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Just a few miles south of Corsica (across the Strait of Bonifacio) lies the Mediterranean’s second largest island: Sardinia. You will find enchanting offshore islands, secluded coves with amazingly clear turquoise water, and magnificent sandy beaches that beckon. It’s no wonder that sailors, skippers, surfers and water sports aficionados of all kinds love Sardinia.
Wander the streets of Cagliari’s (Sardinia’s capital) hilltop medieval citadel — Il Castello — which overlooks the Gulf of Cagliari. Much older signs of human habitation are found in the many Neolithic stone monoliths, called menhirs, which dot the landscape.
Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast, northeast coast) is a short sail to La Maddalena Archipelago National Park. where several absolutely beautiful islands await. An entry fee is required, but an overnight in La Gavetta harbor on Maddalena (the largest island) is worth it.
Costa Paradiso (Paradise Coast, north coast) is home to Li Cossi, one of Sardinia’s loveliest beaches, framed by pink granite formations. To the south, Tinnari beach features a double-arched natural rock formation, which changes color based on the time of day. Aptly named, this coast’s emerald green water is a snorkeler’s paradise.
Costa Rei (southeast coast) — offers a more relaxed atmosphere with beaches every bit as beautiful as the ones on Costa Smeralda. Renowned for its coral reefs, inviting bays and unspoiled islands, Costa Rei provides plenty of opportunities for surfing, wind and kite surfing, sailing, scuba diving and snorkeling.
Costa del Sud (Southern Coast) is located west of Cagliari between the Capo di Pula and the sandy dunes of Teulada. Established by the Phoenicians, the town of Nora features exquisite Roman ruins (temples, baths, mosaic floors) and roads that extend seaward (great for diving).
Costa Verde (Green Coast, southwest coast) hosts innumerable small bays, framed by impressive sheer cliffs and gorgeous beaches. Spiaggia di Piscinas — a ribbon of ochre sand flanked by the sea and a range of desert dunes — is one Sardinia’s most striking beaches.
Sardinia’s strong prevailing winds are a boon to windsurfers but can make sailing conditions somewhat challenging for novice sailors. Sailing in Sardinian requires some experience and good navigational skills.
Lying at the tip of Italy’s “boot,” Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to the main island are many smaller islands within easy sailing distance. The Aegadian islands of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo — northwest of the mainland — feature beautiful grottoes and caverns.
To the south are the Pelagie Islands. Pantelleria is famous for its ancient Phoenician walls and “sesi” neolithic temples. Lampedusa, the largest Pelagie island, features the breathtaking Spiaggia dei Conigli beach.
Sicily features no less than seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including:
One cannot travel to Italy without enjoying the local cuisine. Sicilian food blends the delicious flavors of the many cultures of the Mediterranean. Its dense, volcanic soil produces lemons, oranges, olives and grapes. Sicily has all the right ingredients to satisfy your desire for the sailing vacation of a lifetime.