Follow the path from the Spa and have a swim in Cala Selvaggia, but don’t stop there. Continue along the coast, between the green of the land and the blue of the sea to the Capo d’Orso lighthouse.
The Capo d’Orso lighthouse rises on a rocky peninsula as if winking at the La Maddalena Archipelago. White and solitary, it has been there for almost a hundred years, a witness to the stories but also the legends that are told about these places: a guardian of this strategic stretch of water together with the other lighthouses scattered along the coast of Palau and throughout the islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago.
The history of the Capo d’Orso between fact and fiction
The main structure, a large rectangular-shaped building, was built in 1924 and inhabited until 1974. Not far away, the 10-metre high white tower rises above the sea and its decaying charm will provide the perfect backdrop for the most romantic photos you will take on this holiday.
Legend has it that a small merchant cargo vessel carrying a load of barrels of beer was shipwrecked right on this stretch of sea. Although the lighthouse keepers managed to save the crew members, there was nothing to be done about the barrels of beer which floated off to the island of Caprera and which became a gift that came from the sea for the inhabitants of the small village on the island, who raised their glasses for a long time to come.
Other legends make it even more suggestive, including that of Ulysses: according to the writer Victor Berard, the coast of Palau was the land of the Lestrigoni mentioned in the Odyssey, where the travelling hero landed in search of food and water to sustain his crew.
By sea or by land, plenty of ways to enjoy the Palau lighthouse!
Even if a walk among the scented paths is always a good idea, the most romantic choice would be to enjoy the beauty of the lighthouse from the sea aboard the antique sailing ship Pulcinella. This elegant craft with its striking red sails will take you out of time to the paradisiacal islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago.
As you pass in front of the cliffs and coasts near the lighthouse, it will be easy to understand why this fascinating territory has inspired ancient legends…
The other lighthouses on the Strait of Bonifacio
In addition to the Capo d’Orso lighthouse, there are two more a few kilometres from the hotel, along the coast of Palau. The Punta Sardegna lighthouse, built on a rocky outcrop, perfectly separates the town of Palau from the romantic village of Porto Rafael. Once here, don’t miss the opportunity to have a dip in the crystal clear waters of the little Cala Trana and a visit to the 19th century artillery battery of Monte Altura.
A little further east you encounter the guardian of a small beach with golden sand, the lighthouse at Punta Palau, reachable on foot starting from the beach of Palau Vecchio near the port. Surrounded by granite rocks in the strangest of shapes and together with the lighthouse at Punta Sardegna this green and white sentinel of the sea is essential for all the maritime traffic of the La Maddalena Archipelago.
There are many lighthouses dotting the islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago, the oldest of which is the Razzoli lighthouse, in 1843 and also the oldest in Sardinia. In front of the north facade of the building, an ancient natural stone tower rises to a height of 12 metres and is now the true light source for the island. The other lighthouses to discover in the pristine waters of the archipelago are the Punta Filetto lighthouse on the island of Santa Maria, the I Corcelli lighthouse, a black and red lantern resting on one of the islets called the Barrettini, the Isolotti Monaci lantern and finally the light at the North East point.