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7 Days in Sardinia

By Frances and Michael Howorth

Whether your charter guests are looking for small, hidden beaches off the shoreline reachable only by boat or popular VIP hot spots, Sardinia offers the best of nature’s tranquility as well as explosions of outrageous glamour and fun.



Sardinia Day 1DAY 1: {PORTO CERVO} 
Porto Cervo is the center of activity on the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) and it’s the best place for shopping and stocking up on provisions. Starting here, guests might relax on board while you cruise the coastline in the morning and then golf enthusiasts can head to the 18-hole Pevero golf course. Horizontal-based pursuits include spa treatments that can be arranged on board or at one of the five-star luxury resorts around the corner. Hotel Cala di Volpe and the bay itself are popular for lazy days that can be followed by late afternoon cocktails and shopping. Those anxious to rub shoulders with fellow “glamourati” can - and live music at numerous outdoor beach clubs like Phi Beach at Baia Sardinia, or they can dine and dance at the famous Billionaire Club, a 10-minute drive from Porto Cervo.


Porto Rotondo, the resort village just south of Porto Cervo, is best known for its private beaches. Here, small beaches are typical of this stretch of coast, which is characterized by numerous tiny coves good for walking or admiring from the deck. Porto Rotondo is much more laid back than the more up-market Porto Cervo and for those who prefer to go unrecognized, this may be just the right spot. Hotel Sporting has an acclaimed restaurant offering Mediterranean cuisine featuring local fish and seafood dishes and a good wine list. The dining room is impressive with a large terrace overlooking the harbor.



Cruising southeast, you’ll reach Cala di Luna, which is so beautiful it looks unreal. With the yacht anchored off shore, guests can relax and enjoy scenic views of limestone cliffs covered by blooming oleanders. In the early morning the sun rises from the sea just in front of the beach and its rays penetrate deep into the large caves that open onto the narrow shoreline. Nearby Cala Goloritzè is a “showstopper” with its fantasy of eroded rocks that tower sculpturelike over clear waters. Smother your guests with nature and let them explore this wild coastline.


Sardinia Day 4DAY 4: {CAGLIARI}

Cagliari, south on the island, has been Sardinia’s capital since at least Roman times and is still its biggest town. It may be ugly in parts and sprawling but the “old town,” known as Il Castello, is a charming hilly labyrinth of sandy-colored medieval buildings in various states of disrepair. This port city was founded in the seventh century BC by the Phoenicians – and there’s no better way to see Cagliari than by approaching the city from the sea, the sailor’s vantage point. Between the harbor and castle in the old harbor district lies Cagliari’s marina. The town has an archaeology museum that houses a Nuraghic collection; Nuraghes are the 4,000-year-old stone defense structures unique to Sardinia. Eight thousand Nuraghes structures can be found throughout the island and are all that remain of the original 30,000. The main shopping street, Via Roma, is replete with cool, shaded arcades; more shopping can be found on Via Manu.


Sardinia Day 5DAY 5: {SOUTHWEST COAST}

The coastline is scattered with coves and small villages from the island’s most southern point to midway up the west coast. While cruising this stretch, you’ll pass the island of Sant’ Antioco, the largest of the smaller Sardinian islands connected to the motherland by an artificial isthmus, and San Pietro Punto di Cala Fico – where the seas are deep, the cliffs high and the countryside wild and rugged. When natural beauty loses its appeal, some international-styled fun can be found at Forte Village Le Dune – a resort that accommodates the whims of all ages with luxury services mixed with good ol’ family fun. The Thaermae de Forte recently qualified as a Leading Spa of the World; Leisure Land includes gokarting, bowling and ice rink facilities (even in summer) and a children’s club offers fun for kids ( Nearby, Le Dune, the two highest sand dunes in Italy, flow like lava into the sea and are worth a peek either by air or boat.


Sardinia Day 6DAY 6: {ALGHERO}

In northwest Sardinia, the historic city of Alghero has a rich past and a cityscape that reflects the area’s early days. The predominant flavor here is Catalan, owing to a wholesale Hispanicization. The traces are still strong in the old town with its flamboyant churches, wrought-iron balconies and narrow cobbled streets named in both Italian and Catalan. Guests can stroll along the old fort’s walkways overlooking the sea. The most impressive part of this historic town is the Grotta di Nettuno or Neptune’s Grotto with fantastical stalagmites and stalactites. The vineyards here are also worth a visit. Wine tasting and dinner out on the town could be an opportunity for guests to experience true Sardinian culture.



Sardinia Day 7DAY 7: {LA MADDALENA}

La Maddalena island on Sardinia’s northern tip offers a large variety of sandy and rocky beaches. The Archipelago of Maddalena is a natural oasis, surrounded by a warm, transparent sea. It was declared a national park in 1996. La Maddalena is the only inhabited island in the archipelago, which also includes six others: Spargi, Razzoli, Budelli, Santa Maria, Capera and Santo Stefano. You will need a park permit to cruise along the shores of these islands, which can be obtained through the park authorities or by your yacht agent. There are many rules for this reserve and you will need to be well informed before entering. More information may be found at, under the national park section.





Sardinia Yacht Service:;
tel: +39 0789 906021;


The luxury tax imposed by the Sardinian government in 2006 on second houses, private yachts and aircrafts currently remains in force. The Italian government deemed the tax unconstitutional and the matter has been taken up by the European Court of Justice. A ruling is expected in spring 2008.


Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is the most convenient airport for both commercial fl ights and private jet arrivals. Olbia has a commercial port suitable for mooring prior to the arrival of guests. Or if you’re in one of the nearby ports, transport for your guests may be reserved through local transfer companies or your yacht agent in advance.


Sardinia forms part of Italy but operates under a special autonomous statute with a president (Renato Soru, center-left), a government and regional councils. The currency is the euro as elsewhere in Italy.




The weather in Sardinia is typically Mediterranean. The winter is generally mild but with strong Mistral winds and rain blowing in from the northwest. The northwestern region tends to get more rain than the south. The annual average temperature is between 14°C to 20°C. Summer temperatures can reach as high as 40°C but average around 35°C. The winter average varies between 9°C and 10°C in the coastal regions but can drop to 0°C in the highlands. November and December are the rainy season while the driest months are July and August.