Sardinia is one of those places that don’t need to prove the world that they should definitely be visited by travelers. It’s a long time fact that this Mediterranean island, which cozily fit in between Sicily and Corsica, is in the top list of most luxurious and chic travel destinations. And by the way this title is well deserved. Probably you’ve heard and not once that Sardinia is a favorite spot of Italians to spend their vacation especially those who own or prefer to rent a yacht. And Italians like no others know the meaning of dolce vita.
Sardinia which is also known as a quintessence of Mediterranean beauty is famous for its most gorgeous and cleanest beaches in whole Italy. Here one finds crystal clear sea water, marvelous nature scenery, excellent local cuisine with its own features and oddities. A bit later about that. Nature beauty and various local reserves aren’t the only stars on the island. Those who are fond of architectural and historical sites will have plenty of places to explore. Admirers of yachting, boating, windsurfing, hiking, rock-climbing and flashpacking rush here as well.
More to say Sardinia is a favorite place of relaxation and in the past of the legendary parties with celebrities of the Italian ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. His famous villa Certosa which used to get its own highlights in the magazines and newspapers is located at one of the most fashionable resorts in the world called Porto Rotondo.
In high season at Sardinia there is hardly room to move an elbow, especially at the north part of the island, where there are Sardinia’s most luxury resorts. A great alternative to crowding in chic hotels is to rent not less luxurious yacht with an experienced crew and discover the island in the best possible and comfortable way. The yacht’s team will take care of your well-deserved vacation in the 5* manner. You can spend daytime in the city or have a swim in the famous so called pink beaches of Sardinia, go diving or windsurfing. If you’re not into active spending of your time and eager to surround yourself with silence, the captain will anchor the yacht in one of the hundreds possible secluded bays of Sardinia where there will be only you, calming gurgle of the sea and that peaceful silence. One way or another all you need to do is to be open to the delight of relaxation, let yourself be yourself and enjoy your summer vacation.
So, Sardinia. Before virtually visiting its most interesting and stunning spots, any travel guide will inform you about few general facts. For examples, Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean. It’s located west of Italy. French Corsica is just 12 km away in the north. The population is a bit more than 1,5 million people. Locals speak Italian and Sardinian languages. Please try to avoid saying to Sardinians that they are Italians. The island is part of Italy but it’s an autonomous region. Back in the times this place was under control of many nations, such as Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Spanish, Austrians. Just imagine what an interesting imprint and mix it created in the local culture, traditions, architecture and cuisine. And you can become a part of it for the time of your summer holiday.
As for the local weather, you’ll also enjoy it. It’s typical for the Mediterranean region. Late autumn and winter is the time for rainfalls. Rest of the year locals and tourists enjoy beautiful and sunny weather. You may swim in the sea starting from may until mid-November.
North of Sardinia is probably the most popular and famous part of the island. You’ve heard the name Costa Smeralda, haven’t you? Yes, it’s one of the most luxurious resorts in the world and it is located in the northern Sardinia. It’s truly one of the hottest places for yachting in the area. Translated from Italian, Costa Smeralda means The Emerald Coast. The name speaks for itself. Local sea water is of exact emerald color. The area has been the center of elite tourism from the 1960s thanks to Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, who founded here what later became known as an ultra-luxurious resort for the rich & famous.
Porto Cervo, as well as Porto Rotondo, which is slightly to the south, are famous for their magnificent sea marines. There you can meet mega yachts and sailing gulets of all ultra-modern and chic designs. As if they’ve just come off the pages of luxury travel magazines.
If you choose to dock at Porto Cervo, then you should know, it's not just a magnificent marina and super attractive beaches. The resort offers some sight-seeing as well. Though it’s hard to take eyes from beautiful yachts parked in the port. Still, go and visit the Church of Stella Maris. Its unusual look will surely impress you. Moreover, you do not immediately realize that this is actually a place of worship since it looks more like one of the creations of famous Gaudi, and not the catholic church. From the hill where Stella Maris is located, you’ll have a beautiful view at the harbor.
North of these two fashionable locations there is Santa Teresa Gallura - a rather small, but quite interesting town. A hint for those who decide to linger here for a bit: visit the watchtower at the entrance to the bay. From this place a breathtaking view of the Strait of Bonifacio is waiting for you, behind which there’s Corsica, another beautiful yacht destination. In Santa Teresa Gallura itself you can walk, enjoy quiet atmosphere without a crowd of people, buy interesting souvenirs for long time memory, and for lunch go back to your luxury yacht, and tell your captain that you’re ready for a new adventure and impressions. And he’ll take care of the rest.
Here in the north a famous Arcipelago della Maddalena is located. You can and actually you should definitely sail there with your yacht. The archipelago, located in the northern Sardinia near Corsica, includes 62 mostly rocky islands with insanely beautiful sandy beaches. To come here by yacht will be not only an unforgettable experience but very a convenient and comfortable one. As practically you’ll be moving around with the yacht and there won’t be any need to return to the mainland of Sardinia after you’re done sight-seeing tired and exhausted.
One of the most remarkable islands of the archipelago is Budelli. It became famous throughout the world thanks to Michelangelo Antonioni's "Red Desert" movie. Budelli is a part of the La Maddalena National Park. Here you can see unique pink colored beach. It’s forbidden to step on it however you can easily watch this miracle from the yacht.
