of the best toy-friendly destinations


Northeast Sardinia

Sardinia’s northeast sparkles with beaches, protected islands and a parade of luxury yachts plying its translucent seas — and it’s also a favourite spot for letting your inner child splash out and get gloriously wet.

Join your yacht in Sardinia’s hub, glamorous Porto Cervo, named after its antler-shaped cove. Jet Ski, windsurf and kayak along its jagged coastline, part of the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast). Afterward, test your land legs by wandering its boutiques; strolling to Stelle D Stelle restaurant, where 10 Michelin-star chefs will alternate for a week each between mid-June and mid-September; and dancing under the stars at Phi Beach, an open-air beach club west of Porto Cervo.

From here, cruise south to Cala di Volpe Bay, where you can waterski and kayak before stepping ashore for cocktails at Hotel Cala di Volpe’s Bar Pontile, the setting for the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me. Continue south to Portisco, Porto Rotondo and Golfo di Marinella for more James Bond style glamour and beach exploration, then backtrack north and explore Maddalena Archipelago National Park’s seven predominant isles and more than 50 smaller isles and islets via tender. If you’ve obtained a permit, go scuba diving off the island of Caprera.

Finally, venture west to Porto Liscia — the best place in northeast Sardinia to use your water toys, says Graeme Hampson, captain of Titania. “Its lovely, long beach is perfect for our beach picnic setups. It’s also a bit off the beaten track — a secluded spot among the much busier surrounding anchorages. And it’s good for the sailing dinghies as, being in the Maddalena straits, it’s always a bit breezy.”

Local fare

For traditional cuisine, including Sardinian suckling pig, drive 20 minutes southwest of Porto Cervo to La Sasima, in San Pantaleo — one of the best rustic restaurants in the Mediterranean. Tastings of wines, cheeses, honey and salami — all produced on site — are also available. 

Play by the rules

With the exception of the national parks, where Jet Skis are forbidden, “water toys can be used [in northeast Sardinia] without particular restrictions,” says Captain Hampson. “However, Jet Skis cannot approach to within 200 meters of the coast.”

Pwc/jet ski safety

Some charter yachts like Titania are accredited Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training centres, thus giving certain crew the ability to train owners and guests in personal watercraft safety. “[The training involves] a minimum of an hour’s worth of theoretical and practical instruction,” says Hampson. “After successful completion of the course, guests receive an Introduction to Watercraft RYA certificate, which is valid for the duration of their time on board.”

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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