An archipelago of islands off of the coast of Sardinia, Maddalena is an excellent getaway for those who crave sun and sand in an idyllic setting; you'll have the full spectrum of tourist development, from the few ritzy, beachside resorts on the more sizable islands like Maddalena and Caprera (the only of the seven islands that have roads) to the campsites scattered across the islands for backpackers to throw down their sleeping bags. You'll find untenanted coves, sparkling water and shades of sand from white to pink, although, because it is a park reserve, some areas are off-limits to human tampering. This being the case, the best way to explore this island chain is to charter a boat from one of the locals or a guide that specializes in tours of the islands, so that you'll get to enjoy the many hidden niches of this beautiful area with the assistance of someone who knows. Also, be sure to partake in some scuba diving in Palau; this is a reputable dive center that provides dives for all ability levels. Coupled with some time on Sardinia (the mega-luxury digs of Costa Smeralda look down their nose at you from across the way), your whole trip to Italy could exist in full right here. Rome? Venice? Who needs 'em.
Note:The extreme wealth and stuffiness that comes with the beauty of Costa Smeralda may be a bit much for some. We recommend taking day trips to this area and staying your nights off the beaten path with real Sardinians (versus the Billionare wanna-be's).