Exploring Northern Sardinia ‘Pearl of the Mediterranean’

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5/5

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Holiday

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Exploring Northern Sardinia 'Pearl of the Mediterranean'

Date of travel

April, 2015

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Reasons for trip

Sardinia is one of the most beautiful and historic islands in the Mediterranean which boasts one of the most charming ‘Best Small/Boutique Hotels in the World’ which is situated in the most unspoilt ‘Conca Verde’ region of outstanding national beauty on the North coast of this island paradise. Midway between the port of Palau ( gateway to the awesome Magdalena Archipelago National Park comprising of some 45 islands and rock ledges in the main uninhabited dominated by the largest island Maddalena which is joined to the enchanting uninhabited Island of Caprera. Onetime domain of Guiseppi Garibaldi which was partly paid for by his English followers and friends) And St. Teresa Gallura the northernmost port in Sardinia from which car ferries run to Corsica and to the Italian Mainland. Bonifacio is only a matter of 20 miles across the Straits Bonifacio which is only a matter of minutes away aboard a powerful modern luxury 24 – 34 ft Ri. which can be hired at Conca Verde at “Hotel La Coluccia”:http://www.hotellacoluccia.com by those with the necessary international EU certificate marine competency. If you have such a certificate through the RYA it will make all the difference to your enjoyment of Sardinia and is therefore worth the modest expense for competent yachtsmen n’ women..

La Coluccia is some 80 kilometres from Olbia Airport. So a car is essential and we recommend Firefly Rental Car convenient to the airport whose management staff are such that nothing is too much trouble, a bit different from car rental at Nice Cote d’ Azur Airport. The route dramatic as it runs across plains, through valleys and over mountains along seemingly endless snaking roads which are highly demanding in Italian traffic. Where many imagine they are practicing for the Monza Italian Grand Prix. Stop at the supermarket at the entrance to the small village of Porto Pozzo and purchase a good large scale motoring map of Sardinia, essential for exploration.

The turning for Conca Verde and La Coluccia is a few kilometres after Porto Pozzo .
The route now runs through verdant fields full of wild flowers and herbs, grazed by well farmed local cattle who rejoice in their surroundings amongst luxuriant herbage.
As you reach the top of the hill above your destination, you will be met with a simply spellbinding panorama of the entire region to the seaward of Conca Verde. Simply amazingly beautiful views over the Maddalena Archipelago with Hotel La Coluccia situated some 200 metres from the sea shore on a horsehoe shaped lagoon, half a kilometre below, although hidden from view at this vantage point.

Descending the hill through a clever development of pan tiled villas built into the hillside, amidst pink granite boulders, pine trees, eucalyptus, myrtle and wild broom, the road lead down to La Coluccia. A glorious 21st century ‘Art Deco’ example of 1930’s architecture, largely painted a blinding pure white with a brick red section that only serves to further enhance the overall effect. La Coluccia resembles a large villa set in cleverly landscaped grounds rather than an hotel which adds enormously to the charm of this remarkable and exciting venue. An absolute haven of romance, an idyll for honeymooners and lovers which makes up for a noticeable percentage of the guests at La Coluccia together with more mature couples in search of unspoilt, quiet ‘coast and country’ location within a chic and minimalist garden / marine location. If you are in search of bright lights and ‘razzamataz’ then this venue is not for you. La Coluccia is for lovers and lovers of life within an astonishingly beautiful location where the enjoyment of nature, albeit in luxurious surroundings is the governing factor. If you would like to join the ‘Jet Set at play’ you need only drive down the road for 20 minutes to Harry’s Bar at Porto Raphael near Palau to join in the fun with millionaires and billonaires at play with ‘superyachts’ costing tens of millions of Euros at anchor in the high season anchored a matter of metres just offshore.

Book room number 43 or 43 which are terraced balconied suites on the first floor above the swimming pool with spellbinding views across the lawn through pine trees to the lagoon. You will never want to leave having spent a few days witnessing the awesome sunrises over Isola Maddalene and the sea together with sunsets over the garrique wild broom covered hillside above La Coluccia.

The food is excellent commencing daily with a magnificent breakfast self choice buffet complimented by highly trained and enthuisiastic young professionally trained staff. Many of whom have served their apprenticeships at Italian and Swiss hotel schools and spent time working at venues such a the great hotel of St. Moritz such as the Kulm and Palace hotels. The dining room boasts amongst the loveliest views imaginable day or night with exemplary service and attention to detail.

The swimming pool and beach facilities are both immaculate and staffed by bright, cheerful young people for whom your pleasure is theirs’ to insure through excellent service, without suffocating or intimidating guests. Take time out to interact with the staff, ask them about themselves and always pay compliments where compliments are due and you will reap the rewards of a smiling and caring level of service selfom to be found except within exceptional venues such as La Coluccia.

The bedrooms are rather spartan and highly minimilastic for many who are more familiar with Relais et Chateau levels of comfort internationally but this is the only observation by way of forewarning those considering La Coluccia for a stay. But the beds are large and most comfortable with doubtless romance in mind.

The surrounding coastline and interior hinterland are both essential to be explored if time permits and most rewarding. Most particularly the hinterland and the West coast at and beyond St. Teresa Gallura. Be sure to walk the cliff paths at Capo Testa and the botanical gardens on this astonishingly spectacular headland. If you think Cornwall spectacular, then you will be spellbound by this headland with the coastline and high mountains of Corsica away to the north across the Strait of Bonifacio. v

All there is to be said to recommend this hotel is that it should be on everyone’s wish list to stay at who likes to enjoy a truly romantic venue in an truly awesome and unspoilt region of Corsica, as yet free from over development and the noise of the modern world. La Coluccia is as yet the only luxury hotel in Conca Verde within an area of outstanding natural beauty strictly controlled from indiscriminate development.

Just like to say how Rosy and Carla at reception, Daniela in the cocktail and pool terrace bar, along with Roberta from Berlin in the dining room along with her charming Italian partner in life and restaurant manager Antonio together with the pool, beach staff and garden guys are all exceptional people and seemingly part of one large family whose pleasure is the guests’ pleasure and without which this would be a very different place from the incredibly special venue that La Coluccia represents. Go soonest whilst this remains so, then you can look forward to and be assured of a wonderful stay here. Only some 2 hours from London by air.

See my entry in the Livre d’ Or.

John-Hayden-Halsey

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