A part of the North of Sardinia waiting to be discovered, a picturesque stretch of coastline featuring history, nature and leisure. A few suggestions for half-day trips between the Capo d’Orso promontory and Gallura vineyards
Along the short stretch of coastline that goes from Palau to Arzachena, Sardinia offers plenty of things to do and see that are suited to all tastes, both in Spring and during Summer. Do you want to have a complete holiday and enjoy a unique experience between beaches, nature and discovering this magical island? Here we suggest 5 things to do in the North of Sardinia after your days spent by the sea.
A number of ideas for half-day trips between Palau and Arzachena, for you to discover interesting natural places and enjoy cultural experiences during your holidays.
- The Capo d’Orso lighthouse
- Fortress of Monte Altura
- The island of La Maddalena and the island of Caprera
- Archaeological sites in Arzachena
- Elegant oenological tour of the Surrau vineyards
Are you dividing your beachfront holiday between swimming at Punta Cardinalino and mornings on the beach at Cala Capra? Then you are at the foot of the Capo d’Orso promontory and a 30 minute walk accompanied by the scent of juniper bushes will take you to the famous tafonata rock shaped over thousands of years: the Capo d’Orso, or Bear Rock. A breathtaking view of the rugged coastline of Northern Sardinia will repay the effort of the climb, or following paths overlooking the sea between lentisk and strawberry trees will bring you to the lighthouse at Capo d’Orso, a large lantern which exudes the charm of a bygone age, a light that emphasizes the evening shadows of the sea and the mountains.
Still close to Palau and on the way to the picturesque village of Porto Rafael is the Fortress of Monte Altura. Built in the nineteenth century, it was designed to control and defend the Sardinian north coast and the Tyrrhenian Sea from French attacks. At the time of its construction it was considered to be the most striking fortress in Europe. We recommend a visit for its architectural and environmental value, especially since local granite was also used to build the long staircase leading up to the fortress thus ensuring that it fits perfectly into the landscape.
Easily reachable in 20 minutes by ferry from Palau, in addition to crystal clear seas and beautiful beaches the island of La Maddalena and the sister island of Caprera boast sites of natural and cultural interest. While strolling through the colourful streets of the centre of La Maddalena between gift shops and boutiques, you could take a detour to the Island of Caprera and visit the Museo del mare e delle arti marinaresche (Museum of the sea and sea-faring arts) which boasts objects, photographs and displays that tell the history and culture of the inhabitants of the Archipelago. This is a place designed to inform but also to educate its visitors to respect the environment and the sea. On the same island you can visit the house where Giuseppe Garibaldi lived for 20 years. It is home to the Garibaldi Compendium where the hero of two worlds lived and is still buried while a few kilometers away is the National “Giuseppe Garibaldi” Memorial Museum which has multimedia systems and four exhibition spaces that tell the story of the life in Sardinia of this illustrious character who wrote a part of the history of Italy.
If you head further south near the small but appealing village of Cannigione, you could take a historical and cultural tour around Arzachena. The area can almost be considered an open-air archaeological museum thanks to the numerous finds dating back to the nuraghic period. The Albucciu nuraghe, which extends over three separate sections is a good example of typical prehistoric construction. The temple of Malchittu, an interesting model of religious nuraghic architecture, has been maintained in optimum condition; or there is the nearby Coddu Vecchjiu tomb of the Giants, a typical nuraghic funerary building. This is a cultural journey through Gallura where you can observe the oldest civilization in the Mediterranean at first hand.
The Gallura area produces exceptional wines and during your holiday near Arzachena you will have the chance to taste and savour the many varieties of excellent whites and reds. But why not visit the cellars and vineyards of Northern Sardinia in which these nectars come to life? An interesting tour/tasting is on offer every day at the Cantine Surrau. An oenological tour dedicated to wine-making routes and the sampling of the best wines from Gallura, in a setting with exquisite styling but perfectly inserted into the landscape.