Tavolara Island

By Lupanino - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6336767
By Lupanino - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6336767
Tavolara is an small island located in the northeast of Sardinia in Italy. Since the mid-nineteenth century, it has been the seat of a self-proclaimed micronation called the Kingdom of Tavolara.

The Tavolara Island is a limestone rock 5 km long and 1 km wide, rising steeply out of the water, except for the extremities. The highest point is Mount Monte Cannone with a height of 565 m. The island is accessible at both ends, where the coves Spalmatore di Fuore (northeast) and Spalmatore di Terra (southwest) are located. The islands of Molaro and Molarotto are located nearby.

The Tavolara Island and the surrounding waters are part of the Tavolara and Punta Coda Cavallo Marine Reserve, established in 1997, which imposes additional restrictions on visiting the island.
In ancient times, the island was known as Hermea, according to tradition, Pope Pontian died here after his exile in 235. Also, the island is identified with the island of Tolar, the former base of the Arabs for attacks on the coast in 848-849.

After the establishment of the Kingdom of Sardinia, the island did not become part of it , remaining in the ownership of the Bertoleoni family.

In the south of the northern coast of Sardinia, known throughout the world as the Emerald Coast, in the azure sea rises the secluded and wild island-rock of Tavolara. It has no roads or hotels, and its only inhabited part is a white sand beach, the length of which can be measured in steps.
The island is currently inhabited by several families, has a small cemetery and a summer restaurant. The nearest significant city is Olbia, and across a narrow strait lies the fishing village of Loiri Porto San Paolo.
Today The Tavolara Island is a very popular destination for diving enthusiasts who come here to admire coral colonies, sponges, sea anemones, bottlenose dolphins and the rare giant clam Pinna nobilis.

Access : Coordinates: 40.90499, 9.713686 / You can get here by boat or speedboat from the city of Olbia – ships can be moored in the bays of Spalmatore di Fuore in the northeast or Spalmator or Terra in the southwest. The islands of Molaro and Molarotto are located nearby.

Highlights :

  • Tavolara Island, part of the Tavolara and Punta Coda Cavallo nature reserve, created in 1997, is home to only a few families, who are mainly involved in the tourism business
  •  Queen Victoria sent a British warship to the island so that photographers could photograph the royal family from Tavolara. For many years, a photo in a gilded frame with the words “Smallest Kingdom on the Planet” was displayed at Buckingham Palace
  •  Kingdom of Tavolara : If we turn to dry data, we can say that the kingdom of Tavolara is one of the smallest monarchical states in the world that existed in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today it actually became part of Italy, but its official accession has not yet taken place.
  •  Papal Rock : Among the interesting sights of Tavolara is a rock in the form of a human figure, which is called the “Stone Guard” or “Papal Rock”. Other eye-catching rock formations are the Ulysses Arc (a natural arch) and the Grotte del Papa (a cave with Neolithic rock carvings).
  •  On the side facing the continent (Punta Timone) there is instead a maritime signaling lighthouse and a NATO military base intended for land telecommunications.
  •  beach : An emerald green sea bathes an alternating beach of pebbles and golden sand tending to pink. In the “peninsula” of Tavolara there are several coves and beaches and relaxing corners .There is no big crowd – I was there at the end of August – and you can fully enjoy the beauty of the island./ Another beach worth visiting is Cala Tramontana: a white beach on the slopes of the mountain, reachable by a small path reachable behind the restaurants.
  •  Near the restaurants, is the area where the Tavolara Film Festival takes place, a set of contemporary events, including several film screenings that every year, between June and July , attracts a large audience and numerous important actors to the island.
  •  In addition to the Tavolara Punta Coda Cavallo Marine Protected Area, there is also the Tavolara Archipelago Tourist Consortium which recently launched the Open Village, to combine a set of services under a single brand and thus offer tourists an integrated offer of services.

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / trekking, The walk to discover nature is possible thanks to a circular route proposed by the Protected Marine Area of Tavolara / diving.

Go next : Not far across the strait is the village of Loiri Porto San Paolo, and the nearest town to the island is Olbia.


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