We wanted a little European summer in our blood. It felt like everyone was soaking in the glory of a Euro Summer on Instagram while we were stuck in the midst of a dreary, grey winter at home. We needed to go somewhere a little off the beaten track that could make you all envious of our Euro summer too!

It was a tough choice between Sardinia and Sicily but I had friends in Sardinia so it made it easier to navigate a short Euro vacay. I love Italy – the people, the food, the culture and history, the landscape and of course, the Mediterranean Sea. 

With temperatures continuing to drop at home, the thought of exploring summertime on a classic Mediterranean Island and its cultural coastline couldn’t have sounded any better.

It has always struck me that island life is a definitive way of life no matter what island in what part of the world. Real Island dwellers always appear to be searching for their treasure or hunting the elusive Jaguar Shark aka Bill Murray as Steve Zissou in The Life Aquatic.

There is a certain exotically eccentric charm to people that live on an island. I can’t really explain it but I know I like their charming island eccentricities and I was excited to see what new characters we would experience on our Sardinian Sojourn.

Tahnee Atkinson sizzling in the Isola Rossa heat // Tigerlily swimwear/ Lack of Color hat // Temple of the Sun jewellery
Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

The crew came together easily. While chatting to Tahnee Atkinson as she was leaving to London for the summer, she suggested that we should go on a little Euro adventure as it was her first time to Europe. When I mentioned the island of Sardinia she was in like Flynn.

The next week I was in Bali and ran into photographer Michelle van Dijk at Old Mans in Canggu over a few margaritas. She was also on her way back to her hometown of Amsterdam for a month so the timing was right to bring Michelle to shoot photos and work with Tahnee on our Summersite Sojourn.

I then contacted my old mate Francesco in Rome to pilfer some local knowledge and ask him to come along and film. He told me that his first baby was due the week we were there so in typical Italian-surfer-easy-going-style he said “Ciao Jon  – this is no problem for me, I have the best filmer and editor for you to collaborate. I will introduce you to my friend Lorenzo, he is magnifico”. And from there we were off to an Island in the Med Sea. “Ciao Sardinga.”

We were initially planning on going to the popular Sardinian destination of Porto Cervo – a beautiful super yacht port filled with picturesque scenery, money and …well…somewhat tacky hedonism unless you’ve got the cash to burn. 

Francisco then recommended we go to Oristano as he felt it would suit our vibe more. This was a city with typical Italian coastal villages, a beach culture and the infamous Pink Flamingo birds in the flesh.

We nearly made it there but I messed up the accommodation and couldn’t read a map so when we arrived we were hit with the brutal realisation that our accommodation was actually 6 hours from Oristano.

I’m definitely a believer that travel mishaps always seem to be a blessing in disguise and this was definitely to be the case on this Sardinian Sojourn.

Tahnee Atkinson // Tigerlily Swimwear // Lack of Color hat // Isola Rossa - Sardinia
Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

As our unplanned detour unfolded, our first stop was the old fisherman village of Isola Rosso on the north west coast in from of the coast of the Gulf of Asinara. A summer holiday harbour town with a coastal landscape that reminded Tahnee and I of summertime in our hometown in South Western Australia. In some parts the coast was identical to Meelup and Bunker Bay except there’s no great white sharks to look out for in the Med. 

Tahnee Atkinson // Tigerlily swimwear
Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

The town itself was something out of an Italian spaghetti western. The north side of town where the sun set was all terracotta, red and orange buildings that reflected the blazing summer sun. Cacti were also dotted through town to create an almost Mexican vibe.

Isola Rossa has so much character // Tahnee Atkinson // Lack of Colour hat // Tigerlily // Temple of the Sun jewellery
Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

Tahnee - Isola Rossa, Sardinia // Coco Belle sandals // Tigerlily // Temple of the Sun Jewellery // Lack of Color hat
Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

Meanwhile the houses on the south side were all typical Italian pastel greens, yellows, pinks and whites.  The heat was dry and there were plenty of crusty local characters soaking up the Sardinian summer.

Spaghetti western town - Italian style - Isola Rossa // Tahnee Atkinson // Tigerlily swimwear // Lack of Color hat
Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

We settled into our routine very quickly – exploring beaches and enjoying extra long, summer days in the crystal clear Med Sea surrounded by volcanic red rock. Lunch was a big part of our days and as you would expect the local produce was outstanding. The fruit was amazing, as was the local Insalata di Polpo (marinated octopus salad) and homemade pasta which was perfectly complemented by a cheeky glass or two of the local Sardinian white wine “vermentino.”

Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

Each afternoon the town was bathed in an orange glow approaching sunset // Tahnee Atkinson // Temple of the Sun Jewellery // Tigerlily
Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

Tahnee // Coco Belle Designs sandals // Tigerlily // Temple of the Sun jewellery // Isola Rossa afternoons
Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

Tahnee vibing the Italian summer in Isola Rossa, Sardinia // Tigerlily // Coco Belle sandals // Temple of the Sun jewellery // Lack of Color hat
Photo - Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk

In the afternoons when the sun set behind Isola Rossa the entire town was bathed in orange then purple hues. This made for exceptional light conditions to shoot photos and inspire us bathe ourselves in Aperol Spritzes.
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The Sardinian Sojourn continues in Alghero
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Muse // Tahnee Atkinson @tahnee711
Style and swimwear // Shop Tigerlily @tigerlilyswimwear
Jewellery // Shop Temple of the Sun @templeofthesunjewellery
Sandals // Shop Coco Belle Designs @cocobelledesigns
Hats // Shop Lack of Color @lackofcoloraus

Film and edit // Lorenzo Marzocca @dorosurf Lorenzomarzocca.com
Photography // Michelle van Dijk @michellevdijk
Music // James Lyell @jimmy2sox 
Produced by Jon Laurenson @summersite

Visit Isola Rossa