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Scopello Sicily | Impressive Seascapes and Old Tuna Fishing Traditions.


Scopello is one of those places of Sicily so difficult to forget for its impressive seascapes and also for its old tuna fishing traditions which are part of a culture started centuries ago.

 Part of the municipality of the splendid coastal town of Castellamare del Golfo in the County of Trapani,it is a little gem of the Sicilian Western coast ,a corner of that marvellous island where the Mediterranean sea shines every time,with a marvellous coastline packed by sandy beaches, small coves and enchanting headlands with unforgettable views.One of its main landmarks are monumental Faraglioni which give that place am epic,wonderful, mysterious and captivating charm.

Just 37,0 km from the city of Trapani driving along the National Road SS 187  through the picturesque interior of the county and then  taking the provincial road number 83 which directly leads flanking a string of beautiful stretch of coastline under the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro a Nature Reserve which is an oasis of a divine paradisee under the enchanting promontory of San Vito lo Capo.

That corner of Sicilian land is where the myth of the Greek colonies who landed to found in the most western side of the island Megale Hellas the historic and ancient Magna Greece, the area was populated by the Elimi,who were not Sicani the former settlers who populated the Central Sicily and were not Siculi,the first inhabitants of the eastern island.

Although and with every probability the first colonists were Athenians, the Elimi were probably direct descendants of another civilisation,born from an  illegitimate son of of Anchises,father of the heroic and epic Aeneas, fleeing the devastated Troja,that son was Elymos who was the stepbrother of Aeneas and decided to stay in Sicily founding towns in the Northwestern Sicily among them the mythical and historic Segesta.

The name Scopello is clearly of Greek origin (I wrote a post about that beautiful Greek island called Skopelos in the archipelago of the Sporades Islands),well Scopello has the same meaning,the ancient Greeks called it with the same name which means cliff,that site where was founded the current village.

Local legends and history are mixed in arcane mysteries of many centuries ago,when the Athenians colonists saw that peninsula with its beautiful and picturesque cliffs and faraglioni emerging from the Mediterranean  and named it Skopelos, there is also apart that the story or legend was that place old Cetaria called for the sea rich in tuna from which then came the word Tonnara.

In its first historical steps, all that area was under the influence of Chartage,the coasts were conquered by that famed leader called Hamilcar Barca said Barak father of the notorious Hannibal.At the end of the epic Punic Wars between Rome and that powerful city of the current Tunisia,the current site became a Roman settlement and after the fall of the Empire was for a period occupied by the the Vandals.

 The Romans back to being owner of the territory which includes Scopello with the Byzantine Empire of which must succumb in the 9th century for the arrival of new rulers,the Moorish led by Asab Ibn Al Furat a prominent member of  the Aghlabit Dynasty.

The Arabs in Sicily never formed kingdoms and caliphates as in Andalusia, they subdivided the islands in governorates ruled by influential figures called Al Kadi, tolerant rulers in the sense that in return for taxes paid by citizens called Ghezia,the inhabitants could continued to profess and practise the Christian religion without being converted to Islam,that was also generated by a strong resistance by the locals.

The Arabs called the settlement Usqubul,that civilisation in  in Sicily was particularly positive with a new agricultural development,with systems of irrigation,art and architecture and in the case of the current Scopello,they restored in a large scale the activity of the Tonnara,the Tuna Fishing which is one of the historical local highlights.

The advent of a new power in the Mediterranean the Normans who conquered Sicily in the 11th century was the start of new European rulers,continued later under the Swabians who  introduced a feudal system,giving the territories to noble families from other countries landed on the Sicilian coasts.. 

The Emperor Frederick III of Swabia gave Scopello to Oddone di Camerana,a noble knight from Northern Italy and there was in that period a colony coming from the regions of Piedmont and Lombardy mainly from the Lomellina an area corresponding to the territories of the current counties of Pavia, Vercelli, Novara and Alessandria,when that people moved to other centres on the Northern coast,Scopello was Incorporated for a period to the town of Erice.

As the rest of the island,it continued its history under different rulers such as French Angevins,the Spanish Aragons and for a short period under influence of the Kingdom of Piedmont and Sardinia and Austria before to be iincorporated in the Kingdom of Naples in 1738 ruled by the Bourbons.

The local history is very particular in the 19th century.During the operations of the reunification of Italy.After the landing of  Giuseppe Garibaldi and his troops in the port of  Marsala sent by the Duke of Savoy and King of Piedmont and Sardinia, the inhabitants of the area believed those soldiers who came near the village were new invaders and began to fight against those soldiers next to the Spanish Bourbons along the coast and also in the interior for long time with a strong resistance before being convinced of the idea of the New Italy and joining the Kingdom following the history of the reunification since 1860.

Today Scopello is a peaceful and charming tiny coastal village,with a maze of narrow streets,cobblestone alleys and white houses.It has less than 100 inhabitants,but with several interesting beautiful places to visit,the centre is just like to come back in the time of its ancient past and one of its relevant highlights is the Bagghiu.

Bagghiu is a Sicilian word which translated to  Italian language,means Baglio,the Bagghiu in Sicily is protagonist of many different and controversial opinions about its means.In the Eastern Sicily for someone it means as a small Moorish Ribat,a little Arab fort,with fortified walls and a wide patio in its interior,in other places of the island it is a fortified farm with solid walls and one entrance leading to a courtyard.

Someone else consider a Bagghiu a stronghold of the village or a small  town inside another,protected by a walled perimeter with inside an area which was used for different purposes and in many cases considered the heart of the old Borgo,the centre of the historic village,on the coastline used by fishermen in the interior by farmers.

The name Baglio or Bagghiu derives from the Arab word Bahah which means courtyard or quad,the Bagghiu of Scopello originally was developed during the Moorish occupation,it is an irregular square space in cobblestone located behind a building with solid and thick walls with an arched doorway leading across a short passage to the courtyard.

On the facade there are a couple of windows and it is flanked by two wings. Once entered in that area of the building you can sit in a relaxing cafe,enjoying a coffee,a drink, a fresh and genuine granite in that picturesque place in which centre lies a big eucalyptus.

The Borgo of Scopello is mainly dated 17th century,The Baglio of Scopello also has controversial opinions,for someone is dated since the medieval era  under Moorish rule and probably rearranged during the Norman period,other sources are from a construction erected between the 17th and 18th century and later restored,that hypothesis is anyway pretty remote.

The centre is very small,there are some picturesque white houses developed along charming old streets and a small square with the local Parish Church,the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie erected in the 60s and dedicated to the Virgin Mary of the Graces.

Another iconic symbol is the Torre Bennistra,a strong and solid tower overlooking the Tonnara,the Faraglioni and the wonderful horizon of the Mediterranean sea.That tower was erected on a rectangular plan it is a construction part of the  tradition of the Torri Almenara present in many Mediterranean coasts, coasts,erected as check point and from there with signals and fires the guards alerted the population in case of attacks from the sea.

 In the case of the Torre Bennistra of Scopello it was built to to defend the coast by the Saracen invasions, invasions,it was elevated  in the 13th century,its name probably derives from the family  Bennistri or Bennisti who ruled Scopello during a period of possessions based on feudal systems.

It was restored and partially rebuilt during the 16th and 17th century and it is located on a large and high rocky outcrop which during sunsets with special reflections of the sun takes a reddish colour.Apart the Torre Bennistra there are two other towers,one is of medieval origin built probably in the 13th century during Swabian rule but only the ruins are visible.

