Sardinia - sandy beaches, luxury and relaxation
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The second largest island in the Mediterranean is certainly one of its most stunning.
Formed by a series of mountainous massifs, hills and narrow highlands, the coasts are jagged and rocky, interspersed with marvellous beaches of very fine sand and countless inlets. The seaside landscapes, especially on the Costa Smeralda, are certainly amongst the most beautiful in the world.
Numerous small, enchanting islets are scattered in front of the coasts. Any visit to Sardinia should take in the Costa Smeralda and the island of the Maddalena (Bocche di Bonifacio); the islands of San Pietro and Sant'Antioco, near Cagliari.
Travellers to Sardinia should not omit a visit to the archaeological excavations of Tharros and the cork-oak woods, at the foot of the Gennargentu.
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Sardinia - beaches, culture and sea food
Gastronomy Sardinian towns and cities, especially those along the coast, have a rich tradition of fish and sea food. Over the centuries the mixing of the traditions has evolved into a unique gastronomic experience.
There is a large fishing industry catching everything from lobster to squill, from "astici" to spider crab, from prawns to scampi. The local recommended cuisine includes the 'ziminio, the 'coata' soup, the ever-present bottarga (tuna roe) as well as the delicious spaghetti with lobster.
A common way to cook fish is to cover the fish in coarse sea salt and bake it in an oven which preserves the original taste of the fish.
Culture Very ancient and peculiar remains of the prehistoric and protohistoric eras are the megalithic "Tombs of the Giants"; the "domus dejanas" (houses of the witches), tombs dug into the rock; and the "nuraghi".
The nuraghi, truncated cone towers in huge stone and fortified dwellings of the earliest inhabitants, number about 7,000 and can be found all over the island. Phoenician and Roman remains have come to light at Tharros and Nora; there are Roman relics at Porto Torres and Cagliari.
The Gothic-Catalonian style thrived in the island under the rule of the Spanish House of Aragon.