A sojourn in Sardinia


If you feel your life is somewhat lacking in the romance stakes, an Italian trip abroad might be just what is in order. But if the bustling cities and tourist hotspots of the mainland aren’t your first choice, you might want to pay a visit to the somewhat more laidback island of Sardinia.

Our group was based at the five-star La Licciola Hotel in the Gallura area north of the island, part of the Delphina Valle Dell’Erica resort. Situated within view of the French island of Corsica, the ingredients for the perfect rustic getaway are all there – azure seas, clear skies, idyllic views of uninhabited islands. If you’re wishing to bask in understated luxury, then this is probably one of the best places to do it.

The rooms are no less impressive, including those with a private pool and sea views such as the President Razzoli and the Imperial Suite (based over two floors) or there is the slightly more modest but no less divine Junior Suite Licciola with a small open plan living room and balcony area – perfect for a spot of pre-dinner relaxation as you watch the sunset and listen to the soft guitar music played by a stereotypically young and good looking Italian on the verandah below.

A Sojourn in Sardinia

A sojourn in Sardinia


Five star it may be, but everything about La Licciola exudes a relaxed, unhurried and unpretentious air. Situated across a stunning stretch of beach, the design incorporates natural building materials such as granite and stone echoing the traditions of the Gallura region. The décor throughout the hotel features traditional Sardinian textiles (history buffs can even visit the Ethnographic Museum in the stone village of Aggius to get a better idea of the local culture over the past few centuries).

Gastronomes will be equally satisfied with the abundant fare the hotel has to offer, usually in buffet style offering a mixture of tapas-style Mediterranean cuisine and some more hearty options off the grill. With a total of five restaurants, one being à la Carte, our most memorable evening was when we dined privately on the beach, with the only sound of the gentle tide in true Mills & Boon style. Being with a large group of (albeit pleasant) journalists and PRs as opposed to a loved one somewhat dented the romantic atmosphere, but the food definitely made up for it.

Bar Notturno Valle Erica foto Gianfranco Guccione

Bar Notturno Valle Erica foto Gianfranco Guccione


The resort is also home to Le Thermae Thalasso and Spa Centre which offers a number of treatments using essential oils made from local plants and herbs. There’s hydromassage, body wraps and scrubs to tempt world-weary guests as well as many “rituals” and “journeys” incorporating a number of the above treatments for those looking for some serious self-indulgence. Normally one for a full-body massage, I decided to try massage treatment offered for just the face – and for someone who normally lingers in the hairdresser’s chair like an affectionate lap cat to keep them massaging my scalp for as long as possible, I was in seventh heaven.

There are also several wellness and weight-loss programmes for those interested in detoxing (if you happen to be of the opinion that luxury getaways and food deprivation go hand-in-hand that is…). Outside, guests can chill out by the fresh water pool spread across three levels with a swim-up bar and spectacular ocean views. The cheerful, chatty bar staff make a mean pina colada served in a hollowed out pineapple (and will teach you phrases in the local Sardinian dialect if you ask them nicely).Licciola imperial-president A da letto L

Licciola imperial-president A da letto L


If you can manage to tear yourself away from the resort’s luxury trappings, there is a great deal to explore nearby too. We took a pleasant boat trip around Boudelli Island, Caorera Island and Santa Maria Island, jumping in and out of the sea (dodging several jellyfish in the process) and admiring the many yachts and celebrity villas that surrounded us, not to mention the area’s stunning natural beauty. We docked at Costa Smeralda where A-listers abound, with an abundance of designer boutiques, exquisite eateries and coffee shops to pose in.

We also stopped off at the coastal towns of Palau and the shopping haven Santa Theresa, which offer a somewhat more authentic slice of Sardinian life. Here, you can while away the afternoon buying tourist knick-knacks and admiring the Santa Theresa Castle without having to elbow too many other tourists out of the way in order to do so. With several bars frequented by the island’s glitterati, it’s also a good spot for night owls wanting to enhance their relaxing break with a few woozy limoncello-fuelled evenings.

So the next time you’re looking to embark on an idyllic Italian escape, we suggest eschewing the mainland and seeking out a piece of Sardinian paradise.

Licciola imperial-president A piscina senza modella L

Licciola imperial-president A piscina senza modella L

by Viola Levy

Starting rates for the Resort Valle dell’Erica Thalasso & SPA five star are £108/€130 per person per night for a double room, half board basis.

For more information please go here or to book call + 39 0789 790018