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Just got back from Sardinia....

We stayed 2 weeks and drove down from Lux with all gear crammed into the boot and the luggage on the back seat. Thank God for no kids...well, actually we chose not to have kids for that very reason...more room for dive gear.

Nice drive down through France and into Switzerland..stunning scenery as the Alps surrounded us, marred only by the great queue to and through the Gotthard pass.

Arrived Genova for overnight ferry to sardinia...bargain at 360 euro (top cabin, car, 2 punters) return price.

Anyway, arrived 8am Sunday morning and I was ready for dives...this is where the holiday starts to go pear shaped for my diving plans. The other half is knackered, as I am but my enthusiasm for a warm clear water dive precludes fatigue. Reluctantly I hold off for 24 hours, spending the time to find a nice beach dive for the two of us on Monday to get Hez back into the swing...she dives once a year on holiday and is not too confident about the whole diving thing so I do have to hold her hand each time we dive.

Found a lovely shore dive, arrive at 8.30 (half an hour drive from the appartment) so the Italians have not yet swarmed the beach. Problem is, the bit of beach i chose is a nice hike over rocks and things..about 100m with 10 m over rocks to the beach...lovely quiet place.

Kitted up and swam out 20-30 metres and let h do her checks etc make sure she's OK. Off we go....dive goes well down to 6 metres, mild panic from the wife. Carry on...nicely down to 12 m and we potter off. I won't bore you with the horrible nasty husband wife bits but this was the worst dive of my life....suddenly over inflation of her BC sends H towards the surface as a motor boat is running around and as i look up I can foresee a colision...propellor and head (toursit idiots..I was towing a SMB). I grabbed her hand and dumped her air and mine....as we fell to safety my ear went squelch as I had not had time to equalise.

Scrub day 3 diving for ear to recover.

After this things picked up....managed some decent depth dives upto 60 metres but in all honesty there's not much to see in sardinia. The best part was watching the other divers fuck about...as I'm sure that they were doing with me. I took my wing and could only dive singles so at least I caused some interest with some divers who'd never seen a wing.

I trecked over to 3 more dive operators and found the diving to be good but not worth a visit to sardinia EXCEPT for the caverns. Now be careful...I was attracted to one dive operator who promised me caverns/caves (as there are many on sardinia) but all it bloody well was was a few rocks that had fallen on to of each other and created great overhead swimthroughs of upto 20 metres.

NOW, the cavern diving and the best diving to be had, for me, was the north west area. There are true caves there. You can't get lost as there are no side tunnels so there is no permanent line laid but you should take two torches. If you lose those then you'll still see the feint glow of daylight so there is no worry about getting lost. However, there are some tight squeezes and you're thankfull it's not your tank that's getting scraped on the cave roof....as you do get thrown about by the wave surge in some cases.

If you're not comfortable about tight squeezes and have not been in caverns before this is probably the place to start as there are some good easy open caverns to do.

In the end my verdict on sardinia for diving is: DON'T BOTHER if you're used to more exciting, varied dive locations.

Apart from that it was a nice holiday but I feel a bit gutted that we couln't have gone to palau again for the 3rd year on the trot.

Any questions (diving or other) on sardinia, please fire away.

Regards.

Graham
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'John Duncan'
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<font color='#F52887'>where abouts did you stay and dive? My girlfriend is Italian and we go to Italy 2 or 3 times a year and she used to go to Sardinia as a kid. what is the viz? and temp? The reviews I have seen have all been quite good, you surprise me.
 

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We had a great holiday in Sardinia...a stunning island and well worth a visit.

I wrote my commentary from a diving point of view and my conclusion was not to bother going, if that was the purpose of the trip.

Much to see and in answer to your query..we stayed on the north coast at Valledoria, nice quieit place but for the screaming kids, but spent very little time there.

Diving was off Castelsardo...some of the deeper dives, Capo Testa some nice sea life, Capo Galera for the caverns.

For me a wasted dive holiday. No recommendations forthcoming.

Best regards.

Graham
 

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Hi Graham,
Glad you enjoyed your holiday. Your assessment of the diving around Sardinia is spot on. The vis is great but there's nothing much to see. I did do one nice cavern dive, though. It was quite a long cavern and we swam all the way in and up into a large air space with nice stalactites and stalagmites. Apart from that, the dives were as boring as those I did in Cyprus (apart from the Zenobia). I should add, though, that I've only dived around Algherro. There may be better diving further north.
 

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John,

The caverns were nice and as you said these are just out of Alghero which is a bit of a tourist trap. The caverns I dived I did out of Capo Galera (a boat ride of 30 mins or so from Alghero). I recognise the cavern you did but cannot remember the name.

I did all my other diving all along the north coast and there was not much to see. You did tell me before i went that the diving wasn't upto much but I did meet some great people running the ops and diving with them and the island itself is lovely so it was a nice holiday.

Next year Bermuda for the blue holes...unless, John, you can give advice about the Carib that might steer us elsewhere.

We'll go to the carib as neither of us has ever been...I'm just drawn to the blue holes but that's not a be all and end all...so hints and pointers welcome.

Best regards.

Graham
 
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