What to do in Alghero and its surroundings? (Italy – Sardinia)
To visit Alghero , in Sardinia , is to discover a beautiful medieval city with its ramparts and winding streets.
Long under Spanish domination, the city is affectionately nicknamed Barceloneta (“Little Barcelona”) by its inhabitants. And it is true that with its Aragonese palaces, one can find a little air of Spain. If you listen, it is even possible that you hear the elderly speaking in Catalan! It is the only city in Italy where this language is officially recognized.
Alghero is a nice city to visit on foot: quite small, discover all the places of interest of the city will take you only a few hours. So you can enjoy your stay in Sardinia to visit the surroundings of Alghero , including the Caves of Neptune or the village of Bosa.
To not miss anything, I have prepared the Top 6 things to do and see in Alghero and its surroundings and itineraries to visit Alghero in 1, 2 or 3 days. As usual, I also give you the list of the best accommodations according to your budget at the end of the article.
So what to see and where to sleep in Alghero?
Visit Alghero and its surroundings: the must-sees
1. The historic center of Alghero
This tour guide of the Alghero region starts of course with the discovery of the old town. This is the most interesting part to visit and the most pleasant to walk around.
The historic center is charming with all its narrow cobbled streets with which you will find the main historical monuments to see in Alghero.
Tourism requires, there are also many cafes, restaurants and lots of shops selling red coral jewelry. Alghero is on the coast of coral, jewelry is the specialty of the region. They are very popular and make the perfect souvenir to bring back from your vacation.
Places of interest to visit in Alghero, Sardinia:
The fortifications and ramparts of Alghero: recently restored, the walk along the ramparts is super nice and offers many views on the side. You can also admire several gates, towers and bastions bearing, for the most part, the name of famous explorers like Marco Polo or Magellan. The site was really well done and done up. It is the ideal place to enjoy the sunset in Alghero.
- The Cathedral of Santa Maria
- The bell tower of the cathedral where you can climb to enjoy the view of Alghero
- Piazza Civica, the main square with its cafe terraces
- The Coral Museum to learn more about this local art
- The Saint-Michel church and its graphic and colorful dome
- St. Barbara Church, the oldest in the city
- The lungomare for a walk by the sea
2. The caves of Neptune / Capo Caccia
An excursion to do absolutely around Alghero, it is the visit of the caves of Neptune.
There are several ways to reach the caves , located in Capo Caccia, from Alghero:
- A boat trip from the port of Alghero. Boats commute every day. They take you away and pick you up at the exit. On the other hand inform you before on the state of the sea, because in case of rough sea the outings are canceled. Price: about 15 € per person (entrance of the cave not included).
- By bus: go on via Catalogna to take the ARST bus that takes you to the top of the entrance of the caves. Count 5 € round trip and 50 minutes of journey. Check the schedules the day before because there are not many.
- By car: Allow 35 minutes to reach the cave parking.
- Last option: take your car to the port of Porto Conte (located on the left before arriving at the caves) then take a boat to the entrance of the caves.
If you arrive by boat to the Neptune Caves, no particular difficulty, you will arrive directly at the entrance.
By cons if you choose the option bus or car, it is a staircase of 654 steps exactly waiting for you before you can visit! You’ll understand it’s not necessarily the descent that is a problem but it will be necessary to think of the recovery then :). The staircase, dug into the cliff side, is really impressive, even if not subject to vertigo.
Arrived at the entrance, you can visit the caves. Tours are guided only and there is only one hourly , at a fixed time, from 9am to 7pm. Manage your schedule well so you do not have to wait for the next visit. The 45-minute visit will allow you to admire the lake and the numerous formations of stalactites and stalagmites. Price of 13 € per adult and 7 € for a child.
If you do not want to visit the caves I still advise you to go down the stairs to the bottom because you will have a glimpse of one of the rooms without paying.
Then I only have one tip to give you: take your time to go up the stairs!
3. The Regional Park of Porto Conte
In the surroundings of Alghero , I recommend a walk in the regional park of Porto Conte. The caves of Neptune and Capo Caccia are among them.
