Stunning beaches can be found not only in the famed Costa Smeralda but all around the island. The typical Mediterranean climate and long summer, with coastal temperatures averaging 28.5°C (83°F) in July and August, means that the sea can be warm enough for swimming from May and remains pleasant through October. And the crystal-clear waters are a delight to bathe in.
Availability of watersports depends on the time of year and the geography of the coastline, but windsurfing is fairly widely available, as are dinghies, with or without tuition; Cannigione is a good centre. Small-engined motorboats (less than 6hp) can usually be hired without formality. The rocky headlands of the coast provide interesting snorkelling, and in places superb diving. For novices, "baptism" dives with skilled instructors are offered by most dive schools.
Boat trips can be a super day out, and offer a chance to explore the coast further. Try the wooden sailing ketch from Cala Gonone to the fabulous sea caves and beaches nearby. In the north of the island the little port of Palau provides an excellent choice of day trips around the archipelago of La Maddalena.
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