There is a wide variety of sweets: sebadas (a kind of pancake filled with fresh cheese and covered with honey), pardulas (small cakes filled with ricotta); they were once prepared for the Easter season, but now they are available all year round), bianchittus (small cakes made with egg white, chopped almonds and sugar), pirichittus (pastries made with flour, eggs and olive oil, then covered with sugar which gives them their typical white color), papassinas (elongated in shape, they are prepared with semolina, eggs, shortening, chopped almonds, raisins, and sapa, a cooked wine), zippulas (an Arab fried sweet made with shortening, flour, yeast, sugar and lemon peel); pane ‘e saba (a typical sweet prepared for feasts with cooked wine and the addition of water, semolina, raisins, pine nuts, and almonds, then decorated with colored balls of confectioner’s sugar), amarettus (the basic ingredients are egg white, sugar, sweet and bitter almonds, grated lemon peel; they are topped with a peeled almond), is gueffus (similar to the sospiri of Ozieri, they are balls made with a dough consisting of almond flour, sugar, lemon and orange petal water. They are individually wrapped in pink, white or blue tissue paper.
The colors are the same that babies wear when carried to the baptismal font so they are a must at the celebrations that follow the ceremony, when they are served in large baskets), candelaus (puff pastry with a filling of almond flour and sugar and orange petal water and covered with a sugar icing. They are wrapped in thin strips of paper the color of gold that takes on the most imaginative forms), gatto’ (it is prepared by cooking a large amount of sugar in a pan until it becomes fluid; then it is blended with honey, chopped almonds and pieces of dried orange peel.
When this is all well blended it is poured onto a slab of marble to harden it. While still warm, lemon juice is added to give it its typical fragrance. It is then cut into pieces).
A stay in Cagliari also includes an encounter with a cuisine that offers a wide variety of excellent dishes. So we advise you to forget about Italian and international cooking, at least for once, and let yourself be tempted by the flavors of the Sardinian tradition. The choice of Sardegna food begins with the bread.
Some examples: su cifraxu, the most common, is in the shape of an enormous sandwich roll; su coccoi is made with fine flour and is decorated with small crests which during the baking become golden brown and crisp (is pizzicorrus); su pani carasau, a very thin, crisp flat bread made with flour and semolina, excellent served with olive oil and salt and known as su pani guttiau. From carasau is made pani frattau by dipping the bread in hot water then seasoning it in layers with tomato sauce, ground meat and grated pecorino cheese. It is topped by a poached egg. Similar to carasau, but soft, is spianata.
A Sardinian dinner always begins with appetizers from land or sea: wild boar ham, sausage, pickled lamb or veal feet, clams or mussels “marinara” style, burrida (dogfish con parsley and walnuts), bottarga (pressed and dried tuna or mullet roe) served in thin slices sprinkled with olive oil.
Among the first courses, special mention must go to sa fregula (coarse semolina sprinkled with warm water and rolled into small balls under the hand) served with fish stock; malloreddus, small gnocchi made with semolina and saffron, served with tomato sauce and grated cheese; culingionis, ravioli made with semolina, and panadas, large pies filled with vegetables, meat or eels. The latter speciality is the leading character in a festival dedicated to it in the middle of July at Assemini (a few km from Cagliari).
Sardinia food traditional meat dishes are suckling pigs, lambs or kids roasted on skewers. Those who are looking for even newer flavors can try sa cordula, lamb baked in the oven or browned, and sanguinaccio, a blood sausage made with the intestine of the pig filled with the animal’s blood, raisins and sugar, pot-roasted or barbecued.
As concerns seafood, Sardinians prefer barbecued fish (giltheads, striped bream, sea bass, red mullet, grey mullet and eels), while spiny lobsters, crayfish, small squid and clams are used in making pasta sauces and risottos. From the island’s sheep breeding tradition come different kinds of cheeses, the production of which now takes place in cheese factories. Among the best-known are fiore sardo (or pecorino sardo), a hard cheese made from fresh whole ewe’s milk curdled with lamb or kid rennet; pecorino romano made with cooked ewe’s milk and lamb’s rennet. It is compact and sharp; dolce sardo, a soft cheese made from cow’s milk. Quite unique is su casu marzu (literally “rotten cheese”): on the inside of the wheel small white worms hatch and feed on the cheese. In time, the cheese becomes a delicate but sharp cream.
