Porto Cervo manages to out-price even St. Tropez come August. Many visit first by yacht, awed by the jagged abandon of northern Sardinia and arrival to its starriest port. Should you not recognize it, there’s a Harrods pop-up on the actual docks, the first logo in a town consumed by Prada, Brioni, Gucci, Hermes and pretty much every major fashion brand.
For those that complain of the newness of Porto Cervo, to its credit it didn’t even exist till the early 60s when Aga Khan was so inspired by the region that he turned it into a jetset destination almost entirely on his own. Today, his Cala di Volpe remains the region’s top hotel with infrastructure of service and amenities unparalleled in Europe -even if its rooms could use a refresher. It’s a ten-minute drive away from town, as you pass a summertime Cipriani and infamous Billionaire nightclub along the way.
Beyond the flash and excess, local Sardinia is found at places like Phi Beach that’s perhaps the sexiest setting you’ll ever see with its Jurassic geography and sunset party scene. From there it\'s a drive inland to the rustic town of San Pantaleo, my personal favorite, with its one-off antique stores and new Sant’ Andrea gourmand facing an exaggerated mountain terrain that’s my lingering image of Sardinia.