Campidano is a fertile plain in the southwestern part of the island. Livestock raising and the cultivation of grains, olives, grapes, and tobacco are significant. In addition fishing, the mining of lead, zinc, and copper, and processing industries are also important economic activities.
More recently a significant tourist trade has been developed. The capital of Sardinia is Cagliari. Sardinia was conquered by Rome in 238 BC, after the fall of the Roman Empire Sardinia was overrun by first the Vandals and then the Byzantines. From the 11th to the 14th century, the Genoese and Pisans battled each other for control of the island.
The Spanish ruled Sardinia until the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which ceded the island to Austria. In 1720 it became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and came under the rule of the house of Savoy. When the Kingdom of Italy was created in 1861 the Kingdom of Sardinia came to an end. There are airports at Alghero, Olbia and Cagliari making for easy access to your chartered yacht.
Alghero is used by the budget airline Ryanair so low cost flights are available to and from the UK. The yacht charter season in Sardinia generally runs from April to the end of October. High season is July and August, when the temperatures (around 35ºC) and prices are at their highest. May and June, September and October are well worth considering. Prices are lower, the temperature more comfortable and for those wanting to sail rather than motor round Sardinia the winds are likely to be more suitable.
This article will now take a look at individual locations likely to be of interest to those chartering a yacht on Sardinia. Starting at Algehero on the northwestern coast and moving round the island in a clockwise direction. Alghero is an old fishing town that has recently seen significant tourist development. However the old town dates back to the 12th century and is well worth exploring.
There are a number of churches and historical places of interest to visit. Consider a guided excursion to make sure you do not miss anything. Close to Alghero is Porto Conte with its natural wildlife reserve that spreads along the coast. It can be reached either by land or by boat excursion. Alghero is a Catalan town and although today most of the cuisine available is Italian there are still a few Catalan influences to be found. Paella Algherese or Catalan lobster, which is served cold with tomato and onion.
Sardinian specialities include roast suckling pig or Seadas, a pastry filled with Goats cheese and then dribbled with honey. Yachts can berth in the marina that is situated in the main harbour. Extended information on the marina can be found here Stintino is a charming old fishing village stretched over two inlets with two harbours, Minori and the more modern Mannu, Sardinian for small and large respectively.
There is an interesting museum, located at the new harbour, telling the storey of tuna fishing through the ages. The local beaches are renowned and La Pelosa Beach is amongst the most beautiful beaches on Sardinia. La Pelosetta, Le Saline, and Ezzi Mannu are all worth a visit. Time your charter to coincide with one of Stintino's festivals; the Rural Festival of Saint Isidoro in May, June sees the Tuna Festival, the village hosts the Latin Sail Regatta in late August and the Patron celebrations in honour of the Blessed Mary of Defence take place in September. The island of Asinara lies of the of the NW coast of Sardinia.
The western side is made up of steep rocky slopes with many landslides, ravines and crevices. In contrast on the eastern side you will find wide bays and many beaches. Asinara is known for its rich wildlife of which some species are both rare and endangered. Marina di Porto Torres lies on the NW coast of Sardinia.
The marina is the heart of the civic harbour in Porto Torres and overlooks the gulf of Asinara. More information on this marina can be found here. Santa Teresa Gallura lies on the northern coast of Sardinia. There are lovely beaches nearby backed by the rounded rocks of the Gallura region. A ferry runs from the harbour to the French island of Corsica.
Or take the yacht across the Straits of Bonifacio to Corsica and visits both the town of Bonifacio and Porto-Vecchio a little further to the NE can easily be included in your charter. The Straits of Bonifacio, the narrow stretch of water separating Sardinia and Corsica, has many smaller islands. These form the Archipelago of La Maddalena, made up of various forms of granite that over the years have taken on fantastic shapes.
This is a stunning piece of nature. Those islands in the west include; Budelli, Barrettini, Barrettinelli, Corcelli, La Presa, Paduleddi, Razzoli, Santa Maria, Spargi, Spargiottello and Spargiotto. And further to the east; Cappuccini, Caprera Monaci, Chiesa, Delle Bisce, Della Paura, La Maddalena, Pecora, Porco, Santo Stefano and Sperduti di Caprera.
La Maddalena is the largest of the islands. The town La Maddalena lies on the south coast. Linked to it is the smaller island of Caprera.
On the southern coast is the attractive Porto Palma. Caprera is best known as the home of Italian nationalist leader Giuseppe Garibaldi who lived on Caprera Island from 1856 until his death on the 2nd June 1882. His residence and tomb are often visited national monuments. Cannigione lies on the west shore of the gulf of Arzachena and is a natural harbour. It was originally a fishing village and is today a popular holiday destination. In the port is a well equipped marina.
The island of Tavolara lies of the NE coast of Sardinia. On the south coast there is a small harbour at Spalmatore di Terra. Some of the island is inaccessible due to military restriction in place.
