PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
Combining beautiful beaches and atmospheric town centres, North Sardinia is the island’s glamorous half. Its spectacular coastline and rugged landscape are scattered with glitzy resorts, making it a great pick for an Italian escape.
The Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) is a big draw. Its main resort is Porto Cervo – a chic port town that attracts plenty of A-listers. Just along the coast, sleepy Santa Teresa Gallura is a peaceful alternative, with a sandy beachfront and great local restaurants. This picturesque town is the closest point on the island to Corsica, and is a short boat trip from the stunning Maddalena Archipelago.
But it’s not all about the coast – there are lots of historic gems nestled further inland, including North Sardinia’s largest city, Sassari. The rural village of Oliena, set at the foot of Mount Corrasi, is also worth visiting.
Then there’s the food and drink, which is reason alone to visit. From toasted bread with melted pecorino cheese to unbelievably fresh seafood pasta, the meals here are influenced by the local produce of the season. The excellent Cannonau is the local wine of choice, and there are numerous wineries offering tasting sessions.
North Sardinia is best known for its beaches. In fact, this region boasts some of Italy’s very finest, including those at Baia Sardinia and Palau, where the white sands are perfect for peaceful sunbathing. For an upmarket day trip, head to celebrity favourite Porto Cervo, where some of the island’s most exclusive shops can be found. North Sardinia’s spectacular scenery is an attraction in itself – the vibrant red rocks of Isola Rossa and the towering vertical cliffs of Alghero are both well worth seeing. For a truly memorable experience, book onto one of the boat trips around the Maddalena Archipelago, a stunning chain of islands boasting turquoise waters, pastel-shaded houses and national park status.
The closest airport to the resorts in North Sardinia is Olbia (OLB). Direct flights to Olbia are available from Bristol, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester and London Luton and take approximately 2 hours.