Posted by: Debra Kolkka | July 6, 2012

Porto Cervo, Costa Smerelda….the Aga Khan was here.

Porto Cervo is the main town along the Costa Smerelda, the Emerald Coast of Sardinia. It was created by Prince Karim Aga Khan in the 1960s as a playground for the rich and famous. We went before the season and found a sleepy village just waiting for the beautiful people to arrive. They had to make do with us.

The town is truly gorgeous and it is easy to imagine why it is so popular with the yachting set.



The architecture is unique and spectacular in its rocky setting.






The coastline is stunning.









As you can imagine the shopping centre is amazing. It really is one of the prettiest places I have ever shopped in, not that I bought much, it was just fun to be there.







We found the most beautiful shop in the world. Click here to see it. We also spotted the loveliest church in the world and you can see it here.

We stuck our noses into the Sheraton hotel foyer.


It would be fun to stay there! We asked for a restaurant recommendation and they sent us to Il Pomodoro for lunch.






After lunch we had another wander, and tried without success to ride on the little train that takes tourists around the town. We were given wrong directions several times, eventually found the correct place only to be fobbed off by attendants who couldn’t have given a toss whether we bought a ticket or not. Sometimes you wonder why people are involved in the tourist industry at all. Give the tour train a big swerve and just walk around this gorgeous place.












Porto Cervo doesn’t really represent the rest of Sardinia. The island is mostly unspoiled, with heavenly rocky coastlines and a rugged mountainous interior, dotted with ancient villages and really ancient Nuraghe, thousands of years old. Click here to see the few we found on our travels, there are thousands more.

You should go there to see both the new and gorgeous and the ancient and fascinating. Look in the Sardinia category for more.


  1. Fantastic photos Deb. Love it.

    • Perhaps a visit is in order.

  2. Looks like going there was a difficult task, but I’m glad you were up to the challenge.

    • Yes, it is just as well I am tough.

  3. Loved being there with you and Jim and it WAS fabulous , adore Porto Cervo having read about it in magazines since the sixties – so good to have now visited the Costa Smerelda – such a mix of architecture, cultures and food . Can’t wait to go back there.

    • It is a stunning place, it must be fun in the season.

  4. Simply stunning..lovely to see the warmth in those gorgeous photos on this very chilly Sydney morning!

    • I know the sky is blue in the photos, but it was actually quite cool and windy the day we were there….not that I am complaining.

  5. It is a wonderful place and better to visit during the low season when you have the whole place to yourself. I went there in the 60’s… oops!!! I am showing my age…

  6. It is indeed very beautiful – what are the little dalek-pepper-pot-like structures?

    • They are probably chimneys.

  7. What a gorgeous place! How big is the island and how far away is this town to where Jennifer Aventura lives? It truly looks like a spectacular place! Your pictures and writing is magnificent as always! 🙂

    • Porto Cervo is about a 90 minute drive from where I live. I actually don’t like this area of Sardinia as it doesn’t represent what Sardinia is really about. Plus the fact that the majority of Sardinian families are living well below the poverty line. It’s a beautiful, stunning area, yes … but … yeah … just but.

      • I said that in the post. Porto Cervo does not represent the rest of Sardinia, but it is pretty and hopefully brings people to the island and then they go off and explore the delights of Sardinia.

      • I’m sorry if I sounded too negative in my previous comment. I did read your lovely post and see that we share the same opinion on it not representing Sardinia. I believe that not many people that travel to PC ever get out to explore, it’s a completely different ball game there.

      • That would be a pity, because Sardinia has a lot more to offer than Porto Cervo. I think that some people would have heard about the Costa Smeralda and that would draw them to Sardinia. It is the place I had heard the most about.

    • Jennifer is only about 1 hour and 30 minutes away on the other side of the island. Her area is gorgeous too, in a completely different way.

  8. The Architecture there is amazing! The picture of the orange flower is gorgeous!

    • Sardinia is full of wonderful things, you should go.

  9. Glad I found your blog. I am now in love with Sardinia!

    • It is easy to love Sardinia.

  10. Porto Cervo looks great but at this time of the year but summer would be another story! Great photos

    • A happy medium would be nice. We were the only people in the restaurant, which is a little awkward. I wouldn’t like to be there is high season, but a few more people would have been better.

  11. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I really need to go to Sardinia! I love all the architecture in these buildings. Beautiful.

    • It is a beautiful island and easy to reach by plane from Pisa.

  12. What a fabulous plue sky, and I can smell the food!

    We came across complete disinterest from businesses a few times in Tuscany, especially when you have just asked “Do you speak English?” We ended up using “I am Australian. Do you speak English?” It made a big difference. They coulnn’t do enough for us. I got the impression they weren’t too keen on the English or Americans

    • These people wouldn’t have cared if we from Mars, they were just plain rude.

  13. I love the Sheraton lobby Debra. That’s what I’d like my house to feel like…Plus the shot of the lemon tree is just beautiful!!

    • That hotel was gorgeous. I took that photo just before they told us not to take photos. I would have liked more.

  14. Those buildings with the small windows are so interesting! And where is everybody? I’d expect lots of people to be in a town so lovely 🙂

    • We were there in late April, before the season. It would be hopping now until the end of August.

  15. I have never seen such stunningly blue water outside of the Caribbean. How lovely.
    Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

    • The blue in Sardinia is particularly gorgeous.

  16. It looks lovely – the sky is so blue. I am imagining what it would it would be like to be there because as I type this I am listening it the sound of incessant rain outside.

    • I hope the rain stops for you soon. We have blue winter skies here in Brisbane.

  17. The architecture is not at all what I would have expected. I’m curious – do you know what the structures are in the 3rd photo? Are they bell towers?

    • The tall one in the church is a bell tower, but I am not sure about the others. I thought some of the smaller ones might be chimneys, but I think it is more likely that they are for light and ventilation. Perhaps there is someone out there with more information.

  18. The lunch is super! I want to eat …. in Italy 🙂

    • You certainly eat well in Italy.

  19. Like a dream land… Thank you dear Debra, love, nia

    • It was dreamt up by the Aga Khan and his mates.

  20. No matter where you take us… whether your hometown, Sardinia or Paris, your photos are always wonderful.

    • Thanks, I can always find something interesting to photograph.

  21. What a gorgeous place!

    • The whole of Sardinia is fabulous….stay for at least a week and see more of the island.

  22. I knew it would take it me to that MEMORABLE church. 😀
    You know what I’ve noticed after all these blogging days…. You walk so darn much. BWAHAHAHAH

    • You noticed! I am wearing out my fourth pair of Merrells. The best way to see a place is to walk it. When I am in a new city I sometimes walk all day, starting early in the morning….the best time to be around while others are still in bed.

  23. this is one awesome place you’ve been to.

    • All of Sardinia is gorgeous.

  24. […] Sardinia is a phtotgrapher’s delight. This cute green boat was floating off the coast at Porto Cervo. […]

  25. […] from the Italian mainland. We stayed at La Maddelena at the north of Sardinia and visited nearby Porto Cervo, where we found the prettiest […]

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