This land resembles no other place. Sardinia is something else. Enchanting spaces and distances to travel, nothing finished, nothing definitive. It is like freedom itself. Sardinia is out of time and history.
David Herbert Lawrence, Sea and Sardinia, (1921)
Sardinia is a world apart. The beaches, mountains and rocks have been shaped by strong forces, as have its peoples.
Sardinia is an ancient island. Its rocks have been dated at 500 million years old, making it one of the oldest land masses in Europe, and unlike Sicily and mainland Italy, is not earthquake-prone.
Sardinia has been settled for thousands of years. It is home to one of the oldest man made structures in the world, the prehistoric megalithic temple of Monte d’Accoddi, found in the province of Sassari – dated between 4,000-3,650 BC.
In relatively recent history, Sardinia has been settled by wave after wave of civilisations – from the neolithic Nuragic peoples, to Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Aragonese, and Spanish.
Sardinia has also been home to countless power struggles between the native people and other mainland Italian republics; Pisa, Genoa and Piedmont to name a few.
The second largest island in Italy and Europe, Sardinia offers 1,897 km of rocky coast characterised by small coves that in the north east become deep and wedged in the valleys.
The southern and western areas are characterised, instead, by low and sandy coasts.
Rich in mountains, forests, plains, largely uninhabited territories, waterways, rocky coasts and long sandy beaches, the island has been metaphorically defined as a micro-continent due to the variety of its ecosystems.
Administratively it is divided into four provinces: Sassari, Cagliari, Oristano, and Nuoro.
As in the rest of the Mediterranean, the climate in Sardinia is temperate. It is characterised by its long and hot summers, with temperatures that hover around 30°C (86°F) and its mild and humid winters, with an average minimum temperature of 15°C (59°F).
Autumn and spring are seasons of temperate climate, very favourable for walks and trekking, although not so much suited to enjoy the fantastic beaches of Sardinia to their full potential.
As a general rule, Sardinia does not have extreme climates, although in summer there can be some very hot days, particularly in August. During the winter there may be some snowfalls in the central parts of the island, and believe it or not, Sardinia has its very own ski resort located in Fonni, the highest town in Sardinia.
In general, if you hail from the wetter and colder parts of the world, the weather in Sardinia is wonderful year round. The tourism high season runs from May to September, and populations of coastal towns and villages swell to up to three times their normal sizes during this period. The low season runs from October to April, at which time it is more difficult to find flights, but the prices for accommodation are much lower.
Most of the rainfall throughout the year occurs from November to April, however, you should know that Sardinia still has an average of 300 days a year of sunshine.
Sardinia, almost a continent, has something for everyone.