Palau is a municipality in Gallura, on the Northeast side of Sardinia, between Golfo di Arzachena and the Parco Nazionale dell’Arcipelago della Maddalena.
The History Of Palau
Different historical sources found in the area have confirmed that the area was lived in during the Neolithic times. The name Palau likely comes from the Spanish “Parau” or “Parar”, that means “shelter”.
During the Mediaeval period, Palau became a strategic area for the control of marine traffic in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The officially recognised founder of the city was Giovan Domenico Fresi. In 1875 he built the first home in what is now the main Piazzetta, which was dedicated to him. He also bought large amounts of land, and in 1900 others joined him, which made the town evolve rapidly.
From 1920 onwards, the efforts on building roads and connections increased. In the 30s, Palau began to have electricity thanks to the Lago del Coghinas. Throughout the two World Wars, Palau sacrificed many of its citizens, and in 1943 it escalated to a tragic event that became known as the Rada della Sciumara.
On the night of 12th April that year, the American forces destroyed the Italian ships docked in the bay of Sciumara, hoping to neutralise their presence in the region. This was a real massacre.
The town was able to recover from this attack and the raids that followed. Shortly after they built the Porto Commerciale di Palau, followed by churches, schools and other buildings that eventually contributed to its current splendour.
The Beaches Of Palau
The most beautiful beach in the area is Porto Pollo, named after the bay. This is a real slice of paradise; the local winds are ideal for lovers of aquatic sports like windsurfing and kitesurfing.
This beach is divided in two sides. The eastern side, known as Porto Liscia, is chosen by families or people looking to relax, thanks to its calm waters. The western side is better for expert swimmers.
The natural beauty of Porto Pollo beach is enhanced by the lush vegetation in the area. The Mediterranean scrub adds a touch of authenticity to the surrounding environment with its fragrance and colours.
Among the more isolated and wild beaches, we have Cala di Trana and Spiaggia di Talmone. These are hard to reach and there are no services, but the peace and tranquillity you will find here is unlike anywhere else. And finally, a short distance from the centre of Palau, you can easily reach Spiaggia Le Saline. This is the ideal beach for those of you who love snorkelling and want to explore turquoise-blue waters.
Sights To See In Palau
One of the most important monuments is the Fortezza di Monte Altura, which towers over the entire area. Built in the 19th century, the fortress offers a spectacular view of the landscape that includes the Golfo di Arzachena and the archipelago of La Maddalena. Other local attractions include the Faro di Capo D’Orso, a real symbol of the region. It overlooks a gorgeous view of the sea and its famous rock shaped like a bear, where it gets its name from.
In the centre of Palau an unmissable sight is the Chiesa di Nostra Signora delle Grazie, a charming religious building built in the 19th century. A short distance away, the Li Mizzani necropolis is an important archaeological site dating back to the Bronze Age which offers a refreshing look at the lives and traditions of the populations that lived there at the time.
Lovers of nature and the outdoors should not miss out on Capo Testa, a natural area formed of unique rocky structures that showcases spectacular seaside views.
Sights to See Near Palau
It’s impossible not to mention the marvellous Archipelago of La Maddalena, a natural paradise made up of splendid islands, with beaches decorated with pink and white sand. For anyone who is looking for the nightlife, the Emerald Coast or Porto Cervo are where to go to access exclusive locations, admire luxurious yachts and go shopping in high fashion boutiques