A welcoming place since the stone age when the first human communities settled down here during the Neolithic, the territory of Liori Porto San Paolo made a vocation of hospitality.
Here the nuraghes, ancient monuments from the second millennium BC, describe a long and flourishing period as demonstrated by the rich archaeological heritage.
The Carthaginians, coming from Africa, reached these regions too before being beaten by the Romans in 238 BC.
During the Roman civilization, the area of the modern Loiri and Porto San Paolo became an important junction due to the seaport situated where the small coast village raises today.
According to legend, the small village takes its name from St. Paul the Apostle, who went ashore exactly here when he arrived in the island, before taking shelter in his refuge in Monti where you can still find a sanctuary bearing his name.
In the Middle Age, the entire territory was part of the Giudicato di Gallura, i.e. the kingdom in the northeast of the island, namely the part of the ancient curadoria of Offilò, one of the departments that distinguished the state apparatus of these important Sardinian kingdoms.
In this period, many shepherds started the practice of driving their herds from the upland pastures to the coast and back.
It was only later in the 1700s that the first real Gallura stazzi were born, these characteristic farm dwellings hosting extended families.
These independent little communities were part of a bigger network of contacts and relationships in the territory, where exchange and mutual help were a common occurrence.
The inland hills still preserve some evidences of this ancient culture: the rectangular-ground plan white buildings, made of granite blocks, rise on panoramic spots to call to mind a story of slow rhythms of the hard work in the fields and the changing of the seasons.
From the second half of the 1900s, the rising number of incoming visitors fascinated by the beauty of this place turned the small village of Porto San Paolo into an important touristic centre.
The progressive population growth brought in 1979 to the birth of the Comune di Loiri Porto San Paolo, where the two souls of the territory live harmoniously side by side.
You cannot affirm to know Gallura without having tasted its simple and tasty dishes typical of the daily life in the stazzi, the small farms widespread in the territory.
This historic region is the place of origin of many mouth-watering delicacies made from simple ingredients of the farming culture, such as cheese, basic ingredient of the delicious Càsgiu furriàtu (a sort of creamy fondue which becomes a dessert if you add honey), or fresh cream, used to make the Màzza frìssa (flour, fresh cream, butter, salt).
The undisputed star of the table during the feast days is the Suppa cuata (literally “hidden soup”) which is by now known as Zuppa gallurese: skilled chefs combine bread, broth and cheese to give life to this ever-present wedding dish.
Among the first courses it is noteworthy to mention the Chjusòni (durum wheat-flour handmade gnocchi), the Pulilgioni (ricotta cheese ravioli with a tinge of sweet), and the Taddharìni (tagliolini), in a tasty wild boar tomato sauce. The tasty meat courses made of local breeding and hunting animals meet even the most difficult tastes, especially if combined with a good wine from the Montilittu and Azzanì vineyards. A taste ecstasy that comes to a sweet conclusion with a wealth of options among the light delicacies such as the Acciuleddi (thin fried dough braids made with flour, lard and eggs and dipped in a citrus honey), the Casjatini (small baked dough baskets filled with ricotta, cheese, sugar and grated lemon) and the Rujòli (sweet ricotta balls).
From its fascinating beaches nestled in the natural coves to the gentle hills, the district of Loiri Porto San Paolo welcomes its visitors in a warm hug. Here, indeed, in the heart of the Mediterranean scrub, the two souls of this territory live side by side in a perfect balance: the land and the sea.
Culture and nature fuse together in order to create a uniform dimension encompassing the two main centres and all the small hamlets surrounding them.
In the green pastures, the characteristic country buildings appear: the stazzi galluresi, guardians of ancient knowledge waiting to be revealed.
Hidden by centuries-old trees and protected by the rocks, the ruins of prehistoric civilizations tell the story of these lands crowded by the Nuragic people that raised these majestic stone towers.
Along the inland routes that lead to the sea, you will find many nice rural churches and the characteristic tafoni (small cave-like features) which were often used as a shelter; one example can be found along the path entitled to “Romeo e Giulietta di Paulesa” where, according to legend, the two lovers hid while running away from their family feud.
Loiri and Porto San Paolo are only 15 minutes away by car from Olbia, where the two main ports of call of the island are: Porto Isola Bianca and Olbia-Costa Smeralda airport, and from the close by dock of Golfo Aranci, served by the main maritime companies. In the territory are three touristic harbours: Costa Corallina, Porto San Paolo and Cala Finanza.
