BEACHES

LA SCIUMARA

La Sciumara

The beach is located on the western outskirts of Palau. The sand is of large grain and the color of cream. The waters are not deep and have a sandy bottom. Easily reachable and visible from the ring road of Palau. The beach offers beach chairs, umbrellas and facilities and faces north.

PORTO LISCIA (La Sciumara del Liscia) - ISOLA DEI GABBIANI

Porto Liscia (La Sciumara del Liscia) - Isola dei Gabbiani

The beach of Liscia, 8 kilometers long and with a surface area of close to 87 hectares, is the largest stretch of sand of the north eastern coast. Within the municipalities of Santa Teresa Gallura and Palau, its border coincide with the coastline of the same. Its golden, large-grain sand of granitic origin offers shallow sandy bottoms. T ake the state roadway SS 133 bis Palau – Santa Teresa Gallura road and you will find indications for Porto Pollo (Porto Puddu) After approx. 3 km you will reach this famous location. The beach offers beach chairs/umbrellas and facilities and face north and north west.

PORTO PUDDU (Porto Pollo) - ISOLA DEI GABBIANI

Porto Puddu (Porto Pollo) - Isola dei Gabbiani

With its two beaches opening like a fan from the peninsula (named Isola dei Gabbiani, island of seagulls), this location is a famous surf spot. It is surrounded by dunes which rise over 23 meters in height and fall directly into the sea with their sharp vertical walls. You can take the state roadway SS 133 bis Palau – Santa Teresa Gallura and follow indications for Porto Pollo (Porto Puddu). The sand is of medium grain and the beach faces north-east. Beach chairs, umbrellas and facilities are available.

ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES

THE SACRED AREA OF S'AJACCIU

Area sacra S'Ajacciu

The tomb of the giants of S'Ajacciu is one of the largest in Sardinia but is in a precarious state of preservation, aggravated by the fact large portions of the site are suffocated by the thick vegetation. The complex is comprised of a giant burial tomb, a megalithic circle with two menhirs and a rectangular building. Excavated in the 1960's by Editta Castaldi, the tomb faces east. The tomb belongs to the typology of filar sepulchres with rounded stone cornice mouldings and dentils. Still partially preserved are the wings of the exedra but very little remains of the chamber, which had been demolished during the Byzantine time in order to construct a rectangular building that was mechanically dismantled in recent years.
The sacred function of the hemicycle is understood by the presence of two votive wells excavated in the rock and by the numerous ceramic fragments found within them.
The sepulchre dates back to 1400-900 B.C. In the vicinities of the tomb are a menhir and a megalithic circle which testify to the use of the site in earlier times. The circle, half of which is preserved, is defined by granite blocks pierced with knives and arranged in two parallel curvilinear alignments. Two menhirs lay to the east of the circle. Slightly to the north-east of the tomb's exedra, are the remains of a rectangular-shaped construction decorated with a double row of orthostatic blocks; on the corner of the construction there is an additional rectangular structure made of stones the outside of which have been meticulously worked.

Other Information

How to get there:
leave Palau and take the state roadway SS 133 towards Santa Teresa Gallura. After traveling a few kilometers, a restaurant marks the spot where a small, paved road forks off to the left. Take this road and at the first fork, bear right and follow the signs for San Giorgio Church. Follow this road past the gate surrounding the church, past the next house and past two curves (the first to the right, the second to the left) after which a wall with a wooden ladder can be seen on the right-hand side. The tombs are just on the other side of this wall.

Environmental context:
the archeological area is located in the town "Stazzo S'Ajacciu" on a small granite terrace on the eastern side of a hill along the Liscia river on the Gallura coast.

TOMB OF THE GIANTS "LI MIZZANI"

Tomba dei giganti Li Mizzani

This small tomb was built with the filar technique.
The body of the tomb faces East and contains a rectangular burial chamber terminating at the end with a single block shaped like an arch. The exedra is only partially conserved: the hemicycle is defined by small orthostatic blocks at the base of which is a low sitting bench, also incomplete, destined to welcome offerings. The wall decorations behind the exedra are in continuum with the body of the tomb. The center of the exedra is the monolithic stele, smaller than examples found in other tombs in the region and without the arc composition. The monolith stands without foundations, partially on a flat stone and partially on the bare ground. The entrance is semicircular and features an unusual element probably due to a mistake in construction: the accurate smoothing of the perimeter of the interior façade; this kind of work is usually reserved only for the external façade. The fragmented materials which were found on the right of the exedra (pots, pitchers, vases with applied decorations, cups) date back to the recent bronze age.

Other Information

How to get there:
Tomb of giants "Li Mizzani" From Palau take the state roadway S.S. 133 towards Santa Teresa di Gallura. Upon reaching a restaurant, bear left on a small asphalt road and follow it until it forks. Bear left and follow the road for 4.5 km until reaching a clearing where signs indicate the tomb is reached by turning right. Park in the next clearing and proceed by foot until finding a wooden gate. The tomb is a few meters after the gate to the left of the trail in an area surrounded by wooden stakes.

Environmental context:
the monument rises up on a small plateau dominated by the peaks of Mount Canu, just a few kilometers from the sea in western Gallura.

