Thursday, 18 May 2017

Where to Stay & Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Sardinia – Delphina Hotels

Many people expect Sardinia to be a carbon copy of mainland Italy – wrong! I’m a lover of and frequenter of both places but don’t confuse the two whatever you do! Taking my family there for a third year running I thought it might be nice to let others know what really sets Sardinia apart in my eyes and which are my top Sardinian Hotels.

1)They don’t just speak Italian here. They have their own language. Sardo, is a rich language that varies even from village to village but it’s alive and kicking in Sardinia with 1.5m people speaking it! Spanish, Latin and Catalan influences, it’s a Romance language and adds to the exoticism of this very special island.  Sardinian is unintelligible to most Italians! Nevertheless, the following languages are all found in Sardinia; Italian, Sardinian, Sassarese, Corsican Gallurese, Catalan Algherese, Ligurian Tabarchino. It truly is a melting pot in every way.

2) It’s slightly closer to Africa than it is to Italy. Around 200km to either coast. As the oldest part of Italy, Sardinia saw mass migration of Africans before 50000BCE.  adding another layer to the islands colourful past.

3) It’s all about history, history and geography?! With 1800 km of coastline and beaches closer to those found in the Caribbean than anywhere in Europe. The Sardinians were once very wary of the sea. Whether myth or now so looking more like science,  1153BC seems to have seen a massive tidal wave that wiped out villages and towns. Nobody was aware of tidal waves in this area until the 1980’s, yet inscriptions on the walls in the temple of Ramasses III  talked about an earthquake and then engulfment by water. Since 2004 scientists have identified hundreds of similar events.

3) It’s not all billionaires, super yachts and supermodels. Sardinia has numerous hotels catering for families with the all-important kids’ clubs. The soft sand and amazing little coves dotted around the coast provide near perfection for the little and the not so little. It is one of my favourite family destinations for a beach holiday. My top pick is Delphina Hotels*. They have the beautiful North covered, with a range of 4 and 5* properties and an emphasis on nature, food, family and thalassotherapy, they manage to please everyone in the family. Last year we stayed at Le Dune – think kids’ clubs, little villages hidden in the bougainvillea and parks bustling with families and atmosphere well into the late evening- typical Mediterranean. This year we are taking my mum, so are going to Valle Dell Erica– a 5* known for its relaxation and spa but with all the kids facilities too.
*Delphina Hotels offer the best accommodation by far in Sardinia. They have 4* and 5* hotels dotted around the idyllic North of Sardinia. Between the North East and North West of Sardinia, between Badesi and the Costa Smeralda. Covering Isola Rossa, Santa Teresa Gallura, the La Maddalena Archipelago, Palau and Cannigione.
Something for everyone from Il Mirto Residence –  exclusive apartments set in the stunning green park filled with olive and juniper trees, Cala Capra, 40 kms from Palau on the Capo D’Orso. Brilliant for families looking for independence with a options to eat in more formal restaurant, Il Paguro and then also the ‘Approdo’ Pizzeria and Snack Bar. They really have thought of everything here with gluten free cuisine on offer too. Being close to Delphina’s 5* Capo d’Orso Hotel means that residents at Il Mirto have access to the ‘L’incantu’ Thalasso Centre and Spa. Three thalasso saltwater pools of varying temperatures. What could be better than having a massage in the open air, breathing in the intoxicating scents of the Mediterranean maquis? Water in the pools is taken in a continuous cycle from La Maddalena Archipelago National Marine Park. Only micro-filtered, no chemical purification at all. Getting back to nature here is easy.

The 5* Capo d’Orso Hotel itself is situated on a bay directly opposite Baia Sardinia. This is a hotel with a romantic setting. 100,000 square metres of parkland, olive and juniper trees, swimming pool on the rocks and a stunning, fine sandy beach. For the golfers, there’s a 9 hole pitch and put, again set in a backdrop of gorgeous Mediterranean parkland. 86 elegant rooms, and 40 suites all decorated in true Sardinian style, this really is a place to relax, indulge and let go.

