Things to do in Alghero, Sardinia
0. First of all, it’s easy to get there
Let’s start from point zero…that is logistics! Especially in the case of those planning a short getaway, the convenience of reaching the destination is a decisive aspect in the choice. Alghero has a small but functional international airport, which from the end of March to the end of October provides numerous routes to Italian and European cities. A nice convenience, even if you may have to make a change in Rome or Milan. In any case, the airport is just 10 minutes from the town and is served by public transport (buses and taxis).
For those who prefer to travel with their own means of transport, Porto Torres is less than an hour away. The numerous connections (Genoa, Ajaccio, Barcelona, Civitavecchia, Toulon, just to name a few) allow you to plan a holiday in Alghero without having to worry about not finding a rental car on site.
1. Do you love nature? here’s what to do in Alghero
We are biased, but it seems to us that one of the main attractions of the Alghero area is the luxuriant nature and the variety of landscapes. Here you will find sandy beaches and cliffs overlooking the sea, rolling hills and pine forests, wetlands and suggestive caves.
Here is what you absolutely cannot miss if you want to fill your eyes with splendid landscapes:
- Neptune’s Grotto: it is the most visited attraction in Sardinia, so if you don’t want to immerse yourself in the crowds, be careful not to visit it in high season. However, the underground landscape that will open to your eyes is worth admiring at least once in your life. Not to mention that even getting to Neptune’s Grotto is an unforgettable experience, whether you decide to do it by sea (thus admiring the coastal landscape from Alghero to Capo Caccia) or whether you decide to tackle the Cabirol stairway that winds through the rock face . Access to this naturalistic site may be limited in case of adverse weather conditions and it is always advisable to book in advance (all the info at this link)
- Landscapes of the “Outside Sea”: Porto Ferro, Porticciolo, Foradada, Grotta delle Brocche Rotte – the coast of Alghero which opens directly onto the open sea is called “Mare di Fuori” to differentiate it from the more sheltered areas of the Rada di Alghero and the wide bay of Porto Conte. We also include Porto Ferro (although it falls under the Municipality of Sassari) because this huge sandy beach, guarded by towers and surrounded by Mediterranean scrub, is not only a breathtaking scenery, but also the scene of vigorous storm surges and the starting point of numerous paths . From here it is in fact possible to reach Lake Baaratz or walk along the coast following a splendid path that will lead you to Porticciolo. The bay of Porticciolo, with its stony bottom full of fish, is a point of interest for snorkelers and scuba divers. Other paths allow you to explore an area rich in coves, cliffs and changing landscapes. The Belvedere Foradada, on the other hand, is located near Capo Caccia and is an excellent point to admire unforgettable sunsets. If you love observing the sky, at night you will be in good company of enthusiasts equipped with a telescope! But that’s not all: from here a short path branches off that leads to the Grotta delle Brocche Rotte (Cave of Broken Jugs), from which you can observe the entire jagged coastal panorama. A wild and powerful landscape, which is well worth the twenty minute walk to get to your destination.
- The paths of the Porto Conte Park: Prigionette and Punta Giglio – a large portion of the territory of Alghero falls within the Porto Conte Park, a nature reserve within which it is possible to take advantage of beautiful paths immersed in the Mediterranean scrub. The wildlife oasis of the Prigionette is characterized by the presence of many wild animals: it is not uncommon to spot fallow deer, horses and donkeys. There is no shortage of exciting landscapes, such as those that you can admire from Cala Barca (overlooking the Mare di Fuori, it is another point where the gaze is lost between sky and sea) and the top of Mount Timidone. For lovers of biking and trekking, Punta Giglio is also a must, with its paths suitable for everyone and the possibility of immersing yourself in the historical evidence of the Second World War recovered with the restoration of the former SR413 battery. Inside this area we find ourselves – the Rifugio di Mare – ready to welcome you for a short stop or for an out of the ordinary stay.
