Sardinia has a history as wild and wonderful as its rugged coastline and terrain. The interior is hidden in forests which rise to great heights with its mountains, while its coastline is decked with white sandy beaches, secret caves, hidden coves and romantic bays. The best of these can be found in the northern part of the island from Gallura to the Costa Smeralda overlooking the many islands and islets of the La Maddalena archipelago.
The adventurous can explore either on land or by sea, while sybarites can enjoy the crystal-clear waters, the near-deserted beaches and the luxuries provided by two renowned five-star hotels — Hotel Capo d’Orso Thalasso & Spa and Resort Valle dell’Erica Thalasso & Spa.
The former is romantic and exclusive, surrounded by ancient olive groves and sporting its own private marina, while the latter is located in 28 acres of parkland and has fantastic views of all the islands of La Maddalena; guests can see all the way across to Corsica.
Both hotels have Thalasso spas which not only use sea water but offer all the health-giving properties of the Mediterranean’s mud, plants and minerals in their treatments.
Couples and honeymooners from throughout Europe head for the intimacy of Capo d’Orso while Families, couples and groups of friends prefer the facilities and space of Valle dell’Erica — both are also close to the international airport.
Sardinia is renowned for its six-month-long summer from May to October. Even the sea is warm in May. High season is July and August and the latter is the hottest month, with January the coolest. Spring and autumn bring visitors who prefer a more active holiday, especially walking, hiking, mountain biking and horse-riding.
Both Thalassotherapy spas have a full range of treatments using seawater, mud and minerals and both offer a choice of pools and a Thalasso Wellness circuit which houses jets to massage and stimulate different areas of the body. At the Hotel Capo d’Orso there are also five wooden solariums, a Turkish bath and a choice of massages which use Sardinian aromatic oils, wraps using sea mud and affusion showers, plus a host of beauty treatments from facials to pedicures. Also on offer are programmes lasting from three half-days to a six-day slimming and toning retreat. At the Thalasso Spa at Valle dell’Erica as well as the wellness circuit there are four outdoor multifunctional pools, a cardio-fitness room, Turkish bath and sauna as well as a choice of one-to-six-day programmes for both men and women.
In fact, the special Man Relax three-day programme — a mixture of mud wraps, hydrotherapy baths and massage — is a favourite with stressed-out executives.
Explore the island; it is as magnificent in the hills and forests as it is along the coast. Take guided hikes or explore on horseback or bicycle; the hotels offer their own adventure days with maps and guides to show you the best of area. The hotels also have boats to rent to explore the coastline and islands as well as offering a choice of water sports. Head to Porto Cervo on the Costa Smeralda for glitzy designer shops and glamorous bars and café. Capo d’Orso has its own nine-hole pitch and putt golf course. There is an open-air gym as well as tennis courts. Also on offer are complimentary cooking classes at the Resort Valle dell’Erica where you can discover the tastes of Sardinia.
Both properties offer a Light Legs programme which can be enjoyed over three days (morning or afternoon) and includes aquagym sessions, detoxifying scrubs, wraps and draining massages — all terrific in helping stimulate circulation and toning your pins. The Thalasso Discovery therapy is an ideal introduction to the wellness offerings of seawater.