Italy is a country of miracles and wonders, especially in the summer when the sun is shinning, the beaches are wonderful and the locals are by and large in carefree mode. Sailing enthusiasts have a soft spot for the islands, from picturesque Sicily to up-and-coming Aeolian islands in the South. But nothing compares to Sardinia, Italy’s biggest island, famous for the longevity of its people. A yacht charter in Sardinia will travel you back to an era when everything was simpler, the food was pure and far niente (ie doing nothing) was the order of the day in the summer.
Sardinia is the Med’s second biggest island, offering ample opportunities for a sailing trip. It is a popular tourist destination all round the year, but if you charter a yacht in Sardinia in the summer or early autumn you will be able to avoid the hordes of tourists that flock the island. You can start your trip from Cagliari, the capital and biggest city of the island on the south. The Gulf of Cagliari is great for a view of the city from the sea, before you dock your boat in the harbour – there is a big marina for yachts and Marina Piccola nearby is an alternative choice for anchorage if you hire a boat in Sardinia. Once you are in Cagliari proper, take a stroll in the old town and visit the famous medieval citadel and fortifications, protecting the city from pirates in old times. Poetto beach nearby is great for a swim before you depart to your next destinatio
Your next stopover can be the small island of Isola di San Pietro on the southwest of Sardinia, home to many beautiful fishing villages where you can dock your boat. The island’s specialty is locally fished bluefin tuna, so don’t miss the opportunity to visit a tavern in the small town of Carloforte and enjoy a tuna salad with some chianti or prosecco. From there you can sail to the town of Oristano or straight to Alghero on the northwest. In Alghero you can see at its purest the influence of Catalan knights who ruled parts of the island for a few centuries. Many locals are descendants of these Catalan adventures and speak Catalan to this day. Alghero is a typicial Meditteranean town where you can visit ruins of a Bronze Age settlement in Nuraghe Palmavera or swim in the Bombarde and Speranza beaches, famous for their turquise waters. From Alghero you can sail to Capo Caccia, a thin piece of land of raw beauty and rugged cliffs where you can explore the famous caves. If you opt to hire a boat in Sardinia you will also be able to visit the Asinara National Park, a marine nature reserve of outstanding natural beauty.
Explore the calas
You are now in the north of the island, not far from Corsica. You can dock in Castelsardo, a traditional fishing village whose view from the sea will take your breath away with the big medieval castle that graciously towers above the village’s coloured houses. There is a big, modern marina here to dock before you take a stroll in the village’s cobbled streets and sit at a local restaurant for a sip of Cannonau, one of the most famous wines produced in Sardinia. After you cross the strait of Bonifaccio that separates Sardinia from Corsica (and Italy from France) you can visit one of the most beautiful places in the Med: the Maddalena archipelago, part of which is Isla Caprera. On the northeast of this tiny islet you will find yourself in a little paradise called Cala Coticcio: two coves that shape a beautiful beach and natural bay to dock your boat. Not coincidentally, Coticcio is also known as Tahity Bay for its exotic vibes.
If you charter a yacht in Sardinia you can’t miss an opportunity to visit Porto Cervo on the northeast. This is the island’s poshest town in trendy Costa Smeralda where all the great and the good of the Italian and international jet set gather in the summer, many of them on some of the world’s most luxurious yachts. This famed resort is famous among other things for the Loro Piana Superyachts Regatta, held every June and attracting leading sailors and sailing enthusiasts. Ahead of you on the eastern coast of Sardinia is a series of beautiful coves that you just have to explore if you rent a boat in Sardinia. so that you can enjoy the Med’s beautiful scenery in all its glory in the summer. Perhaps the most famous one is Cala Goloritze nearby the small town of Baunei – a beautiful sandy beach of turquise waters that you can only reach by boat. From there you can sail back to Cagliari and start planning your next trip to this beautiful island or its equally stunning neighbour, Corsica!