It’s not often we get news from Sardinia, still less the chance to get over there and scout for ourselves. But Li Licci sounds like heaven for outdoorsy travellers and gourmets. In a valley on the uplands of central Gallura in the north-east of the island, near the hill town of Calangianus, Li Licci has progressed from working farm to renowned Michelin-mentioned restaurant and B&B under the inspired direction of Brit Jane and her Italian husband Gian Michele. No mean cook herself, Jane now has qualified help running the restaurant kitchen and turning out Mediterranean but mostly traditional Sardinian dishes of superior standard, with roast suckling pig never missing from the menu whatever the season. Most of the ingredients are home-grown or otherwise locally sourced, and guests regularly claim to have eaten the best food in Sardinia – served out on a timbered terrace with sweeping views, weather permitting.
The rooms are simple but trim and spotless, rustic with their whitewashed walls and ceiling beams, and all accessed separately from a patio. Li Licci is secluded and utterly peaceful in its park of cork oak groves, ancient olive trees, rocky outcrops and horses, well off the beaten track in what is already rugged mountain country, where the peaks have mythical-sounding names like Lu Casteddu, Gaspareddu, Casiddu and Lu Colbu. Adventurous types can go trekking, canyoning and mountain biking nearby, while Olbia with its seaport and airport, the mythical Costa Smeralda and the breathtaking archipelago of La Maddalena are a short drive away.