My memorable Sardinian Christmas

14th Dec 2017

After decades of a traditional white Christmas back home in the UK, I decided to try something a little different this year. Instead of settling for snow, cold, and jingling bells, I took my beautiful wife with me for a sunny Christmas vacation on the beautiful shores of Sardinia.

Sardinia is a fantastic Italian island that’s surrounded by the Mediterranean. No matter the time of the year, the weather in Sardinia is always fine and the island stays consistently beautiful. Also, finding luxury yet affordable accommodation at a first class resort is never a problem. If you are traveling with kids, alone, or with just your beau, you can always find a lovely hotel that best matches your taste and budget.

Some of the fun things I did while on my Sardinia winter vacation which I’ll confidently recommend to anyone include;

1. The Autunno in Barbagia

Photo of My memorable Sardinian Christmas 1/4 by Jay 'Firespin' Helliwell

The Antunno is a local event that takes place in Sardinia every year between September and December. It’s a great opportunity to sample some of the finest wines and cuisine that the island has to offer. You’ll also get to witness many of Sardinia’s gorgeous landscapes, and cultural events. The event isn’t restricted to a single location as it occurs across various stages in different municipalities throughout Sardinia. For me, the whole spectacle was a colourful event that was filled with all sorts of curiosities.

2. Party at a Carnival

Photo of My memorable Sardinian Christmas 2/4 by Jay 'Firespin' Helliwell

When most people hear carnival they immediately think Rio de Janeiro. But Sardinia has got some impressive carnivals too and each one has something special to offer.

One of my favourites was the Sartiglia of Oristano where I got to watch a medieval horse race. There’s also the Mamuthones and Issohadores. And lest I forget to mention, there’s such a rich variety of food on every street corner during the festivities.

3. The Nuraghi

Photo of My memorable Sardinian Christmas 3/4 by Jay 'Firespin' Helliwell

It didn’t make sense to go all the way to Sardinia without learning a bit about ancient Italian civilisation. The Nuraghi is a particular curiosity I explored and I didn’t regret the change of pace from all the partying. There’s the Nuragic settlements of Olbia, especially Sa Testa and Riu Mulinu.

4. The Beaches

Photo of My memorable Sardinian Christmas 4/4 by Jay 'Firespin' Helliwell

The crowning jewels of Sardinia are most likely its beaches. There are such a wide variety and each one is gorgeous and unique in its own distinct way. Because Sardinia’s beaches are such a big draw for tourists, they tend to be overcrowded during peak tourist seasons. But from September all through December, you can have kilometres of beach sand all to yourself. I was literally king of the beaches.

Chia Beach is one particular marvel I got to truly appreciate without it being crowded by people. This also makes Sardinia’s beaches during Christmas a special spot for a romantic getaway. But keep in mind that the beaches might not be so deserted on weekends as the locals also come out to have a good time.

Sardinia is a great vacation destination that’s heavily visited during summer periods. But if you want a truly unique Christmas like mine, you have my assurance that the island is a great choice during the ember months. One benefit of visiting Sardinia during Christmas is the reduced traffic due to less tourists which means you can have a great time with the least amount of hassle.

Also, keep in mind that while Sardinia’s beaches are great spectacles in winter, they aren’t actually ideal for swimming during such periods because of how powerful the currents can be. Since I couldn’t swim, I opted for a leisurely boat ride which turned out to be a fun way to enjoy Sardinia by sea rather than on land.