Most people come to Sardegna for the beaches. I did! And if you fly in to Cagliari, the best beaches to the east are Villasimius and on up the coast. I chose not to go to Villasimius for 1 reason and then another became apparent on my way to Costa Rei; it is bumper to bumper cars – and people – in Villasmius and that would be just a bit too much for this introvert. The primary reason I didn’t choose Villasimius is that everything is “all inclusive” resorts with a minimum stay of 7 days. I love the beach as much as the next person but I want to see lots of different beaches and not be required to stay at the same one for 7 nights. So with a little digging, I found that the next coastal town up from Villasimius is Costa Rei. And although many places that I contacted said that they, too, had a 7 night minimum, a couple said they would do 5 nights for slightly more. When you only have so many days to explore, sometimes a little more money is worth the pain to your bank account!
I chose to stay at the newish hotel Il Vaschello (www.ilvascellohotel.it) because they would allow me to stay only 5 nights AND they would guarantee me a sea view room. In my walks, I’ve seen 3 other resorts in Costa Rei so if Il Vascello isn’t your thing or they don’t have availability – they only have about 20 rooms which I appreciate – you can find something else.
Whatever you choose, you should know in advance that no hotel is directly on the beach so don’t make that a criteria. And don’t fall for the deceptive pictures! Thankfully, however, each hotel has their own “private” part of the beach where you will have a sun bed and umbrella and access to the most gorgeous blue waters!
This is where Costa Rei falls way short and probably why more people go to Villasimius: there are few restaurants available. This also explains why many hotels want to do the “all inclusive” rates but, as a vegetarian, I try and avoid these sorts of “deals.”
The “Pink Lady” is right next to Il Vascello and is an adequate pizzeria and ristorante. On the night I went, it was packed and thankfully I had thought to make a reservation because they were turning people away.
In the little square that is home to the “Pink Lady” is also a Pizza al Taglio which is inexpensive and really quite good. My favourite Italian pizza is pizza con patata e rosmarino and they had so I was quite the happy boy.
The other restaurant that I found is call Il Mirragio. It’s up the hill from the beach community, but an easy walk, so if you want a change of scenery, although the food is basically the same as the Pink Lady and the same price, check this place out.
It’s the beach. There really is nothing else to do in Costa Rei other than to spend the day at the beach, the night have cocktails, and then dinner. In a word, relaxing!