• Change
MENU
Based on 10095 reviews on Trustpilot
CALL US
020·7962·9933
x
Seductive Sardinia

Why Sardinia was a dream worth waiting for

Devoted Italy lover Lisa Brady shows her young family the country that stole her heart - and they are smitten too

For as long as I can remember, Italy has held a place in my heart. The food, the culture, the fashion... in fact, for a brief period in my twentysomethings, I even toyed with the idea of upping sticks and moving there.

My dream at the time was to renovate a run-down Italian villa, all the while savouring the best truffles and gorgonzola, washed down with amarone.

Of course, things didn't quite work out like that, but over the years I have had many Italian adventures. Trekking through Tuscany, watching the Grand Prix in Modena, honeymooning in Rome, high fashion in Milan, and stays in Sicily.

Sardinia had got away from me, and was definitely on my go-to list. What wasn't on the list was missing our flight to Cagliari and having to rebook from a different airport - but this definitely added a certain frisson of excitement to the trip, particularly with my husband and two small children in tow!


Sardinia retains a laid-back Mediterranean charm much sought-after by the Italian's themselves


But we reached our destination later that day, if a little later than planned and made our way to our resort in the south of the island - Forte Village in Santa Margherita di Pula. It's hard not to be impressed by this resort. It's essentially a luxury holiday village, nestled in gardens along a white sandy beach.

There's a choice of accommodation - from five and four-star hotels and luxury villas. We were staying in Hotel Castello, in a deluxe family bungalow which had been newly refurbished alongside other extensive multi-million pound renovations which have taken place over the last few years.

An ideal hide-away
The villa was perfect - contemporary and comfortable, with plenty of room for a family of four and with lots of garden space.

There were gourmet and buffet restaurants, numerous swimming pools, infinite activities, a charming piazza with evening entertainment - the nightly children's disco was a particular hit - boutiques and a Thalasso spa.

There's even a children's restaurant where youngsters can stock up on child-friendly food.

It means they get to eat before going to the kids' club, so parents can enjoy a more intimate meal together. A really good idea.
In fact, there's so much to do here that we found we didn't have to leave the village - which, to be truthful, is awkward when holidaying with small children anyway.

There's a number of sporting academies and clubs, ideal for older children. Our girls are so young they were more than happy splashing in one of the pools, or the waterpark, or the Children's Wonderland - essentially a child-sized play village.

There's even a Barbie house where children can colour, get their nails painted and maybe even meet the famous blonde.

And speaking of famous blondes, there's a good chance you'll bump into one here. The place is full of beautiful people, and it is prime people-watching territory.


Food is a way of life in Italy, and The Forte Village offers a number of excellent dining options


Foodie heaven
Foodies in particular will love it here, and eating is a big part of the Sardinian experience - and let's face it, of any holiday. Everywhere we ate was really, really good - and as resolute carnivores, we were pleasantly surprised with how much we enjoyed our meal at the Michelin-starred all-veggie restaurant, Peaches Cream. And I got to make pizza at the Gourmet cooking academy, the Italian way (although I've yet to repeat this experience in my own kitchen).


The Forte Village is a haven for peace and escapism


As parents know only too well, any time you get to yourself is precious, and you need to make it count. So I managed to slink off for a couple of hours one day to experience the Acquaforte Thalasso & Spa, which dates back millennia to the time when ancient Romans built thermal baths at the nearby port town of Nora.

After I recovered from the shock of sliding into the murky warm water - filled with those miracle-working marine algae and minerals - I really relaxed and enjoyed it.

We came home tired but happy. And very relaxed. Particularly because we didn't miss our flight this time.


First published in the Mail Online - March 2019

More articles below...

For more inspiration, read what travel writers have to say...

The fabulous new Montenegro

A new-found clamour for glamour awaited Jeff Mills in this chic little Balkan country
00:30
A new-found clamour for glamour awaited Jeff Mills in this chic little Balkan country

Highlife in Cannes

Film producer Frank Mannion tells you how to live like a star here
00:30
Film producer Frank Mannion tells you how to live like a star here

Loving Lyon

Giles Milton revels in the culinary capital of France
00:30
Giles Milton revels in the culinary capital of France

Good Morning Crete!

