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This island is one of the best kept secrets in Europe



This Island Is One Of The Most Stunning Hidden Gems In Europe

Tavolara Island (Isola di Tavolara in Italian) is a mountain of limestone and granite on the northeast coast of Sardinia, Italy. The mountain is 560 meters high and 4 kilometers long. The island is part of the Tavolara and Capo Cavallo Marine Protected Area, established in 1997 to preserve nearby marine life.

According to legend, a man named Giuseppe Bertoleoni settled on the island of Tavolara at the end of the 18th century. He then introduced himself to Charles Albert of Savoy as king of the island in 1836, creating Tavolara Island the smallest “kingdom” in the world. The island is inhabited to this day by Bertoleoni’s descendants.

The island of Tavolara is divided into three zones. Zone A is home to a NATO military base, which is not open to visitors. Zone B is only partially accessible. Finally, Zone C is free to enter. There you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, diving and even sailing.

One of the two restaurants on the island is Da Tonino, run by the Bertoleoni family. Da Tonino is known for its Mediterranean cuisine, mainly seafood. After you’ve finished eating, be sure to visit Spalmatore di Terra beach. Once you get off the ferry you can access the beach. With a mix of small sand dunes and Mediterranean shrubs, this is one of the most unique beaches in Sardinia. The beach is free to visit with a maximum of 924 visitors per day.

There is also a cemetery behind the beach, where the King of Tavolara is buried together with his wife and family. One of the most recent graves is that of Pompea Romano, the wife of Tonino Bertoleoni, who died in 2010. The largest tomb is that of Paolo I; you recognize the grave by the sculpted crown.

Finally, the island has trails for experienced hikers. The most popular walk is a 6-hour venture that starts at Spalmatore di Terra beach and ends at Pratone. Hikers are rewarded with picturesque views of the Gulf of Olbia. Be careful if you visit in summer as the heat can be intense.

With its picturesque beaches, crystal clear waters and spectacular views, Tavolara Island is one of Europe’s most stunning hidden gems. The island offers a unique and rich history, along with restaurants, hiking trails, and a cemetery. These features make the island a must-see for all tourists in the area.