Tripologist travel tips and advice: Where is the best base for a holiday in Sardinia, Italy?

My husband and I are planning to spend a week in Sardinia in June 2023. Would Cagliari be a good base for the trip? We enjoy history, local cuisine and the beach/pool.

G. Hobson, Williamstown Vic

Cagliari has plenty to offer but there are more relaxing places to stay, especially along the west coast. Alghero is one of the island's most popular tourist resorts, a pretty, Spanish-influenced town with a treasury of historic architecture. One of the highlights is Neptune's Grotto, where the sea has gnawed phantasmagorical caves from the limestone cliffs. From here you could easily drive to Porto Cervo, the main town for the Costa Smeralda, a favourite summer playground for the incredibly wealthy. Just a little further north, Caprera Island is a wild and beautiful nature reserve with lovely beaches cradled within U-shaped inlets. In June you're ahead of the crowds and the weather should be just about warm enough for swimming in the sea.

If you want something quieter and more authentic, just to the south is Bosa, a pastel-coloured town with cobblestoned squares dominated by the hilltop Castell Malaspina, a 12th century citadel. Located midway between Alghero and Oristano, Bosa is a good base for exploring both.

In October 2023 my wife and I are celebrating her birthday with our children and partners in the Dordogne. We're looking at booking accommodation around Sarlat, thinking 8-10 adults. Any advice re accommodation, car hire and travel from Paris to Sarlat?

E. Beck, Surrey Hills Vic

Take a look at Oliver's Travels (oliverstravels.com), which specialises in upmarket European villas. Searching the Sarlat region I'm seeing half a dozen properties that would suit your group and I think you'd be perfectly happy with something like Le Prieure Esperance. However, the Chateau de Cardou, just a little to the west near Bergerac, could be a contender if you need more room, and you don't have to worry about the neighbours on the 150 hectare estate.

For car hire, try Rentalcars.com (rentalcars.com), they always seem to track down a better deal than I can even as a loyal customer of car rental operators.

What you might do is take a train from Paris to Bordeaux and pick up a hire car from there. The fastest trains from Paris Montparnasse take just over two hours. Limoges (3 hours 20 by train) is closer to your destination, but the choice of car-hire operators is smaller.

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I plan to spend two nights in Bright in May, any suggestions on what to see on the drive from Melbourne and also activities in and around Bright?

L. Bee, Hughesdale Vic

You can drive from Melbourne to Bright in about 3½ hours and en route you'll pass close to Beechworth, a lovely town with many handsome reminders of the gold-rush days. Today, awake and reinvigorated, Beechworth is a treasure, almost half its buildings classified by the National Trust. Just a short drive to the north, the Rutherglen wineries are home to some of our finest makers of fortified wines. There's a wonderful driving route from Mount Bright to Omeo via Falls Creek and back via Dinner Plain. You're also close to Mount Buffalo, one of Australia's oldest national parks.

Will our phone apps work if we buy local SIMS in Bali? The PeduliLindungi app requires a phone number to create an account, how would we do that before purchasing a SIM and new number at Ngurah Rai airport? On arrival we need to be able to receive PCR results via this app — would a new SIM and number cause problems?

C. Chapman, Orange NSW

As long as you have a SIM card in your phone that gives you data your apps will stay active. According to the website of Wonderful Indonesia (indonesia.travel) and confirmed on the Jetstar website, all foreign nationals must show a vaccine certificate, a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours prior to departure and the PeduliLindungi contact tracing app downloaded to their phone. The app is simple to download so do it before you leave. To activate it requires a verification code which will be sent via WhatsApp to your Australian number. If you go to "Settings" and then "Account" on WhatsApp, you can change your number if you swap SIM cards in Bali. You should receive a confirmation of your PCR test via a PDF file which would be available on your smartphone. Take a screenshot on your phone and to be on the safe side, get a printed copy as well.

Got a travel question? Include your name and suburb or town and send it to Michael Gebicki - tripologist@traveller.com.au

Travel advice appearing on these pages is general; readers should consider their personal circumstances.

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