Sardinia, with its central Mediterranean location forming a triangle with mainland Italy and North Africa’s Tunisia, has never been left alone long from ravaging invaders through the centuries and it has resulted in an island imprinted with magnificent Italian churches, Nuraghic fortresses, Spanish Baroque architecture and Roman ruins.
Aside from cultural attractions, the local cuisine of Sardinia is scintillatingly good, with restaurants making use of fresh seafood and island produce such as lemons, almonds and cheeses like robust pecorino.
Then there are the pristine beaches that are some of the most spectacular in Europe and whilst Sardinia is justifiably busy in peak season, it is possible to anchor at a deserted rocky cove or snorkel in turquoise waters through a quiet grotto without seeing a soul.
Frequented by A-list celebrities, oligarchs and royalty, Sardinia is a perfect luxurious escape and Bespoke Yacht Charter aims to show you how to grab your own slice of VIP life on a Sardinia yacht charter.
Why visit the Costa Smeralda
Located north of transit town Olbia that brings visitors to Sardinia courtesy of an airport and busy ferry port, is the epicentre of opulence – the Costa Smeralda.
Occupying one of the loveliest stretches of north-eastern Sardinian coast edged by the Tyrrhenian Sea, you won’t find bustling Sardinian markets to explore or authentic fishing villages but that doesn’t deter the mega-rich from berthing here.
Stop off at Porto Cervo with its high-end boutiques, sleek marina and Costa Smeralda Yacht Club then cruise to some of the best northern beaches. Bespoke Yacht Charter’s recommendations are:
- Cala Lunga on Razzoli Island, part of the Maddalena Island archipelago and National Park
- Capriccioli and La Celvia with clear shallow waters and views across to the island of Mortorio
- Rena Bianca for water sports
Sardinian cuisine revolves around simple recipes crafted with seafood, grilled meat and seasonal fruit and vegetables. Typical specialities are pane carasau (music bread), zimino (fish soup), roasted suckling pig infused with myrtle and seadas (crêpes filled with cheese and drizzled in honey).
Here are some of Bespoke Yacht Charter’s recommendations for top dining experiences in Sardinia:
Pedristellas, via Monte Ladu 63, 07026 Porto Rotondo. Telephone: +39 377 236 9201
Petristellas has a rustic setting with a romantic touch when the sun sets and lanterns illuminate the tables set amongst winding stone pathways and ancient olive trees. Bespoke Yacht Charter recommend ordering the slow cooked suckling pig followed by a plate toppling with one of their delicious desserts.
Punta Baja, Via Tre Monti, 07021 Baja Sardinia. Telephone: +39 333 544 1155
Best visited at sunset, relax with a cocktail on the pine-fringed terrace overlooking the pool and ocean before dining on food such as anchovy and zucchini fritters and pizza that tastes so good you’d be fooled into thinking you’re in a Neapolitan Nonna’s kitchen.
Cala di Volpe, 07020 Cala di Volpe, Costa Smerada. Telephone: +39 0789 976111
Located at the Hotel Cala di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, reservations are a prerequisite here if you want to dine with A-listers and secure a table not already taken by a prince, pop star or politician. It seems being a VIP is normal here – even the producers of 1977 James Bond film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ found the setting perfect for some scenes.
As the definitive ‘place to be seen’, the lunch buffet with wood-grilled meats at the daytime Barbecue Restaurant is amazing, the dinner menus at the signature restaurant are superb and the Il Pontille Bar is a perfect spot to enjoy a Campari or Bellini.
Promenade du Port : While most luxury brands have a store in Porto Cervo, head to Promenade du Port for a shopping jaunt that melds together designer art galleries, trendy restaurants, relaxed bars and chic boutiques.
Our tip to blend in with the stars shopping here, is to grab the latest Italian beachwear at SoloBlu then relax with a drink at a courtyard table at Zamira’s Lounge.
Pevero Golf Club : Designed by renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, all 18 holes have excellent vistas across the greens to Cala di Volpe Bay. Join the jet set crowd for a round or stop by when they host regular tournaments and events including the upcoming Acqua di Parma Golf Cup in September 2015.
Grotta del Bue Marino : Avoid the tourist crowds that flock to Neptune’s Grotto (Grotta di Nettuno) on the west coast near Alghero, and book the last guided tour of the day at the Grotta del Bue Marino, so named due to the rare monk seal or ‘bue marino’ that once lived here.
As one of the most beautiful caves near Cala Gonone, visitors are not permitted to take photos past the entrance however the sight of the sheer cliffs on approach, stalagmites, stalactites and Neolithic wall carvings reflecting in the azure waters makes up for it.
Festa del Redentore : Sardinia is resplendent with traditional festivals throughout the year, however one of the best is Festa del Redentore held annually in Nuoro at the end of August.
Venture here to witness thousands of participants dressed in Sardinia’s local costumes dancing and singing before a vibrant procession leading from the town to the bronze statue of the Redeemer perched at the summit (955 metres) of Monte Ortobene.
Afterwards, sit in a town square watching candlelight processions pass by as you sip a glass of the dark Nepente wine from Oliena.
This article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke, who with over 10 years travel industry experience loves to share ‘must-do’ destination tips and hidden spots to discover in France and beyond.
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