It's amazing how a holiday in Alghero can offer so much to see and do. This is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Sardinia and one of the main tourist attractions of the island, especially in the summer season.
With just under 50.000 inhabitants, this Catalan enclave is the fifth largest city in Sardinia. AND a very lively place, with a beautiful old town, narrow cobblestone streets, charming squares, many bars, restaurants, shops and easy access to a number of beautiful beaches and other natural attractions.
Located on the north-west coast, Alghero constitutes one excellent base for a holiday.
During your holiday in Alghero you will discover what this city was like when it was part of the Crown of Aragon in the XNUMXth century; historical landmark that turned this fishing village into one of the most important fortresses on the island.
Holidays in Alghero: what to see
In Alghero there are many things to do and to visit. Walking through Alghero you will be able to see many places that have been fundamental in the history of the city and also of the entire island of Sardinia. Here we give you some tips for planning your holiday in Alghero and mention those places that you shouldn't miss in this beautiful medieval city.
Walls and ramparts of Alghero
The historic center of Alghero is surrounded by beautifully maintained walls (bastions) built by the Aragonese in the XNUMXth century. The walls run from Door to the Sea, which is the second of the ports of Alghero, a Piazza Sulis (where you will also find the Sulis Tower).
Along the ramparts you will see several towers - including, Torre di San Giacomo, Torre della Polveriera, Torre di Sant'Elmo. The Bastions are the perfect place to take a walk and admire a splendid sunset on Capo Caccia.
Tower Door to Earth
This tower is located near the Public Gardens and is what remains of the XNUMXth century Porta a Terra, one of the two main ports for Alghero (the entrance to the city took place through two doors, Portal Reial - the current Porta a Terra - and Porta a Mare - the current Porto Salve).
It is 23 meters high and houses a multimedia museum where you can learn about the history of the city. From the second floor terrace you can enjoy a fabulous 360 degree view.
The Cathedral of Alghero and its bell tower
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception overlooks Piazza del Duomo. Originally built in the XNUMXth century in Catalan Gothic style, the church underwent several changes. It has Doric style columns and a neoclassical facade which was added in the XNUMXth century. The interior is in Renaissance and Baroque style.
The Campanile it is attached to the Cathedral and is very interesting to see. It can be accessed through a Gothic door located in Via Principe Umberto and was built in the Catalan Gothic style. We advise you to take the opportunity to climb the bell tower from which you can access some beautiful panoramic views of the city.
Church of San Francesco
It is a clerical complex consisting of a church, a convent and a cloister and is a place worth visiting during your holiday in Alghero. In this ensemble of buildings you can appreciate the great influence that Catalan culture has had on Sardinian architecture.
This church is actually much more beautiful than the Cathedral. It was originally built in Catalan Gothic style in the fourteenth century. Its facade was renovated in a more Renaissance style after it collapsed in 1593. Its highlight is the cloister of the fourteenth century which can be accessed through the sacristy.
The Diocesan Art Museum of Alghero
If you are interested in learning about the history of Sardinia and discovering what the city of Alghero was like during the Middle Ages, the Diocesan Art Museum is the right place to do it. The museum is located inside a church founded in 1568 and exhibits a large one variety of sacred art objects from Sardinia; some come from existing churches or existed within Alghero, others were brought from other parts of the island.
Among the numerous objects and works of art that you will be able to appreciate in the museum there is a piece of the highest value, the sixteenth-century reliquary of the True Cross (in silver). The second favorite work is a wooden sculpture of the golden statue of the Madonna dei Naviganti.
The Caves of Neptune
Located in the Capo Caccia area, the Neptune Caves probably represent the most popular tourist attraction in the Alghero area, in Sardinia - and for good reason. These caves are a masterpiece of stalactites and stalagmites, with large halls, underground lakes and beautiful lights.
The Caves of Neptune are reachable by sea with motorboats that depart regularly from the port of Alghero, or from Capo Caccia, through a breathtaking staircase, the Staircase of the Roe deer.
This staircase is a marvel carved into the rock made up of 656 steps that descend to the sea. The entrance to the staircase is free and from here the view is spectacular.
The caves of Neptune they can be visited all year round. Admission costs € 13 for adults and € 7 for children up to 12 years. Tickets include a guided tour.
Ferries to the cave they cost € 16 for adults and € 8 for children - the trip does not include the entrance to the cave, for which you will have to pay separately.
The most beautiful square in Alghero is located right next to Porta a Mare. In medieval times, it was the administrative center of the city and it remains, even today, the fulcrum of the historic center.
It is now lined with beautiful boutiques and cafes, including the Caffé Costantino, located on the ground floor of Palazzo d'Abis, which hosted the Spanish emperor Charles V during his visit in 1541.
