Provinces of Sardinia

Guide to Property in Sardinia

Sardinia real estate remains very popular with second home buyers. Hardly surprising, as the island has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world: almost 2,000 kilometers of coastline, fine beaches and cliffs. Properties for sale on Sardinia's Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) in the north east of the island are always in demand with property prices around 2,500 Euro per m2.  Inland, and on the western coast, prices drop to around 1,000 to 1,500 per m2. 

Sardinia is a vibrant island that attracts many holiday home buyers because of its climate, natural beauty, history and the myriad of activities that it offers. 

Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean, surrounded by the blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The picturesque landscape consists of mountains, green valleys and a sandy coastline.

Sardinia has been ruled by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Spanish and Savoyards resulting in a rich culture that can be felt throughout the island.

There are also unique archaeological remains dating back thousands of years called "Nuraghi". There are many Nuraghe castles, temples and tombs scattered around the island.

Sardinia is famous for its mountainous, rugged territory. Mountains such as Limbara, Supramonte, Ogliastra, Gennargentu, Iglesiente and Sulcis are characterized by a very different geology from the rest of Italy. Off the coast there are many smaller islands, such as Asinara, the Maddalena group with pink sand beaches, Tavolara, San Pietro and Sant'Antioco.

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Overview of Sardinia

Costa Smeralda

Sardinia has a sandy coastline of 2,000 km and a mountainous, rugged interior. Off the coast many smaller islands, such as Asinara, the Maddalena group, Tavolara, San Pietro and Sant'Antioco.

Costa Smeralda (the emerald coast) is in the north east of Sardinia has some of the best beaches in the world. Famous for its pure emerald green sea, its granite rocks shaped by the wind and sea over the millennia, it's wonderful small beaches and Mediterranean vegetation.

La Maddalena is a town and an island, part of the La Maddalena group off the north eastern shore of Sardinia, between Corsica and Sardinia. La Maddalena is full of beautiful beaches, such as Cala Francese and Basa Trinita', as well as rocky terrain and ancient fortifications.

Cagliari has a large natural park, the Parco dei sette Fradelli that has been protected since 1886. The ruins of the roman amphitheatre and the ruins of Nora are also located at Cagliari.

Art and Culture of Sardinia

Barumini Nuraghe

There are many Nuraghe castles, temples and tombs scattered around the island. The Nuragic monuments are unique, testifying to an ancient culture that - though it endured from the 16th to 15th Centuries B.C.  The Nuragic constructions were built using great blocks of stone and developed around a central cone-shaped tower. Of these many constructions, the Barumini complex, in the Province of Cagliari, is among the sites in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Anghelu Ruju, one of the most important archaeological sites in the Mediterranean, can be found at Sassari. The Anghelu Ruju is a huge area of ancient artificial caves that were used from about 3000 to 1500 BC.

Nearby Alghero lies Neptune’s Grotto, an area full of caves. This site can be reached via boat or by bus. There are about 650 steps leading to the caves.

The remains of the Roman thermal baths can be seen at Oristana  Not far away other lie other archaeological ruins including tombs inside the crypt of St Lussorio’s church.

At Nuoro you can visit the Bue Marino grotto, the Grotto of Ispinigoli and take a ride on an old steam train ‘trenino verde’ passing by limestone peaks and beautiful scenery.

Alghero museum depicts the history of the local vineyards and displays ancient items that were discovered in the vineyards.

Garibaldi's Museum in Caprera The home, the land and tomb of the National Hero.

The island of Caprera, connected to La Maddalena by means of a long bridge, houses the Museo Garibaldino. The buildings, including the famous "Casa Bianca" (White House), are set in a beautiful natural environment and were a home to Giuseppe Garibaldi from 1854 to 1882, when he died.

The Romanesque Church of San Simplicio in Olbia is a medieval jewel.

