Condé Nast Traveller’s 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards: Sardinia wins “The Best Island in Europe” prize
Sardinia triumphs at the 2023 Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards
The readers of Condé Nast Traveller have elected Sardinia as the best island in Europe.
The readers of Condé Nast Traveller, the most prestigious and authoritative magazine in the world dedicated to travel, have decided: Sardinia is the best island in Europe.
Responding to the annual online survey that the magazine proposes, the 526,518 readers involved rewarded the island with a total score of 88.08 points “its two thousand kilometres of coastline, archaeological ruins, colourful villages, the luxurious Costa Smeralda” and the countless attractions that induce to return time after time.
Coming third in 2022, for 2023 Sardinia triumphs on the podium and thus beats Mykonos, Ibiza, Crete and Sicily obtaining one of the most coveted awards in the travel sector.
What makes Sardinia “The Best Island in Europe”?
The queen of the Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards is Sardinia and it is not difficult to imagine the reasons.
First of all, the sea: we are facing one of the most fascinating seas ever, with very clean, transparent and crystalline waters, with white beaches and fine sand, alternating with rocky coasts and breathtaking cliffs.
Crystal clear and spectacular, the Sardinian sea is also a precious treasure chest of biodiversity that characterises the island and the favourite home of the Caretta Caretta turtle, a species unfortunately threatened which, however, in particular in Southern Sardinia continues to prosper thanks to praiseworthy initiatives to protect it.
The island really cares about its extraordinary natural environment largely uncontaminated and embellished by a rich and varied fauna that boasts 370 species divided between 41 types of mammals, 18 of reptiles, 8 of amphibians and about 300 birds between sedentary, and a fragrant Mediterranean flora characterised by endemisms, to be preserved with love and care thanks to the commitment and establishment, for example, of numerous marine protected areas.
Real “water treasures”, they contribute to making Sardinia a paradise in the heart of the Mediterranean and prove to be guardians of wonderful species at risk of extinction such as the unmistakable pink flamingos, whose image, while ploughing the blue skies or dancing on the water remains, imprinted in the mind and heart. These beautiful animals, which the Sardinian people call Sa Genti Arrubia, or “red people”, have found in the humid lands of the island territory, such as the Stagno di Santa Gilla, their ideal habitat and the perfect environment in which to live.
Santa Gilla’s pond, moreover, is a naturalistic site of international importance, one of the most important wetlands in Europe and the largest on the island, a special protection area where numerous species of birds find shelter (there are about 200 species that birdwatchers can see and photograph) and other animals and over 450 plant species thrive.
Biodiversity, the sea and then the beaches, are another of the reasons to love Sardinia: not only white and crystalline sand as far as the eye can see, but also coves hidden among the rocks and bays framed by cliffs. The island is a true paradise for bathers and sun lovers, who can count on two thousand kilometres of coastline to explore and discover.
Drawing up a ranking of the most beautiful beaches is not easy because every corner hides a different wonder, but certainly we cannot miss to mention La Pelosa, in the province of Sassari, with turquoise sea and shallow and transparent seabed, the legendary Pink Beach south-east of the Island of Budelli, the Spiaggia del Principe with its breathtaking view framed by pink granite, Cala Brandinchi, the “little Tahiti of Sardinia”, and Cala Goloritzé, elected Natural Monument of Sardinia in 1993 and Italian National Monument in 1995.
The island is full of nature, archaeological sites and food and wine excellence
Sardinia is a triumph of nature with inimitable landscapes such as the Dunes of Piscinas, one of the most popular places on the Costa Verde, shaped by imposing golden sand dunes that reach a height of about 100 meters and form an area that extends for about 28 square kilometres. UNESCO heritage, “Little Italian Sahara”, are among the highest living dunes in Europe and form a unique natural environment defined by the Italian Environment Fund (FAI) as “One of the greatest wonders of the entire Mediterranean”.
Moreover, thanks to its extraordinary geological and landscape variety, the island is the Italian region that boasts the largest number of natural monuments, all to be admired.
Regional laws currently recognize 27 but their number is close to hundreds and being in front of them gives a feeling never experienced before. Equally unmissable are the Cave of Su Mannau, in the heart of the Sulcis Inglesiente, karst complex born from the brush of nature 540 million years ago and still evolving, the Giara di Gesturi, also known as Sa Jara Manna, basaltic plateau in the central-southern area of the island west of the Gulf of Oristano, between the Marmilla, the Trexenta, the Sarcidano and the Arborea, and Is Zuddas, an authentic underground kingdom created by the incessant action of water inside Mount Meana.
From natural monuments to those born from the ingenuity of man: what can we say, then, of Porto Flavia, a twentieth-century engineering prodigy, an incredible tunnel overlooking the sea that today is a real monument of industrial archaeology set in one of the most beautiful coastal landscapes of the Mediterranean?
Among the religious testimonies, the Cathedral of San Pantaleo deserves a visit, one of the most important monuments of Romanesque-Pisan art in Sardinia, in Dolianova in the historic territory of Parteòlla, and the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the symbolic building of Cagliari, the lively city of the sun. We cannot fail to mention the castles of Southern Sardinia, guardians of secrets and legends that have crossed the centuries.
It’s not over: the island is also loved for its millennial history that has its roots in pre-Nuragic and Nuragic times: in this regard, lovers of history and archaeology cannot miss gems like Casa Zapata in Barumini, a unique museum with sections of ethnography, history and archaeology, the magnificent Sanctuary of Sant’Anastasia with the sacred well in the heart of the village of Sardara, the Sanctuary of Santa Vittoria, one of the most significant cultural complexes of Nuragic Sardinia, the Archaeological Park of Pranu Muttedu, one of the most important funerary areas from the island in the Gerrei countryside, and the necropolis of Montessu, one of the largest on the island.
From the undisputed charm are then the nuragic village of Barumini, Su Nuraxi, which covers a period of two thousand years, and Nora and the Archaeological Park of Pula, the oldest city on the island.
Finally, a special mention for the enviable island food and wine, which best expresses the culture and history of Sardinia, with its tasty recipes accompanied by glasses of excellent wine that enhance the flavours of this unique land, where tradition and innovation coexist in perfect harmony creating an unforgettable culinary experience. You certainly cannot get bored at the table in Sardinia, between seafood and land dishes, with intense and genuine tastes, gourmet cuisine and street food, dairies and starred restaurants.
Forte Village Resort: the perfect destination for a holiday in Sardinia
Sardinia is an island that offers a variety of attractions and activities, from exploring its natural beauty to discovering its millennial history, without forgetting the delicious cuisine. And there is no better place to stay and fully enjoy all that the island has to offer than the award-winning Forte Village Resort, the perfect destination for a holiday of relaxation and fun, with a keen eye for sustainability and respect for the environment.
Surrounded by 50 hectares of beautiful gardens and overlooking the white beach of the sunny southern coast of Sardinia, the resort offers its guests a wide range of services and activities, including Sports Academy, where you can practice your favourite sport or discover a new discipline, a wellness centre where you can discover the extraordinary benefits of the thalasso circuit and rediscover the psychophysical balance, and starred restaurants with menus designed by the most appreciated chefs of the national and international culinary scene. Forte Village also thinks of children, with activities designed for them and organised in the enchanted garden of Wonderland, a safe, protected and reliable environment where children can have fun from morning to evening.
Would you like to visit Sardinia, discover its beauty and experience an unforgettable holiday in an authentic paradise? Discover Forte Village and book now your dream holiday