Locals like to remember this legend: after God created the world, he was a stone, which he threw into the Mediterranean Sea. Glancing already made, he took a little bit from the very best of his creations and placed on the stone, which became Sardinia. Many say that God saved the best for last and this Italian island of astonishing beauty – a masterpiece of the Creator. A story about how there was their land, Sardinians willingly regurgitate tourists – there is no shortage here. As it is gone and the sun, which is more than in any other part of Italy.

The most distant from the continent of all the Mediterranean islands – an hour from Rome by plane and ferry and all seven! – It became part of Italy in 1861, when Giuseppe Garibaldi united the country under the banner of the Kingdom of Sardinia. Gen. loved Sardinia, even died for it. This large island is geographically closer to Africa than to Europe. Until the 1960s, he almost did not know what tourism, and even now few have heard something about it, except the name.

Popularity of Sardinia in the twentieth century brought two foreigners – British writer DH Lawrence and the Arab Prince Karim Aga Khan. First released in 1921, lyric guide, discovered the world land “lying outside of civilization.” And the second – after four decades – has built a fashionable resort of Porto Cervo on the Emerald Coast – attracts movie stars and the owners of luxury yachts. Since Sardinia as it consists of two parts: the dazzling glamor and unspoilt coastline of the ancient heart of the island with the “dark peaked mountains,” Lawrence has described.

But despite the presence of mountains, Sardinian center of the universe, of course, is the sea. Il mare – it’s not just about swimming. It is a dream state and the direction itself. Sea in Sardinia deprives speechless. It is crystal-clear and the most incredible colors: turquoise, emerald, cobalt blue. But most importantly – it is pristine, wild. Unlike many Italian resorts, planters boring regularity of identical rows of sunbeds, local beaches are left there as they are on the first day of creation, here only the golden sand. A true paradise for individualists with their own umbrellas and towels. The Italians, however, do not know how long to be alone, so arranged on the beach nearby, waving his arms and talking loudly.

But the remaining kilometers of coastline – yours. And then you can choose what kind of beach (and the color of the stone) to your liking. Yellow sand and pink granite, plus the opportunity to reach a deserted bay on the boat – it is to the north, to the National Park Gulf of Orosei. “Endless Beach” – a sandy spit Costa Paradiso is located in the north-west of the island. White sand and shallow coves with colored fish – Pelosa beach near Stintino. Bottle of suntan lotion, towel, umbrella and swimsuit – so simple ingredients of happiness. And you already can not take your eyes from the sea and did not even go for lunch instead buying local sheep cheese “Pecorino”, tomatoes and flat round cakes, which is poetically called “Musica da map” – music paper.

But if you find the strength to overcome the hypnotic charm of the sea and turn into the center of the island, the great treasures are waiting for you there. Sardinia to learn better, to visit her inside. After only tourists cling to the coast, and the true spirit of the Sardinian seekers must go where the winds blow in the hills, the land becomes brown and dry, and millennial olive spread their gnarled silhouettes on the horizon.

The place is quaint and attractive. The proximity of the island to Africa, here is even more clearly: standing on the plain, you might think that you are lost in the savannah, almost waiting for the elephants on the horizon.

But instead appears round 20-meter high stone tower – Nuraghe. These buildings, similar to a beehive of roughly hewn stones on the island a few thousand. Who built them and why, little is known. What is clear is that this happened in the Bronze Age – from three to five thousand years ago. Many towers are composed of several floors, the walls have niches and secret rooms, which suggests that the towers were used for defensive purposes. But written evidence left. Is that one paragraph in Roman military chronicles how hard was given the victory in the battle with people inside ukryvshimisya Nuraghe.

The Romans were not the first of those who liked Sardinia. Alternately, it conquered the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Arabs and Byzantines. The latter were medieval Spaniards – about their stay testifies Tower Pishin on the southern tip of the island.

Standing alone Sardinian Nuraghe enliven the landscape. You can easily stop the car and climb to almost anywhere in the tower. In the present study only one set – Sioux Nuraxi Barumini nearby, submitted to the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

Statistics on the island has a half million people and seven and a half million sheep. In these dry figures, perhaps hidden secret of longevity of the islanders. The central part of Sardinia – the rocky, sun-scorched – never suited for agriculture, but made the most popular profession shepherd. Try to walk five miles every day, eating goat cheese, grapes and olives! Get one of the highest life expectancies in the world – 81.

Anyone who was in Italy at the height of summer, this familiar pattern: closed shops and restaurants, homes with tight zadraennymi shutters and streets, which are melted from the heat of the tourists, but not the Italians themselves. Where are they? Probably spend a vacation in Sardinia. Maybe not all, but most of them are pretty.

After all, this island, as evidenced by the results of the polls – the most desirable place to holiday Romans, Milanese and Neapolitans. And also – the big secret that Italians prefer to keep to themselves.

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The historic center of Cagliari. Narrow streets and tiled roofs are traditional for Italy and Europe as a whole. In the center of the photo, in the distance, – the Cathedral, the city’s main attractions. Built in the middle of the XIII – XIV century beginning.

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Forte Village – a complex of eight hotels, located 45 kilometers from the airport of Cagliari. It occupies 25 acres on the south of the island. And fifteen years in a row is recognized as “the best resort in the world” according to the World Travel Awards – International Prize, considered the “Oscars” of the tourism industry.

Остров Сардиния

Port of Palau in northern Sardinia. Homer, describing the journey of Odysseus, mentioned this area as one of the landing sites of the hero.

Sardinia

In the north of Sardinia opposite the archipelago of La Maddalena, having the status of a national park, stands the Hotel Capo D’Orso (Delphina Hotels & Resorts). He’s hiding in the lush park of Cala Capra, in the same bay, where the air is fragrant aromas of Mediterranean plants.

Sardinia