Sardinia is an island steeped in history, with stunning coastal drives, complete with the prerequisite Sardinian sheep wandering along the roads. Sardinia will enchant you with its wild windswept landscapes, ravishing beaches, delectable restaurants and bars that are full of character. Then there is the glamour of Costa Smerelda, where Berlusconi holds his orgies in palatial villas. This tiny stretch of coast is home to world-class beaches and elite shops that are any fashionista’s heaven. Popular with A-listers like Tom Cruise and Elizabeth Hurley, you can’t go wrong renting a beachside villa here, in the lap of luxury. Whether you come to Sardinia for the glitz of Costa Smerelda or to find your own secluded strip of beach without the superstar status, the beauty of this rare gem in the Mediterranean Sea will captivate you.

The startlingly beautiful, sun-kissed beaches of Sardinia will take your breath away.  

If you can pull yourself away from the magical beauty of the island’s rugged interior, then history awaits. Visit the bizarre and surreal remains of the Tiscali nuraghic culture amongst the Roman and Carthaginian ruins. There are also Spanish Baroque and Pisan churches for history lovers to explore. Discover stunning coastal trails with breath taking panoramic views, like the scalloped bay of Cala Luna, and see rock climbs scale the limestone cliffs. Swim in hidden coves and kayak the coastline. This is a wholly unique place in Italy, with its own fiercely protected traditions, culture, language and cuisine. Sardinians are in love with their island, and so will you be as you explore the picturesque towns of Sassari, Cagliari and Alghero. Or travel off the beaten path to visit secluded villages like Cala Gonone or Castelsardo. Or take a boat to visit the tiny isle of Sant’Antioco off the southwestern coast. The most adventurous can explore inland to the mountains of Barbagia, to experience real Sard culture.

The perfect swimming waters off Sardinia's coast beckon. 

But many choose to stick to the beaches, and with good reason. Sardinia has some of the most magical beaches in all of Europe. With dreamy white sands and deep blue waters. Stroll along the dunes of Costa Verde or settle down to sunbathe on Costa del Sud’s soft sands. Charter a yacht and drop anchor in Costa Smerelda’s concave bay to party with celebrities, supermodels and even politicians on the azure sea. Or charter a sailing boat and sail to the La Maddalena islands. Escape the crowds by visiting the Golfo di Orosei’s coves, which are cornered off by dramatic cliffs. On the north coast, the sea draws out windsurfers, and scuba divers will be mesmerised by the shipwrecks off Cagliari’s coast, Nora’s underwater Roman ruins and the Nereo Cave.

The epically beautiful town of Castelsardo. 

D.H. Lawrence once said “Sardinia is different,” and he was probably thinking about the surreal transition from the almost alpine forests to the pristine white beaches, and the blue eyed albino donkeys. Visit the Parco Nazionale dell’ Asinara to see these strange creatures. You can only reach the island by boat from Porto Torres or Stintino, but it is worth the effort to see the albino donkeys and the other inhabitants of this national park.

The green coastline of meets azure waters in the town of Pula, Sardinia. 

One of Sardinia’s main attractions is Alghero, with its well-preserved historic center. Take a stroll around the medieval city with its churches and the long narrow streets full of shops to the luxurious marina, where you can take an excursion on a boat. Make sure that you also walk the bastioni, or old town walls, with fabulous views of the ocean and the cliffs of Capo Caccia. Capo Caccia is home to the famous Grotta di Nettuno, a spectacular series of marine caves, which are beautifully illuminated for tourists. Reach Capo Caccia by getting a boat from the port of Alghero, and see the seductive bay of Porto Conte on the way. Back in Alghero there is the largest amount of bars and restaurants in all of Sardinia, making it a great place to rent a luxury villa. You can treat yourself to seafood, fresh off the boat, daily. For the finest of fine dining go to Al Tuguri, a Sardinian restaurant in an old mission with sprawling rooms on three floors. The dishes served here make good use of the local herbs of the hinterland, which gives you a real taste of Sardinia. The tasting menus available explore the island’s food. For a less formal place for a breakfast espresso or lunch, go to Caffe Latino. The vaulted roof in the interior makes a dramatic setting, but it is the tables outside on the city walls that are the real treat. Sit presiding over the town, and see the twinkling marina and stunning panorama.

Alghero, one of Sardinia's many historic coastal towns, at dusk. 

Another Sardinian town that is not to be missed is Cagliari. With its range of exciting neighbourhoods, each with their own individual charm, Cagliari is just waiting to be discovered. Rent a villa here to take your time exploring the bars and restaurants in the marina, Stampace for its beautiful churches, Via Manno for charming shops and Castello for its medieval drama and complex of fascinating museums. Make sure that you try some Sardinian specialities during your stay. Visit Dal Corsaro in Cagliari for traditional recipes prepared in a contemporary way, served in a formal setting. Toast your fabulous vacation with a late night cocktail at Caffe Libarium Nostrum, which has a terrace with panoramic views of the city and sea.

Sardinia's dramatic coastline will seduce you, from the land or the sea. 

Every time you visit Sardinia it reveals something new. This seemingly small island is packed full of diverse villages and towns, historical sites and old buildings, seductive beaches and a awe inspiring coastline, natural wonders and a rugged interior to explore.