This is a municipality consisting of two villages, one in the hills and one on the coast, located twenty kilometres from Olbia, in Gallura, in the northeastern part of Sardinia. The area has been inhabited by different civilizations. The nuraghi, Roman ruins, remains from the period of the Marine Republics and typical Gallurese stazzi all contribute to the historical record of the towns. A fishing community coming from the island of Ponza colonized the coast, establishing the small village of Porto San Paolo. Economic development and the recent boom in tourism have transformed this town into a lively coastal resort.
Just outside the ancient village you can find Don Diego Beach and, towards San Teodoro municipality area, close to Vaccileddi village, you can find Porto Taverna Beach. Despite Tavolara’s long , linear length, five kilometers long by one wide, its maximum height is 565 meters at Punta Cannone, in the western part of the island, with walls often overlooking the sea. Still in the part stretched towards the Sardinian coast there is the long beach called Spalmatore di Terra, a wonderful beach with a truly unique panorama: Sardinia. In these neighborhoods are the few houses on the island, where Bertoleoni, the king of Tavolara once lived. In the eastern part of the island, the wild one after all, there are some natural wonders of unparalleled beauty, near the old lighthouse stands the Ulysse’s Arch, an arch of natural rock fifty meters high. Going down to the south is the Pope’s Grotto, easily identifiable by a rock with the appearance of a man with a papal tiara on his head. This cave is the last site in Sardinia where the reproduction of the monk seal has been ascertained, moreover it is very important because of the Neolithic finds and some interesting cave paintings that have been found in it.
The Island of Molara is perfectly accessible by boat. The Romans called it ‘Buccina’ and it has a more rounded shape than Tavolara and offers a perfect habitat to the thousands of birds that nest amongst its cliffs, including the fascinating ‘falco pellegrino’. The island is a limestone massif 5 kilometres long and 1 kilometre wide, with steep cliffs. It is very close to Tavolara island but has a completely different natural environment.
The plant cover of Molara is composed of a very rich Mediterranean scrub vegetation, with centuries-old olive trees, mastic and cistus. The coasts are high and rocky at east (Punta Levante et Punta di Sirocco), but they are more practicable with the few beaches and coves located in north west (Cala Cala Chiesa e Spagnola). Just close to Cala di Chiesa there are two perennial springs and you can move along a path to discover the enchanted inland.
A little to the east of Cala di Chiesa, along the coast, you can find the characteristic Dinosaur Rock, a natural rocky sculpture of great importance. Ruins of Gurguray town, a Middle Age settlment, are still visible on the island as well as of a medieval fortress, built on the top of Monte Castello, in the south of the island with A sud est dell’isola si trovano i ruderi di una fortilizio medioevale, poggiati sulla cima del Monte Castello, with walls of almost 150 meters over-hanging the sea.
The Marine Protected Area of Tavolara – Punta Coda Cavallo was established in the north-east of Sardinia on 12 December 1997 by decree of the Ministry of Environment. It includes almost 60 square miles of sea and coastal areas belonging to Olbia, Loiri Porto S. Paolo and San Teodoro municipalities. It is managed by a consortium among these towns and obtained EMAS certification (the The EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme). The Tavolara – Punta Coda Cavallo Protected Marine Area considers the town of San Teodoro a strategic area for promoting sustainable development, capable of offering a visit that is especially mindful of envrionmental values and their conservation. In 2007 moreover the AMP obtained the ASPIM certification (Specially Protected Area of great importance for the Mediterranean).
The important natural values, enriched by a spectacular landscape make this area of international importance for conservation. Indeed, the area around the pond of San Teodoro (which is also of Communal Interest) offers an in-depth show to all visitors that are interested in learning about the flora and fauna of the territory.
The Area Management, in recent years, has implemented significant measures to protect guided by a new philosophy that supports the care and protection of the territory, the idea of a use sustainable in the long run. From this perspective, the Consortium Management has provided, in the activities of monitoring and scientific research, shares with important aspects of communication and education targeted at potential users throughout collaborations – among which the I.CI.MAR (“Istituto della Civiltà del Mare”) Maritime Museum, featuring archaeological exhibits discovered in San Teodoro municipality.
Further information on http://www.parks.it/riserva.marina.tavolara/Eindex.php
Tourist Information: 0789 40466
Police Station: 0789 41106
Green Cross: 330 318686
Tourist First-Aid Station: 0789 40510