Situated at the northwestern edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean 475 miles in length and 60 miles wide, The Moorings marina in Cannigione is a prime location for the start of a Sardinia yacht charter. A short sail north is the Maddalena Archipelago National Park and Marine Reserve comprised of seven main islands – Maddalena, Caprera, Santo Stefano, Spargi, Budelli, Razzoli, and Santa Maria. Across the Strait of Bonifacio is Corsica, France, which is sometimes part of a Sardinia sailing vacation. Typically, though, sailors focus on the exquisite cruising in the Maddalena Islands and the bays and harbors of Sardinia’s Emerald Coast, with upscale Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo as the centerpiece. Regardless of the itinerary, a Sardinia yacht charter featuring a fine blend of magnificent sailing, superlative snorkeling, upscale dining, boutique shopping, and intriguing sightseeing in picturesque towns is guaranteed to inspire fond memories for years to come.
A Sardinia sailing vacation on Italy’s Tyrrhenian Sea is a cruise through a Mediterranean paradise. The passages between islands and along the Emerald Coast are mostly short, providing plenty of time to enjoy all the pleasures of sailing as well as for sojourns ashore to explore, sample the local cuisine, and to sit idly with a cocktail at a café to soak in the wonders of Sardinia. Gentle and warm summer winds from the northwest average between 8 and 12 knots, though they are often stronger in the Strait of Bonifacio between Sardinia and Corsica. Land and sea breezes develop daily. In late afternoon, for example, more southerly winds can be expected. Spring and fall sailing is also quite pleasant. The tidal range is just one to two feet and therefore tidal currents are not a concern. A Sardinia yacht charter is well within the reach of sailors who have basic skills in coastal navigation. The beauty and unique character of these waters lures less experienced and veteran sailors alike to return time after time for more adventures. Summer temperatures range between 77°F and 90°F (25°C to 32°C).
A Sardinia sailing vacation unfolds in a wondrous part of the Mediterranean. It’s both wild and imbued with the trappings of the rich and famous, quiet yet boisterous, subdued yet exciting as its seemingly opposite personalities join to create an adventure under sail. A sojourn ashore at the chic and sophisticated resort harbors of Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo on Sardinia’s Emerald Coast ushers sailors into the heart of one of Europe’s most exclusive vacation destinations. Modern marinas and resort amenities are of the first order. The Maddalena Islands reveal the Old World side of Sardinia. The rocky cliffs and craggy heights of the coast, the wind-swept beaches of the islands, the secluded bays and coves, it’s as if the passage of time stopped in the 19th century. This is as a Sardinia yacht charter should be – stimulating and indulging, a balm to the spirit difficult to find anywhere else.
For centuries the rural farms and tiny villages at the northeast end of Sardinia remained a sleepy outpost in Italy’s satellite islands. But all that began to change in the early 1960s when a handful of wealthy entrepreneurs saw the apparent hinterland as a beautiful place to build exclusive resorts. The white-sand beaches, brilliant blue sea, the unusual pink color of the sheer cliffs, the sprinkling of deserted isles home to nothing but graceful seabirds, it all seemed an ideal setting for a wonderful vacation. The businessmen poured ample cash into the development of Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo and the surrounding villas and resorts, hiring some of Europe’s most talented artists to design the public squares, churches, and other structures. The world’s elite fell in love with what is now known as the Emerald Coast, where luxury yachts crowd the harbors and glide over the shimmering sea.
The island of Caprera was once home to Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi, who fought for many years in the 19th century for the creation of a unified and independent Italian kingdom, which ultimately came to pass in 1870 when the formerly separate Papal States were incorporated into a single Italian government. Garibaldi loved the sea and he was particularly fond of Caprera. He built an elegant home adjacent to Garibaldi Bay, which is now a museum. Paintings, war memorabilia, original furnishings, and sundry artifacts are on display, including the boats he used while enjoying leisure time on the island. A visit to Garibaldi’s home will provide insights into a man sometimes referred to as the Italian George Washington. He died on Caprera in 1882.
The Maddalena Archipelago National Park and Marine Reserve was a busy shipping center in Roman times, as far back as 200 B.C. and possibly earlier. Over the centuries wrecks have accumulated in great number, presenting a rich and varied display of ships through the ages. The waters are outstandingly clear and much of the seafloor is covered in white sand interspersed with intriguing granite formations, tunnels, canyons, caves, and steep drop-offs that make ideal habitats for marine life, including the colorful red sea fans so common in the archipelago. Off Caprera’s Galera Point is an abundance of shipwrecks at depths of less than 60 feet that date back to the Roman period. More than 40 dive sites pepper the waters. At least 18 of them are along Caprera’s east coast. Dive centers in nearby Palau offer excursions for all skill levels, a truly memorable way to experience a special facet of a Sardinia sailing vacation.
Shaped roughly like a triangle, the 12-square-mile Maddalena Island is the largest in the marine park, which has more than 700 species of plants, many unique to the area. Interesting and rare creatures also live in the park, like the darling little lizard, gecko emidattilo, and the Hermann tortoise. They are both endemic to the islands. Vast numbers of dolphins come to the surrounding waters to breed, and land and seabirds on the trans-Sahara migratory route use the main islands and 55 islets as a resting and breeding ground. Only three of the islands are inhabited, with much of the limited development isolated to Maddalena. According to UNESCO, the ecosystem of the islands has little changed from the way it was in the 19th century. A Sardinia sailing vacation presents an attractive opportunity to experience a place where Nature is cherished and preserved.
Our 2013 brochures with new destinations
Just south of the high, rugged island of St. Vincent is a…