Where To Stay In Sardinia For Beaches?

So you have heard about the incredible beaches of Sardinia, but it’s a big island, and you may be wondering where’s best to stay in Sardinia for the best beaches? Come with me through this blog post and I will tell you about the six areas that I believe are home to the best selections of beaches.

The biggest factor that entices holidaymakers to make the trip to Sardinia are the beaches. It’s no surprise that Sardinia has some of the best beaches in Europe, yet somehow Sardinia remains under the radar (my site doesn’t reach that many people yet and Sardinian’s don’t feel the need to get marketing savvy, they prefer authenticity) The simplest way to express the beach situation is that Sardinia has a large supply of incredible beaches, and yet with a relativity low demand. Aside from July and August when the Italians take their summer break.

This means that you can find beautiful beaches, with yours being the only footprints across the sand. The more popular beaches will draw crowds, especially in the summer, but Sardinia is a large island with hundreds of great beaches so you can find you perfect places to stay, whether you want to stay in a town, resort, or countryside on the coast.

Booking.com

In the Booking.com map above you can see that accommodation can be found all the way along the coast. I have identified six areas in Sardinia where you are sure to find clusters of beautiful beaches, I will give a brief overview of each area, as shown in the graphic on the left.

The First Area: Alghero, Spiaggia di Mugoni, and Stintino

Alghero is the closest Airport, and if you chose to arrive by boat Porto Torres is further to the north this cluster of beautiful beaches. This area has good value accommodation in locations a stone throw away from mesmerising beaches. The Catalonian inspired city of Alghero sits in the centre of this beach zone and offers tourists everything they would want, including hostels for backpackers, fine dining, and transport links. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the city walls, and chic city streets. If you are willing to drive up the coast, you will reach famous beaches such as Spiaggia La Pelosa, Spiaggia Delle Saline, and Capo Lupo.

The Second Area: Costa Smeralda

This area of Sardinia is by far the most famous. Celebrities, Royalty, and Millionaires have been coming here for years, it was even home to the most expensive hotel in the world (I’m not sure if that’s still the case) This area is packed with beautiful beaches like Spiaggia Cala Granu, Spiaggia Poltu Di Li Cogghj, and Spiaggia de La Sciumara. In fact, wherever you go in this area you will find spectacular beaches. It has to be said that this region is heavily commercialized, packed with luxury stores, and overpriced restaurants, it can feel inauthentic and un-Sardinian. Although it is clear to see why many choose this area for their vacations. Finding accommodation can be more difficult, especially on a budget. The Costa Smeralda is very expensive compared to all other areas of Sardinia, but I can assure you that it is not the exclusive home of Sardinians beaches, in fact, the most beautiful beaches to be found in Sardinia are outside of this territory.

Continue Reading

How To Make Your Own Italian Pizza At Home?

Pizza is one of the greatest discoveries that humanity has made, I thank Napoli and Italy from my heart. I have eaten many different takes on pizza in my life, but once you eat an authentic Italian pizza is very difficult to return to Dominos or Frozen Pizza. The truth is that pizza, along with much Italian cuisine is at its best when its kept simple and made with fresh quality ingredients. I want to share with you a recipe I learned to make great tasting pizza at home in the oven. 

Napoli will always be the true home of pizza, they have perfected the art and not many can even come close, making pizza is really in their blood, the tradition has been caressed through the generations. The pizza there is just on a whole new level, much like the taste of coffee in Napoli. I don’t know how they manage it, but they do. The best pizzerias in the city only serve two types of pizza Marinara and Margarita. They stick to the basics and something incredible emerges from the wood-fired oven. 

In Italy, many houses have a wood-fired pizza oven either built into the kitchen or stand alone in the garden. It provides the perfect opportunity to host a pizza party and prove your pizza making skills. During my time in Sardinia last year, we hosted many pizza parties, and I soon inherited a perfect pizza recipe. However, when I’m in the UK I don’t have access to a wood-fired pizza oven, so I have adapted the recipe for the oven. This is a recipe for 4-5 margarita pizzas. 

