Livin’ La Dolce Vita in Sardinia

Ciao! This is the first blog post I’ve ever written from approximately 39,000ft in the air. I am on a plane on my way back to the UK after a blissful 4 nights and 3 days in North Sardinia. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to jump onto my mac to write all about my press trip – super keen I know. But guess what? You lucky all get to be the first to read all about it (before I write my official big-wig type travel piece that I went on the trip for).

Let me start by painting a picture for you – a very good place to start I think. Sardinia is a beautiful Mediterranean island off the south west coast of Italy. It neighbours the French island of Corsica and has an incredible mountainous landscape on the coast as well as inland. The sea is devastatingly blue, the sunshine is enough to instantly melt your stresses and the food – oh the food – is perfecto. Excited at the prospect of visiting a new country, topping up my tan and a few days of guilt-free carb consumption, I was ready to see, touch, taste and feel all things Sardinia.

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We landed into Olbia airport in the north of the Island and stayed at the stunning 5* La Liccolia Hotel Sardinia, part of the Delphina luxury hotel group. The hotel sprawled across a rugged coastline and overlooked the Archipelago Islands of Sardinia (Full hotel review of La Licciola coming soon). From La Liccolia we were in a perfect location to explore the north of the Island. Here were a few of my highlights…

La Maddelena Island

On day 1 of the trip I took a boat trip to La Maddelena Island, the biggest of the 7 Archipelago islands of Sardinia. The speedboat picked us up from the hotel beach and we zoomed off towards the scattering of Islands ahead. We stopped in bays around Boudelli Island, Caorera Island and Santa Maria Island, where we got a good gawp of Italian actor Roberto Baninni’s villa – very swish. The bays were full of gorgeous white yachts and turquoise blue waters, which took me back to memories of my Greek Sailing trip back in June.

After a few glorious (but slightly jellyfish infested) swimming stops we moored up in the port of La Maddelena. I spent a few hours wondering around the picturesque town and checked out the central white washed church. After the obligatory mooch around the tourist shops, I stopped for a very Italian caffe latte in a picturesque square and watched the world go by. Bellisimo!

Sardinia Islands

The sea was crystal clear !

 

The skipper telling us about the history and geography of the gorgeous Archipelago Islands

The skipper telling us about the history and geography of the gorgeous Archipelago Islands

Coffee

Found time to squeeze in a delicious cafe Latte in a picturesque square in La Maddelena town

A pair of old sea dogs! I spotted these cute pups in La Maddelena port and had to take a quick snap

A pair of old sea dogs! I spotted these cute pups in La Maddelena port and had to take a quick snap

Costa Smeralda

 Costa Smeralda (meaning emerald coast) is the St Tropez of Sardinia. With a marina packed with super yachts, squeaky clean streets and more designer boutiques you can shake a stick at, it’s a millionaires playground. It’s an A-List hotspot and one of Roman Abramovich’s favourite places to moor his mega yacht – that’s how fancy we are talking. I visited Costa Smeralda on day 2 and spent some time checking out the oh-so-chic atmosphere of the place – as well as trying to do some celeb spotting of course (no luck there though).

Hotels and property prices around the Costa Smerelda sky rocket, so I’d recommend staying a little further out and visiting it for a day trip. But be warned, a coffee on one of the marina front bars can set you back about 13 euros – ouch. Funnily enough I managed to curb my afternoon caffeine cravings that day. The whole town felt like a bit of a strange super-rich bubble. I don’t think I’d have liked to spend an entire trip there, but it was amazing to visit all the same.

Costa Smerelda Yachts

A millionaires playground! I loved strolling down to the Costa Smerelda marina to drool over the super yachts!

Missoni

The Costa Smerelda was packed with designer boutiques, including the iconic Italian fashion brand Missoni

Now that's my kinda boat!

Now that’s my kinda boat!

Palau & Santa Theresa

 Coming back down to earth, I visited the quaint coastal towns of Palau and Santa Theresa. These places were much more real than the Costa Smeralda and real authentic Sardinian charm. Mostly Italian holidaymakers and locals hung out harmoniously with one another in the many al fresco watering holes and caught the late afternoon rays.

Santa Theresa was my favourite town and was slightly larger and than Palau. Here I spend a few hours shopping and bought myself a gorgeous traditional Sardinian table mat for 20 euros. Local goods in hand, I stumbled across an incredible view panoramic view point of the Archipelago islands and the Santa Theresa Castle.

Church Santa Theresa

The central church right in the heart of Santa Theresa

Palau Sardina

Palau had an authentic vibe and felt like a piece of real Sardinia. As with many Sardinian towns, the church was located right in the centre.

Palau

I loved the public maps in the towns of North Sardinia – there was one in each place.

The beauty of north Sardinia is that there are so many gorgeous and authentically Sardinian towns all within an easy drive of one another. Each one has a slightly different atmosphere and je ne sais quoi about it. If you’re planning to visit the area, I’d recommend hiring a car so you have complete control about where you’re going and when you’re going there.

As a Travelista, I’m all about seeing new places before I return to the ones I’ve already been to. But there was something about Sardinia that drew me in, and I know I will return there again. I left feeling relaxed, sun kissed and like I had really got my teeth into the real Sardinia.

A celebratory class of champagne on the last night - totally in love with Sardinia!

A celebratory class of champagne on the last night – totally in love with Sardinia!

Have you been to Sardinia or are you planning to go there soon? If you enjoyed reading this post, please leave me a comment in the box below. I’d love to hear from you! x

Check out more of my Sardinia travel snaps on The Travelista Instagram – and be sure to follow me!

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3 Comments

  1. Terri Lee
    23rd October 2013 / 4:22 pm

    Yes, the interior of the island is gorgeous and completely different than the coast. I was there twice many years ago for business/pleasure and visited Tempio Pasaunia and the cork forests. The mountains are gorgeous, the people wonderful and fantastic food! But I would love to go back and see the rest of the island. I really missed my chance at purchasing one of the huge cork slab bowls and other local handcrafted goods. I cannot find one in the states. Would like to visit Cagliari. We are coming to Italy in June and bringing our twin boys (aged 12). Trying to decide if we should stay for awhile in Ponza or Sardegna. Want an “authentic” island experience. Went to Marettimo in the Isla Egadi two summers ago and they were completely enchanted, but I really want to experience something else.

    Can’t get enough of la dolce vita,

    Terri in Cali

  2. 6th September 2013 / 1:49 pm

    Next time your here Ill take you into the mountains mushroom hunting – then you can say you’ve tasted the real Sardinia.

    • 6th September 2013 / 7:52 pm

      Hi Jennifer! Thanks for your comment. Wow that sounds pretty cool, why haven’t I heard of this before! Is that a tradition in Sardinia? I have no doubt I will be returning to the Island soon so will be sure to find out more 🙂

      Jess, The Travelista x