MILITARY FORTIFICATIONS

Monte Altura

With the end of the 1800s, the coast of northern Sardinia facing the Archipelago of
La Maddalena saw the erection of numerous fortified military structures which, together with those dislocated on the islands, were built in order to secure proper defense against the French as well as other players on the larger chessboard of the Western Mediterranean. In the years known as the "Great Fortification" period, Palau saw the construction of three great military batteries: Monte Altura, Capo d'Orso and Baragge. The Monte Altura battery, situated north-west of Palau, is in a strategically panoramic position, is easily reachable from the road to Porto Rafael and had to contend with the mirroring effect of the water to the West. It offers a scenic view of the surrounding islands all the way up to Corsica. The site is well preserved and open to guided tours. During the summer season it hosts concerts and cultural events. The Capo d'Orso battery had to contend with the mirroring effect of the water to the East on the Gulf of Arzachena and the Island of Caprera. It is still property of the State, as is the Baragge battery which is located on the hill of the same name and which had the function of protecting the coast from attacks coming from inland areas. Capo d'Orso battery and Belvedere di Baragge overlook the splendid panoramas of the archipelago of La Maddalena and the hills of the inland landscape.

ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM

Museo Etnografico

Discover the origins of Palau by visiting the objects recovered in the barnyards or those created by the early artisans of the city. The objects, on show in two wide halls, have been divided into thematic sections which include: the home, wine growing, agriculture, breeding, transportation, trades. In the first hall the exhibition features objects belonging to the home: shelves (balastragghju), pantries, benches, tables and chairs; various kitchen utensils including those used for making bread (siazzi, siazzatogghj, culiri) and for making cheese (scudeddhi, fulculi and buiia). Of particular interest is a wooden and carved staff (the "rucca" of the bride) which was used during weddings for the traditional race to the cliffs; ancient terracotta bowls (dischi), under skirt pockets (busciaccara) in which women safeguarded small objects, two talismans made of fabric (punghi) and a bone tobacco box (taqbacchera). In the second, larger hall, you will find a sector dedicated to wine growing and wine making. It features barrels and kegs (cupa, carrateddhi and mizini) of different dimensions as well as more recent roll presses, wooden tramplers (calcicatogghju) and two wine presses (suppressi). In the breeding sector you can find bells (schiddhi, brunzi and tintinni), fire brands (malchi patronali), straps for hunted game (trai and ultana) and a "treggia" (tragghjola), a rudimentary sled used for the transportation of rocks. While in the section dedicated to agriculture alongside traditional tools and more recent agricultural machines there are two original wooden Ploughs (arati) In next section, dedicated to means of transportation, alongside the ox drawn cart (carrulu a boi) is the "tombarello" (tumbarella) used for the transportation of sand, gravel and rocks as well as accessories for horses and donkeys, in particular a leather saddle (seddha) and a stuffed fabric used by women (striglioni). In the last sector you will find working tools from three trades connected with the farming and pastoral world: blacksmith, carpenter and shoemaker.

LA ROCCIA DELL'ORSO (BEAR ROCK)

La roccia dell'Orso

Capo d'Orso (Cape Bear) is an enormous granite boulder which the wind has sculpted into the form of a great bear crouching on his hind legs, thus giving this natural wonder its name. It juts out from a granite hill which, like all rocks in this area, dates back to the late Paleozoic period - 340 to 250 million years ago.
This natural sculpture has been known since ancient times: located as it is on a 122 meter promontory jutting out towards the sea, it is visible from a great distance and was used as a point of reference by early navigators. It was mentioned by the Alexandrian geographer and astronomer Tolomeo who, in the second century A.D. speaks of a natural granitic monument eroded in a way which, from the distance, appeared to have the rough shape of a great bear with his head turned towards the sea. It is also said that Homer intended to use this location for the episode in which he narrates the landing of Ulysses in the land of the Lestrigoni.
Well known and appreciated by tourists, the stone giant dominates the surrounding landscape. Bear Rock can be reached taking the scenic path which begins with the old houses of Forte di Capo d'Orso and, following a path immersed in vegetation, you reach the top of the rock where the marvelous view includes even the archipelago of La Maddalena.

COUNTRYSIDE CHURCHES

SAINT GEORGE THE MARTYR

San Giorgio Martire

The church, dedicated to St George the Martyr and likely built by a group of hermits, was erected in 1675 during the height of Spanish rule. It was built in an area that had been considered sacred since ancient times, as attested to by traces of pre-Nuraghe and Nuraghe cultures as well as subsequent Roman and Byzantine civilizations.
Frequented by shepherds and farmers, the church also served as a cemetery, as evidenced by the underground burials.
Every year on the day dedicated to Saint George, the first Sunday of May, the faithful gather here to celebrate, feasting and praying together.

How to get there:
take the state roadway SS133 from the town of Palau to Santa Teresa. At the restaurant "Old Gallura" turn left (paved country road). At the first intersection, turn right as indicated by the signs. After 200 meters the road becomes unpaved. After the 1.100 km marking, you will come to two gates: take the iron one on the right. Proceed along the dirt path for about 250 meters and you will see the church.

SANIT ANTONY OF PADUA

Sant'Antonio da Padova

The Church of Saint Anthony of Padova stands in the countryside of Monti Canu, on land donated by a private company, Orizzonte. Established and administered mainly by emigrants from Palau, the church was built in the 90s in honor of Saint Anthony. Thus in an oasis of nature and archeology, there is today an oasis of the spirit where every year, in the middle of June, there is a country festival with folkloristic performances accompanying the meal which is offered to all.

SANIT LUCIA

Santa Lucia

This is a modest construction, clearly a place for prayer. Built by a family of Palau to testify their devotion to She who protects one of the most precious gifts of existence: sight.