Since the development of the Costa Smeralda, Sardinia has been viewed as an exclusive holiday destination and not one that many travellers would be drawn to. However, many of the budget airlines (Ryanair/Easyjet) now fly to Northern Sardinia and there are many cheap fares still to be had. Alternatively, you can pick up a ferry in France or mainland Italy and sail to Porto Torres on the North Coast of Sardinia.
The North Coast is still relatively unspoilt and is the place where many mainland Italian holidaymakers head for. You can also quite easily take the ferry to Corsica from the North Coast. Last year, I spent several weeks taking in this coast and it really is beautiful. In particular, the coastal towns of Alghero and Castelsardo are well worth a visit. The food, wine and ambience are as it should be for an unspoilt hidden gem in the middle of the med. It is well worth looking into spending some time on this island, preferably out of season in May, June of September when the beaches are considerably quieter. You will need a car to get around and the Island infrastructure can still be quite basic – little lighting at night time and cliff hugging roads but car hire is relatively cheap if booked in advance. I stayed at this really peaceful apartment just outside of Castelsardo and it was a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of the City. Check out the website www.simply-sardinia.co.uk