La Costa Smeralda (The Emerald Coast)

The Emerald Coast covers about twenty kilometers of coastline and it’s characterized by numerous bays, beaches and numerous small islands, including the archipelago of La Maddalena. The area was mostly uninhabited until the first half of the 20th century. In 1962 the Consorzio Costa Smeralda was born by Prince Karim Aga Khan. Soon the area became a place of choice for international celebrities, with famous clubs.

The heart of the Costa Smeralda is Porto Cervo and the areas of Ramazzino, Capriccioli, Cala di Volpe, Golfo Pevero, Pantogia and Liscia di Vacca. Near Porto Cervo and Cala di Volpe, although not formally on the Costa Smeralda, Poltu Quatu, Baja Sardinia, Cannigione and Porto Rotondo are now included, both for proximity and for a similar tourist offer.

Historic landmark is the Stella Maris church in Porto Cervo, built in the sixties by the architect Michele Busiri Vici with a style that perfectly adapts to the surrounding architecture. The Stella Maris church has a panoramic view that stretches across the harbor bay on one side and Mount Moro on the other.

In the waters of the Costa Smeralda there is the international research center Dolphin Research Institute (BDRI) based in Golfo Aranci that carries out its research, conservation and environmental education of dolphins.

The area is served, taking into account the considerable tourist traffic, from the nearby Olbia-Costa Smeralda airport, to which it gives its name.

In 2012 the Consorzio Costa Smeralda controlled by Tom Barrack goes to Qatar’s emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who manages Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund for a total of 750 million euros.