Thursday, September 14, 2006

sardinia diary: the costa smerlada

the costa smeralda is the jewel in sardinia's crown. here you will experience some of the most stunning views in the world and feel wonderfully high on life and love.

olbia is the closest airport to costa smeralda. since we were further south in tortoli, we drove via olbia to reach the many towns along this famed coast. the drive from tortoli to olbia took us about two hours. there's an initial stretch of about thirty minutes that takes you through forests and mountains but then you get to the highway and zip along for the rest of the journey. after passing olbia, it's very easy to follow the "costa smeralda" signs to porto rondo and porto cervo, which are the two most popular destinations in the region. the italians think that this is the most beautiful part of the mediterranean but i reckon that the french will fiercely defend the beauty of la corse (corsica) which is just an hour from the costa smeralda.

given the glorious word of mouth that this place has, i was expecting a landscape spectacularly different from the south east cost of sardinia, bluer and more crystal clear waters, and the sandiest beaches ever. but i have to admit that, at first, i was not particularly enamored. the road does not hug the coast as it does in the south. the water is no bluer. the roads are a lot more crowded. and there are yachts every where - an uncommon sight in the southern sardinia. but once it all comes together though, the beauty of costa smerlada starts to grow on you and you start to understand what the fuss was all about.

it came together for me at porto cervo when sipping champagne and looking at an exquisitely framed seascape from the gigantic square windows of the restaurant at our hotel luci di la muntagne. the rugged cliff, the natural inlet, the lovely yachts, the marina at dusk - it was all dizzily mesmerising.


Blogger gs said...

from your accounts sardinia seems to be heaven on earth.wish i could make a quick trip to see and feel all the wonderful places you have so vividly described. and enjoy the pasta and pizza and all the very italian garnishings no doubt with champagne as an accompaniment.

3:16 am  

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