Planning on renting villas in Italy for your next holiday? Consider Sardinia, a wild and stunningly beautiful island destination.
For grand holiday adventures, there’s no bigger thrill than getting back to nature; whether it’s hiking through untamed canyons, diving to discover underwater wonders, or wildlife spotting in wetlands. The experience can be even better if, at the end of each day, you get to kick back and relax in luxurious countryside villas. In Italy, one of the best places to truly appreciate the country’s natural beauty is Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean.
From the marshes and salt flats surrounding the bustling city of Cagliari in the south to the fascinating granite formations in Costa Smeralda in the north, this island paradise appears designed to take your breath away in more ways than one. Listed below are several sights you really shouldn’t miss, and our best tip would have to be to bring extra data storage cards and batteries for your camera – because it’s just one gorgeous sight after another.
Gennargentu National Park
Although ‘roughing it’ is likely to be the last thing on your mind when staying in any of the luxurious villas in Italy on Sardinia, do be sure to pack your best hiking boots, as you’re going to need them to explore the incredible Gennargentu National Park. Here, ecology and tourism work very closely to preserve what environmentalists agree is some of the most unspoilt landscape in Europe. For the best view, hike up to Punta La Marmora, which is the island’s highest peak, at 1834 metres. Among the fauna to spot are Sardinian kites, foxes, boars, deer, moufflon, the occasional golden eagle, and even wild horses and donkeys. The towering limestone walls and cliffs offer some impressive formations; at over 400 metres tall in places, they flank the surrounding areas, including Gola Su Gorropu, the massive canyon nicknamed ‘Europe’s Grand Canyon’.
Many villas in Italy have their own private pools but that’s no reason to miss out on the experience of exploring what have been described as the clearest waters in the Mediterranean. Alghero’s world-famous red coral is just one of the fascinating marine species you’ll get a chance to see up close and personal as you explore the network of underwater caves and tunnels off its coast – including Nereo Cave, the largest underwater grotto in the Mediterranean. For those who prefer to stay on dry land, to the north of Alghero is Capo Cacccia, which features desolate promontories and a variety of bird life including the herring gull, peregrine falcon, cormorant, red kite, and the rare griffon vulture. It’s the perfect place for an afternoon of bird watching or nature photography.
Although staying in any of the stunning villas in Italy is an experience in itself, the island’s wild and natural beauty makes it impossible to deny the call of the outdoors. For the ecologist and nature lover, Golfo Orosei offers the opportunity of a lifetime to spot the endangered monk seal, which was previously thought to be extinct. Limestone cliffs create isolated and picturesque coves that can only be reached by boat, or you can take long hikes through the macquis – heavily vegetated areas typical to the Mediterranean coastlands. The effort is definitely worth it. The hour–long hike to Cala Goloritze, for example, which is reputed as one the island’s of the most picturesque coves. Once you arrive you’ll be greeted with a tree-shaded canyon with limestone cliffs, rock arches and steps leading down to the white-pebbled beach and crystal blue waters.
Sardinia, the stunning Italian island, is one of the finest holiday resorts in Europe. Though prices here can be very high, it is possible to have a break on a budget.
Italy has a reputation for being an expensive place to visit and Sardinia is no exception. Taking a holiday on this beautiful island can be a great experience but prices do tend to be fairly high.
If you’re looking to visit the island without having to break the bank then you’ll find that forward planning is the key to finding a budget holiday in Sardinia.
The first point to note is that the island is at its most popular during the months of July and August. These two months see Sardinia enjoy its warmest weather, with long dry spells being very common.
This is also a period of the year that coincides with the school holidays in the UK and much of continental Europe. Many families choose to travel abroad during this time as a result.
