Trip Report - Sardinia - April 2018
Wow, wow, and wow! I honestly don’t know where to begin with this trip report. My family I had four days on the wonderful Italian island of Sardinia and I can honestly say it is in my top 3 locations worldwide. I have never been to a place with such a diverse landscape packed into such a small and accessible area. My best way to describe Sardinia (at least North Eastern Sardinia) is that it is amazing, without ever trying to be. Everything here feels raw and unplanned and yet it fits together so beautifully, so easily.
So what makes Northern Sardinia amazing? Well, think about being able to move easily from high, rugged mountain ranges to sheer coastal cliffs, with bright turquoise ocean beaches, all in the space of an hour or so. It truly feels like you enter a natural wilderness. We took this trip in April, for the kids half term and expected it to be packed but it wasn’t. Flying into Olbia, we picked up the rental car and started to head South to our Airbnb in Baunei, which is about a 2 hour drive. We picked Sardinia on a whim and had very little idea of what we were going to experience. The journey started off so well, needing to eat but struggling to find a place, we happened upon Santa Lucia on the eastern coast and had one of our best meals ever at Sa Conte. The staff were so friendly and the food was just amazing, so good in fact we even thought about changing our plans!
But driving even just to Santa Lucia, we were blown away by the terrain, and paused briefly to check out the sand dunes of Capo Comino.
The drive from Santa Lucia to Baunei however was at another level. We quickly climbed a mountain pass and felt like we were truly transported to another place. The high mountain passes were extremely quiet and it was impossible to not keep stopping to jump out and grab a few pictures. The ruggedness and rawness of the mountains were truly special and we really didn’t encounter that many people for the entire trip.
Arriving in Baunei, a mountain town popular with hikers and outdoor types, we settled in to a lovely sunset and more good food, before getting ourselves ready for the next day.
But our adventure was only just getting started. We drove, back through the mountains, to Cala Gonone and despite the gray skies, we had a great time exploring the coastline. We also figured out a plan to explore the coastline further south by chartering a boat from Cala Gonone
Returning the next day, we chartered a boat to explore the coastline, the vast majority of which, in this area at least, is not accessible by car and involves a serious amount of hiking to explore otherwise. Our guide told us about a week long hike you can do in the area around Cala Goloritzé, definitely something to come back in a few years and try. The coastline is incredible, with huge steep cliffs, stocked full of trees which grow in the harshest of environments.
We had some good fun exploring all over the area, coming across a few very friendly locals :)
Lastly, another feature of the mountain pass was the covered roads, to protect from rockfall from the steep cliffs above. I haven’t seen these anywhere else and with the setting sun casting long shadows, create a fantastic image. I have probably 30 of these images, all slightly different but figured I’d post the few! It would be a great location for a fashion, yoga or film shoot and I didn’t have to risk too much lying or standing in the road as it was so quiet out there, which may not be the case in summer.
I hope these images give you a sense of the island, I can't wait until I get to go back!