The Gifts From Prague
 

7 Things To Know Before You Intern Abroad

7 Things To Know Before You Intern Abroad

Sardinia has fantastic, gorgeous beaches. Liz Boulter loses herself among them, and picks the best, and surprisingly affordable, places to eat and stay



Italy offers so much to holidaymakers: food and wine, art and architecture, high peaks and bosomy Tuscan hills, but relatively few Brits come here for sun and sand. To UK tastes, Italy simply doesn’t do seaside very well: beaches are often given over to hotel and bar concessions, with rows of sunbeds differentiated only by the colour of their umbrellas and the trashiness of their euro-pop. Only a corner at the least attractive end will be spiaggia libera – for people who just want to rock up and lie on a towel.

Sardinia isn’t like that: lists of the island’s best beaches run into the hundreds, and there are many more unnamed coves and wedges of white, silver or golden sand around its 1,000km-plus of coastline, peninsulas and islands. Some popular beaches are concessionised – though even these tend to be so spacious that plenty of spiaggia libera remains. There are wild beaches for those prepared to tote their own supplies, but most have a shack selling drinks, ice-creams and snacks.

And if you think Sardinia is expensive, think again. Its image is skewed by the Costa Smeralda, an undeniably beautiful area in the north-east around the town of Porto Cervo, developed by the Aga Khan in the 1960s. Its rash of yachting, golfing, millionaire-style development has spread as far as Palau in the north and south towards Olbia. But elsewhere, from the Catalan-flavoured north-west to the south’s white dunes, from the rocky east to sometimes surfable west, Sardinia’s coast offers space, surprisingly low prices (though accommodation costs jump in August) and a friendly welcome – particularly in these euro-critical times, when fewer Italians can afford a trip. Add budget flights to Alghero, Cagliari and Olbia, ancient villages, nuraghe (neolithic remains) for history buffs, and all the pizza, artisanal gelato and great-value wine you’d expect, and Sardinia is the perfect holiday island. Here are a few coastal favourites, with places to sleep and eat.

THE SOUTH

East of the island’s capital, Cagliari, beaches suffer from proximity to the city and the SP71 coast road. But an hour’s drive west and south – blue sea on your left, flamingo-dotted lagoons on your right – is ridiculously fortunate Chia. For a little resort to have not one perfect crescent of pale sand but five can only be called greedy. Even better, the beaches are backed by a strip of protected dunes, so there’s barely a building visible from the shore; most holiday homes and hotels cluster on a hillside a mile away.

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