Hotel Le Ginestre, Sp59, Porto Cervo, Arzachena, Province Of Olbia-tempio, Italy
A voyage over an emerald sea, past characteristic coves and beaches of snow-white sand … this is Sardinia, an island that strikes its visitors with natural contrasts,…
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A voyage over an emerald sea, past characteristic coves and beaches of snow-white sand … this is Sardinia, an island that strikes its visitors with natural contrasts, the lights and colours of a region that boasts old traditions and a wild and pure nature.
Sardinia captivates with its wild hinterland, out-of-this-world beaches and endearing eccentricities. Here coastal drives thrill, prehistory puzzles and four million sheep rule the roads.
Sardinia has some of the dreamiest beaches you’ll find without stepping off European shores. Yes, the sand really is that white, and the sea the bluest blue. Imagine dropping anchor in Costa Smeralda’s scalloped bays, where celebrities and supermodels frolic in emerald waters; playing castaway on the Golfo di Orosei’s coves, where sheer cliffs ensure seclusion; or sailing to La Maddalena’s cluster of granite islands. Whether you're walking barefoot across the dunes on the wave-lashed Costa Verde or lounging on the Costa del Sud’s silky smooth bays, unroll your beach towel and you’ll never want to leave.
Whether you go slow or fast, choose coast or country, Sardinia is one of Europe’s last great island adventures. Hike through the lush, silent interior to the twilight of Tiscali’s nuraghic ruins. Walk the vertiginous coastal path to the crescent-shaped bay of Cala Luna, where climbers spider up the limestone cliffs. Or ramble through holm oak forests to the mighty boulder-strewn canyon of Gola Su Gorropu. The sea’s allure is irresistible to windsurfers on the north coast, while divers wax lyrical about shipwrecks off Cagliari’s coast, the underwater Nereo Cave and Nora’s submerged Roman ruins.
Island of Idiosyncrasies
As DH Lawrence so succinctly put it: ‘Sardinia is different’. Indeed, where else but here can you go from near-alpine forests to snow-white beaches, or find wildlife oddities such as the blue-eyed albino donkeys on the Isola dell’Asinara and the wild horses that shyly roam Giara di Gesturi. The island is also a culinary one-off, with distinct takes on pasta, bread and dolci, its own wines (Vermentino whites, Cannonau reds) and cheeses – including maggoty casu marzu pecorino, stashed away in barns in the mountainous interior. In every way we can think of Sardinia is different, and all the more loveable for it.
Sardinia has been polished like a pebble by the waves of its history and heritage. The island is scattered with 7000 nuraghi, Bronze Age towers and settlements, tombe dei giganti ('giant's grave' tombs) and domus de janas ('fairy house' tombs). Down every country lane and in every 10-man, 100-sheep hamlet, these remnants of prehistory are waiting to be pieced together like the most puzzling of jigsaw puzzles. Sardinia is also an island of fabulously eccentric festivals, from Barbagia’s carnival parade of ghoulish mamuthones, said to banish winter demons, to the death-defying S’Ardia horse race in Sedilo.
The Costa Smeralda (English: “Esmerald Coast”) is a coastal area in northern Sardinia, 55 km long and covering more than 30 km², with enchanting beaches and a system of villages built according to an extremely detailed urban plan.
The area is a luxurious tourist destination featuring exquisite white sand beaches, Pervero golf club, private jet access in Olbia.
The main towns and villages in the area are Arzachena, Olbia, Porto Cervo. Annually in September, the Sardinia Cup sailing regatta is held off the coast, usually featuring famous boats. Polo matches are held seasonally between April and October at Gershan near Arzachena. The Italian film festival is held in Tavolara and a vintage car rally entertains antique car enthusiasts. Celebrities flock to this region in season and explore the aquamarine waters with chartered boats, docking at these hotels with marina access and congregate in Porto Cervo for a gala celebrations on a grand scale. June and September and October are not as crowded and offer comfortable climates between 72-84°F. Archaeological sites include the Li Muri “Tomba dei Giganti” (Giants’ Grave).
About the beautiful Sardinia
Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Sardinia is a mainly mountainous region, without high peaks, with a vast and charming, yet bittersweet, natural environment. In fact, the presence of man does not seem to affect this territory; great surfaces still preserve their natural composition, luxuriant woods with even millenary trees, small desert areas and marshes inhabited by deer, wild horses and rapacious birds.
The sea reigns over this region with its colours that migrate into the coves, along with the coasts, towards the beaches and the most popular resorts. An example is the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) with Porto Cervo set as its gemstone and uniting the history and culture of ancient traditions with a joyful and colourful nightlife. Porto Cervo was named after its enchanting cove that resembles the antlers of a deer; the Old Port is considered the best-equipped touristic port in the Mediterranean Sea. Porto Rotondo is also a famous location; it overlooks the wide Gulf of Cugnana and is full of villas and piazzas swathed by such a splendid natural environment as this.
Those who prefer the mountains can explore the area of Gennargentu, the vastest mountain range in Sardinia; with its peculiar landscape, it proves that the loveliest painter of them all is Mother Nature herself. This region is rich in flora and fauna, with its mouflons, golden eagles, Sardinian deer and several other species now threatened with extinction.
