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Voted the ‘World’s Leading Resort’ for 13 years running, the Forte Village Resort in Sardinia pretty much has it all.
Located on the island's south-western coast, 45 minutes' drive from Cagliari, the resort offers a choice of seven different hotels, 21 restaurants, an amazing range of facilities and infinite opportunities to have fun. Thanks to the chain of mountains just inland, this corner of Sardinia enjoys a special micro-climate that means temperatures never get too extreme.
The resort is set in 55 acres of green parkland, fringed by a long sandy beach. With a huge choice of activities, Forte Village is ideally suited to families - a paradise for kids while at the same time offering a relaxing Mediterranean holiday for parents.
As well as the beach, there are freshwater and salt-water swimming pools scattered around the resort, including shallow children's pools (that's shallow pools, not pools for shallow children). Sports facilities include a dozen floodlit tennis courts, basketball and volleyball courts, and three five-a-side football pitches. There's also a practice golf course within the resort, and an excellent golf club a few minutes' drive away.
There is an excellent 'Five Star Sport Academy by Forte Village' with Chelsea FC Soccer School for kids from 5 up to 16 years old who train with coaches from the Chelsea team. The Tennis Academy runs from June to August with famous professionals and ex-professionals including the likes of Pat Cash on hand to train the youngsters.
As for watersports, there's a PADI-certified dive centre, qualified instructors to teach waterskiing or sailing, and a Boat House where you can rent all types of craft, from catamarans to kayaks and pedalos.
At the kids club near the beach for ages 2-12 (there's a separate nursery for the under twos) entertainers provide a range of games and activities. On the other side of the resort, and reachable by a mini-train, is Leisure Land, which has a go-kart track for aspiring Lewis Hamiltons, ten-pin bowling, trampolines and a disco.
If all that activity gets a bit too much for mum & dad, they can seek refuge in the Acquaforte Spa, which specialises in thalassotherapy.
When the inevitable cry of "I'm hungry" goes up, the only difficulty is deciding which of the many options to go for. The resort's restaurants serve everything from Brazilian to Japanese fare, ranging from gourmet dining (there are three Michelin star Chef restaurants: Gordon Ramsay, Forte Gourmet with the Italian famous chef Rocco Iannone, and Il Belvedere with Antonello Arrus) to a simple pizzeria, and - of course - a dedicated kids' restaurant. In the evenings, there's live entertainment in the piazza, the focal point of the resort.
There's really no need to leave the resort, but should you wish to spread your wings you can rent cars, mountain bikes or boats for excursions into the unspoilt interior of Sardinia or along the coast to nearby islands and beaches. Visits to the huge dunes at Baia Zafferanu and the flamingos at the Molentargius lagoon are among the other possibilities.
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Harriet and Kate L are our 'Forte Village' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.