It is also famous for being the smallest kingdom in the world. Tavolara is a limestone and granite mountain that rises up from the sea, 560 metres high and four kilometres long, featuring rugged rocks and an impressive and vertiginous verticality. The island is part of the territory of Olbia and, in front of it, on the mainland, is Porto San Paolo, from which boats depart to reach the island. Its history is linked to King Charles Albert of Savoy who, according to legend, when he arrived on its coasts in search of the legendary goats with teeth of gold, which were probably yellow from eating helichrysum, named its only inhabitant, Paolo Bertoleoni, king of the island. His descendants are still the only residents (and guardians) on Tavolara.
In the eastern area of Spalmatore di Terra, where there is a little port, dining facilities and a small group of houses, you will find small beaches, fringed with sea daffodils. The entire territory is dotted with Mediterranean scrub, where the yellow helichrysum, wild geranium and a type of campanula known as "Stellina di Tavolara" (Little star of Tavolara) all stand out. Moving a little beyond the small port, onto its only plain, you will see the natural backdrop for Sardinia's most important film festival: Una notte in Italia (A night in Italy) has been taking place for decades, hosting actors, film directors and spectators in an unparalleled setting.
Tavolara, particularly the southern area known as Teddja Liscia, and the nearby islets of Molara and Molarotto, which belong to the Tavolara Marine Protected Area - Punta Coda Cavallo, are a paradise for scuba divers: environments rich in biodiversity and populated by schools of trusting fish offer unforgettable sights, both for divers using breathing apparatus and also for guided snorkelling.