Two stunning Mediterranean islands
With its beautiful towns, truly wonderful scenery and white sandy beaches, Sardinia has enchanted all who visit. On this stunning tour we discover its remote interior by private heritage railway, see some of its historic ancient monuments and visit the sparkling Costa Smeralda and untouched Corsica.
We take the short flight from London to Cagliari today. On arrival, we check into our hotel, the 4-Star T Hotel, which boasts an enviable central position in Cagliari. After some time to settle in, we enjoy a tour of the city, by coach and on foot, taking in the sun-baked charms of this typically Sardinian coastal city. Frequented by author DH Lawrence among others, the Sardinian capital is known for its honey-coloured architecture, from its 13th-century cathedral to the hilltop castle that peers over the town, and its laid-back atmosphere. Having returned to our hotel, we enjoy dinner together this evening.
After breakfast today, we transfer by coach to Isili, where we join a classic railcar of the steam-hauled Trenino Verde train, for a journey to Laconi. En-route we pause for a brief photo opportunity at Sarcidano, before arriving in Laconi. Laid across the Sarcidano plateau, the town is a natural and cultural paradise characterised by verdant woodland. With its quiet mountainous feel, Laconi is a blissful spot for a stroll, or to arrange some lunch, which you are free to do. You could also visit the Menhir Museum, dedicated to the mysterious menhirs, large standing stones sometimes adorned with carvings, that litter western Europe and date back to prehistoric times (payable locally). We return to our hotel this evening in time for dinner.
Our coach excursion today takes us to Orgosolo, a town with a politicallycharged, turbulent history that has emerged as one of Sardinia's most fascinating destinations. Your time here is free and the town's biggest draw is undoubtedly its vibrant, graffiti-style murals, which draw art-lovers and curious travellers alike to this often overlooked town.
Our lunch today is a typical Sardinian experience, and one we are unlikely to forget. Eating with local shepherds, we enjoy a rustic lunch in a traditional shepherd's hut, sampling regional specialties and local hospitality. After feasting on delicious cheese, bread and meat that is typical of Orgosolo and its surrounding mountain villages, we are serenaded by our hosts, as they sing 'canto a tenore' - traditional Sardinian folk songs performed in a polyphonic style, that are a staple of local life.
After lunch, we visit the Sardinian Ethnographic Museum, a museum dedicated to the people of Sardinia and their cultural traditions, for a fascinating insight into the history of local life. Later, we head to Puerto Cervo, where we check in to our glamorous home for the next four nights, the 4-Star Colonna Country & Sporting Club.
Today is our first day in Puerto Cervo, and you are free to spend it as you wish. Situated on the delightful Costa Smeralda, Puerto Cervo is surrounded by stunning scenery, and is known as one of the prettiest villages in Sardinia. The town takes influences from a handful of styles scattered around the Mediterranean Sea - from North African and Greek touches, to hints of Spanish style - for a heady blend and a unique yet beautiful effect. This evening, we enjoy a special dinner in a local agriturismo in nearby Cannigione.
Today we board the ferry and cruise to the French island of Corsica, a wonderfully unspoiled area of the Mediterranean. On arrival, we board a mini-train to the southern town of Bonifacio, where we enjoy a guided tour. Dramatically situated on a series of limestone cliffs, Bonifacio boasts a ruined Franciscan monastery at the tip of the headland, as well as a fortified Old Town built by the Genoese in the 12th century.
Today we transfer to Palau, for a delightful cruise to La Maddalena, in the heart of the Maddalena archipelago, for a tour of the tiny island's many bays and coves. We also discover Isola Caprera, an untamed yet serene island floating off the Maddalena archipelago, topped with trees and surrounded by sharp cliffs and shimmering waters. We also visit the Garibaldi Museum, housed in the former home of the Italian leader, Giuseppe Garibaldi, a politician who adored Caprera and nicknamed the little island 'Eden.' After free time for lunch, we also visit the Diocesan Museum of La Maddalena, where sacred art is displayed.
We reboard the Trenino Verde on Day 7 for a journey to through spellbinding scenery to alluring Alghero, visiting Lago Liscia along the way for a photo stop. Later, we arrive at Tempio Pausania, a town that dates back to Roman foundations in the 2nd century BC, surrounded by glorious countryside.
After an orientation tour, we tuck in to an agriturismo lunch together, before continuing by coach to Nuraghe Santu Antine, a Bronze Age archaeological site. One of the largest nuraghic sites in Sardinina, this fascinating complex of ancient architectural remnants is focussed on a 57ft (17.5m) tower, that is thought to have partially collapsed from an original height of 75ft (23m). Three bastions surround the tower, forming a curious triangular shape to the compound. It is estimated that the site dates back to the 1600 BC, and is considered one of the finest examples of archaeology from this era. We finish our day in Alghero, where we spend the next two nights. This evening, we enjoy dinner together at our hotel.
Today we embark on a walking tour of the historic centre and medieval quarter of Alghero. Known as one of Sardinia's most attractive medieval cities, Algehro's centre blends ancient architecture with a collection of restaurants and bars gracefully, retaining a well-preserved homage to its long past whilst fostering modern-day tourism and welcoming visitors to its pretty streets. Following the tour, you have free time to explore Alghero at your own pace. Perhaps stroll along the marina and enjoy the waterside views of yachts bobbing in the harbour, or take to the beach for a pre-dinner walk along the sandy coastline of this charming town.
After breakfast today, we transfer to Bosa, for a guided walking tour. Packed with pastel-coloured houses, Bosa's history stretches back to the Phoenicians, and this charming town has thrived since. After our tour, we board the privatelychartered Trenino Verde, for an amazing journey through some of Sardinia's wildest countryside.
Travelling to Macomer, we pause en-route at the Santa Maria di Corte Abbey for photographs. On arrival in Macomer, there is free time to get lunch, before we are transferred back to Cagliari.
This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner together in a local restaurant - a fitting end to our Sardinian adventure. We transfer to Cagliari, where we spend our final night before returning to London by air on Day 10, where our tour concludes on arrival.
Please note that while every departure of this tour features the same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed above.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Fantastic rail experiences
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Two stunning Mediterranean islands