Ingredients 

The Pizza Dough

  • Strong White Flour 200 g
  • 00 Flour 400 g
  • Water 300 ml
  • Extra virgin olive oil 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt 12g
  • Dried Yeast 30g

Pizza Sauce And Toppings

  • Italian Passata 400 g
  • Dried oregano 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt 1 Teaspoon
  • Fresh Basil to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Mozzarella

The Method

The Pizza Dough

  1. To prepare the pizza Margherita, begin by making the basic dough. Pour the water at room temperature into a pitcher, add the yeast and stir with a teaspoon so that it dissolves and reacts with the water
  2. I have chosen to knead by hand but if you can also you a mixer if you have one. In a fairly large bowl mix the two flours. Then add the salt and gradually stir in the water with the yeast.
  3. Continue working the dough with your hands until you get a smooth result. At this point add also the oil, always little by little. Continuing to knead so the oil becomes absorbed by the dough. Then transfer the mixture onto a surface and work it vigorously for 5-10 minutes until it is elastic and smooth. Make sure that you have Italian music playing to help with this process.
  4. Bring the dough to a sphere shape, and place in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a cloth and place the dough in a warm place. I recommend leaving it to rise for 3 hours, it will raise at different times depending on the temperature, and time of year. The volume of the dough should increase two and a half times. 
  5. When the dough is leavened tip the dough out onto a clean floured surface. Cut the dough into 4 or 5 pieces. 
  6. Carefully work each of the four pieces of dough by bringing it towards you and then moving it away repeatedly until you obtain a smooth and regular ball. 
  7. Place the doughs on the side to rest and rise again, make sure you cover with a cloth. 
  8. Once, the dough is ready I like to keep them in the fridge, as it allows you to roll out the dough with greater ease later on. 

The Pizza Sause

I think pizza sauce tastes best when it is cooked slowly for a long time. Some recipes will prepare the sauce without cooking but I think cooking help infuse the sauce with the herbs and the passata becomes sweeter. If you like garlic then you can add it into the sauce.

The sauce is one part of the pizza that is often overlooked, take your time with it and keep tasting until your happy with it. Don’t forget to add salt.

  1. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan, followed by the passata. Continue to stir occasionally, you want the sauce to thicken through the cooking process. 
  2. Add your herbs, remember dried herbs are four times stronger than fresh herbs but nothing beats fresh herbs. 
  3. Continue to cook for over 30 minutes on low heat.
  4.  Let the sauce cool down, then place into the fridge until you are ready to use. 

Forming The Pizza

The moment has come to bring all of the elements together to create your pizza. You can always experiment with different toppings, just don’t share them when you are walking around in Napoli. If you put too much cheese it could create a soggy pizza base, as an oven cannot cook as well as a wood-fired pizza oven. A wood-fired pizza oven can cook a pizza in a matter of minutes with the temperature reaching 400 degrees, whereas a household oven can only reach about 250 degrees.

  1. Firstly, strain the water from the mozzarella, this is very important as you do not want a soggy pizza. 
  2. Preheat the oven. In my experience every oven is different. In my case, I cook the pizza at 250 degrees, which is the highest setting which has worked best for me. The first time you try the recipe, please pay close attention to make sure the pizza doesn’t burn. 
  3. Take the dough from the fridge, and roll out the first pizza base. Place the dough on the bed of flour, and slowly roll it out keeping a circular shape. (this is an authentic rustic pizza, so don’t worry if it’s not a perfect circle) I try and roll my pizza to 4mm. Keep turning the dough to keep the shape. 
  4. Add the pizza sauce consistently around the dough, not too much and not too little. I recommend 3-4 tablespoons per pizza. 
  5. Add the mozzarella, onto the top of the pizza (you can add the cheese halfway through the cooking time if you don’t want it to cook to golden. 
  6. Place on a tray, and place near the top of the oven. 
  7. Cooking time is from 12-17 minutes, it depends on many factors, such as the thickness of the pizza, the toppings, and the oven. Please watch carefully, at least for the first pizza. The best results happen when you cook each pizza one at a time. When the pizza is in the oven you can prep the other one ready to go in. 
  8. Allow the pizza to cool before serving. Don’t forget to a couple of leaves of basil on top, and a drizzling of olive oil. 

Enjoy your pizza. Buon Appetito.

Let me know how you get on, I would love recommendations for toppings and also improvements on the recipe.

Continue Reading

Adopting A Sardinian Dog: How To Get A Pet Passport, And How To Travel From Sardinia To The UK With A Dog?

This year I was very lucky to adopt a beautiful Miniature Pincher. I want to write about my experience of bringing a dog from Sardinia/Italy to the United Kingdom. If you have any additional questions about the process please email me and I’ll try my best to help. 

My friend Giovanni named my Dog Penny-Lane after the classic Beatles song, which has now become her anthem. She was found on the side of the street by my friend’s mother, as she was driving through the Sardinian countryside. It was clear that the dog was abandoned, and was starving. We scanned her for a microchip but nothing came up, and it was clear that she had either ran away from her owners or was abandoned by a farm. 

