A few kilometres from Olbia begins one of
the most beautiful tourist resorts in the
world.
Even though what is properly called "Costa
Smeralda" only includes the part of the
coast between the gulfs of Cugnana and of
Cannigione and, within this strip, it is only
an even more limited area which is really
well-known, it must be said that all the
coast from Golfo Aranci to Cannigione is a
beautiful resort, which can satisfy the most
refined and sophisticated clientele.
As soon as we leave Olbia we come across
signposts to the coastal villages. Those
who are keen on underwater fishing
shouldn't miss a boat trip from Golfo Aranci
to Capo Figaro and to the small island of
Figarolo (by the way, the name of the gulf
originally "Golfo dei Granchi" which means
"Gulf of the Crabs").
Continuing along the beaches of the Golfo
dei Marinella, we reach Porto Rotondo, one
of most charming resorts in the area, a
residential summer village with a round
(=rotondo) square in its centre, surrounded
by a centuries-old  cluster-pine forest: the
village also provides a good example of how
to build residential accommodation
respecting the natural surroundings if only
you want to.
We now make for the North, following the
signposts toward the lovely beaches of Cala
Petra Ruja, and Cala Liscia Ruja until we
reach Cala di Volpe, where the properly
called Costa Smeralda begins. Here you find
the hotel of the same name "Cala di Volpe",
one of the most beautiful and best known of
the Costa Smeralda, together with many
others which form a sort of summer village,
with all the facilities of a residential holiday
centre, including shops, coffee-houses
night-clubs and so on.
A few miles further on, we get to the
promontory of Capriccioli, which is held to
be the most beautiful part of the Costa
Smeralda. Here is in fact a most so perfect
as to appear almost artificially devised.
Further on we reach Ramazzino beach, with
the lovely sites of Ramazzino, Piccolo
Ramazzino and Punta Capaccia. Here too
you come across the gentle slopes of the
hills of the best known and most exclusive
golf club in Sardinia, perhaps in Italy: the
"Pevero Golf Club" takes in a wide expanse   
of   gently   sloping   hills, covered with
green lawns, meticulously cared for, a rare
and unusual sight on this island, specially in
summer.
Still northbound we go past the Golfo Pevero
and its beaches (Piccolo Pevero, Porto
Padda) and reach
Porto Cervo, the
"capital city" of the Costa Smeralda. Most
coastal villages of this area have a
peculiarity: they were only recently
"founded", conceived as tourist resorts in
beautiful areas which used to be almost
completely unhinabitated. They have slowly
increased in size and Porto Cervo is the one
which has grown most, becoming almost a
town. Its port can accommodate big ships,
its shipyards are so well equipped that they
can carry out any kind of maintenance or
repair on boats of almost any tonnage. The
town of Porto Cervo is also the one which
offers the widest choice  of  hotels,  shops,  
places where you can drink, dance and have
fun.  The surroundings are lovely too: let's
just mention Cala Granu, Cala Corallina and
further to the North, Capo Ferro, Cala del
Faro(=lighthouse)     and     the evocative    
lisce    (=beaches)    of Liscia  di   Vacca,   
overlooked  by another   well   known   
hotel,   the "Hotel Pitrizza". In front of these
beaches you can see, rising from the water
and not too far from the coast, the two islets
of "Cappuccini" and of "Bisce", while in the
background farther away, you can make out
the island of Caprera.
By the time we reach Baia Sardinia, we are
already out of the area which is properly
called Costa Smeralda.
COSTA SMERALDA