About one of the most "glamorous" and expensive marinas in Sardinia, about the Perini Navi Cup regatta and one of the most luxurious and elegant sailing ships in the world, as well as what food is banned in the whole world in Sardinia.
Sardinia by yacht: Costa Smeralda
Sardinia - an island in the Mediterranean Sea, located west of the Apennine Peninsula between Sicily and Corsica, is the second largest island in the Mediterranean. It is part of Italy as an autonomous region and is considered the most environmentally friendly part of it. Sardinia conquers with its incredible beauty of virgin nature.
Already from the airplane window, this island conquered me with its incredible beauty: magnificent beaches with white sand and the sea, changing its color in the palette from emerald to dark blue, green hills and snowy mountain peaks. I could not wait to be back on the yacht, breathe deeply the brackish sea air, feel the wind, raise the sails and take the helm again.
We landed at the airport of the city Olbia... The airport building looked more like a shopping center with its own shops for clothes and souvenirs, cafes and even dentistry. And immediately we got to the local food fair, where hospitable producers treated everyone to cheese, wine and bread.
In general, you can talk about the cuisine of Sardinia for hours. Like any other region of Italy, the island has its own culinary traditions and dishes. Only here they bake thin and crunchy bread - carasau, which was originally intended for shepherds and was prepared in such a way that it could be stored for a long time without losing its quality. You can taste this bread in almost any cafe with different fillings.
For the first courses, they prepare pasta from local flour. One of the most famous types of pasta is malloreddus, in the preparation of which saffron is added to the flour.
For the second course, a suckling pig (porkedda arrustiu) is fried over an open fire and a kid with myrtle and rosemary is roasted on a skewer. Tuna, eel, gilthead, and lavrak are prepared from fish.
It is hard not to notice that another staple food of the sardines is sheep cheese. The most famous Sardinian cheeses are Piccorino, Podda and Ricotta, and only in Sardinia they prepare the "rotten cheese" banned throughout the world Kasu Marz... It is a local sheep cheese that contains insect larvae. Of course, you will not find this cheese on the free market, but if you really want to try this delicacy, you can still negotiate with the locals.
Olbia Airport Fair
Still, the cuisine of Sardinia has been influenced by both Italy and Spain. Therefore, here you can easily find all the traditional Italian dishes: a variety of snacks, pizzas, pastas, a variety of meat and fish dishes.
Lovers of sweets will also have something to try. Most of the sweets are made exclusively from local products. Therefore, almost every recipe contains almonds, citrus fruits, ricotta cheese and a variety of Sardinian honey: citrus, chestnut and strawberry tree.
And the wine…. ... Locals themselves cannot say when winemaking began on the island, but there is an assumption that wine was made on the island as early as 157 centuries BC. There is one wine category on the island DOCG (the highest category in the classification of Italian wines, guaranteeing the geographical origin and the method of wine production). This is white wine "Vermentino di Gallura". And also 19 wines that have the status DOC (protection of the geographic place of origin). Besides wines, Sardinia is known for its myrtle liqueur and spirits. Filu e ferru.
Of course, it is impossible to get around Sardinia in a week of yacht charter, so we decided to explore the most popular tourist area of the island, the northeast coast. Costa Smeralda... Costa Smeralda in Italian means Emerald coast... It is here that there is the highest concentration of yacht clubs and ports per square kilometer in the world.
Marina di Portisco
By the way, back in the early 1950s, the area was almost uninhabited until the 22-year-old prince visited it. Karim Agahan IV, who was struck by the virgin beauty of the island. And in 1962, together with his friends the financiers, he organized a consortium called Costa Smeralda and decided to give these territories a tourist development. An important condition for the construction was the observance of strict rules, thanks to which the pristine landscape of the coastal Sardinia remained intact and has survived to this day.
I would like to say right away that all the marinas we visited had a full range of services: water, electricity, toilets and showers, gas stations, repair shops and a service for the collection of various waste from yachts, but the promised Internet service is nowhere to be found got.
We took a one-hull yacht for charter from the company Suncharter, whose base was in the northeastern part of the island in the bay Cugnana Marina di Portisco... It is a very picturesque, cozy and comfortable marina with a good selection of restaurants serving fish, pasta and other local cuisine, shops and bars. Some cafes on the waterfront open early, at 7.00 am, where you can have a good breakfast or just have a cup of aromatic coffee with a fresh croissant. It is important to know that if you decide to return to this marina during the charter, you will have to pay 170 euros for parking, such are the conditions of the charter company Suncharter.
Approach to the delivery of boats at Suncharter turned out to be too "German". The entrance to the office was carried out strictly according to the posted schedule, where the names of the boat and skipper are indicated every minute.
German clients stayed in the office for two hours, the reason for this was the huge amount of documents that needed to be signed, and they carefully read everything. We were handed a contract in German on 5 pages, and given a copy in English, offering to read the contract in English and sign the German version (very funny). But that's not all: in the English version, the name of another boat appeared, and then 3 more sheets were issued with all sorts of warnings. Of course, it would be better to get it all in advance, before departure.