For families, there is nowhere better than Le Dune. I visited last year and was blown away by the place. Beautiful beach, tick, massive, age-specific kids club with passionate staff, tick, fragrant, exotic flora and fauna, (they have a bird sanctuary, a herb garden, a stables…the list of facilities is endless) set within this beautiful, wild, 280,000m2 of private park and flanked by sand dunes, you would be hard pressed not to think that this were paradise. With a choice of 5 different 4* and 4* superior hotels, the choices are endless but the quality never falters. Within the resort are 10 fabulous restaurants and six pools. You never feel cramped nor part of some big, plastic hotel complex. Rather, low-rise rooms within the hotels are built-in traditional Sardinian style and dotted and hidden around the hillside, accessible via fragrant walkways flanked with  scented flowers and shrubs.  The food here is traditional Sardinian and Mediterranean. Whether you want an authentic pizza or the freshest of seafood at the beach, you will never be disappointed. It is within the ethos of Delphina as a whole to offer the highest quality local produce and the deliver in every way.

4) Artisanal Gelato is a BIG thing here. Be prepared to eat lots of it.

5) According to the Sardinian legend, after god created earth he took all the leftover pieces, threw them into the sea and stepped on then to form the island which is Sardinia.

6) Don’t think pizza but instead flatbread – pane carasau is the most delicious, crisp flatbread. Best eaten warm, sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary. Again steeped in Sardinian history- it was the food of shepherds that keeps for up to a year. Now, it’s served everywhere!

7) Rotten cheese with live maggots is a delicacy here. Casu Marzu is a very aged pecorino. Outlawed now in Europe, it is only available in Sardinia, where it is made by introducing cheese fly larvae into the cheese to ferment it. It has to be eaten whilst the maggots are alive although some do remove them first. Now I adore cheese but even I’m not sure I could go this far!

8) For the flora and fauna, Sardinia cannot be beaten: 60 wildlife reserves with some rocks dating back 500 million years (there’s the history again!) and 3 national parks makes it a dream destination for holidaymakers after more than a few glitzy shops!

9) Sardinia stands for longevity- here live some of the longest lives in the world. In 2002, the oldest man in the world died at 113 years old. Sardinia boasts one of the highest number of centenerians in its population in the world!

10) Despite consuming nearly double the amount of beer of their Italian cousins, Sardinia produces some delicious wine. For oenophiles I’d recommend visiting Sardus Pater – a cooperative of 200 growers and  Olianas for biodynamic wines. Cannonau is the main Sardinian wine. With the grape (grenache) grown all over the island. The century old tradition of small plots of vines being cultivated for wine to drink at home lives on. Now, if that’s not a good enough reason to get yourself there, I don’t know what is!

Travel With: If you are looking for a team to book the whole package for you, then Just Sardinia 01202 484858 is the perfect travel agent. These guys know their stuff, are super professional and will get you the best flight options available too. There’s aren’t many specialists out there any more, most have disappeared with our online age. So you know the ones who are left have something exceptional to offer.  Just Sardinia has been in the business for 17 years and the experience shows.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Beautiful Beach Resorts in Sardinia

With over 1800km of unspoilt coastline, Sardinia is renowned for beautiful beaches and the most translucent azure blue sea in the Mediterranean.

Being the second largest island in the Mediterranean, the coastline varies enormously from north to south and east to west. However, wherever you are in Sardinia, there will be a stunning coastline with beautiful bays and beaches to discover, from the famous Costa Smeralda stretching for 55km in the north east, to the unspoilt south coast with many deserted beaches and Caribbean-like turquoise sea.

We have a wonderful collection of hotels in fantastic locations, for the ideal beach holiday... 

Club Hotel Baia Sardinia>
Situated on the spectacular beach at Baia Sardinia, Club Hotel enjoys wonderful sea views, direct beach access and a choice of restaurants for a relaxing holiday on the Costa Smeralda, just 36km from Olbia airport.
Prices from £576pppw
Special Offer: Stay 7 Nights Pay Only 6 Nights - Saving up to £198pp AND Free Upgrade to Full Board, when staying 7 nights or more - saving up to £191pp! (Saving based on 2 Sharing a Classic Room with Half Board.)
+ June Special Offer: Book before the 31st May to travel in June and receive a 10% Discount on the accommodation price - saving up to £81pp! (Combinable with Free Night and Free Full Board Upgrade Offers. Savings based on 2 sharing a Classic room with Half Board).

Resort Valle dell'Erica Thalasso and Spa>
This resort style hotel, suitable for both couples and families, is situated in a spectacular setting with secluded coves, beaches and stunning sea views towards the Maddalena islands and Corsica beyond.
Prices from ££914pppw
Long Stay Offer: Book to stay 14 nights or more and receive a 5% Discount on the accommodation price - Saving up to £192pp! (Saving based on 2 Sharing a Classic Room with Half Board.)

