“This land resembles no other place. Sardinia is something else. Enchanting spaces and distances to travel-nothing finished, nothing definitive. It is like freedom itself.” D.H. Lawrence 1921
Sardegna is an island quite unlike any other. Mention this Mediterranean island and most people either think of the glitz and glam of the Costa Smerelda, or they think it is so off the beaten track, it is not worthy of exploration. They would be wrong. Sardegna has a whole host of treasures that are just waiting to be discovered, and with a little something for everyone, it is the perfect family holiday destination.
A Brief History
Sardegna is an autonomous region of Italy, located in the Western Mediterranean, just a stone throw from the French island of Corsica. With its capital city of Cagliari located in the South, it boasts a stunning combination of white sandy beaches, rolling countryside, lakes and rivers, mountainous regions, and stunning man-made architecture. Over the years, Sardegna has been host to a range of cultures, including the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Vandals, the Byzantines, the Moors and Berbers, the Spanish, and finally the Italians- all of whom have left their mark on everything from food, to language, to culture.
The city of Cagliari is the perfect place for families to spend a couple of days. With a population of around 150,000 it has the buzz of a city, without being too crowded and hectic. With a long and fascinating history, there is plenty to discover as you explore its winding streets and soak up the atmosphere of this truly unique, Mediterranean city. If you are something of a culture vulture, then you should check out the State Archive which contains handwritten documents that are almost 1000 years old. You can then move on to its fascinating section of museums including the Galleria Comunale d’Arte, the Archaeological Museum, and its beautiful botanical gardens. If you are lucky enough to visit in May, you will find yourself amongst the annual Feast of St Ephysius which sees thousands of folk singers, dancers, and musicians from all over the island, congregate for several days of merriment. Cagliari is also well known for a superb selection of restaurants, its Carnival, and its sporting events that go on throughout the year.
The Rest of the Island
When it comes to exploring the rest of the island, you really are spoilt for choice. You can choose to spend your days relaxing on one of the picture-postcard-perfect beaches, or you can set off hiking, trekking, rock climbing, and cycling a little further inland. The north east of Sardegna is good for wildlife excursions, and you can even take a dolphin-spotting boat trip just off the coast. The north west is great for nature parks and water sports, the south east has a picturesque train ride and lots of historical treats to explore, and the west has, well, a little bit of everything.
The best time to visit Sardegna with the family, and to ensure you get to make the most of all the exciting activities, is between April and June and then in September. The reasons for this is that the temperatures are warm, yet not too hot, the crowds are a little less noticeable and you will find it easier to get your top pic of accommodation.
Where to Stay
One of Sardegna’s top destinations is the Horse Country Resort. Ticking all the boxes for families, and for those looking for some serious R&R, it is a four-star resort and spa, located in the midst of a maritime pine forest, next to the beach, near the Gulf of Oristano. Offering 3 hectares of gardens, its own beach, and the best equestrian centre in Sardegna, it is the perfect place for all members of the family. Guests can enjoy delicious meals on the beachfront restaurant, or they can dance the night way in the Saloon. Days can be spent swimming, riding, or using the recreational facilities, before unwinding in the Poseidonia Spa. The fully equipped spa offers a full range of treatments and massages, all in the most peaceful and luxurious surroundings.
Horse Country has a selection of accommodation options including cosy rooms and suites, or cottages available for larger families. All designed in a traditional Sardinian style and kitted out with all of the amenities you would ever need, they will be your home from home as you explore this incredible destination. Located on the west coast of the island, it is a short distance from Cagliari as well as many other enticing destinations that are just begging to be explored.
A trip to Sardegna is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and one that should be seized with both hands. Treat yourself, and your family to the magic, the history, and the incredible beauty that this Mediterranean gem has to offer.