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There is no doubt that Sardinia and in particular the spectacular Costa Smeralda, rank among the top luxury destinations in the world, with something on offer for everyone.

Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean, lies to the west of mainland Italy and boasts miles of beautiful coastline, with outstanding headlands, wide, deep bays and various smaller unspoilt islands off the coast.

With around 135 days of sunshine a year, the winters are mild and summers hot on the coast, whilst inland in the mountains, the climate is generally cooler.

The island has a long history, having first been settled in prehistoric times and its strategic location bringing the Phoenicians and Romans among others. The Spanish ruled for 400 years from 1323 to 1720, followed by the Austrian Empire. Sardinia has been part of Italy since 1861.

With its inviting turquoise sea and white sandy beaches - some of the most beautiful in the world - Sardinia inevitably started to attract a different kind of visitor. Tourism has become a major part of the economy since the 1950s onwards with Santa Teresa di Gallura on the northern coast, one of the most popular resorts. The best beaches can be found at Liscia Ruia, Capriccioli, Piccolo Pevero, Spiaggia del Principe and Romazzino.

But perhaps the most famous attraction nowadays is the glitzy Costa Smeralda, a 20km stretch of the coast that is home to a golf club, private jet and helicopter service and draws celebrities, business leaders and other affluent visitors. It is one of the most expensive locations in Europe and Porto Cervo has become a well known vacation spot among billionaires and movie stars.

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, located in Porto Cervo and founded in 1967 by the Aga Khan, is the main yachting club on the island and a regular port of call for some of the world's most luxurious private yachts. Annually the island hosts the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo attract wealthy visitors with their chic boutiques and fine dining. Typical cuisine in Sardinia focuses on seafood - rock lobster, scampi, squid, tuna and sardines, with other popular dishes including suckling pig and wild boar, and of course hearty pastas and local cheeses.

Polo matches are held between April and October at Gershan near Arzachena. Other attractions include a film festival in Tavolara and a vintage car rally.

For winter sports lovers, four ski resorts are located on the Gennargentu Range at Separadorgiu, Monte Spada, S'Arena and Bruncu Spina. They are equipped with ski schools, ski lifts and ski equipment hire.

For more information about luxury property for sale in the Costa Smeralda and elsewhere in Sardinia or Italy you can use the property database search facility at the top of this page or complete the form below and a senior consultant from Butterfly Residential will be in touch.