Sardinia – Costa Smeralda Travel Guide

Cala Goloritzé

We spent four spectacular days in Sardinia in early September as part of our honeymoon. An Italian Island we knew little about before venturing the 25-hour journey from Australia. We were completely blown away by this fantastic island, an oasis of turquoise waters and luxury hotels. We only wished we had more time here.

Where is Sardinia?

Sardinia is a tropical Italian island located off the west coast of Italy. It is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and is included as one of the 20 regions of Italy.

We based ourselves in Costa Smeralda for 5 nights. This region is on the northeast coast. It is known for its white sandy beaches, aqua waters, luxury resorts and super yachts. The area attracts many international celebrities and billionaires for its beauty and privacy….and it really did live up to its reputation.

When is the best time to travel to Sardinia?

We travelled in early September, which in my opinion was perfect. We arrived two weeks after the high season finished, so the roads were quieter and the resorts less crowded. The ocean was still tepid and the temperature was still very warm in the low to mid 30°C every day.

How to get to Sardinia?

We flew from Naples in Italy to Olbia in Sardinia for just under $80 AUD. You can also take a ferry from mainland Italy (or other European cities). Flying is significantly faster and remarkably not much more expensive. The fastest ferry takes 5 to 6 hours vs a 1-hour flight. Sardinia has three airports, Olbia and Alghero in the North and Cagliari in the south.

Where to stay in Costa Smeralda?

Hotel Romazzino

We stayed at the gorgeous Hotel Romazzino, a Luxury Collection Hotel by Mariott Bonvoy. Set in lush, landscaped gardens (a site to behold in this desert-like landscape) set on a stunning tranquil turquoise bay.

The resort has iconic, white-washed walls, multiple pools, three restaurants and a bar all with panoramic views, a day spa, tennis court, two gyms – one semi-outdoors with views spanning the bay and pools. The resort features rooms, suites and villas and the service is second to none. We were upgraded to a Premium Sea view Balcony room that was beautiful and well serviced at least twice daily!

La Terrasse

La Terrasse is their signature restaurant that sits high above the resort offering breathtaking views of the sea and incredible sunsets. They feature an extensive menu and the night we dined with them we had a delicious seven-course a-la-carte fine dining experience, complete with silver service.

The concierge team was exceptional during our stay, attending to our every need. They can (and did) arrange everything for us – from day tours and cruises to car hire and dinner reservations at the most sought-after restaurants in the area.

Things to do in Sardinia

On our first day we explored the local area and resort, spending time at the calm, white sandy Spiaggia De Romazzino beach with alluring crystal-clear waters. Resort sunbeds, kayaking and snorkelling was the perfect way to spend our first day in Sardinia.

Porto Cervo

Multi-million-dollar super yachts line the shores of the magnificent marina in Porto Cervo. A picturesque seaside town boasting designer label shops and high-end restaurants and a world-famous nightclub.


Porto Cervo

That evening we headed into the exclusive town of Porto Cervo for some afternoon window shopping among the designer shops stocking the most prestigious brands from Dolce & Gabbana to Louis Vuitton.

The expansive and beautifully presented square surrounded by cafes and restaurants is a masterpiece in itself, particularly at sunset. The elevated terrace is the perfect place for an afternoon cocktail to watch the sun descend over the vibrant town. For keen shoppers there is also an additional shopping mall at the other end of the port Promenade du Port.


We had the most amazing meal at Quattro passi al Pescatore. It was recommended to us and it did not disappoint! Nestled into the rock face, this picturesque and intimate restaurant overlooks the shimmering waters of the marina. It comes alive in the evening with a spectacular array of lights reflecting off the emerald green water from every direction.

The restaurant interior is a unique blend of earthy tones, warm timbers and white-washed walls with a magnificent bar. Quattro passi al Pescatore are known for their seafood, and to this day our meals were one of our favourites throughout the whole of Italy.

Quattro passi al Pescatore
The restaurant bar

Porto Cervo’s marina is another sight not to be missed. With a capacity of 700 boats, it is one of the best equipped in the Mediterranean.

We strolled along the bay marvelling at the impressive super yachts owned by billionaires and celebrities alike. It was simply extraordinary the sheer luxury aboard these vessels.

The Porto Vecchio (old port) in the village of Porto Cervo was built in the 1960’s and is still a fishing harbour today. The modern marina is to the west and provides access to world-class facilities including the Pervero golf club and tennis club nearby, as well as multiple five-star hotels, spas and restaurants. It has 700 berths and 100 slips reserved for megayachts.

Gulf of Orosei

Gulf of Orosei

A two-hour drive south of Costa Smeralda on the east coast of Sardinia, is a stunning stretch of glorious coastline showcasing ore aqua blue waters with white sandy beaches surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and impressive grottos, coves and caves.

We hired a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) for 270 € for the day and cruised the Baunei coast between Cala Gonone and Cala Goloritzé.

From the moment we set off, every single beach and cave we passed were extraordinary. Spectacularly beautiful soft, white sandy beaches with clear waters and dynamic coastlines.


We stopped at Cala Luna with its expansive beach and remarkable caves lining the beach. This is the only beach with food options – a rustic cafe over the back of the sand dunes.

We also visited Cala Mariolu and the infamous Cala Goloritzé, complete with rocky outcrop and mighty arch where we saw many cliff divers making the most of the alluring turquoise sea. There are literally hundreds of smaller, deserted beaches and coves that we pulled into along the way.

La Maddalena Archipelago

La Maddalena – Game Sailing

This large group of 62 islands called La Maddalena Archipelago, is located off the coast of Costa Smeralda, north-eastern Sardinia and Corsica. This breath-taking archipelago and tiny isolotti is home to some of the clearest waters in the world.

Turquoise bays scattered among an arid landscape of smooth boulders, sets the scene for a memorable day of sailing.

Lagoon 40 – Game Sailing

We joined a charter with Game Sailing on their brand-new Lagoon 40 luxury catamaran and were blown away from the moment we stepped on board.

The boat was impressive to say the least, the service was exceptional and our skipper was a local and incredibly knowledgeable, having sailed the area for over 30 years.

Game Sailing offers a combination of cruises in the region from daily, weekly and sunset cruises. We opted for the day cruise.

Snorkelling – Game Sailing

We visited three separate, absolutely stunning bays, where we snorkelled with colourful fish, swam in the tropical, clear, blue waters and explored the vistas on paddle boards, talking in our inviting surroundings.

The crew cooked up an authentic seafood linguine lunch with multiple snacks and aperitifs including tasty local wines and beverages along the way. La Maddalena archipelago is definitely an area we would like to go back to and explore for longer on a bareboat charter.

Porto Pollo

Porto Pollo

Porto Pollo is the epicentre of kitesurfing, windsurfing and every other wind sport available! We hired a car and headed out for the day for my windsurfing husband to get his fix. It was a 40 min easy drive from our resort.

Two bays with ferocious winds back each other creating a peninsula between. The peninsula is laden with a handful of relaxed cafes and bars lining the two beaches. It was a fantastic sight to behold, the sky was awash with kites and sales fleeting across the turquoise expanse of water. You can hire a kite or windsurfing equipment for 35€ for an hour.

We truly loved Sardinia, it was a captivating island, quite untouched in many areas. Alive with natural beauty and many wonders to explore, and seaside towns exuding charm. We only skimmed the surface of one area of this great island and intend to come back to explore some more!

For more travel inspiration in Italy visit our Positano Travel Guide or Lago di Braies – The Jewel of the Dolomites

By Kristi Gomn