Porto San Paolo is located on the east coast of the Italian island of Sardinia, south of Olbia and north of San Teodoro. You may also hear of it referred to as Loiri Porto San Paolo which has a population of just over 2,500 people.
Welcome to Porto San Paolo
Access to Porto San Paolo can be through some short width roads and to our amusement via some very small villages with barely a handful of houses each.
On arrival at Porto San Paolo we were awe struck at how beautiful and quaint the place is. It seemed like a must see for us yet there was no mention of it in our extensive guidebook.
The centre is easy to find. The road in leads you to a notable roundabout with “Porto San Paolo” written twice in gold/silver letters around the roundabout. (It was difficult to be precise on the colour because of the brightness of the sun).
The town is quite small and as the name suggests, Porto, it is a port town. To be honest the port in Porto San Paolo is very small indeed, it would struggle to be classified as a marina for many places.
There is also what can only be termed a “small beach” in the bay area. Whilst pretty the beach in Porto San Paolo had little appeal to us as it had a lot of little stones mixed with the sand. Very uncomfortable to walk when the stones become trapped in your sandals.
The undoubted attraction for us of Porto San Paolo is the view you can get from the port / beach area. From all our travel around Sardinia we’d never seen a view quite like it. It was undoubtedly the most stunning view of the Isola Tavolara (island Tavolara).
This limestone natural wonder dominates the horizon and can be seen from various locations around the town.
In addition to appreciating how close this island is, there are regular boat trips to Isola Tavolara from Porto San Paolo. We visited in June 2013 and a day trip return ticket was €15 per adult or €7.50 for children aged 4-12. Under 4 years old went free.
Porto San Paolo also offers excursion trips for €25 adult (half price for children) to Isola Molara as well as Isola Tavolara.
With this being an area of such natural beauty, there are also opportunities to hire a private boat or go whale watching from Porto San Paolo. There is also a scuba diving centre so many water sports are covered.
Just a word of caution though. Parts of Porto San Paolo and Isola Tavolara are militarised zones so be careful where you venture to.
Walking around the town takes little time but it was good to see a focused centre. The town has a range of shops, bars and restaurants. There were also a fair number of hotels so it is clear the place is popular with tourists.
We also noticed that Porto San Paolo had its very own Flintsones café restaurant. Quite a novel find. As we were leaving we also noticed a night market being set up in one of the car parks.
The place had a true Italian feel to the place, great scenery, wonderful sunshine and architecture to reflect Italian houses.
I must admit to being surprised that this place wasn’t listed in our travel guide. The views of Isola Tavolara are just breathtaking. For us Porto San Paolo is a must see for any trip to Sardinia.