Towns in Sardinia

Cagliari

Known for its beautiful beaches, including the Poetto Beach with its turquoise waters and the Calamosca Beach which is only a short distance away from the city.

Sassari

One of the oldest towns on the island with a spectacular collection of art.

Olbia

There is an airport and port in Olbia. It is the main connection between Sardinia and the Italian peninsula, with an airport, a passenger port, a railway to Porto Torres and Cagliari, an expressway to Nuoro and Cagliari (SS131) and national roads to Sassari (SS199-E840), Tempio Pausania (SS127), and Palau (SS125).

Santa Maria di Gallura

This town famous for the astounding beauty of the surrounding landscape, with small bays under granite cliffs, crystalline water and white sandy beaches. It rises on a promontory only 11 miles from Corsica, and has beautiful "cale" (small beaches in secluded bays) such as Capotesta, la Marmorata and Cala Spinosa.

Porto Cervo

Named after a cove that resembles the antlers of a deer. The Old Port is considered the best-equipped touristic port in the Mediterranean Sea.

Porto Rotondo

Overlooks the wide Gulf of Cugnana and is full of villas and piazzas to form a splendid environment.

Sports and Leisure in Sardinia

Sailing in Sardinia

A beautiful coastline featuring crystal clear waters rising to lofty mountains in the centre of the island, Sardinia offers endless opportunity to enjoy all kinds of outdoor leisure activities including water sports, hiking and trekking. The pink beaches of  the Maddalena Islands are an amazing!

Costa Smeralda is in the north east of Sardinia has some of the best beaches.

Water sports

Sailing is probably the most favoured pastime in Sardinia owing to the gorgeous waters and numerous ports around the island; small catamarans are available for day trips. Diving is also very popular in Sardinia and there are dive centres in Porto Pollo and Palau, while windsurfing is also taken to extreme. Beginner’s courses and private lessons are available for sailing, diving and windsurfing. Kite surfing is practiced in Sardinia, which is a cross between kiting, surfing, windsurfing and water skiing and schools can be found island-wide.

Trekking and horseback riding

There are some fantastic tracks all over Sardinia, where people of any age can go for a walk and enjoy the scenery. Trails are well marked and visitors can choose from many popular coastal walks to heady mountain treks in the Nuoro area (central Sardinia). The best time for trekking in Sardinia is in the spring, when the heat is less powerful and the flowers are in-bloom. Those into horseback riding will also find many companies offering half-day trail rides and sunset rides. The area of Gennargentu, the vastest mountain range in Sardinia rich in flora and fauna, with its mouflons, golden eagles, Sardinian deer and several other species now threatened with extinction.

Climbing

People have been climbing in Sardinia for years and there are some amazing climbs to be had here owing to the limestone rocks and the spectacular views. Free-climbing (no ropes) is also practiced on the island and there are several quality schools offering training and excursions.

Other sports

Other sports and leisure activities available to visitors include speleology (cave exploration), golfing and biking. There are some fine golf courses here and rates for visitors are fairly reasonable.

Golf

Arzachena-Porto Cervo

Pevero Golf Club

Beautiful green designed in 1972 by Robert Trent Jones, one of the most famous architects.

Eighteen holes, 6175 m, par 72, wide green, 90 sand bunkers.

Surrounded by granite rocks and Mediterranean plants.

Food and Wines of Sardinia

Peppers in Sardinia

Sardinian cuisine is exquisite in its simplicity, made from genuine ingredients it can be divided into two distinct types:

Mountain cuisine, essentially based on products from the land, characterised by roasted meats (wild animals, game and suckling pigs), bread, cheese, cold meats and honey.

Coastal cuisine, essentially based on fish, characterised by a vast selection of fresh fish and seafood, including the most prestigious fish dishes. Every region in Sardinia has its own fish specialties and even those visitors with the most demanding palates will be spoilt for choice. Vermentino di Gallura White wine, very good served cold, ideal with fish.

