Sardinia Cattle
Sardinia Seashore
Sardinia Tomatoes and Mozerella
Sardinia Pasta Dish

Leisure Chronicles: Sardinia

Volgole, caprese, and lobster. Spit-roasted meats, salty olives, fresh cheese.

Curious to discover where you can sample bites that embody all that life should be?

I hope so, because I’m going to tell a travel story about where you can go to find expansive cuisine, personal revolution, and a whole lot of mouth watering flavors. Put on your largest sun hat, grab yourself an icy San Pellegrino, and get ready to sail away to Sardinia with us!

Sardinia Beach Crowd

A 9,300 square mile island replete with culinary diversity and cultural nuance, Sardinia is located in the Western Mediterranean. It’s the second largest island in the region (after Sicily) and is known for its coastal variety, volcanic landscape, and inviting waters. It’s a ‘must experience’ for the intrepid adventurers among us (Yes, that’s you-I see your eyebrow raised up!).

The cultural influences here are varied, in part because multiple countries share these turquoise seas. Italy and France are so close they’re practically kissing. Then there’s Algeria and Tunisia, who are leaning in for the group hug. Sounds exotic, because it is. The Mediterranean and Tyrrhenian Seas exchange waves while the sun radiates over the entire region.

Sardinia Doorstep with a Friend
Sardinia in Front of a Green Door

The Sunshine in Sardinia is unlike anywhere else in the world…

I’ve been to this region on two separate trips, once alone, and once with friends. Bathed in a warm glow, this tiny island’s inhabitants charm you with their joy and laughter. I nicknamed it the Land of Fast Friends.

Speaking of friends…

I met Bianca years ago at an outdoor farm theater in British Columbia. She was a costume designer back then. Now she’s the owner of Italian Fix, a tour company for people who want to experience Italy in a magical way. Rosa is a hot, authentic, twenty-something “Italian grandmother”. She is not on social media and is guided by traditional principles, Rosa unpacks when she travels, while Bianca and I prefer to root around in our bags.

Rosa loved to laugh at Bianca and I: our unorthodox methods reminded her of dreadlocked hippies asking for change on the side of the street. Punkabbestia. An Italian word for someone without a permanent home and who has one or more dogs.

We didn’t have dreadlocks, dogs, or beg on the street, but we did have a sense of adventure that Rosa was unaccustomed to. A character trait that blazed us to the idea of hiring a yacht. 🙂

At first, the idea of chartering a boat to travel through the Lavezzi Islands of Sardinia seemed like a far out concept. Like hey, isn’t that totally out of our reach? Bianca looked into booking through Boomerang Charters, and before I could say “no way”, we were already underway on a tour of the Maddalena Archipelago.

Which reminds me: when it comes to wishes, oftentimes we wait for shooting stars and cross our fingers. Other times, all we have to do is make plans.

Sardinia Sea and Rocks

What’s better than one island? A tiny Italian archipelago.

Meet the next stop on our route: the Lavezzi Islands.

We traveled light: bikinis, fancy dresses, olives, watermelon, and prosecco.

When we arrived at our boat the Captain stepped towards us in a heartstopping moment of disbelief. How could it be that we had the most handsome captain on this side of the ship, and most likely every ship in this whole Mediterranean? We imagined the candid camera crew was down in the hatches, waiting to pop up and laughingly present a far crustier, dodgier helmsman.

But that moment never came, and we slowly relaxed away from the idea of being punked, into the idea that we were at ease with what felt like the quintessential holiday.

Imagine cruising cerulean waters and dropping anchor near a granite outcrop.

Swim for a little or a long way.

Then watch sand crabs scuttle as you approach the white sand of an island with no other humans on it.

You might enjoy exploring the islands in a nearly naked fashion, discovering and inhaling the herbs you will find there.

Wake up at 5 am in the middle of a beautiful sea. Admire schools of fish as they swim past.

Dive into the pristine waters and emerge with less than you started with.

Scan the sky for Eleonara’s Falcons as you walk the white pebble beach of Cala Goloritze.

Hike the trail in the company of goats, be nimble.

Renewal is an amazing feeling as troubles just float away.

As the experience unfolded, it became apparent that we couldn’t afford not to have undertaken this escapade. Not only for fun, but also for solace. My very best friend in the whole world had just died. Life’s heartbreaks must find an outlet.

Sometimes life calls for more: more daring, more adventure, more quality time with our friends and with ourselves. More time for healing. More time for living. Sometimes what we need is more yes and less no.

Sardinia Boats in Cave

Bonifacio

Just as we were dazzled by the absence of people, we were dazzled by the presence of them, when after a few hours of sailing we pulled into the Corsican Port Town of Bonifacio, France. This pristine harbor town is just 10 km north of the Lavezzi Islands.

Our chiselled Captain gave us the chisme on the comings and goings of harbor life as we docked. It was like an alternate reality. There on the left was the boat of the Sultan of Brunei, and on the right was an episode from the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

The City of Cliffs did not disappoint with its hidden coves, which are perfect for skinny dipping. Can you imagine the breeze against your skin? Perfectly natural and ultimately healing.

When you are done exploring the sea and basking in your natural state, you can move on to the next best thing: amazing restaurants. We showered on the boat and slipped into our fancy dresses. We stepped onto the docks and entered into a whole new world. While I’d rather be half naked on a tiny island, this was a pretty close second.

Sardinia Forest by the Sea
Sardinia Hammocks by the Sea

Lanthia Resort

Lanthia is a beautiful destination. Here you will find lonely coastal views, mountainscape dining, and peaceful hammocks set up in a shady oceanside perch. The buildings are gorgeous with washed brick construction. This is a breathtaking location and worthy of some dedicated relaxation. Just don’t ask for the laundry service! While Italian resorts typically help you with this detail, you’ll invite a steep price for skivvie maintenance at Lanthia.

Sardinia Laughing with a Friend
Sardinia Swimming Pool

Su Gologone

Venture into the recesses of Italy. This is the kind of resort where you will be inclined to remove your shoes at the base of the driveway and reverently take it all in. The people who travel here are those who appreciate magical land and ancient springs. It is luxurious in the simplest, most natural way.

You will drive for hours to reach this destination, and will likely pass shepherds and sheep along the way (this bodes well, if you can appreciate fresh regional dairy products that you will never be able to taste anywhere else).

Ordinarily, European accommodations will include breakfast. The breakfast at Su Gologone is not ordinary, it’s extraordinary. We love this subdued resort which elevates the landscape and caters to your sensory needs with an herb garden, inviting pool and incredible hiking.

Sardinia Patio
Sardinia Pots and Pans
Sardinia Table Settings

Other things I realized along the way…

The first time I ventured into this region I was on my own. GPS was not an option nor was a cell phone. I navigated via map and instinct. I found my way. In fact, I found a great deal more than my destinations. I discovered what was important, and found confirmation, yet again, that beauty, discovery, and friendship are the touchstones of humanity.

I can use this knowledge to carry me through difficult days. And I can use what I’ve learned from travel and life experiences to share brilliant truths and buoy others.

Adventure makes hearts beat faster, and this girl loves to hear the thumping of a ratcheting trip. The kind of trip that moves you and me on a steady trajectory towards a blown mind and a far open heart. We are resilient. We love beauty. We believe in freedom.


Travel with Tim in 2022 to Cinque Terre

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