Summer Travel Destination: Sardinia | Italy
I've been to Italy before, but this was my first time visiting the beautiful island of Sardinia (or Sardegna).
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. With nearly 2,000 km of coastline and a vast mountainous interior, it's one of the most beautiful places in Italy and a top summer destination.
My friends and I flew into Cagliari International Airport (CAG), which is located on the southern part of the island.
It's the closest airport to the city center of Cagliari, Sardinia's capital and largest city.
Cagliari is a vibrant city with its own beach and a number of restaurants and cafes.
We stayed a couple of nights in Oristano, which is located on the central-western part of the island and is a one hour drive from Cagliari.
If you visit Oristano, you must take a trip to Is Arutas Beach also knows as "Rice Beach".
The sands of Is Arutas is uniquely made up of white and pink quartz pebbles.
It actually feels like you're walking on grains of rice.
After spending a few days in the south, we decided to drive to the north end of the island.
The drive from Oristano to Porto Cervo took approximately 2.5 hours.
Upon arrival in the North, we checked-in at Hotel Le Ginestre Porto Cervo - Costa Smeralda.
The location of the hotel and the hotel grounds are wonderful.
The sleeping rooms are mediocre -- clean but nothing special.
If you're looking to stay somewhere a little more luxurious, Hotel Cala di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, is one of the most sought after hotels in Sardinia. The views at this property are stunning.
Here's a sneak peek --
Costa Smeralda (or Emerald Coast) is known to be a haven for the rich and famous with sightings of everyone from Beyonce and Jay Z to George and Amal Clooney, Leonardo Di Caprio and President Barack Obama.
You can expect to find high-end shopping, fine dining, art galleries, mega-yachts and supercars.
Here are a few things to see and do while on the Emerald Coast --
Rent a boat for the day and tour the islands of La Maddalena Archipelago.
Take a tour and wine tasting at the Vigne Surrau.
Watch the sunset at Phi Beach.
Image via www.ritual.it
Things to Consider:
When to go - We went during one of the busiest times of year - late July/August. During this time, you can expect higher than normal pricing, crowded beaches and sold out hotels. I've been told that the best times to go are May/June and September.
Where to go - If you like glitz and glam, Costa Smeralda/Porto Cervo is the place for you. However, if you're on a budget or prefer to keep it more low key, consider staying in Southern Sardinia.