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Easily reached from Olbia in just a few minutes drive, Porto San Paolo is thought to have been a colony coming from Ponza Island. It is the best-known village of the Comune di Loiri, lying in the middle of two large promontories, Capo Ceraso, to the north, and Capo Coda Cavallo, to the south and surrounded by many white beaches and sea rocks.
Used as a safe harbour during the pisan domination in Sardinia, it had a period of decline, but got back its vitality in the 19th century when Spalmatore di Dentro village was built on the Isola di Tavolara, becoming a favourite harbour for landing on the main island, Since then Porto San Paolo has been a starting point for a visit to the island, which can be reached after a 20 minutes sea-journey.
Tavolara is the world’s smallest kingdom and it is a rough mountain 558 mt high, 4 km long and less than 1 km wide, resting on a granite base and made by a coat of white calcareous rock. Its base is almost rectangular and its peaks are Punta Timone, Punta del Papa, Punta la Mandria and Coda di Terra.
It is a massive mountain in the middle of the sea, that impresses for its distinct verticality, military area in the eastern sector (Spalmatore di Fuori is off-limits!) and it can be accessed on its western flat layer, towards Sardinia, called Spalmatore di Terra, where are beautiful beaches, a little port, a couple of restaurants and some houses, among which the Bertoleoni’s ones, owners of the island or better, Royal family of the little kingdom of Tavolara, descendants of the sailor adventures Giuseppe Bertoleoni, who landed on the island towards the end of 1700 and took up living here. At his death his eldest son Paolo took over, and in 1848 he offered hospitality to king Carlo Alberto in occasion of a wild goat hunting party. While taking leave, the King addressed Paolo Bertoleoni as “King of the island” and his words spread through out Europe, even causing a portrait of the new royal family to be made and placed in Buckingham Palace, in the hall where the pictures of all the royal families of the world are kept.
Tavolara features high steep mountain walls (falezie), natural arches, such as Arco di Ulisse and coastal caves such as Grotta del Papa, so called because of its shape resembling the pope’s Tiara, and Grottone delle Mandria, with Punic-roman findings.
To get to the top of Tavolara, you have to trek for about 1 ½ hours starting from a track on the right when you land on the island, and leading to the base of the mountain wall. From here the track turns left climbing up to the top, Punta Cannone (558mt) whose last metres require extreme care and climbing experience. Once on the top, enjoy the panorama! South of Tavolara, of less rough granite nature, there is Isola di Molara, characterized by low vegetation, smoother shapes and easier access. The maximum height is Punta La Guardia (155mt). On the island there are the remains of an ancient medieval community disappeared around the 15th century (Borgo di Gurguray) the ruins of a tower from the Giudicato period, and of a little Romanic church, San Ponziano, accessible by means of a track from Cala di Chiesa or Cala Spagnola, the island’s beaches.
Populated by chestnut trees, oak trees, wild olive tree groves, jumpers, Molara is the home of a lizard unique in the world: the Lacerta Tiliguerta Ranzii. Situated 5 miles from the farthest point of Tavolara, Molarotto, a little islet with a surface of over 20,000 square metres reaches its maximum height at 54mt. Impressive granite rocks, populated by sea birds, form the coast.

barche e Isola di Tavolara
barche e Isola di Tavolara
chiesa campestre
chiesa campestre

Other informations
Natural Marine Park Tavolara - Punta Coda Cavallo
San Teodoro

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