Despite the custom-built nature of resorts such as Porto Cervo, there has been a master plan with strict planning controls, which has ensured that any development blends in well with the natural surroundings. Indeed, the Costa Smeralda is still outstandingly beautiful. It was chosen by the Aga Khan for its picture-book coastline of bays of white sand and turquoise sea, sheltered by rocky headlands.
As the main resort on the Costa Smeralda and a paradise for the jet set, Porto Cervo is definitely worth a visit. Set in the heart of the resort and lined with cafés, bars and restaurants, the "Piazzetta" is the perfect spot to lounge in style - it is the place to see and be seen. The traditional evening stroll along the quay is also a must, with fashionable designer boutiques on one side, and luxury yachts on the other. In the summer, there is a series of top sporting events, including regattas and golf tournaments.
More about The Costa Smeralda
Bursting with character, this charming village is set around a picturesque piazza along with lively cafés and several artisan shops. With its stone-built cottages, stunning position and relaxed atmosphere, many artists have been inspired to take up residency.
Arzachena, the local market town offers several hidden treasures including mysterious nuraghe (stone towers) ruins and giant tombs, arguably the best of their kind in Sardinia.
This lively small town and port is primarily a beach resort with its own selection of shops, bars and restaurants. Around 3kms to the north of the town is Fortezza di Monte Altura, a 19th century bastion on a rocky slope above the town.
Many visitors find it difficult to tear themselves away from the beautiful beaches that so generously grace the coast, yet there is so much more to this region.
As an island with miles of beautiful coastline, it is not surprising to hear that Sardinia offers a feast of water sports, and the north east region is no exception.
The island hosts a feast of festivals and events throughout the year from colourful carnivals to religious processions and provide your chance to experience a piece of true Sardinia.