Over the centuries the rugged and beautiful island of Sardinia has been inhabited by Phoenicians, Romans, Saracens, Spaniards and bandits. Now a carefree new wave of invaders is coming from the sea—in motor sailers, not men-of-war. They are in search of the Costa Smeralda, a super-resort in the northeast corner of the island—the princely realm of Karim Aga Khan. The prettiest jewel of his Emerald Coast is the landlocked harbor of Porto Cervo (above and following pages), where cruising sailboats of every nationality and size are discovering the finest new port in the Mediterranean.
On a summer's day, when the sun and sea take over the Costa Smeralda, following a regatta on a motor sailer can be a cool pursuit. By night the Sardinian rocks and the 4-year-old village of Porto Cervo glow under a Mediterranean moon. Built to be admired from the sea, the rosy waterfront reminds one of an ancient Roman port.
A beach near the Cala di Volpe hotel is used by guests for early-morning rides. The hotel, designed by Jacques Couelle of Cannes, looks like a Proven√ßal village.