Sardinia has fantastic, gorgeous beaches. Liz Boulter loses herself among them, and picks the best, and surprisingly affordable, places to eat and stay
Italy offers so much to holidaymakers: food and wine, art and architecture, high peaks and bosomy Tuscan hills, but relatively few Brits come here for sun and sand. To UK tastes, Italy simply doesn’t do seaside very well: beaches are often given over to hotel and bar concessions, with rows of sunbeds differentiated only by the colour of their umbrellas and the trashiness of their euro-pop. Only a corner at the least attractive end will be spiaggia libera – for people who just want to rock up and lie on a towel.
Sardinia isn’t like that: lists of the island’s best beaches run into the hundreds, and there are many more unnamed coves and wedges of white, silver or golden sand around its 1,000km-plus of coastline, peninsulas and islands. Some popular beaches are concessionised – though even these tend to be so spacious that plenty of spiaggia libera remains. There are wild beaches for those prepared to tote their own supplies, but most have a shack selling drinks, ice-creams and snacks.