With its forest-laden landscapes, white-sand coastline and sparking azure sea, Sardinia has always exuded a wild romance that captures travellers' hearts. Yet despite being the second-largest island in the Mediterranean, it has retained its hidden-gem appeal, with a real estate market full of untapped potential.
Residents of Sardinia enjoy a gentle pace of life, characterised by a closeness to nature and a fondness for age-old traditions. The landscape is as varied as it is verdant; majestic pine forests provide ample hiking opportunities, while fragrant olive groves and vineyards contribute to the rich culinary culture. There's also an enthusiastic yachting community on the island, especially in northern quarters like Costa Smerelda, where sprawling villas lines the shores and pristine yachts adorn the harbour.
The longevity of the island's population has intrigued scientists worldwide, but many Sardinians put it down to an active lifestyle and a rustic diet of organic vegetables, cheese and pulses. It's undeniable that people on the island enjoy a high quality of life, with a strong emphasis on healthy food and an enviably balmy climate.
Sardinia's market is defined primarily by a steady but stable growth. Its emergence as a desirable real estate location among the international elite came courtesy of the Aga Khan, who was struck by the island's beauty on his first visit in the mid-20th century. He subsequently developed the exclusive Costa Smerelda area after buying up a stretch of the coast in the island's north-east. Since the '60s, a steady stream of investors, buy-to-let entrepreneurs and discerning holidaymakers has preserved the island's status as a highly desirable destination. The quiet opulence of the northern regions has contributed to stable levels of buyer interest, while southern areas have also gathered pace recently as the next lucrative investment prospect.
Sensitive planning restrictions have played a large part in maintaining the island's unspoilt beauty, preventing an influx of skyscraper-clad resorts. Instead, the small towns and coastal communities of Sardinia retain their charming historic feel, making this a secure place to invest in secluded properties.
The northern quarters, from Alghero in the west to Olbia and the Costa Smerelda in the east, remain the most popular regions on the island, with Costa Smerelda being the traditional choice for affluent buyers. This tasteful resort is well-equipped with golf clubs, secluded beaches and yachting ports – including the famous Porto Cervo marina. Out to the west, Alghero also has a multitude of charms, from its bustling fishing port to its Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
The southern part of the island has seen rapid growth in both home ownership and visitors in recent years. Cagliari, Sardinia's capital, is an enchanting historic city, full of winding lanes and pastel-toned houses. Southwest of the capital, the picturesque Costa Del Sud offers a quiet retreat, with the Santa Margherita di Pula resorts providing every desired amenity.
If you're looking to invest in a Sardinian property, Engel & Völkers would be delighted to assist. With a multitude of shops across Italy and beyond, our real estate experts can provide you with insight into each region of the island and lead you to your ideal new property. Visit us online or in store to find out more.