On the north-eastern stretch of the Sardinian coastline lies Costa Smeralda, where rugged landscapes meet pampered living and where the glitterati and the paparazzi mingle side-by-side. Besides the fabulous villas and glitzy yachts, the Costa Smeralda is a most romantic and beautiful holiday escape, and its gorgeous coves offer some of the best swimming in the Mediterranean. Some, including Liscia Ruja, are well-known, others such as Cala Pietra Bianca or Poltu li Cogghi, are delightfully secluded due to the absence of signposts. One of the most glamorous resorts of the Costa Smeralda is Porto Cervo, where you will find our featured properties Hotel Cala di Volpe, Hotel Romazzino and Hotel Pitrizza.
The harbour and millionaire yacht marina of Port Cervo has a generous helping of fine dining restaurants, cocktail bars and designer boutiques including Versace, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Built across seven hills that define its historic neighbourhoods, Sardinia’s capital city is rich in history and typical Italian charm. If this is what you’re looking for, the Castello, Stampace and Marina districts should be on your list of places to see. A climb up to the central district of Castello will reward you with ancient monuments including the Pisan Towers of San Pancrazio and the Elephant built in the 12th century, the Armoury that is now used as the National Gallery and the National Archaeological Museum and the cathedral where the crypt is the final resting place of saints and martyrs from Sardinia’s history. It is also a very special place to enjoy the sun set. Stampace which used to be where artisans produced their wares, has a multi-cultural feel and there are stunning frescoes to be viewed in the halls of The Municipal Building. Traditionally, the domain of fishermen, the Marina district has more beautiful churches and is a pleasant place to walk along the waterfront or stop for a coffee at one of the cafes in the elegant arcades. A bustling city, you’ll find vespas dashing around, fantastic shopping streets, art galleries, Roman ruins, Baroque facades, palazzi and medieval churches.
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Sources of information include: www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Food & Drink
A blend of Italian and Catalan flavours influence the island’s food, with distinctive local dishes such as Malloredus – a type of gnocchi (potato dumpling) served ‘al dente’ with a tomato sauce and sausage or cheese, Sardinian bread and pastries such as Carasau (a type of thin crispy bread), sponge biscuits and almond pastries. Seafood is also a speciality, especially rock lobsters (priced by weight in Sardinia) and the Burrida is a lovely local fish stew served as part of the Sardinain antipasti that’s especially typical of Cagliari. Meat-eaters should try the traditional spit-roasted suckling pig that is cooked over a roaring log fire and infused with myrtle leaves.
Marvel at the millionaire's yacht marina of Port Cervo, visit Promenade du Port where there are art galleries, shops, restaurants and during the summer months, musical concerts, or peruse the contemporary art exhibitions of the Monte di Mola Museum. From the port of Cala Gonone, take a boat trip to the Grotta del Bue Marinom, where it is possible to take a guided one-kilometre walk to explore the vast caves and their stalagmites and lakes.
Lying just off the Costa Smeralda, this archipelago is a National Park consisting of seven main islands and fifty-five smaller isles, beaches and secluded coves. It wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean; the water is clean and crystal-clear and the sands are white, however the pink beach on the isle of Budelli is so-called due to the shells that have been crushed down over time to form the sand. The main island of La Maddalena is where about ninety-five per cent of the islanders live and the main village is built around an Italian Navy base, heritage that it retains today, while the island of Caprera has an Environmental Education Centre and a museum dedicated to Italian General, Garibaldi.
Cosmopolitan yet charming, Alghero obliges with medieval churches and city walls that encircle the Old Town, atmospheric streets with little shops, a working fishing port and lovely sandy beaches nearby. The most striking building is the cathedral (Piazza Duomo), which was built in the 16th century in a Catalan-Gothic style. From the port at Alghero, visitors can take a boat excursion along the coast, observing the tranquil bay of Porto Conte and the spectacular cliffs at Capo Caccia, to the Grotta di Nettuno − or Neptune's Caves that shelter a number of impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
The ruined city of Nora, just outside the town of Pula, is an important archaeological site founded by the Phoenicians around the 8th century BC and conquered by the Romans in 238BC. Highlights include the temple of Tanit, the Roman theatre, mosaics, villas and thermal baths. For Prehistoric remains, visit the Unesco World Heritage of Su Nuraxi di Barumini close to the village of Barumini. It was built in the Bronze Age around 1,500BC by the ancient Nuragic civilisation and is a fortified structure; the most complete example of its kind. Another option is to take a train from Alghero to the town of Sassari – the scenery is stunning, and in Sassari there's a museum that contains archaeological finds from prehistoric Sardinia.
The wetlands of the Sinis Peninsula Marine Protected Area are where you can see flocks of pink flamingos, as well as migratory and nesting birds − a lovely photo opportunity for anyone, but for true Ornothologists the island is a treasure trove of birdlife. In the Bosa area there are colonies of Griffon Vultures, while the cliffs of Cape Caccia are home to species including Crag Martin and Alpine Swift. In the south-west, San Pietro is where you’ll find one of the Mediterranean’s most renowned colonies of Eleonora’s Falcon.
If you hire a car, there are lots of lovely little towns and villages to discover. The town of Tempio Pausania is set amongst granite rocks and trees including cork and oaks, so it is perhaps no surprise that it is known for its granite and cork production. It is also known for its nutmeg and vermentino wines, as well as its mineral springs and on a Saturday morning there is a weekly market. Meanwhile, the rural artisan town of Oliena is an excellent place to sample locally produced olive oil and red Cannonau wine, and amongst its narrow winding streets you’ll find craftsmen fashioning filigree jewellery and silk embroidered shawls. The gorgeous little medieval city of Oristano has the best of both worlds; a historic centre and ancient ruins, as well as stunning little beaches. Instead of the chain stores you’d find in bigger cities, there are more boutique-style shops selling locally made clothes and gifts, whilst gourmet food connoisseurs will enjoy the fresh fish and seafood that feature heavily on the menus. For something special, try the bottarga, made from mullet roe and served either as an antipasto or grated onto pasta − it’s an acquired taste. If you're in Alghero there is a lovely coastal drive going south to the town of Bosa, which has a medieval centre and a striking castle that dates back to the 12th century. For stunning views, take a drive along the road that leads to the top of Monte Mora, the highest of the granite peaks which dominate the coast and from where you can see the island of Tavolara and the remote island of Caprera, home to kestrels and wild orchids.
Sardatur from London Heathrow to Olbia and Calgari using a British Airways chartered aircraft.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know
Forte Village’s unrivalled cookery school offers guests the unique opportunity to learn the culinary secrets of multi-Michelin-starred chefs. Presided over by Chef, Rocco Iannone, the courses include theory and practical sessions, with lessons on choosing ingredients, preparing sauces and condiments and the creation of various dishes. Cookery demonstrations take place in a specially designed open kitchen.
The Pevero Golf Club, an 18-hole course with a par of 72, is in easy reach of our featured hotels on the Costa Smeralda.