Among its wonders, Sardinia offers the visitor the Nuragic complexes scattered all over the territory. These monuments are unique to the world, testifying to an ancient culture that - though it endured from the 16th to 15th Centuries B.C. still rains rather mysterious. The Nuragic constructions were built using great blocks of stone and developed around a central cone-shaped tower that communicates strength and power. These are archaeological sites where it is possible to grasp the archaic charm of ancient rituals and domestic life. Of these many constructions, the Barumini complex, in the Province of Cagliari, is among the sites in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
What to see
It is not easy to make a list of all the amazing beauties of Sardinia. Places like San Teodoro, Santa Teresa di Gallura, Poltu Quatu, and Baia Sardinia are only some of the charming locations that deserve a visit.
Visiting the Maddalena Archipelago and its “seven sisters,” the main islands of the archipelago, and sailing along the coast of the Maddalena National Park with its lively seabeds, perfect for scuba-diving lovers, is an incredible experience.
Caprera, the second biggest Island after Maddalena, is full of pastures and pinewoods and shows its visitors the places where Garibaldi lived, with a house museum in the typical Mediterranean vegetation, which guards the memorabilia of the “hero of two worlds,” as well as his and his family’s grave.
Sailing from Caprera to the Bocche di Bonifacio, you will be struck by the beauty of Budelli Island, wild and uninhabited, with its enchanting Rosa beach, a natural masterpiece named for the pink hues of its special corals and shells.
In front of the well-known La Pelosa Beach is the homonymous Tower, a 16th-Century Aragonese structure, one of the oldest sighting towers in Sardinia. On the central-east coast of the island, in the Gulf of Orosei, are extraordinary white-sand beaches, and a wild and savage nature. Many caves and coves are the destinations of tourists who want to discover unparalleled views and sensations; Cala Biriola, Grotta Bue Marino, Cala Liberotto, Cala Goloritzè are some of those natural sceneries where time seems to stand still.
Sardinia combines sea and nature with folk traditions, mysticism and curiosities, like the mysterious giant’s tombs, ancient caves dug out of the ground and scattered around the region, just like the Nuragic constructions and Domus de Janas (or the "House of Witches") in Sulcis Iglesiente. These stone towers are the biggest and best-preserved megalithic monuments in Europe; the most important town with Nuragic traces is Su Nuraxi di Barumini near Cagliari, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In Cagliari, besides admiring the several colonies of flamingos of the lagoon, be sure to witness a few of the traditional festivals and fairs that take place all year-round, like the beautiful Festival of Sant'Efisio, one of the most important religious and folklore events in Sardinia.
What to do
Stintino offers endless possibilities for a leisurely vacation: golfing, boat excursions and scuba diving, relaxing strolls, cycling and horseback riding, as well as exploring the hinterland to admire the typical Mediterranean vegetation or ancient archaeological finds, such as the Nuragic constructions near Porto Torres.
Staying in this area is even more interesting if you watch or take part in the “Regata della Vela Latina” (the Latin Sailboat Regatta), an important international event dedicated to the ancient sport of sailing. Hundreds of traditional sailing boats arrive from all over Italy to race in the crystal-clear sea near Stintino every August. The Vela Latina was the typical Mediterranean sail since the period of the Maritime Republics.
The Maddalena Archipelago, with its windy islands full of natural inlets and picturesque landfalls, is the ideal destination for sailing, but also for horseback riding and mountain biking - they are alternative ways to enjoy the sunset on the beach, as well as natural sceneries amidst thriving cistus and gorse bushes.
It is worth taking a trip to the National Park of Asinara on the homonymous Island, considered to be one of the most charming in the Mediterranean Sea, full of colonies of white donkeys that still live in the wild. There is a wide range of activities to choose from and practice, of course all with respect for Park Norms: from trekking along thematic routes, to cycling, riding horses born and bred on the Island, sailing, guided scuba diving and even partaking in a rubber-tire train tour to admire the most evocative landscapes in the area.
In Gennargentu, an enormous and particularly beautiful mountain range, it is possible to undertake a number of activities, including trekking and excursions to archaeological sites, as well as skiing on the slopes of Bruncu Spina, one of the highest peaks at 1, 829 meters (6, 000 feet), and Mount Spada, with its skiing facilities and restaurants.
Located near one of the most exclusive towns in Costa Smeralda, Hotel Le Ginestre is the perfect choice for couples.
If you are looking for the best beaches in Sardinia with crystal clear water lapping expanses of fine white sand and bustling seaside towns, the Costa Smeralda should be considered your first choice.
Hotel Le Ginestre is situated just minutes away from Porto Cervo, and yet offers a peaceful setting amongst luxuriant gardens combined with fine views towards the Gulf of Pevero. Delightfully decorated throughout, the hotel offers newly refurbished and well-appointed bedrooms, with the emphasis on guest comfort. The hotel has its own private beach, a freshwater swimming pool and a cocktail bar. For the more active guests, there is a choice of water sports and other activities to try on-site. In the evening, the restaurant offers a good selection of typical Sardinian dishes for you to sample as well as international cuisine.
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