35ºC / 96ºF
Coveted through millennia by a host of different civilizations, the original settlers on the island, were known as the Nuraghes. Surviving over 3,000 years of Mediterranean winds and the slow erosion of time, remains from this early civilisation still exist here in the form of stone towers. These can be visited either on your own or through guided tours that will take you further into the history of the region. The Phoenicians arrived on Sardinia a few centuries later and founded the main port of Caralis, which today is known as Cagliari, the capital of the island. Start your exploration of this energetic city from the harbour front, before making your way up to the Piazza Yenne. From here the narrow streets dart in all directions, revealing something interesting and charming around every corner. Visit the ancient Roman amphitheatre, the Tuvixeddu Necropolis and the Museo Archaeologico Nazionale, or make your way up the winding streets to the citadel towering over the cityscape. Stop at the Bastione di Saint Remy for an astonishing view across the buildings and the sea. Take in the sights of the Old Town Hall, the Cagliari Cathedral and the Royal Palace, before sitting down for a well-deserved lunch at one of the many restaurants that populate the city.
If you feel like escaping the urban tempo of the capital for the marvellous landscapes and tranquillity of the Sardinian countryside, then you’re never far from stunning sights. At the nearby village of Nora, you can explore ancient Phoenician ruins, lounge at the adjacent golden beach or go for a refreshing swim in the sea. The island is outlined by almost 2,000 kilometres of coastline with lots of stunning beaches, such as Cala Mariolu in the east, Spiaggia di Piscina on the western coast. If you want to escape the baking mid-day sun for a little while, head underground to explore the truly astounding cave formations of Grotta di Nettuno and Grotta di Ispinigoli. As you emerge again from these colourful caverns, it’s time to find some great Sardinian food. Retire to a restaurant in one of the cosy towns or villages by the sea, where you can tuck into local pasta dishes like fregola and Lorighittas while sipping a glass of sweet island wine.
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