Do you often find yourself picturing the perfect summer holiday? Does it include a pretty fishing village or harbour-town stacked up on a hillside overlooking crystal clear blue sea? Do you have a chilled glass of wine in your hand and a freshly caught fish on your plate? Then look no further than these perfect places for your next getaway…
10Cala Gonone, Sardinia
Until fairly recently you could only reach Cala Gonone by boat, but nowadays there’s a road tunnel bored through the wall of mountains that separate it from the rest of the island. As you emerge from the mountain you are confronted by a steep plunge to the coast. As you wind your way down the mountain through the dizzying hair pin bends, you are rewarded by the spectacle of stunning undeveloped coastline stretching as far as the eye in can see in both directions.
A few miles south of Cala Gonone, Cala Luna beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia and possibly the world. Set against a backdrop of steep limestone cliffs and lush greenery, its turquoise and azure blue waters are as clear as crystal, making it one of the best snorkelling beaches in Sardinia. The beach is only accessible by a 3 mile hike from nearby Cala Fuili, or by boat from the Cala Gonone marina during the summer. On the way there are the beautiful Blue Marino Caves with stalactites, stalagmites, and rock carvings so this makes for a perfect boat excursions.
Unlike the other gems on our list, Cala Gonone itself is a fairly modern town with no sights or olde-worlde charm to speak of. But backed as it is by steep pine clad mountains and with the most beautiful beach and pine fringed promenade it is a very pleasant place to pace a lazy holiday. It retains the laid back, family-friendly feel of the small fishing village it once was. Outside August, the beaches tend to be uncrowded and the prices affordable.
If you get itchy feet at the thought of all that lounging around this is an excellent place to go rock-climbing, hiking, snorkelling, diving or sea kayaking.
There are lots of places to eat good pizza and pasta here. if you want something a little more special try Il Nuovo Gabbiano. Francesca Pisanu cooks up a storm at this lovely spot on the harbour on a daily basis. Originally from the village of Orgosola, she is a talented chef who has worked both in Italy and abroad. Try the unusual but delicious spinach Gnocchi with smoked swordfish and tomatoes.
Where To Stay? The Cala Luna is a family run hotel with a fabulous location right on the sea front. Double rooms are from £80 and quadruples for all the family are great value at £122 through Booking.com.
Flights: Click here. Returns to Olbia from the UK start at around £50.