For those on a budget, avoiding these two months of the year is the best way of finding a bargain. The weather on Sardinia is often more pleasant during the months of May and September, as temperatures can be hard to bear during the high season.
You’ll also find that hotel and flight prices are significantly lower if you are able to avoid the two most popular summer months.
If you are traveling with children then you may well find that traveling to the island in July and August is unavoidable.
In this case, consider finding accommodation in some of the island’s less popular resorts. There are some great hotel and package holiday deals available well away from the dominant Costa Smeralda region of the island.
It is possible to have a budget holiday in Sardinia – make sure that you are flexible and that you plan your visit well in advance.
Holidays to Sardinia aren’t complete without a taste of the cultural and historical past of Italy. Here are the top 4 landmarks all visitors should see.
Holidays to Sardinia offer the perfect combination for those seeking both beauty and culture. Indulge in the sunshine and relaxation then feed your mind by visiting some amazing landmarks. There is truly something for everyone. Here are four landmarks that have proven popular with visitors on holidays to Sardinia.
Su Nuraxi di Barumini
If you’re looking for an attraction with huge historical significance, the Su Nuraxi di Barumini should be your first stop. Built by the Nuragic people during the Bronze Age, the ruins of these nuraghe towers can be found all over the island. The Su Nuraxi di Barumini is the one of the best examples of these, as it (and the village surrounding it) has been excavated.
The Su Nuraxi de Barumini is an extremely interesting historical landmark to visit and much mystery as to why these towers were originally created still abounds. A visit to this interesting landmark can bring an intellectual and eye-opening aspect to any holidays to Sardinia.
Grotto Di Nettuno
The Grotto Di Nettuno, or Neptune’s Grotto, is one of most famous caves visitors can explore on holidays to Sardinia. Dated back to prehistoric times, this cave has since been illuminated with different coloured lighting to enhance the magical atmosphere it possesses.
The Grotto di Nettuno was originally discovered in the 18th century by local fisherman, and contains some of the most impressive stalactites and stalagmites in Italy. Visitors are lead through the cave on foot and the sheer size of it means the tours can take up to 45 minutes. The contrast of the bright sunshine outside the cave in comparison to the magical glow inside is truly incredible to behold.
Tempio di Antas
The Tempio di Antas is an ancient Roman temple built by the emperor Caracalla and can give visitors an excellent taste of history on their holidays to Sardinia. The temple was created by the nuraghic people, to worship the Sardinian deity Sardus Pater. It was rediscovered in the 1800s and restored in the late sixties using the excavated remains of original columns. It is a highly impressive recreation of what the original Tempio di Antas would have looked like, and visitors can really get a feel for the ancient civilisation.
Cattedrale di Santa Maria
The Cattedrale di Santa Maria dates back to the 13th century, and was originally comprised of heavy Gothic architecture. The cathedral is a living timeline in itself, as it has been adapted throughout the course of history to suit the décor of each particular era.
Within the bell tower the original Gothic aspects are clearly displayed and provide a glimpse into what the cathedral once looked like. It has been transformed by Baroque decor from the 17th-century, and is now defined by its bright frescoes and swirling sculptures.
Visiting the Cattedrale di Santa Maria can make for an inspiring afternoon for those looking to immerse in a little Sardinian culture. It is an ideal attraction for those interested in the history of Italian architecture and religion, or even just those who are curious about the past.
Sardinia coastMost holidays are a break away from the day to day. But when you visit Sardinia, holidays can feel as familiar and comfortable as home.
Vacations do not often remind you of home. Quite the opposite – they give you the mental space to explore new, fresh sights and forget your day-to-day stresses. A break away can give you a breath of physical fresh air and expose you a newness that invigorates not only the body, but perhaps even the soul.
Some places have the ability to give you all these experiences and more in such a fulfilling way you’ll be finding an excuse to return again and again. One such place that can have this effect on you is Sardinia. Holidays to this wonderful Mediterranean isle are popular for so many reasons, and it is indeed the sheer depth of its delights that lure you to spend more time here.
