How to Spend the Perfect Day in Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

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This is the ideal way to spend a day in the Italian Blue Zone.

The results yielded by a quick Internet search of “Sardinia” are about all that’s needed to convince you to hop on a plane and head to this island in the Mediterranean Sea. But what do you do once you get there? Per your expectations, it’ll be a lot of sunbathing, strolling, and sipping local wine––but where?

We’ve put together a guide for the ideal 24 hours on the northeast coast of this Italian island, where natural beauty prevails and the luxury lifestyle thrives. Costa Smeralda, or Emerald Coast, is named for its jewel-toned waters, which pair perfectly with the powdery sands of its beaches and the bright whites of the yachts that cruise them.

With only 24 hours you're not going to want to waste a single minute. Follow along here for the perfect way to spend a day on the northernmost coast of the beautiful island of Sardinia: Porto Cervo.

Courtesy Cala di Volpe

Courtesy Cala di Volpe

8:00 a.m.: It’s mandatory at the Cala di Volpe resort to wake to the melodic songs of birds, the warmth of the sun on your skin, and the smell of a cappuccino made right. People take their time here to enjoy the simple, natural, and beautiful, so don’t miss out on this pastime. At this stunning (and thoroughly Sardinian) classic hotel, excellent room service is complimentary with your stay. So order up the night before and ask to take your breakfast onto your balcony for the perfect al fresco morning.

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10:00 a.m.: If you weren’t able to take your own yacht to the Emerald Coast (possibly from nearby Corsia), rent one for the full Sardinia experience. A beacon of luxury, the coast of Porto Cervo has been hosting some of the world’s most coveted yachts since the 60s. The jet-setting owners of these yachts, including many of today’s Hollywood A-listers, have been coming back decade after decade to this stretch of water for peaceful sailing and yacht appreciation. It’s not a trip to Sardinia without a sumptuous mid-morning on a yacht, fresh bellinis in-hand.

12:00 p.m.: After docking, enjoy Crudo di mare and other seafood dishes in the sun at Restaurant Quattropassi al Pescatore. The scenery is unparalleled and the meal will be light, delicious, and the perfect accompaniment to a bottle of Cannonau di Sardegna, a local red wine from a grape akin to the Grenache.

2:00 p.m.: In the same marina as your lunch spot is some of the best shopping is Sardinia. Major Italian designer labels, from Prada to Vuitton, meet with local and Italian artisan shops to create an ideal afternoon of outdoor shopping. Grab a cone of gelato at the gelateria within the shopping center and wander. If home base is the U.S., you’ll be pleased with the sales tax return on your more luxe items. Just don’t forget to file when you get to the airport!

Courtesy Hotel Romazzino

4:00 p.m.: Head to the Hotel Romazzino, another of the Luxury Collection’s resorts on this side of the island, for some time in the sun. The fine-sand beach on the edge of the Romazzino property frames the resort’s bright white Mediterranean architecture and pairs beautifully with a spritz. The umbrellas with every pair of chairs make napping under the sun safe and relaxing.

6:00 p.m.: Revive at the Clarins Spa My Blend, just inside at the Romazzino, where you can get a completely customizable facial treatment following an in-depth and technology aided consultation on your skin needs. The spa also has luxurious showers and a sauna, so you’re able to completely refresh before dinner.

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8:00 p.m.: The balcony bar at the hotel is this side of the island’s most ideal spot for an aperitif to gear up for the sunset, which happens just before 9 p.m.

Courtesy Cala di Volpe

9:15 p.m.: Time to take the short fifteen-minute ride back to Cala di Volpe, where dinner awaits you at the hotel’s renowned restaurant. There are many reasons why the island is a Blue Zone, but the food (and certainly the Cannonao wine) is one of the most major. With each dish, you’re granted a glimpse into why Sardinians are famous for health, happiness, and longevity.