Live the high life as you holiday on Sardinia’s glamorous north-east coast.
Olbia is the gateway Costa Smeralda, or the Emerald coast. This 10km strip between the gulfs of Cugnana and Arzachena is the place to see and to be seen this summer. It’s the playground for international jet-setters, filled with luxury holiday villages, an impressive golf course and an exclusive nightlife that’s second to none. Despite all the opulent development, the area remains unspoilt, with no multi-storeys, billboards or graffiti in sight. Sitting only 12km north of Olbia, the area came to life in the 1960s, as the Aga Kahn bought up the land of white sandy beaches and azure blue waters. And today, people still come in search of Italian glitz and glamour. The main centre, Porto Cervo provides ample entertainment, from the main focal point of the yacht marine lined with designer boutiques, to the picturesque sandy shores hidden down any anonymous dirt track and just waiting to be found.
If you fancy time away from all that splendour, why not take a day trip on the trenino verde tourist train out into the island’s mountainous centre. Departing from Arzachena, the small, green steam locomotive dating back to 1886, winds its way through some of the most sparsely populated lands, taking in the magnificent views of cork oak forests as it goes. With a mixture of tunnels, viaducts and hairpin bends, this two-hour journey takes you high up to Tempio Pausania in the Gallura mountains. From here, you can wander the streets of the pretty village, sample the thermal springs, or hop on a bus to the archaeological site of Nuraghe Majori.
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