During our three-week drive around the island of Sardinia we saw so many beautiful sights and did so many wonderful things, that it is quite a challenge to single out just five of them. Anyway, here is the list:
5. Charming towns and cities
There are countless charming little towns in Sardinia worth visiting. Some of them are full of museums and tourist attractions, some host interesting music and folk festivals, others are just picture-postcard beautiful.
We liked many of them, but Alghero (you can find the best selection of coral jewellery in narrow city streets enclosed within its imposing city walls), Bosa (heavily influenced by the Spanish, today a colourful ancient city, overlooked by an imposing castle) and Cagliari (busy and always alive like every capital city) were the ones we liked best.
4. Local food and wine
Everywhere in Italy food and wine is a special treat not to be missed. Sardinia is no different. There are many local pasta dishes (e.g. ravioli-like culingiones), meats (e.g. salsiccia - local pork sausage), excellent cheeses (e.g. pecorino - sheep cheese and caprino - goat cheese), various kinds of flat bread (Pane Guttiau and Pane Carasau), fresh seafood of all kinds, local wines like Cannonau and Vermentino, delicious ice cream (almost everywhere we went it was very good, but at Gelateria Peter Pan on Piazza Vitorio Emanuelle in Nuoro it was the best) and even Ichnusa - the local brand of beer (which, compared to everything above, is really not all that special).
3. Neptune's Grotto
The mythological cave dwelling of the sea God Neptune (Grotta di Nettuno) is an impressive cave full of stalactites and stalagmites partly filled with sea water. It is accessible only by boat (excursions run from nearby towns) or by 654-step Escala del cabirol (Goat's steps) from a car park at the top of the cliff.
This can be an expensive thing (especially if one chooses to get there by boat). We took the steps and did not regret it - we enjoyed spectacular views and spent "just" the 12 Euros per person at the entrance. An excellent guided tour (in flawless English) added greatly to the experience and we are happy to recommend it.
The nuraghe is an example of ancient megalithic architecture. Most of the stony structures were built during the Bronze Age (that is more then 3.500 years ago!) and they still stand tall and proud. Some of them are as high as 20 meters. Today nuraghe is the symbol of Sardinia and a visitor can hardly avoid visiting at least one of the 8.000 still standing today.
We visited Nuraghe Losa and were moved by the size of the structure. It really makes you wonder how they moved all those stones into place back then - some of them must weigh several tons.
1. Beautiful beaches
If you like picture postcard beaches, Sardinia is definitely a place to visit. There are literally countless beaches of all kinds around the edges of the island. Most of them are sandy, but also weirdos like us who don't like all that fine sand getting everywhere, have plenty of choice.
Some of the more memorable ones we have visited are: the Is Aruttas beach with its special sand (it is even forbidden to take it away), the picture-postcard beach of La Pelosa with its white sand and turquoise waters (but way too crowded for our taste) and the rocky peninsula of Capo Testa with its surreal stone formations.
I guess some of you might disagree with my Top 5 list, but this is just my opinion based on things we managed to see and do in those way too short three weeks of our trip.
I also plan to write about some other places we visited and things we did in the next few posts. If they didn't make it to this list, it doesn't mean you won't like them. Especially if you are putting together an itinerary for your adventure in Sardinia, I suggest you also check out my other posts under the tag "Sardinia".