Sardinia, off the beaten track

We love Italy, but I guess this does not come a surprise to anyone. And while we’ve explored most of the Italian cities and regions, Sardinia somehow did not happen. Not until this year.

Planning well in advance is essential when choosing a popular destination. Otherwise you might end up not only paying a lot for the flight, but also making a compromise on the accommodation, as in the end you don’t want to be spending a fortune. The other thing you might want to consider is travelling outside the peak season. Best is June or September, as it’s not as busy and also it doesn’t get too hot.

So, here I was, back in October last year, browsing airbnb for places to stay. The criteria was: to be in a remote place, far from the packed Costa Esmeralda, and to have a terrace. What I was hoping for was to live like a local for a couple of days.

And it did not take long, and I found it. Casa Orosei, a true gem in the small village of Cuglieri. A place where time is kind to people, a place where everyone seems to be happy and live long. This is definitely the place where everyone’s taking the afternoon siesta very seriously. We were very surprised to discover that everything was closed (even the supermarket!!!) between 12:30 and 17:30. Restaurants were open though until 14:30, so the plan was always lunch first and a nap in the afternoon, or heading back to the beach.

Casa Orosei is, with no doubt, one of the most beautiful, genuine airbnbs we’ve ever stayed. Gorgeous townhouse in Cuglieri, well taken care by Simona and Maria Antonia. The house is very spacious, with 2 double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a living room and a study room which can also be used as bedrooms if you’re travelling with a big group of friends. The main living room though is on the ground floor (where is nice and cool). The top floor though was our favourite by far, with the kitchen and the rooftop terrace.

The terrace was the place in the house we’ve spent most of our time. It has views over the village and the hills behind, and on the other side, it’s the sea. Mornings were all about coffee, fresh ricotta & tomatoes, pane carasau sprinkled with olive oil. Evenings were about fresh fish on the grill and the famous Vermentino wine. And enjoying the sunset.

Cuglieri is a remote village on the West Coast, perfect for those looking to enjoy the silence and the yet undiscovered parts of Sardinia. While is the perfect place for brain recovery, there’s not much to do around. So you just need to take it easy and live ‘la dolce vita’.

There are couple of places to eat in Cuglieri, but we would just stick to Meridiana. Their fresh pasta is to die for – we’ve tried the seafood pasta, but also ravioli with fish and the rabbit ragu. However the highlight here was the fish soup, which my husband had 2 days in a row. Was simply too good to try anything else on the menu.

The other highlight in Cuglieri is Peddio. The olive oil producer has a shop in the centre of the village, where you can buy olive oil and other goodies to bring back home.

Where to go to the beach?

There are a couple of beaches driving distance from Cuglieri which Simona from Casa Orosei recommended, but also places I’ve found in my research for Sardinia.

  • S’Archittu
  • Mari Ermi
  • the famous Is Arutas beach
  • Spiaggia di Capo San Marco, near the archaeological area of Tharros
  • Bosa Marina
  • Spiggia di Maimoni

What to see around Cuglieri?

It’s worth a stop in Tinnura, the mural town of Sardinia. You may call it an open air museum, however for me was probably the most lively place on the island on a hot summer afternoon when everyone’s hiding and enjoying the Siesta time.

Bosa is another lovely town which is worth spending a good couple of hours wandering around. It’s just another genuine Italian place which deserves to be explored. Streets were empty in the afternoon, and everything closed for the Siesta.

Cagliari is the capital city of the island, 1h 30min drive from Cuglieri.

We’ve spent half a day wondering around, there’s plenty to see and also lots of cute little places to stop by for an aperitivo or a meal. If there would be one place not to be missed here, that would be I Fenu Gelateria. It’s bit hidden from the busy streets, and might go missed, so make sure you pin it on your map for next time you’re in town. For aperitivo I’d recommend La Piccola Caffetteria – the aperol spritz is nice (also loved the glasses) and they are very generous with the snacks. The place itself is lovely too, and obviously, there is outdoor seating as well.

Other places on the island, some tried & tested, some just on our list

Sa Crescia Ezza, L’Alineddu – probably the most authentic place and meal we’ve had in Sardinia. It’s fixed menu and on Sunday they do roasted piglet, traditional dish in some parts of the island. What I can assure you is that for the 35eur they’re charging, you’ll get loads of food and wine:) You begin with couple of starters: roasted vegetables, pie, ricotta with honey (yum) and cured meats and cheese platter. don’t stuff yourself, as there’s more to follow. And when I say more, I actually mean a lot: 3 types of pasta, followed by the roasted piglet, plus some lamb in the oven if you can keep going. And of course dessert and mirtillo at the end.

  • Ristorante Su Carduleu in Abbasanta – it’s literally in the middle of the island, but absolutely worth the drive
  • Su Gologone, Olien – recommended place for lunch, but they also offer accommodation if you fancy this part of the island. It’s conveniently located close to Olbia, 30min drive from the city.
  • La Pasticceria Artigianale di Monne luisa & figlio in Nuoro for some delicious treats

This was probably one of the most relaxing summer holidays we’ve had, and we couldn’t be more grateful for that. I leave you with some more photos from the island, as the landscape is just too gorgeous not to be shared here.

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