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The island of Sardinia is situated in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, roughly equidistant from Italy, Africa, France and Spain.
The precise distance between Sardinia and Italy, measured between Capo di Ferro and Monte Argentario, is 188 kilometres, which is very similar to the distance from Africa (180 km) and slightly less than that from Sicily (278 km).
A holiday in Sardinia is the best way to re-charge your batteries and to discover the island’s thousands of years of history and tradition.
Sitting right in the heart of the Mediterranean, Sardinia jealously guards the secrets of nature. This foot-shaped island – once called Ichnusa, from the Greek Ichnion meaning ‘trace, track or footstep’ – is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily. In addition to Ichnusa, the ancient Greeks also used another name for Sardinia: Sandaliotis, meaning ‘sandal-shaped island’.
Over time, the name Ichnusa turned into Sardo, before the Romans adopted the definitive form, Sardinia, which was used by ancient writers and which has been retained in English, while in Italian it has changed into Sardegna.
Given that the island plays host to numerous areas that remain relatively unexplored, it offers a natural spectacle comparable only to the Virgin Islands. Sardinia is all about rugged coasts, wild rocky gorges, untainted native species, nature trails, landscapes and seascapes, rural heritage, clean air and an extraordinary wealth of fresh produce and delicious, healthy, traditional dishes – it all adds up to an unforgettable fusion of mankind and nature. The island is surrounded by incredibly limpid, highly saline and generally calm seas.
This has led to the evolution of myriad species of marine flora and fauna with very unusual shapes and sizes. On the northern coast, between Capo Caccia and Capo Testa, and also on the south-western coast of the island, numerous coral reefs are clearly visible. Fishermen from Liguria and Livorno (on the west coast of Italy) and Catalonia (on east coast of Spain) have been drawn to these reefs for centuries – naturally, they have also been attracted by the bountiful fish stocks in the area.
Today, the north-western coast of the island, in particular, is enjoying a boom in tourism, with tourists coming from all over Europe on low-cost flights that fly from London, Barcelona and Berlin to the international airport at Alghero.
However, visitors to any part of the island soon come to realise that this is an uncontaminated, self-contained world – one that provides the perfect refuge from the stresses and strains of city living. Sardinia offers an extensive range of services, with accommodation options to suit every budget.
The island’s numerous luxury hotels are complemented by plenty of stylish, fully equipped beach resorts, and an array of sporting activities is also on offer, from extreme sports such as paragliding to more leisurely pursuits in the protected areas and nature reserves.