Costa Smeralda, Sardinia


I recently had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful island of Sardinia.  It was a short trip but packed with sightseeing and activities. Costa Smeralda ‘The Emerald Coast’, a name inspired by the azure colour of the sea, nestles in the north east corner of the island. It was designed and developed by the Aga Khan in the 1960’s, to preserve and protect this beautiful region.

I stayed in a fantastic hotel near to the town of Cannigione, Northern Sardinia.  The Relais Villa del Golfo is set out like a typical Sardinian village with amazing gardens.  They have a great selection of rooms starting with deluxe rooms through to suites with a private pool to their own private 3-bedroom villa.

Within the hotel they have a Mediterranean restaurant, Miraluna, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served.  They also have their own Farmhouse restaurant nearby, La Colti serving typical Sardinian and Gallura cuisine, all fresh from the farmhouse garden.  I was lucky enough to dine here one night and as the weather was good we were able to sit outside in the enclosed courtyard.  You definitely won’t go home hungry after several courses of beautiful fresh meats, cheeses and vegetables and ending with the star attraction of succulent suckling pig!

The hotel has its own pool, spa and sunbathing deck, with the beach only 200m away.

The hotel can organise lots of activities to keep you busy should you wish, wine tasting, cooking lessons, local tours, horse riding and sailing etc.

One of the hotel’s own sailing yachts, Bonaria, is also available to guests (paid) for exciting excursions in Costa Smeralda and its waters, as well as to dine on in the summer evenings.

As well as sailing trips there are plenty of interesting places to visit…

Arzachena – Visit the prehistoric remains including the Albucciu Nuraghe, the Tomba dei Giganti Coddu Vecchiu and the Li Muri Necropolis, scattered around the town.

Inland Gallura – Explore by car or on foot the dramatic mountains of the interior, the rugged countryside and the small character towns and villages. Alternatively, leave your car in Palau and take the steam train to Tempio Pausania, a spectacular journey across the Galluran countryside.

Agriturismo – Sample traditional Sardinian cuisine in a farm restaurant. Amongst others, we recommend the Agriturismi Tenuta Pilastru, la Sasima or la Somara, all located near Arzachena and San Pantaleo.

La Maddalena islands – Spend a day cruising around and swimming from these stunning islands – a favourite with those seeking tranquillity, natural beauty and unspoilt surroundings.

Corsica – Take the ferry from Santa Teresa Gallura across to the neighbouring island of Corsica and visit the fortress town of Bonifacio.

There are flights direct from Manchester to Olbia twice a week during the summer season.

For more information on Sardinia please feel free to call and speak to me.