Sardinia

Sardinia

Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily lie in the Mediterranean Sea off the west coast of Italy as stepping stones between Europe and Africa. Belonging to Italy and France, they are similar in character yet each has a distinct flavour of its own.

Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean, also has a mixed past. It has been invaded many times, but it has been said that the island was never really conquered, they just retreated to the hills. Sardinia was made a self-governing region of Italy in 1948. Tourists have long been attracted to the islands magnificent beauty, pure white sand beaches with secluded coves and epic caves, rugged cliffs and dramatic coastlines, and a clear and shimmering sea. Explore Romanesques villages and churches, some as old as 12th century, and the famous Sardinian nuraghe, squat round towers thought to be ancient forts. Other mysterious sights are the domus de janas caves dug out of the ground or the island’s soft rocks.

main image: courtesy of Christian, Flickr creative commons

Cash

The unit of currency on all three islands is the Euro.

$1 US – 1.15 Euros
£1 UK – 1.6 Euros

Shoestring travellers can get by on the islands for about $40 US a day, though food and drink may be more than expected and can fall close to mainland price during high season. Self-catering and travelling during the quiet season will be kinder on your purse strings. The interior of the island is less expensive than the coast. If you have the money, splash out on around $70 a day for a more luxurious trip.

People

Sardinia is one of the least populated regions in Italy, but it can soon become crowded when the tourist season looms. Goat and sheep farming is a traditional activity for people, but tourism, traditional crafts and industry provide many jobs for the predominantly Catholic people.

Food

Busa, a durum wheat pasta is the main staple of Sardinia cuisine. Culurjonis raviola is made from it and filled with delicious ricotta cheese, herbs eggs or other flavourings and also the tarditional Pane Carasau bread, made of flat crackling sheets.

Language

Sardinia has its own language – Sardo, a Romanic language which is spoken by over 1 million people on the island, although Italian is widely spoken by most. Several other different ancient languages are spoken by minorities in rural areas including Catalan, Ligurian, Arabic, Spanish and even ancient Etruscan and Phoenician still survive.

Climate

The islands have the most visitors in the summer during July and August, though the crowds and the sweltering heat may be avoided in May and June. Temperatures average between 14 c (50 f) from January-March, to 27 c (80 f) July through September. Be warned that in early spring, late autumn and winter many places on the island focused around tourism will shut down.

Dress

Shorts, sandals and beachwear are fine for the humid months, and a light jacket for winter. Take suitably modest clothing if you intend to visit some of the many Catholic churches.

Visas

EU nationals have no entry requirements. Citizens of Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Israel can stay without a visa for 3 months – most others need a Schengen visa. Check with your local embassy or travel agent for entry requirements.

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