The Best Costa Smeralda Guide: 15 Best Things To See And Do

Established in the 1960s by Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, Costa Smeralda is synonymous with luxury holidays, super-yachts, and a vibrant social scene centered around Porto Cervo. 

Costa Smeralda

This stretch of coast in Gallura offers a fairy-tale setting where visitors can enjoy a peaceful and carefree time amidst beautiful beaches, luxurious villas, and a maze of alleys filled with boutiques and designer shops. 

The area also boasts ancient archaeological sites like Li Muri and Malchittu, providing a glimpse into Sardinia’s rich history.

Why is Costa Smeralda a Must Visit?

  • Breathtaking Natural Beauty: Costa Smeralda is renowned for its stunning emerald waters and pristine white sand beaches, offering some of the most picturesque landscapes in the Mediterranean.
  • Luxury Redefined: Known as a playground for the rich and famous, the area boasts world-class luxury resorts, exclusive shopping, and upscale dining experiences that cater to a discerning clientele.
  • Rich Cultural Heritage: Beyond its glamorous surface, Costa Smeralda offers a deep dive into the rich cultural heritage of Sardinia, with ancient archaeological sites, traditional Sardinian villages, and vibrant local festivals.
  • Exceptional Recreational Activities: Whether you’re interested in sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, or simply lounging on the beach, Costa Smeralda offers a plethora of recreational options to suit all tastes.
  • Gastronomic Delights: The region is a food lover’s paradise, featuring a variety of Sardinian and Italian cuisines, where you can indulge in fresh seafood, local cheeses, and the famed Vermentino wine.
  • Art and Architecture: Explore the unique blend of traditional Sardinian styles and modern architectural marvels, including the famed Stella Maris Church in Porto Cervo and the picturesque town of San Pantaleo.
  • Serene Escapes: For those seeking tranquility, the less frequented spots like Poltu Quatu provide peaceful retreats away from the bustling tourist centers, offering secluded coves and serene marina views.

Places To Visit

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Porto Cervo

Porto Cervo stands as the vibrant heart of Costa Smeralda, famous for its opulent lifestyle, high-end boutiques, and celebrity sightings. Immerse yourself in its chic ambiance, shop at luxury outlets, and enjoy the sophisticated marina packed with the yachts of the world’s elite.


Cannigione is a premier destination for scuba divers, boasting diverse marine life and transparent waters. It’s also an excellent spot for various water sports, providing thrilling adventures beneath the waves.

Baja Sardinia

Famed for its lively vibe and array of water sports, Baja Sardinia draws adventurers eager to engage in windsurfing, sailing, and more, all set against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery.


In Arzachena, delve into the viticultural riches, especially noted for the celebrated Vermentino di Gallura wine. Tour vineyards such as Surrau and Capichera to experience wine-making up close and savor the distinct flavors of the region.

San Pantaleo

Tucked away in the mountains, San Pantaleo offers a slice of serenity with its artisan markets, local art galleries, and traditional architecture. This village is a charming escape from the bustling coast, perfect for those seeking a tranquil experience.

Porto Rotondo

Experience the luxury and artistic flair of Porto Rotondo, known for its distinctive architecture like the San Lorenzo Church and its amphitheater. The town pulsates with life, offering cozy cafés, splendid marina views, and gatherings of the affluent.

Poltu Quatu

Discover the secluded beauty of Poltu Quatu, a village celebrated for its picturesque landscapes and quiet sophistication. Off the beaten path, it provides a peaceful haven with its secluded coves and calm marina, ideal for visitors looking to unwind in a more intimate setting.

The Best Beaches in Costa Smeralda

Explore the best beaches in Costa Smeralda, each offering a unique charm and stunning beauty:


Known for its accessibility and family-friendly vibe, Capriccioli features small coves surrounded by Mediterranean shrubbery, providing a picturesque setting perfect for a relaxing day at the beach.

Rena Bianca

Rena Bianca boasts clear, turquoise waters and fine, white sand, making it a picturesque spot for swimmers and snorkelers looking to explore its rich marine life.