The second largest island in the Mediterranean is one the most geologically ancient bodies in Europe, and its depth of history may well be one of the reasons that attract you. From the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers to the Nuragic civilisation, from the Phoenicians to the Vandals, and from the Byzantines to the Guidacati, the storied human past of this beautiful landscape gives you the feeling that so much has happened here that it simply cannot be summed up in a single, transitory visit. In Sardinia, holidays spent here often inspire a return to drink deep from this historic well.
Ancient Natural Glory
There are few parts of Europe as ancient and few islands as geographically diverse as Sardinia. Holidays here can almost be a frustration of riches, with so many landscapes to explore. Much older than even the ancient history of this island’s famed antiquity, the ancient natural glories here could be explored and enjoyed over a lifetime of visits. You can walk the green fields by Lake Omede and climb the tall peaks of Gennargentu, the highest massif of the island, and you can dive into the crystal clear waters and wander the exquisite little bay towns – you could do this, and more, if you’re tempted to spend extensive time here.
Each locale, city and community around the world forms its own unique culture over time. Exploring such diversity is one of the prime joys of travelling. This is no less the case when you visit Sardinia. Holidays to the island should allow for enough time to taste of the local colour, climate, customs and character. The sheep farms and the old sea ports, the high number of centenarians and influx of European immigrants, the old cantu de tenore music and Cagliari operas, all invite a tourist to be more than a simple observer of the local culture. Add to this the healthy vegetables and cheese, fine wines and delectable cuisine, and you will see more than one reason to extend your visit or return every year.
Going on holidays to Sardinia? The more flexible you are when it comes to itinerary, accommodation and transportation, the more choice you’ll have.
Planning last minute holidays to Sardinia? While holiday planning may be daunting, with a few tips, patience, and an open mind, anyone can plan a successful getaway to this picturesque Mediterranean island. The important thing to remember when preparing is to do your research.
Getting There and Getting Around
Being the second biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea, there is a lot to explore in Sardinia, including the beaches, the ancient churches, the local cafes, and the magnificent ruins. But all of these beautiful sites may be out of reach if you don’t plan properly with regards to getting around. Holidays to Sardinia can take many forms, and how much you see and do will depend on your expectations and ability to be flexible.
Sardinia has three main airports, in Cagliari, Alghero, and Olbia – all have direct flights to major cities all around the world. Moreover, there are many access points to island by ferry from different cities in Italy, including Genoa, Livorno, Naples, and Palermo. From this information alone you could plan an entire itinerary and make adjustments in your budget by saving money – whether travelling by ferry from another Italian city or getting a direct flight. Once you’ve arrived on the island, you should also familiarise yourself with the best ways to get around. Unlike other smaller islands in Italy, which you can easily tour on foot, Sardinia is best explored with a rental car or motorcycle. You can, of course, also travel by bus.
Don’t Skip the Beach
Some people may find it a bit exhausting to plan an itinerary that will take them from one big town to another every day. It might sound good on paper, and you’ll be able to explore plenty of the island’s fascinating history, but it could also sometimes take the fun and relaxation element out of your holidays to Sardinia. The solution is to factor in a few days just lazing on the beach. The island is renowned as having some of the world’s best beaches, and there are so many, you’ll be able to steer clear of the crowds if you’re savvy. Pristine San Giovanni di Sinis is a divine beach near the town of Oristano; it’s only half an hour away from the city, but is considerably less touristy than more popular destinations. La Pelosa Beach, another less crowded spot near a fishing village in Stintino, is breathtakingly beautiful with its fine, white sand, and blue-green waters. There are plenty more and sometimes it’s nice to just drive and stop where somewhere takes your fancy.
