The majestic island of Sardinia is located off the west coast of Italy just below the island of Corsica. The second largest island in the Mediterranean it runs approximately 250 kilometres from north to south and 110 kilometres from east to west.
Italian is the main language of this vastly diverse island although various regions of the island have traditional languages of their own from Catalan in the region of Alghero through to Campidanese in the south.
The landscape of this stunning island is incredibly varied, from white sandy beaches on the coast to the mountainous terrain in the central parts of the island. From cities like Cagliari in the south to old coastal towns like Alghero in the north you will find a varied array of architecture and culture.
In the region of Nuoro, at the heart of Sardinia, you will find villages and towns 800 metres above sea level that have been completely untouched by the course of time. In the northeast of the island lies the famous Costa Smerelda (the emerald coast) playground of the rich and famous.
The island is also peppered with a vast array of archaeological remains including the Nuraghes, (a stone tepee like structure) which are among some of the oldest constructions known to man.
The cuisine of Sardinia is just as varied as it's terrain with an as expected abundance of seafood dishes to be found in coastal regions including what is said to be some of the finest lobster in the world.
All this having been said though the traditional delicacies of Sardinia are to be found in land where your taste buds will be tantalised with wood roast suckling pig, wild boar and traditional Sardinian sausage.
Famous the world over the beaches of Sardinia are truly something that must be seen to be believed. Crystal clear waters and white sand that runs for miles, Sardinia truly is a touch of paradise in the Mediterranean.
Sardinia has always traditionally been a place of holiday for Italians and a very well kept secret due to its lack of connectivity to the rest of Europe. Ryanair has changed this. Now with flights daily from London (two flights a day in the summer months) to Alghero and connections to Barcelona and Frankfurt, Sardinia has opened its doors to the rest of Europe.
With a very short winter and long summer the potential for tourism throughout the year is immense. There are though strict laws in place within Sardinia to preserve the landscape and not allow the island to be over developed. For instance construction of new property on the coast line has been restricted to not allow any building within three kilometres of the sea and there are also many other stringent regulations as to the height of constructions so as not to interfere with the ambient of the terrain. All of this means that what already exists in Sardinia can be used to its full potential without the tranquillity of the island being ruined.
Property in Sardinia is still fairly cheap compared to prices around Europe but they are on the rise. Coastal regions are among the more expensive regions to buy but have the added benefit of being a fairly certain rental investment. Inland there are many fantastic bargains to be found immersed in the tranquillity of the Sardinian countryside with the added knowledge that you are never that far away from the coast.
Whether you are looking for a new home or merely the holiday of a life time, Sardinia has it all. Go scuba diving amongst the coral in Alghero, sailing in Porto Conte or even rock climbing in Barbagia here you will find a little piece of paradise for everyone.
Born in London Kirk Friis moved to Sardinia in 2003 where he lives with his wife and son.