Sardinia is renowned for its ability to delight all of the senses. As the second largest island of Italy; this wonderful gem is unique for it's handcrafted way of life, and flourishing from its local and traditional ways of living that have been attentively maintained and nurtured throughout all of the cultural and political changes that Italy has endured. Self-proclaimed to be similar natured to the people of Catalonia, the traditional spirit of the people of this island shines through in all they do. This remarkably beautiful piece of our planet has an abundance of artisans, crafts, foods and natural materials; all of which are adored and used with care and respect from the locals. From The Tomb of Giants to the development of Costa Smeralda - Sardinia’s treasures and the new discoveries of the Islands mysterious past are not to be missed for the curious soul.
Emerald Coast on the North East Coast of the island has arguably some of the most beautiful and dreamy beaches on the whole planet. Around 20km; this special stretch of land was chosen, developed and remarkably transformed by Aga Khan in the 1960's; the area is renowned for being a glitz, glam and luxury tourist attraction for celebrities, business-minds and people alike. It's hard to believe that once upon a time, the coastal shores of the area were inhabited by some of the poorest people of the land.
Perhaps one of the most beloved experiences to be sought out on the magical Emerald Coast, is a day out to witness the wild Dolphins (especially at sunset) and a boat trip, or several, to the utterly stunning Marine Protected Area of Tavolara and Molara Islands and their exquisite natural pools. You will definitely not be dissapointed.
Feeling like engaging in a day of mindblowing artifacts and ancient mystery? The Archeological Park of Arzachena is the Islands most fascinating day out for uncovering the ancient past of Sardinia’s Nuraghe, here you will meet 8,000 ancient megalithic buildings found nowhere else in the world. Then follow the steps of the ancients at Tomb of the Giants and let your breath be taken away by the curiousness of this unique place.
WINE MAKING (WITH THE GODS)
For anyone who enjoys a glass of wine, or two, you may be in for a treat. ‘Siddura’ wineyard is truly a gift from nature. Nestled in the medieval, picturesque little village of Luogosanto in the Provence of Sassari. Luogosanto, by no surprise, translates as ‘holy place’, and you can be sure to taste the holiest and finest quality wines here which are all “grown with love for the Earth”. Siddura pride themselves as working with the natural rhythms and following the cycles of Nature, acknowledging and appreciating how the seasons and climate inevitably affect the taste of each bottle. Every taste is unique, every fragrant scent inhaled from the Mediterranean climate of this divine place is indeed a gift from the gods.
CORK ART IN LURAS
In Luras, (about 16 miles west of Olbia) there is a house belonging to a particular artist, Tonino Forteleoni. He passed away in 1996, however, his legacy and work are most definitely still alive and inspiring many tourists who travel far and wide to visit his collection. Forteleoni’s work is also quite the attraction for the current sustainability and artistic movement, as he found a way to express his creativity in a way that was in harmony with natural materials. The man had a deep love for cork and was incredibly talented at carving and engraving it to make marvelous sculptures and collages. He also created numerous pieces of furniture as well as artwork and in the house you will see the remainders and reminders of a man who dedicated his life to his craft.
PLACES TO STAY
Hotel Gabianno Azzuro in Golfo Aranci is a family run hotel owned by the Da Tome Family for fifty fruitful years. This traditional and uniquely handcrafted hotel offers some of the finest and authentic, down-to-earth Sardinian experiences.
All of the delicious cuisine you can be blessed to be nourished by here is all crafted and locally grown on the land and from nearby locals. The abundance of food ranges from traditional dishes of black rice, fiduoa and handmade pasta. The food is specially designed and cooked by the talented chef, Daniele Sechi, and his passionate team who are successfully merging artisan cooking with traditional Sardinian recipes. You can wake up each morning and enjoy breakfast with a sea view on the terrace, and you can peacefully rest each evening after enjoying a dinner at Blu Restaurant: a gourmet tasting of the fishing traditions of the Golfo Aranci fishermen. Perhaps what makes Gabianno Azzuro (The Blue Seagull) so special and unforgettable is the presence of the Da Tome family who are impeccably attentive and kind. Not only will you find Sardinia’s famous Mirto Liqueur, but you can witness an abundance of this medicinal plant, commonly known as ‘Murto’ by the locals. Mirto is a multi-beneficial, anti-everything and high in everything good for you, basically. It is a largely Mediterranean plant traditionally used in Sardinian folk medicine and you can find it in the bathrooms as hand wash and in your food as a healthy and tasty oil. This is absolutely a once in a lifetime opportunity to discover Sardinian culture and the close kinship of family values that this particular hotel offers.
Hotel Villa Del Golfo in Cannigione is a luxury hotel in deep communion with Nature, the hotel is a perfect choice for an eco-luxury style break. Using traditional, natural and sustainable materials throughout the hotel, boutique and Armonia Spa. The architecture of the hotel intertwines with the hills that it is embedded in; If there were a hotel designed by nature itsself, this would certainly be it. The hotel is passionate about keeping the islands tradition of impeccable and yet authentic hospitality and they absolutely are succeeding at this, and extremely humbly too! The hotel has a beautiful boutique shop ran by local artist, Caterina Cossu, who has an incredible eye for design and an equally neat hand for craft and traditional art. Here you will find minimalist clay, clothing, jewellrey and much much more to remember your unforgettable trip. The hotel boasts powerful views overlooking the Gulf of Arzachena.
Flying into Olbia-Costa Smeralda Airport, you can plan a journey up to Costa Smeralda by going through the mountains where you will find less known attractions and many a herd, locally produced wine and the finest Sardinian artisan cheese.