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Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean and an autonomous region of Italy. Although a rural economy historically, Sardinia's current largest source of income is high end tourism, cuisine and wine production.
Sardinia covers almost 24,000 square kilometres and is located in the central western Mediterranean region, south of Corsica and north of Sicily. The coasts of Sardinia are generally high and rocky, with long, relatively straight stretches of coastline, many outstanding headlands, a few wide, deep bays, rias, many inlets and with various smaller islands off the coast. The highest peak is Punta La Marmora (1,834 m), part of the Gennargentu Ranges in the centre of the island. Sardinia has few major rivers, the largest being the Tirso, 151 kilometres long, which flows into the Sea of Sardinia, the Coghinas 115 kilometres and the Flumendosa 127 kilometres.
Costa Smeralda, also known as Emerald Coast, is a coastal area and popular tourist destination in northeast of Sardinia. It is about 55 kilometres long and covers over 30 square kilometres. It is a popular millionaire area, with many celebrities and business leaders visiting every year. Costa Smeralda development started by Prince Karim Aga Khan in 1961, who discovered the beauty of this Sardinian region. The area have some fantastic white sand beaches, of which the most popular are: Liscia Ruia, Romazzino, and Cappriccioli. The main towns and villages of Costa Smeralda are: Arzachena, Porto Cervo, Liscia Di Vacca, Romazzino, and Cappriccioli. Other popular attraction on Costa Smeralda are a golf club, Tomba dei Giganti (archeological site), film festival in Tavolara.
If you are looking for accommodation on Costa Smeralda make sure to book in advance. Though, hotel prices in the area are high compared to the rest of Sardinia, during the summer season it might be hard to find a place in a hotel for your stay. Alternatively, to find cheaper accommodation, you can check camping sites or local real-estate agents to rent a villa.
Arcipelago di La Maddalena consist of several islands located between French island of Corsica and northeastern part of Sardinia. The region is protected as Arcipelago di Maddalena Nazional Park. It has some beautiful, unspoiled beaches and it is a great destination for sailing or renting a yacht. The populated islands of the archipelago are Isola Maddalena, Caprera, and Santo Stefano. Other major islands in the area, wich are not inhabited, are Spargi, Santa Maria, Budelli, and Razzoli. You can discover the archipelago by traveling on private yacht or taking a group tour from La Maddalena town on isola di Maddalena, or mainland Sardinia towns: Santa Teresa Gallura and Palau.
Sardinia has a typical Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry and sunny summers but mild and wetter winters, though during recent years drought has become a bigger problem. Temperatures in summer (June - September) are generally around 30 °C to 32 °C degrees Celsius during the day and still warm at night, with 20 °C on average but sometimes hardly dropping below 25 °C. During heat waves, temperatures here can rise to 40 °C or even a bit more. Winters from December to February are mild with daytime temperatures of around 14 °C to 16 °C and nights still well above 5 °C on average. This is also the time when most of the rain falls though occasionally summers can have a few rainshowers as well.
There are daily ferries between Olbia and Civitavecchia (port of Rome), Livorno, Genoa, Naples and Salerno in mainland Italy. From Cagliari, there are daily ferries to Naples and to Palermo on Sicily. If you want to take a ferry to Corsica, you need to go to the port of Santa Teresa Gallura on the northern end of the island.
Possible ferries to take include Moby Lines, Grimaldi Lines and Corsica Ferries - Sardinia Ferries.
All major cities and towns on Sardinia are connected by railroad. To give you some sense of distances, the trip from Olbia in the north to Cagliari in the south takes about three hours.
Although there are some buses connecting main cities on the island, the best way to get to less common locations is by a (rental) car. Sardinia is the only Italian region with no motorways, however you shouldn't be worried about this, because the road network is very well developed.
There is a very good connection between the north and south of Sardinia through E25 road which connects Cagliari and Sassari and is about 217 kilometres long. If you want to move between Cagliari and Olbia (270 kilometres), you should use E25 and then turn into SS131 DCN about half way through. Be very careful while driving on some mountain roads, some of them have very sharp and dangerous turns. The speed limit on Sardinia is:
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