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Sardinia is a large and hypnotically beautiful island located in the warm Mediterranean Sea. It boasts almost two thousand kilometres of coastline that encompasses some numerous beaches. Inland, the terrain is mountainous and rugged - perfect for hiking. The verdant landscape is peppered with many thousands of eerie beehive-shaped sculptures known as ‘nuraghi’ that date from the Bronze Age. Cagliari, the capital of the south of the island, has a wonderful medieval sector that is very atmospheric and includes some fantastic examples of 13th- and 14th-century architecture.

If you have never visited the island before, you may be expecting a traditional Italian holiday experience. However, there are many differences - including one of language. On Sardinia, the main language is the Sardo dialect, although it is certainly true that you will hear a lot of Italian too.

The island has developed over the centuries largely as a result of the influences of the people that visited it as a convenient place to stop when crossing the Mediterranean Sea. It is the product of a true melting pot of different nationalities and cultures - most notably the Byzantines, Vandals and Phoenicians. The most obvious influences, though, are Spanish - unsurprisingly, since the Spanish colonised Alghero and lived there for several hundred years. Here you will notice that the Catalan street signs and the delightful cathedral is of a classic Catalan design.

Sardinia is famous worldwide for its stunning beaches. On the north coast alone there are more than eighty bays - the most renowned of which is probably Isola Rossa, a charmingly pretty traditional fishing village. The waters are as clear as crystal in this part of the world, making them absolutely ideal for snorkellers.

Possibly the most Italian thing about Sardinia is its cuisine. The passion that the islanders harbour for food and wine is legendary, and there are a whole myriad of succulent authentic dishes to try, ranging from wild boar to suckling pig.

Summer begins early and continues late on Sardinia. Between the months of April and October, the temperature rises from a modest 15˚C right up to 30˚C at the height of summer. Inland it is slightly cooler, but only a touch. The north side of the island is prone to strong winds which can catch tourists off guard but are ideal for those wishing to windsurf. The driest months fall between June and September, when there is barely any rain at all.

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