Sunday 27 July 2008

Liscia Ruia, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

To reach this fashionable beach you have to drive down a very bumpy and dusty track and, perhaps, queue outside the car park (1.5 euros per hour) for 30 minutes or so waiting for someone to leave. Don't be tempted to park in any of the laybys that line the road - you will likely get a ticket. The large beach itself is a breezy arc of fine sand studded with sturdy umbrellas and padded sun loungers (8 euros each), lapped by gentle waves and backed by green scrub. The limited parking space ensures there is plenty of space to pitch your own umbrella if you don't want to pay up. Your fellow sun worshippers will mostly be prosperous Italians spanning the generations and a handful of luxury yachts are often parked in the bay. Like many Sardinian beaches, Liscia Ruia is patrolled by half-hearted hawkers, many from west Africa, selling clothes, bags, jewellery and other trinkets. A snack bar offers mediocre paninis, expensive salads, drinks and ice cream. This is not a great beach for young kids as the sea gets quite deep quite quickly, but it is a picturesque spot with some cachet. 6/10