Written by Rebecca Misner May 13, 2015
WHERE WE STAYED...
Last September, after a whirlwind summer of planning, executing, and showing her spring 2015 collection, fashion designer Nili Lotan, who splits her time between New York and Tel Aviv, and her husband, Israeli singer-songwriter David Broza, needed a break. "Friends are always pushing me to go to a gated resort, but that’s just not me," Lotan says. "I want an authentic experience when I travel. I want an adventure." When a colleague recommended the Relais Villa del Golfo & Spa, on the northeastern coast of Sardinia, and told her that the ruggedly beautiful island would be blissfully empty that late in the season—but the weather and the water would still be warm—Lotan was sold. She booked the hotel but made no other plans. And that turned out to be exactly the right decision for her four-day trip. "We’d wake up in the morning, grab our swimsuits, and go,” she says. “We’d stop to explore when we saw a great beach or town. For two overscheduled people, this was heaven."
WHERE WE WENT...
“Since we had only a few days, we stuck to the northern part of Sardinia. We flew into the historic port town of Alghero. Not everyone takes the time to explore it, but we did, and it was fascinating—a Catalan dialect is commonly spoken there, and the food has a distinct Spanish influence. There were gorgeous beaches at every turn, but La Cinta, on the northeastern coast, was the most beautiful, with fine, ultra-white sand and turquoise water. The Maddalena Archipelago, off the northern tip of the island, was breathtaking. We did it as a day-trip, taking a 20-minute ferry ride from the town of Palau to La Maddalena, the largest island in the group, and wandering around the charming port, with its lovely light-pink houses and nearby beaches. I’d love to return and rent a boat to visit some of the smaller islands—like Budelli, rumored to be the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.”
WHAT WE ATE...
“Maybe because I grew up in Israel, I love everything about the Mediterranean: the light, the beaches, and especially the food. The ingredients used throughout the Mediterranean are often the same, but every region does something special with them, like the sea bass I had at MiraLuna, at the Relais Villa del Golfo in Cannigione. It was my favorite dish of the trip, cooked in a thick shell of rock salt—and there was a whole ceremony around cracking the salt shell and deboning the fish.
We had another memorable meal in Cannigione at the farmhouse restaurant Agriturismo La Colti, where they spit-roast suckling pig in the backyard. And while in Sardinia, don’t miss the spaghetti with bottarga, which you’ll find at most restaurants, and sebada, an island specialty of fried pastry dough filled with pecorino cheese and drizzled with honey.”
For more information and to book a holiday at Relais Villa del Golfo call Just Sardinia 01202 484858 www.justsardinia.co.uk
More information about Villa del Golfo: http://www.justsardinia.co.uk/accommodation/9/Hotel-Relais-Villa-del-Golfo-and-Spa/
More information on Sardinia's beautiful beaches: http://www.justsardinia.co.uk/pages/sardinia-beaches/