Dear Victoria,

Is there a nice place to go in Sardinia with good food and clear blue water that isn’t the Costa Smeralda?

Park Ridge, Illinois

A junior suite at Valle dell’Erica Resort Thalasso & Spa.

Dear Barbara,

How very right you are not to go anywhere near the Costa Smeralda. Wickedly expensive, full of hideous, show-offy yachts and Russians. Much as we love the charming Aga Khan who invented it, Costa Smeralda is quite recent, so not a French Riviera or even a Portofino. You obviously want the magic blue sea, therefore an option is Valle dell’Erica Resort Thalasso & Spa, which looks out over the La Maddalena archipelago, sprinkled with uninhabited islands. The property has two hotels; choose Hotel Erica. This resort has a lot, including a photography shop, but I warn: it is seriously families. How much can you tolerate screaming children? The same problem in the southern part of the island with Forte Village Resort (which everyone will tell you about), a bit footballers’ wives. Only stay in Hotel Il Castello there. And if you don’t mind going a bit inland, Su Gologone is a charming, peaceful villa in the hills. Do you have to go to Sardinia? What about Sicily and the Aeolian Islands?

Left: rooms at Hotel Il Castello come with A/C and LCD TVs. Right: the spa pools at the Hotel Capo d’Orso.

Victoria Mather is a veteran travel writer based in London