© iStock / CAHKT
© iStock / CAHKT

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Porto Cervo, the pearl of the Costa Smeralda

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Porto Cervo, the pearl of the Costa Smeralda, was a small, wild, unknown corner of paradise until a few decades ago. Located in Gallura, in the northeastern part of Sardinia, in Italy, this prestigious location extends over a stretch of coast of incredible beauty, a natural gulf whose profile resembles the horns of a deer, hence the name of Porto Cervo.

© iStock / milda79
© iStock / milda79

The dream of the Arab prince

Its natural scenery, pristine beaches, and wonderful emerald-coloured sea, together with the scents of the Mediterranean scrub, make Porto Cervo an oasis of rare beauty. This area has a relatively recent history. In fact, starting from the mid-twentieth century, the Ishmaelite prince Aga Khan, together with a group of wealthy entrepreneurs, began a process of economic development of the area to enhance it. Poor and malaria-prone lands were gradually transformed and reclaimed, and luxury hotels and sumptuous villas were built to transform Porto Cervo into the pearl of the luxurious and fashionable Costa Smeralda.

© iStock / gabriele sotgiu
© iStock / gabriele sotgiu

From an administrative point of view, Porto Cervo is a fraction belonging to the  Arzachena Municipality and has become, over time, a luxurious and elegant resort, home to elite tourism and an exclusive entertainment destination for the international jet set, also facilitated by the construction of the nearby Costa Smeralda airport, which is located in Olbia and carries out hundreds of direct domestic and international flights.

© Mara Noveni
© Mara Noveni

Architecture

The architecture of Porto Cervo retains the typical aspect of the Gallura buildings and is perfectly integrated with the surrounding Mediterranean scrub, the beating heart is the Piazzetta delle Chiacchiere, built by a famous architect, which is full of coffee shops, restaurants and meeting places. Below the square are the most exclusive boutiques, showrooms and exclusive discos, and above the hill are the marvellous villas of VIPs.

© Mara Noveni
© Mara Noveni

Interesting places to see

An interesting place is the Marina of Porto Cervo, formed by the old port and the new tourist port, where you can admire marvellous boats and sumptuous moored yachts and spot famous personalities belonging to the international jet set.

© iStock / AlKane
© iStock / AlKane

Beautiful is the Church of Stella Maris, located on the hill, designed around 1970 by a famous Italian architect. It incorporates the modern Mediterranean style, with its white cone-shaped bell tower and a beautiful sculpture by Pinuccio Sciola. In addition, the church houses a precious painting by El Greco and a beautiful pipe organ dating back to the 18th century.

© iStock / Bernard Bialorucki
© iStock / Bernard Bialorucki
Church of Stella Maris, Porto Cervo
Church of Stella Maris, Porto Cervo
Via Stella Maris, 1, 07021 Porto Cervo SS, Italia

The beaches

However, the beautiful beaches are the real attraction of Porto Cervo. Like Pevero Beach, the best known and most crowded, located in an inlet of very white sand, surrounded by granite rocks and very green Mediterranean scrub, a spectacle of nature.

© iStock / Travel Wild
© iStock / Travel Wild

Romazzino Beach, on the other hand, is less crowded and looks like a true paradise on earth. It is a little difficult to reach, but it offers a panorama of rare beauty along a strip of pink sand.

© iStock / Gabriele Maltinti
© iStock / Gabriele Maltinti

One of the most beautiful stretches of the coast is also the area of Cala di Volpe, a huge white beach, very rich in vegetation and bathed by turquoise and emerald waters. This beach is very crowded during summer due to the presence of numerous luxury hotels and residences, as well as very refined and famous restaurants.

Inside the Cala di Volpe Bay, there are the beaches of Cala Liscia Ruja, also known as long-beach, and Cala Petra Ruja.

Archaeological remains and excursions

For those who love nature and excursions, the suggestion is to go inland, towards Arzachena, and visit the numerous monuments of the Nuragic period, such as the Nuraghe Albucciu, the Necropolis of Li Muri and the splendid Tomb of the Giants Li Lolghi, an exceptional funerary testimony of the Neolithic age. Or, if you prefer to experience more in contact with nature, you can book a Dolphin Watching & Snorkeling Boat Tour, which includes a boat trip to admire the beautiful dolphins, a visit to a limestone cave and a snorkelling experience during the stops, including a snack based on typical Sardinian products and a refreshing drink.

© iStock / Manfred Bohn
© iStock / Manfred Bohn
Nuraghe Albucciu, Arzachena
Nuraghe Albucciu, Arzachena
SS 125 Orientale Sarda, 07021 Arzachena SS, Italia
Necropolis Li Muri, Arzachena
Necropolis Li Muri, Arzachena
Strada di Li Lolghi, 07021 Arzachena SS, Italia
Tomba dei Giganti Li Lolghi, Arzachena
Tomba dei Giganti Li Lolghi, Arzachena
Strada di Li Lolghi, 07021 Arzachena SS, Italia

Nightlife in Porto Cervo

Porto Cervo, during the summer season, offers a wild nightlife, almost every evening, events involving music, luxury and entertainment are organized. The outskirts of Porto Cervo host the most famous nightclubs and the most prestigious restaurants, offering evenings dedicated to parties, worldly discos and exclusive clubs, where famous personalities can be spotted until the early morning hours.

© iStock / g-stockstudio
© iStock / g-stockstudio

To fully experience Porto Cervo, the pearl of the Costa Smeralda, to immerse yourself in its nightlife and stay up late, or to savour a few days of relaxation and enjoy the sun and sea on the splendid surrounding beaches, I recommend a stop lasting at least 3-4 days. There is the possibility of choosing a privileged hotel, such as Cervo Hotel, Costa Smeralda Resort, located in the centre of Porto Cervo, which offers an excellent service of sports and recreational facilities on site (tennis court, gym with outdoor pool and spa) and a great breakfast. Or you can opt for a less central but equally suggestive accommodation, such as Hotel delle Rose, a charming hotel surrounded by nature with a swimming pool, private parking, fitness centre and a well-kept garden.

Finally, Porto Cervo, the pearl of the Costa Smeralda, offers a holiday and a stay for all tastes and budgets. Alongside the fashion and more luxurious side, the luxury boutiques and mega yachts are flanked by the magnificence of a breathtaking landscape, the transparency of a sea with inimitable colours, the scents and colours of the Mediterranean scrub, and very interesting places for lovers of culture and history. A 360°-experience that is definitely worth having in this corner of paradise.



The author

Mara Noveni

Mara Noveni

My name is Mara, I am Italian, born in Rome and raised in the wonderful Tuscany. Always in love with reading and writing, I completed this way of expressing myself through photography, especially street and travel photography. Thanks to my many and long travel experiences, I have enriched my mind and my inner life.

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