If you’re looking for travel inspiration for your next summer holiday, look no further than the middle of the Mediterranean where beautiful and charming Sardinia lies. Last month I enjoyed a fantastic 10 day break in south-west Sardinia with my fiancé. I can honestly say its one of the best places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting in Europe. We stayed at Residence Baia Delle Palme in Santa Margherita di Pula, a sub-division of the nearest town Pula which is about 5 km away and a 20 minute drive to the gorgeous sandy beaches of Chia. Its full of wonderful scenery, lovely people, delicious food, spectacular beaches and outstanding weather, what more can you ask for?
Pula is a municipality approximately 25 km south-west of the islands capital, Cagliari. It’s a popular holiday destination for Italians and fellow cosmopolitan Europeans, with a selection of fine hotels, shops, restaurants, cafe bars and gelatarias on offer. It’s a colourful, charming, pretty town with a laid-back feel. Most of the action is centered on and around the Piazza del Popollo, where we went almost every night to have dinner in one of the local restaurants. The Nora jazz festival had a couple of events on during our stay and it was great to see the town really come alive.
Baia delle Palme is a stylish and laid-back retreat surrounded by exotic palm trees and lush, vibrant gardens. There are a mix of studios and one/ two bedroom apartments available to let. We stayed in a studio which was perfect for the two of us. We found the accommodation really attractive, clean and comfortable. The swimming pool and surrounding outside area is marvelous. The employees of the residence were also fantastic, with a really accommodating, friendly and helpful attitude.
If you’re accustomed to hotels with extraordinary five-star facilities, this is probably not the best place for you. There are lots of good hotels nearby which offer complete luxury. Unlike a hotel, it’s really low-key and offers a tranquil base to explore the area. We were looking for maximum relaxation so this was ideal for us and its close enough to Pula to enjoy some culture and nightlife.
The beaches in the Chia region are simply breath-taking. The colours of the Mediterranean here could easily be mistaken for the Caribbean and the sand is almost white. The coastline is rather rugged and the beaches are largely unspoiled, with few beach facilities on offer. Heaven on earth for me! I really dislike bustling beaches filled with sunbeds and a million other Brits abroad. It felt like paradise. All of the beaches in Chia were magnificent but I particularly liked Spaiggia Campana and Su Giudeu, which were amazingly beautiful.
We played a game of pitch and putt at Chia Golf club which was really good fun and had stunning views to enjoy while we played.
We took a day-trip to Cagliari which I also highly recommend. It’s a beautiful city, filled with interesting architecture. We took an open-top bus tour in order to get a full picture of the city. I’m glad we did as we managed to see all of the cities hot-spots. Shopping in Cagliairi is great with many shops and boutiques on every corner.
Traveler tips if you’re heading to Sardinia:
- I recommend hiring a car if you choose to stay in this region as public transport links are minimal and infrequent. There’s so much to explore and see so having a car made it really easy to get around. Don’t worry about driving in Sardinia; the roads are safe, well maintained and clearly signposted.
- Take plenty of mosquito repellent and citronella candles! I was munched alive by the wee beasts as was my fiance.
- Take a packed lunch to the beach. There are few facilities.
- Plenty of sunscreen!
- Some stylish clothes, its Italy after all 🙂
- Learn some Italian!
- Ryanair offer really low fares to Cagliari from the UK. So keep an eye on their fares to grab a bargain.
- Booking.com and Tripadvisor make it really easy to search for accommodation without having to book a ‘package’ and also offer impartial travel review from other travelers. We got a great deal on our accommodation and we were really impressed with the standard.
Its not often I feel I want to return to a destination once I have been there on holiday. But Sardinia makes me want to return for more. In fact, I think I’d love to live there some day 🙂