Costa Smeralda is a resort in northern Sardinia, which is a popular holiday destination not only for tourists but for the wealthiest too. This 55 km long coast has plenty of beaches, with smaller islands and luxurious flats to capture the hearts of visitors. It is a very popular destination because of its beautiful azure waters and its wonderful surroundings.
In this article we look at Costa Smeralda int the following points:
- Sailing in Costa Smeralda: Costa Smeralda’s surrounding islands
- Ports and islands in Costa Smeralda: Ports in paradise
- Sail in Costa Smeralda! Costa Smeralda sailing itineraries:
- Our offer: one-week Costa Smeralda sailing tour
- 7 days Costa Smeralda sailing itinerary
- Sailing in Costa Smeralda: 1 week sailing plan
The La Maddalena Archipelago is located in the north. The archipelago gives home to the La Maddalena National Park.One member of the archipelago is called Caprera, here the country’s oldest sailing centers can be found. The island’s area is approximately 16 square kilometers and it has granite and sandy beaches. The crystal clear sea separates Cabrera from Sardinia. The whole island is ruled by nature. We can only find people in the small village of Stagnali. It is connected to the neighboring island of Maddalena with a bridge. There are more people living on this island.
Costa Smeralda has a completely different atmosphere than the rest of the island. This is due to the enormous development of the coast that happened in the past decades. In this place, it feels like as if we were in paradise. Interesting attractions are not only on the coast but also on the sea!
La Maddalena Archipelago
The marina here has 140 berths. These can be used even by boats up to 50 meters in length and mega yachts. The maximum dive depth of the harbour is 12 meters. The archipelago can be explored in 1-2 days.
The islands with pink sandy beaches are almost intact. In addition to swimming and diving, we can explore old Roman ruins and fortresses.
The harbour of Porto Cervo
This is one of the most well-equipped ports in the Mediterranean, with 700 seats. From May to September it is home to international sailing competitions. Marina Village has two parts: the northern that is the old and southern new harbour. A wide range of services is available for boaters. In terms of repair and maintenance, the port has highly experienced specialists.
The harbour of Olbia
The harbour of Olbia in the northeast of Sardinia, which opened in May of 2009. The Marina di Olbia is open all year round for the sailors. It has 270 moorings and can accommodate boats up to 80 meters length. The state-of-the-art dock has been designed to be the safest port – regardless of the weather -in the Mediterranean. Olbia is only a few kilometres away from Costa Smeralda.
Marina di Porto Rotondo
The beautiful port of Porto Rotondo has 650 berths for yachts as long as 90 metres. The depth of the water is 5.5 metres. The port offers several good-quality services, such as running water, electricity, Wi-Fi, fuel, and maintenance. You can even require medical assistance.
Marina di Golfo Aranci
The private dock is only 20 metres from the town centre. They have 30 berths for boats as long as 5-16 metres. The depth of the water is 1.5-5 metres. Thanks to the breakwater built-in 2017, the port provides protection against the northeastern and southwestern winds dominant in the bay. You can find a bar and a restaurant in Marina di Golfo Aranci, and they also have electricity and Wi-Fi.
The port of Arzachena has opened its doors in 1987 and has unbroken popularity among the sailboat and yacht owners. The scenery speaks for itself: as we approach the dock, we can see that it extends long into the interior of the island. Polto Quato has a total of 305 berths, which are suitable for mooring boats of 8-35 metres length. The seabed is 3 meters deep from the entrance and 2 meters in the inner dock.
The harbour of Cannigione
This is a medium port which can accommodate boats up to 25 meters in length. Its speciality is that the harbour specializes in tourism and recreational sports. The marina has received environmental acknowledgment for its environmentally-conscious operation. It is located beside the town of Lu Canniscioni, which receives yachts from 9 am to 11 pm.
The harbour of Portisco
The city of Portisco is located on the eastern side of Sardinia, and it has two harbours: Cala dei Sardi and Portisco harbour. The dock near Portisco has a total of 589 seats, which is reserved for boats with 4-90 meters length. The service is fast and professional, so it’s not an accident that this is one of the busiest and most popular ports in the area.
Cala dei Sardi
In Golfo di Cugna you can find Costa Smeralda’s most eco-friendly harbour. There are a total of 140 berths on this site, which can accommodate boats of 6 and 60 meters long. The dock is well-equipped, on the quay you can find electricity, water, Wi-Fit, and restaurants.
In 1997, the port of Pozzo was opened, which is located in a natural fjord. The port between Santa Teresa and Palau accepts the cruise yachts day and night to rest and recharge. The port can accommodate up to 80 yachts, which can be between 4 and 15 meters in length.
We are leaving from Olbia, and this is where we will return after visiting the sights in the neighbouring areas.
Day 1. Olbia – Porto San Paolo
14.94 km (9.28 mi)
First, we are sailing to Porto San Paolo, southeast of Olbia. The cosy town is famous for its welcoming guests, and it has a perfect location as well. There are beautiful islands nearby such as Isola Tavolara, Isala Molara, and Isola Piana. If you are here, you can choose from great sports opportunities like horse-riding, mountain biking, and golf.