Often regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia, Principe’s beach is a secluded paradise nestled between rocky hills, offering spectacular views and tranquil azure waters.

Cala di Volpe

Located near the luxurious hotel of the same name, Cala di Volpe offers a stunning bay with deep blue waters and is a hotspot for yachting and celebrity sightings.


Celvia is celebrated for its wide stretch of fine sand and crystal-clear waters, making it a favorite for both locals and tourists. It’s ideal for sunbathers and water sports enthusiasts alike.


Romazzino Beach is well-loved for its gentle slopes, soft sands, and the lush vegetation that frames the beach, creating a serene environment for relaxation and leisure activities.

Piccolo and Grande Pevero

These two beaches, situated close to each other, are known for their fine sand and shallow waters, making them perfect for families with children. Grande Pevero is especially popular for its vibrant beach life.

Each of these beaches provides a unique slice of paradise, making Costa Smeralda a premier destination for beach lovers seeking the quintessential Mediterranean beach experience.


Costa Smeralda Escursioni

Costa Smeralda offers a range of excursions for those wanting to explore the natural beauty of this region. One of the most popular is the boat trip to the Maddalena Archipelago. This group of islands, located off the northeast coast of Sardinia, is famous for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Supramonte is a must-visit. This mountain range, located in the hinterland of Sardinia, offers a variety of trails that wind through forests, gorges, and plateaus. From here, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the coast and the sea.

Where to Stay

Dove dormire nella Costa Smeralda

Luxury Options:

  • Cervo Hotel in Porto Cervo: Nestled in the heart of Porto Cervo, this hotel offers comfortable accommodations with modern amenities. It’s an ideal choice for those who want proximity to both the bustling center and serene beaches. The hotel is also steps away from premium shopping and dining venues.
  • Cala di Volpe Resort: Located in a stunning bay overlooking the Mediterranean, Cala di Volpe is synonymous with luxury. Known for its outstanding service, the resort features elegant rooms, gourmet restaurants, and a host of recreational activities, including golf and water sports. This resort is a favorite among celebrities and discerning travelers seeking an exclusive getaway.

Bed & Breakfasts and Farmhouses

  • For a more authentic experience, you might consider staying at one of the many bed & breakfasts or farmhouses in Costa Smeralda. These accommodations, often run by local families, offer a warm atmosphere and the chance to taste genuine Sardinian cuisine. Some examples include B&B La Murichessa in Porto Cervo and Agriturismo Spridda near Porto Cervo.


  • If you prefer a stay closer to nature, Costa Smeralda also offers a range of well-equipped campgrounds. Camping Capo d’Orso and Camping Isuledda are just two of the available options, both offering direct beach access and a variety of amenities, including mini-markets, restaurants, and recreational activities.

Where is Costa Smeralda?

Costa Smeralda 1

Costa Smeralda is a coastal area and tourist destination located in northern Sardinia, Italy, with a length of approximately 20 km. Specifically, the main towns and villages in the Costa Smeralda area include Porto Cervo, Liscia di Vacca, Capriccioli, and Romazzino, built according to a detailed urban plan.

This exclusive region is known for its white sand beaches, golf clubs, private jet and helicopter services, and luxurious hotels, attracting affluent visitors, celebrities, and business leaders.

How to Get There

Visitare Costa Smeralda

By Air:

  • Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport: The main gateway for visitors to Costa Smeralda, offering numerous domestic and international flights. It’s conveniently located just 30 minutes from Porto Cervo and other major attractions in the region.

By Sea:

  • Ferry Services: Regular ferry services connect Sardinia with mainland Italy, docking at Olbia and Golfo Aranci. These ports are well-connected to various parts of the island, including Costa Smeralda.
  • Yacht: For a more luxurious arrival, consider chartering a yacht to dock at one of the exclusive marinas in Porto Cervo or Porto Rotondo.

By Road:

  • Driving Directions: Costa Smeralda is accessible by car from major cities on the island. From Olbia, it’s a short drive on the SS125 to reach the heart of Costa Smeralda. The scenic drive offers beautiful views of the Sardinian landscape.

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