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Boats on the Sardinian coast  The rugged Italian island of Sardinia is a magnet for the rich and famous when the sun glints off the turquoise waters each summer. A-listers anchor their super-yachts in the seas off the wild coastline, coming ashore to sample the cuisine and party hard in the clubs of an evening.

It's not just the glitterati who feel at home in Sardinia though: there are exclusive resorts where luxury hotels cater for the wealthy, but there are also plenty of family-friendly resorts, mid-range accommodation and even a few budget hotels, if you'd rather save your cash for the fantastic restaurants and cool bars.

Hotels in Sardinia are mostly found around the white-sand beaches of this beautiful island, which sits in the Mediterranean Sea, just off the “knee” of Italy's boot. Rooms are clean, often spacious, and their owners are keen to extend a welcome befitting of their glorious setting.

Several well-known brands have hotels on the island including the exclusive Rocco Forte, Best Western, Sheraton, Mercure, DoubleTree by Hilton, Starwood and Holiday Inn.

If you are looking for a budget break in Sardinia, hotels should be booked early, as the best bargains tend to be snapped up quickly in the height of the holiday season. If you're prepared to travel outside of the peak months of May to September you will be rewarded with cheaper prices - though keep in mind that big resorts might be partially closed and the smaller towns and villages will be very quiet, with some businesses closing for the winter season.

Just like an ageing male A-lister, the island of Sardinia is handsome in a craggy and rugged way. You can spot Roman, Catalan and Genoan influences if history and architecture are your things, and you're never far away from a café, restaurant or family bar offering a mouth-watering array of temptations.

Of course, many people visit for the island's gorgeous beaches, where clear waters are bathed in and sands are lounged on among the shade of wonderfully-scented pine trees. Stay in beach resorts such as those on the Costa Smeralda, for example Porto Cervo, or in Cala Capra, Santa Margherita di Pula, Baia Sardinia and Chia. Hotels in the capital, Cagliari, are also popular, as are those in the Roman town of Nora and hotels in Catalan-influenced Alghero. Walkers after a quieter retreat will love Oliena too.

Top five attractions

La Maddalena Archipelago National Park

This group of protected islands forms a stunning national park with sweeping white sand bays.

Beaches

The idyllic beaches of Cala Mariolu, La Pelosa and Cala Goloritze are among the best in Europe.

Cagliari Marina

Drool over some exquisite yachts in this modern, stylish and super-cool marina.

Orto Botanico

This botanical garden dating from the 16th century is the perfect place to cool down for a few hours.

Diving and snorkelling

Take a look under the surface of the crystal-clear waters. Many resorts and towns in Sardinia have certified schools.

Events

Sa Sartiglia; February: Elaborately-masked horse riders recreate an ancient power struggle in this climax to a spectacular three-day carnival in Oristano.

The festival of Sant'Efisio; May: This vibrant religious festival pays homage to the martyred saint Efisio di Elia. It culminates in a procession where locals are adorned in traditional dress. Finding a good vantage point early will result in some memorable photos.

Ardia; July: An ancient and spiritual event with one of the most thrilling horse races you will ever witness as its showpiece. Don't leave when the race has finished - the feast at the end is not to be missed.