Porto Cervo and Costa Smeralda: what to see

DISCOVERING PORTO CERVO AND COSTA SMERALDA

Costa Smeralda, well-known everywhere in the world for its crystal-clear sea, the enchanting coves, and the small beaches of rare beauty, lies in the coast of Gallura, that stretches for 55km, from Capo Ferro up to the Gulf of Cugnana. This stretch of the coast, destination of many unforgivable boat tours, overlooks several islands of the La Maddalena archipelago, such as the islands of Budelli, Caprera, Santa Maria and Santo Stefano. Costa Smeralda was uninhabited throughout the first half of the XX century, until the foundation of the Consortium Costa Smeralda in 1962, thanks to the initiative of the prince Karim Aga Khan IV.

Costa Smeralda is renowned as a relaxation and exclusive holiday destination, thanks to the social scene, the luxury boutiques, the aperitives and the elegant nights out. Porto Cervo is the heart of the nightlife in the area, with daily appointments with the international jet-set: parties, worldliness, and sport events. During the summer Porto Cervo becomes the scenes of extraordinary parades of yachts, and it is possible to go shopping in the famous “little square” with international movie, music, and sport stars. Porto Cervo is considered the capital of Costa Smeralda and represents its style with narrow streets, windows and small balconies, boutiques of prestigious brands, and luxury restaurants where you can enjoy a cocktail, and trendy clubs for elegant evenings.

Only a few steps from Porto Cervo you can find places of inestimable beauty and environmental importance, such as Cala di Volpe, one of the most privileged tourist destinations and located in a natural cove surrounded by myrtle hedges, junipers, and granite rocks, that have been wind-shaped over the years; the Pevero beach, divided by a promontory into two areas called Piccolo and Grande Pevero; the wild beach “spiaggia del Principe”, that owes its name to the Prince Aga Khan, who loved relaxing on this beach; and the wide Liscia Ruja beach, the small Liscia di Vacca and Capriccioli.

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Porto Cervo: Azzura 83 America's Cup

AZZURRA 83

The boat that made all Italians dream during the American’s Cup

The unique 12meter long blue boat is located at the entrance to the bay of Porto Cervo, right next to the Yatch Club. Azzurra 83 successfully took part from June to September 1983 to the America’s Cup, winning a place in the semifinals. It has become today one of the most important stops for tourists and sailing enthusiasts. The name of the boat, chosen to recall the spirit of the national unity that was typical of Italy in the world of sport, brought the country a lot of luck when challenging more famous opponents and making many Italians dream.

1,5km | 4 minutes by car

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Porto Cervo: Stella Maris Church

STELLA MARIS

The white church, a masterpiece of modern architecture

The Stella Maris church was built in 1968 on a project by the architect Michele Busiri Vici and stands on a panoramic hill, from which it is possible to admire the Gulf of Porto Cervo in all its beauty. The church was built respecting the sinuous and rounded shapes typical of Mediterranean architecture, and it stands out thanks to its light and bright colours, a façade with six wind-smoothed monoliths and a dome covered in turquoise majolica. Inside, in addition to the clear reference to the sea, priceless treasures, such as the Mater Dolorosa painting dating back to the 1500s and the reed organ are preserved.

2,2km | 5 minutes by car

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Baja Sardinia (Arzachena)

BAJA SARDINIA

One of the wonders of the Costa Smeralda, surrounded by landscapes and history to discover

Part of the Municipality of Arzachena, Baja Sardinia overlooks the crystal-clear sea and stands out for its fan-shape and for being adorned by wind-polished rocks in many shapes. This small town offers many daytime and evening entertainment opportunities, and it became one of the main destinations for lovers of the “active” holiday. Here, it is possible to scuba-dive, windsurf, go hiking, discover the old military ruins, and visit the surrounding archipelagos.

7km | 10 minutes by car

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Vantage point in Costa Smeralda

VANTAGE POINT

A breath-taking view that surrounds Costa Smeralda

Among the panoramic headlands of Costa Smeralda, there is one that dominates a large part of the territory and from which it is possible to admire the suggestive shades of the sea and the bright colours of the Mediterranean scrub that frames the small typical coves, reachable almost exclusively by boat. In this area you can stop to take some pictures or drink a refreshing aperitif on the terrace of a nice bar, enjoying an enchanting view that becomes even more unique and romantic at sunset.

9km | 11 minutes by car

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Porto Rotondo

PORTO ROTONDO

A colourful and picturesque village, between bridges and modern pieces of art

Porto Rotondo is one of the most well-known and trendy municipalities that belong to Olbia, chosen as a summer residence by stars and sailing enthusiasts for its small wonderful bays and the exclusive clubs. The architecture of the village, with its bridges of wood, vaguely reminds of Venice, where the Counts Donà dalle Rose were born. For this reason, they decided to found Porto Rotondo, a tourist port, which became a safe dock for hundreds of luxurious boats. This location was embellished with the church designed by the artists Cascella e Ceroli.

28km | 31 minutes by car

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Olbia

OLBIA

A port city full of life, with a great Greek and Roman past

Olbia was built in a strategic area; it is the main access point to the Island and the business driver of Gallura. This flourishing city on the beach has a great past that can be seen in the old city centre where several naval relics were found and are now exhibited in the Museum of the Sea, known for having the shape of a big boat. Olbia is appreciated not only for its harbour, where 3 million tourists land every year but also for the shopping, the small markets with handicrafts, the nightlife and the several bars that can be found on the main street, Corso Umberto I.

31km | 32 minutes by car

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