50 Shades of Blue – A Thousand Shades of Sardinia

How do you start an article of something you actually have no words for? Right … eh … Blue? That is the word that comes to my mind at first, the image I see in front of me when I think of the Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. 50 shades of blue … and many more …

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The sea. In so many ways it is magical and touches people’s hearts and souls. It has always done so
with mine. I have travelled to many places to enjoy the beauty of the ocean, still I have never seen it the way I saw it in Sardinia. Every shade of blue, turquoise and green can be found along the shore of the island. Of course depending on the depth of the water and the ground underneath, the colours shift from a dark navy blue to a very light blue and turquoise that sparkles in the sunshine

Everywhere I went, I discovered new shades of the ocean. I started in Porto Pollo and Palau, from where you can go to various places on the island within one day. Make sure to visit Capo Testa, the northernmost point with its bizarre rock formations that simply invite you to climb them. Stroll through fancy and high-society-favourite Porto Cervo, where all the high-end fashion brands display their top-sellers (of course without price tags). If you are into kite or wind surfing you will be happy in the area of Porto Pollo, and if you are lucky you can also catch some waves for classic surfing in Rena Majore.

Bandits, caves and mountain tops

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If – for whatever reason – you want to get away from the ocean for a little time, you can make a detour to visit the area of the Sardinian East coast. Head for Dorgali or Orosei to find a place to stay. We stayed in the lovely “Agriturismo Didone” (Italian family farm with rooms for rent) in between the two villages where we were welcomed by a friendly family and their animals including a “gang” of dogs, who literally accompanied us along pathway to our room. From there it was very easy to get to Cala Gonone, where we hired a boat for the entire day to get to the most lonely beaches and caves on your own. To visit the famous Bue Marino cave you have to book a separate tour by tourist boat. Expect many tourists, but also wonderful views inside the cave.

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Not far from Dorgali you can also visit the cave Ispinigoli, which has a 38 metre high stalagmite-stalagtite comound. The cave can be visited with a tour that is kept very shortly in order not to disturb the eco system with albino animals that adapted to living in the dark for too long.

Taking the road further to the countryside away from the coast, you can drive through the mountain range called Supramonte. For those who want to hike to the peak of Monte Novo San Giovanni (1,316 metres), you can do that from the ranger’s houses or drive about 15 minutes more and walk comfortably up the steps leading to the peak (I am not joking, you only walk about 15 minutes from there). Right on the peak you will find a little wooden hut that is guarded by the fireguards, who are looking out for wood fires 24 hours a day. We were invited for a traditional Italian coffee by Antonio, the fireguard on duty when we arrived up there. He invites many visitors during the summer months, from all over the world. He showed us the signatures of a couple from Argentina inside his wooden hut.

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If you are in the area, you just have to visit the town of Orgosolo, which is also known as Sardinian’s bandit town. The past was influenced by economic and political frustration, families that fought each other and the lack of perspectives for the local population. They expressed their sorrows with murals that can be seen everywhere in the town. Orgosolo’s story is worth a separate article, which will be published on danitravel.com soon – promise! The murals are impressive and the local museum that is hosted by an elderly couple is worth the 5 Euro entry (you also get home made sweets at the end of the tour J). Going back to the coast, make sure to stroll through the town of Orosei and have dinner at “La Taverna” … food and service are excellent and the restaurant itself is beautiful!

Back at the ocean, I guarantee that there is a new shade of blue you haven’t seen before. Wherever you go, the blue and turquoise of the ocean makes you forget the crowds, if there are any, that is. Make sure to get a boat that takes you to lonely bays, where you can stare at the beauty without anyone watching 😉

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