Corsica & Sardinia
DAY 1 – NICE
Arrive in Nice on the French Riviera, rest from your flight and take a walking tour of the old historic center. Gourmet welcome dinner.
DAY 2 – NICE / CALVI
From Nice take a short flight to the Corsican town of Calvi. Check into our beautiful hotel overlooking the sea. After a walking tour of this beautiful town, relax at our hotel before a dinner of Corsican specialties.
DAY 3 – CALVI
Today we explore the coast around Calvi and we have lunch on the beach. We meet some local Corsicans and visit a Corsican winery and olive oil producer. We have time to relax at our hotel at the end of the day.
DAY 4 – CALVI / AJACCIO
Departing Calvi, we head south and we reach the seaside town of Porto. From here, we enjoy a boat ride to Scandola Natural Reserve, a UNESCO site. Then we continue further south to our next destination, Corsica’s capital city, Ajaccio. After checking into our hotel, we take a stroll along the elegant palm tree-lined boulevards before a wonderful dinner.
DAY 5 – AJACCIO
We have all day to discover this waterfront city, known foremost as Napoleon’s birthplace. We’ll visit the house he grew up in, the lively port, the 16th century cathedral, and the renowned Fesh Museum. Ajaccio is a delight to wander around, and we have free time to relax or explore.
DAY 6 – AJACCIO / BONIFACIO
Corsica’s prehistoric megalithic monuments dating from as far back as the Neolithic era (roughly 6,000 B.C.) are reason alone to visit this enchanting island. We will head to Valley of Taravo, where we discover a number of extraordinary statues and dolmens. We see several fascinating menhir-statues in Filitosa and the beautiful dolmen in Fontanaccia in Sartène. We’ll see “cardial ware”, a type of pottery dating from the 7° millenium B.C. On the Cauria plateau we see many of the best-preserved menhirs and dolmens. The nearby resort of Propriano, an ancient town pre-dating the Romans, is a perfect place for lunch. We then continue to Bonifacio, Corsica’s southernmost town. The village is perched on a narrow limestone peninsula about one mile long which parallels the coast and forms a harbor on the southernmost point of Corsica. We check into our beautiful seaside hotel before enjoying a lovely gourmet dinner.
DAY 7 – BONIFACIO
In the morning we are guided to discover the beauties of this ancient town: the citadel, the Etendard bastion and the lively port. The afternoon is free to relax at one of the stunning beaches, to walk along the coast or just to do some shopping.
DAY 8 – BONIFACIO / SANTA TERESA / ALGHERO
A one hour ferry ride across the Straits of Bonifacio takes us to the lovely town of Santa Teresa di Gallura on the most northern tip of the island of Sardinia. Outside the town lies a fascinating prehistoric village, La Brandall, and Tomba dei Giganti, a vast communal village grave used between the 14th and 10th centuries B.C. After visiting these archeological ruins, we have lunch on the waterfront in Santa Teresa and then time to take a stroll on the beautiful beach before heading west to Alghero, where we check-in at our charming hotel. This part of the Sardinian coast, also known as the “Coral Riviera” is considered one of the most beautiful of the whole Mediterranean.
After some time to rest and relax, we discover the great culinary delices of north-western Sardinia on a gourmet dinner.
DAY 9 – ALGHERO
The morning is at leisure to relax at the beach, enjoy the hotel spa, discover the lively town of Alghero or to take an optional boat trip to one of the most fascinating jewels of the whole Mediterranean: the caves of Neptune, an authentic geological marvel. In the afternoon we visit one of the most important wine resorts and olive oil producers in North Sardinia. The landlady, oil taster and sommelier, takes us for a smooth walk through the vineyards with guided tasting of the wines and olive oils paired with typical sausages and different kinds of cheeses produced by local farmers.
Day 10 – ALGHERO / ORISTANO
After breakfast we head south through the road connecting the city of Alghero to Bosa, one of the most scenic roads in the world and certainly the most beautiful in Sardinia: 45 miles of breathtaking views over stunning rocky cliffs overlooking the sea. Bosa, an ancient Phoenician town with a long and renowned tradition for seafood, is the perfect place to stop and relax for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit the ancient archeological area of Tharros, another city founded by the Phoenicians back in the early 7th century B.C. A setting of outstanding natural beauty, in the heart of the Sinis Peninsula, a protected area where we can detect how diverse cultures overlap in a layered architecture: from the Phoenicians to the Greeks and finally to the Romans.
A few miles from here, not far from the charming city of Oristano, is our small boutique hotel, an old farmhouse with an extraordinary cellar containing the best that Sardinian enology offers.
DAY 11 – ORISTANO
In the morning we are guided to discover the city of Oristano, a lively and gracious medieval centre with a stunning Cathedral, founded back in 1253. While strolling through the centre, let us be carried by the joy and vitality of the locals and of its tiny alleys and by the scents of the typical cuisine. After lunch we head back to our hotel, where our chef for today, Ivo, has already prepared everything that is needed for our very special cooking class later in the afternoon. The lesson focusing on fish recipes will be on the beach right by the sea! Our dinner will feature coupling of a selection of Sardinian white wines such as Vermentino and Vernaccia with our dishes.
DAY 12: ORISTANO / CAGLIARI
Today we continue on driving south towards Cagliari. This is an area of Sardinia that is characterized by small crowds, with intense aromas and the stunning Mediterranean vegetation consisting of strawberry trees, mastic, juniper and broom that comes down from the mountains. Springtime offers a magnificent natural scenary here. On our way, we cannot miss the UNESCO site of Su Nuraxi near the village of Barumini, a pre-heminent example of the Sardinian nuraghe, the main type of ancient megalithic constructions found in Sardinia and developed during the Nuragic Age between 1900 and 730 B.C. After a pic-nic lunch prepared earlier this morning by our friend Ivo, we head towards Cagliari, Sardinia largest city and we check-in at our central hotel. After a stroll in the city centre we enjoy a gourmet farewell dinner at one of the best restaurants of the city, offering local traditional cuisine.
DAY 13: CAGLIARI
Private transfer to Cagliari airport for our flight back to the U.S.