The Emerald Coast's largest town
A magnet for celebrities and tourists
An ancient history, a lively present

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Olbia/Emerald Coast Sardinia

Crystal-clear waters and wild nature

Wedged into the coastline, Olbia is the largest town you’ll see on an MSC Mediterranean cruise around north-eastern Sardinia, its recent phenomenal growth due to the huge influx of tourists and cruisers bound for one of the Mediterranean’s loveliest stretches of coast, the Emerald Coast.

Olbia has a first-class museum, plus numerous bars and restaurants, usually abuzz with tourists. Long a magnet for Italy’s glitziest celebrities, in the 1960s the five-star development of the Costa Smeralda helped to transform the economy of the entire island.

With its typical rustic-red architecture, Porto Cervo, the main resort on the Costa Smeralda, embodies the dream of an idyllic Mediterranean village without any of the irritations of real life. Graffiti- and litter-free, Porto Cervo exults in its exclusivity, with a glittering yachting marina as its centrepiece.

You can enjoy many cruise excursions from Olbia: La Maddalena island invites aimless wandering and offers a variety of sandy and rocky beaches in mostly undeveloped coves. The beaches on the northern and western coasts are most attractive, particularly those around the tiny port of Madonetta, 5 km west of La Maddalena, and at Cala Lunga, 5 km north of town.

Attached to the main island by a causeway is neighbouring Caprera, the island on which Garibaldi spent his last years. Santa Teresa di Gallura is Sardinia’s northernmost port. The town gets extremely lively in summer, with a buzzing nightlife, but the main draw is the beaches, many enjoying superb views over to Corsica, just 11 km away.

There’s one stretch of sand right at the edge of town, but some of the finest beaches on the whole island are a short bus ride away, with Punta Falcone and La Marmorata to the east, and, 3 km west of Santa Teresa, Capo Testa, with its wind-sculpted granite rock formations.

Must see places in Olbia

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    History, gastronomy and fashion
    History, gastronomy and fashion

    A cruise to Italy is an emotional roller coaster. Rome is a tremendous city quite unlike any other, and in terms of historical sights outstrips everywhere else in the country by some way.
    Liguria, the small coastal province along the north-west coast, has long been known as the “Italian Riviera” and is accordingly crowded with sun-seekers for much of the summer.
    In Veneto the main focus of interest is, of course, Venice: a unique city, and every bit as beautiful as its reputation would suggest. Tuscany in central Italy represents perhaps the most commonly perceived image of the country, with its classic rolling countryside and the art-packed towns of Florence and Pisa.

    The south proper begins with the region of Campania. Its capital, Naples, is a unique, unforgettable city, the spiritual heart of the Italian south. Puglia, the “heel” of Italy, has underrated pleasures, too, notably the landscape of its Gargano peninsula and the souk-like qualities of its capital, Bari.

    As for Sicily, the island is really a place apart, with a wide mixture of attractions ranging from some of the finest preserved Hellenistic treasures in Europe, to a couple of Italy’s most appealing Mediterranean beach resorts in Taormina and Cefalù, not to mention some gorgeous upland scenery.