Sardinia Holidays

Sardinia is just a 11km boat journey away, across the Bonifacio Straits - why not combine a stay in Corsica with a few days on another of the Mediterranean's most beautiful islands?

Its situation equidistant between Italy and Tunisia, Sardinia is in the heart of the Mediterranean. From the glamour of the Costa Smeralda to the beauty of the rural interior, it is a popular destination for those who love water sports, beach life and exploring the mountainous region.

Sardinia is known for its natural beauty but also for its history, with Neolithic sites and traces of many invaders marking the island’s history. There has been more tourist development than Corsica, but still the island remains relatively unspoilt.

Sardinia has been populated since Neolithic times; the enigmatic domus di janas or "fairies tombs" cut into rock around the countryside date from this period.

A later, extensive, Bronze-age culture left its mark in the unique nuraghi, huge stone towers which dot the landscape and whose true purpose remain unclear, and in massive stone burial sites known as Tombe dei Giganti or "Giants' Tombs," like those of the Li Loghi complex near Arzachena which are still visible today.

Roman Occupation

Sardinia's position in the centre of the Mediterranean always ensured outside interest. Successive waves of invaders - the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians and the Romans - arrived from around 1000BC, with varying success in subduing the native population. Sardinians tended to flee inland from these invasions, which is one reason why there are relatively few coastal settlements today. However, the invaders also brought with them new methods of agriculture, established towns and infrastructure, such as the Roman road network and the Cagliari amphitheatre.

Genoese & Aragonese Occupation

In the eleventh century, the cities of Pisa and Genoa sent troops into the island to end a period of Arab-led invasions, and trading links between the island and the rest of the Mediterranean were increased. Four centuries later, after a prolonged campaign of warfare, Sardinia succumbed to Catalan rule in the 1400s. The Aragonese remained the ruling power until the early eighteenth century, establishing strong links with Alghero in particular; a version of Catalan is still spoken in the town today.

Italian Rule

In 1861, Sardinia became part of the united Italy, which the Italian national hero Garibaldi helped to create (his tomb on the Sardinian island of Caprera is a national shrine). Despite unity, the island continued to suffer from Italian speculators exploiting natural resources such as metal ores and forests to the detriment of Sardinians. Poverty was rife, and the rise of fascism between the two World Wars widened the split between town and countryside. In 1948, the island was granted autonomy over regional infrastructure such as police, forestry and transport. Since then it has become the splendid holiday destination we know today.

Visit Sardininan Places

For more information about our Sardinia product please visit our sister company Sardinian Places or contact our reservations team 01489 866992