2. Looking for local flavours? Alghero will not disappoint you.
If you are part of the – increasingly large – percentage of people who choose a destination also thinking about food and wine, Alghero is the right place. Here the mingling of the Catalan and Sardinian traditions, combined with the extraordinary fertility of the territory, allows you to taste genuine and authentic flavours.
Therefore, among the things to do in Alghero, a tasting or a careful exploration of the markets, in search of new discoveries, cannot be missing!
The secret to an experience worthy of the most demanding taste buds is not waiting for the last minute because, especially in high season, it’s not easy to book. Here are some of the products that you absolutely must taste when you are in Alghero:
- olive oil: just look around to understand that oil is produced here, and what oil! Numerous companies offer the possibility of guided tours: we recommend contacting the Accademia Olearia, Compagnia Olearia or one of the many local producers for a tasting after which it will no longer be possible to season your dishes with another oil…
- wine: in Alghero, a glance at the rows of vines that surround the city will suffice: if you love wine, you are in the right place! Among the many wineries present we point out Santa Maria La Palma, which has opened a tasting point in the city; Sella & Mosca, with its splendid historic estate; Tenute Delogu, also present at the airport to take home a gift that will surely be appreciated. Finally, if you can move a few kilometers, we suggest you take the direction of Sorso and visit the Nuraghe Crabioni winery which offers tastings with a view of the Gulf of Asinara: a show that combines the quality of the products and the charm of the location.
- bread: the classic Alghero focaccia is just the tip of the iceberg. Here ancient traditions have been revived by the Cherchi Bakery, based in Olmedo: visit the shop and ask to taste the traditional Alghero breads.
3. Cultural trip? Here’s what to see in Alghero
If staying too long on the beach gives you hives and the historical and cultural aspect of a destination fascinates you more, don’t worry: Alghero has so much to offer from this point of view too.
Here are some experiences that await you in Alghero:
- Visit the only live coral aquarium in Italy, where you can learn about the life of this fascinating organism. For info visit the website. Also in Alghero, explore the Coral Museum full of testimonies on how coral fishing developed and how artisans honed their skills by returning precious artistic artefacts.
- Stroll in the splendid nuragic complex of Palmavera and let yourself be fascinated by the necropolis of Anghelu Ruju (in both cases, we advise you to book a guided tour which will help you to get to know these extraordinary archaeological complexes better). For archeology lovers we also recommend the Roman Villa of Sant’Imbenia and the MUSA, the Archaeological Museum of Alghero.
- Let yourself be fascinated by the story of the Little Prince: not many know it, but Antoine de Saint-Exupéry spent a few weeks in Alghero. A stay that has left various testimonies: to learn more, just visit the MASE (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Museum) and the Casa Gioiosa exhibitions.
In Alghero there is much more: during the summer the city is enlivened by a rich musical calendar, while during the year it is possible to attend theatrical performances and film screenings. But that’s not all: at the end of summer the city turns into an open-air theater thanks to the Mamatita Festival.
Alghero, a city for everyone
With this short guide we wanted to demonstrate that in Alghero you are spoiled for choice: whatever your inclinations, you will find many things to do and you won’t run the risk of getting bored.
We have not talked about many other activities that can be carried out in this splendid location, but we will tell you about them soon on these pages.
Alghero: landscapes and nature
Here is the landscape from the Cave of Broken Jugs, also known as the Cave of Broken Vases, reachable with a short walk starting from the Belvedere Foradada.
A section of the Escala del Cabirol: 654 steps that allow access by land to the Grotto of Neptune.
The unmistakable “Sleeping Giant” which can be admired from all over Alghero. View from Punta Giglio.
Alghero for gourmets
The fragrance and goodness of typical Alghero bread in the Punta Giglio scenery.
Local vegetables contribute largely to the goodness of our dishes
Alghero between archeology, history and entertainment
A detail of the necropolis of Anghelu Ruju
The nuragic complex of Palmavera