Nobody bothered themselves with instructions on the delivery of the yacht. We were simply given an inventory sheet for 200 items and sent to the boat. The check was like a kid's quest, but our team did it. Andrea's manager came and, surprised that we coped so quickly, gave us a few more sheets to sign, and when asked about the problematic chartplotter, he advised us to just restart it :).
No matter how hard we tried to take the boat to the supermarket, we didn’t have time, so we had to postpone the exit to Sunday, after purchasing all the provisions.
On Sunday, waking up early enough and having a quick breakfast, we left the marina and set sail.
Moving away from Marina di Portisco for a couple of miles, we saw the familiar silhouette of the masts. This is famous Maltese Falconwho arrived at the regatta Perini Navi Cup 2013... The largest and most beautiful sailing ship in the world, 88 m long, is the winner of the 2011 regatta. The female half of the team, having learned that this is a famous boat with unusual sailing equipment, did not miss the opportunity to pose and take pictures against the background of the sailing ship.
Yachts from the Perini Navi shipyard in Porto Cervo
Famous Maltese Falcon
Raising the sails, we went to the bay, where we planned to anchor for the night. With many sheltered coves and small islets, Sardinia is the perfect place for a relaxing family holiday, while those looking to settle down just need to go out to sea to catch a steady wind.
It is worth noting that forecasts for Sardinia are not very accurate, so our plans to spend the night in the Bay of Rotondo were not destined to come true. The promised northeast wind of 20 knots in the forecast turned into a head northwest wind of 30 knots. Not a trace remained of the joy of the wonderful sailing, and the girls confidently and persistently demanded mooring. The wind continued to intensify, and, not wanting to risk it, we stood near Marina di Portisco in the marina Cala dei sardi.
Marina Cala dei Sardi
Parking costs 92 euros. The marina is under construction, but there is water, electricity, shower and toilet. The Marina accepts yachts from 6 to 60 m with a maximum draft of 6.8 m. It can also be used as a fallback if there are no seats in Marina di Portisco. We spent the rest of the day on the pontoon beach, basking in the sun in anticipation of a traditional dinner: spaghetti with parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes in olive oil and a glass of local white wine.
The next day, early in the morning, we gave up the mooring lines and headed for the archipelago. La maddalena... This archipelago, more recently, was declared a national park for the protection of flora and fauna. It consists of many islets and is recognized as one of the most enchanting places in the world due to its special geographic location. It should be noted that the water area of the archipelago is one of the ten most beautiful diving spots in Italy.
260 magnificent beaches with clear waters and soft sands are at your disposal, the most famous of which are Pink beach (La Spiaggia Rosa) on Budelli, Cala Coticciu and Relitto beaches on Caprera and Cala Corsara and Cala Granara on Spargi.
But it is important to remember that the shores of the archipelago are rocky, and you need to be very careful in coastal navigation.
Having bathed a lot and warmed up in the sun, we headed to one of the most beautiful and cozy marinas Marina di Porto Massimo.
Marina di Porto Massimo
Parking costs 153 euros. The Marina has 136 seats with a maximum length of 50 m and a draft of 8 m. There is water, electricity, laundry, shops, cafes and restaurants, car rental and a repair shop. Cozy, sheltered marina with a lovely little beach and free sun loungers.
Prices in Porto Massimo are quite high
Cozy Porto Massimo in the north of the La Maddalena archipelago
Huge scarlet bushes at every step
From Italy to France. From Sardinia to Corsica.
We crossed the strait Bonifacioseparating the two islands. Marina Bonifacio (parking cost 74 euros) is well protected and surrounded by sheer limestone cliffs. City of Bonifacio the most picturesque city Corsica with a special architectural style and its own rhythm of life.
From Italy to France. We are in Corsica.
It has two parts. The lower part is the harbor area, which is intended for anchorage of fishing boats and pleasure yachts. There are also many all kinds of clothing stores, souvenirs, bars and cafes, and the upper part is a citadel located on 60 meters high cliffs with a very beautiful seamen cemetery, as well as the Aragonese staircase, which descends directly to the sea.
Be sure to climb to the citadel for a view of extraordinary beauty: a changeable turquoise blue sea, limestone cliffs and beautiful sailing and motor yachts. Climbing to the fortress, you will find many souvenir shops and shops. The marine antiques shop is worth a visit. The shop owner, a friendly and talkative Frenchman, told us that his main customers are Russian-speaking customers, who can immediately buy most of the antiques in his shop.
Marina La Maddalena (Cala Gavetta)
After spending the night in Corsica, we decided to return to Sardinia, and again went to the archipelago La Maddalena, only now from the south side, here we stayed to spend the night. Parking costs 95 euros. The marina is designed for 140 places for yachts up to 50 m in length and 12 m draft.
The old town of La Maddalena with the Church of St. Mary Magdalena, many shopping streets, cozy restaurants, shops with all kinds of souvenirs and shops with the freshest local seafood will leave only fond memories in your memory.
