman to win the Nobel prize for literature; try her Woman and the Priest. Sea and Sardinia is DH Lawrence’s account of his trip to the island in 1921, and his love for the place.
- As an island culture poised between Italy, Spain and Tunisia, Sardinia has the fresh, tasty food that you’d expect, from home-style simple produce to Michelin-starred cuisine. The north of the island is famous for its shellfish, in particular.
- Dialling codes
- Country code for Italy: 39.
- Do go/don't go
- Sardinia is renowned for being very wet in the winter, and many hotels and restaurants are closed during these damper months. The ideal time to visit is in May, June and July, when the flowers are in full bloom and the evenings are still cool. Watch out for the Ferragosto holiday in mid-August, when many shops and restaurants close.