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Nearer to Africa than to Italy, Sardinia is blessed with a semi topical climate, plus the azure seas and white sands that we would expect form a much further flung destination. The delightful islands of San Pietro and Sant'Antioco are located just off the south west coast and are almost entirely unspoilt - the perfect choice if you are yearning to really get away from it all. For a traditional seaside holiday, consider staying in or around Santa Teresa di Gallura, where you will find everything you need for a relaxing holiday without the brashness of the more popular Costa Smeralda. Heading east, you will come across Arcipelago di la Maddalena and Palau, both of which have a pleasantly relaxed vibe; the archipelago comprises of an attractive national park that offers endless opportunities to island hop and really explore this beautiful part of the world.

Inland, there is some gorgeous scenery - the landscape showcases backdrop of picturesque mountains, and a foreground of verdant citrus groves and pastoral scenes of grazing sheep and cattle. In contrast, some of the larger towns do not come off particularly well. Several are modern and forgettable. However, there are gems - such as the beautiful ancient town of Bosa - where you feel like you are walking through a medieval painting. Another highlight is Alghero, which has an age-old Catalan heritage (many locals still speak the language) and a lovely, shady town centre. For a heady mixture of the cosmopolitan and the ancient - visit Cagliari; for understated elegance and a fabulous atmosphere Oristano is your best bet. It is here in the very centre of the island that Sardinian tradition is at its most apparent - with many older women still head to toe in black. Tourists are a fairly uncommon sight in these parts, but don’t worry, after the initial novelty has worn off, you are assured of a warm and friendly welcome.

Sardina is dotted with more than seven thousand Nuraghi - the mysterious stone buildings that it is presumed were constructed by Stone Age man. Add in some strange temples, deep tombs, enigmatic stone outcrops and the well preserved remains of Bronze Age settlements and the almost unimaginably long history of the island comes into sharp relief.

As far as food and drink goes, you’re in for a treat. Delights include rich pasta dishes and pungent cheeses, plus home produced wines and the local (and insanely strong) distilled liqueur Filu e Ferru. Approach with caution!

It is wise to avoid visiting in the height of summer, as it can become unbearably hot. During winter, most facilities shut down for the season. The ideal times to visit are either during the spring, when the island is smothered in wild flowers or in the early part of autumn when the temperatures still pleasant and the majority of the summer trippers have left.

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