Friday 16 December 2011

Il Nido, a City Apartment in Cagliari, Sardinia

We are so excited about our 2012 Sardinia villa collection. As well as our favorites which have been delighting our guests for three seasons now, we have some great new properties now available for holiday rentals on the island.

Most of the holiday accommodation we offer are of course villas near the beach or with swimming pools. But Sardinia isn't just about the beaches you know. There's a rich culture and history in this stunning corner of the Mediterranean and where better to discover it than in Cagliari, our island's capital city.

Il Nido is an architect-designed apartment tucked away on a quiet cobbled street just 50m from the bustling Via Roma, Cagliari's most famous street. Dating from the 1880's, Via Roma is lined on one side by elegant apartment buildings in a dazzling array of colors and on the other by Cagliari marina and the Mediterranean sea. There's always something happening here... just about every parade and feast day procession passes this way and it's crammed with bars, restaurants and boutiques selling everything from the latest fashions by top designer labels to Sardinian handicrafts and delicacies.

Il Nido is only now available for holiday rentals as the owners has been lovingly restoring and modernising it for the last year, with work completed just a few short weeks ago.

The main attraction has to be the wonderful outdoor terrace with the panoramic views over the city to the sea. When the owners originally purchased the apartment, this was actually a bedroom but now, with the walls and roof removed and beautiful wooden decking laid this area has become the heart of the house. How many other city apartments can offer the luxury of your own private barbeque for alfresco dinners under the stars whilst sipping a chilled glass of wine and gazing out towards the Mediterranean sea?

Inside, the living area also boasts those sea views and (if you ever tire of looking out the window) you'll find it crammed with technology such as a flat screen TV, DVD, CD and Blu-ray player and of course wifi internet access. There's an office corner and a double sofa bed for extra guests. The kitchen is a masterpiece of elegance and technology and the brand new bathroom boasts a double shower with mood lighting. The double bedroom is light and airy and, although set in the heart of Cagliari it's remarkably quiet and peaceful of an evening.

The whole apartment is beautifully furnished in a minimalist style but with plenty of quirky little touches by a local artist which make it feel both homely and elegant.

Back outside, Cagliari's ancient historic centre is just a short walk away where you can stroll down narrow cobbled streets lined with beautiful pastel-coloured buildings and feel like you've gone back in time a few hundred years. Stop for lunch at one of the many mouth-watering restaurants and then an aperitivo atop the famous Bastione San Remy whilst gazing out across the city and sea.

There's no need at all to hire a car when staying at Il Nido as Cagliari's many boutiques, art galleries, museums, cathedrals and botanical gardens are all within a stone's throw of the apartment and, because no trip to Sardinia would be complete without at least one day at the seaside, the wide sandy beach at Poetto, beloved by the locals is just 3km away. There's great bus links leaving almost from your front door to the beach and Poetto is so long there's a full 10 bus stops along it so you can try a different section every day.

Poetto is lined with a myriad of beach bars and restaurants where you can grab anything from a snack to a full meal at any time of the day. At the far end is the famous "Sella del Diavolo" which, as any local will tell you, is where Lucifer fell to Earth after being thrown out of heaven.

So if you're looking for a city break with a difference there are few spots better than Cagliari, whichever time of year you choose to go. And when in Cagliari there's simply nowhere we would rather stay that at Il Nido.

Prices run from 550-775€ per week for up to 4 guests and Il Nido is available all year round.

Just click here for more information on Il Nido

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Wednesday 14 December 2011

Villa Karalis, Pula, Sardinia

An early New Years resolution... to update the blog much, much more often to let all you lovely people out there know just what we've been up to!

And what better way to start than with a brand new property, exclusive to The Sardinia Villa Collection... Villa Karalis.

It's actually two twin villas which can either be rented separately for smaller groups of up to 6 guests (Villa Karalis One or Villa Karalis Two), or together giving a whopping 6 bedrooms for up to 12 guests.

