One of our Italy Experts recently returned from a trip around beautiful South Sardinia. Ciao Citalia caught up with him to find out more about the trip…
“South Sardinia opened my eyes to how diverse one small area of an island can be.”
Recently, I was lucky enough to visit South Sardinia. We hired a car and drove the coast of South Sardinia, enjoying vast green landscapes and spectacular coastlines. Having a hire car was fantastic, as we were able to truly experience this part of Sardinia and easily get from one sight to another.
Our journey started with a stay at the Hotel Castello, at the beautiful Forte Village resort. The service at the Forte Village is second to none – excellence is exactly what you get. On arrival, we were greeted by members of staff, who took our keys, parked our car and took us to our room.
What made this hotel so great was its perfect mix of modern and Sardinian decor. The hotel’s beach was a big highlight of my stay. Not only was the sea a stunning turquoise blue, bordered by a long stretch of sand, but being so narrow, with just a few lines of sun beds, it really felt exclusive and peaceful. Don’t forget to try one of the different cocktails of the day at some point during your trip.
The Forte Village is a fantastic resort for families, with so much for all to do, from sport academies and Children’s City, to a mix of swimming pools and a spa. The go-karting is worth a special mention! We were lucky enough to give it a go and had a lot of fun.
In this area, one of the must-visit sights is the Roman ruins at Nora. Just north of Forte Village, approximately 15-20 minutes’ drive, is Nora Archaeological Site, founded in the 8th century BC by the Phoenicians. At Nora you will see the Temple of Tanit, tombs, amphitheatre and Roman baths.
From Forte Village, we moved further south to Chia and the Chia Laguna Resort. The seaside town of Chia is renowned for its beaches – in fact this whole area is known for its beaches, with over 1,000 miles of coastline. Su Giudeu beach is a favourite with many locals and visitors. It is not only a sunbather’s paradise, but one for watersports lovers too! Su Giudeu beach overlooks the beautiful bay of Chia, with dunes reaching up to 20 metres high. The crystal-clear water is a playground for windsurfers, kayaks, pedal boats and much more.
After saying goodbye to the Chia Laguna Resort, we started to head back north. But first, we took a slight de-tour to our very own Romina’s parents’ house. When they invited us over for lunch, I jumped at the opportunity. We travelled west to a little island off of Sardinia, called Sant’Antioco. The only access to this beautiful fishing village was by one bridge – views to both sides were the sea and the mountains. To truly sum up my visit would be traditional and everything I imagined a homely, Italian family to be. Shouting across the kitchen, like a game of tennis, they couldn’t have been more welcoming. It took two hours to get there by car, so definitely worth a visit.
Our drive to the Pullman Timi Ama, our next overnight (and unfortunately last) stop, was similar to that of the scenic Amalfi Coast. The coastal road offers breathtaking views of the beaches and sea. This hotel was stunning, and a bit of a hidden gem in the area. The Pullman Timi Ama is located in Villasimius, one of Sardinia’s most popular holiday resorts. Sit in the square, with a flavour of your choice of gelato from one of the many ice-cream parlours, and watch the world go by.
If you get the opportunity, another highlight of this area is Cagliari’s old town. Cagliari is located on a dramatic hilltop, and a little further north from Nora. All you have to do here is wander the cobbled streets and appreciate the ancient medieval town. A popular attraction here is the Castello. The Castello is the city’s ancient fortification and houses two museums, including the National Archaeological Museum.
So what did we eat….
Italian food has to be up there with my favourite cuisine – and I’m not talking about the pizza and pasta. We enjoyed everything from the freshest seafood, to the most mouthwatering steaks. The Florentine steak I had at the Forte Village will be hard to beat in the future.