The territory of Arzachena stretches for a surface area of around 240 sq. km with more than eighty kilometres of sea coast including the world-famous Costa Smeralda, rich with Mediterranean shrub (mastic trees, juniper and oleasters), rocks modelled by nature and wonderful inlets and bays. It sprung up in the Roman period of “Turibulum Minor” and until the nineteenth century was only a cluster of houses gathered around the Church of Santa Maria, dedicated to the Madonna della Neve (1776). In March 1962 a small group of international entrepreneurs, headed by Prince Karim Aga Khan, set up the Costa Smeralda Consortium with the aim of developing tourism in the vast area of the Arzachena territory, comprising the present coastal band which stretches from Liscia Ruja to Liscia di Vacca for about 55km. In this area a number of high-class structures were gradually built, attracting an elite kind of tourism; luxury hotels and exclusive villas became the summer destination for members of high society and the economic leaders of the world; the subjects of the glossy magazines which have promoted life on the Coast all over the world. From the very beginning, the project’s aim was to preserve the beauty of the territory by using particular buildings and design which respected the natural landscape. Thus, the Costa Smeralda style was born, greatly inspired by the typical construction features of provincial Sardinia and blending discreetly into the coastal background of rocks and vegetation. Its urban layout is one of the most distinctive in Sardinia due not only to the use of materials like the Sardinian pink granite but also for its regular buildings and road system.
Porto Cervo, the main centre of Costa Smeralda – its vibrating heart –, encrusted in square miles of Mediterranean maquis that flows into a clear sea. Here is based the Consortium Costa Smeralda, a no-profit organization that, since the sixties, preserves the natural heritage of Costa Smeralda and assures all the environmental and security services to every member.
Even more, Porto Cervo is the ultimate luxury destination where every fashion victim would love to do shopping and enjoy the buzz life of the stylish clubs. All the best designer brands have a boutique in Porto Cervo: Gucci, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Celine; far from the busy life of the big cities, in an atmosphere of small streets, cosy squares and low buildings. An architecture perfectly fitting into the landscape, reflecting the wish of the prince Aga Khan.
The Marina is one of the most important of the Mediterranean Sea, fully equipped for about 700 boat moorings. The exclusive Yacht Club Costa Smeralda organizes all over the year major regatta and sportive events, such as the Rolex Cup.
A really nice way to enjoy the dawn is walking along the dock, among the incredible parade of yachts and boats owned by the very high profile international jet set.