- Olbia and surroundings
- Porto San Paolo
- San Teodoro and surroundings
- Budoni and surroundings
- Other surroundings
The Protected Marine Area (AMP)
The Marine protected area of Tavolara Punta Coda Cavallo was established in 1997 by decree of the Ministry of Environment. It compromises approximately 15,000 hectares of sea and the coastal municipalities of Olbia, Loiri Porto San Paolo and San Teodoro. In 2007 the AMP was awarded with two prestigious awards/certifications: EMAS – The EU-Eco-Management and Audit Scheme and the SPAMI – Specially Protected Area of the Mediterranean Importance.
With its natural features, stunning landscape and historical events this part of Sardinia is one of the most interesting sites in the Mediterranean, and in accordance with its institutional purpose the Protected Marine Area offers environmental education that is designed to offer an experience full of stimuli and suggestions. The I.CI. MAR – Institute of Sea Civilization of San Teodoro offers the opportunity to visit the Sea Museum which houses a small, but interesting exhibition of archaeological finds and tells the dynamic story of this part of the Gallura.
Visit the website for more details: http://www.parks.it/riserva.marina.tavolara/index.php
Porto San Paolo
Porto San Paolo is a charming little fishing village located about 14 km southeast of Olbia and strategically overlooks the stunning granite massif of Tavolara Island. The name Porto San Paolo derives from a small church in the vicinity, which has long been left in ruins. Porto San Paolo has experienced a growth in development over the years, thanks to its precious beaches, coves and crystal clear water. There are daily connections to Tavolara Island leaving from Porto San Paolo. This charming village offers services such as: car and scooter rentals, restaurants and bars, boutiques, four supermarkets, a pharmacy, scuba diving rentals and shops that suit every need. The glorious beach of Don Diego awaits the beach bum with two coves, emerald waters, soft white sand and a spectacular view of Tavolara Island. While just to the south, bordering the province of San Teodoro is Porto Taverna beach.
Isola Tavolara – Tavolara Island
Tavolara is a small island off the northeastern coast of Sardinia and is a natural magnificent oasis. It is 5 km long and 1 km wide, with very steep cliffs on each end. The highest point is Monte Cannone at 565 meters above sea level and is inhabited by sea birds, falcons and a few wild goats. Spalmatore di Fuori beach can be found at the northeast, and Spalmatore di Terra at the southwest end of the island, the latter gives an impressive view of Sardinia. The water around the island attracts divers who come to see bottlenose dolphins, coral, sea anemones and rare giant clams.
In 1836 it was claimed that Giuseppe Bertoleoni was appointed King of Tavolara Island by Charles Albert, the King of Sardinia. Today, the island inhabits a few famalies, a small handful of restaurants and hosts a yearly film festival in July called “A Night Under the Stars.”
At the eastern part of the island is Ulysses Arch – l’Arco di Ulisse, a natural wind-swept rock formation that stands 50 meters high and juts down into the sea. Nearby, there is the Grotta del Papa – the Pope’s Grotto and is easily identifiable by a large rock that resembles a man wearing a papal tiara (a crown that was worn by popes from as early as the 8th century to the mid-20th century). The grotto is accessed by boat only and is extremely important because of the Neolithic cave paintings that were found.
Isola Molara – Molara Island
Molara Island is a small island just a few hundred meters from Tavolara Island and could be the little sister to Tavolara, yet the nature of the two islands is very different. Molara is a granite and bedrock islet and is covered by typical Mediterranean vegetation like the olive tree and its highest point is Punta La Guardia at 158 meters above sea level. During the Middle Ages the village of Gurguray was founded, and today only the ruins remain. On the north side of the island, near Cala di Chiesa are two perennial springs and a path which leads the visitor to the enchanting hinterland. Further east and following the coast there is a great natural rock sculpture called – The Dinosaur, and to the southeast are the ruins of a medieval fortress that sits atop Mount Castello that has walls 150 meters above sea level. La Molara is a private island where access to the coast is permitted, however, one should obtain permission from the island’s caretaker to visit the interior of the island.
Tourist Information +39 (078) 940-466
Local Police +39 (078) 941-106
Volunteer Ambulance – Croce Verde (033) 031-8686
Tourist Medical Services +39 (078) 940-510