with Manuela Jungo & Victor Fernandez
SUP Road Trip Sardinia
Why we decided to start our road trip to Sardinia. It is already quite warm in April/May when it is still cold and rainy in Switzerland. The ferry in Genova is only a short drive of 4 hours 30 min away from Manuela’s home in Switzerland, which makes it very easy for us to travel to and from there by ferry. From Porto Torres or Olbia it is only 2-3 hour drive further southwest to our favourite spots.
The best time to visit Sardinia is between June and September, it’s warm and for people that also enjoy wind, it is at its best, although August can be a bit busy due to the Italian holidays. Depending on the season it can be good in April, May and October but you will want to bring a 3/2 wetsuit. November and March can be nice too but the temperatures are much cooler and rain is more common.
The following information will help you with your travel planning.
The airports nearby are Cagliari, Olbia, and Alghero. Cagliari is the closest airport to the south and is served by many holiday airlines as well as charter airlines.
While it is possible to get around Sardinia by bus and train, doing so may well limit how fast you travel and where you go. If you can, choose to rent a car or take the ferry and bring your own car. It is well worth the cost, and it will allow you to visit some of the more remote and enchanting places and areas.
If you want to drive down with your car, there are ferry services to Cagliari (south coast), Porto Torres (north coast), and Olbia, Golfo Aranci and Arbatax (east coast). Have a look at the state-owned ferry service Tirrenia (year-round service) and the private companies Moby Lines, Sardinia Ferries, Grimaldi, Snav. Ferry services are also available from Barcelona, Spain to Porto Torres through Grimaldi Lines. They usually run twice a day during the summer. Ferry services are also available from Trapani, Sicily, to the port in Cagliari, Sardinia.
One of the reasons why we love this place so much is due to its amazing food. The traditions and habits are very strong in Sardinia. You will not get any pizzas in restaurants before 7 PM, furthermore be aware that you will get nothing to eat in restaurants between 4 PM and 7 PM, besides a 'Panini' that is usually a cold sandwich with ham and cheese.
As in the rest of Italy, there are a number of Pizzerias serving fresh, stone oven baked authentic style pizzas as well as pasta dishes, which are in our opinion the best in the world. Sardina also has a lot of its own traditional food.
Try the Culurgiones. They are similar to Ravioli (made with typical pasta of Ogliastra) with a filling of potatoes, 'Pecorino' cheese (sheep's milk cheese, see below), egg, onion, mint and garlic. Malloreddus are a type of gnocchi that is served al dente with a tomato, meat or cheese sauce. Porcheddu is a local specialty of inner Sardinia, it's a young pig roasted in a special manner over a wood fire with an aromatic local shrub called mirto. The pig is frequently basted. Sausages are of many types, for instance the Salsiccia di cinghiale (wild boar sausage). Not to forget is the mouth-watering ice cream. They have so many flavours it is always a hard decision.
Many locally produced vegetables and fruit are very tasty, as they are grown in small farms and are mostly organic, vendors along the roads are a frequent sight. Apart from the usual assortment of typical mediterranean products (such as eggplants, bell peppers, orange, grapes, etc) you will also find among others wild asparagus, figs, watermelons, nuts and spices.
There are numerous types of Sardinian bread and pastries, with specialties such as Carasau (a type of thin crispy bread), sponge biscuits and almond pastries.
Sardinia also has a lot of good wineries called ‘cantina’s’. We went to the ‘Cantina di Santadi’. It was interesting to see locals coming in and getting their 5l bottle filled up like in a petrol station. Ichnusa is the most common beer in Sardinia and incredibly tasty whilst Mirto is an alcoholic drink that's a local speciality. It is made of wine spirit flavoured with the berries of mirto, a local shrub, definitely a cheeky way to wash down your dinner.
A place possibly still under the radar as stand up paddle spot to go during the summer, Sardinia comes high on the list of our favourite ones and with the promise of warm water, beautiful scenery and some of the finest food on the planet it is worth checking out.
Text: Manuela Jungo
Photos: CC Films