When we asked our Sardinian friend to advise us about our recent visit to his native island, he quickly pointed out that his advice would depend on what we were looking for. When we narrowed our preference to a relaxing resort with a charming seaside village within short walking distance, we weren't very optimistic that such a paradise would exist. However, our friend was now equally swift in his reply: 'Ah, I know just the place, Cala di Falco, a stone's throw away from Cannigione.

When you think of Cannigione, our friend informs us, think of the Costa Smeralda without the cost, a thing to remember, not least when traveling on a tight family budget. Originally a fishing village, Cannigione is a small town in the province of Olbia-Tempio in northeast Sardinia, just about 9 kilometers southwest of Porto Cervo. The small seaside town is home to one of the best beaches near the Costa Smeralda and, quite surprisingly, home to some of the best Sardinia hotels, one of which we are fortunate to be staying at, Cala di Falco. Featuring a long stretch of golden sand with crystal clear waters, you wonder why this village is not even more of an attraction on the island of Sardinia.

So here we are, and our first port of call is to stroll into Cannigione for an aperitive. We use the tower of Chiesa S. Giovanni to gravitate towards the center of the village and find a most welcoming restaurant on Piazza S. Giovanni offering a very generous selection of the most iconic and traditional Italian starter, the so-called tagliere di affettati misti e formaggi, a wide variety of Italian cured cold meats and cheeses typically served on a wooden board. They have the same on the next table but communicate in a language somewhat unfamiliar. The first language of Sardinia is Italian, but here we hear the Sardinian language, Sardo, still widely spoken. A vibrant language, Sardo varies significantly from area to area, we are told, even from village to village, with Latin, Arabic, Spanish, and Catalan influences reflecting the turbulence of the island's past.

When returning to the Cala di Falco Resort, we become acutely aware that it offers a range of luxurious accommodations to cater to every traveler's needs, not least to families with young children. Our comfortable room with an open-air veranda overlooking the hotel park, pool, and Golfo di Arzachena suits us well. Still, lavish apartments and villas are also available for larger parties. Each abode is tastefully decorated and equipped with modern amenities. Guests can indulge in private balconies or terraces that provide panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

Food enthusiasts will find their taste buds tingling at Cala di Falco Resort's exceptional dining options. The La Poiana is the main restaurant with a view over the swimming pool. There is a generous and varied buffet service for breakfast with delicious sweet and savory options for dinner, and the chef offers a delightful combination of Mediterranean and traditional Sardinian dishes. The other option, The Martin Pescatore restaurant, enjoys a splendid view over the Golfo di Arzachena for candle-lit dinners in a dreamy atmosphere. Elegant waiter service and exclusive dishes prepared by the chef include local and Mediterranean cuisine specialties and the freshest grilled fish and meats.

Cala di Falco Resort provides a plethora of activities and opportunities for exploration. Outdoor enthusiasts can partake in water sports such as snorkeling, diving, and sailing, immersing themselves in the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea. For those seeking cultural activities, the resort offers guided tours to nearby archaeological sites, charming coastal towns, and traditional markets. Additionally, the resort organizes excursions to the renowned Maddalena Archipelago, allowing guests to discover the stunning natural marine park and pristine beaches.

As in other resorts of the Delphina Group, passion for the environment can be seen in little everyday gestures but also in responsible and far-sighted choices that tell the story of 30 years of Delphina hotels & resorts. 'Nature has always been at the heart of our projects,' the manager informs us, 'not just as a source of inspiration, but also a resource to be protected to offer holidays where people can discover the authentic Sardinia and enjoy a sense of freedom in contact with our unique nature.' This is the essence of the "We are green®" brand, she adds, 'created and registered by Delphina to represent our commitment to the environment. A collection of good practices and territorial enhancement initiatives that follow a route aimed at a sustainable future for the land we love.' More than anything else, this dedication to sustainability, combined with the charm of being close to the simple Sardinian way of life, attracts you to this part of the world, time and again.