For an island that is recognized as the second largest one in the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia represents the perfect gateway if you want to live the glamorous life of its Northern Coasts or either a relaxing experience in its small villages on the beach. The landscape is incredibly varied indeed. The best way to experience the island is the car, no doubts to allow yourself to get lost in its amazing places, while taking the time to enjoy its landscapes.
Sardinian hinterland is largely a well-kept secret and a wonderful way to travel through the mountains and disclose it is “Il Trenino Verde“, a little train build in the 18 Century, whose meandering tracks seem to be designed to provide current visitors with new exciting adventures out of the typical tourist areas.
Sardinia is surrounded by a ring of small islands. One of those is Asinara, located in the northwest, with a captivating history of troubles and mysteries. With the terrifying nickname of “Devil’s Island”, Asinara was closed to visitors till 1997. Used as an isolation location, it served as a high risk prison for hosting several dangerous convicted.
Today, the island is a nature reserve, and thanks to all those years of isolation, Asinara brought back so many rare animal species as the little albino donkey. Arranged travel is possible from Porto Torres and Stintino.
La Maddalena is the name of another North East located island that also gives its names to the whole archipelago of Sardinia’s northeastern point, with the famous Caprera, Santo Stefano, Spargi and three small islands near Corsica: Razzoli, Budelli and Santa Maria.
The archipelago can be reached by ferry from Palau. While residences and house staying solutions are mostly located in La Maddalena, all those other islands offer an intense wild experience with possibility of camping or leasing boats. Needless to say, the most attractive beach in the archipelago is “La Spiaggia Rosa”, the Pink beach, in Budelli. The pink sand beach is absolutely unique and leaves you breathless. Not only amazing places and compelling landscapes, Sardinia offers some grand historic memories on the sparsely populated island of Caprera, where the national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi lived his last years.
The Gallura area in northern Sardinia is arguably one of the most beautiful places in Europe. Its coast is made up of pink granite and water is crystal clear and turquoise as in The Caribbean. Here, Costa Smeralda (the Emerald Coast) sets the perfect vacation, with its Porto Cervo and Poltu Quatu, for European jet set, American actors and Italian football stars.
With its rocky coves and their labyrinthine inlets, its small ports where the champagne flows and the night life is incredibly intense, Costa Smeralda can be recognized as the Italian equivalent of the French St Tropez, much prettier though.
If you go to Gallura do not miss to visit the beautiful old town of Tempio Pausania with all its historic churches and architecture. If you go to the South instead another side of Sardinia will easily show you the different and multiple aspects of this island. Cagliari the main city of the whole island lies scattered over seven hills by the sea and opens the gate to that part of the island that wants to keep its natural, wild character.
Definitely a must-see!