The Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast by translation) is the stretch of shoreline that comprises the whole north-eastern part of Sardinia, consisting of a large peninsula. The Costa Smeralda has become one of the most popular tourist destinations for the elite within the world within this particular geographical area, the ‘ appearance of naturalness and rare beauty which led the Prince Karim Aga Khan here in the 60s and upon viewing the shoreline he decided to establish the ‘Consortium Smeralda’, that would take care of the land management and tourism development of the area. And as a result the Costa Smeralda today is one of the favourite destinations for international stars, VIPs, Politicians and the ubber rich. Its beauty is unforgettable. A lovely setting and totally in harmony with all around it, characterized by a wild and proud nature, which is combined with the beautiful white granite rocks, elaborately shaped by nature, one person’s eye depicting an elephant or a dog from the same rock, the multitude of spectacular beaches having found their way between just such rocks with their white and golden sand, coves and inlets, so much so that your eyes are never left bored or without wonder for a moment.
The name ‘Costa’ being a tribute to the colours of the green and turquoise seas , embraced by the beaches of fine white sand, which protect and reassure, reciprocated by the caresses of gentle waves of a water totally clear and transparent.
The heart of the ‘Costa Smeralda’ is in ‘Porto Cervo’ this the main point at which you will find all the services and numerous other commercial and residential areas such as Romazzino , Cala di Volpe, Piccolo, Pevero Golf, Pantogia and Liscia di Vacca and a little further on Abbiadori as well as other equally popular areas running along the coast, Poltu Quatu , Baja Sardinia , Porto Rotondo, Cannigione, Palau – these areas also adding something special but often a little cheaper than the main ‘Porto Cervo’ region.
10 THINGS TO SEE IN THE COSTA SMERELDA
The Costa Smeralda. The jewel of Sardinia. Known worldwide for luxury and for VIPs. A corner of Sardinia that represents an attraction for everyone, a place where dreamlike places, magnificent beaches and crystal clear water are combined with the most unbridled wealth. Costa Smeralda is a brand that is exported all over the world. But also far from the chaos and the sparkling lights of summer this glimpse of Sardinia is really beautiful and worth visiting. Today we present the 10 things to do and see in Costa Smeralda.
Arzachena is the municipality of Costa Smeralda. It’s territory includes 88 km of coastline, rich in bays, inlets and beaches which is also part of the Costa Smeralda complex, born in 1962 thanks to the Ismailite prince Karim Aga Khan IV. Arzachena is already in itself a place of considerable interest, so we advise you to visit the Gallura town because it really deserves a look. Visit the oldest church, dedicated to Santa Maria della Neve (Santa Maria Maggiore), located in the heart of the historic center, in Piazza Risorgimento and dates back to 1716. But also the other three churches in Arzachena deserve to be visited (the altar dedicated to Santa Maria della Neve, which hosts the party on the second Sunday of September, then those of Santa Lucia and San Pietro). In the territory there are also several nuraghic complexes and archaeological sites (Albucciu, Malchittu, necropolis of Li Muri, tomb of the giants of Coddu Vecchju, nuraghe La Prisgiona). Of course the highlight are the coastal towns, the inlets, the many beaches: not only the Costa Smeralda, but also Baja Sardinia, Golfo Pevero and Cannigione should be visited and admired. We also advise you to take a trip to the beautiful natural areas surrounding Arzachena, in particular the Saloni ponds where various marsh birds find their ideal habitat, such as the egret, the gray heron, the mallards, the coots, the gallinelle of water and the rare sultan chicken, recognizable by its blue plumage and its long red legs. Even the magnificent pink flamingos choose these waters occasionally.
2 – VISIT THE BEAUTIFUL BEACHES OF THE COSTA SMERALDA
In Costa Smeralda there are some of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia. Small pieces of Paradise where to enjoy the summer sun (but also spring), relax and immerse yourself in an incredibly clear sea that, believe us, has few rivals in the world. You are spoiled for choice to choose a beach in Costa Smeralda: from Cala di Volpe beach to Canniggione beach, from Capriccioli beach to Principe beach, from Rena Bianca to Romazzino. All beautiful. And then again the beach of the Gulf of Marinella, La Celvia, Liscia Ruja, Cala Granu, Mannena, Piccolo Pevero. If you can, we suggest you take a jump in each of these.
3 – PORTO CERVO
If we talk about Costa Smeralda, we talk about Porto Cervo. You all know it and in the summer it becomes practically the “capital of Italian gossip”. The small village of Arzachena is a jewel nestled in the Gulf of Arzachena. Named this way because the natural harbor is reminiscent of the shape of a deer, it is a place to visit even if you are not lovers of luxury and gossip. From its famous Chiacchiere square, famous all over the world, up to the Sottopiazza we find ourselves in a series of alleys, windows, balconies, all built in the typical style of the Costa Smeralda, between its shops and its boutiques of the most famous brands , while all around the center there are incredible villas immersed in the green of the Mediterranean. Walking in its marina – one of the best equipped in the Mediterranean – you can admire the most beautiful boats in the world, with incredible yachts and yachts, and maybe come across their owners, who are often very famous people. A visit to the Yacht Club is a must.
