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Our Home Away From Home in Teulada, Sardinia

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A colourful casa boasting an olive tree and a blue fishing boat in the cobblestone courtyard is our current home away from home in Teulada, in the southwest of the Italian island of Sardinia. One of three atmospheric apartments in a traditional house called Casa Teulada, our latest home is one of the most delightful holiday rentals we’ve stayed at so far on our grand tour.

Casa Teulada is a project of love for its owners Antonio and Christina, who rebuilt the property from rubble. “I’d been travelling for 20 years – to 55 countries – looking for the right place,” Antonio, a former tour guide turned flight attendant tells us on the scenic drive along the dramatic coastline from Cagliari airport to the village. “When we saw the place, it was a ruin, but Christina looked at it and she saw the finished property. She explained it to me, and I said yes!”

The charming casa is decorated with the kind of care and attention to detail often only applied to a main home rather than a holiday rental. The eclectic décor could be described as ‘country meets sea’: think rustic furniture, blue and white striped cushions, and boat-shaped bathroom shelves.

Yet the design somehow manages to successfully incorporate exotic pieces the widely-travelled couple (they married in Mauritius) have picked up on their trips, from wooden carvings, ceramics and textiles from Asia and Africa, to things they’ve made by hand themselves, such as bedside lamps created from recycled paper with seashells and sand in their glass bottle stands.

Seashells that Antonio and Christina have collected from beaches around the world, along with a cheerful sun symbol, have become the casa’s motif. They serve as soap holders, are ‘caught’ in a fishing net suspended from bamboo poles above a bed in one apartment, and decorate the handmade visitor’s books that are crammed with glowing testimonials and travel tips from guests.

The apartments are teeming with thoughtful touches, from the little extras that are commonplace in luxury hotels but rarely found in holiday rentals, including plenty of towels, fine toiletries, loads of cupboard space, and quality cotton sheets, to welcome surprises like picnic baskets and cooking books on Sardinia.

Antonio and Christina also win the award for best welcome package, but more on those things in another post. Let’s just say for now that guests could hole up here for a couple of days on the welcome goodies without the need to go shopping, but the weekly market was held on Monday so we had no choice but to check the town out.

We have to say that Teulada would probably not win any prizes for being Sardinia’s most picturesque village – although there is an imposing church on an attractive main square just steps from the casa and a handful of colourful houses almost as charming as Antonio and Christine’s sprinkled about town – but what it lacks in beauty it makes up for in authenticity, which we find easily as appealing.

The local guys hang out on the squares socializing, dressed smartly in suit jackets, while the women, rarely seen, are probably back at the house baking bread and making pasta. Occasionally we’ll see a little old lady in a black headscarf, long black skirt and apron, carting her shopping home. And on the evening we arrived, the town was out in full force to watch a colourful procession to celebrate the patron saint’s day. More on that in another post too.

Each time we head for the market or shops, we respond to the stares with a buongiorno and receive a very warm buongiorno back. The village is so small that we see the same people day after day, including the waiter from our favourite restaurant, who enthusiastically says salve, and it’s this fast and easy familiarity that makes a stay here such a treat – a stark contrast to the disinterest that comes from the jaded residents of tourist towns.

We’ve spotted just one couple a day wandering about the streets with cameras in hand, there are approximately three postcard stands in town, and most of the foreigners we see in Teulada’s excellent restaurants seem to have settled in for a while rather than be passing through.

Teulada may not be on the sea, but it’s surrounded by gently rolling hills fragrant with Mediterranean shrubs and wild herbs, and it’s conveniently located just a few kilometres from the coast. The casa comes equipped with excellent mountain bikes for slow travellers like us, but a car is essential if you’re bringing family, you want to frequent the nearby white sand beaches, including Cow Beach, famous for its sun-baking bovine, or you want to tour the island.

Us? Well, we’re digging deeper this year rather than venturing far and wide, so we’re content to stick fairly close to the casa and Teulada this time. There’ll always be another time.


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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

14 thoughts on “Our Home Away From Home in Teulada, Sardinia”

  1. Sardinia! WOW I’m so jealous! I’ve only been once but I managed have the worst weather of the century… 5C and ice rain! :) I hope you’ll be luckier and get to enjoy all that the island has to offer! :)

  2. Sorry to hear about the weather, I had told you where I was it was nicer, well, it lasted for 5 more minutes! It started pouring straight away and getting very windy. This is the coldest May I’ve ever experienced in Sardinia… We’re already on the 19th and it’s still cold!

  3. Hi Gabby – after a gorgeous first couple of days (which we had to spend writing), we had cloudy skies and then rain for a couple of days. But I think this is just Europe this year – it’s been our experience for most of the trip… spring seems like it’s never going to come :(

    We’ve just focused our time on the village and the surrounding region for this trip, we won’t be exploring the whole island, as our aim with Grantourismo is to dig deeper rather than try to see everything and leave not really ‘knowing’ the island at all. And there’s always next time…

  4. It’s crazy, isn’t it?! It’s freezing here today in Puglia – have not been this cold since London in May. Despite the weather, we still enjoyed Casa Teulada and the little we saw of Sardinia very much – especially loved the food, wine and people! – we’ll definitely return one day!

  5. Your words couldn’t be more accurate, my wife and I were stayed at Casa Tuelada in April and had an amazing time. The best part was we didn’t have access to email, tv, phone…We found the towns people to be most genuine and giving, especially the Ledda’s (care takers) who made us feel welcome from the first day. Casa Tuelada is a rare gem and Tueradda Beach, forget about it…that is one of the most incredible beaches we’ve ever been to and I’ve traveled to over 30 countries!!!!

  6. Thanks Lara for the support on the colours! We had them clear in our mind from the very beginning. Warm, lively, simple colours! They convey us exactly such cheerful and warm feelings, both when it’s sunny outside and when it rains. Besides, the fireplace or the candle lights give it an even better look on chilled romantic nights.


  7. Hi Robert – yes, the caretakers are sweet, aren’t they? And the beaches are stunning too – unfortunately we had bad luck with the weather (lots of rain) so we didn’t get a chance to do any beachcombing let alone swimming, but we saw them and we did get a chance to step on the sand and they looked gorgeous. They reminded us a lot of the southern coast of Western Australia and some of South Australia’s beaches which are very Mediterranean. Thanks for dropping by!

  8. Hello, my husband and I are heading to Alghero Sardinia this Christmas holiday and wondering where to stay for a week. We need a nice, clean furnished place walking distance to food market and bus and to the old town area. Need enough space in case my sister decides to join us also. Does anyone have any suggestions for us? Any comments are very appreciated.
    Bill and Ilona

  9. Hi Ilona & Bill,

    I don’t know of any specific individual properties off the top of my head, but if you click the link below, this will show you all two bedroom places in Alghero classified as ‘town’. These should all, therefore, be within easy reach of everything, but you should ask the owners when you enquire about specifics such as proximity to the food market and local buses etc… if these details are not expressly mentioned in their listing.

    There are 28 properties to choose from, so hopefully there should be something that meets your requirements.

    My personal favourite is this one, which looks like it has plenty of character and is in a really good location:


    I hope you manage to find something!


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