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The Emerald Coast (La Costa Smeralda) doesn't need to be presented – its name has became famous all over the world. This corner of Sardinia has been chosen for vacation by the V.I.P. of the world, especially the locality of Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo.
Olbia with more than 40 000 habitants is the most important city of the Emerald Coast. Because of the international airport it has became a significant centre of North-Eastern Sardinia.
This piece of coast is maybe the most symbolic place regarding different tourism concepts and integration between a man and the environment: a pure and wild nature from one side, with granite mountains and plenty of small beaches and promontories and …cement areas from the other side that was constructed in 60's by the individual entrepreneurs who have chosen Costa Smeralda as the paradise to welcome the international Jet Set. A double identity that causes a lot of disputes. Moreover the recent surveys indicates the increased level of pollution of waters (even if the levels are still very low). We should always remember that the enchant beauty of the Emerald Coast is the world heritage to be protected.
Apart of the paradise on the land the sea bed of this zone offers as well spectacles of the rare beauty. The dives always offer new surprises - from the caves to the real submarine canyons that unexpectedly appear from the submerged rocks.
To protect all natural species the Marine Reserves of Tavolara Island has been constructed that together with the National Park of La Maddalena (dell'Arcipelago de La Maddalena, defined as the “Santuario dei Cetacei") represent a real marvel of the nature.
The fame of the Emerald Coast caused by the beauty of its sea sides sinks its real roots in rather remote times. Starting from Homer who in his X song of Odissea describes Ulisse looking for water and food. Romans have “appreciated" the quality of the Sardinian rocks and have used the granite of Costa Smeralda mountains to derive two Pantheons columns. Pisans have taken the same granite to construct the Cathedral (Duomo) and the Baptistry (Battistero).
From the historic point of view Cost Smeralda offers very interesting sites: the first testimonies of the human presence in this area comes from 3500 B.C. when the necropolis were settled (very famous the Li Muri Necropolis) and about 1800 B.C. when the first testimonies of nuragic civility appeared, especially big towers constructed in the purpose to defend the local population and present up to days.
The region called Limbara extends from the central-northern coast of Sardinia towards the eastern one, from one sea to another, passing through mountains and crossing the massive of Limbara.
There are three important centers: Costa Paradiso, Tempio Pausania and Budoni that highlight the originality of this region. The northern coast is full of beautiful beaches and tourist villages with hotels of high quality. The territory extends From the Isola Rossa - the antic fishing village towards the area composed of two municipalities: Trinità d'Agultu and Vignola.
Isola Rossa (Red Island) has taken its name from the red granite rocks that contrast with a very white and really smooth sand of the beaches (“Spiaggia Longa" and “Marinedda").
The sea beds of this region are transparent and reach of fish and different species of fauna.
Traveling along the northern coast we meet Costa Tinnari, Costa Paradiso, Portobello and the marvelous beach of the small gulf of Vignola.
Three villages on the East - Budoni, Posada and Siniscola with the one of the most popular beaches of Sardinia – “La Caletta" close the coastal territory.
Posada is a small village of 2500 inhabitants, constructed on the limestone rock that lies down to the sea. Between the coast and the country there is a vast plain crossed by Rio Posada – the natural oasis of flamingos and ashen herons. The history has left significant traces here – e.g. the Castello della Fava with its tower of 21 meters constructed around XII century. In 1323 Posada was divided by Pisans and Aragonians who were competing for the village. Successively the village has passed to the hands of Giudicato di Arborea ( the Judge of Arborea) and remained under his possession until 1490.
The old town represents the medieval architecture, e.g. La Casa delle Dame, Count Teodato Palace (Il Palazzo del conte Teodato, the church of Saint Antonio and the Square of Eleonora D'Arborea (Piazza Eleonora D'Arborea).
There are restaurants and agritourism places in Posada where you can taste characteristic plates of the zone. There is a big port in the village where a lot of tourist boats can find a place. The guided excursions on the horse or canoeing are organized for everybody fond of outdoor activities.
Leaving the coasts you can go towards the interior passing through the sharp summits of granite mountains with the highest one of the region – the Limbara. This mountain takes on all colors that change gradually from pink to grey and make the massive similar to the Corsican mountains.
Going towards the North, near Aggius there are another spectacular views of different forms of landscape: the plain “of big stones" – huge granite round rocks, Monti Ultana, the lake of Liscia.
All the regions represent an interesting flora and fauna as scrubs of strawberry-trees, olive-trees, various species of birds as for example buzzards, partridges and mammals as wild-cats.
On the south from Buddusò (another small town) the province of Nuoro starts with a plenty of characteristic small villages with names that appear often in the chronicle of fights and where tourists are not very inclined to go. There are Nule, Benetutti, Bitti, Orune, Lula, all with the landscape and history very different from the rest of Sardinia, closed for ages in their isolation and silence but not devoid of charm and places of the original beauty well maintained because of such an isolation.
Prejudices and fears are irrational because the inhabitants of the region know how to welcome a tourist who doesn't seem too noisy, respects the tradition of the places and… doesn't ask too many questions. Only by observation and admiration new small worlds can be discovered, the places that no traveller has even imagined.