Located closer to Africa than Italy, Sardinia’s turquoise sea and white sandy beaches rival the tropics. Sant'Antioco & San Pietro, off the coast of Southwestern Sardinia, are charming islands as yet unspoiled by too much tourist development. The seaside resort of Santa Teresa di Gallura offers all the attractions of the coast without the sometimes-soulless glitz of the Costa Smeralda. Further east, Palau & Arcipelago di la Maddalena are pretty laidback, too: the archipelago itself comprises a national park with loads of island-hopping opportunities.
Away from the coast, the scenery can be similarly stunning with a pastoral quilt of forested mountain peaks, valleys of citrus groves and pastures of happily grazing cattle and sheep. In contrast, the urban scene can be disappointing.Avoid visiting during broiling, crowded July and August, as well as in winter when the island goes into hibernation and many restaurants and hotels are closed. The best times of the year to visit are in the spring, when the wildflowers are in bloom, and during the early autumn when the temperatures are still pleasantly warm and most of the tourists have left.