The other one was erected during the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the 16th century as part of the defencive complex,a work by Camillo Camillani an architect son of the famous Florentine engineer, sculptor and architect Francesco Camillani who built the famous and wonderful Fountain of Piazza Pretoria in Palermo.

The Tonnara di Scopello is one of the emblematic historical highlight of the village and not only for the date of construction.It was erected in the 15th century and until the 20th century it was active,it was the main local resource and economical engine of the community.

Tonnara in Sicilian means two things the expedition for hunting and fishing the tuna on the boats,but also that place where the nets,cables,accessories,parts for the boat and all the equipment that the Rais organises for fishing.

Usually a Tonnara starts in March,the work is similar from Tonnara to another but each has its identity,the Tonnara is a place which in some cases is similar to a Bagghiu in some places it is a building surrounded by walls and in the interior are prepared all the operations with the materials placed in a Maffaraticu a building used as a warehouse.

 The Rais is the the leader,the director who organise everything,the preparation and strategies,the routes,giving instructions to the team,it is a hard work because to prepare a Tonnara is not simple all has to be in perfect conditions,the tuna is not easy to hunt,all the results and fruits of a good operation or a negative fishing are responsibility of the Rais.Rais is that word in Arab means boss or leader,transmitted in Sicily in the 9th century and still used in the Tonnara.

That figure also checks aboard the boats,the work of the Tunnaroti the men of the team,he gave them orders and furthermore every day very early he also checks the climatic condition,there is always a visit along the coast to control thee situation of the sea if it is the right day to go offshore fishing or not.

In the negative case of the experdition for bad climatic conditions,the Rais organise the day giving the men works of maintenance,he also organise meetings with the crew and including there is also a geographic study of the route which can be every time different of the previous.

There is also a Sutta Rais or two Sutta Rais depending how big is the Tonnara,they check and coordinate the work in absence of the Rais,generally a Sutta Rais can lead the operation on the ground helping the Rais while on board all depends of the leader.The Tunnaroti are divided in different roles,the Capu Bastarderi is like an assistant responsible of the movements of the team on a Bastarda the name in the Tonnara terminology of the boat,then there is also a Capu Coro who starts to sing a Cialoma a song in Sicilian and the Piscaturi the fishermen answering to that in a sort of choir.

Other people are part of that organisation,they are called  Capu Urdaru,,Cabannisti and Faratichi people dedicated on board and other dedicated as part of the team in the catering operations preparing food for the crew,checking all the accessories of the boats,placing the nets on board and then finished the tuna fishing,they clean it inside receiving orders by the Rais of maintenance works for the next day too.

 A traditional Tonnara  is also praying and singing,that is part of the culture since the beginning of the history,it is a religious rite and also a mutual help of the crew with those Cialoma,those songs also help the rhythm,the action and the moral of the team during a day of fishing.

The songs are from popular,religious of daily life,remembering a charming woman or other inspirations, inspirations,including the land and the families,some Tonnare are devoted to a Saint protector,Patron or Patroness or God,all depends from the area of the Tonnara where also the terminology of the crew is different. 

A Tonnara can have different strategies,depending of the place and the attitude of the tuna there is the Tonnara offshore,far from the coast and also near the coast,when the tuna is close to the coastline and immediately dragged to the shore caught in nets and the Mattanza the slaughter of the tuna is different ways.

The Tonnara construction of Scopello is a double building located a few meters from the sea with a large courtyard.It was for long time property of the local families Mannina and Sanclemente later the owners were religious orders and also nobles as a Baron and a Prince linked to the Spanish rulers and after the reunification of Italy it came back to local owners.

A short distance from that place walking along the coast after approximately 400,0 m you can see a spendid samll natural bay with turquoise waters between two rocky and sharp tips and further north walking for other ten minutes you can enjoy a superb round promontory overlooking the Mediterranean with enchanting views,ideal place to take a multitude of pictures.

Another very suggested place to admire the beauty of that Sicilian coastline is before to reach the Nature Reserve dello Zingaro,approximately 1,5 km from the Tonnara along the national road,in direction Castellamare del Golfo, the coast is a continuous succession of picturesque inlets and you will admire there two splendid consecutives bays,with spectacular rocky promontories and with an enchanting image of a clean seabed which is a mirror of waters.   

Beautiful are the hilly forests in the surroundings around in the interior with a wonderful Mediterranean vegetation,a big number of migratory birds,fantastic paths discovering also apart the stunning coastline,the fascinating interior and it is not a case that the King Ferdinand III of Bourbon in the 19th century visited Scopello more than once,due to his passion for hunting.Along the slopes of the nearest Monte Sparagio,a mountain of 1200 m in altitude was the perfect place to hunt deer,wild boars and hares.

Scopello is one of the two entrances to the beautiful Riserva dello Zingaro which is an authentic paradise of Sicily with many opportunities to walk along enchanting trails admiring the coastline which offers amazing views with a big number of inlets,small bays,tiny coves other Tonnare,forests,a rich flora and fauna, fauna,picturesque cliffs and small beaches.

The natural  landscapes are unique,it is the first Nature Reserve of the island and in addition a very historic place with relevant archaeological founds.Scopello is also a great start point of many excursions to the marvellous Segesta,Erice and the Monte San Giuliano which are are unique and unforgettable places and furthermore to explore the splendid coast from Trapani to Mazara del Vallo with a stop in the historic Marsala,land of fine wines a great experience for every visitor.

The interior is also a festival of history,colours,architecture of different period,nature and unforgettable view points from Castelvetrano to Calatafimi and Alcamo coming back on the coast and following in direction Palermo via Castellamare del Golfo,with a stop in the relaxing Balestrate before to reach the splendid Terrasini and the picturesque promontory of Punta Raisi. 

The city of Palermo is just 77,0 km from Scopello via the Motorway A29 Palermo -Mazara del Vallo with exit to Castellamare del Golfo and taking then the National Road SS 187.

Scopello offers an excellent cuisine,fish is absolutely fantastic,fresh every time and everywhere you are along all the coastline of the county of Trapani,tuna is one of the highlights cooked in different styles.Famous is the tuna steak,it is used for sauces,minced and added to salads,on cuddura or sfincioni,which are sort of pizzas,the second very traditional in Palermo area.

The Pani Cunzatu,is another speciality consisting in bread with spices,olive oil,anchovies and tomato,the Busiati is pasta homemade a sort of Maccheroni,prepared with vegetables,tuna sauce or seafood while
The Pasta with bottarga of tuna is another traditional plate.

 Very typical is also the local Couscous different of the couscous from Tunisia,Morocco and the Maghreb,the Couscous Trapanese is prepared as a stew with fish and seafood and try the Pesto Trapanese which is another highlights.That kind of pesto is very different than the famous Genoese and it is prepared with olive oil,garlic,basil and almonds.

Another local sauce ideal for every kind of pasta is U Pizzutello,a mixed sauce using fish,zucchini, salt, eggplants,pepper and olive oil,of old tradition is also the Mataroccu,which is a typical salad prepared with tomato,salt,olive oil,garlic placed in water,then with the addition of basil and slices of bread and served cold to accompany the meal.

About meat there is excellent lamb and beef.the Invultina a Trpanisa is a sort of beef roll filled with olive oil,grated bread,salt,parsley,garlic and spicy Pecorino cheese while the Ajadina Ccunsata is boiled chicken with garlic,salt,olive oil,parsley and with the addition of mint.