Every bedroom has a private ensuite bathroom and most of the rooms have lovely views over the swimming pool and Mediterranean gardens, stocked with palm trees, fragrant jasmine and centuries-old olive trees.

There's a huge communal swimming pool, shared with the residents of the other 15 properties on this small, exclusive development. Villa Karalis is the only property currently available for holiday rentals so there's a lovely, friendly feel to the place.

Back inside, the villas are fully air-conditioned and are equipped with Satellite TV, DVD players and USB keys for internet access can be made available on request. For families travelling with children, there's a range of baby equipment available on request (cots, high chairs, stair gates, bottle sterilisers, baby monitors, baby baths and even those modern must-haves... bumbo's) and we can also arrange for the hire of an X-box (with a selection of games), board games and DVD's to keep the whole family entertained.

Guests will be provided with a good guide book to Sardinia as well as our own "Villa Book" listing all our favourite local restaurants, beaches and activities and you'll find all the basics to start off your holiday such as cleaning products. If you want to relax right from the very start, just send us your shopping list and we'll make sure the kitchen is fully stocked for your arrival with a bottle of wine and a few beers chilling in the fridge ready for you.

How about the local area? Let's start with the name... taken from the original Roman name for Sardinia's capital city, Cagliari, it's a nod to the fact that the most important Roman settlement in Sardinia is just 5km from your doorstep. History buffs can wander around the ancient site which is set prettily on the sheltered bay of Nora and explore the amphitheatre, beautiful mosaics and baths. The accompanying museum in the neighbouring town of Pula has a great collection of finds from the site.

Looking for something a little less cultured? You can't go far wrong with a visit to the BluFan Water Park just 8km from the villas. With slides, a toddler pool, wave pool and even activities such as children's foam parties and dancing lessons. There's a restaurant and snack bars and sun loungers are included in the cost of the entry ticket so it's a great day out for the whole family. There's even a super-scary slide perfect for dads wanting to show off.

Of course Sardinia is all about the beaches and as residents in the area we'll make sure to give you the low-down on where to find the silkiest sand, bluest seas, comfiest sun loungers and of course the beaches known only to residents that the crowds don't find even in peak season. You're spoilt for choice with the famous beach at Chia just a few minutes down the road as well as Nora beach, the unfortunately named "Pinus Village" beach, Tuerredda (pictured) and the lovely Mare Pineta just 1.2km from your front door.

We recommend a day spent in Cagliari, just 40km away for a browse around the numerous boutiques, art galleries, museums and botanical gardens and San Benedetto market... the largest indoor food market in Italy with mouth-watering local cheeses, hams, baked goods and the freshest fruits and vegetables. The ground floor is exclusively dedicated to fish and seafood and the stall holders are real showmen, ever ready to (rather bizarrely) wear a swordfish head as a mask to raise a smile or assault you with a live octopus or two as you walk by.

Closer to home, the Is Molas international golf course (home to the Italian Open every year) is just 3 minutes away by car and other local activities include kite surfing, scuba diving and horse riding or for those looking for a little less adrenaline with their holiday, wine and cheese tasting at a local vineyard, masseurs to pamper you by the pool or boat hire for a day out with a friendly English Skipper including lunch and drinks.

There are some excellent restaurants in the area too, serving everything from great pizzas and pasta to traditional Sardinian fare such as roast suckling pig, wild boar in red wine or roast kid. Seafood is a great favourite here too.

Prices for Villa Karalis run from 2,700-4,400€ per week for both villas together sleeping up to 12 people (32-47€ per person per night) or from 1,350-2,200€ per week to rent one individual villa for up to 6 guests.

Simply click here for more information on the villas:
Villa Karalis (sleeps 12)
Villa Karalis One (sleeps 6)
Villa Karalis Two (sleeps 6)

Here to contact us for more information on this or any other villa.

LinkOr here to view our full Sardinia Villa Collection