Sardinia/Sardegna: From sea to shining sea

23 Jul

Here is the puzzle. How can two Italian Mediterranean islands approximately the same size and separated by only a couple of hundred kilometres of sea be so different? I speak of course of Sicily and Sardinia.

We enjoyed exploring Sicily, as you’ll see from a previous blog, but for much of the time I was in fear for my life on the roads and I would never contemplate road cycling or motorcycling there. (See Stuart’s blog on driving Sicilian style.) No such concerns in Sardinia, we scootered and bicycled unthreatened.

In Sicily we despaired of the mess Sicilians are making of their natural heritage. In Sardinia we marvelled at the degree of recycling households are committed to and the almost litter-free streets and beaches. Civil society and the various authorities appear functional in Sardinia and totally dysfunctional in Sicily. Why?

Answers to this conundrum in the comments please.

This week we covered the west coast of Sardinia from Cagliari to Chia and up to the tip of the National Marine Park from Stintino. We are so impressed we plan to go back to sail and travel around the right hand side of the island next year.

This is our photo journey around Sardinia.

Portoscuso: our home for four days. Low key, totally non-touristic.

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Porto Pino: Not as gorgeous as advertised but a pleasant family beach.

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Saint Antiochi Island: surprising history, sweet towns and small gems of beaches

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Porto Flavia: Trust the hardy, industrious Sardinians to tunnel through a rock wall to a sheer cliff face to have locomotives haul minerals to be dumped directly into ships for transporting

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Chia: Not as striking as the cliff beaches but the dunes are well preserved and the beach pristine

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Bosa: I overcame my vertigo to drive along the coastal cliff there and back for dinner and think I deserve medal! Pedramare bar and restaurant is outstanding.

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Alghero: We drove the scenic route from Portoscuso to Alghero which means a lot of agriculture, cows and goats! Alghero is geared up for tourists, the population swells from 40,000 to 120,000 in August.

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Stintino and Isola Piana: an enjoyable 50k scooter ride from Alghero to Stintino. Stu has his mojo back! Hired a Rigid Inflatable Boat and guide, Gianluca, for an afternoon in the marine reserve. Kids hyped up with Testosterone jumping from cliffs. Not recommended. Never before seen such gorgeous water or the pink algae in the grottos.

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Fertilia and the Nature Reserve: Mussolini created the town of Fertilia near Alghero. It was a mosquito swamp before. We cycled out to Porto Conte via some trails through the park and by the coast. When I started internally combusting I waded into the sea fully clothed then got back on the bike. The local Ichnusa beer is very refreshing.

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Alghero to Capo Caccia: Day sail on the Andrea Jensen. There’s a reason the good ship Andrea Jensen is the number one attraction on Trip Advisor for Alghero, it is awesome! Vivienne, Jeff and Jack have thought of everything possible to make the day unforgettable for guests and only bad weather could spoil it. We had sunshine and gentle winds and a very happy day on the water. The boat started work as a Danish fishing vessel in 1936 but with seven years of work Jeff has adapted her perfectly for her current job, to give landlubbers a taste of the true romance of the sea.

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2 Responses to “Sardinia/Sardegna: From sea to shining sea”

  1. Marie July 24, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    It looks a fantastic trip Sharon and Stu is looking so much better, well done!! Wonderful photos too.

    • Sharon Tickle July 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

      Hi Marie, Yes Stu is in great shape. Hard to believe. Lovely to see Josc on hols in St Tropez. Hope to catch up with her in London again around Olympics.

      Love,

      Sxx

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