The beautiful and enchanting Sardinia
White natural sandy beaches, rocky secluded bays, steep granite formations, old caves and lovely scented pine forests characterise the scenery of the more than 1,800 kilometre long coast of Sardinia. The heartland of the second largest Mediterranean island is characterised by a hill and mountain landscape as well as evergreen macchia shrubs. The beauty of the countryside, azure blue sea and hospitable locals give you the feeling that Sardinia is a place separated from time and history. The most well known coastal strip and at the same time synonymous for the island is Costa Smeralda also referred to as the coast of rich and famous. A little more affordable but equally beautiful are Costa Rei, Costa Verde and Costa Paradiso – names that don’t disappoint! Equally enticing is the large selection of more than 2,600 holiday apartments and houses.
The Costa Smeralda is situated on the north eastern side of the island and stretches out from Palau in the north to Olbia in the south. The deep emerald green colour of the sea has given this coastal strip its name. Small bays with white sandy beaches adorn Costa Smeralda which is spread out between the long and towering granite cliffs. Without doubt some of the most beautiful beaches can be found on this part of the island. The downside being that the area has had a considerable influx of tourists and this in turn has affected prices. This coastal strip is regarded as one of the most exclusive holiday resorts in Europe and is regarded to be the emerald coast of the rich and famous. Did you know that in 1977 parts of the James Bond 'The Spy Who Loved Me' were filmed here?
The most well known town along the Costa Smeralda are Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo. In Porto Cervo many rich vacationers will reside here with the prices matching their required standard. In the marina there are a number of expensive yachts with the owners often being world famous stars. The marina town of Porto Rotondo is similarly glamorous and therefore a day trip will suffice as an experience.
Along this section of the coast there are several holiday apartments and many have access to a pool facility. Holiday houses with private pool are scarcer and extremely expensive in the peak season.
Natural beaches on Sardinia
On the east coast between Capo Ferrato in the north and the cliff and sandy bays of Sant'Elmo in the south lies the 10 kilometre coastal area of Costa Rei – also known as 'king coast'. Small bays with fine sand, long beaches along turquoise blue water and a hilly countryside with lush macchia as well as imposing granite rock formations are some of the features of this coastal strip. Because of the extensive water sport activities surfers, divers and motor boat fans will surely find their enjoyment. If you are seeking a beach vacation then Costa Rei is the perfect place. Day trips around the area can also be recommended. Drive to Villasimius on Capo Ferrato or visit the lovely island capital Cagliari.
It is not uncommon along the Costa Rei for a holiday domicile to be just a couple a minutes away from the sea. Often sea view is included with many holiday apartments and houses.
The landscape of Costa Verda along the southwest of the island is dominated by long fine sandy beaches, the largest dune formation in Italy and green juniper bushes. As the area is subject to conversation it offers a retreat for many animals such as turtles which lays their eggs here. The seclusion and tranquillity can be physically felt. Both beaches Spiaggia della Piscinas and Spiaggia Scivu are ideal for bathing. As there are limited accommodations we recommend considering holiday properties in Torre di Flumentorgiu which are located more to the north
The small bays with white sandy beaches are often hidden away along the Costa Paradiso. In order to find the most beautiful and secluded bays you will need to pick up valuable tips of locals. The Costa Paradiso in the north between Isola Rossa and Portobello di Gallura is revered for its blue seas and red cliffs. One of the most well known coastal strips is Li Cossi which guarantees bathing fun in blue clear waters with high granite cliffs. Also worth a visit are the beaches Monte Tinnari and Cala Sarranai that shimmer in pearl rose colours due to the small pebbles.
Looking for a sea view? Enjoy breakfast on the terrace and listens to the waves of the sea – this is what this holiday house for six people offers.
Next to the most beautiful beaches vacationers can also find a number of tourist sights on Sardinia. Whether picturesque towns with medieval buildings, stalactite caves and grottos or natural monuments from past eras – time sometimes seems to have stood still on Sardinia. In order to discover the landscape and culture of Sardinia it is recommended to rent a car.
The Red Rocks of Arbatax and the Trenino Verde
One of the most beautiful natural monuments on Sardinia is the Red Rocks of Arbatax. East of Tortoli is the town of Arbatax and the red granite rock formations can be seen from far away and are a concise landmark. If you are already in Arbatax then you should also plan going on a trip with the narrow gauge railway Trenino Verde. The 160 kilometre long journey starts at the coast in Arbatax and takes you through the mountains and finally reaching Mandas. On this five hour trip along steep slopes, tight corners and countless tunnels you get an impression of the rugged landscape. In the summer season the journey can be undertaken once a week on a nostalgic steam locomotive dating back to 1931.
Su Nuraxi - Tower of past times
Typical features of Sardinia are the Nuraghi which are towers made of large blocks of stone dating back to prehistoric times. Most of these constructions can be found in the centre and west of the island. The most well known Nuraghis are the Su Nuraxi in the province Medio Campidano which was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The Su Nuraxi is part of an entire settlement of towers which you should definitely visit when staying on Sardinia.
Trenino Verde – narrow gauge railway
The grotto del Bue Marino is a stalactite cave on the eastern coast of Sardinia which can only be accessed by boat from Cala Gonone. The tour of the 12 kilometre long cave from which only 1,000 metres have been developed for tourists takes about an hour and is done from a boat. In order to reach these caves you drive from Cala Gonone along the coastal road in southern direction to Grotta del Bue Marino until the road ends. The last 500 metres to the boat pier have to be tackled by foot. A further grotto also close by is the Grotta di Ispinigoli with the largest stalactite in Europe. On the western coast near to Alghero is the stalactite cave Grotta di Nettuno and its entrance is just above sea level and therefore cannot be visited on days with rough sea due to danger of flooding.
Gennargentu – Mountain range with ski area
If you are looking for an active vacation and with more than just a beach holiday then put on your hiking shoes and go off towards the Gennargentu Mountains. The uneven mountain range reaches its high points around Punta la Marmora and tops 1,834 metres making it the highest place on the island. Here you can even find a ski lift! Sardinia is therefore one of the few Mediterranean islands to have a ski region. So in the winter don’t forget your ski suit!
Sardinian cheese and wine
Compared to some of the exclusive corners on this island the Sardinian cuisine may be viewed as being very simple. Bread, cheese and wine are the main features. Penne Carasau is thinly baked bread made of wheat, yeast and salt. This tasty delight is topped with tomato sauce, fried egg and Pecorino sarda (sheep’s cheese) which is very popular on Sardinia. Next to the very full bodied red wine 'Cannonau' wine connoisseurs will also be enthused by the white wine 'Vernaccia di Oristano'. Beyond this one should not miss out on the traditional liquor which is made from the myrtle fruits spread out over this island. As restaurant prices are quite high on Sardinia we recommend that you make use of your kitchen in your holiday accommodation and prepare these delightful Sardinian dishes yourself. Enjoy your meal!
Arrival – How do you best get to Sardinia?
For all that prefer to take their own car to the island we recommend taking the ferry. From Italy, France and Corsica the ports in Porto Torres, Olbia, Golfo Aranci, Santa Teresa, Arbatax and Cagliari can be reached. Via the airports in Alghero (west coast), Tortoli (east coast), Olbia (north coast) and Cagliari in the south it is quite simple to reach Sardinia by plane. Nowadays a number of airlines offer flights to this Mediterranean island.