Costa Smeralda (Italian for “Emerald Coast”) is a coastal area in Northern Sardinia, 55 km (34.65 miles) in length, covered in more than 30 Sq.km of enchanting beaches. Along the coast is a systematically developed group of villages, built according to an extremely detailed urban plan. Development began in 1961, and was financed by a consortium of companies. The president of the consortium and representative figure was Prince Karim Aga Khan. Famous architects involved in the project included Busiri-Vici, Jacques Couëlle, Savin Couëlle, and Vietti. Costa Smeralda is widely known as a luxurious tourist destination due to its exquisite white sand beaches, Pevero golf club, private jet access in Olbia, and helicopter service.
The main towns and villages in the area are Arzachena, Olbia, Porto Cervo, Liscia di Vacca, Capriccioli and Romazzino. Every September brings the annual “Sardinia Cup” sailing regata, which is held off the coast, usually featuring famous boats from all over the world. 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. Archaeological sites include the Li Muri “Tomba dei Giganti” (Giants’ Grave). Located closer to Africa than Italy, Sardinia’s turquoise sea and white sandy beaches rival the tropics.
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