Bosa, Sardinia
The beautiful town of Bosa

Sardinia, the second-largest Mediterranean island, lies about 190 kilometres west of the Italian peninsula. Since the 1950s, crystal-clear seas, extraordinary landscapes and fascinating archaeological history have made it an increasingly popular holiday destination.

For centuries, Sardinians built most villages inland to protect them from the constant siege of invaders, leaving virgin coastline stretching for many kilometres. Today, relaxation-seekers crave these deserted beaches.

Principal City: Cagliari
Tourist Board: Sardinia

"Nuraghi," hollow stone mounds used as shelter for some of the island's original inhabitants, dot the island's rugged landscape. The necropolis of Anghelu Ruju, in Alghero, offers visitors the chance to explore funeral caves and "Domus de Janas," ancient tombs or "fairy houses" carved in rocks and mountain faces.

The Sardinians are just as colourful and unique as their home. They speak a language all their own, celebrate more saints' days than any other place in Italy and rejoice in costumed events. Each February brings La Sartilglia, a spectacular carnival steeped in tradition that includes horsemanship exhibitions and a re-enactment of a medieval tournament. During Sagra di San Efisio in May, festive local cultural groups parade throughout the day and streets fill with music and performances each night.

Bountiful seafood reaped from some of the cleanest Mediterranean waters around, inland farm produce and a tantalising cheese produced from the milk of sheep that feed on wild herbs bring excitement to the dining table.

Lazing on a cliff-side Sardinian beach surrounded by prehistoric buildings after a day of sightseeing and fabulous food, one can't help but think "magic."

Districts (Provinces) of Sardinia (Sardegna)

Cagliari | Carbonia-Iglesias | Medio Campidano | Nuoro | Sassari | Olbia-Tempio | Ogliastra | Oristano