The dessert are many and really delicious Cannoli filled with ricotta cheese,the Cassateddi, are similar than the famous Cassata but much smaller the Mustazzoli,the traditional and famed Cassata and naturally in Sicily everywhere you are one of the emblematic symbol is the famous Granita.Wines are simply excellent next to the local Marsala,there are many kinds of smooth Merlot,Passito,Salaparuta,Erice,Menfi and also an excellent sweet Moscato.

Generally the Sicilian wines are very robust,the local vineyards cultivated at a determined altitude produce grapes with a very vivid colour,that is the signal of the warm sun which shines for about 290/300 days a year giving body and flavour to the fruit.Those wines are immediately tastefully and rich of aroma,very smooth and very suitable for different kind of plates including the white perfect with every kind of fish or seafood, seafood,Salaparuta and Menfi are two classic examples.

The local area is also a paradise for outdoor activities,water sports,sailing,scuba diving is famous there thanks to its uncontaminated and  crystalline waters,there is a magnificent seabed rich of unique treasures,the coast is paradise for all adults and children,there are sandy long beaches and also rocky coves.

Many are the chances to practise mountain bike and cycling on road along the splendid coast,trekking and hiking in the Riserva dello Zingaro and in the proximity of the Monte Sparagio a great experience,walking in mountain and admiring panoramic views on the sea.

Scopello and the county of Trapani are authentic treasures all to discover,it is a corner of Sicily you see once and you want to come back soon or immediately,all the island fascinates people for its infinite beauty and Scopello is one of that kind of places you will never forget.

Francesco Mari


 
Recommended Accommodations in Scopello and Surroundings

Hotel Torre Bennistra
Baglio di Scopello Resort
Antica Cascina del Golfo
B&B Maria
B&B Bernardo´s
B&B Al Sole

Recommended Restaurants in Scopello

Restaurant La Tavernetta
Restaurant La Terrazza di Scopello
Restaurant La Trattoria
Restaurant Lo Zingaro
Restaurant Il Baglio

Porto Cervo-Italy | Exclusive Yachting Hotspot of Sardinia.


The name Porto Cervo is so famous all around the world, a so famed resort considered one of the most classy destinations of Italy and in addition to be a more than  exclusive Yachting hotspot of Sardinia, elevated since some decades ago as a Jet Set s holidays symbol.

 In a place in which glamour but also business meetings and sunny stays are protagonists playing all together next to a superb offer in terms of hospitality with superb Hotels and great accommodations something of extremely considerable in the Tourism panorama ad you wil find all that and more in  that famed coastal paradise situated in a magnificent Mediterranean corner  called Costa Smeralda.

That Top Class Destination is well known worldwide but it is extremely interesting to discover and know better that impressive escalation and the history of that popular place means to come back to the 60s when in those years it was a pretty small and almost inhabited site of the municipality of Arzachena,a splendid seaside town famous for its stunning beaches and immense beauty, for its secular history and to be the most populated municipality of that magnificent Sardinian sub region well known with the denomination of Gallura.

The incredible development of Porto Cervo is like reading a novel to understand how in a very short time that resort which today is always in the first pages of Tourism magazines, brochures, catalogues and present in every channel linked to the media reached such astonishing popularity and prestige becoming for someone a sort of dreamland and icon.

The land in which was "invented" Porto Cervo  and we can use that verb  was originally a simple beautiful string of virgin coast forming a wonderful natural bay lined by crystalline waters populated by some locals mainly dedicated to fishing and agriculture in the nearest interior.

Almost unknown to the globe it was transformed in the engine of the tourism economy of Costa Smeralda,Sardinia and Italy and strongly coming in the International scene as a star, protagonist of dreaming holidays. In a very short time landings of VIPs, glamour, luxury yachts,vibrant nightlife,fine cafes, elegant restaurants, comfortable Hotels filled the local environment becoming as actors chose to create a stunning movie in a superb scenic setting.

 Important meeting point of businessmen,Top Managers, favourite heave for famed models,famous footballers, sport and cinema celebrities, notorious  characters closely linked to entertainment and fashion and for that also a big attraction for many .journalists and paparazzi.


Due to that Porto Cervo has always been a site which attracted furthermore the curious and ordinary people who at least once in a life wanted to see that distinctive and renowned resort highlighted by its enchanting luxury Yachting port so trendy and classy and that was an incredible metamorphosis which surprised the entire globe considering its very fast establishment.

 Situated just 34,0 kilometres north of Olbia well known to be a a notable and considerable  maritime port with a relevant International airport, that iconic site lies in a picturesque promontory flanking the splendid resort of Baja Sardinia and facing the famous wild captivating  Isola di Caprera, a small  island part of the small Arcipelago della Maddalena a group of islands and islets of enchanting charm and appeal.

That place easily admired from the local coastline is historically famous to be the last stage of Giuseppe Garibaldi the hero of the two worlds and leader of the reunification of Italyc who died there in 1882 .It  is sort of Eden lining emerald waters under an always warm sun details which give it a stunning  image of an exotic paradise in the Mediterranean I recommend to visit during your stay.

The name Porto Cervo derives by the shape of the bay which seen from a particular perspective it looks like a deer and Cervo in Italian language means that while Porto is the Port established in the 60s and the composition of those two words generated the current denomination of that top class destination.

With approximately 190 official residents the former area was originally called Monti di Mola,a  mountainous territory of  the Gallura formed by a a group of heights overlooking the local coast and that name  inspired a popular and  famous Genoese singer Fabrizio De André who wanted to dedicate a hymn to that marvellous land giving one of his successful song the name of that place.

In the 19th century that place  practically unknown,in the 20th century it was  simply  a humble fishing hamlet inhabited by a dozen of people,the 21th century was the transformation in a symbol,image and main spot of tourism often present everywhere including in gossips,newspapers and publications and constantly surrounded by a sort of magic and glitzy aura and for many people awarded as one of the places to visit once in a life. 

The idea to transform all what a visitor can see today reaching  something of  extremely relevant in that Sardinian scenic paradise of the Costa Smeralda came by the notorious Prince Karim Aga Khan IV son of Ali Khan III descendant of the noble dynasty Qayar who immediately fell  in love with the view of that striking coast highlighted by wonderful beaches lined by stunning crystalline waters able to capture the dreams of everyone.

That notorious character decided to develop a project and for that called a talented architect,Luigi Vietti native of Cannobio a small town situated on the shore of Lake Maggiore. That talented man was well known for his works and  great experience regarding urban arrangements and important  architectonic operations led by him in several  prestigious destinations so famous worldwide such as Portofino,Sanremo,Cortina d'Ampezzo and the Red Sea among others.

Next to Vietti was also  involved in that plan aqlso the Swiss-French Jacques Couelle, a brilliant and eclectic artist,architect and sculptor well known to be a close friend of the famed Spanish painter Pablo Picasso and creator of very valuable works especially along the French Riviera,Grasse and Ile de France.

To that trio was added Michele Busiri Vici, a famous architect from Rome,a figure with innovative and modern ideas,very active in the Italian Capital and in coastal resorts of the Region Lazio with several outstanding projects executed in the areas of Ostia,Anzio,San Felice Circeo and Sabaudia.

Busiri Vici was also popular because he was the creator of the Italian Pavilion in the universal Exposition of New York and apart that relevant detail he was pretty  famous to be a sort of pioneer and exponent of that kind of movement and style called Mediterranean architecture which is mainly focused to preserve the balance of an environment establishing structures that with right and appropriate colours, shape and layout have not to ruin or change the local environments.

