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Indians Still Don't Know About Italy's Secret Coast With Creamy Blue Sea And Pristine White Sand   


Tripoto.com
Duration: 7 Days
Expenditure 66000

Madam, yeh jagah toh main pehli baar dekh rahaan hoon” exclaims the security guard at the entrance of IGI Airport. This is because for most Indians, the idea of a vacation to Italy is linked to Rome, Milan, Venice or Florence. If you’re looking for a brilliant Italian break without the noise and stress of the mainland, we have the perfect destination for you.

Sardinia or Sardegna (Italian) is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and an autonomous region of Italy. It holds the title of one of Europe’s most geologically ancient bodies and is populated in various waves of immigration from prehistory to recent times. This is an island of coastal drives, millions of sheep and wild interiors. Believe the hype when they say Sardinia has dreamy & dazzling beaches – Yes, the sand really is that white & the sea is the creamiest blue. Sardinia was love at first sight for me. The coastal trails to explore are numerous; the hidden bays to kayak to are countless and the mountains to climb are right there for you to conquer. It is quite the deceptive island as it looks small on paper but once unraveled is definitely on the larger size.

Sardinia has its own language, tradition, culture, cuisine and history and hence Sardinians are very proud of their island, just like they should be. The island regularly tops polls of the world’s best beaches and is often compared to the Caribbean as their land holds snow-white shores and bluer-than-blue seas. It prides on superb diving spots and is home to a host of Roman ruins.

Photos of Sardinia, Italy 1/1 by Sonali Thapar

Cagliari - Sardinia's biggest city

Towards the southern tip and nestled in its curved bay is Sardinia’s capital and largest city – Cagliari. Besides flying in, the rich and famous drive their cars straight onto ships that dock at the sea harbor. It is quite the Italian city as Vespas whiz down the streets and locals hang out at cafes tucked around the Seafront Marina District. Sunset is best viewed at the open piazzas as one can watch the sky change color over the city. As you wander around, you see the city’s rich history defined in Roman ruins, museums and churches. Cagliari has a very cosmopolitan feel with the fancy shopping streets adorned with Italians holiday dwellers along with their pet pooches. Besides being an economic and industrial hub, it is home to one of the biggest ports in the Mediterranean Sea. Remember, there are hardly any cabs on the island so one should ideally rent a car to get around the city.

Photos of Cagliari, Province of Cagliari, Italy 1/2 by Sonali Thapar
Photos of Cagliari, Province of Cagliari, Italy 2/2 by Sonali Thapar

Villasimius - The Charming Coast

The Villasimius coastline is the most scenic in Sardinia with its white sands and great natural heritage. Some on Sardinia’s most sensational beach locations are found in this vicinity. Its crystal clear water and shiny sands make it a rare find. Unwind at a local shack by the beach as you sip cool cocktails overlooking the yachts parked in the distance (as you wish for one!). This gloriously long stretch of pristine sands is the perfect venue for those wanting to catch their summer tan lines. Beach-hop to the next one if you feel the crowd growing, as Villasimius is definitely one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sardinia.

Photos of Villasimius, Province of Cagliari, Italy 1/6 by Sonali Thapar
Photos of Villasimius, Province of Cagliari, Italy 2/6 by Sonali Thapar
Photos of Villasimius, Province of Cagliari, Italy 3/6 by Sonali Thapar
Photos of Villasimius, Province of Cagliari, Italy 4/6 by Sonali Thapar
Photos of Villasimius, Province of Cagliari, Italy 5/6 by Sonali Thapar
Photos of Villasimius, Province of Cagliari, Italy 6/6 by Sonali Thapar

Nora - The Heritage Site

Nora is an ancient Roman and pre-Roman town on the peninsula near Pula, neighbouring Cagliari, which was previously occupied by a village of indigenous Sardinians. After the conquest of Carthage, Nora flourished as it was the first stop on the sea route from Carthage to Cagliari. The southern part of Sardinia is now sinking into the Mediterranean Sea and hence a substantial part of the former town is now submerged. The ruins of Nora are an open-air museum with guided tours that explain the entire history of the city starting at five Euros. If you love the ancient world and appreciate heritage, the ancient city of Nora is worth visiting. Considered on of the oldest towns of Sardinia, the archaeological site enjoys a scenic location on the sea front and is breathtakingly beautiful.

Photos of Nora, Province of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy 1/4 by Sonali Thapar
Photos of Nora, Province of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy 2/4 by Sonali Thapar
Photos of Nora, Province of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy 3/4 by Sonali Thapar
Photos of Nora, Province of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy 4/4 by Sonali Thapar

The Yacht Club - An Italian Billionaire Favourite

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda was established by Aga Khan is 1967. It is located at Porto Cervo in northern Sardinia and provides recreational sailors with a ton of services. Although the clubs history has been shorter than most significant European yacht clubs, in its short existence it has become an influential force in both sailing races as well as in the organization of major yachting events. The club overlooks the azure waters of the harbour and is capable of hosting some of the largest private sail and motor yachts in Europe. It often caters to the appetites of their billionaire members. The rocky section of the Sardinian coastline has a spectacular view and is complimented by the high-end luxury hotels all around. One can rent a sailing yacht for the day starting from 500 Euros and the guide will teach you how to flip the sails!

Photos of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Via della Marina, Arzachena, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Italy 1/3 by Sonali Thapar
Photos of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Via della Marina, Arzachena, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Italy 2/3 by Sonali Thapar
Photos of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Via della Marina, Arzachena, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Italy 3/3 by Sonali Thapar

How To Get There?

Looking for something different this summer? You may have found the ideal trip. From India, catch a flight to Rome via Abu Dhabi or Dubai and take a connecting short flight to Sardinia. Flying Alitalia the whole way is highly recommended. A return flight costs around Rs. 45,000 if your a planned traveller and book it well in advance. Happy Beach to you!

Visa

Apply to the Italian Embassy based out of VFS, Connaught Place, New Delhi. They will ask for certain documents like Income Tax returns, flight & hotel bookings and require your biometrics. The Embassy takes about 7 days to process the application and will grant a visa for the duration of your trip. The Italian Embassy is quite efficient and promotes tourism hence acceptance of the visa isn't normally an issue.

Hotels & Transport

I'd recommend booking an Airbnb apartment for your time in Cagliari as its cost effective. However, if you're looking for something more luxurious, The Sardegna Hotel is a great option in the centre of the city. Remember, there are hardly any cabs on the island as most wealthy Italians drive on and off large boats that ferry them to the island. One must rent a car from the airport as thats the best way to get around the city. Prices can be compared here - don't forget your international drivers license!

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