Holidays in Alghero: what to do
Alghero is known as the capital of the Riviera del Corallo and in its shops you will find a myriad of jewelry made with the famous red coral. In addition to this, the historic center of Alghero is a shopper's paradise, with boutiques for all tastes and budgets.
One of the best known is the Marras store, by Antonio Marras, a famous Italian designer born and raised in Alghero. The shop is housed in a beautiful building and sells clothes by Marras and other designers.
La Sardinia it is famous for its wine production and in the surroundings of Alghero, Sardinia, you will find several excellent vineyards. The most famous is Sella and Mosca estates, founded in 1899, which offers wine tasting tours between 2 and 3 hours. Their price varies from € 15 to € 50 per person, depending on the number of tastings and the type of wines tasted.
Discover the beautiful beaches
There are many beautiful beaches in the immediate vicinity of Alghero. The most famous are Bombarde e The Lazaretto, two small coves next to each other and surrounded by a forest of Mediterranean pines.
Lido San Giovanni it is the closest beach to the old town and can be reached on foot. It is a very suitable beach for children thanks to its shallow waters.
Another beautiful beach a little further away is that of Mugoni - a thin stretch of white sand flanked by pine trees and with clear waters e splendid views of Capo Caccia.
Other beaches around Alghero are the beach of Maria Pia: large white sand beach with a pine forest nearby, la Porticiello beach which with its belvedere offers a splendid view of the Porto Conte Regional Natural Park, the beach Porto Ferro, located 30 minutes from Alghero is the wildest beach in the area.
The area of Alghero is one of the best in Sardinia for diving, and there are several companies that organize diving expeditions and diving courses. If you are in the mood for something unique, opt for the Nereo's cave, the largest underwater cave in the Mediterranean.
Stroll to Capo Caccia
The beautiful white cliffs of Capo Caccia, which can be seen from Alghero, are an impressive sight. But for an even better experience, be sure to go there for a walk. A trail allows you to easily visit the area and offers incredible views of the coast.
Explore the bay of Porto Conte
One of the most beautiful places to explore near Alghero in Sardinia is the Porto Conte area. This is where the Mugoni beach, and continuing the journey you can get to theNatural Oasis "Le Prigionette", a splendid reserve of Mediterranean scrub and rocky coast with numerous pedestrian and cycle paths. It's a great place to spot wildlife.
Sardinia is famous for its nuraghi and one of the best preserved is not far from Alghero. This is the nuragic complex of Palmavera which dates back to 3500 years ago and is located near Porto Conte. Buy your ticket here ...
Porto Conte is easily accessible from Alghero if you have a car.
Visit the Anghelu Ruju Necropolis
10 km north of Alghero, on the road to Porto Torres, there is the Necropolis of Anghelu Ruiu, where the remains of 38 graves carved in the sandstone - known locally as domus de janas. These date from 3000 to 2700 BC. In some rooms it is still possible to see the paintings.Buy your ticket here
If you have some free time during your holiday in Alghero be sure to visit Bosa. About 45 minutes drive from Alghero, Bosa is by far the prettiest town in Sardinia. Low-rise, colorful buildings along a river that flows into the sea; the remains of a medieval castle on a hill from where you can admire suggestive views; a quiet town where it is pleasant to walk and take beautiful photos.
How to get to Alghero
Alghero is well connected to Italy and the rest of Europe through a series of scheduled and low cost flights. Thanks to the presence ofairport just 10 km from the city and proximity to the port of Porto Torres, Alghero is one of the main gateways to Sardinia for tourists and visitors.
Getting to the city from the airport is easy - there are regular bus services. Alternatively, you can opt for a taxi, a private transfer or a rental car.Check the prices and book a car at Alghero airport
How to get around Alghero
The city of Alghero is quite small and easy to explore on foot. However, it must be borne in mind that some of the best beaches in Alghero are located outside the city center.
If you are interested in exploring the surroundings and all the places mentioned in this post, we recommend that you rent a car directly from the airport. The car allows you to have more freedom in moving and also reach those places that are not reached by the public service.
When to visit Alghero
We find Alghero to be fascinating all year round, but if you want to make the most of all the city has to offer, we recommend that you visit it towards the end of spring and in summer. This is the time when all businesses will be open and you will be able to enjoy an alfresco dinner, local beaches and a long day with beautiful sunsets.
Holiday in Alghero: how many days to spend
Visiting Alghero will take you no more than two days, as the city is very small. In any case, we recommend that you take your time to visit it, because it is one of those places that deserve to be explored quietly to enjoy its atmosphere and discover its remote and hidden corners for most tourists.
The duration of your holiday in Alghero increases if you plan to visit its very fascinating surroundings as well.
Where to sleep in Alghero?
The city of Alghero offers several options regarding accommodation. However, the most recommended places and those that usually interest tourists are the "Bed and Breakfast" style hotels, as they offer excellent value for money. The best area to stay is in the historic center.Find and book accommodation in Alghero