Palau (Sardinia) Guide: Best Things To See and Do (+5 Accomodation Options)

Palau, a charming town located on the northern coast of Sardinia, is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes and vibrant coastal life. This picturesque town serves as a gateway to the famous La Maddalena Archipelago, making it a popular destination for tourists seeking both relaxation and adventure.

breathtaking view on palau port and santo stefano 2021 09 03 05 03 14 utc

Palau is characterized by its crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and unique rock formations, such as the iconic Roccia dell’Orso (Bear Rock). The town itself boasts a mix of modern amenities and traditional Sardinian culture, offering visitors a rich and immersive experience.

Best Beaches

Porto Pollo

Ideal for Windsurfing and Kitesurfing
Porto Pollo is renowned as one of the best spots in Sardinia for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The beach benefits from consistent winds and wide, sandy shores, making it perfect for both beginners and experienced surfers. The bay is divided into two sections: one for windsurfing and one for kitesurfing, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Facilities and Nearby Amenities
Porto Pollo offers a range of facilities including rental shops for windsurfing and kitesurfing equipment, schools offering lessons, and beach bars where visitors can relax after a day on the water. Nearby, there are also several restaurants and cafes serving local cuisine, as well as accommodation options ranging from campsites to hotels.

Cala di Trana

Description and How to Access
Cala di Trana is a secluded cove known for its tranquil and untouched beauty. The beach is characterized by its soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters, surrounded by granite rocks and lush Mediterranean vegetation. It is an ideal spot for those seeking a peaceful escape from the more crowded beaches.

Ideal for Adventure and Tranquility
Accessing Cala di Trana requires a hike of about an hour through scenic trails and rocky terrain, adding an element of adventure to the visit. The beach is uncrowded, with no facilities, which enhances its natural and serene atmosphere. It is perfect for those looking to enjoy nature in a quiet and undisturbed setting.

La Sciumara

Family-Friendly Features
La Sciumara beach is well-suited for families with children, thanks to its shallow waters and spacious sandy areas where kids can play safely. The beach is also equipped with various amenities that make it convenient for family outings.

Accessibility and Available Services
La Sciumara is easily accessible on foot from the center of Palau, and there is ample parking nearby for those traveling by car. The beach offers facilities such as sunbed and umbrella rentals, restrooms, and a beach bar where visitors can enjoy refreshments and snacks. The combination of convenience and safety makes La Sciumara a popular choice for family beach days.

Baia di Nelson

Secluded Beach for Couples
Baia di Nelson, located near the exclusive village of Porto Rafael, is a small, quiet beach perfect for couples seeking privacy and romance. The beach is known for its intimate setting and peaceful atmosphere, away from the crowds.

Scenic Beauty and Privacy
The beach features soft white sand and clear, turquoise waters, providing a picturesque backdrop for a romantic day by the sea. The surrounding area is lush and green, adding to the sense of seclusion and natural beauty. Baia di Nelson offers an idyllic spot for couples to relax and enjoy each other’s company in a stunning, serene environment.

Top Attractions

Roccia dell’Orso (Bear Rock)

Historical and Cultural Significance
Roccia dell’Orso is a natural rock formation shaped like a bear, located on a promontory overlooking the sea. It has been a landmark for sailors since ancient times and is steeped in local myths and legends.

Location and Accessibility
The rock is situated about 4 kilometers from Palau and can be reached by a short hike from the nearest parking area. The trail is well-marked and offers stunning views along the way.

Views and Photography Spots
From the top of Roccia dell’Orso, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding coastline and the La Maddalena Archipelago. The site is popular with photographers, especially during sunrise and sunset when the light creates dramatic effects on the landscape.

Fortezza di Monte Altura

image 52

Historical Background and Military Significance
Fortezza di Monte Altura is a 19th-century military fortress built to protect the Sardinian coast from naval invasions. It is considered one of the most impressive examples of military architecture in Europe.

Fortezza di monte Altura Palau
Silvana Gallio, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Visiting Information and What to Expect
The fortress is open to the public and offers guided tours that provide insight into its history and construction. Visitors can explore the well-preserved barracks, armories, and observation points, and enjoy sweeping views of the sea and surrounding countryside from the fortress walls.