The Businessman and Magnate once formed his team decided to to transform his dream in reality  buying that stupendous coastal land of Sardinia and the architects after some meetings entered in action, all them part of a special mission and totally convinced and confident to consider Monti di Mola despite it was an almost uninhabited place was the right place to establish something of simply great.

The works once started were mainly concentrated in concrete architectonic and urban plans which had not to distort the natural landscapes and setting of that tiny charming Mediterranean Eden and that was the order of the Prince Aga Khan very sensitive to an excellent preservation of the frame of his creation.

The operations were linked adapting the architecture of the new buildings to the few already existent in the immediate surroundings with an integration of new structures which should not generate conflicts or bizarre contrasts with the typical appealing architecture of the Gallura something which was indicated as main message forbidding extremely bizarre and strange constructions.

 A highlight which gave a relevant importance to Porto Cervo was naturally the establishment of its famous Yacht Club Costa Smeralda founded in 1967 by the Prince,the mentioned architect Vietti with the cooperation of a famous French lawyer called Andre Ardoin and that of Giuseppe Kerry Mentasti a famed businessman which was well known as the  King of Mineral Water San Pellegrino and drinks as Bitter among other.

Those charismatic founders thanks to their endless links and contacts started an automatic promotion mainly directed in large scale to all the VIPs who wanted to visit that resort or expressing the desire to do that as soon as possible.

That proposal led by strategic operations of marketing and promotion was quickly highlighted by the edition and delivery of illustrative brochures and catalogues with inserted  the most stunning local pictures and the second stage was that of official invitations to see live all what was represented. All that had
a very positive response in terms of interest with a notable feedback and  in a very short time Porto Cervo became a considerable meeting point of prominent figures.

The list closely related to that was simply impressive starting from the Greek Shipping Magnate Aristoteles Onassis,the King of Spain Juan Carlos,the Fiat Group owner Gianni Agnelli,the Saudi Arabian Ahmed Zaki Yamani linked to the Petrol Industry,the Industrialist Top Manager Carlo De Benedetti among others.

Next to such prestigious characters flocked on that new stunning seaside resort other famed related to the Jet Set of those times such as Pierre  Cardin, Cardin,Jacqueline Kennedy,Greta Garbo,Alain Delon and many others.

The 70s were those years in which Porto Cervo had to establish a consolidation and a continuation of all those successful operations and since then started an intense activity of Real Estate managed by the Prince  in a close and intense collaboration with his friend and right hand Andre Ardoin and naturally always flanked by his trusted architects.

In that period there was a construction of luxury villas and apartments suitable to meet the needs and the taste of all those VIPs with a very busy promotion in a segmented mission of marketing mission directed to every continent. 

The structures built in Porto Cervo were  studied to attract immediately the interest of many people, decorated with fine architectonic details,exotic layouts of the gardens,presence of large pools and a location with striking views on that superb and mesmerising Sardinian coast.

In a short time that former humble hamlet after the construction of such appropriate residences totally erected respecting a loyal programmed design became a place immediately able to call and attract the international nomenclature as a sort of siren song also persuading new investors who decided to convince other prominent people focused to spend frequent sunny holidays in Sardinia to chose that emergent destination without hesitations.


Although that Italian region was already very famous for its unique beauty with splendid beaches and magnificent crystalline waters so loved and admired by a myriad of people but that Region never had in its history and on its soil something similar and that aspect had a notable resonance in the medias elevating the Costa Smeralda as one of the Tourism hubs at international level.

In the 80s took place an enlargement of the port and that exclusive Yachting hotspot of Sardinia with a Club which reached an impressive capacity able to host over 700 yachts had a further important step in terms of appeal and resonance.

 In those years the resort gained much more relevance because it also became the official seat of the the project and creation of  Azzurra,that distinctive Yacht Racing Team led by the Prince Aga Khan and the FIAT Magnate Gianni Agnelli, another prominent figure who played an important role about the success of Porto Cervo.


That yacht venture was protagonist in the America ´s Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup and its base was in that Sardinian resort and those prestigious sporting events linked to the Top Nautical world undoubtedly increased furthermore the image and fame of that site with other people flocking to see the headquarter of the notorious Azzurra.

That stunning complex reached the levels of Top Class Yachting harbours as Portofino and Saint Tropez (if you are interested I wrote posts about those two famed destinations)and its appeal calls another important industry of high relevance when  it started to be visited by filmmakers who in those years produced some well known works as Vita Smeralda, James Bond in the movie the Spy Who Loved me  and others of extreme success.

All the medias,televisions,magazines in Italy were totally connected to the daily life of such place for the continuous presence of famed characters and obviously that popular Sardinian destination became a more than fertile soil for journalists always busy to have a special and exclusive interview with some notorious characters.

 Another aspect which took a notable escalation was the advent of  paparazzi always searching the sensational scoop linked to the most frivolous gossip and society news and Porto Cervo naturally became for them a special place more than appropriate.

Naturally also the Tourism and Hospitality Industries started to work very assiduously.It was born another product very demanded and attractive and ready to be launched in a large commercial business which could have very fruitful results in terms of incoming operations attracting the most prestigious and important outgoing Tour Operators at  international scale and the resort was a perfect and unique destination for the most important markets.

The Tour Operators Travel Agencies specialised in incomng Sardinia despite the capacity in terms of beds offering constant daily overnights for a large period of a year wanted more and more  business both detecting the endless opportunities that resort offered.

There was since then an increasing and intense contract operation with consequent  agreements for a constant research year by year to have more allotments to guarantee pretty easily their selling thanks to the trendy image of Porto Cervo which was a more than desired dish for every Destination Manager.

In the case of special offers were stipulated contracts and conditions linked to an immediate sale due to the strong demanding requests which day by day were increasing with considerable incoming flows.

Immediately started in the most important fairs the promotion and automatic sale of such destination consolidated as a sort of myth of tourism which in a while attracted the attention of different countries from Switzerland to Germany,Great Britain, USA, France and many other operators all around the world.

including Arabian and Middle East countries also created a new emergent outgoing market towards Porto Cervo with more than successful result and that was closely linked to the name of the Prince Aga Khan.
 
Porto Cervo,Porto Rotondo,Costa Smeralda are shining gems and naturally thanks to the presence of such wonders, Sardinia was immediately and easily elevated as a dreamland for every tourist also at national scale with a tourism which reached superb peaks with a very high index of preference as dreaming holidays by Italians consolidating all those places in the Top Ranking.

That new reality was very captivating,over the average expected media and it is certainly high interesting thinking which kind of empire was developed there bordering those magnificent immaculate waters in a so short time with a constant incentive thanks to the rich offer in terms to excellent facilities,luxury and comfortable accommodations and very trendy Hotels.

A delicious local cuisine with well established notorious Restaurants and the chance to enjoy water sports under a warm sun generated a sort of superb and sublime cocktail to enjoy daily thanks to the presence of all those brilliant features and perfect combinations in terms of tourism, hospitality, catering, sport, outdoor activities and leisure.

In more recent times is notorious the affluence of further flows of famous people such as Flavio Briatore,Naomi Campbell,Sting,Joaquin Cortes was the continuation of a glitzy trend which probably will continue for a long time.

A simple walk today along the quays of the marina of Porto Cervo is also the occasion to see often one of those VIPs landing in that luxury Yachting harbour to spend their glamorous holidays and stays.

