what is the ultimate vacation island in the mediterranean?


There are also reasonable prices for a family vacation. Corsican places (01489 866 931; corsica.co.uk) offers stays at Residencia Sognu di Rena – a simple but comfortable four-star apartment complex with swimming pool, on the sands of the east coast. A seven-night stay for a family of three, departing Heathrow on July 23, costs from £2,973.


A holiday with hiking shoes and backpacks is definitely possible. Exodus Journeys (020 8772 3936; exodus.co.uk) organizes a regular break “Mountains and villages of Corsica” – an eight-day guided odyssey that chooses a gloriously slow path between Bastia and Ajaccio. Parts of the route are covered by Corsica’s high-speed railways. Others – via the legendary GR20 footpath and along the Gravona River to the Richiusa Gorge – are on foot. Ten editions of the tour are planned by the end of September – from £1,499 pp, including flights and accommodation in a rustic hotel near Bocognano.


To describe Sardinia as “the second largest island in Italy”, although accurate, is to underestimate a place whose history dates back to a time long before the nation of Puccini and Puttanesca. The Nuragic civilization ruled Sardinia from the 18th century BC until the arrival of the Romans some 1,500 years later. Their footprints and graves are tattooed on the landmass – to effect listed by Unesco, in the case of the archaeological site of Su Nuraxi di Barumini. Other clues to its “otherness” are, however, less ancient. Surely the most romantic are the continued existence of an indigenous Sardinian and a version of Catalan – both recognized as two of Italy’s official minority languages. These linguistic rarities distinguish Sardinia from the mainland as firmly as its rugged interior and tendency to withdraw into itself, although some of its resorts are as special as those of Amalfi and Tuscany.

Getting There

North-east of Olbia, gateway to the famous Costa Smeralda, has become the busiest Sardinian airport for flights from the UK. BA serves it from Heathrow, easyJet from Gatwick, Luton, Bristol and Manchester. Its central role in package travel is also visible in the routes operated by Tui (020 3451 2688; tui.co.uk), from Manchester and Gatwick – and by Jet2 (0800 408 0778; jet2holidays.com), which flies from Stansted and Manchester, and will add new routes from Birmingham and Leeds-Bradford in 2023.

The capital Cagliari on the south coast is home to both British Airways and easyJet from Gatwick, as well as Ryanair (01279 358 438; ryanair.com) from Stansted. The latter airline provides the only UK connection to Alghero on the west coast (also from Stansted).

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