On the north-eastern stretch of the Sardinian coastline lies Costa Smeralda, where rugged landscapes meet pampered living and where the glitterati and the paparazzi mingle side-by-side. Besides the fabulous villas and glitzy yachts, the Costa Smeralda is nevertheless a most romantic and beautiful holiday escape, and its gorgeous coves offer some of the best swimming in the Mediterranean. Some, including Liscia Ruja, are well-known, others such as Cala Pietra Bianca or Poltu li Cogghi, are protected from invasion by a total lack of signposting. Sardinia, as a whole, is blessed with white-sand beaches, charismatic towns, forested valleys and picture-book harbours, all overlaid with historical interest from the Roman, Genoan and Catalonian occupations. Families will also feel at home here with opportunities for walks, cycle rides and boat trips, plus plenty of choice in family-friendly restaurants.