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Journeys in SlowMotion in Sardinia

  • Slow Motion journeys in Italy
  • Slow Motion journeys in Italy
  • Slow Motion journeys in Italy
  • Slow Motion journeys in Italy
42  holidays found view
See for yourself...
  • lagoons, mountains & emerald coast
  • explore a wonderfully varied Mediterranean jewel
  • rocky mountains, golden dunes & glorious woodland
  • rich history & fascinating archaeology
  • savour authentic local flavours

 

Sardinia boasts a rich and colourful history, having been ruled over by the Carthaginians, Romans and Spanish, among many others. As you explore, and uncover the essence and character of this beautiful island, you will encounter Neolithic burial chambers, Phoenician ruins and watchtowers built by the ancient Nuragic civilisation. And the landscapes are no less diverse and rewarding, ranging from rugged mountains and dense woodland to a coast of intriguing islands, hidden coves, tranquil lagoons and expansive dunes. Notably less gregarious and theatrical than their compatriots on the mainland, the islanders see themselves as Sardinian first and Italian second. They are known for their honesty and loyalty, and are fiercely proud of this ‘land apart’, with its strongly held traditions and distinctive gastronomy.

Read on to discover more of what Sardinia has to offer...

The Sublime Sinis Peninsula

This dramatic peninsula, a protected haven for wildlife, is set between the Cabras Lagoon and the sea, and forms the northern part of the Golfo di Oristano. Explore the vast, saltwater lagoons to where pink flamingos flock; the beautiful coastline with its spectacular cliffs, pristine waters and quartz sandy beaches; and the promontory of Capo San Marco at the southernmost tip, where the ruins of Phoenician Tharros lie.

Peaceful Portixeddu

This tiny settlement stands at the northern end of Golfo del Leone, and offers fabulous views across the bay. Watch waves crash onto the long, wild, sandy beach as you enjoy lunch on the terrace of L’Ancora fish restaurant; explore the extraordinary dune landscapes of the Costa Verde; and stroll from the secluded bay at Cala Doméstica along the coast.

Mysterious Murals & Nuraghi

As you drive through the Sardinian landscape, with towns and villages few and far between, you will occasionally encounter strange and slightly unnerving artwork painted on buildings and rocks. Orgosolo, in the sheep-farming Barbagia region, is particularly renowned for its Cubist-inspired murals – bold graffiti with a dash of social commentary artwork. Even more prevalent are the curious megalithic structures known as nuraghi which are scattered across the countryside. These medieval stone watchtowers are thought to have been built by the island’s first inhabitants, and helped to protect local clans as well as honouring tribal chiefs.

Carloforte & Calasetta

Facing each other from their respective islands of San Pietro and Sant'Antioco are the towns of Carloforte and Calasetta, which share a unique Ligurian and North African heritage. The families of Genoese fishermen who moved to farm coral off the coast of Tunisia became known as Tabarchini, before eventually settling off the coast of Sardinia. The blue fin tuna caught in local waters forms the basis of Pasta alla Carlofortina – a simple yet mouthwatering dish cooked with pesto (again originating from Genoa) and fresh tomatoes.

Los Tenores di Bitti

The hillside village of Bitti sits in traditional sheep-farming country and takes its name from the Sardinian bitta (female deer). Its claim to fame, though, lies in an entirely different direction, thanks to the Tenores de Bitti, whose polyphonic vocal style dates back 5,000 years, and whose interpretation of traditional song has won admirers from across the world (not to mention recognition by UNESCO as a ‘Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’).

Su Gologone

Our ‘upgrade’ option near the historic town of Oliena is not only a splendid place to stay (characterful accommodation is scattered among shaded gardens, terraces and courtyards), it has also been likened to a ‘living museum’. Established in the 1960s by Peppeddu Palimodde and his wife Pasqua as a space to show off local antiquities, their creative tradition has been carried on – and enhanced –by their daughter Giovanna. As well as admiring décor featuring many embroidery pieces and paintings by local artists, you could find yourself painting, drawing or making mosaics in this wonderfully artistic environment.

Pecorino Sardo

Dating back as far as the Bronze Age, Pecorino Sardo – also known as Fiore Sardo – is a rich and nuttily flavoursome sheep’s cheese, traditionally made in mountain huts (pinnette) from the unpasteurised milk of a single Sardinian flock. The hut's central, open fire imparts a characteristic, smoky flavour, and the firm-textured, straw-coloured final product is a fine example of Sardinia’s wholesome and robust cuisine. It is the perfect accompaniment to thick slices of local bread when fresh, or can be grated over malloreddus (diminutive, ridged pasta) once matured.

Islands of the Costa Smeralda

The Costa Smeralda is known for its bling and A-list glitz, but by taking a short ferry ride to the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago, you can find your own Sardinian idyll well away from the crowds. Follow paths beneath shady pine trees to reach secluded coves of white sands; or cross the causeway onto the smaller island of Caprera to visit the house of Garibaldi, an important figure in the reunification of Italy, or to walk between two seas at Due Mari.

Alghero

North-west Sardinia’s main hub, the attractive port city of Alghero, is well worth exploring. Wander among its warren of medieval lanes; take in impressive sea views from the sand-coloured fortress walls that surrounded the historic centre on three sides; and admire Spanish-style palazzi that reflect just one of many outside influences (Catalan is still spoken here – a reminder of past conquests). The Grotta del Nettuno, one of the most spectacular cave complexes in Italy, and the mysterious Valley of the Nuraghi – with its 40 archaeological sites – are also within easy reach.
To delve deeper and linger longer, we suggest:
A Sardinia Discovery
Journey in Italy
Lagoons, mountains & emerald coast
A journey by car through the varied, enticing and dramatic landscapes of Sardinia, a relatively little-known island that is hugely rewarding to discover.
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21 Apr-3 Jul & 28 Aug-31 Oct 2016
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