Ever since the northeast coast of Sardinia was developed by the Aga Khan in the early 1960s, American travelers have been aware of the Costa Smeralda and its famously lavish resorts (among them the Hotel Pitrizza, which I continue to recommend). But Sardinia is a large island — around 160 miles north to south — much of which is wild, spectacular and relatively unknown. So recently, I decided to explore. I began my journey in the southern city of Cagliari and finished at the lovely medieval town of Alghero in the northwest. Along the way, I discovered small hotels of comfort and character, delicious food, unexpectedly excellent wines, fascinating archaeological sites, intriguing little towns and miles of empty beach. Perhaps the highlight of my trip was a stay in the Faro Capo-Spartivento hotel, housed within a dramatic 19th-century lighthouse. The island’s roads are well-maintained and, outside of high season, uncrowded. In May/June or September/October, Sardinia offers a memorable experience of a Mediterranean world still mercifully unspoiled by mass tourism and heedless development. (A driving itinerary based on my 12-day trip will be published on AndrewHarper.com on September 15.)
This issue also includes an account of my visit to the Bahamas, where, on the out island of Eleuthera, The Cove resort has recently been acquired by the owners of Enchantment in Sedona. I also spent a few days on pretty and peaceful Harbour Island, reached by a short water taxi ride from Eleuthera. There, Rock House provides a boutique alternative to The Dunmore, a longstanding Harper favorite. Finally, I flew to the remote island of Andros, where I discovered a genuine hideaway, Kamalame Cay, an idyllic private island with a range of comfortable and atmospheric accommodations, friendly staff, delicious food and a seductive overwater spa. I also treated myself to two bonefishing excursions on the nearby flats, where the shallow translucent waters are teeming with marine life. Kamalame Cay was delightful, in part because it was so entirely unexpected.