Star travel on a shoestring: Sardinia
Sardinia is the place to be. Geri Halliwell enjoyed a romantic break with her new man Henry Beckwith at the exclusive resort of Porto Cervo, a favourite resort for all the stars. Guy Ritchie is also a fan of and was pictured chatting to the locals on a recent trip, while Wag's Louise Redknapp and Alex Curran can’t get enough of the sunshine on the gorgeous Italian island.
For your own Sardinian experience at a fraction of the price, visit the idyllic village of Cala Gonone, just down the coast.
Fly direct to Sardinia with Ryanair (ryanair.com) from about £80 return. Alghero Airport is 75 miles from Cala Gonone, so it’s best to hire a car – from £30 a day (holidayautos.co.uk).
What is there to do?
With acres of secluded island beaches, Cala Gonone is the explorers’ paradise. Take a motorboat (with instructor or solo) and jet across the clear blue seas to the isolated coves for a private day in the sun.
Surrounded by the sea, Cala Gonone is also perfect for water sports and offers numerous opportunities to dive, kayak and fish in the peaceful mediterrain seas. A guided kayak tour around the beaches and caves costs just €30.
Surprisingly for a beach town, mountainous ranges, caves and gorges are also available for experienced hikers or those who just fancy a stroll through the stunning landscapes on offer.
The Tiscali Gorge (yes, the Internet company was founded here!) and the Gorroppu Gorge are highlights, offering varying and fascinating terrains to get to grips with.
A mountain bike tour from the mountains to the sea is also on offer for €60.
Where can I shop?
Cala Gonone neighbours larger town Dorgali, a picturesque place lined with gorgeous independent shops offering handmade goods and traditional Sardinian food. With goods from as little as €1, Dorgali is the bargain-hunters’ dream and is guaranteed to offer interesting and unique souvenirs.
What about nightlife?
While Cala Gonone doesn’t offer many after-dark activities, its picturesque scenery is perfect for sipping cocktails and watching the sunset. Check out the Hotel Bue Marino for its sea-front views and the laid-back vibe to truly relax.
Hungry? Cala Gonone is rich in home-sourced seafood, with the fish literally plucked from the sea to your plate. Prawns, octopus, sea bass and much more are on offer at every restaurant at a reasonable price and at gut-busting portions. Seafood restaurant at Hotel Pop, overlooking the harbor, offers a meal for two with sumptuous local wine for around £25.
Where’s the best place to stay?
Cala Gonone operates a hotel co-operative with all 10 resorts in the village working together under the Cala 'e Luna banner. The co-operative aims to offer high quality hotels that still offer all the comforts of a family-run business. The Villa Gustui Maris is particularly stunning. Placed amongst the mountains and overlooking the beach, the hotel offers a view of all Cala Gonone has to offer. Double rooms start from £60.
For all information on Cala Gonone check out www.calaeluna.com/en/index.php