Exploring the Mediterranean, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, and some strange tastes from overseas.
MY PARTNER AND I HAVE BOOKED FLIGHTS TO FRANCE FOR A FOUR-FIVE WEEK HOLIDAY IN MAY. ONE WEEK IS IN PROVENCE, THE NEXT IN TOULOUSE. WE WOULD LIKE TO SPEND THE REMAINDER OF THE TIME SOMEWHERE ON THE MEDITERRANEAN AND SARDINIA LOOKS STUNNING. WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO GET THERE FROM TOULOUSE AND WHAT FLIGHT PATH SHOULD OUR DAUGHTER BOOK TO JOIN US FROM SYDNEY? WE LOVE THE IDEA OF BEACHES, MEDITERRANEAN SEA AND GOOD FOOD, AND WE'RE OPEN TO OTHER IDEAS SO ANY SUGGESTIONS APPRECIATED.
M. CURTIS, GERRINGONG
Sardinia is indeed stunning, and it fits all your requirements for food, beaches and the sun-drenched Mediterranean lifestyle. From Toulouse it's a 3½ hour flight with Alitalia to Cagliari Airport. Using Hipmunk (Hipmunk.com) I'm getting a price of $278 for the return journey, which is just a couple of dollars more than the one-way ticket, and therefore it makes sense even if you're heading back to Paris. For your daughter, the closest hub is Milan, from where there are several daily flights to Cagliari at a starting price of $121 for the return journey, and again just slightly more than the one-way ticket price. Singapore Airlines (singaporeair.com) has one-stop flights from Sydney to Milan, and so does Emirates (emirates.com).
Since it looks like you'll have two-three weeks in hand, another option is Sicily, which has all that Sardinia offers plus live volcanoes, a rich archaeological heritage, classical temples that date back to ancient Greek days and a treasury of splendid baroque cities that practically nobody has ever heard of. If you were to choose Sicily you could even include the Aeolian Islands in your itinerary, and islands such as Lipari and Stromboli are wonderful beyond words.