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An all season ideal place for a marine vacation with the peak season in late spring with occupancy and prices well within limited range

Nautica Magazine
n. 398, june 1995


Emerald Coast

The stretch of coast from Tavolara island to cape Testa has been given the name of Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) where marine vacation is the word. This is a place where you can spend a full month without calling twice at the same port or cove or even using the same mooring and at the same time every twilight will offer a different sunset.

The unique beauty of this area, while including a consistent yachts traffic, has produced the construction of a consistent number of tourist port facilities very well inserted in this beautiful environment.

Caddinas bay, north of Olbia, is the first port of call with a lively ferry trade and with yachting facilities managed by the Naval League and the local Nautical Club. This facility is located 0.5 miles from Golfo Aranci and offer moorings to 115 boats with LOA up to 15 meters on a water depth varying between 1 and 2.5 meters. Main prevailing winds are from the SE.

After making good Figari cape, in the Marinella gulf, three mooring alternatives are available: the Yachting Club Blue Sail with a floating pier for 12 meters boats with 2 meters water depth, located at gulf bottom; the Marinella island Nautical Club, located in the namesake island, has moorings for boats with LOA up to 25 meters; Marina point, a 300 boats port with 18 meters maximum permitted LOA and water depth along the dock of 2.5 meters.

The coast's jewel is however Porto Rotondo, cast at the bottom of the Cusignane gulf. Here, surrounded by a series of stunning tourist complexes, 634 moorings for LOA's up to 30 meters and 5.5 meters water depth, are available. The natural beauty, enhanced by a unique position, has made of the Emerald Coast, a well established and preferred destination for all VIP tourists. Mortorio island with its white beaches surrounded by pink granite cliffs ( a common sight here ) reaches here a paramount beauty. A similar enchanting surrounding can be found at Sa Petra Marina , on the opposite gulf side, in front of Porto Rotondo. With 350 moorings in 3 to 9 meters of water, it constitute a valid alternative to the glamorous neighbor.

Of all the coast's landings the most famous however remains Porto Cervo, either because of it is traditional standard bearer of the Emerald Coast and because of its very active sport activity, and the sparkling beauty and magnificence of masons surrounding it.

The deep fjord is only partially taken at the far end by the 720 moorings marina, at the entrance port side.

A bow mooring is also available and as in the Caribbean, swimming on site is possible without having to shift to the beach.

The Maddalena archipelago is reached navigating northbound trough the Snake pass in front of Ferro cape. Seven main islands and a great number of islets and reefs make this one of the most beautiful places for sailing and swimming. The easternmost of them, Caprera, easily distinguishable for the stark red granite cliffs, as if to remind the most famous past inhabitants' shirt ( the Garibaldi's red shirt ) offer corners of pure and quiet beauty; foremost among them Coticco cove known as Tahiti for the blindly white sand beaches cast in granite walls.

Less known but equally beautiful is the Neapolitan cove, more to the north.

Maddalena itself offers the Spalmatore cove with white sandy beaches and emerald waters, together with a good shelter.

When at Spargi, Soarya and Corsara coves merit a stop where small beaches, again white sand with a contour of pink granite intermingle the turquoise water with the typical Mediterranean vegetation.

The northernmost part of the archipelago offers the peak of this orgy of colors and beauty with the Budelli, Santa Maria and Razzoli islands.

Here we find the pink beach at Budelli (regrettably, it is less and less pink due to the continuous digging on the part of the visitors ) and a kind of natural pool with turquoise colored waters and the bottom spotted with Poseidon flowers.

Trana cove north of Budelli, Long cove to the west of Razzoli, Muro cove to the north of Santa Maria all have in common the turquoise waters, white sands, pink granites, fishes and lobsters in abundance and a eternal light - fresh wind blowing through the Bonifacio strait. It is a sailor's paradise.

Those who prefer the quietness of the sheltered cove or the marina's facilities with its glamour and luxuries will find it at Poltu Quatu (Hidden Harbor in the musical Sardinian dialect).

Orso marina accept 450 boats with LOA up to 35 meters. Its waterfront night clubs row will satisfy the most sophisticated tastes. Located in a real fjord, Poltu Quato is sheltered to all winds.

Bitta cove has 183 moorings on a stone wall dock, sheltered by the Mucchi Bianchi islet and Cossi point. Cannigione, located in the homonymous gulf, has only 50 berths on wide jetty.

Palau offers 300 berths in a marina just south of the ferry dock where 14 meters boats can moor on depths varying from 2 to 4 meters.

Two wooden piers accommodate 50 berths at Porto Rafael, inside a small cove and surrounded by a stylish tourist village. Safe depth is 3 to 5 meters.

La Maddalena island offers shelter at the commercial port (Cala Gavetta) where yachting facilities are limited to three floating piers with deadmen forward .

Porto Massimo in the Porto Lungo creek, is located on the eastern side and can accommodate 40 boats at the dock , while another 60 can moor at deadmen with stern moorings ashore.

Emerald Coast IIM Nautical Chart on Pagine Azzurre

At the area extreme end lies Santa Teresa di Gallura. Longosardo port is inside a narrow funnel shaped creek and is made by mooring points and few piers. 250 crafts with LOA up to 16 meters can dock on 2 to 4 meters water depth. Visiting the characteristic village might be the proper way to end the visit to one of the most beautiful stretch of coast in the world and understand the true spirit of this astonishing land.