San Pantaleo, the granite hamlet, is an excellent solution for those who want the peace and tranquillity of an authentic hamlet, without renouncing to the attractions of Costa Smeralda.
At the heart of the Gallura region, San Pantaleo is located under the granite peaks of Sant’Andrea, Pelchia Manna and Pelchia Minori, and revolves around the countryside church, which became a parish in 1894. Once known as the ‘Le fonti di Beddoro’, the town was born thanks to the initiative of the nearby ‘Stazzi’ (typical rural settlements) that in 1894 asked the bishop of Tempio to create a religious and community center.
But San Pantaleo has especially started to flourish since the 70’s. A group of artists and painters moved to the village attracted by its out of time atmosphere, and yet not too far from the mundane life of Costa Smeralda. And so every year San Pantaleo attracts creative people from all over the world, especially England, France, Germany and Scandinavia, turning it into a bohemian town.
Things to do in San Pantaleo
San Pantaleo is an authentic little inland town that dominates over Costa Smeralda, from which it is possible to do excursions and reach many interesting places of the North Eastern coast of Sardinia.
The granite towers of San Pantaleo that dominate the hamlet are incredible natural sculptures, pylons and spires, unique in Sardinia, that offer a fantastic trekking itinerary, a true paradise for hiking enthusiasts. Majestic towers, 200 meters high, from where you can enjoy amazing views of the Gallura, the Maddalena Archipelago and Corsica.
For those who love active tourism, available also mountain bike excursions and horse riding tours, to spend wonderful days outdoors, visiting the numerous “stazzi” of the area.
The downtown of San Pantaleo is alive with many shops, markets and numerous festivals dedicated to the Patron Saints, such as the one dedicated to the very Saint Pantaleo, celebrated on the 27th of July, but also Saint Salvatore, celebrated in the nearby town of Monti Canaglia and Saint Martin, celebrated on Mt. Cugnana. Besides the religious festivities, at the end of August the event ‘La grande Danza’ (the great dance) takes place, a dance show in the town’s main square where stars of international ballet perform, attracting many visitors and tourists. There are also many exhibitions, events and markets, making the town quite lively.
Things to see in San Pantaleo
Strolling around San Pantaleo you will be surely attracted by the many artisan workshops.
Painters, decorators and sculptors have come from all over Europe, boosting cultural exchanges. Among the numerous workshops, Pat Steele’s is one of the most renowned, a painter from Cornwall now naturalized in Gallura, famous for her naif subjects. The ‘Petra Sarda’ ceramics laboratory is also worth a visit, founded thirty years ago by baroness Milliken Franchetti.
Alongside foreign artists there is also a group of local artisans, sought after for their artifacts made with essential materials: wood, wrought iron, terracotta and ceramics. The workshop of the Solinas brothers, for example, is now famous abroad for its products in wrought iron. Furthermore, every summer the ‘Antiquaire de San Pantaleo’ is opened, inside a ‘stazzo’ in the historical center of San Pantaleo, where paintings, sculptures and rare object are exhibited.
The best beaches of San Pantaleo
From San Pantaleo it is possible to reach in a few minutes the best beaches of Costa Smeralda. The closest beaches to San Pantaleo are:
Razza di Juncu Beach
Cala Razza di Juncu or Giunco is located in the Gulf of Cugnana, a few kilometers from Porto Rotondo. It consists of 4 pristine coves with thin white sand and shallow waters, perfect also for families with children. It is also possible to rent beach umbrellas, sun loungers and boats.
Petra Ruja Beach
Petra Ruja is a small pristine cove shaped like an arch, with granite rocks of a reddish color that emerge from the sea, giving the beach its name which means ‘Red Rock’. Crystal clear sea and shallow waters, Petra Ruja can be reached walking along the mule track from the edge of Liscia Ruia.
Small beaches of Portisco
The small beaches of Portisco are located in front of the small island of the same name. Surrounded by Mediterranean maquis, the beach offers a gorgeous panorama, with a wide hue of colors. Nearby is also a small harbor where boats can dock.
Rena Bianca Beach is located in the municipality of Santa Teresa di Gallura and it is one of the most famous beaches in Northern Sardinia. Encased between the promontory with the Luogosanto Tower of 1500, and the small islands of Munichedda and Municca, the beach derives its name from the candid color of its sand. It is also equipped with a big parking lot and restaurants.