Sardinia: The True Heart Of The Mediterranean
| 8th June 2016
I leapt with excitement when my Mother-in-law said that she wanted to travel to Sardinia. I had the perfect holiday in mind that Ann would love; Northern Sardinia, the Gallura region – popular among the rich and famous – renowned for its beautiful landscape, secluded beaches and bays with sandy bottoms and brilliantly-coloured, crystal-clear waters – simply paradise at every turn.
The popular hotel chain, Delphina, practically own this affluent area with eight four or five star properties nestled along the Gallura coastline each offering a range of facilities to suit differing budgets and interests and all maintaining an exceptional service ethos. I stayed at the Resort Valle dell’Erica in 2013 and knew even then I would return with my family. The resort is composed of two distinct five star hotels, Hotel Erica and Hotel La Licciola. We chose the newer edition, Hotel La Licciola, as on my last trip I fell in love with its stunning architecture. The hotel is built in a unique setting nestled into a hill within the natural Sardinian landscape, with breathtaking views across the Mediterranean sea to the mountain backdrop of Corsica.
Our accommodation: Two Senior Family Suites with Sea View. (interconnected, ideal for large families like ours) Each suite sleeps up to six people is extremely spacious with contemporary modern design and equipped with everything needed for a comfortable stay. Most evenings we would enjoy sitting on the veranda mesmerised by the stunning sunsets and the enchanting views across the ocean.
Location and Facilities: The Resort is set in twenty-eight hectares of private parkland rich in plants and natural wildlife with the occasional wild hog roaming around. This lush landscape is surrounded by 1,400 metres of coastline made up of secluded little bays with beaches of fine white sand. (you’ll soon realise why this resort is considered to have the best beachfront hotels in Sardinia) The Resort, which boasts impressive seawater swimming pools, seven fine dining restaurants, Le Thermae Thalasso Centre and Spa, a Golf course and school and superb kids’ facilities, is ideal for adults looking for peace and relaxation but also fantastic for families and thrill seekers.
Cuisine: The seven different restaurants – set amongst dreamy seafront terraces – all serve first-class cuisine from award-winning chefs whose passions exceed expectation. They select typical Sardinian produce with the freshest ingredients to create exciting and tasty menus. Escaping from the children, (Gran babysitting) we treated ourselves to some much deserved adult time and booked a table at Li Zini Beachfront Restaurant. Sat at tables adjacent to breaking waves, you are barefoot on the sand eating fresh seafood specialities. This is a must which oozes romance in a location to die for.
Le Thermae Thalasso Centre and Spa: A true oasis of peace and relaxation with stunning gardens and sea views, surrounded by granite rocks and four seawater swimming pools heated to different temperatures for Thalasso circuits. From an extensive list of treatments, such as I would expect from a five-star spa, I chose to pamper myself with a relaxing back massage, followed by an afternoon alone enjoying the amenities on hand to de-stress the mind, body and soul.
Kids’ and Baby Clubs: The resort caters exceptionally well for its younger guests so I knew that all three of our children (aged one, eight and ten) would be content and happy with the services that the clubs provide. Baby Club from twelve to thirty-six months old, (an additional charge) was Olive’s favourite safe-haven, the ever-so happy and enthusiastic staff gave her lots of attention and the nursery had everything needed to keep her entertained. Frank and Elfie (who think they’re now teenagers) also enjoyed their kids’ clubs, socialising with all the other children on activities and sports such as snorkelling, canoeing, football, golf school, swimming courses and not to forget the games room for their tech fix of Nintendo Wii, Playstation and Xbox.
Day Trips: No trip to Sardinia would be complete without a boat trip around the Archipelago of La Maddalena, a group of Islands between North Eastern Sardinia and Corsica. The scenery is simply astounding with turquoise-green crystal waters to dive into and lots of fun to be had by us and the children, looking for familiar faces in the rock formations!
Just a short taxi ride from the resort is the small town of Santa Teresa, with its characteristic charm and lively town square boasting many bars and restaurants all cantered around a band stand that hosts live music throughout the evening guaranteeing you a fun night off resort.
A trip to Porto Pollo Beach (famous for its surf and Kite surfing) is an excellent family day out, with its incredible curved bay that splits into two. One side is used for lessons and swimming and the other for the professional kite surfers. It’s an atmospheric location where we could sit back, unwind and enjoy a cocktail or two, while we watched the children’s kite surfing skills (or lack of) and see them playing and splashing around in the sea.