If you want to experience the majesty of the Caribbean without the hassle of the long-haul flight, Sardinia should be top of your holiday hit-list. A treasure trove of natural beauty with a welcome helping of history thrown in, it's the sort of place that allows you to reconnect with the world around you - because why would you want to be looking down at your phone when the views are this good?
Of course, a big part of visiting Sardinia for most will be the chance to unwind on its stunning beaches. You can't go wrong with any of these awe-inspiring sandy stretches, but we'd suggest Cala Goloritzé if you're hoping to snorkel - be warned that it's a 3-hour round trip hike to get there, but well worth the effort!
If r&r is more on your mind, hit up Cala Brandinchi - known as 'Little Tahiti' for how it rivals Hawaii's incredibly clear seas. It's rivalled by Cala dei Gabbiani, a captivating cove with rocky outcrops that only add to the Caribbean-esque scene.
For those who can bear to tear themselves away from the coast, there's so much history to uncover on Sardinia. The island boasts several ancient archaeological sites, while ancient edifices called nuraghes are somewhat commonplace - you'll find them scattered throughout the island, and they date back to the Bronze Age.
And no trip is complete without visiting Sardinia's capital, Cagliari. As the most populated city on the island, it has landmarks including Cagliari Cathedral and Bastione Saint Remy. It's also home to a very particular type of pizza called pizzetta sfoglia - trust us on this one and give it a try.
While Sardinia may be an island, interestingly the focus here is more on meats over seafood. Pork and lamb dominate most menus, with porcetto arrosto (roasted suckling pig) and pecora in cappotto (mutton stew) proving particular favourites. However, lobster is also lovingly prepared in Alghero, where it's boiled and then served with fresh tomatoes and onion in salad form.
Of course, if you're looking to sample multiple cold cuts and cheeses at once, you can't go wrong with aperitivo - only made better when enjoyed with a glass of local wine. Serving up the likes of dry sausage and aged pecorino on a single plate, it's an integral part of Sardinian culture.
Vegetarian? Fear not. There are plenty of pasta dishes to choose from! Fregula is unique to Sardinia, made using a sieve which creates tiny pieces of dough. Often referred to as Italian couscous, these balls are then cooked in a manner similar to risotto. Culurgiones are also hugely popular across the island - handmade, oversized ravioli pockets boasting a potato, pecorino and mint filling.
We hope you saved room for dessert, because seadas are simply irresistible - deep-fried semolina dumplings generously stuffed with pecorino cheese and lemon zest. The final touch is a drizzle of Sardinian honey on top - decadently delicious.