Charlotte Hawkins recharges her batteries on the Greek island
00:30
Charlotte Hawkins recharges her batteries on the Greek island

Magnificent Madeira

There’s a reason the capital is called Fun-chal, says Louise Thomas
00:30
There’s a reason the capital is called Fun-chal, says Louise Thomas

Luxury afloat

On a super-yacht, Stephen Cole proves big isn't always best
00:30
On a super-yacht, Stephen Cole proves big isn't always best

Greek cliff-hanger

Louise Saunders discovers an iconic hotel carved into the volcanic cliff face
00:30
Louise Saunders discovers an iconic hotel carved into the volcanic cliff face

Milan glamour

Deirdre Fernand explores this treasure-house of culture
00:30
Deirdre Fernand explores this treasure-house of culture

Florence in a flash

Italy's famous art capital wows with culture galore and delicious food
00:30
Italy's famous art capital wows with culture galore and delicious food

I just adore a parador

From magnificent castles to luxurious converted convents, Dave Balow takes a tour
00:30
From magnificent castles to luxurious converted convents, Dave Balow takes a tour

Turkish delight

Yoga enthusiast or not, you'll love this oasis of luxury, says Sofia Zagzoule
00:30
Yoga enthusiast or not, you'll love this oasis of luxury, says Sofia Zagzoule

The Durrells' Corfu

Read Thomas W. Hodgkinson's guide to their enchanting isle
00:30
Read Thomas W. Hodgkinson's guide to their enchanting isle

Break for Rome

David Dillon and his sons discover the Italian capital
00:30
David Dillon and his sons discover the Italian capital

San Sebastian

A feast for the eyes and the tastebuds, as Martin Symington discovered
00:30
A feast for the eyes and the tastebuds, as Martin Symington discovered

The Marbella Club

The Spanish resort is still full of panache, as Mark Palmer discovered
00:30
The Spanish resort is still full of panache, as Mark Palmer discovered

Warm up in Iceland

Sky News presenter Kay Burley luxuriates in a steaming lagoon and marvels at the Northern Lights
00:30
Sky News presenter Kay Burley luxuriates in a steaming lagoon and marvels at the Northern Lights

Kefalonia's hue

Martin Ogden makes his very own Odyssey to the idyllic haven
00:30
Martin Ogden makes his very own Odyssey to the idyllic haven

Who couldn't love Lisbon?

Caroline McGuire gives you the lowdown on this perfect city break
00:30
Caroline McGuire gives you the lowdown on this perfect city break

Falling for Formentera

Ibiza's neighbour - but quiet and chic, as Mark Palmer discovered
00:30
Ibiza's neighbour - but quiet and chic, as Mark Palmer discovered

The heroic island

Miranda Seymour reveals why fans of the magical holiday spot of Malta return every year
00:30
Miranda Seymour reveals why fans of the magical holiday spot of Malta return every year

Madeira madness

Taking free-kicks in Madeira with Cristiano Ronaldo
00:30
Taking free-kicks in Madeira with Cristiano Ronaldo

Towering Tuscany

Take me back to my dream destination, says Mark Palmer
00:30
Take me back to my dream destination, says Mark Palmer

Dining in Palma

Sarah Gilbert savours the delights of Palma on a plate
00:30
Sarah Gilbert savours the delights of Palma on a plate

Vibrant Valencia

Is this cultural treasure house Spain's finest seaside city? Michael Hodges gives his verdict...
00:30
Is this cultural treasure house Spain's finest seaside city? Michael Hodges gives his verdict...

Croatia's Islands

Frederick Tratt explores the unspoilt gems off Croatia's fabulous coastline
00:30
Frederick Tratt explores the unspoilt gems off Croatia's fabulous coastline

Croatia's Tuscany

Unspoilt Istria does a great impression of rural Italy, writes Jane Horrocks
00:30
Unspoilt Istria does a great impression of rural Italy, writes Jane Horrocks

Soulful Mallorca

Kate Amey reports from the luxurious Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa
00:30
Kate Amey reports from the luxurious Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa

My Mykonos adventure

Denise van Outen's dream of exploring a Greek island comes true
00:30
Denise van Outen's dream of exploring a Greek island comes true

Not quite what you're looking for?
We can easily customise an offer to suit your exact requirements

x