We left La Maddalena early enough. Warm and sunny weather contributed to the desired beach holiday by the female half of the team. It was not difficult to find a beach on La Maddalena, and we landed in a friendly company. The sheltered, small beach with soft white sand and blue water was loved by everyone. A few hours of sunbathing and water bathing, and we are again on the way to Poltu Quatu.
Poltu Quatu (Marina dell'Orso)
Parking costs 192 euros. The marina is designed for 305 berths for yachts up to 35 m in length and up to 3 m draft. This marina fascinated everyone. Small, cozy, surrounded by greenery and flowers, with quaint structures and green lawns, it gives the impression of a fairytale town, and many shops, cafes and restaurants will not let you get bored after you go ashore.
Marina Poltu Quatu
This was the last marina with an overnight stay, and tomorrow we had to hand over the boat, but the thought that we did not visit the "favorite vacation spot of the world elite" marina Porto cervo, haunted us, and we decided to take a ride there by taxi. The marinas are very close, and the taxi cost us only 40 euros.
Porto Cervo a fairly young resort, which until recently was the poorest area inhabited by farmers and shepherds, and in the 60s, thanks to the initiative of Prince Karim Agahan IV, became a fashionable resort and the heart of the Emerald Coast. The main attraction here is the sea, beaches, sun, sports events (sailing regattas, golf, tennis), restaurants and cafes, boutiques and disco clubs. If you are looking for high-end shopping, then visit the square La Piazza with a variety of luxury clothing boutiques from Prada, Armani, Gucci, Versace, jewelry stores, beauty salons, restaurants and bars. Walking along the quays, you can see the most expensive and modern yachts. Thanks to the activities of the Costa Smeralda Yacht Club, spectacular sports and entertainment events for sailing enthusiasts are held here every year.
We were very lucky: at this time there was a sailing regatta in the waters of the Costa Smeralda Perini Navi Cup 2013, which takes place every two years and collects the most beautiful yachts in the world from 20 to 80 m in length. Only yachts from the Italian shipyard take part in this regatta. Perini naviwhich perfectly combine cutting edge technology, luxury and functionality. In one place and at one time to see so many magnificent sailing yachts is a real holiday and a great success for yachting lovers.
Marina Porto cervo designed for 720 places for yachts up to 100 m in length and 3.2 m draft.
Regatta Perini Navi Cup 2013 of magnificent yachts of Perini Navi shipyard
So we go back to Marina di Portiscoto return the yacht. Having looked at the forecast, which does not portend bad weather, we went to sea. But as soon as we left the cape Capo ferro, bad weather overtook us: gusty wind, rain and lightning. But it was too late to return, it was impossible to land on the shore, so I had to put on life jackets and fight the elements. Yes ... The sea makes you reckon with and respect, but at the same time it has some incredible energy and strength, it takes you away from the bustle and everyday life, makes it possible to feel the value of life, the value of communicating with loved ones and loved ones, the value of seemingly so simple things like the sun and the sea, sunrises and sunsets, and a cup of hot tea during cold watch hours ...
After refueling, in view of the active movement in the marina, we asked the workers Suncharter assistance in mooring, but we were refused, referring to the contract with the insurance company. The yacht was handed over in the same style as the reception: with a bunch of papers to sign, and for some reason the manager was actively photographing the yacht ... But all these are little things that could not spoil our mood, because we were on one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean where the mild Mediterranean climate, calm and measured life, friendly people, untouched nature and many dialects and traditions.
Sunny and warm memories of Sardinia and many photographs will warm us on cold winter evenings and again invite us to new sailing trips.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SARDINIA
The sun shines on the island all year round. The best time to relax is from April to October. The warmest sea in August. The average temperature in summer is + 30-35 degrees with a maximum temperature of + 40 degrees on some days. Throughout September until the end of October, and in some years up to the end of November, the swimming season continues successfully.
In the coastal ponds of Sardinia, you can see pink flamingos, herons, waders, ducks. Do you know why flamingos are pink? - Because they eat shrimp and little crabs.
There is a hotel in Sardinia, which is included in the rating of the most unusual hotels in the world. This hotel is located on the lighthouse. There are only six rooms in the hotel, so it is almost impossible to get there, but many travelers come just to see this unusual hotel.
The grottoes are definitely worth a visit IsZudasthat you won't see anywhere else. They are famous for the unusual shape of stalactites and stalagmites.
Speaking about the unusual Sardinia, it is necessary to say about the nuragas - huge towers made of stone blocks that date back to the 1st-2nd millennium BC. and their mystery has not yet been solved.
The island is renowned for producing exceptional types of cheeses, wines and bottle caps of the highest quality, and Sardinian tuna is exported all over the world.
HOW TO GET TO SARDINIA
The easiest way to reach the marinas and hotels of the Costa Smeralda is via Olbia airport. From there you will have to take a taxi or wait for a bus that runs every 2-3 hours. You can also get to Sardinia by ferry from Genoa or Livorno.
Text: Tanya Lisetskaya
Photo: Vladimir Grinyuk, Sasha Goron
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