Our Sardinia Holidays was a trip with our roof top tent. It just felt like a great place to try it out and besides that, we had never been here and heard a lot of great stories about this island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. My wife and I love camping in Italy and Sardinia is just a five hour ferry cruise from the mainland.
We read all about fine sandy Sardinia beaches, rich history, the lost civilization of Nuraghe, natural stone sculptures (I had never seen something like that...) and the proud Sardo people speaking their own Sardo language. And the people of Sardinia have been recognized among the healthiest people in the world. Why?
I suggest that you travel to Sardinia on your own...the abundance of fresh air, crystal blue sea, the scent of the "macchia Mediterranea", lots of home grown food and the old singing and dancing Sardo traditions...how wrong can that be for our health?
Unspoiled nature stretches from the elite beaches of Costa Smeralda and the remote beaches of Costa Verde and Costa del Sud. The southeastern Costa del Rei is one of the most colorful and picturesque places in the Med, while the Natural Park Golfo di Orosei suprises with stunning sea caverns and unspoiled white sandy beaches.
And while you're here, don't forget the splendid mountain range just behind the west coast, the Monti dei Gennargentu with numerous small lakes and the stalagmite rich caves.
Sardinia is quite a large island, the pastures are vast and open, so it's to no surprise that more Sardos are shepherds than fishermen. Actually you can see the black pigs, cattle, goats and sheep all around the open pastures and sometimes even on the road, so you might want to pay attention while driving.
Grilled pork (porceddu), lamb (capretto) and mutton (sheep) with local herbs are Sardinia gourmet specialties. Local pasta such as ravioli filled with fresh Sardinian cheese (ricotta), or goat cheese (pecorino) with a touch of mint leaves, olive oil and garlic hit my top markers.
Top all that with some excellent Sardinian pastry and wash it all up with some of the best wines around and you'll be a happy person.
Local dairy products, wine, honey and many other goods are also sold anywhere on the road or at tourist attractions, so you can get your "first-aid food" directly from the locals.
Oh yes, and where is Sardinia you might ask by now?
Sardinia is the second largest Mediterranean island, an autonomous Italian region and you'll find it just west of the Italian coast and below the island of Corsica.
With a coast line of almost 2000 kilometers and the vast inland this is an ideal island to be discovered and explored by a camper van. Fantastic beaches, lots of secluded places, unspoiled nature and lot's of narrow country roads, all there to be discovered.
Camping in Sardinia is possible all around the coast. We found everything from small family operated camping sites and larger sites or camping villages. That way you can always find a spot for your Sardinia holidays.
The island also has excellent ferry connections from numerous Italian and also a few French ports, airports at Alghero and Cagliari, so getting here is not a problem.
The color of Sardinia beaches varies from golden red, pure white and some pebble beaches in between. These are European finest beaches. They can be very long and stretched along the coast or smaller bays nestled between wonderfully shaped granite rocks. In lower seasons naturists and nudists can easily join pure naturism on one of these those long beaches.
The Sardinian natural stone sculptures and various rock formations are a spectacle of their own. No artist could perform an act of art like mother nature does. Some of the best examples are found on the northeastern coast and at the town of Arbatax on the east coast.
Cape Capo Caccia and the entrance to the Grotta di Nettuno (Neptuns cave). The cliff is 250 meters high and we had to walk on 600 stairs. Hair raising and spectacular, all at once.
Nuraghe...the megalithic, stone build structures come in various sizes from the lost Nuragic civilization. Hardly any trace has been found about this civilization apart from the fact that they were traders.
Sites like that recently spark my mind as I'm more then ever asking myself three fundamental questions; Who are we, where do we come from and what are we doing here? You will have more than enough time to reflect the facts of our life on your Sardinia holidays.
Thanks for the coffee Antonio!
Santissima Trinita di Saccargia, the black and white basilica from the 12.century. Now I'm not into churches or anything like that, but this simple and straightforward black and white color just hit my eyes.
And it looks great on the picture, doesn't it!
Antonio, the owner of the small roadside bar that kindly offered us coffee on the house for no reason. I guess he just liked us. Remember, it's the people and not the sights that make every trip count.
Grazie Antonio, it's people like you that make this world a happier place to be!
Our Sardinia holidays also took us to the desert of this island. To get there from the north, we left the only existing highway close to Oristano and drove down to Montevecchio. From here we took the picturesque gravel road to Ingurtosu. This is a great mining museum out in the open. Abandoned mines and mining buildings from the 19th century everywhere we looked.
The desert of Piscinas is one of the few deserts in Europe. The sandy dunes reach about three kilometers from the beach into the inland and are about a hundred meters high.
The red rock formation in Arbatax and murales in the region of Orgosolo (paintings on houses, walls and rocks) are a work of art. While the rocks are a work of nature, the murales express the constant tensions between the ruling elite and the working class. It was all started by a group of anarchists from Milano in 1969 and it continues even today.
The modern day paintings have "softer" motives and are mainly used to give greater value to the urban community. But whatever the motive it's a must see on your Sardinia holidays.
Parco nazionale Golfo di Orosei e del Gennargentu covers the region of the Gennargentu mountains and the Bay of Orosei on the central east coast of Sardinia.With long and secluded white sandy beaches and the great Sardinian mountain range in the back, this is one of the most active regions in Sardinia.
Horseback and bicycle riding, sea kayaking, discovering the region with a quad rental or just plain old hiking and trekking in the mountains. There's not a dull moment here and the choice is entirely yours. These are merely some of our favorites and you'll get to discover much more on your Sardinia holidays.
Sardinia is a magnificent island, with lot's of open spaces to discover. The inland deserves a lot more attention then it actually gets.
Most of the camping sites are close to the coast and within an easy reach from the main roads. You can find all the information about camping in Sardinia here.
Exploring the island in a camper van or motorhome allows you to sleep on designated parking places or camper stops. Of course you can bend some of these rules discovering the inland.
Italy is to be avoided in the month of August if you have the choice to do so. This is the time of the Italian national holiday, the Ferragosto. The majority of Italians migrate to their favorite holiday destinations and Sardinia is no exception.
There are a lot more calmer, cooler and cheaper months of the year, when you can really enjoy this beautiful island and most important, the warm people of Sardinia.
Did we encounter any problems on our Sardinia holidays?
Well, beside the Sardo truck driver who was desperately trying to get my wives attention on the ferry boat to Sardinia...hmm, well none.