Set in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, stunning Sardinia is a popular destination for those who live for a variety of aquatic sports and who long for unforgettable seaside holidays beside the Italian island’s clear waters.
The renown north-eastern Costa Smeralda of Sardinia, with its 55 kilometres of pinkish white sand beaches, rocky promontories, and classic port towns, has been home to jet-setters since the Aga Kahn and his pals stumbled upon the place in the 1960s and bought a large part of the coast to build a series of extravagant resorts.
Today, beautiful women brazenly bathe topless, while their male friends are busy securing their flashy cruising yachts in the bay.
While this stretch of Sardinia’s Mediterranean coast may be a millionaire’s playground, there’s nothing to stop wanna-be jet-setters from getting a slice of holiday action.
Walk the streets of trendy Costa Smeralda and you may spot a familiar TV or movie star, a model, or other celebrity. Of course the paparazzi make a living catching their subjects unawares, but who wants to be mistaken for a snoop?
However, don’t expect to find Costa Emeralda’s main public beaches packed with movie stars.
The super rich and famous practice social filtering by escaping to hard-to-reach places such as Cala Pietra Bianca or the exquisite Poltu di li Cogghi – beaches protected from the rest of us by their isolation and/or lack of signposting.
From OIbia to the Costa Smeralda
The gateway to the Costa Smeralda, the town of Olbia, is one of Europe’s most expensive resort areas.
It has a large port where ferries from the Italian mainland berth and a small airport. Before departing the town, shop for exquisite lace, wood carvings, carpets and the delicious bitter honey that is harvested during autumn.
From Olbia you’ll travel to Porto Cervo, home to the Costa Smeralda Yacht Club.
Although it is packed with rich Italians and their yachts, Porto Cervo lacks the Mediterranean fishing village feel of other Sardinian towns and villages.
You will marvel at real estate prices in the realtor shop windows and be amazed at how much a small bowl of pasta can cost you.
Be sure to check out the resort hotel of Cala di Volpe, 10 kilometers south of Porto Cervo, where many of Europe’s royals, media stars and hangers on come to revel in Costa Smeralda’s beauty.
Nearby Il Pevero, one of Europe’s most spectacular golf courses, attracts golfers of all standards who come for the game and get distracted by the scenery.
Liscia di Vacca, part of Porto Cervo, has a charming stretch of sandy beach and panoramic views of the islands of Maddalena and Caprera.
In fact, La Maddalena is an archipelago of twenty-seven islands that have been preserved as national park due to the variety of the vegetation and the unique animals found there.
A ferry from Palau can take you to the largest of La Maddalena‘s islands, but it’s best explored in a rented boat, when you may catch a alluring glimpse of dolphins swimming next to your bow in the crystal clear waters.
For an overview of the area, take the windy road to the top of Monte Mora, highest of the granite peaks that dominate Costa Smeralda’s rugged coast.
Of course it’s no longer just the jetsetters who have time and cash to spare for a Costa Smeralda holiday.
And while you might have stay in less expensive accommodations, it’s still possible to get the feel of life as a jet-setter on a trip to Costa Smeralda on Sardinia.