The mild climate, the limestone terrain, the sea air and the wind contribute to make wines which are considered among the best in the world, noted for their fragrance, strength and smoothness. Wine making is an ancient tradition on the island and modern technology has been skillfully combined with the wisdom of generations of wine makers to produce prestigious wines for all palates and dishes.

The fragrances and the colours blend together to reflect the un spoilt nature of this land and its people. Among the most important wines: Cannonau, Carignano del Sulcis, Monica, Nuragus, Vermentino, Malvasia and Vernaccia.

History of Sardinia

Inhabited since very early pre-historic times - the earliest trace of man on the island goes back to 150,000 years ago. Nuraghe castles, temples and tombs scattered around the island. The Nuragic monuments are unique, testifying to an ancient culture that - though it endured from the 16th to 15th Centuries B.C.  The Nuragic constructions were built using great blocks of stone and developed around a central cone-shaped tower. 

in the 9th century BC the island was occupied by the Phoenicians, later on by Cartage and, after this city was defeated and destroyed in the Third Punic War, by Rome, and under the Roman Empire enjoyed a remarkable prosperity. Raided by the Vandals in 456 AD, it was later reclaimed by the Eastern Roman Empire. After that, for many centuries Sardinia suffered raids by the Saracens from Spain, Africa and Sicily.

In the 12th century, under the influence of the republic of Pisa, the island was divided into four local districts - Gallura, Logudoro, Arborea, and Caralis.

After the merge of the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, Sardinia was incorporated into the newly created national entity, Spain. Sardinians were regularly employed on the royal Spanish fleet and on October 7, 1571, at the Battle of Lepanto, Sardinian mariners led the defeat of the Turkish fleet. On 2 September 1720 Sardinia passed to Vittorio Amedeo II Savoy. That was the beginning of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which in the following century would become the Kingdom of Italy.

Geography of Sardinia

Surface of 24,090 square kilometers 

Coastline extending over 2,000 km

Population of over 1,656,000

Provinces 

Cagliari (regional capital), Carbonia-Iglesias, Nuoro, Olbia-Tempio, Oristano, Medio Campidano, Sassari and Ogliastra.

Getting To Sardinia

Airports

The three main airports at Sardinia are located in Cagliari, Olbia and Alghero. These airports handle both domestic and international flights from major European cities. Passengers travelling from Asia or North America will have to get connecting flights from Rome, Naples or Milan. Bus and taxi services serve all three airports.

Sea

The cheapest and probably the most convenient way of getting to the island of Sardinia is by ferry.

Sardinia has four main ports situated in Cagliari, Olbia, Porto Torres and Arbatax. Several ferry companies operate services between many domestic ports and also international ports to the island’s ports.  There are slow, fast, overnight and also ferry car services travelling between Palermo, Naples and Civitavecchia to Cagliari. There are also services from Genoa to Olbia and Porto Torres.

Getting about on Sardinia

Traveling by car gives the most freedom and is the fastest option, yet train travel is also good despite being a bit slower, and the rail network covers most of the island. The tourist train, known as the Trenino Verde, covers the whole island and is perhaps the best way to travel for solo travellers. Buses also cover Sardinia, but are not as favourable as train travel, as many changes may be needed in order to reach your destination

Climate

Sardinia enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and a mild and humid cold season. Generally, the farther north you go, the more rainfall there is likely going to be, particularly in the northwest of the island, while the southern region is much dryer. Year-round temperatures are mild and average between 15°C and 20°C.

Summer

The weather in spring and summer in Sardinia is hot and dry, with winds coming in from northern Africa. Temperatures are far more comfortable in the springtime, whereas summer temperatures hover around 30°C and 35°C, and are sometimes as high as 40°C in July and August.

Cold season

The winter cold season features mild winds from the northwest and average temperatures of 10°C around the coastline and as low as 0°C in the mountains. The cold season months of November and December also see the year’s highest rainfall, while snowfall in the mountains during this time of year is common.

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