The Best Sailing Itinerary in Sardinia: Costa Smeralda

In a region so well known for its dreamy beaches, there is no better way to enjoy Sardinia than with your boat. Take your time to visit every corner with this one-week sailing itinerary in Sardinia, which will take you across a coastline full of paradisiacal beaches and awe-inspiring landscapes. An unforgettable experience awaits!

Furthermore, the Costa Esmeralda in the north of Sardinia is a luxury tourist destination of beaches with turquoise water and white sand, which every summer attracts celebrities from all over the world. While navigating these coasts, you will experience the heart of the Mediterranean.

Climate and Temperatures

Sardinia enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers, from May to October, and mild, fairly rainy winters. In the countryside and mountains summers are cooler, followed by cold winters. The average temperature in summer reaches 23 ºC (74 ºF) to 28 ºC (82 ºF). The hottest months are July and August when in the coastal areas the temperature can easily reach 30 ºC (86 ºF). Low temperatures drop to 7 ºC (44 ºF) to 15 ºC (59 ºF) during the coldest month of December, January, and February. During winter, the mountains are much colder with an average of -2.2 ºC (28 ºF) to 3.9 ºC (39 ºF). Rainfalls are not abundant and the largest concentration of rainy days occurs during the winter and autumn.

Winds and Sailing Conditions

Sardinia is famous for being a windy island, especially from October to April. The main wind of  Sardinia is the Maestrale (Mistral) a northern-westerly wind which blows from France. It is a fresh wind which in winter can be more intense, while in summer is welcome to mitigate the heats. In June and August, the velocity is 20-25 knots and usually not more. Another wind is the Scirocco which blows from the south-east, bringing heat waves from Africa. It can reach peaks of 40 °C (104 °F) and more. Finally, the Ponente comes from the west that in contrast to the Scirocco bring a refreshing breeze during the summer.

Sailing Itinerary in Sardinia

Discovering Costa Smeralda

Day 1: Olbia – Porto Cervo (19 nm)

Olbia Gulf in Sardinia, Italy, with boats sailing

Welcome to Olbia, the starting and the ending point for an incredible journey in Sardinia. Have you got there by morning and you do not know what to do? Visit Olbia’s Cathedral, the Abba Cabbu ruins or the National Archeological Museum, which also make an excellent asset for Sardinian culture. Head to the marina, meet the base manager, and after the check-in, start your sailing itinerary in Sardinia. Set sails early in the afternoon to Porto Cervo, the central (and most luxurious) touristic spot in the Emerald Coast. Later on, you can take a swim in Cala Granu, to the north, and admire the sunset from there.

Day 2: Porto Cervo – La Maddalena (16 nm)

Everybody know that Porto Cervo is the meeting point of the international jet set. However, there is not only sea, yachts, and beautiful beaches, for this spot offers other places you cannot miss out such as the Sierra Maris’s Church or the long seafront promenade ending in the post office. Get to La Maddalena by the first hours of the afternoon to enjoy the wonders in this enclave. In the islands of Budelli, you can find the Spiaggia Rosa (Pink Beach). It has earned its name due to the accumulation of coral fragments in the sand. The result is one of the best contrasts (blue water, red sand) that can you can admire on a beach.

Day 3: La Maddalena – Capo testa (12 nm)

Go to Capo Testa. Your next destination, located to the west of Santa Teresa Gallura, is a rocky peninsula, which makes its beaches (Cala Spinosa, Cala Francese and Cala Grande) even more charming. Overlooking the Bocche di San Bonifacio, it is connected to the mainland by an isthmus and is characterized by its extraordinary beaches and the pristine nature that surrounds it. A little corner of paradise where you can spend a relaxing day onboard your boat.

Day 4. Capo Testa – Porto Pozzo (9 nm)

Take the day off. Navigate to Cala Sambuco before noon to make a stop in this peaceful beach. Later on, go to Porto Pozzo, a village hidden among the bays in the northern tip of the island. The beach of Porto Pozzo is nestled along a deep natural inlet and is characterized by small grains of dark golden colour. Its waters, clear and transparent, are shallow, thus ideal for kids and less experienced swimmers. Being protected from the winds, the sea here is never rough. Moreover, with a few minutes drive, you can reach all the beautiful white sandy beaches of Santa Teresa Gallura and its surroundings.

Day 5. Porto Pozzo – Portisco (30 nm)

Boat moored at Portisco port in Sardina, Italy
Credits: flickr – Salvatore Zizi

You can contemplate the beauty of this part of the Emerald Coast by going to the east of the island and by making a stop in the Porto Piccolo Beach. In that same spot, you can find the Casablanca, a well-known restaurant that offers seafood and pizzas. Later on, head to Portisco, near Porto Cervo, where you can drop the anchor and spend the night.

Day 6: Portisco – Arcipelago di Tavolara (21 nm)

On the next day of your sailing itinerary in Sardinia, visit the Archipielago of Tavolara. There are two different islands: Tavolara and Molara. Both are made of limestone and shelter extraordinary landscapes. For instance, take a dip in the beach of Spalmatore and contemplate its stretched silhouette. Spalmatore is a small peninsula which houses the small port, a couple of restaurants, a bar, a small group of houses (including the one of the King of Tavolara) and some small, but wonderful beaches. The mountain of Tavolara is just the icing on the cake. The height of Tavolara is equal to 560 meters. It is a real mountain lying on the sea, visible miles away from the coast, thanks to its unmistakable appearance.

Day 7: Porto Taverna – Olbia (10 nm)

After this beautiful experience, it is time to check- out and come back home. If you haven’t visited the city of Olbia yet, then do it. Like everything you have seen during this sailing itinerary in Sardinia, it happens to be a gift for one’s eyes.




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