Hotel CalaCuncheddi>
Located on Capo Ceraso, 12km south of Olbia in north east Sardinia and reopened in 2014 after a total renovation, Hotel Cala Cuncheddi offers stylish accommodation just 30m from the beautiful Li Cuncheddi beach.
Prices from £809pppw
Special Offers: Stay between the 5th May and 20th May (check out) and receive a 20% Discount on the accommodation price - saving up to £160pp!
Book before the 30th June to travel between the 5th August and 2nd September (check out) and receive a 10% Discount on the accommodation price - saving up to £171pp!
Book before the 30th June to travel between the 3rd September and 22nd October (check out) and receive a 15% Discount on the accommodation price - saving up to £173pp!
(Saving based on 2 sharing a Standard room with Half Board.)

The Pelican Beach Resort & Spa>
Situated in a beautiful cove at Pittulongu 11km from Olbia on the south of the Golfo Aranci peninsula in north east Sardinia, Pelican Beach enjoys wonderful sea views over the Gulf of Olbia.  It is an adult only hotel with guest rooms and suites in Pelican Villa with direct access to the garden, lovely beach, bar and restaurant.
Prices from £557pppw

Hotel Abi d'Oru>
Situated on the fringe of the renowned Costa Smeralda near Porto Rotondo, with lovely sea views over the Golfo di Marinella, Hotel Abi d’Oru is located directly on one of the most beautiful bays in the north east, suitable for couples and families alike.
Prices from £767pppw
Special Offer: Book 30 days or more before arrival and receive a 10% Discount on the accommodation price - saving up to £212pp! (Saving based on 2 sharing a Standard Room with Half Board.)

Hotel Gabbiano Azzurro>
Situated on a fabulous white sandy beach with Caribbean-like turquoise gently shelving sea on the Golfo Aranci peninsula, just 21km from Olbia on the north east coast of Sardinia, Hotel Gabbiano Assurro enjoys a stunning location with wonderful sea views across the gulf to the dramatic Isola Tavolara.
Prices from £487pppw

Hotel Marinedda Thalasso and Spa>
This attractive hotel situated on the north west coast of Sardinia, overlooks the beautiful Marinedda beach near Isola Rossa. It has been designed for couples, singles and families alike to combine relaxation in the Mediterranean sunshine with health and fitness.
Prices from £791pppw
Long Stay Offer: Book to stay 14 nights or more and receive a 5% Discount on the accommodation price - Saving up to £152pp! (Saving based on 2 Sharing a Classic Room with Half Board.)

La Villa del Re>
Situated overlooking Costa Rei beach on the beautiful south east coast of Sardinia, this adult only 5 star hotel has elegant guest rooms and suites, excellent restaurant, pool and lovely sea views.
Prices from £987pppw
Special Offer: Book 90 days or more before arrival and receive a 15% Discount on the accommodation price - Saving up to £437 per room! (Full payment required at time of booking. Non refundable. Saving based on 2 Sharing a Classic Room with B&B.0

Pullman Timi Ama Sardegna>
On the south eastern tip of the island lies the superb bay of Timi Ama with the long white sandy Porto Giunco beach and crystal clear sea. Surrounded by fragrant Mediterranean gardens, this hotel stands within the Marine protected area of Capo Carbonara with a salt lake, home to a host of pink flamingos, all just 57km from Cagliari airport.
Prices from £882pppw
Special Offers: Travel between the 22nd April and the 17th June 2017 and Stay 4 nights for the price of 3 - Saving £183pp; Stay 7 nights for the price of 6 - Saving £183pp; Stay 14 Nights for the price of 11 - Saving up to £550pp! Or travel between the 26th August and the 16th October 2017 (check out) and Stay 7 nights for the price of Pay 6 - Saving £222pp; Stay 14 Nights for the price of 11 - Saving up to £598pp! (Saving based on 2 sharing a Classic Room with Half Board.)
FREE Child Place - Travel between the 22nd April and 17th June (check out) or between 26th August and the 16th October 2017 (check out) and 1 child 2 -11 Years GOES FREE - Saving up to £917! (Saving based on sharing with 2 full paying adults in a Superior Garden View Room with Half Board.)
2017 Early Booking Offer - Book before the 30th June 2017 to travel between 2nd September and 16th October 2017 and receive a 10% Discount on the accommodation price - Saving up to £119pp!  (Saving based on 2 Sharing a Classic Room with Half Board.)

To see all Just Sardinia Special Offers visit: or for personal recommendations call us on 01202 484858.

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