Italy

Sardinia

Shutterstock/48166279/luciano82Mix jagged mountain ranges with flowering bougainvillea, combine glitzy jet-set coastal resorts with Wild West towns rooted in banditry, soak it in nearly 2,000 km of lonely Mediterranean coastline and then bake it all in a six-month summer. This enchanting recipe of striking beauty and rugged brawn is one that Sardinia has guarded fiercely until recently.

Sardinia is the least Italian region in terms of character. With 2,000 Neolithic ‘fairy house’ graves, more than 7,000 Bronze Age towers, ‘giants’ tombs’ and hundreds of Spanish watchtowers, the island is a virtual outdoor museum, where its tangled past meets its colourful present. Nowhere else could you find bands of nomadic shepherds, three-storey yachts, pink flamingos, myrtle-scented liquor, pagan celebrations and medieval churches within a 30-minute drive of each other. So pack your snorkel, lace up your hiking boots and get ready for one of Italy’s last truly unspoiled corners.

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