The visit of that famed place is pretty easy but at the same time enjoyable with the centre mainly developed facing the banks of the Yachting Club Costa Smeralda and the stunning view of the glamorous setting around it with also a magnificent image of the wonderful local bay.

Just 200,0 metres from that iconic site lies the Marina developed in the innermost point of the local port in which you can also find a centre of assistance for all the luxury yachts mooring there.

The harbour obviously dominates the scenery and in walk of approximately 500,0 metres along its banks you can reach an area in which you can see a series narrow streets,elegant shops and luxury boutiques.

The houses shows an architectonic style and aspect according the original projects of the founders and they are totally in  harmony with all there is around.Many of those buildings are greatly decorated by coloured doors and shutters, flowered balconies in a perfect balance of tonalities.

The promenade which crosses two attractive small squares called  Sottopiazza and Piazza delle Chiacchiere gives that place a vague resemblance without comparison to Capri or Portofino but with their own distinctive identity obviously linked to different realities.Luxury Hotels, lively Clubs, fine Cafes and renowned Restaurants are all protagonists of a very vibrant  nightlife of the resort and they are mainly established outside the core in in the immediate surroundings.  

Facing the Yachting Club you can see the Chiesa Stella Maris,the local Church which was built in the 60s by the architect Michele Busiri Vici who used his famous Mediterranean Architectonic style and you will notice as that Religious building in its image was erected totally respecting the canons of the local architecture.

That white big construction highlighted by the presence of a bell tower integrated in an adjacent setting including an  undulated facade with an ample long curved arch is completed by a scenic sloping red-tiled roof developed over a portico formed by six gray stoned columns which give a vague resemblance to Dolmens if seen from a special perspective.

The subdivision of three columns on each side permits the access to the interior and on the sides you will see a series of white painted windows placed on rounded protruding walls while the doors are made in bronze.

Inside despite the young age of that Sacred structure the Church contains relevant artistic masterpieces such as an organ dated 18th century,a painting by El Greco,the Mater Dolorosa dated the 16th century and two splendid crucifixes dating back 17th and 18th century of German school.

You can easily notice that the building reflects a mixture of architectural elements with a varied combination of details linked to a typical rural Sardinian house,a traditional Cortijo of Andalusia and with also some strong links to those distinctive Greek houses you can see in Santorini,Mykonos,Corfu or in other Hellenic resorts.

Around Porto Cervo were developed several small agglomerations with luxury villas,elegant apartments and outstanding Hotels. One of them which worth a special mention is certainly the famous Cala di Volpe Hotel Costa Smeralda Resort,a shining jewel of fine architecture designed by the architect Jacques Couelle.

According to the project,  the execution of the construction of that superb accommodation took inspiration by a fishermen village providing furthermore a magnificent waterfront.  That Hotel complex consists in typical white buildings embellished by splendid arcades and charming large windows with view on the Mediterranean and also the wings were very well studied,erected using elements and lines making them resembling to towers.

The structure is arranged facing a maritime arched waterfront with its own charming harbour and it is member of the Luxury Hotel Collection so in the case you are thinking in your holidays to Porto Cervo searching a suggested and great accommodation that one is for you.

 As additional but important detail which worth certainly a mention is that the Hotel was the a set of that successful  movie The Spy Who Loved Me by Lewis Gilbert,starring Roger Moore as James Bond. That superb and divine accommodation furthermore is well known to have a Presidential Suite which is among the most luxury and expensive in the world.

The immediate surroundings are authentic small paradises and it is enough to mention Romazzino and Liscia di Vacca distinguished places hosting very good Tourist Villages and beloved destinations for everyone to enjoy fabulous emerald waters in a stunning natural frame.

Pevero Golf is the ideal place for that sport lovers and a great incentive to practise that very trendy activity in one of the best and scenic Clubs of the world. It is a magnificent 18 holes Golf Course considered a gem, member of the Relais du Golf and awarded with the title Europe´s Elite Selection.

That magnificent masterpiece was opened in 1972 and it offers the chance to enjoy a spectacular Mediterranean environment with a splendid view towards Corsica and its stupendous coasts.In addition to all those sublime features it provides a brilliant facility consisting in the presence of multilingual Teachers offering lessons in English,German,French and naturally Italian.

That special and outstanding service is undoubtedly an advantage for all people who want to learn to play golf choosing their language and that is not very usual in many Golf Clubs with obviously the pleasant joy to play in a stunning and astonishing shining set and what is more important without problems of communication during your lessons.

All the area is simply amazing and I suggest you to visit Piccolo Pevero and the beaches of Razza du Junco and Pantogia all them reflecting the pure essence of the beauty of  Sardinia, beautiful places all to photograph and immortalise in an infinite collection to take home with you in your best memories about the best images of the Northern coast of that marvellous island.

For its magnificent beach and panoramic views I also recommend you Capriccioli which is another shining gem highlighted by a magnificent bay with inviting and tempting turquoise waters in a place which appears to the human eye as a sort of magic dreamland.

If you want to admire something of really special and spectacular,very recommended and pretty close to Porto Cervo is the promontory north to Liscia di Vacca where you can admire in a paradise of natural amazing inlets and coves a stupendous view of the wild and picturesque tiny island Isola delle Biscie enjoying furthermore a maritime horizon simply unique to remember for ever.

From there you can also have fantastic ample panoramic views of the previously merntioned scenic and marvellous Caprera Island and much more a further beauty with the magnificent image facing you of the two sharp headlands of Isola Pecora which for its coastal formation is considered by many people a stunning attraction among the most captivating in that Mediterranean corner.

Another site very suggested is along the coast leading to Baia Sardinia which is just 15 minutes away driving from Porto Cervo before to reach that resort I recommend you to stop in an area called Poltu Quatu and once there you will have the chance to admire a spectacular inlet which is like a fjord,absolutely outstanding.

In that concrete place you can start to enjoy the marvellous views towards the wonderful Isola di Santo Stefano,St.Stephen Island,which at sunset has a very suggestive and mystical image when the sun is falling on its shoreline and also that picture will be certainly present in your best memories.

 Isola della Maddalena is another  a striking  Sardinian wonder very visible from there. It is the main island of that archipelago, highly charming for its colours with the green of its interior combined with the spots of scenic rocks scattered all around its surface and highlighted by several emerging cliffs immediately arising offshore its coast.


Definitely those two islands are two other diamonds of a wonderful small archipelago facing the mainland both characterised by their wild and picturesque aspect and with fascinating silhouettes and you can not miss to see them because in their kinds are something of simply unforgettable. 

 facing in that concrete point its beautiful southern bay of Caprera with its amazing coastline which is magnificent zigzag of fantastic inlets and hidden coves,a magnificent place for diving and highlighted by some enchanting arched bays with cliffs which seems painted flanking crystalline and emerald waters which change tonalities in other deeper points of the coast.

Apart all that aslong that coastal stretch you will be in front the beautiful southern bay of Caprera island previously mentioned with its amazing coastline which is a magnificent zigzag of fantastic inlets and hidden coves and you are furthermore in an ideal place for diving rich enchanting small arched bays with cliffs which seems painted lining crystalline and emerald waters which change tonalities in other deeper points of the coast. 

Once you reached Baia Sardinia,another paradise of Costa Smeralda I strongly recommend you to visit is  immediately in the outskirts of that resort with another unique view consisting in Capo D´Orso, Cape of the Bear a beautiful promontory over the stupendous waters of the Tyrrhenian sea,south east of the town of Palau.

