Sardinia and the Archipelago of La Maddalena

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Population: 1,649,000
Language: Italian
Currency: Euro

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The archipelago of La Maddalena, situated at the northeastern part of Sardinia, is composed of seven main islands and about 60 smaller islands, all of them with most interesting landscapes and natural features.


Sardinia is defined by crystal clear waters, beautiful white-sand beaches and lush vegetation, a paradise gem in the heart of the Mediterranean, and an ideal destination for those who prefer to avoid busy tourist areas. The island’s natural beauty, historic towns, gastronomic specialties, and unique aromas and colors all add up to offer a high quality of life.

The Costa Smeralda, located in the northeast of Sardinia, is the heart of the region known as Gallura. Today it is an internationally known brand, synonymous with luxury and glamour. Preserved by the strict conservation laws established in the 1960s, the area of Gallura–Costa Smeralda boasts a majestic landscape of small fiords, rocky cliffs, pristine white sandy beaches, the Mediterranean selva or macchia mediterranea, and the tiny islands of the Archipelago of La Maddalena.

With its 450km of protected coastline and 20 islands, Gallura–Costa Smeralda is the most pristine area on the north of the island and extends from the lively town of Olbia—with its international airport—to Porto Rotondo, Porto Rafael, Porto Cervo, and Palau down to Santa Teresa and Aglientu with the residential park of Portobello di Gallura. This natural paradise, with no industry, unadulterated views, and 150,000 inhabitants, is able to convey a unique sense of belonging and well-being.

Since the founding of the Costa Smeralda back in the 1960s by Aga Khan Karim, there has been careful attention drawn to the construction of the island through relevant laws that require an architectural policy of sustainability in order to preserve nature’s harmony.

In the heart of Costa Smeralda, only a few minutes from Porto Cervo and Pevero Bay, is the renowned golf club, Pevero Golf. Extending from the Gulf of Pevero to the bay of Cala di Volpe, it is recognized as one of top golf courses in the Mediterranean. Launched in 1972, the course has hosted some of the most popular tournaments in the world, such as the famous Pro-Am.

Porto Cervo also has its own marina, which is home to the prestigious YCCS (Yacht Club Costa Smeralda), which organizes a range of superyacht regattas as well as world and European championships for various classes. Among the most famous are the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta and the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta. In January 2012, the YCCS inaugurated a new winter clubhouse in Virgin Gorda, where it manages a purpose-built superyacht marina.

Romazzino, Pevero Bay, and Cala di Volpe are among the most enchanting areas of Costa Smeralda. Some of the island’s most iconic villas and estates are located there. Built in complete harmony with the natural surroundings, they offer grand traditional architecture and stunning sea views.

The archipelago of La Maddalena, situated at the northeastern part of Sardinia, is composed of seven main islands (La Maddalena, Caprera, Santo Stefano, Spargi, Budelli, Razzoli, and St. Maria) and about 60 smaller islands, all of them graced with the most interesting landscapes and natural features.

The archipelago was established as a national park in 1994 and is considered one of the most wonderful and enchanting places in the world because of its breathtaking beauty and its particular location, directly between Sardinia and Corsica in the Bocche di Bonifacio (Strait of Bonifacio). Its spectacular waters are among the 10 most best diving locations in Italy.

La Maddalena, the main island, is the gateway to the park and the only truly inhabited island throughout the area. It has a charming old town with small shops, restaurants, the famous church of Santa Maria Maddalena, and a beautiful port, which is also the point of arrival and departure of the ferries from Sardinia.

The island of Santa Maria is the only permanently inhabited of the archipelago in addition to the principal of La Maddalena and Caprera. Nearby, on the southern coast of Santa Maria, is the most famous and beautiful beach on the island, Cala Santa Maria, spanning over 200 meters of powder-white sand and crystal-clear waters. This island is the most verdant of all in the group. Its flora is dominated by thickets of mastic, myrtle, citrus, rosemary, and vines. Particularly interesting are the aquatic birds living in the pond of Santa Maria.

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