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The Sardinian Emerald Coast

17august2012destinationssardinia26 September, 2012, Crete: Larger than Crete, the island of Sardinia is the second largest in the Mediterranean. While a well known destination for both the jet-setters and European yachters since the 1950´s when Aga Khan discovered Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) with his yacht, most American yacht and charterers completely miss the experience. The 60 plus years since it discovery this particular 15 mile stretch of Sardinian Coast has been liberally sprinkled with multi-million dollar villas, five-star hotels and resort marinas.

One of the reasons this area is so popular with Europeans is simply location, location, location. Located neatly between Corsica, Sicily and the Italian Peninsula, the island is just a short sail from Marseilles. Another reason is the sheer beauty of the land. The rocks of the island date from the Paleozoic Era and the geothermic formations render the land earthquake and even volcano prone, just like Italy and Sicily. The island is covered by mountain ranges and bougainvillea splashed valleys.

This is a range of activities on the island from the night clubs in Porto Cervo to the calm bays scattered around the island that are ideal for all types of water sports. Start the day with the famous “suppa cuata”, a local soup covered with a layer of cheese, spend a sunny day laying on the beach as some quiet cove and dine that night in a five-star restaurant, wrapping up your meal with “seada”, a honey topped, delicious cheese filled crepe.

There are plenty of local events as well. Carnival is in February and visitors will be treated to masked and costumed figures dancing in the villages and towns at night and drinks, food, music and local folklore during the day. In May, the beginning of yachting season, the town of Britti begins the feast of Our Lady of Annunciation, which is a traditional pastoral religious celebration that begins with the novena, or House of Pilgrims, and continues throughout the day with traditional island dancing at two separate local shrines. Finally, in July, the S´Ardia Horse Race begins at Sedilo. This exciting event takes place annually as bareback Sardinian riders race around the church of Sant´ Antine.