Another pearl of the archipelago is the island of Caprera. It is a nature reserve where unique species of birds live happy ever after, such as royal seagulls, cormorants and peregrine falcons. Also on the island there is a Dolphin Research Center. Besides that there is one particular historical landmark which may be of your interest. It’s the house-museum of the famous Italian revolutionist, national hero of the country and one of the main figures of the unification of Italy in the XIX century - Giuseppe Garibaldi. You can get to the museum territory only as part of an organized excursion. But if you are not particularly interested, do not rush off from Caprera. Explore its coast with the yacht. This place is famous for its secluded coves. The yacht crew can arrange for you a romantic picnic for two. There are enough special places for that. And in the evening, allow yourself to bathe in the moonlight away from strangers’ eyes.
If from Porto Cervo your route goes south instead of north, ask your captain to stop next to the city of Olbia at the famous beach of Liscia Ruja which is surrounded by Arbutus unedo (strawberry trees) and Juniper trees. You will find this place very cute thanks to the various colors of the local sand, which vary from pink to white.
By the way, Olbia itself is place to have a walk. It is an ancient Roman port city and is quite famous in the area. There are many architectural and archaeological treasures here. Among them - the mysterious "graves of giants" left by the ancient civilizations.
Since we’re heading south, let’s continue so. Anchor for an hour or so near the beach of Cala Marioulu, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful on the island. The pebble that covers this beach changes its color depending on the day lighting. The place is quiet and not crowded with people, as it is difficult to reach it from the land.
Finally, we’re near the capital of Sardinia - the city of Cagliari. Just before we visit it, let’s stop at which is known as a paradise for scuba diving fans. It’s near the coastal zone of Villasimius town, where several big ships found their last refuge. Underwater excursions are often organized to explore this place.
If there is enough time in your route, get familiar with the grandiose historical heritage of Sardinia. We’re talking about Su Nuraxi di Barumini. It is located just near Cagliari and your yacht team can organize the excursion there. You’ll see unusual nuraghes, which are several thousand years old. Historians still have disputes of why nuraghes were built. This place at Sardinia is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unique feature of nuraghes which resemble towers, is that they are built of huge stones that are not tied together with any special material. How they managed to stand still to these days and not to fall apart is another mystery of this world. As well as no one can say for sure where the civilization which built them is gone.
Sailing from the south to the north of Sardinia, you will certainly want to make a stop in Sassari. It is the main city of the north-western part of the island. It is located 12 km from the sea, and yet has something to show its visitors. First of all, there are lots of magnificent churches. Their architecture will not leave you indifferent. One of the gems is the cathedral of St. Nicholas. If this is not particularly interesting, then you can visit the parks and gardens, go shopping or taste local specialties such as dumplings with sausage gravy. Although for the summer the dish can be a bit heavy for stomach. If so, try grilled sardines or a variety of dishes with seashells. Sassari is also surrounded by a large number of artesian wells. It is always a pleasure to taste natural clean water, especially on a hot summer day.
South of Sassari along the west coast there is a place worth of seeing - the city of Alghero. The locals call it the Coral Riviera because of expensive red corals which grow in the near-by waters. Inside Alghero itself visit local cathedral, famous white sand beach Lido. A bit to the west of Alghero there is the grotto of Neptune. It’s a huge and picturesque cave. Tourists are allowed to explore it as deep as around 100 meters.
If you like fishing, Sardinia is ideal for that. Find out more about local fishing rules and go get your fishing gears. Locals fish for tune, moray eel and small cat sharks for centuries here.
Speaking about fish and food itself. Sardinian cuisine is impossible without the freshest seafood, vegetables and fruits, meat, and a huge selection of local cheese. By the way, Sardinians are very proud of one particular kind of this dairy product. And it’s not Pecorino sardo, insanely delicious cheese made from sheep's milk, which is being produced here since Roman times. Casu Marzu is a star of local milkmen. It won a scandalous glory because inside of it there are special insects living. Yes, you did not misread. And so it is eaten. In Italy it is banned from selling. But in Sardinia this cheese is recognized as a cultural heritage. But even if you are a fan of extreme cuisine, you must first learn more about this cheese, and then decide whether to eat it or not. If yes locals recommend it with the popular Sardinian bread pane carasau, also known as "paper for music", because it is made of the finest dough, and with a glass of local ruby red Cannonau, a wine with rather warm flavor.
One more pride of local cuisine, however not eccentric at all is Sebadas dessert. It looks like a fairly large-sized ravioli with cheese, which is fried in olive oil before being served on the table with melted honey. They say it's pretty tasty.
Oh Sardinia, when talking about it more and more we feel romance, authenticity and the flavors of citrus which fill every corner of this paradise. It does not matter which part of this island you choose to explore with the yacht and onshore, you will definitely be satisfied. And if you are also a romantic and an admirer of sunsets, then just go for it. The sunsets here are unique when they evening light colors the incredible shades of local granite boulders and rocks. Yet it’s definitely better to see once then to hear one hundred times about it.
Many travelers admit, after visiting this Mediterranean pearl, they have changed their idea about relaxation. The reason for this is how unhurried the locals are, the exquisite simplicity of island’s details, and, of course, the richness of nature. All this for sure will charge you with the energy that is so needed to carry on happily until your next vacation. You will be remembering how back in summer you were getting lost among the blues during this bright, at the same time civilized and wild, quiet and active holiday.