Enjoy stunning views of the straits of Bonifacio over the transparent turquoise sea as you head to the dramatic headland of Capo Testa to the west of Santa Teresa. The nearby bay of Santa Reparata has some delightful stretches of beach. To the east there are many small beaches around Porto Rafael and Palau.
This area is home to an array of attractive sandy beaches, some with a deep green backdrop of pine trees. To the north of Cannigione and Laconia you will find lots of sandy coves.
Tanca Manna sits approximately 250 metres from the road behind a saltwater lake. It has a great stretch of sand and plenty of facilities for families. A kilometre beyond Tanca Manna is Barca Bruciata, a small sandy beach which is quiet with no facilities.
Cala Capra beach just beyond Golfo delle Saline is a pretty sandy bay tucked beneath the impressive Capo D’Orso headland with its distinctive bear shaped weathered rock.
There are many fantastic bays and beaches on the Costa Smeralda, some well signposted, others hidden down small, winding tracks. You will often find that the sea is behind a group of private villas, or that the only visible sign of a beach is a row of parked cars by the side of the road. In these cases it pays to leave the car and do a bit of exploring by foot. Our favourites include:
- The Capriccioli headland has five beautiful small sandy beaches. There are facilities for boat hire and also a bar close to the beach. These beaches, including La Celvia, are amongst the most popular in the area.
- Just before the Hotel Cala di Volpe is the beautiful Liscia Ruia, an extensive sweep of white sand set down a long unsurfaced road.
- Rather off the beaten track is the Spiaggia del Principe which cannot be reached by car. The last stretch has to be done on foot takes under 10 minutes and is well worth the effort.
- Piccolo Pevero is a small sandy beach with parasol and boat hire. It also has a restaurant (“Il Pulcino”) and a bar.
- The Pitrizza beach at Liscia di Vacca just north of Porto Cervo is also popular.
The main beach here is La Cinta which stretches north from the town with 5km of glistening white sand. This is a very popular beach, especially in July and August so be warned. There are plenty of facilities at this beach including water sports activities and snack bars.
If you are looking for something less busy, head for Capo Coda Cavallo. The larger beaches here have some facilities in high season but this headland is well worth exploring as there are many hidden coves undiscovered by the masses.
Another two we recommend are south of Olbia, Punta Molara and Cala Girgolu.
Sports & Activities
The Isola dei Gabbiani is particularly famous for its windsurfing conditions and attracts many enthusiasts each year.
Another great place for water sports is Cannigione. Here you will find a water sports centre where you can arrange windsurfing, sailing, water-skiing and fishing. There are a couple of other sailing schools in this area too. At the main mooring you are able to pick up small engine powered dinghies for day trips to the Maddalena Islands. Please note these are only suitable for experienced seafarers.
Cala di Volpe beach on the way to Capriccioli rents out dinghies, pedalos and windsurfs as well as offering some reputable dive centres.
Horse riding is very popular in this area. Schools can organise excursions in the countryside and rides along the beach. The best time of day to go is early in the morning and at sunset, most schools will be closed during the hottest part of the day.