A Sardinian is a Sardinian first and foremost – being “Italian” doesn’t even come into the equation.

The second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea – after Sicily and before Cyprus – lies halfway between Europe and Africa, and has an identity all of its own. Sardinia’s inhabitants consider themselves to be quite separate from mainland Italy or “the continent”, as they call it.

The northerly coastline has long been a favourite of the jet-set thanks to Caribbean-blue seas and sandy bays backed by rolling hills. While a bit of glamour is welcomed now and again, this part of the island is starting to go back to basics; hotels and restaurants look to Sardinia’s traditions, cuisine and craftsmanship, giving them a new (decidedly chic) lease of life in the process.

Spend time here discovering the rocky and varied coastline, eating bowls of seafood spaghetti and dancing in the open air. There are plenty of enchanting little towns waiting to be explored and leisurely trips to archaeological sites to be made between trips to the beach. North Sardinia is nothing if not deliciously slow.

TO STAY

Su Gologone

Set back from the crowds and surrounded by rolling hills, Su Gologone is rustic charm all over. The white and terracotta hotel is a quiet retreat from the world, offset by artisan ceramics and textiles with large terraces that look out over olive groves. Meat is roasted over spits and bread made in a brick oven – needless to say, life is perfectly laid-back here.

Albero Capovolto

Albero Capovolto is a stone house framed by bright pink flowers: sit on a wooden bench and look out at panoramic views. This is a homely affair: each room is named after a member of the owner’s family. Breakfast is served under the trees on a communal table – enjoy the sound of silence and yoga in the hills.

La Casitta

Location is everything at La Casitta: two villas sit on a tiny private island in the paradise of the La Maddalena archipelago. Make the stylishly simple rooms your retreat, where windows offer breathtaking views of the sea. Hidden away from the world, you can head to empty beaches or hike the island. The restaurant serves seafood, fresh from the surrounding sea.

  • +39 329 370 5606
  • Go to Website
  • via Cesare Battisti 2
    07024
    La Maddalena

Hotel Lucrezia

Hotel Lucrezia is quaint, with an old-fashioned charm: the seven rooms are furnished with antique furniture, meaning no two are the same. Live like a local and spend time exploring the surrounding village, away from the crowds. The restaurant serves authentic Sardinian cuisine – book in for a cooking class experience to learn the secret to Italian cookery.

Cala di Volpe

This place is well-established on the North Sardinian scene but, despite its size, it still feels charming and authentic. This may have something to do with its village-feel – sherbert-coloured exteriors in pinks and orange are matched by cool white stucco inside. The cool crowd congregate in the various restaurants and bars, where people-watching takes on a life of its own.

Su Gologone

Albero Capovolto

La Casitta

Hotel Lucrezia

Cala di Volpe

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