You could see every bone in her body, and we had to be very careful when feeding her, as it would have been dangerous to give her too much food at one time. For the first couple of days, we decided to feed her raw eggs because of the high nutritional content and the ease to which she would be able to digest. We then began to feed her small amounts of dry dog food that she would eat without taking a breath. This was a trait that I thought would stay with her for years, after experience starvation and food scarcity. Today, she is happy to eat from her food bowl gradually throughout the day, even with other dogs around. 

I spent one week deciding whether or not I could take on the responsibility of adopting this beautiful dog, which would involve travelling to the UK together without a car which is very problematic. By the end of the week, I committed my self to care for Penny-Lane and taking full responsibility for her. Soon after my decision, Covid19 was beginning to show up in Lombardy and shake the whole of Italy. 

I spent lots of time trying to get her to respond to her name and stay with me when I’m in the garden. In the small village where I was staying its normal for dogs to leave their owners for the day and wander around the town together for hours at a time socialising with other dogs and coming back for food, attention and the nights. I gave her a little too much freedom in the beginning and have been raining it in since, to make it more feasible for her to stay with me, if and when I move to another place where the consequences are much higher if she decides to run away. 

How to obtain an EU Passport for your dog?

To travel through Europe you will need an EU Passport for your dog. I would give yourself at least 2 months in order to conduct all of the procedures and appointments. 

Firstly, you need to make an appointment at your nearest veterinary (Ambulatorio veterinario) Your vets will give you dog a general health check, ensure that there is not already a microchip that would indicate an owner, and also prescribe medicine for worms and other common parasites found in abandoned dogs. 

The vet will microchip your dog, which is placed under the skin of your dog, usually on the back of the neck. It is a 16 digit number that acts as an identifier for your dog if it goes missing. It is essential to have your dog microchipped to start the process of getting a passport. I cost me under 20 Euros for the Microchip but the price will differ depending on where in Italy or in Europe you are. You will also be given a series of stickers displaying the 16 digits and a barcode (keep these stickers in a safe place as they are needed for complete future documents, including inside the passport.)

Vaccination for rabies must be administered before applying for a dog passport. My dog’s vaccination was delayed by two weeks, as the vet recommended that my dog is treated for worms, and parasites before the vaccination. Also, your dog must be over 12 weeks of age before it is able to have the anti-rabies vaccination. 

You will only be able to travel with our dog 21 days after the rabies vaccination, with a valid passport, treatment for Ecchinococcus, and after a final health certificate from your vet days before travelling (certificato di buona salute)

We returned two weeks following my first visit to vets, to administer Penny’s rabies vaccination, I think it costs around 20 Euros. 

The vet also recommended that I buy medicine from the pharmacy that would control ticks and other parasites, it cost 30 Euros for 4 tablets, one to be taken each month. 

Health Book (Libretto Sanitario Del Cane) And The Issuing Of The Passport

Your vet will give you a book that records all of your pet’s treatments and information that is need to get a passport. You will need to ask your vet where you need to go to apply for a passport. In my case, I would need to go to ASSL in Sassari. Unfortunately, this organisation is very underfunded and under-resourced and I had to be very persistent in order to meet with someone who could administer the passport. I had to go with an IBAN number to the bank to pay 13.70 Euros for the passport before it would be issued. 

Echinococcus Treatment And The 5 Day Window

To enter the UK your dog will need an Echnococcus treatment, this medicine is very cheap, I think it was 0.50 Euros. But you will need to go to the vets in order for them to sign off the treatment inside your passport. You also 5 days to reach the UK from the moment of the treatment. During this visit to the vet, you will also need a certificate of good health, which is needed for travel. 

My Journey Traveling From Sardinia To The UK With A Dog

My journey from Sardinia to the UK, was very complicated due to the Covid19 situation, I was travelling at the end of June 2020. I had initially planned to fly with British airways from Sardinia to the UK, believing that I could put Penny-Lane in the hold. I was later informed that this service is only possible from two airports on the mainland. But both were not running due to Covid 19. 

I must have changed my travel plan at least 4 times before figuring out what seemed like the best option to get to the UK, without spending thousands, and to avoid hot spot covid19 area where restrictions may be in place. I took the ferry through the night from Porto Torres to Genova, then I took the train from Genova to Nice (which was a very scenic journey along with the coast, and I even changed trains at the last Italian town before entering France, and had 30 minutes to wander around with Penny-Lane. 

