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Benvenuti, Welcome in Gallura
Sardinia fascinates with its wild hinterland, out-of-this-world beaches and captivating eccentricities. Here the thrill of the coasts, the enigmas of prehistoric times and four million sheep dominate the streets.
Sardinia has some of the most fantastic beaches you will find without departing from the European coasts. Yes, the sand is really that white and the sea the bluest blue. Imagine anchoring in the scalloped bays of the Costa Smeralda, where celebrities and top models have fun in emerald waters; playing castaway in the coves of the Gulf of Orosei, where the sheer cliffs guarantee isolation; or sailing towards the Maddalena group of granite islands. Whether you are walking barefoot on the dunes of the wave-battered Costa Verde or relaxing on the silky bays of the south coast, unroll your beach towel and you will never want to leave.
Whether you go slow or fast, whether you choose the coast or the countryside, Sardinia is one of the last great island adventures in Europe. Hike through the lush and silent interior to the dusk of the Nuragic ruins of Tiscali. Walk the dizzying coastal path to the crescent-shaped bay of Cala Luna, where climbers scramble over the limestone cliffs. Or stroll through holm oak woods to the mighty boulder-strewn canyon of Gola Su Gorropu. The fascination of the sea is irresistible for surfers of the north coast, while divers enjoy talking about the shipwrecks off Cagliari, the underwater cave of Nereo and the submerged Roman ruins of Nora.
Island of idiosyncrasies
As DH Lawrence put it so succinctly: “Sardinia is different.” Where else, if not here, in fact, can you go from almost alpine woods to snow-white beaches, or find faunal oddities such as albino eyed donkeys blues of the Asinara Island and the wild horses that shyly wander in the Giara di Gesturi. The island is also a culinary unicum, with distinct interpretations of pasta, bread and sweets, its wines (Vermentino whites, Cannonau reds) and cheeses – including pecorino casu marzu maggoty, hidden in the stables of the mountainous hinterland.
Sardinia has been smoothed like a pebble by the waves of its history and heritage. The island is scattered with 7000 nuraghi, towers and settlements from the Bronze Age, tombs of the giants (tombs of the “tomb of the giants") and domus de janas (tombs of the “houses of the fairies"). Along every country road and in every village of 10 men and 100 sheep, these remnants of prehistory are waiting to be put together as the most enigmatic of puzzles. Sardinia is also an island of fabulously eccentric parties, from the carnival parade of the macabre mamuthones in Barbagia, which are said to chase away the demons of winter, to the S’Ardia horse race in Sedilo.
When to go
August is the time when most Italians take a beach vacation, so expect crowds. However, May / June or September / early October are sublime, especially if you want to find comfort and space. Coastal towns are sleepier out of season, with many restaurants closing early – it's a small price to pay when even modest grocery stores offer fresh meats, cheeses, and baked bread every day for shore picnics.
Get to know Gallura better
We have prepared a series of information and advice for retirees from the United Kingdom, the US and the EU who choose to spend the winter in Gallura in a mild climate and a suggestive environment.
North East Sardinia has an impressive amount to offer travelers … and residents. Romantic villages, timeless hill towns, idyllic islands, vine-covered countryside and an incredibly beautiful coastline. Plus, outside the major tourist centers, homes start at just £ 50,000, or less.
Expats in Sardinia say they love not only the art, the culture, the impressive architecture, the world-famous food, the exuberance of the rugged nature and its sea and the easy access to the rest of Europe, but also the rhythm of slower life and the culture that favors family and friends.
This is the very definition of the dolce vita. It’s all about surrounding yourself with people you love, taking the time to enjoy even the simplest things – a delicate pumpkin flower, a well-made cup of coffee, the feel of sand between your toes – and prioritizing important things in life.