Day 2. Porto San Paolo – Tavolara Island (Spalmatore di Terra)
4.63 km (2.88 mi)
After Porto Paolo, we are visiting the wonderful Tavolara Island, which is mostly famous for the fact that the world’s smallest kingdom can be found here. The highest point, Punta Cannone offers a fascinating view of the surrounding mountains as well as the Strait of Bonifacio and Corsica. The wonderful bays of the island are perfect for a nice swim. If you visit the place, you will find a bar and a restaurant here; still, nature is dominant on this breathtaking spot. There are unique bird species, mouflon and goats on the granite rocks.
Day 3: Tavolara Island (Spalmatore di Terra) – Golfo Aranci
13.33 km (8.29 mi)
Our next destination is Golfo Aranci where we must definitely visit the town centre. Thanks to its stylish shops and modern boardwalk, the town is different from other typical Sardinian towns. Once you are here, you should admire the gifts made from coral, and then choose from one of the fine restaurants that all offer delicious frutti di mare. Spend the night in the port of Golfo Aranci.
Day 4: Golfo Aranci – Porto Rotondo
17.21 km (10.69 mi)
The holiday resort is located between Cugnana Bay and Marinella Bay, 13 kilometres to the north from Olbia. There are picturesque beaches here, and the square called Piazzetta San Marco can be found in the centre. The Church of San Lorenzo is a must-see sight. If you get hungry, you can find many restaurants and cafés in Porto Rotondo, which also has a buzzing nightlife.
Day 5: Porto Rotondo – Portisco
1.84 km (1.14 mi)
This romantic town has sandy beaches with crystal clear, shallow waters. Portisco, Rena Bianca and Liscia Ruja are the most popular ones. If you visit the place, you must try the delicious dishes of Sardinian cuisine. We particularly recommend the restaurants Ristorante Su Cubone and Portisco Beach Music. Both establishments offer delicious dishes and a pleasant atmosphere.
Day 6: Portisco – Porto Cervo
16.49 km (10.24 mi)
Porto Cervo, which is the centre of Costa Smeralda, has become one of the most popular luxury resorts in Europe. The most beautiful sight in town is the Stella Maris Church. They built it in the 1960s and is characterised by a combination of Sardinian and modern architecture. One of the gems in Porto Cervo is the well-equipped port with its 500 berths. They organise an international sailing competition here every year between May and September. Are you looking for entertainment? You can find cosy places in towns such as the Sottovento Club or the English Lord Nelson Pub.
Day 7: Porto Cervo – Caprera (Pontile di Porto Palma) – Olbia
61.99 km (38.52 mi)
Caprera is located halfway between Corsica and Sardinia; it is a completely protected area. The island – covered with rocks and surrounded by pines – has many romantic, hidden bays. The most famous of them might be Cala Coticcio, also referred to as Tahiti Bay. The former house of Giuseppe Garibaldi is also a popular spot; this is where the Italian freedom fighter spent the last years of his life. The Caprera Sailing Centre – which is one of the oldest sailing centres in the country and is among the largest ones on the Adriatic Sea – can also be found on this island.
After we return our yacht, it is worth exploring Olbia if we still have some time. The town has breathtaking beaches like the Le Saline, the Dottore or the Porto Istana. Other famous sights include the National Archaeological Museum, the Basilica of San Simplicio and the Church of St. Paul the Apostle. The latter was built on ruins, and is really unique thanks to its dome – covered with colourful ceramic tiles – and its Venetian carved wooden pulpit. The cosy restaurant La Lanterna offers delicious pizzas. The place is also famous for the frutti di mare, the pecorino made from sheep’s milk and the grilled dishes. If you choose this restaurant, you can also expect a large selection of wines.
Day 1. Cannigione – Porto Massimo (La Maddalena) 21,27 km (13,21 mi) Day 2. Porto Massimo (La Maddalena) – Cala Santa Maria 7,15 km (4,44 mile), Day 3. Cala Santa Maria – Porto Vecchio 43,6 km (27,09 mile), Day 4. Porto Vecchio – Bonifacio 46,5 km (28,92 mile) , Day 5. Bonifacio – Santa Teresa Gallura 16,45 km (10,22 mile) , Day 6. Santa Teresa Gallura – Porto Pozzo 15,83 km (9,83 mile), Day 7. Porto Pozzo – Palau – Cannigione 34,95 km
Day 1. Porto Pozzo – Palau 13,57 km (8,43 mi, Day 2.Palau – Cannigione 11,33 km (7,04 mi), Day 3. Cannigione – Porto Cervo 13,48 km (8,37 mi),Day 4. Porto Cervo – Portisco 16,49 km (10,24 mi) Day 5. Portisco – Porto Rotondo 1,84 km (1,14 mi) Day 6. Porto Rotondo – Golfo Aranci 17,21 km (10,69 mi), Day 7. Golfo Aranci – Tavolara island (Spalmatore di Terra) – Porto Pozzo 73,1 km (45,43 mi)
Costa Smeralda is one of the most visited places in Italy. Wherever you end up, we are sure that you will find a place, sight, and a program for yourself. This area is an excellent choice if you want to admire the beauty of nature, cool yourself in the sea, and to enjoy the masterpieces of Italian cuisine.
Thanks to the wonderful nature, the beaches, the central location, and excellent road transport Costa Smeralda’s island is a popular destination.