The undisputed capital of Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo is a small corner of paradise located in Gallura, on the north-eastern coast of Sardinia. This charming seaside resort was built in the mid-twentieth century by Prince Karin Aga Khan who sensed the extraordinary potential of this area, starting a process of economic development to enhance the entire coastal area. In the early 1960s, exclusive hotels and sumptuous villas began to be built on land without infrastructures, which soon made Porto Cervo the most sumptuous and fashionable summer resort on Costa Smeralda, an exclusive destination for the international jet-set. Today Costa Smeralda is one of the most famous destinations of Italian tourism.
In the territory of the ancient Monti di Mola – the original name of Costa Smeralda -, Porto Cervo extends along a stretch of coast of incredible beauty. Its natural landscapes, pristine beaches, as well as a sea with emerald waters surrounded by the scents of lush Mediterranean vegetation, make Porto Cervo an oasis of a thousand shades and colors. Its coast overlooking the sea is of unparalleled beauty. Porto Cervo owes its name to the natural inlet whose profile resembles the horns of a deer.
Porto Cervo, built according to the typical architectural style of Sardinian residences, perfectly in harmony with the Mediterranean scrub and the surrounding landscape, is a fraction of the municipality of Arzachena, a rich and elegant town in the heart of Costa Smeralda. Home of elite tourism, privileged and exclusive destination for entertainment and the international jet-set, Porto Cervo has also become the favorite place of famous people and numerous tourists eager to meet the VIP of the moment, attracted by the numerous parties and clubs at the fashion that animate the nightlife of this town.
Porto Cervo Center
The center of Porto Cervo is represented by the charming little Chiacchiere square, built by architect Luigi Vietti and full of bars and restaurants with breathtaking views of the marina of the town which is home to splendid and luxurious yachts. Numerous narrow streets start from the square, populated by luxury boutiques and the latest fashion shops, perfect for those who want to indulge in a shopping stroll. Also from the square, you can reach the Marina of Porto Cervo which runs alongside the tourist port of Porto Cervo. The Marina then continues towards the old port area, a docking place for large cruise ships and ferries that bring tourists to this area of Sardinia.
Stella Maris Church
Absolutely worth seeing is the Stella Maris church, located on a hill overlooking the coast: it was built between 1966 and 1968 on a project by the architect Michele Busiri Vici. The church takes up the style of modern Mediterranean architecture: white is the dominant color of the architecture and recalls the Greek buildings. Outside you can admire the famous cone-shaped bell tower and a beautiful sculpture by Pinuccio Sciola, dedicated to Pope John Paul II. Internally, however, there is a painting by El Greco of the ‘500, the “Mater Dolorosa”, a precious pipe organ of the eighteenth century, two crucifixes of the German school of the’ 700 and bronze doors depicting the Annunciation by the artist Minguzzi of the 1986.
Monte di Mola Museum
Art lovers can also visit the Monte di Mola Museum (MDM Museum), which mainly hosts modern art exhibitions and is located near Arzachena.
Porto Cervo, of course, is also famous for its wonderful beaches and crystal clear sea. The most famous bay is that of Pevero, surrounded by Mediterranean scrub, with white sand and turquoise sea that give visitors a Caribbean spectacle.
Those who want a bit of tranquility can instead go to the beach of Romazzino, more difficult to reach and therefore less crowded, but with a breathtaking view and a long pink beach.
Cala di Volpe
One of the most beautiful stretches of coast to see in Porto Cervo is undoubtedly the bay of Cala di Volpe, a vast white sand beach rich in vegetation and lapped by emerald waters. Crowded in the summer, this paradise offers a wide range of luxury hotels, lodges and residences, as well as a number of very fine and famous restaurants.
Cala Liscia Ruja
Other well-known and very beautiful locations are Cala Liscia Ruia or Cala Petra Ruja, which owes its name to the red rocks that surround it. Ideal for sunbathing is Cala Granu, with fine white sand and a pristine sea. For those who love the sea, the advice is to rent a rubber dinghy or a boat and explore all the coves of the Costa Smeralda.
Places to Visit Around Porto Cervo
But Porto Cervo has much more to offer than the sea: the hinterland is full of hiking trails to explore the area and admire the wild nature that characterizes this part of Sardinia. There are many paths that lead to the discovery of the coast, heading towards the hinterland of Arzachena with the possibility of admiring – among other things – archaeological finds of extraordinary importance such as the Nuraghe Albucciu, the tomb of Li Lolghi, the scenic necropolis of Li Muri and the tomb of the giants of Capichera. Therefore, it is possible to combine nature, art, and history in a single holiday.
Nightlife in Porto Cervo
Porto Cervo, during the summer season, offers frenetic nightlife. Most evenings, events are organized where music, luxury, and entertainment dominate. The suburbs are home to the trendiest nightclubs and the most prestigious restaurants, offering night-time lovers evenings full of parties, including yachts and princely villas, worldly discos, and exclusive clubs, full of famous personalities and open until the early hours of the morning.
How to Get to Porto Cervo
Reaching Costa Smeralda is very simple also because it is well connected to the Italian peninsula from the Olbia-Costa Smeralda airport, with hundreds of direct flights to major national and international destinations. Furthermore, it is possible to reach the northern coast of Sardinia with the ferries of the companies Tirrenia, Moby Lines, or Sardina Ferries, departing from Genoa, Livorno, and Civitavecchia.
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