When we think of Sardinia, our mind conjures up images of days spent walking along a beautifully rugged coastline, swimming in the glittering blue sea or sipping a glass of chilled prosecco on board our own private boat.
Basically – heaven.
The perfect destination for late summer sun, Sardinia’s average temperature for September is a balmy 22 degrees, with highs of 27 and lows of 17.
And if this sounds like your ideal holiday to take before settling into autumn, consider booking yourself a little R&R with a stay in one of the island’s top-rated resorts, Valle Dell’Erica Thalasso and Spa.
The 5* resort itself is vast, spanning 28-hectares of land dotted along 14,000 metres of coastline. It encompasses two hotels – Hotel La Licciola and Hotel Erica – with some 271 rooms and suites, four swimming pools, seven restaurants and five bars between them. And if that somehow wasn’t enough, there’s even a gorgeous Thalasso & Spa centre on site.
Beach lovers can have their fill of sand and sea along the seemingly endless coastline while the naturally wind-carved coves make for a perfectly secluded reading spot. Simply pack a picnic and wind your way along the coast for lunch, or take a bat and ball and get competitive in the sand. Or, if that all sounds like too much activity, grab a sun lounger and settle in for the day.
Choose from two hotels
We stayed in the resort’s original hotel, Hotel Erica. The complex offers 148 fully equipped rooms decorated in a traditional Mediterranean style that we found particularly soothing – think terracotta and cream colour schemes with accents of sea-coloured blue. We unashamedly spent a lot of time on our room’s gorgeous private terrace, and it’s worth nothing that some have hammocks or interconnecting doors, which are ideal for families or small groups (girls’ getaway, anyone?)
The second hotel, Hotel La Licciola, is an extension of the original resort. Built in 2013, it offers 123 luxurious rooms, as well as three beautiful saltwater swimming pools and that all-important, Instagram-worthy swim up bar.
Taste of Sardinia
With no less than seven unique restaurants on site, there is literally no need to ever leave the resort. We feasted on wood-fired pizza at the pizzeria one evening and soaked in the views – and the sunset – from the sea-front restaurant, La Prua, the next.
As true foodies, we tried our hand at whipping up a Sardinian dish of our own at the highly-recommended hilltop restaurant, Li Ciusoni, which caters to curious guests such as us with complimentary cooking lessons in its stunning outdoor kitchen. Here, you can concoct traditional Gallurese dishes such as Zuppa Gallurese, Ciusoni and Seadas.
And for an extra-special evening, we recommend booking in a night of al fresco dining on the beach, where your food will be served atop pristine white tablecloths as you take in the spectacular panoramic views of the ocean. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we reckon is well worth the extra spend.
If you fancy venturing further afield, the resort offers a plethora of excursions to help you see more of beautiful Sardinia and beyond.
Our highlights were spending the day skimming across the sea to explore the Sardinia-Corsica Archipelago on a mini cruise, as well as chartering a private boat and discovering the hidden coasts and bays dotted around the area. The coastline is even more vast than it appears from the resort, and there is plenty to explore via boat, so this is an experience that’s definitely worth adding to your list.
For those with an adventurous spirit, the resort also offers kayaking, paddleboarding, trekking, mountain biking… the list goes on.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a hotel spa more authentic than Le Thermae, the resort’s Thalasso centre.
Built into a natural environment of cooling granite rocks, the entire spa – down to every nook and cranny – is scented with Mediterranean herbs, which gave us a sense of relaxation before we could even say the word “massage”.
The spa’s circuit of four seawater swimming pools, each with their own temperature, are a total delight for the senses – follow our lead and simply lie back and let the Thalasso circuit drift you on your way to bliss.
Or, for an even more luxurious experience, we recommend booking into one of the spa’s private chalets for an à la carte treatment – our picks would be the relaxing massage with locally sourced essential oils, or the ‘sea breeze’ massage in the open air with beautiful views of the coast.
There is also a hammam, sauna and relaxation and cardio-fitness area on site.
The best time to visit Sardinia is in the summer, which lasts a heady six months from May to October. The average temperature for the beginning and end of the season is around 17 degrees, so be sure to pack an extra couple of layers for the cooler evenings (although you could just rely on your alcohol jacket to keep you warm after a couple of gins in the resort’s elegant piano bar…)
Temperatures then hit the mid-20s and low-30s for the season’s peak, which is the ideal time to visit the resort for maximum sunbathing opportunities and long, candlelit dinners on the beach.
Flight time from London to Sardinia is approximately two and a half hours, and flights to Sardinia are available from all major UK airports. If you’re booking a stay at the resort, keep in mind that the nearest airport is Olbia, which is a 55km transfer by taxi or bus. Alternatively, if you’re feeling fancy, you could fly to Alghero and hop on a helicopter transfer to cover the 130km distance.
Prices start at £129 per person per night in a double room on a half board basis. Head here to book.
Images: courtesy of the resort