Just south of Tavolara, lies another island Molara. Here you can see mouflons, rare wild goats, found only in Sardinia and large flocks of Cormorants. Both islands have good beaches and are popular diving locations. Porto Cervo on the NE coast of Sardinia has a marina, see here for extended information. Yachts can also anchor in the bay. The town lies in the heart of the Emerald Coast, home to the rich and famous during the summer season.
As you would expect there are numerous bars and restaurants and a busy nightlife. Inland you can visit the Giants Tombs of Coddu Vecchju at Capichera and La Prisciona, a typical Sardinian prehistoric construction of circular shape constructed with dry stonewalls. Other sites in the area include the Giants Tombs of Li Lolghi, the small temple of Malchittu and the funeral circles of Li. There is a marina at Porto Rotondo with some 630 berths. It lies on the NE coast of Sardinia and is safe to enter in all winds.
Extended information can be found here. Olbia, situated on the east coast of Sardinia, has a marina. More information can be found here Marina di Arbatax lies on the eastern coast of Sardinia.
It has over 500 berths and is sae to enter in all winds. More detailed information can be found here. The harbour faces the 16m high Scogli Rossi or red rocks. Slightly inland from Arbatax is Tortoĺ.
Back in 1995 the streets and the piazzas of Tortoĺ started to exhibit works of contemporary art by Italian and foreign artists. Much of the town now feels an open air gallery. The area is well known for Bottarga, dried grey mullet eggs, and Cannonau, the local wine. Just to the north of Arbatax is Baunei, set on the slopes of Mount Santo.
The area is rich in prehistoric remains including the cave of Su Marinaiu where there is evidence of the first human presence in Sardinia. In the Golgo valley there are many nuragic monuments. Also in the area are the karst caves including the Su Meraculu Grotto and the Cave of the Fig, the latter is home to a flock of monk seals. Villasimius, lies on the south coast of Sardinia, to the east of Cagliaria. A modern marina lies close to the town. The town is surrounded by mountains and is indeed very picturesque.
Its lively nightlife makes the place popular with the young. Cagliari, on the south coast of Sardinia, is the island's capital. Following the founding of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 Cagliari saw rapid growth. Castello, the old part of the city, lies on top of a hill, with a wonderful view of the Gulf of Cagliari.
Most of the original city walls are intact, and feature two 13th century white limestone towers, the Elephant tower and St. Pancras tower. The city walls and many buildings are also constructed from the locally quarried limestone.
In Castello you can visit the Cathedral, repaired during the 1930's. The palace of the Provincial Government is near the Cathedral. The Sardinian Archaeological Museum houses an important collection of artefacts from the prehistoric Nuragic civilisation of Sardinia. Marina, Stampace and Villanova are early districts of the town and retain much of their original charm. Evidence of Roman occupation can be seen at the Roman Amphitheatre.
It is unique in as much that it was carved into the limestone on which Cagliari itself was built. Nearby are mountain parks, such as Maidopis or Monte Arcosu, heavily forested with abundant wildlife, Sardinian deers and wild boars. If you wish to obtain a feel for Cagliari prior to your yacht charter read one of the novels by Sergio Atzeni who has based many books on life in the city both modern and ancient. There is a marina at Cagliari. It is safe to enter in all winds and more detailed information can be found here. On the south coast of Sardinia lies the deep Gulf of Teulada with its bays and coves.
The wide bay is set between Capo Malfatano and Capo Teulada; these capes mark the most southern point of Sardinia. Although much of the area is under the restrictions of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) this has in part kept the area unspoilt and free from tourist development. Porto Zafferano for instance can only be accessed by boat and has some of the highest white sand dunes in Sardinia. Teulada is a small village a few km inland.
Today it is a tourist centre, there are shops selling locally hand made jewellery worn traditionally by the local women together with a wide brimmed felt hat with its clear Spanish influence. The village is also well known for its food; roast meats, suckling pig and suckling goat spit roasted on the fire and flavoured with the many local herbs that can be found. And don't miss the tomato focaccia that is baked daily.
It is a folded over focaccia filled with roasted cherry tomatoes, baked together it is one of never forgotten. Buggerru lies on the western coast. It has a small harbour and good beach set between two impressive rocky promontories.
The surrounding mountains are littered with historical ruins, relics of the mining of precious minerals such as the black obsidian that was exported all over Europe. The now defunct mines have left attractive caves and tunnels that have been turned into tourist attractions. The Henry Tunnel well worth a visit for the magnificent views of the bay. Bosa lies to the south of Alghero on the west coast. It is a set on the Temo river valley, a short distance from the sea and is overlooked by the Serravalle Castle. The town is set on the slopes between the castle and river and is particularly charming.
The river and sea have always played an important role in the life of Bosa and on August 15th every year there is a procession of boats honouring Our Lady the Protector of the Sea, with a carried on a boat statue of the Virgin accompanied by singing.
Ken Jones runs a Crewed Yacht Charter Guide Follow this link for info on Sardinia Yacht Charters And this link for info on Mediterranean Yacht Charters