Porto Rafael

Description and History
Porto Rafael is a charming and exclusive village located near Palau. It was founded in the 1960s by Spanish Count Rafael Neville, who envisioned a peaceful retreat away from the bustling tourist spots. The village is known for its elegant white-washed houses, quaint piazzas, and lush gardens.

Key Features

  • Marina: Porto Rafael’s marina is a popular spot for yachts and sailing boats. It serves as a starting point for exploring the La Maddalena Archipelago.
  • Architecture: The village’s architecture reflects a blend of Mediterranean and traditional Sardinian styles, creating a unique and picturesque environment.
  • Relaxed Atmosphere: Porto Rafael is renowned for its tranquil and luxurious atmosphere, making it a perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful getaway. The village offers a variety of upscale restaurants, boutiques, and accommodations.

La Maddalena Archipelago

fabulous view on santo stefano and la maddalena i 2022 01 28 10 06 47 utc 1
Fabulous view on Santo Stefano and La Maddalena islands from Palau. Location: Palau, Province of Olbia-Tempio, Sardinia, Italy, Europe

Description of the Archipelago
The La Maddalena Archipelago is a stunning group of islands located off the northeastern coast of Sardinia. Known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and rugged landscapes, the archipelago is a protected national park, ensuring its natural beauty remains unspoiled. The islands are rich in biodiversity and offer a serene escape from the bustling mainland.

Popular Activities

  • Boat Tours: One of the best ways to explore the archipelago is by boat. Numerous tours depart from Palau, ranging from half-day to full-day excursions, allowing visitors to hop between islands, swim in secluded coves, and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
  • Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: The clear waters around the islands are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. Visitors can explore vibrant underwater ecosystems, including colorful coral reefs, diverse marine life, and fascinating underwater rock formations.

Key Islands to Visit

  • La Maddalena: The largest island, home to the charming town of La Maddalena, with its vibrant harbor, shops, and restaurants.
  • Caprera: Known for its beautiful beaches and historical significance, including the house of Giuseppe Garibaldi, which is now a museum.
  • Spargi: Famous for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
  • Budelli: Renowned for its Pink Beach (Spiaggia Rosa), which gets its unique color from crushed coral and shells.

Best Tours in Palau

Boat Tour of La Maddalena Archipelago

image 53

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the La Maddalena Archipelago. This tour offers:

  • A day of island-hopping through crystal-clear waters
  • Opportunities to swim in secluded coves and relax on pristine beaches
  • The chance to explore charming island towns or discover hidden natural wonders

Whether you’re diving into turquoise waters or strolling through picturesque villages, this tour promises a day of Mediterranean bliss.

Discover the La Maddalena Archipelago

Intimate Sailboat Adventure

image 54

Experience the Sardinian coast in style with this small-group sailing tour. Highlights include:

  • Sailing past the famous pink sands of Spiaggia Rosa
  • Enjoying a traditional Sardinian lunch in a stunning natural setting
  • Exclusive feel with a maximum of 12 guests

This tour combines the thrill of sailing with the intimacy of a small group, perfect for those seeking a more personalized adventure.

Set sail for adventure

Underwater Exploration: Snorkeling Day

image 55

Dive into the vibrant underwater world of the La Maddalena Archipelago. This tour offers:

  • Multiple stops at Europe’s most beautiful coves
  • All necessary snorkeling equipment provided
  • A tasty lunch of local specialties onboard

Perfect for both beginners and experienced snorkelers, this tour reveals the hidden treasures beneath the waves.

Explore the underwater world

Historical Sunset Tour

image 56

Combine history, nature, and romance on this unique evening tour. Experience:

  • Exploring ancient fortresses with panoramic views
  • Trekking through wild Sardinian landscapes
  • Watching the sunset over the archipelago with a glass of local wine

This tour offers a perfect blend of cultural insights and natural beauty, culminating in a magical Sardinian sunset.

Embark on a historical sunset adventure

Accommodation Options

Overview of Hotels, Villas, and Holiday Rentals Palau offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets, including luxury hotels, charming villas, and convenient holiday rentals.