4 – CHIESETTA STELLA MARIS
Built in the late sixties, this church designed according to the canons of Mediterranean architecture by architect Michele Busiri Vici, was consecrated in 1968. Inside are real art treasures, such as the evocative painting by El Greco ( Domenico Theotocopulos), the Mater Dolorosa of the 1500s, the precious Neapolitan pipe organ of the De Martino family (‘600 /’ 700), the bronze doors depicting the Annunciation and the Christian symbols by Luciano Minguzzi (1986), the two eighteenth-century crucifixes German school (one of the eighteenth century and one of the late seventeenth). While on the outside, on the façade, you can admire two sculptures by Pinuccio Sciola, depicting Saint Joseph and Pope John Paul II. Reachable on foot, it is located on the hill where you can admire the other Porto Cervo and its entire port.
5 – PORTO ROTONDO
If you are in Costa Smeralda you can not miss Porto Rotondo. Between the Gulf of Cugnana and that of Marinella, this marvelous village is, together with Porto Cervo, one of the most “in” places of the Italian summer. Porto Rotondo will surprise you with its magnificent beaches to visit and admire: from Ira beach with its white sand to Punta Asfodeli and its beaches among the rocks. Do not miss the beach of the Sassi and the beach of the Algae, but all are beautiful in the area. Porto Rotondo is also renowned for its nightlife, so we suggest you spend some evening in its square and then move into the nightlife, which is always very animated.
6 – GOLFO ARANCI
Another marvelous locality of the Costa is Golfo Aranci (from the Gallurese Golfu di li Granci, or Gulf of the Crabs), a small town that still offers great emotions and unique experiences. A tongue of land in the middle of the sea that ends in the beautiful promontory of Capo Figari. We recommend excursions, both by land and by sea, to admire the wonderful nature and breathtaking seabeds. Golfo Aranci is also rich in interesting historical finds, such as the Sacred Well of Milis or the Old Semaforo, the ancient military fortress on the top of Capo Figari where even Guglielmo Marconi worked. The beaches are amazing, we particularly recommend Cala Sabina and Spiaggia Bianca. If you’re into eating well, do not miss the rich seafood menus at the restaurants. Also a jump to the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute is not to be excluded, the world research center where if you are lucky you can admire splendid specimens of dolphins. Finally, do not miss the view on the promontory of the island of Tavolara.
7 – VILLAGGIO NURAGICO LA PRISGIONA
If you are in Sardinia you can not forget to visit the nuraghi. Well, perhaps many do not know it, but also the Costa Smeralda has its wonderful nuraghe: we are talking about the Nuraghe La Prisgiona with its village. It is located in Capichera and its dimensions are remarkable. It i a complex nuraghe, of the type so called “tholos”, i.e with a false dome roof, (rather unusual in Gallura). The archaeological complex is very beautiful, the guides are very prepared and will take you on a unique journey through the Nuragic civilization, which will make you discover more about ancient Sardinia. In short, an experience not to be missed and of which you will not regret. The Capichera Archaeological Park is also highly recommended (even if you are Sardinian), because the Costa Smeralda is not justabout luxury and social life!
8 – ISOLE DI LI NIBANI
The Li Nibani Islands (gulls in Gallura) are a group of islands and minor rocks located in the Costa Smeralda, south-east of Porto Cervo. They are part of the international park of the Bocche di Bonifacio, they are uninhabited and in the summer a tourist destination for the beauty of their coasts, incredibly jagged and emerald-colored. On the islands the nature explodes in all its wonder and also various birds nest, such as gulls and hawks. The beach of Li Nibani is surrounded by the vegetation of the wide bay of Porto Li Nibani, but if you enter the territory you can find small secluded coves, where you can enjoy the solitude and relaxation. If you are sporty, treat yourself to a beautiful hike to the top of Monte Zoppu, from which you can enjoy an incredible view of the Costa Smeralda coastline, with the shape of the Tavolara island in the distance. If you can, take a trip to the other islands (Mortorio, Le Camere, Soffi), because they are really beautiful and worth seeing.
9 – LA VITA MONDANA
The Costa Smeralda is by definition the land of worldly life. Virtually the best of Italian social life (and not only) in the summer moves here. Locals, events, literary, gastronomic and sports events, discos and concerts. There’s everything in Costa Smeralda from the month of June and you’ll be spoiled for choice. From Porto Cervo to Porto Rotondo, passing through Baja Sardinia (with its famous Phi Beach), you will see that in Costa Smeralda there is no need to be bored. If you are lovers of discos, in Costa Smeralda there are really for all tastes. Among the most famous places, in addition to the famous Billionaire by Briatore and the aforementioned Phi Beach of Baja Sardinia, the famous Sottovento (in Porto Cervo) and still the Smaila’s (Poltu Quatu), the Ritual (Baja Sardinia), the Peper (Cala Piccolo Pevero), the transgressive Blues Cafe (Baia Ruja), the Peyote (Santa Teresa Mirialveda). By day, enjoy the beaches and the fantastic sea, at night have fun with the social buzz and its thousand opportunities. If this is what you like, you can find the best here!
10 – RALLY DELLA COSTA SMERALDA
The now famous Rally of Sardinia has been included in the calendar of the World Rally Championship since 2004, when it replaced the Sanremo Rally as the Italian stage of the championship. The fast rally cars, driven by the most famous drivers in the world in this specialty, whiz on the narrow and winding dirt roads of the countryside around the mountain of Porto Cervo and the areas of Gallura. You can therefore admire them every year, usually at the end of May or at the beginning of June, combining this beautiful sporting event with the astonishing wild territory of Gallura, which deserves to be seen.
Are you looking for somewhere to stay in the Costa Semerelda? Go here to see our selection of Villas and Apartments