Want to stay young, healthy and happy? Then you might want to hotfoot it to Sardinia – one of the only ‘Blue Zones’ in Europe.

Blue Zones are pockets of longevity around the world where thanks to the laid back, health-boosting lifestyle, residents often live to, or beyond, 100. These include: Okinawa in Japan, Loma Linda in California, Costa Rica’s isolated Nicoya Peninsula, and Ikaria, an isolated Greek island.

Longevity tourism to these destinations is set to boom in 2017 thanks to increased interest in Blue Zones, and you can find out more about Sardinia in particular in the May issue of Top Santé (on sale April 19).

Boost your vitamin D

Sunset over the terrace at the Capo D’Orso

Sunset over the terrace at the Capo D’Orso

With flight times of only two-and-a-half hours from London to the island’s Alghero airport, you could be enjoying a taste of Sardinia’s authentic diet, culture and lifestyle before you know it – even a long weekend could be enough to restore mind and body.

And with one in five Brits reported to be Vitamin D deficient, a healthy dose of sunshine is just what the doctor ordered. Sardinia has more than 300 days of sunshine each year, making it a safe bet for upping your levels. The best time to visit is May to September.

To make your stay extra special, book at the Delphina Hotels & Resorts – a collection of eight 4* and 5* destinations nestled on the northern coast in Gallura. Family-run, the properties provide authentic Sardinian hospitality in unique and beautiful locations.

You’ll be swapping your morning commute for a stroll along the stunning and completely unspoilt coastline of the Straits of Bonifacio and La Maddalena Archipelago. Take in the fresh, herb-scented air and explore the white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters, or hike the rugged granite boulders moulded into fantastical shapes by wind and sea.

Healthy and wholesome foods and drinks

Dinner with a view at the Marinedda

Dinner with a view at the Marinedda

Swap a green smoothie for a glass – or two, as the locals do – of Sardinia’s local red wine. Cannonau is only produced in Sardinia from the ancient Grenache grape and contains the highest levels – as much as three times – of polyphenols of any wine.

These antioxidants are linked to heart health and protection against cardiovascular disease. Cannonau is also rich in anthocyanins – naturally occurring compounds that also have antioxidant effects. And there’ll be plenty of opportunity to sample the wine with tastings and vineyard tours upon request.

Although carb-heavy pasta dishes, pizzas and endless supplies of bread may be associated with Italian cuisine, the Sardinian diet comes from a tradition entirely of its own, based upon their agricultural heritage.

Popular dishes include: lamb and suckling pig infused with myrtle, fennel and health-giving herbs; protein rich soups and stews; strong, spicy cheeses such as omega-3-rich Pecorino; traditional flat bread, Pane Carasau, which is high in fibre and complex carbohydrates – all of which are believed to help contribute towards a longer-life.

Wholesome Sardinian tastes are recreated by Delphina Hotels & Resorts chefs to provide a range of mouth-watering meals using local crops, tasty meats and fresh fish. Delphina works with local producers to offer guests an exclusive array of wine, olive oil, carasau bread, cheese, spirits, marmalade, saffron, spicy salt, bottarga (Sardinian caviar) and teas with natural herbs which are only available at the resorts.

Of note, at Resort Valle Dell Erica, the Li Ciusoni restaurant serves only authentic ‘Gallurese’ cuisine using food with zero food miles. Their expert chefs also provide complimentary cookery classes, enabling guests to recreate some of their dishes at home.

Spa treatments to restore mind and body

The Thalassotherapy pool at the Marinedda

The Thalassotherapy pool at the Marinedda

Sardinia is renowned for practising the art of Thalassotherapy: the medicinal use of seawater. Thalassotherapy is believed to relax, cleanse and tone skin and muscles, ease aches and pains, boost circulation and ease respiratory conditions and chronic inflammations.

With six prestigious Wellness and SPA centres across their portfolio of properties offering Thalassotherapy pools, baths and wraps, Delphina is the leader in Sardinia for this life-giving sea-water therapy.

So whilst a visit to Sardinia migth not guarantee you’ll see your 100th birthday, you’ll definiutely return healthier, happier and more relaxed.

For more information or to book:
Visit: www.delphinahotels.co.uk
For bookings, call: 0039 0789 790018 or email info@delphina.it
Facebook: /Delphina Hotels Resorts Sardegna
Twitter: @DelphinaHotels
Instagram: @delphinahotels