That area is great if you love snorkeling and to admire a superb seabed and from there you are can have another view from another perspective of the Isola di Santo Stefano which is in that concrete point is very close to the Sardinian mainland.

Along that stunning bay continuing to south you can meet another unique marvel which worth a stop and probably you will not want to go away for its fantastic beauty consisting in the magnificent Cala Bitta. It is a natural tiny gulf which offers splendid colours with unforgettable sunsets and stunning turquoise waters. Ffrom there you can continue until Cannigione another divine place which is the innermost resort in that marvellous corner of the Costa Smeralda.

All those places offer many opportunities to practise several water sports,such as sailing,scuba diving,a paradise packed by sandy virgin beaches offering the unique opportunity to spend more than pleasant times along small picturesque coves and unforgettable tiny bays.

The best and one of the main features of Costa Smeralda is also that, you can move just a few of kilometres and in a while you will admire so many attractions moving in a while from sandy stretches to rocky sharp spurs.t.In addition to all that, if you are interested all them are also captivating starting points to for excursions inviting to discover the scenic wild interior.

The local gastronomy is absolutely a sublime hymn to the traditional culinary panorama of Sardinia with a wide variety of fresh fish and seafood offering among the best mussels,lobsters and clams of the entire Mediterranean.The local Frittura Mista is more than appreciated by a multitude of people consisting in a large plate of fried fish, squid and delectable scampi served with a mixed salad.

In the case you want to have as alternative meat,the Gallura offers the chance to taste excellent lamb prepared baked or grilled and  seasones by aromatic herbs and spices. Very tastefully is th famede Porceddu,a delicious roast pork highlighted by the fresh flavours of Mediterranean herbs.If you love to try something of really traditional do not miss the Malloreddus, small gnocchi of semolina and the Fregula.

Excellent are also the local cheeses with the famous Pecorino Sardo well known all around the world,a salted product with a strong flavour which can be combined in several snack or appetiser often served next to the famous Pan Carasau, a thin traditional local bread.

Delicious are also the cakes and desserts ready to satisfy the most exigent tastes thanks to their natural ingredients and you can try some of them such as Orilletas,Tiriccas,Papassinas among others.

The offer about fine wines is absolutely outstanding thanks to the high quality of Sardinian grapes. Vermentino,Cannonau,Vernaccia,Cagnulari,Giró and are absolutely excellent and including you can taste a sweet local Moscato of notable quality.


The nearest airport is the Aeroporto Olbia Costa Smeralda situated at 31,0 kilometres south of the resort and landing there driving along the National Road SS125 continuing on the county roads SP73 and  Strada Provinciale 94 in approximately 35 minutes you will be at destination if the case you are planning a great Fly & Drive.

I added some links below for further information if you are planning a trip to Sardinia with also some recommended Hotels. in great and splendid Top Class resort.

That island offers unforgettable places from north to south ideal to spend sunny and great holidays many moths a year,a destination to take in more than high consideration thanks to its mild climate and offering apart an endless list of natural marvels also a rich historic patrimony.

The unforgettable crystalline waters of that Mediterranean Eden are amazing next to that icon as that exclusive Yachting hotspot which is is something so  special in its kind not just for its name but also for its historic escalation and for all what of wonderful there is around it, a place which created the tourism every visitor can enjoy today.

Taking a look to that resort and its immediate surroundings you will also discover why that place became the engine of the tourism economy of one of the most wonderful island of the Mediterranean, the answer will be very exhaustive, simply admiring a place so difficult to forget and so easy to remember for an eternity.

 Francesco Mari


Recommended Hotels in Porto Cervo and surroundings

Hotel Cervo Costa Smeralda Resort
Grand Hotel Porto Cervo
Hotel Colonna Pevero
Hotel Dolce Vita
Hotel Romazzino
Hotel Le Ginestre
Hotel Colonna Park
Hotel Cala di Volpe Costa Smeralda

Useful links






 

Findochty-Scotland | Restful Holidays and Golf on an Enchanting Coast.



 Findochty is an idyllic small town of Scotland, a perfect and right destination to spend restful holidays enjoying Golf on an enchanting coast which immediately transmits the fascination of that fabulous Gaelic land in all its essence thanks to its stunning landscapes, unforgettable sea views in a wonderful scenery highlighted by unique images as superb cliffs dominating a spectacular jagged shoreline with a beautiful succession of small bays, secluded coves and picturesque tiny sharp promontories facing a series of scattered attractive islets with next to an endless sublime horizon as a further attraction.

Located in the County of Moray at approximately 320, 0 kilometres north of the Scottish Capital Glasgow crossing the beautiful Cairngorms National Park and at just 93, 0 kilometres from the splendid Inverness, the extraordinary environment of that centre lying on a stunning headland is absolutely fantastic also for the proximity of the wonderful Moray Firth, a spectacular triangular inlet formed by a North Sea arm reminiscent of a striking Norwegian fjord and  scenic rivers such as Ness, Spey and Findhom which all together complete a stunning mosaic of waterways.

That striking territorial conformation with all those great natural marvels and a magic aura surrounding every corner of that intact land reminding  the memorable ancient times when that divine Eden was settled by the Scots and the Picts, the first Celts who populated that enchanting territory many centuries ago transmitting at first sight very deep inspirations.

You will be in an enchanting site which in its kind it is a sort of dreamland encircled by suggestive legends, mystical mysteries, fascinating narrations with a long history extremely captivating and once there the visitor can immediately breathe all that in a while because that unmistakable atmosphere is a special spot of the magnificent Scotland, one of the most suggestive destinations of Northwestern Europe. 

 Those stupendous sensations are absolutely unique and and what is fantastically impressive is that big part of Northern Great Britain practically  transmits those feelings including in the smallest, remote villages and hamlets delighting everybody in a while.

 Findochty despite its small size offers all that around its boundaries and it is an ideal and appropriate haven for all those who want to enjoy the extraordinary beauty, true, spirit and essence of that territory in tranquillity, serenity but at the same with a lot of things to do.

The peaceful environment is certainly a notable detail in which the only noise you can hear is that of the waves of the sea and the cry of the gulls landing on those superb cliffs and all that makes that site extremely fascinating, incomparable and extremely inspiring but there is always the desire to explore and discover because that place also launches signals  that every site can be the start of an enjoyable adventure.

A great idea for a very pleasant stay is to rent a cottage starting to live totally and deeply in contact with that marvellous heaven and that is a great choice to spend pleasurable holidays in that Scottish area.

Those structures are fully equipped, some of them absolute jewels strategically well located, no problem of parking in the case you are on holidays enjoying a stupendous Fly & Drive and all them are established in a beautiful environment.

Findochty is a perfect destination as a great base for radial excursions planning great itineraries discovering enchanting, siginificant routes, all the surroundings offer attractions highly interesting, the communications are excellent and there is not an intense traffic.

You can find excellent typical restaurants and Gastropubs offering the best gastronomy reflecting the pure true culinary art of Scotland with a special mention to ther emblematic fresh seafood, with emblematic cod, salmon absolute protagonists and  also that it is certainly a notable incentive for the most demanding palates.

Golf, thanks the presence of the iconic Strathlene Golf Club but also trekking, cycling, photography and bird watching are great activities every tourist can enjoy there and it is also a destination highly suggested for all the visitors who love an uncontaminated nature with the chance to be delighted in addition by visits of sites boasting a rich historic patrimony.

