Palau Beaches, Sardinia
Palau Beaches, Sardinia: Palau is a famous tourist resort located in north east Sardinia, the big Italian island in the centre of the Mediterranean sea. Along the 25 kilometres of its coast we can find 23 beaches ranging from large to small, each completely different from the next. Some are better suited for those who wish to have access to all types of commodity, others will be loved by those looking for an exclusive beach, even if they will have have to toil a little to reach it. The Foundation for environmental education (Fee) awarded 6 Palau beaches with the Blue Flag 2017, the international award appointed to the tourist destinations that are able to combine the excellent quality of bathing waters with a comfortable level of services for tourists: L’Isuledda (Porto Pollo), La Sciumara, Liscia, Palau Vecchio, Fronte Stagno Saline, Isolotto. In front of the La Maddalena Archipelago National Park, Palau has also a solid reputation for being one of the best mediterranean diving destinations.
Palau Beach Map:
Golfo delle Saline Beaches:
The “Golfo delle Saline” includes 3 different beaches: Vena Longa (as known as Porto Mannu), the beach of the Capo d’Orso camp site and Cala Capra. Porto Mannu is a 150 meters long sandy beach that falls gently into a beautiful turquoise sea, with crystal clear water. Safe and friendly, well maintained, food and drinks available from the bar and restaurant all day and evening. It’s a wonderful beach for families with children.
As for Cala Capra, it’s quite a different beach, a beautiful small cove, with a beautiful views on La Maddalena’s archipelago.
Palau Vecchio and Porto Faro Beaches:
Nearer to the town of Palau, the beaches of Punta Nera (dog beach) and Isolotto are within easy reach, as are those of Palau Vecchio and Porto Faro on the other side. Palau Vecchio and Porto Faro are in fact at walking distance from the town center, very easy and safe for the children to swimm and snorkel. Have fun!
Sciumara Beach and the English Cove:
Proceeding along the coast you come to the beach of La Galatea, whilst the beach conventionally thought of as the beach of Palau is that of Sciumara situated at the end of the “Mezzo Schifo” roadstead. La Sciumara is a wide sandy beach with clear water very close to Palau, perfect for families with children, because there are nearly no waves and currents. It can be easily reached either from the centre of Palau or from the road that leads to Porto Rafael.
The term “Mezzo Schifo” (repugnance) was not used to convey the meaning of disgust, but rather recalls an ancient type of sea craft used in assisting the large ships and can likely be dated back to the presence in the roadstead during the Nineteenth century of the English fleet led by Admiral Nelson. The same applies to the bay of Cala Inglese (English Cove) adjacent to Porto Rafael, with its square overlooking the beach of the same name.
Porto Rafael was founded at the beginning of the 1960’s on the “To live is to dream” motto expressed by the Spanish Count Rafael Neuville di Berlange. The Count wished to accomplish his dream along the coast leading up to Punta Sardegna, approximately 4 km from the centre of Palau. Nowadays, following the demise of the Count and his entourage of artists, this small tourist complex is an exclusive destination well integrated into the landscape surrounding the square, constituting an excellent example of how tourist town planning can effectively be achieved without spoiling the essence of the location. The centre of the village, known as the “piazzetta”, opens onto a view of Cala Scilla, known as “Porto Rafael’s swimming pool“, a little cove characterised by limpid and transparent waters. For the rest, the little Porto Rafael beaches have pink somewhat coarse-grained sand with a number of small rocks that face the Island of Santo Stefano. A small well-equipped tourist harbour faces directly onto the sea.
Cala di Trana:
The tiny beach of Cala Martinella can be reached from the road leading to the lighthouse at Punta Sardegna. Those wishing to succeed in gaining access to their own magnificent beach may visit the white sandy beach of Cala di Trana with its backdrop of dunes only partly colonised by indigenous plants. It can be reached easier by sea or along a footpath, from the lighthouse at Punta Sardegna or from Costa Serena on the other side. 20/40 minutes of walking on a fairly hard road, only to be rewarded by the beauty of this wonderful Cala, with lots of fish and shellfish and medium-deep water. Never crowded.
Porto Cuncato and Talmone Beaches:
Porto Cuncato and Talmone also deserves a visit, starting from the Costa Serena rotunda, the path is not paved and get ready for a walk through trees and over rocks, also climbining a little, but it is worth it. The 3 nice little beaches are very beautiful and very small, it does not get too busy, even in high season. Be careful to rocks.
Porto Puddu, the Surfers’ Paradise:
Further east there is the long beach of the Dunes of Porto Puddu (also known as Porto Pollo) and Porto Liscia with the “marshland of Padula Piatta” in the background. Even further on, through the district of Porto Puddu, you will come to the beach at the isthmus which links Isuledda to the mainland (also known as the Isola dei Gabbiani / Isle of Gulls). This stretch of coast is hewn by the wind, the currents and by the motion of the river Liscia marking the boundary of Palau to the west and backing onto the dunes of Sciumara del Liscia, a natural area of inestimable appeal where surfers from all over the world gather to take advantage of the wind.
In fact this is one of the most appreciated spot in Sardinia by kite and windsurf lovers, thanks to two separate beaches with different properties, to choose according to weather conditions. Lots of surfing facilities are also present such as: kits available for hire at windsurf village on the eastern end, well equipped kite schools, a careful rescue boats/lifeguards service. It often happens to surf with dolphins swimming by. Not only surf: sailing, kayaking, SUP, beach volley, yoga are also avaible.
Cover picture: Porto Puddu e Insuledda, Palau, Sardinia (photo credit: Nathalie Carole India Vitiello)