Last minute holidays to Sardinia, especially during peak season, typically mean that it’s more challenging to book affordable accommodation. However, there are several other options apart from the higher profile hotels. In Santa Teresa Gallura, for example, not only does the commune offer a superb beachfront and excellent scuba diving spots, but it also has a wide arrange of accommodation options. For families or groups with at least four people, renting villas can be your best bet – and will certainly give you the best value for your money. However, if you’re already having a hard time finding a villa, camping is a wonderful cheaper alternative. The camping area provides easy access to and from the beach and other nearby towns. Ultimately, whether you choose to stay at a luxurious hotel or villa or camp by the beach, this stunning island will not fail to delight in every way.
Holidays to Sardinia would not be complete without experiencing some of the quirkier attractions. These aspects are what make the island unique.
Holidays to Sardinia are usually a journey of delightful discoveries—the island has some wonderful traditions and a culture that has plenty of surprises up its proverbial sleeve. The following three things are just the tip of the iceberg.
Thanks to centuries of relative isolation (or independence—it depends on how you view these things), the island has certain qualities that you simply cannot find anywhere else. One of the quirky aspects that make holidays to Sardinia something to remember is the more unusual food items. For example, the island is home to a kind of cheese that elsewhere in the world would be simply dismissed as ‘rotten’ – because casu marzu (which even translates as ‘rotten cheese’) is exactly that. It contains live insect larvae, which adds to its unique flavor, aroma and texture. But what’s surprising is that the cheese—despite the obviously discouraging qualities—is actually extremely tasty and delicious once you get past the idea of it. If you do feel brave enough to give it a try, you won’t find it at the local market—the cheese can not actually be legally sold out in the open. But if you know a friend who knows a friend who knows a friend who has access to a trustworthy maker of the cheese, we suggest you brace your palate and give it a go!
Sea urchins: doesn’t sound too delicious does it? Well it might be time to think again. Sardinia is an island with lengthy stretches of coastline, and each town situated along the coasts tries to outdo one another with the cuisine created from the abundant bounty of the sea. Along with the more recognizable kinds of seafood, you’ll very often see sea urchins on a menu during your holidays to Sardinia. While there are many different ways to serve up this unusual delicacy, if you enjoy oysters with nothing but a squeeze of lemon, then try the same thing with sea urchins. While the taste is certainly unusual, it’s refreshing and quite moor-ish.
For those planning holidays to Sardinia, accommodation is usually the first consideration. While there are plenty of options, including anything from luxury hotels to authentic villas and cottages, if you’re feeling adventurous, you should explore the opportunity to stay somewhere a little more rustic and traditional. The Fiummendosa Valley’s seemingly endless rolling landscape is awash with lush color and is an example of rural Sardinia at its finest. You can spend a night in one of the many shepherd’s huts that dot the valley and enjoy an exhilarating sense of freedom and a generous dose of fresh island air. You may need to do some investigation to find out who owns one of the huts in order to get the necessary permission to stay, but the good news is that the locals are very friendly and accommodating so it is very rare for a request not to be granted.
In Sardinia, holidays are celebrated with festivals year-round. Here are just a few you may like to include in an itinerary of the island.
If you’re planning a trip to Italy and can’t decide between a peaceful break soaking up the sun, hiking through dense natural forests brimming with wildlife, touring medieval castles, or perhaps exploring ancient stone structures dating back to the Stone and Bronze Ages, we have the answer: head to Sardinia. Holidays to this autonomous region of Italy can offer you all that in one place – and plenty more besides.
The second largest island in the Mediterranean is brimming with excitement all year round, so whether your idea of bliss is wandering through tiny fishing villages or gorging on scrumptious local cuisine and wines, you’ll find joy here.
No matter what time of the year you visit, however, there’s sure to be one of the island’s many festivals taking place. Locals don’t depend on a ‘peak’ or ‘low’ season, and there is always some kind of festival to participate in. Below, we list a few of the region’s biggest and most colourful festivals. Whether you’re on summer holiday or a winter break, you’re guaranteed a memorable time.
