Sardinia is like Majorca or Ibiza without the development and refreshingly free from package tourism, say Alex and Janet Alexander from North Yorkshire. They bought a four-bedroom wreck for £111,000 (€140,000) on the edge of a pine forest in Valledoria on the north coast and spent £159,000 (€200,000) renovating it into a “boutique hotel” style villa which is now worth £476,000 (€600,000).
“As soon as the lowcost airlines started flying in we realised it was a no-brainer. It used to cost us £600 each to fly from the north of England, but now it costs us £350 for all four of us,” says Janet, 50, (above) who has two daughters aged 13 and 17. The family spend three or four weeks a year in their villa and let it out via holiday-rentals.co.uk for £900-1,900 a week.
“More British people are buying property, but it’s not easy and you’ve got to really want to. The buying process can take 18 months. Be prepared for, ‘sorry we can’t sign the papers for three months now because it’s the summer break.’“