Make 2015 the year that you start to travel differently. Do it on your own terms. It may take slightly more organization, but it’ll be worth it.
Forget the package holidays where everything from the flight and accommodation to the excursions you go on and the restaurants you eat in are already chosen, booked and paid for, all whilst sitting in front of a pale faced travel agent who you’ve paid a hefty commission to. For what? The privilege of being herded on and off airplanes and coaches along with the other few hundred sheep who have booked exactly the same holiday? No thanks.
To start you off, we’re going to go gently with a short three hour jaunt over to Alghero on the west coast of Sardinia courtesy of Ryanair for as little as €29 each way. Renting a car either online before you fly (from under €36 a day with enterprise.ie) or when you land at the airport, will give you all the independence you need to get off to a smooth and speedy start. Check out alghero-turismo.it/en/ for a huge selection of accommodation.
The old town of Alghero itself is rustic, charming and home to amazing sea views and wonderful markets, especially the locally produced food markets. If cooking isn’t your bag while on holidays, then try any one of an extensive choice of restaurants that serve up the most sumptuous of dishes. There are superb places to eat just along the coast, giving you spectacular sunset views if you’re eating alfresco or a more classical yet cosy atmosphere if you’d rather dine down in the old cellars beneath the sea wall. If you hit on a quiet evening and the chefs aren’t too busy, you can be a little cheeky and try chancing your arm to order off menu. It’s worth it. Trust me!
Some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean can be found very close by, many of them quite secluded and private with crystal clear water and fine golden sand.
And when you’ve had enough sun, sea and sand, take the Mini and head off north along the coast road to explore the Grotto di Nettuno at Capo Caccia. There are hourly tours of the caves there and you can take a dip while you’re at it, so don’t forget the togs!