Sardinia’s Emerald Coast (Costa Smeralda) takes its name from the colour of its clear, crystalline waters. Situated on the north-east corner of Sardinia, in an area called Gallura, it is one of the most beautiful and exclusive places in Italy where the wild, typical vegetation known as the Mediterranean “macchia” grows in abundance over rugged light grey granite rocks which come in amazing shapes. The coast has kilometers of beaches, coves and inlets which will surprise you for their uncontaminated beauty.
The Emerald Coast traces its origins back to an idea the Prince Karim Aga Khan had in 1962 of building a corner of paradise set in nature. Very soon the coast became the favourite haunt of the international jet-set with nightclubs such as the Billionaire, the Sottovento in Porto Cervo and the Phi Beach in Baja Sardinia.
The heart of the Emerald Coast is Porto Cervo. Offices providing de luxe services, high class restaurants and the most exclusive designer boutiques are clustered all along the waterfront of the little port, one of the most fully equipped of the Mediterranean, from the Sottopiazza to the Piazzetta delle Chiacchiere.
The Symbol of Porto Cervo is the Church Stella Maris, which was designed in the 60s by the architect Michele Busiri Vici. From where the church stands there is an incredible view of the entire inlet with its port on one side and Monte Moro on the other.
Not to be overlooked is Porto Rotondo. This location is renowned for its night-life and its wonderful beaches such as Spiaggia Ira, Punta Asfodeli, Spiaggia delle Alghe and Spiaggia dei Sassi, to name but a few.
Not to be missed are the islands which make up the La Maddalena National Park, where diving and snorkeling fans can explore a sea bed which is much sought after by divers from all over the world, such is the uniqueness of its flora and fauna. It is a privilege for anyone to be able to dive into this uncontaminated sea.
If not a model the Emerald Coast has become a touristic blue-print to be imitated from all points of view. After villa construction came the hotels, then infrastructures, roads , the airport of Olbia and the ports fully equipped for yachts.