The Gaelic name of Findochty is Am Fionn Ochdamh and that denomination recorded by Diack in an old transcription  is pretty uncertain. 

It might be something related to the word am which means time in some Celtic autochtone languages but according to other suppositions it could be a phrase left by the ancient Celts meaning something of mysterious probably linked to local legends and that is part of that unmistakable and magnificent Scottish culture always full of hidden secrets and treasures in a land always surrounded by an everlasting mystical aura.

A notable event confirming the ancient local history much before the settlement of those Gaelic populations is related to 1901 when were discovered in the local boundaries caves containing bones of prehistoric animals but that site afterwards was blasted to build new constructions.

The birth of the former hamlet was in medieval times, exactly in the 15th century when the current centre was a very humble and tiny agglomeration with a small dock called Crooked Haven established for a fishing activity which in that period was mainly concentrated to satisfy the local needs.

In the 16th century a rich family called Ord became owner and landlord of a big part of many local territories starting to create a more developed and populated village giving it year by year a first former image of a little town including arranging and enlarging the old little harbour and a bit later
was also erected in the western side of Findochty a castle of which only its ruins are visible nowadays.

Thanks to those rulers started to flourish some official activities closely related to fisheries and in the 18th century that wealthy family employed twenty people began a  successful business linked to herring and cod catch selling those sea products in some local markets.

The brilliant results in that time made that there was a further development of the harbour until reaching a capacity of 150 boats and in addition as main highlight there the creation of a local fleet, an event which elevated Findochty immediately behind other acclaimed fishing ports in Scotland which started their operations a long time before.

Fishing became since then the main resource and icon of the current municipality, very active and in constant progress continuing for many years to be the hub of the local economy. The decline of that  centre started at the end of the 19th century when in the nearest coastal town of Buckie was established a larger port which could host a major number of boats in an environment very well prepared and organised which took the local leadership.  

Another reason which caused the decay of that activity without opportunities to return to be competitive was the advent of new companies which established  partnerships and networks and all that marked the prelude of the end of the golden ages of that  fishing town which for a long period was an emergent reality.
  
The core of Findochty is arranged in proximity of the coastline with picturesque coloured cottages and charming houses nestled on a low plateau overlooking the picturesque bay and the charming harbour.

 Netherton Terrace is a street linked to Strathlene Road which directly leads to the Golf Club and it consists in the main municipal border of the heart of the main agglomeration. Pretty close is situated  Commercial Street ,one of the main gates of the centre in proximity of the Methodist Church while the other Religious building is the Parish Church of Scotland located between Church Street and Duke Street, two other important local arteries.

The beauty of of that place is the very quiet and relaxing atmosphere with some shops and the opportunity to enjoy a pleasant walk along the banks of the harbour until a wide Caravan parking located in an area close to the Admiral Pub, an iconic local meeting point.

You can also see a residential cottage a short distance walking from the Golf Club and all that makes that place a magnificent oasis of peace characterised by a very distinctive serenity, a very restful place ideal to recharge the batteries but nothing boring at all because it is enough to take a look all around you admiring the spectacular Scottish landscapes delighting your eyes with striking views showing fantastic images to immortalise in a multitude of pictures.

The harbour has kept its charismatic charm and it is a landmark part of the local history and culture reminding with its presence a glorious past despite today it is mainly used for pleasure and by some locals hosting their boats. 

It preserved the aspect of its golden ages with its strong reinforced quays which started since a long time ago to be a very safe refuge protecting the vessels,  it is also a pretty picturesque site chosen by photographers to immortalise the scenic image of the scenic inhabited centre from different special perspectives dominating it.

Once there you can also see a small lighthouse which was for long time during the successful escalation of Findochty a loyal friend and emblem indicating the routes to those men who faced a hard life sailing for several days across the Atlantic and the North Sea searching the best catch.

The iconic fishing activity has always been a distinctive icon of the community and to pay homage to all the local people  who represented that profession an artist called Corenna Cowie decided to dedicated them a statue depicting a fisherman watching the harbour while on the western side of the marina you can see Memorial War returning from there towards the core of the town once again crossing Duke Street or along New Street.

You can continue the visit with the Parish Church, a charming light building erected in 1860 and seat of the Presbyterian community. Elevated on a rectangular base, the structure is pretty sober with a gable facade and a belfry established beneath a sloping gray roof.

The portal is flanked by two thin long arched windows and on the sides you will notice a series of rectangular windows while  the  interior is simple and austere with plastered white walls and a highlight is a wooden pulpit.  

A special charming feature is its scenic location on a low hillside overlooking the entire scenery, ideal place to take some great pictures immortalising the stunning images of Scotland simply enchanting for what they are able to transmit with the North Sea and that outstanding coastline eternally protagonists.

The Methodist Church is another Religious site elevated in Findochty consisting in a pretty modern construction established in the early 20th century, exactly in 1916 replacing a former one erected in 1870. 

 It presents an ample facade with a huge portal flanked by two curved windows surmounted by a small gray roof covering the entire nave and highlighted by the presence of a series of five large stained glass windows. On the sides were inserted two high rectangular blocks beneath a gable roof which are the other main architectural elements of the layout of that building currently used by the Salvation Army

Strathlene Golf Club is a local great landmark which since its inception gave popularity to that Scottish municipality and it is situated at just 1,2 kilometres from the heart of the municipality immediately after the Caravan Park in direction west towards Buckie. 

That historic Golf Course was founded in 1877, it is the oldest in Scotland and the former Institution was originally located near Portessie Train Station in the area of that large parking a short distance from the previously mentioned Methodist Church but  in 1936 it was relocated on the top of that picturesque cliff where it was rebuilt in 1974 a new complex you can admire nowadays.

The green was designed by George Smith who had a great imagination to create a shining jewel consisting in a magnificent 18 hole Course which immediately had a great success calling several players coming from different counties of Great Britain with immediate very positive feedback elevating itself as a prestigious international destination for all those who love that very trendy sport.

That masterpiece offers splendid chance for all the most enthusiast golf lovers, boasting almost 6,000 yards in length,  a 69 par and furthermore it also provides a catering service and a cafe -bar, ideal structures to have a pleasant break.

 That fantastic complex is perfect for all the players who like undulating surfaces with bunkers placed in great positions, elevated greens, it is very challenging developed along a magnificent long and wide verdant space simply outstanding

In 1997 the Club purchased from the local Council some further lands to enlarge more its capacity in terms of facilities and services adding a Golf Training Centre providing a 14 bay driving range, a three hole, pitch and butt and practise bunkers. 


The highlights apart its prestige and reputation are the unique and stunning panoramic views on the Moray Firth and the scenic beauty of those striking images in a marvellous environment offers the chance to practise that sporting activity delighting the players by those incomparable sights on  that bewitching sea arm and a further overlooking the coastline from east to west.


The great location of the complex also offers two different kinds of scenery, one towards the North Sea admiring some scenic rocky islets scattered offshore from the mainland with an impressive post card of Findochty and another one towards south completely different with stunning views of a spectacular green countryside.

In a specific point you can also admire a spectacular natural bay formed by two small headlands and from there you will have a magnificent perspective towards the harbour and the coastal stretch leading to Buckie and Port Gordon, a sight simply stunning.

 On the eastern side of the town you can reach a magnificent environment along the shoreline with picturesque cliffs and coves, a jagged coastal paradise formed by tiny gulfs and inlets with the brilliant  opportunity to see dolphins.

