Looking for something a bit different this year?
Why not try Sardinia?
As the British Big Chill sets in even further, many are finding comfort in thoughts of this year’s summer holiday. Instead of jetting off to Spain or Portugal this year, why not try the Med’s somewhat forgotten island, Sardinia, and sample a culture which is more independent and unique than you may have first thought.
If you didn’t know that Sardinia is in the Mediterranean Sea, you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s a Caribbean paradise. With luscious, tropical vegetation, abundant all over the island, one of the hottest climates in Europe and clean, almost translucent, turquoise waters, Sardinia is a European treasure with a pleasing Caribbean veneer. If you love wild, beautiful nature, sunbathing all day on sweeping beaches and playing with the fishes whilst you dive to discover old Roman ship wrecks, then you really ought to consider a summer schlep to Sardinia.
As close to North Africa and the French island of Corsica as it is to Italy, Sardinia is anything but “typically Italian”. Despite the island’s strong African influences, the Sardinian culture is not diluted, rather it is enriched in a way that sets it apart from the mainland and affords it a culture that is as absorbing as it is vivid. Fiercely independent, Sardis cling tightly to their unique Sardo language and press to be recognised as a distinct ethnic group, separate from il Continente– the Italian mainland. Holiday in Sardinia this year and enjoy picturesque Romanesque churches, beautiful tile mosaics, awe-inspiring medieval castles and moreish fine wines, all typifying traditional Italian culture. However, alongside these traditional Italian hallmarks waits an undiscovered and unscripted liberated spirit, unidentifiable in any other Mediterranean island.
It would be fair to suggest that Sardinia’s geographical isolation- it is moored out in the Mediterranean Sea, 178km from the nearest mainland- has cultivated a unique cuisine which is distinctly “Sardinian”. Holiday in Sardinia this summer and whet your appetite with Sardinian fayre such as “Music sheet” bread, saffron hinted dumplings, dogfish marinated in walnut vinaigrette, suckling pig wrapped in aromatic leaves and, of course, indigenous to the island, pecorino cheese and myrtle liqueur. Then, if you are perhaps brave enough, you could always try Casu Marzu, a very strong-smelling cheese that is so ripe it is literally crawling with live maggots! The maggots are meant to be eaten along with the cheese, and, as legend has it, have aphrodisiac qualities. It is one Sardinian delicacy which is as unique as it is an acquired taste!
Before Sardinia was officially “Italian”, it was under Spanish rule (until 1720), hence the tangible, and unique, Catalonian feel, felt throughout the island. This feeling is no more identifiable than in ancient inshore towns such as Alghero, where the architecture is unmistakably Spanish and street signs are in both Italian and Catalan. These factors belie Sardinia’s centuries of Aragon rule and are merely hint at the captivating Sardinian heritage just waiting to be discovered.
Nestled in the northern part of Sardinia’s 2000km of shimmering shoreline, the Costa Smeralda, is home to some of the world’s finest beaches and is nothing if it isn’t heavy going on the purse strings! That said, holidaying in this exclusive and unique part of the island during peak times does offer the promise of a A-list spot or two, as year-on-year it attracts some of the world’s richest and most famous sun-seekers. So if you have a love of super yachts and your budget is more Prada than Primark, don your Chanel sunglasses and get ready for some serious air-kissing action in one of the world’s most expensive resorts.
Caters for Everyone
If you can’t quite stretch to Costa Smeralda prices, fear not you can still getaway to Sardinia this summer and sample what this glorious island has to offer. The Mark Warner Perdepera Beach Resort, on the eastern coast of the island, is perfect for those wishing to take a fun-filled family holiday to Sardinia.
Fly with British Airways from Heathrow’s terminal 5 to Cagliari Airport and take a short drive to this laid-back, full board Mediterranean resort where you can enjoy traditional Italian food accompanied with regional house wines every night, both included in your holiday price. Also, as part of your package, you can enjoy the watersports centre, sign-up for tennis tuition, spend time mountain biking, opt-in for daily aerobics and fitness workouts and even take sailing classes!
There are lots of money-saving offers for early birds, free child places, 10% discounts and group booking discounts which all work towards you achieving your Sardinian holiday dream. High quality childcare from four months and up is also available as part of your Mark Warner holiday experience, so mum and dad can cut-loose for an evening and have some well-deserved fun!
For more information on the Mark Warner Sardinian holiday experience, please visit: http://www.markwarner.co.uk/
About The Author: Mark Warner Whether you’re active on holiday or unashamedly laid back, Mark Warner have a holiday to match. Their superb chalet hotels in top snow ski resorts are handpicked for their location and charm, and with superb childcare facilities they are also perfect for anyone looking for a family ski holiday. If you are looking for a holiday in the sun, their fabulous beach resorts are in gorgeous locations and chosen for their fantastic watersports and tennis facilities. For over 30 years they have led the way in family holidays, providing excellent childcare with kids clubs for all ages with a free evening crèche service.