I was very happy to visit Nice for the first time, lucky I have a friend who I met in Sardinia, who couldn’t wait to see Penny-Lane again. I would have loved to stay longer in this beautiful city but I could only stay one night because I had to arrive in the UK within 5 hours. 

From Nice Airport I flew to Amsterdam with Transavia, it was the only airline I could find running at the time that would allow dogs to travel in the cabin. Furthermore, travelling to the UK with a pet without a car is very difficult, dogs are not allowed on the Eurostar, and the only port that allows foot passengers with dogs is Hoek Van Holland near Rotterdam. It was the only option, it would have been much easier to get to Calais from Sardinia, but I had to reach Rotterdam. 

Penny-Lane was very calm throughout the flight, I had purchased a carry for her that would go under the seat in front of me. It was lovely to travel with her to so many different places and introduce so many new experiences. She really enjoyed all of the train rides where she would often be sitting on my lap watching outside the window. We also met so many lovely people in France, Italy, and the Netherlands, so many friendly dogs who quickly bonded with Penny. 

I spent the night in Amsterdam in a very cheap hotel/hostel, I think it was about 25 Euros, the next day we slowly made our way to the ferry port, visiting much of Amsterdam and Rotterdam on the way. From Rotterdam to Hoek Van Holland I took the metro with took just under an hour. 

The ferry from Hoek Van Holland to the UK, was the hardest part of the journey because Penny-Lane was separated and had to stay in a kennel. There is a TV in the cabins, showing a CCTV of the dogs in the kennel. Penny-Lane would not stop barking and I couldn’t bear watching her suffer, so I decided upon a rescue mission, to run down to the kennels and bring her up to my cabin where I know she would sleep well. 

In the morning we arrived, I just had to show my UK Passport and we were on our way, ready to do two weeks quarantine, I didn’t have to show Penny-Lanes EU passport again as I was checked upon entering the ferry in the Netherlands. 

I hope this is helpful to you, it is a bit of a messy blog post recollecting my accounts of the process of obtaining a passport and my journey from Sardinia to the UK with a dog, if you have any questions as you a due to make a similar trip please email me. 

Continue Reading

Visiting Sardinia in August

If you love hot Mediterranean summers, you will love visiting Sardinia in August. August may be the warmest month of the year. But luckily there is a gentle sea breeze on the island. What makes it despite the heat very pleasant to do activities around Sardinia.

There is nothing more relaxing than enjoying your days on one of the many stunning long stretched beaches of Sardinia. Because August is still the high season, some beaches clubs host very fun and vibrant beach parties. Where you can dance the night away with Sardinians and people from all over the globe! If this is not your cup of tea, don’t worry as most beaches are quiet and peaceful.

A aerial view of a sardinia beach

If you are looking for some sporty activities I would recommend watersports. Sardinia has the bluest water of Europe! Because of the wind, sailing and windsurfing are perfect activities. Porto Pollo is the most famous place for this. But there are good spots and water schools all around the island.

Besides all the beach fun, Sardinia had so much more to offer. The inland is just as stunning. For me, there is not a better way to explore the inland by car. Especially in August when you want to avoid the crowds sometimes! The island is quite big so there are many hidden gems! There are thousands of stunning bays and rock formations that you will see from the road. Probably you will see some sheep along the road as well!

When you are on your road trip you can stop to explore some castles along the way. There are 82 castles in Sardinia and the castles are very cool inside and most tourists are all on the coast, so sometimes you even have the castle for you alone! (Yes, also in August.) I can also highly recommend visiting the Neptunes Grotto. It’s a spectacular cave in the North-West of Sardinia. The cave is about 9 meters deep, so in the hot summer days, it’s very pleasant to spend some time there. The temperature is just perfect.

Especially in August, you won’t be bored as there are a lot of cultural events happening. Think about markets, fairs, classical concerts, dance performances. August 15th is Ferragosto. It’s an Italian summer festival. All Italians have Holliday then and they all enjoy a day out. Sardinians but also people from the Italian mainland. On this day many parties and festivals are happening. If you want to book an activity for this day, make sure you make a reservation on time, as all things will be fully booked this day.

The last Sunday of August is maybe the most important party of the year for many Sardinians! They celebrate Sarga del Redentore, the place for the celebration is in Monte Ortobene. They celebrate the statue of Crist who is located on the top of the mountain. If you are around Nuoro and love historic Italian culture, make sure not to miss it!

So if you plan to visit Sardinia in August I’m sure you will enjoy it and not a day will be boring!

Continue Reading
Close Menu