Port Raphael and the Bear Rock

On the border between the La Maddalena Archipelago and the road leading inland to Gallura, Palau owes much of its international prestige to the eccentric and visionary Spanish count, Raphael de Neville, who, struck by the beauty of the place, founded a famous village from scratch here in the 1960s: Porto Raphael, to be precise.

Perfectly nestled among rocks, Mediterranean scrub, and the sea, with houses built in Mediterranean style and blending in with the granite and junipers, the Porto is a gem of Sardinia.

From the houses, it’s easy to reach the beach of Punta Nera, while in the surrounding area, there is a succession of coves of rare beauty, popular for water sports, snorkeling, and diving.

Alternatively, a delightful hike leads to the Roccia dell’Orso (Bear Rock), spectacular natural sculpture with its head turned towards the sea. Sculpted by the winds over the centuries, the granite rock has taken on a shape that used to instill fear in fishermen in ancient times, but now inspires admiration among visitors.

After climbing the Bear Rock, there is a road that descends to the sea and reaches Cala Capra, while on the opposite side, in the distance, the enchanting beach of Vena Longa comes into view.