Published on 26 january 2009 at 0h00
A country of tales and legends, Sardinia has remained independent and isolated for a long time. This certainly explains its strong characteristics, its original culture and its superb, very well-protected scenery... Sardinia is above all visited to discover an authentic island, a few miles south of Corsica. The second biggest island in the Mediterranean (after Sicily) really deserves more than just a detour along its 1,850 km of coastline.
The Sardinians are above all shepherds, who throughout history have defended themselves against numerous attempts at annexation... Proud and warrior-like, protected by the sea, the inhabitants of Sardinia have preserved their island, which nowadays allows you to discover a natural heritage which is quite simply exceptional in the Mediterranean.
And what can we say about the beaches on this gigantic island? With 1,850 km of coastline, some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean (and thus the world!) can be found here. All this less than two hours’ flight away from the big European capitals , and less than 10 miles from Corsica (Bouches de Bonifacio)… Crystal clear waters full of fish, around the coasts, are a delight for diving, either with mask and snorkel or bottles, and there are more than enough anchorages to keep you happy. Especially as even in August, the high season, the number of boats remains quite reasonable. You will often be alone at anchor!
But, as superb as they are, Sardinia is not limited to just its coasts. The interior of the island is also worth a few excursions. The heart of the island is mountainous, a sublime rocky accumulation bordered with maquis which appears to be placed on the sea. Then there are the forests in the interior, with their hundred-year-old green oaks and thousand-year-old olive trees. Part of Sardinia’s history is told by these trees, the rest by the archaeological ruins, the Romanesque churches and the half-religious, half-pagan festivals. In Sardinia, culture is not just an empty word, and it will take several visits for you to begin to understand its real meaning...
So, does Sardinia appeal to you? It is one of the rare islands where you can discover untouched nature, a far cry from what its Mediterranean neighbours offer. To be discovered from Sardinia, Corsica or even from Italy or France, so as to enjoy, in addition, a good sail...
Here again, it is difficult to draw up a typical itinerary, especially as the north of Sardinia will often be coupled with the south of Corsica.
In any case, here are a few places not to miss, according to Absolute Yacht, whose Porto Vecchio (Corsica) base allows you to get to Sardinia easily...
Budelli island: Spiaggia Rossa
Caprera island : Cala Coticcio
Spargi island : Cala Corsa
Maddalena island : Cala Galetta, the market on the piazza Garibaldi
La Scogliere Porto-Massimo (La Maddalena)
Cala di Volpe, Porto-Cervo, Porto-Rotondo for its class…
Tavolara island for the show!
Cala Spalmatore : Caprera
Centro Velico di Caprera, which is an excellent shelter…
Situated less than 10 miles from Corsica (100 miles from mainland France), and 50 miles from Italy, Sardinia is an ideal cruising destination in the Mediterranean basin. Offshore sailors can therefore leave without problems from one of the ports situated on the French mainland, where certain charter companies offer multihulls and often the possibility of one-way charter, where the boat is left in Sardinia after your holidays, thus avoiding the return passage. The other solution consists in going directly to either Corsica or Sardinia by air or by ferry. Once there, several local charter companies offer an attractive choice of multihulls... Happy cruising!
: We are in Europe, so there are no formalities for Europeans; a valid passport for North Americans.
: There are no compulsory vaccinations, and the health service is good.
: From April to October, the weather is good and dry, and even very hot in summer. This is the best period for cruising in Sardinia. But the winter remains quite pleasant, with temperatures which can reach over 20°C during the day. Beware, however, of gales. The Mediterranean can be dangerous and does not always give a warning of its coming furies. It is essential to follow the weather forecasts closely.
: Charts, buoyage and weather forecasts are well-perfected. Cruising in Sardinia does not pose any major problems.
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