Travel Photography Journal: Sardinia
Sardinia: The Island of Contrasts
Otherworldly dust-blown landscapes, impossible cliff faces dropping dramatically into the Tyrrhenian Sea, untouched inland cultures and the world’s most expensive stretch of coastline – Italy’s second largest island is a place of stark contrasts. Journey from the millionaires’ playground of the Costa Smeralda to the remote hilltop towns, hidden sweeps of deserted sands and experience fiery sunsets like nowhere else on earth…
Above the marina town of Porto Cervo – with its superyachts and designer Italian boutiques - lies Baja Sardinia; a small tourist town dotted with secret sandy coves and spectacular sunset views. Visit the affluent Phi Beach Club to watch the sun go down from the rocks, with a cocktail in hand.
Hike through the wild Sardinian bush to reach the island’s best-worst-kept-secret: the white pebbled beach of Cala Goloritzé. Inaccessible by car, those who brave the hour’s hard walk are rewarded with some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean, and one of the most photogenic beaches in the world.
Sardinia’s hilltop towns are treasure troves of history, from the age-old daily routines of the locals to donkey transportation and traditional ceremonies. Baunei, with its white-washed church, rustic bars and vantage point over the sprawling land and sea below, is one of the most charming examples of Sardinia’s old-world ways.
Golfo di Orosei
Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Golfo di Orosei National Park in style – by hiring your own boat for the day. The cliffs, caves and coves offer ample opportunity to anchor and swim in the warm blue waters, against a backdrop of strange mountains and peaks that are reminiscent of a land before time.
The archipelago of La Maddalena – located between Sardinia’s North East coast and the French island of Corsica above – is a place of almost unspoilt natural beauty, with lagoon-style deserted beaches and a historic centre whose architecture hints at an interesting past. From the pretty, tourist-focused marina to the untouched outer-islands, La Maddalena is one of Sardinia’s most photogenic locations.
Venture inland over the winding, hairpin-bend roads of the Supramonte, and past the Gola di Gorropu – known as the “Grand Canyon” of Europe, towards one of Sardinia’s most interesting and historic towns – Nuoro – on the slopes of Monte Ortobene. Nuoro’s importance to the island lies in its long list of influential past residents – from painters and poets, to writers and sculptors.
Sardinia’s capital city is best seen during the golden hour – when the warm light shines on the architectural palaces, churches and buildings that lie in wait around every corner. Nowhere offers a better view than the vantage point at Piazza dell’Indipendenza, next to the Royal Palace. From here, the rooftops of the city spread out below and stretch towards the endless Tyrrhenian Sea.
A curved strip of pure white sand, backed by a nature reserve home to some of Sardinia’s famous pink flamingos, makes the San Teodoro beach of La Cinta one of the island’s most unmissable sights. Fragrant juniper scents the sand dunes and the crystal waters are perfect for snorkelling.
Author Bio: Fiona McNicol
Fiona is a Scottish travel blogger, photographer and digital nomad.
She is the founder of solo travel and photography blog A Travellin’ Tale and writes for a range of travel publications, websites and apps.
You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, all @travellintale