 That enchanting coast is an endless mine of natural treasures to explore metre by metre and one of its diamonds is undoubtedly Tronach Head, a cape situated at approximately 58, 0 metres over the sea level consisting in a green promontory admiring from its summit a striking image composed by a myriad of small cliffs emerging from the North Sea at a short distance from the shoreline.

Other attractions are the spectacular shaped rock formationns of  Priest Craigs and Horse Head which are two other great attractions in their kinds, often immortalised by many professional photographers for their imposing size and scenic shape.

From there I suggest you to continue towards a captivating and charming village called Portnockie, a small centre with a long and old tradition linked to herring fishing since the 17th century.  

That place apart its scenic and picturesque aspect also has a great attraction called Bowe Fiddle Rock, a magnificent big cliff emerging just some metres offshore from the coastline which with all its superb scenic appeal is one of the most photographed attractions in Northern Scotland.

That site in addition is also a fantastic destination for ornithologists and people fond about bird watching offering many opportunities to see different kinds of volatiles with a wide variety of gulls, eiders, fulmars, razorbills and shags among others.

Another attraction is Castle Green located in a striking position on a wonderful rocky tip offering spectacular sea views and in the immediate proximity you can reach Cullen Golf Club, another splendid 18 hole Course established in a stupendous environment and a further chance to play in a great place a short distance from Findochty.

In just some minutes driving you can reach the historic town of Cullen which with its beautiful marina developed in an enchanting  arched bay is scenically a very charming destination but also with an important historic past and some architectural marvels.

It said that in its boundaries concretely under its old Church were buried the organs of the wife of Robert the Bruce the iconic King of the Scots for over two decades also well known as Raibeart Bruis who led Scotland in the first war of Independence against England. 

Lady Elizabeth de Burgh, elevated as Queen of the Scots was the second spouse of that Scottish leader, daughter of a noble Irish family, she died on 27th October 1327 in Cullen in the Royal Residence, her organs were kept in the town but she was buried in Dumfermline Abbey in the council area of Fife.

That pleasant centre despite has as population of about 1350 inhabitants is well known to be a prestigious summer destination boasting a stunning long beach, a scenic historic centre with some fascinating old stone buildings, winding cobbled streets, some very picturesque alleys and Crannnock Wood, a marvellous forest offering wonderful landscapes and stunning panoramic views.

That town in addition is well known for a famous recipe called Cullen Skink, a fish soup made with fresh haddock cooked with onion, milk and adding potatoes, a sort of iconic speciality very popular all around Scotland.

Other places I suggest yo to visit further east are  Portsoy and Macluff, two other picturesque places offering all around their boundaries wonderful landscapes and coastal stretches all to immortalise in your pleasant memories remembering them forever.

The western coastal side in proximity of Findochty is equally beautiful, I recommend you to visit the lovely town of Buckie, during the journey approaching that place you will be enchanted by a striking scenery with great protagonists some small marvellous islets and several stunning cliffs bordering a wonderful coastal stretch.

Once there you can see the famous and active harbours of Cluny and Buckpool which played since the starting of their activities an important role for the community and worth to be visited St. Peter´s Church considered one of the most attractive Religious buildings of the entire area highlighted by its superb twin long spires.

From Buckie you can start other captivating routes coming in the picturesque and wild interior  or continuing until the splendid Inverness, one of the jewels of the Scottish Highlands. (I wrote a post about that city if you are interested)  

One of the best highlights of Scotland is exploring all its areas village by village, Findochty is of course a great start point both east towards the sea arm of that city or also driving westward up to Fraserburgh and via Peterhead reaching further south along an extraordinary eastern coast the other very interesting city of  Aberdeen.

Apart Golf, there are many other outdoor activities to enjoy all around that municipality, some of them are trekking but also mountain bike thanks to the presence of several challenging and fantastic dirt and mixed trails and also fishing is another one. 

During a stay all that could be combined to all those mentioned excursions and visits filling more than pleasant days but also spending restful holidays admiring all around the natural marvels that land offers simply staying in contemplation because Scotland is also great for that kind of tourism, rest, tranquillity, enjoying the very relaxing atmosphere surrounding you admiring in a short space a multitude of natural beauties.

Regarding local gastronomy you will delighted by a cuisine simply great. Salmon is one of the great highlights prepared in different styles such as grilled, boiled and simply superb is the famed smoked Salmon, a variant of high reputation, extremely appreciated. Herring is another sea product very relevant with a secular tradition characterised by a delicious taste, a bit softer than the equally delicious you can find in Scandinavia.

With that kind of fish you can try another notorious dish called Rollmops, a typical plate consisting in fillet rolls fillet with pepper, onion and gherkin, traditionally served with skewers. The previously mentioned Cullen Skink is another icon and the supreme haddock which is the main ingredient of that recipe is also used to prepare the Finnan Haddle which in the process of its preparation it is smoked, served with a sauce, saffron or also with red peppers and onions.

Very common is the traditional Porridge  and also meat is protagonist of the local gastronomy with several kinds of pies made with beef, lamb and pork meats. Very famed are also delicious tender grilled beef steaks and the popular Mince and Tatties, a notorious plate prepared with minced beef accompanied by mashed potatoes, carrots and onions. 

Several are the stews, casseroles and roasts using pork, lamb but also venison. Another delectable speciality is the Scotch Broath consisting in a soup made with slices of lamb sometimes replaced by beef cooked with carrots, barley, cabbage, turnip and leeks.

About desserts and bakery, very ample is the choice and worth to be mentioned the famed Scones but also the appreciated Caramel Shortbread and the Black Bun among others. Scotland is also very famous all around the world for its famous Scotch Whisky brands which boast a long history to narrate, you can have an ample selection and choice next to a very good range of beers.

Inverness Dalcross International Airport is approximately one hour and fifteen minutes driving from Findochty by A96 Motorway. It is a great chance, thanks to many International flights reaching that city including low costs companies. In the case you are planning a trip in the Scottish area I added some links below could be useful for your Fly & Drive and stay.
 
Scotland is a jewel extremely rich of history with a natural patrimony absolutely unique, every corner of that land is a hymn to a magic destination boasting marvellous scattered marvels all around of its territory transmitting every time and incentive and great desire to discover hidden magnificent places which can conceal endless mysteries, ancient Gaelic legends, secrets, historic events and stories which all together characterise probably one of the most fascinating places in the world.

Superb landscapes, a fantastic culture, that land is always a destination among the most recommended for unforgettable, enjoyable, active, restful holidays, no noise or stress, rich of stunning and incomparable sites extremely captivating encircled by a striking wild nature will immediately bewitch you.

That northern paradise of the United Kingdom is always a great choice for tourism and holidays all year  you have to visit enjoy at least once in a lifetime also starting from small but appealing sites as Findochty on an enchanting Scottish coast which transmits unique feelings and once there moving from a place to another in just some minutes you will be enchanted by every corner taking with you pleasant memories absolutely unforgettable imprinted in your mind.

Francesco Mari


Recommended Accommodations in Findochty

Findochty Holidays Cottage- In this web page with links below you can see different kinds of cottages

Recommended Restaurants

you can find some restaurants in the nearest town of  Buckie
as
Restaurant Aurora
Admirals Inn Public House

Useful links

www.findochtyholidaycottage.co.uk
www.visitscotland.com
 www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk
www.strathlenegolfclub.co.uk 
www.sykescottages.co.uk/findochty-cottages. 


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