From Porto San Paolo it is possible to reach Tavolara Island, part of the marine protected area of Tavolara Punta Coda Cavallo.
MONUMENTS AND MUSEUMS
From the Nuragic civilization to the present day: 4000 years of archaeology and history.
Nuraghe of Lu Monti Lisciu
On a fortified upland area to the south of Ovilò, this tower overlooks the surrounding hills.
Nuraghe Sa Prexone de Siana
On the border between the district of Telti and the one of Lori Porto San Paolo, you can still visit the ruins of a complex nuraghe which used to be majestic.
Tomb of the Giants Su Monte de s’Ape
In the district of Olbia, at the foot of a hill were the castle of Pedres rises, is this ancient collective tomb from the Nuragic age built on an older gallery grave.
In Olbia, close to the hill with the castle of Pedres, is this complex nuraghe, made of one central tower and some additional wall structures which build it in.
Complex of Cabu Abbas
On the top of the Mount Colbu, between Olbia and Golfo Aranci, you can see the nuraghe surrounded by a large city wall. Inside the tower is a well dedicated to the water cult.
Holy well of Sa Testa
In the suburbs of Olbia, not far from the industrial harbour, is this ancient sacred place dedicated to the cult of waters.
In the district of Olbia, near Sa Rughittula, you can still see the ruins of an aqueduct built between the 1st and 2nd century AD which used to extend for 7 kilometres.
Church of San Simplicio
Located in the centre of Olbia, this church built around the end of the 11th century represents one of the most significant examples of the Romanesque style in Sardinia.
Castle of Pedres
Built during the giudicati, this castle overlooking the entrance of Olbia was one of the main outposts of the Giudicato di Gallura.
The Artillery of Punta Don Diego
Located in the district of the same name, these military fortifications were built from 1767 and expanded between the end of the 1800s and the two world wars.
The museum, located in the old harbour, boosts an extraordinary collection of old ships and it is the only one in the world where you can still find masts and wheels from the Roman times.
These little rural churches were once the main meeting and exchange places for the families leaving in the stazzi, the main place for the many celebrations that used to mark the working times and the rhythms of life in the countryside.
Santa Giusta – Medieval church
Celebration: last Sunday in April
Where it is: district Santa Giusta, 10 km away from Loiri, reachable from the SS 131, signal at km 131.V
San Michele arcangelo di Azzanì
Celebration: last Sunday in September
Where it is: district Azzanì, 6 km away from Loiri, on the way for Padru
Nostra Signora della Pace
Celebration: the second Sunday in August
Where it is: district La Sarra, 3 km away from Loiri
San Pasquale di Baylon
Celebration: the third Sunday in May
Where it is: district Montilittu, 6 km away from Loiri
San Pietro apostolo
Celebration: last Sunday in June
Where it is: hamlet of Enas, 3 km away from Loiri
San Domenico Savio
Where it is: hamlet of Vaccileddi, 4 km away from Porto San Paolo, on the SS 125 in direction to San Teodoro
Between old paths and natural monuments, discovering unexpected landscapes.
Naturalistic route Lu Caminu di Li Falchi
From La Castagna to Porto San Paolo, a trail of 11 kilometres between forsaken stazzi and uncontained nature.
Naturalistic route Romeo e Giulietta di Paulesa
On the hill of Paulesa, the trail was the scene of the love affair between two young lovers whose story was obstructed by their own families, but who finally found a way to be together.
Canyon of La Fossa
Between Azzanì and Azzanidò you can find an amazing canyon with a waterfall that makes the Gallura landscape even more stunning.
BEACHES AND SMALL BAYS
- (Italiano) Porto Taverna check
- Spiaggia del Dottore check
- Sas Enas Appara check
- Porto Ìstana Nord check
- Porto Ìstana Sud check
- Porto Spurlattà check
- Baia di Costa Corallina check
- Porto San Paolo check
- Punta la Greca check
- Spiaggia delle Residenze check
- Punta Don Diego check
- Costa Dorata check
- Cala Girolu check
- Punta Molara check
- Cala Purgatorio check
- Cala Suaraccia check
- Lastra Ruja check
- Punta Est check
- Baia Salinedda check
- Salina Bamba check
- Cala Brandinchi check
- Lu Impostu check
BEACHES ON THE ISLANDS
- Spiaggia dell’Isola Cavalli check
- Isola Piana check
- Spalmatore di Terra check
- Spiaggia Proratorella check