Water - sports & Sailing
The coast of Sardinia was made for the sailing enthusiast. During the summer months there are boats of all types available for hire, from small-engine motorboats to sailboats or luxury yachts. The main resorts all have facilities, with well equipped marinas on site or nearby.
Surf and surfing hotspots are: Porto Pollo on the Northeast coast, north of Palau, Putzu Idu/Capo Mannu on the Oristano coastline, Costa Verde on the west coast and Chia in the south. Water-sports facilities (windsurfing, sailing, water-skiing, scuba diving and canoes) are generally available in hotels and large resorts for hire.
Sardinia now features a number of protected marine areas and scuba diving in these areas is recommended, particularly Villasimus on the south-east coast, Sinis and Mal di Ventre isle on the west coast and the islands of Tavolara and Molara on the north-east coast.
One of the chief attractions of Sardinia is the wonderful colours of the coastline; every gulf, inlet and bay form a beautiful picture. The sea, rocks and flora all blend into a harmonious combination, to offer a memorable sailing experience. Sailing boats and luxury yachts are available from a number of locations in the island.
Walking & Climbing
Sardinia’s mountainous centre gives an authentic taste of the island’s diversity. Explore the native villages in the Barbagia region, trek around the Gennargentu mountain range, or venture to the vast forests and spectacular canyons. Sardinia provides the perfect terrain for good walks at all levels. Much of the land and mountain slopes are covered in oak cork, macchia scrub, arbutus, strawberry bushes, juniper and myrtle bushes, with the dry areas covered in “India figs” or prickly pear plants. The maquis area, or macchia, often featuring shoulder-high bushes, is sprinkled with a pot-pourri of fragrant herbs, thyme, wild rosemary, mint, sage, myrtle, broom and strawberry trees.
Dramatic cliffs in areas like Cala Gonone or deep gorges in the Oliena area, are ideal challenging locations for climbers.
Sardinia’s inland areas encompass many nature reserves, nurturing a breathtaking array of flora and fauna.
Sardinia features three spectacular, championship golf courses of international reputation:
- Pevero Golf Club on the Costa Smeralda, an 18-hole (par-72) golf course. Designed by Robert Trent Jones and located between the bays of Cala di Volpe and Golfo del Pevero.
- Is Molas Golf Club near Pula, on the south east coast, is a 27-hole (par-72) golf course and enjoys a prime location 8km from the Forte Village.
- Is Arenas Golf Club located north of Oristano, an 18-hole (par-72) golf course. Designed by Von Hagge and set beautifully amongst the pine forest and lush vegetation, it has been named by golf magazines as one of the 20 best new golf courses in Europe; enjoy it now before the masses discover it. Close by is the hotel Is Benas Country Lodge.
There many horse riding stables on the island as riding has a long tradition in Sardinia. Wild herds of small native horses, cavallini della Giara, still roam free on the plateau of Giara di Gesturi and a rare breed of white donkey are found on the island of Asinara. In the forest of Burgos, sardo-anglo-arab horses are bred for racing. Many options are available, from short rides to full day excursions to remote and inaccessible, stunning locations, for novice to more experienced rider. A number of equestrian centres are near to hotels and resorts.
Sardinia is a twitcher’s paradise. Enthusiasts should note that there are ten major locations for bird watching on the island, and a total of more than 50 rare and exotic species, which may be seen on Sardinia throughout the year.
The areas around Cabras and Stagno di Sale Porcus, near Sinis on the mid-west coast, are a magnet for birdwatchers. From the rare European cranes to flamingo, avocet, Elenora’s falcon, purple gallinule, spoonbill, stilt and white-headed duck just to name a few. More numerous are the multitudes of flamingos, which concentrate on the salt ponds to the east and west of Cagliari, around the lagoons of Oristano and near Posada and Porto Corallo on the southeast coast.
Some of the rarest birds to be seen in Sardinia are the Corsican seagull, the Royal seagull and the Tufted cormorant. Among the most spectacular species are the Hooded and Griffon Vultures and the Imperial, or Royal and Bonelli Eagles, which can be seen in the Sopramonte range, Monte Corrasi and Fonni regions, and also Capo Marargiu (near Bosa). The maquis, known as macchia, seethes with sparrows, finches, linnets, fly-catchers, thrushes and partridge.