Recommendations Based on Different Traveler Needs

Hotel Capo d’Orso Thalasso & Spa

image 58

Location: Loc Cala Capra, Palau, Sardinia
Overview: This luxurious hotel is highly rated for its exceptional service and beautiful location. It features a private beach, multiple pools including a saltwater pool, and a comprehensive spa offering various treatments such as massages and facials. The hotel also provides yoga classes and fitness facilities. Dining options include a poolside bar and a restaurant with outdoor dining.
Ideal For: Couples looking for a romantic getaway and families seeking a relaxing, high-end vacation experience.
Special Features: Stunning ocean views, valet parking, and evening entertainment【29†source】【30†source】.

Hotel Palau

image 57

Location: Palau, Sardinia
Overview: A highly rated hotel known for its friendly staff and excellent facilities. It offers comfortable rooms, some with sea views, a swimming pool, and a restaurant serving local cuisine. The hotel is conveniently located near the town center, making it easy to explore Palau’s attractions.
Ideal For: Families and couples looking for a mid-range option with good amenities.
Special Features: Great breakfast, close proximity to local shops and restaurants, and beautiful views from the rooms.

La Vecchia Fonte Boutique Hotel

Location: Palau, Sardinia
Overview: This boutique hotel is praised for its charming decor and personalized service. It provides elegant rooms with modern amenities, a cozy lounge area, and a delicious breakfast. The hotel is situated near the marina, offering easy access to boat tours and other water activities.
Ideal For: Travelers who prefer a more intimate and unique lodging experience.
Special Features: Close to the marina, personalized service, and beautifully decorated rooms.

Park Hotel & Spa Cala Di Lepre

Location: Palau, Sardinia
Overview: Located in a scenic area, this hotel offers extensive facilities including a spa, fitness center, and multiple dining options. It is ideal for those looking to combine relaxation with outdoor activities such as hiking and water sports. The hotel also offers family-friendly amenities and services.
Ideal For: Families and active travelers looking for a resort experience with plenty of activities.
Special Features: Spa services, fitness classes, and a variety of outdoor activities available on-site.

Hotel Piccada

Location: Palau, Sardinia
Overview: A popular choice for its affordability and good service. The hotel offers comfortable rooms, a terrace with views of the sea, and a convenient location near the beach and town center. It’s a great base for exploring Palau and the surrounding areas.
Ideal For: Budget-conscious travelers and families.
Special Features: Terrace with sea views, proximity to the beach, and a welcoming atmosphere.

Where is Palau in Sardinia?

Palau in Sardinia is a comune (municipality) in the province of Sassari, in the Italian region of Sardinia, about 220 km north of Cagliari and 30 km northwest of Olbia. It is located at the very northwest tip of Sardinia

Weather in Palau

Current weather
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-
Rain chance-
Wind direction-

Practical Information

fantastic view on palau port and la maddalena isl 2021 09 03 08 47 18 utc

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Palau, Sardinia is during the late spring (May and June) and early autumn (September and October). During these months, the weather is warm and pleasant, perfect for outdoor activities and beach visits. The summer months (July and August) are also popular, but they can be quite hot and crowded with tourists. Visiting in the shoulder seasons allows for a more relaxed experience with mild temperatures and fewer tourists.

Transportation Options

Getting There

  • By Air: The nearest airport is Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB), which is about a 40-minute drive from Palau. The airport is well-connected with major European cities, especially during the tourist season.
  • By Ferry: Ferries are available from mainland Italy to Olbia or Golfo Aranci. From these ports, it’s a short drive or bus ride to Palau.

Getting Around

  • Car Rental: Renting a car is highly recommended for exploring Palau and its surroundings. It offers the flexibility to visit remote beaches and attractions at your own pace.
  • Public Transport: Buses operate between Palau and major towns like Olbia and Sassari. While convenient, they may not be as frequent as in larger cities.
  • Boat Rentals and Tours: For exploring the La Maddalena Archipelago, various boat rental options and guided tours are available from Palau’s marina.

Visiting Palau in Sardinia

fabulous view on palau from popular travel destin 2021 09 17 22 37 37 utc

Palau is a hidden gem on the northern coast of Sardinia, offering a perfect escape for those seeking both adventure and relaxation. Whether you’re interested in exploring underwater worlds, hiking scenic trails, or simply enjoying the serene beauty of the Mediterranean, Palau has it all.

Plan your visit to this enchanting destination and discover the many wonders it has to offer. From its rich history and culture to its breathtaking landscapes, Palau is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

pinit fg en rect red 28

If you liked it you can share This Page on: