presents 72 hours in Sardinia to celebrate the release of Disney’s The Little Mermaid

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Disney’s The Little Mermaid

26 May, 2023

Yesterday was released of the highly anticipated re-imagination of the Disney classic The Little Mermaid. Starring singer and actor Halle Bailey as Ariel and award-winning actress, producer, and’s #1 Travel Fan Melissa McCarthy as the villainous sea witch Ursula, a selection of the movie was filmed along the northern coast of the beautiful Italian island of Sardinia.

Famed for its white sandy beaches, shimmering clear waters, and a wide array of underwater life, it’s no wonder this island was chosen to mark the meeting spot that inspires the love story between the beautiful Ariel and the dashing Prince Eric. Travelers luckily don’t have to enter dodgy deals with Ursula to explore stunning Sardinia for three magical days. With a third (33%) of global travelers wanting to explore a destination seen in a movie,* is sharing a 72-hour guide to ensure travelers bag a happily-ever-after in the scenic destination where the movie was filmed.

where the movie was filmed

Where to Stay

With scenes filmed across various locations in the north of Sardinia, travelers are spoiled for choice in where to stay on the Mediterranean island. For those venturing to the extreme tip of the island, the beautiful Villa Bianca Luxury B&B Experience in the historic town of Santa Teresa di Gallura is the perfect spot. Situated atop a small hill, the B&B boasts exquisite views overlooking the crystal clear waters of Spiaggia Rena Bianca beach and features crisp nautical interiors that will make guests feel at one with the sea and connect with their inner mermaid. Guests can feast on a hearty continental breakfast of fresh fruit and pastries each morning, and there’s a host of restaurants and shops within walking distance.

For travelers who choose the quaint fishing village of Golfo Aranci (Gulf of Oranges) as their base, bed down at S'Abba seafront apartments. These stylish and spacious apartments provide everything guests need, from a terrace and fully-equipped kitchen to a kayak to explore the ocean and board games. There’s a variety of beaches nearby, including the tiny 230 ft (70 meters) Quarta beach and the wider scale Cala Moresca beach, ideal for staying all day in the sun and exploring sea life like the real-life inspirations for Sebastian and Flounder. For the 19% of travelers who like to rent a car to explore on their vacation** discover the beauty of both towns with a car rental to maximize the three-day trip. 

Cala Moresca beach

What to Eat

The rugged Mediterranean island of Sardinia has a cuisine all of its own, that includes fresh seafood, spit-roasted meats, and cheesy pastries, perfect for a banquet fit for a royal prince or princess. Distinct from neighboring Italian cooking, the choice is vast with regional styles that vary by landscape. Along the coast, there’s a celebration of seafood from Aragosta alla Catalana, a chilled salad made with freshly caught lobster to Fregola, a simple pasta dish paired with fresh clams. In the mountains, meals revolve around meat and cheese. Meat lovers can tuck into the lip-smacking Su Porcheddu, a succulent yet crispy slow-roasted pork cooked over a spit, while the staple cheese Pecorino Sardo is best enjoyed over a big bowl of homemade pasta. Blu Restaurant, situated a short drive from S'Abba seafront apartments is highly recommended, and visitors will feast like a king on dishes such as tagliatelle with grated bottarga, a cured mullet fish roe. For a more relaxed affair, dine out at Ristorante Pizzeria Marlin, a few steps from Villa Bianca Luxury B&B Experience for grilled cuttlefish pizza and seafood risotto, all served with an incredible sea view and feel like you're floating in a blue lagoon.

What to See

The island’s landscape of rugged coastlines, pristine nature, and ancient stone structures set against brilliant blue backdrops is a well-established magnet for movie productions. For those feeling inspired to seek out mermaids in honor of the new movie, a walk along the promenade in Golfo Aranci is essential. Home to a bronze mermaid sculpture in the middle of the bay, this striking sea siren rises out of the water and disappears beneath the waves re-emerging twice a day singing a unique Sardinian song. The town of Golfo Aranci is also known for its rich marine biodiversity; visitors can get up close with larger mammals on a sustainable dolphin-watching tour, or venture down under to immerse in a colorful array of sea life. In the bay, there’s even a unique underwater museum with art statues waiting to be discovered by divers and snorkelers. A short drive away, the Ariel and Prince Eric love story is waiting to be replicated on a romantic Sunset Kayaking and Snorkelling Experience. Giving unrivaled views of the protected seascapes of the Tavolara Marina Park, travelers are in with a chance to make new sea friends on this tour with sightings of starfish, flamingos, and seagulls that will remind you of Scuttle and hopefully no scary eels like Flotsam and Jetsam.

Tavolara Marina Park 2023

Things to Do

On day two, head to Palau, a short drive from both Santa Teresa di Gallura and Golfo Aranci for a Full-day Guided Maddalena Archipelago Boating Tour to roam the islands between Corsica (in France) and Sardinia. There’s no promise of finding a mermaid along this small cluster of islands, but there is the guarantee of azure waters, blissful swimming, and breathtaking views. During this 72-hour whirlwind trip, travelers must visit the bright and breezy Santa Teresa di Gallura, a soulful and colorful village that occupies a prime seafront position. Its main Rena Bianca beach is spectacular and a walk along the street from the eastern tip past granite formations is sure to fire the imagination with their incredible shapes. On its soft white sand, there are plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas, with pedal boats and canoes available to rent and a bar to chill out in. For a culture fix, head to Longonsardo Tower, just five minutes walk from the main piazza in town. Built in the 16th century, it’s the largest tower in northern Sardinia and offers stunning panoramas across the Strait of Bonifacio. Travelers can experience the vibrant bars in town where there are plenty of places for dancing the night away. 

The Little Mermaid 2023 Behind The Scenes

'The Little Mermaid,' visionary filmmaker Rob Marshall’s live-action reimagining of the studio’s Oscar®-winning animated musical classic, opened exclusively in theaters nationwide May 26, 2023. “The Little Mermaid” is the beloved story of Ariel, a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest of King Triton’s daughters, and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea, and while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric. While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land, but ultimately places her life – and her father’s crown – in jeopardy.

The film stars singer and actress Halle Bailey (“grown-ish”) as Ariel; Jonah Hauer-King (“A Dog’s Way Home”) as Eric; Tony Award® winner Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton,” “Snowpiercer”) as the voice of Sebastian; Awkwafina (“Raya and the Last Dragon”) as the voice of Scuttle; Jacob Tremblay (“Luca,” “Room”) as the voice of Flounder; Noma Dumezweni (“Mary Poppins Returns”) as The Queen; Art Malik (“Homeland”) as Sir Grimsby; with Oscar® winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men,” “Being the Ricardos”) as King Triton; and two-time Academy Award® nominee Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” “Bridesmaids”) as Ursula.

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