The Costa Smeralda (or Emerald Coast in English) is the most exclusive tourist region in the north of Sardinia. Ever since Aga Khan started developing the Coast in the 1960’s the region around Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo has maintained the status of the most celebrated luxurious tourist destination for the rich and famous.
The seemingly endless beaches of the Costa Smeralda are truly magnificent and combine pearly white sand and crystal clear azure water. Beyond the beach jagged cliffs, lonesome valleys, the heights of Monte Limbara as well as numerous national parks or cultural sites are only waiting to be discovered by you.
How to reach Costa Smeralda - Transports and travel tips
The closest airport to the main towns of the Costa Smeralda is in Olbia , some 25km south of Porto Cervo. EasyJet has six direct flights a week from London-Gatwick and during summer an additional two flights per week from Bristol. Prices for flights from London start at £76.66 not including a £25 surcharge for every piece of luggage with a weight up to 20kg.
A total of 16 car rental agencies including Hertz, Sixt Avis and Autoeurope are located right at the airport of Olbia. Sixt has deals for premium cars like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from £174.87 per day.
One bus per day departing at 10.30 o’clock connects Olbia’s airport with the towns alongside the Costa Smeralda. Several hotels offer an airport shuttle service for their guests for a surcharge.
Costa Smeralda - Hotels, Restaurants and Nightlife
The Costa Smeralda offers plenty of accommodation options. Many luxury hotels and resorts can be found in this exclusive tourist destination.
- One of the most luxurious hotels of Sardinia is the Five-Star-Hotel Cala di Volpe . The hotel is situated in close proximity of several beaches near Arzachena as well as the Pevero Golf Club. The hotel’s amenities include a private beach, restaurants, a health club and fitness facilities including pools and tennis courts. The hotel offers the service of an airport shuttle. Expedia has deals for a double room from £6.500 for one week.
- A great value accomodation in the heart of the Costa Smeralda is the 4 star Hotel Luci Di La Muntagna with its architecture in the typical Mediterranean style, offering from its spacious terraces delightful views on the bay and on the touristic harbour of Porto Cervo. Ebookers has bargain deals for a double room from £140.54 per night.
- A wonderful restaurant in Porto Cervo is the Ristorante I Fratti Rossi . It is situated 2km outside the centre of town on a small hill at Localita Pantogia. On the menu is a wide selection of local specialties and seafood but also plenty of meat.
- Nightlife centers around the clubs Sporavento and Sottovento several kilometers out of town but you will have to be dressed to kill to be permitted to enter. Even harder to get into is Flavio Briatore’s very own discotheque Billionaire at Localita Alto Pevero.
Costa Smeralda- Beaches, Activities and Attractions
The Costa Smeralda is famous for its beautiful and seemingly endless pristine beaches that span the 55km long coast line in the north of Sardinia. Beaches like the Capriccioli or the Spiaggia Lisca Ruia are blessed with pearly white sand and azure water that will remind you of the Caribbean. The most beautiful and most famous Beach of the Coast is the Spiaggia del Principe .The Spiaggia was named in honor of Karim Aga Khan who was instrumental in developing the Costa Smeralda into the luxurious resort for the rich and famous that it is today.
Porto Cervo is the centre of the Costa Smeralda. Its marina offers the best marine facilities on the island and is always filled with yachts. The exclusive boutiques around the Piazetta and expensive nightclubs like the aptly named ‘Billionaire’ are only one side of this leisure centre of the rich. Within the small and picturesque church Chiesa di Stella Maris visitors can marvel at an exhibition of classical art including El Greco’s Mater Dolorosa . Modern Art is exhibited and traded in the Louise-Alexander-Gallery.
Pure natural beauty awaits you at the Archipelago di La Maddalena . The Archipelago is considered to be one of the most beautiful of its kind in the world and offers the visitor a spectacular marine panorama. The seven major and more than forty minor islands are filled with pristine beaches and magnificent coves. The main island, Isola Maddalena , can be reached by boat from Palau.
Cultural highlights at the Costa Smeralda are the Nuraghe di Albucciu and the Tempio di Malchittu near Arzachena. Both are opened from 9.00-19.00 o’clock. A combined ticket costs around 4€.