In Sardinia, holidays in February are doubly exciting as it is the month of two of the region’s largest and most exciting festivals: Bosa Carnival and Sa Sartiglia. In many Catholic cultures, Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, is also the day of a carnival. It’s a last excuse to party before buckling down and observing religious abstention. Bosa holds a yearly Is Attittadorasa, during which men dress as widows and parade throughout the streets chanting dirges. Although the literal description may sound a little morbid, it is actually one of the funniest and most amusing traditions of the region, and people from the world over attend to watch and participate. February is also the month of Sa Sartiglia, which takes place in the town of Oristano. During this three-day festival, in addition to religious celebrations and merrymaking, men on horseback compete in jousts and other medieval-themed contests for local fame and prizes.
April 28th is officially Sa Die de Sa Sardigna, or Sardinia Day, in Cagliari, as well as the region-wide feast of the Sardinian people. Most festivals in the region celebrate religious or seasonal themes, however this one celebrates the day the locals rose up against their Piedmont rulers, in 1794. One of the biggest days in Sardinia, holidays during this festival season are filled with celebration and pageantry, allowing visitors a truly authentic experience.
August is another great month for visiting Sardinia. Holidays during this month mean the chance to participate in multiple festivals. These include Festa della Madonna degli Angeli in Castelsardo, on the first Sunday of the month, during which musicians and dancers parade through the streets and perform, and the Sagra del Redentore (Feast of Christ the Redeemer) in Nuoro at the end of the month, which features a torch-lit procession to the top of Monte Ortobene, parades and live music. Other festivals in August include the Archers’ Tournament, and Alghero’s Fireworks and Fried Fish Festival.
Italy is a land of master artists and craftsmen, and November is the perfect month for those who want to explore this aspect further. An excellent craft festival takes place in the mountain town of Desulo, straight after the Day of the Dead celebrations. During the fair, visitors can enjoy traditional regional music, view local painting and craft exhibitions, and enjoy a showcase of agricultural products created by locals.
Sightseeing isn’t the only thing to do in Sardinia. Holidays here can be built around specific sports. Here are a few ideas.
With a location South of Corsica in the Mediterranean, plenty of sun, a warm climate, balmy breezes and amazing coastlines guarantee an amazing time for travelers who love the outdoors in Sardinia. Holidays to the Italian island can, of course, be spent just lounging around, but for those who prefer to a little more exertion, it’s a great place to get involved in sports activities – whether specific or an entire range of options.
If you plan on playing golf in Sardinia, holidays built around its championship courses– many of them nestled amidst nature and just a stone’s throw away from relaxing beaches– are very popular among enthusiasts, regardless of their level of expertise. There are a number of world-class golf courses, all of which are a joy to play on, but three in particular on everyone’s list of the best: Is Arenas Golf Club in Oristano; Pevero Golf Club at Porto Cervo in the chic Costa Smeralda region (and said to be the most beautiful in the region); and Is Molas near Cagliari, a championship course that has been host to the Italian Open four times.
There’s something about sunny weather that makes it perfect for tennis– and that’s certainly true on Sardinia. Holidays here can always include a round of tennis, or two or three. Many of the major resorts and hotels have their own courts and you can choose from clay, natural grass or synthetic.
Forte Village has 12 tennis courts where you can work on your form and it caters to those who want to improve their game. It provided tennis clinics with professional trainers, including international champions and trainers to the world’s top players.
The awesome mix of sun, warm weather, coastal roads, and interesting landscapes makes for great triathlon training. For those who want to run, bike and swim, there is flat ground, rocky terrain and warm Mediterranean waters to accommodate. With the beautiful coasts and mountain ranges in Sardinia, holidays are often punctuated with energetic pursuits like swimming, running and cycling, and from Alghero to Cagliari, there is plenty of this to be had.
Watersports and Sailing
Sparkling waters, billowing winds, and clear skies make a great setting for various water sports. The island offers almost anything one could possibly need for fun on the water, including sailboats, jetskis, dinghies, canoes, catamarans, surfboards and more. But it isn’t just on the water that fun can be had – you can also dive in to it, with swimming, snorkelling and diving activities. There’s also plenty of instruction available for those who have never done it before.
There’s no reason to just be a passive sightseer on this stunning island – your getaway can be chock-full of active fun, if you know where to look.