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Italy - Sardinia

Sardinia is an island region of Italy and has a population of nearly 1.7 million people. The capital city is Cagliari. Around 2% of the population are expats, with many of these coming from Eastern Europe, China and South America. The island is the second largest in the Mediterranean. Most of the urban developments are along the coastlines, mainly due to the large numbers of tourists that visit the island each year. For administrative purposes, the island is divided into four regions. The population has not significantly increased in recent years, which allows for the preservation of much of the island’s natural state.

The climate of the island is Mediterranean, with around 300 days of good sunshine each year. The winter months do see some heavy rainfall, although temperatures rarely fall lower than 11°C.

Sardinia is a popular tourist resort although there are some very tranquil rural areas. There is an expat community on the island although not many are from Northern Europe. With only a few exceptions there has been little new development in recent years, so some areas do not have apartment complexes and those that do are aimed mainly at the tourist market, although there has been an increase in second homes and expat purchases in the last few years.

A tourism business would be a good investment on Sardinia, as this is the main industry on the island. There are numerous hotels in the region, but there are opportunities for those who want to organise activity holidays such as walking or cycling. There are not as many opportunities for those who want to work as a tradesperson, as the work is intermittent.

The four main parts of Sardinia are Oristano, Nuoro, Sassari and Cagliari. All areas are popular with tourists as there is much to see and do on the island and each has an appeal to the expat. The town of Olbia has an airport and port, so forms an important part of the islands transport links. This is in the north eastern part of Sardinia. The town has everything that is needed for everyday life with good shopping areas, schools and leisure facilities. There are several good residential districts of the town and some of these are modern developments, with a range of houses and apartments available. Demand for property in this area is high, mainly due to the good transport links in the area.

La Maddelena is both a town and island and is located off the north east coast of Sardinia. This is a popular area with tourists, which is the main industry, although there is also a US naval base on the island. La Maddelena is reached by boat, but the island has all the facilities needed for daily life. There are some modern developments in the area and these are mainly used for holiday lets. There are some expats who have purchased property on the island but there are also many properties which are used as second homes.

The Santa Teresa Gallura area is well known for its good beaches, many of which are very secluded. Many of the properties in the area are older style homes that have a traditional feel, and property prices are on a par with the regional average. The area has some shops and restaurants as well as other facilities that are needed for everyday life. This is a good area for expats to buy as it avoids the level of tourism that has reached some other areas.

For those who are looking to retire or work in a tourist resort the Costa Smeralda is a good place to start. The area has shops, restaurants and other leisure facilities. The Costa Smeralda was developed during the 1960s with the intention of attracting wealthy holiday makers. The area is home to a yacht club and some of the shops are designer boutiques. Some of the properties are aimed at the wealthier investor, so prices can be quite high in some areas, although there are bargains to be found. Some apartments are aimed at the second home market and some have been bought by expats. There are still moves by the local authorities to encourage tourists rather than residents.

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