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A Guide to Sailing and Luxury Real Estate on Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda

Since Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda was first developed as a yachting haven more than 50 years ago, the region has evolved into an enchanting enclave of beautiful coastal villages, marinas, and a resort built around a renowned golf course

The property market in Costa Smeralda is booming, reports Julia Bracco, sales director of ImmobilSarda, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Sardinia, which holds a large portfolio ranging from well-appointed apartments to grand coastal villas. “We have strong environmental initiatives in place on the Costa Smeralda, including restrictions on further development along the coast, so properties here command a premium,” says Bracco.

The striking coastal architecture of Porto Cervo, a luxury resort on the Costa Smeralda, Sardinia. Image: Shutterstock. Banner image: Porto Cervo marina, by Shutterstock

The area and its unique landscape of white sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and fragrant Mediterranean shrubs is primarily a second or third home market. “Buyers come from other parts of Europe and the Middle East, as well as Italy,” explains Bracco. While the area is particularly appealing to boat owners, it also attracts golfers drawn to Pevero Golf Club, which has one of the world’s most beautiful and challenging courses, as well as being popular with beach, watersports, and wellness aficionados: “This is a place where it is possible to recharge and rejuvenate—remember Sardinia is known as the island of longevity,” she adds.

Boat owners are well catered for, despite the fact that private moorings are few and far between—there are marinas at Porto Rotondo, Porto Rafael, and Cannigione, each with their own yacht clubs, as well as the world-famous Yacht Club of Costa Smeralda (YCCS) at Porto Cervo, complete with its own new marina.

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta Porto Cervo
Porto Cervo's Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta takes place annually in June. Image: Alamy

Porto Cervo
At the heart of the Costa Smeralda development, this glitzy resort attracts a well-heeled crowd. Architects including Jacques Couelle, Luigi Vietti, and Michele Busiri Vici were recruited by Prince Karim Aga Khan to create an infrastructure in harmony with the rich natural surroundings and that would not impinge on the region’s beauty. The original small village around the old port is lined with art galleries and charming cafes, with the Piazzetta at its heart. This small square leads to alleys designed by Vietti and lined with prestigious designer boutiques—Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, and Prada are all here—and there is more high-end retail at the Promenade du Port, Piazza del Principe, and Marina di Porto.

This is a very quiet and reserved place with no big roads or traffic—ideal for seclusion and relaxation

Porto Cervo is home to the aforementioned prestigious YCCS, whose Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta takes place annually in early June, with a full program of events following later in the season including the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the Rolex Swan Cup, and the Perini Navi Cup.

Cala di Volpe
A view of the Capriccioli promontory seen from Cala di Volpe. Image: Alamy

Cala di Volpe
Named for the huge bay which bears its name, the community of Cala di Volpe is home to many high-end restaurants and boutiques as well as yachting services for boat owners. Of special interest is Couelle’s Cala di Volpe Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel offering a large fitness center, tennis courts, and an Olympic-size saltwater swimming pool, as well as a spa.

Built in the Mediterranean vernacular typical of the Costa Smeralda, Cala di Volpe is known for its eponymous beach and the nearby coves of Razza du Giunco and Capriccioli, and the longer stretch of beach at Liscia Ruja; shallow waters and lifeguard services ensure safe family bathing.

Pink-Hued Beaches
Nearby is the beach of La Celvia, which shares the pinkish hue of neighboring beaches created by sand run through with shell fragments and pink quartz dust from the bordering rocks. La Celvia is considered a paradise for scuba divers, thanks to the beauty of its seabed, and much sought after for its top-end villas with gardens overlooking the beach. It features one of the few gated communities on the Costa Smeralda and vies with Piccolo Romazzino as the most sought-after destination along this stretch of coast. Romazzino, a resort renowned for its restaurants and hotels, boasts a string of luxury villas with extraordinary views of the bay, many of them architectural jewels designed to work well with the surrounding nature.

Romazzino Costa Smeralda
The pink sandy beach at Romazzino in Costa Smeralda. Sardinia, Italy. Image: Getty Images

World-Class Golfing
Pevero Golf Club is the site of a renowned golf course designed by legendary architect Robert Trent Jones, stretching from the white beaches of the bay of Pevero to those of Cala di Volpe. The greens and fairways of this 18-hole, par-72 course wind their way through gently rolling hills and wind-sculpted boulders, and is punctuated by lakes and ponds, offering panoramic sea views—and new challenges—from every hole.

Villas and apartments dot the golf course and surround the clubhouse, attracting not only golfers, but nature lovers and those looking for ocean views. “This is a very quiet and reserved place with no big roads or traffic—ideal for seclusion and relaxation,” says Bracco.

On the Market

Villa Camelia Costa Smeralda
This elegant and magnificent villa in a panoramic position on the Costa Smeralda is on the market with ImmobilSarda, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Sardinia. The property has a large and bright living room with dining area, kitchen, and three en suite bedrooms, while on the first floor there is the marvelous master bedroom with bath, which opens onto a large terrace with spectacular views overlooking Cala di Volpe, Licia Ruja, and Porto Rotondo.
Villa Sirea Costa Smeralda
Villa Sirea, on the market with ImmobilSarda, is made up of four double bedrooms with baths, fully equipped kitchen, living room overlooking the renowned Pevero Golf Club course, dining room, and spacious outdoor areas from which you can admire the surrounding architecture and nature. The property’s octagonal pool sits in a well-kept garden enclosed by stone walls and wrought-iron railings.
Villa Tamarindo Costa Smeralda
Villa Tamarinda, also on the market with ImmobilSarda, is located in Romazzino, among the most prestigious and esteemed enclaves of the Costa Smeralda, and is just a 10-minute walk from the stunning beaches of Principe and Romazzino. The property offers a large living room, kitchen, three en suite bedrooms, a studio with a bath, and a fifth bedroom in the basement that opens directly onto approximately 0.5 acres (2,000 sq m) of well-kept garden.
Peninsula Estate Sardinia
The Peninsula Estate, on the market with Immobilsarda SRL, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s in the region, is a contemporary home high on Sardinia’s Emerald Coast coastline. The residence features a spacious living room, four master suites, five en suite guest bedrooms, dining areas, a spa, and family spaces including a home theater.