The park is famous for offering several hiking trails but also bike paths. The most beautiful walks are in the nature reserve Le Prigionette and along Capo Caccia cape.
Access to the reserve is not free (about 5 € by car or 3 € on foot or by bike) and will allow you to walk on marked trails along the rocky coast and in the bush.
You can also enjoy swimming on the Spiaggia Mugoni, Porto Conte or Porto Ferro. For the latter (and in high season), it is even possible to go by bus from Alghero. Surrounded by mountains and with 3 defensive towers in ruins, the beach is pretty wild and very beautiful.
4. The beaches around Alghero
You are in Sardinia so obviously you will find beautiful beaches where you can swim around Alghero. You can also practice a flagship activity of Sardinia: the tan! 😀
The most beautiful beaches of Alghero and surroundings:
- Lido San Giovanni: it’s the closest to the old town, you can walk there. This sandy beach is very extensive and you can rent deckchairs and parasols. It is also ideal if you visit Alghero with your children because the water is very shallow
- Maria Pia Beach : Large white sand beach with pine forest just behind. Full parking spaces to park all along.
- Le Bombarde beach: located north of Alghero towards Porto Conte. Well appointed with rental of loungers, paddle boats and restaurants.
- Lazzaretto beach: located right next to Le Bombarde. Sandy beach with transparent water.
- The Spiaggia Mugoni: a very large sandy beach that I told you about just above (20 minutes from Alghero)
- The Spiaggia di Porticiello , whose belvedere offers a superb view of the coast of the regional park of Porto Conte
- Spiaggia Porto Ferro: I also told you about it just above. Located 30 minutes from Alghero, it is the wildest in the area.
Near Alghero, you can easily reach Sassari, the largest city of the province of the same name and the second largest city of Sardinia, because of its population.
It will take about 35 minutes to reach the city by car, but you can also take the bus from Alghero. The trip costs only 4 €, so it would be a shame to miss it.
Here too it is not the modern city that is interesting to discover but more its historical center. You can walk there to see the main monuments including the San Nicola cathedral and its bell tower, the San Antonio Abate church, the Teatro civico and Piazza Italia, a large square surrounded by several Palazzo.
If you like archeology, I also invite you to visit the Museo Nazionale Giovanni Antonio Sanna. You will see objects and remains discovered in the vicinity of Sassari and Alghero.
6. The beach of Pelosa
What to do in Alghero and nearby if you have already visited all the must-sees?
You venture a little further to go to discover the most beautiful beaches of Northwest Sardinia (and for some of Europe !!): the a beach Pelosa. A true tourist attraction, it is extremely popular and very popular.
To get there by car from Alghero, it takes about 1 hour drive. The beach is located in the Gulf of Asinara , a few kilometers from the village of Stintino.
You will discover a real dream beach with its white sand and shallow turquoise water. The photo of the beach with the watchtower in the background is also present on many postcards, in any region of Sardinia.
How many days to visit Alghero and its surroundings?
To visit Alghero, one day is enough. In fact, you can even spend only half a day in the historic center and enjoy the beach in the afternoon.
If you want to visit the surroundings of Alghero without changing accommodation, you can easily spend 3 nights and explore the surroundings in the day.
In order to help you organize your stay in Alghero and not miss anything to do, I advise you to read my detailed itinerary of a week around Alghero, you can read it here: Itinerary to the North West of Sardinia .
Visit Alghero in 1 day
If you only have one day in Alghero, I recommend the following route:
- Visit of the old town to discover the historical monuments
- Lunch break
- Walk along the lungomare
- Swimming on the beach of Lido San Giovanni
- Sunset on the ramparts of Alghero
Visit Alghero and its surroundings in 2 days
In 2 days in Alghero, take the itinerary for a day and for the second day add:
- An excursion to the Neptune Caves
- A hike in the regional park of Porto Conte
- A dive at the Porto Ferro beach
Visit Alghero and surroundings in 3 days
For 3 days of visit of Alghero and its surroundings, resume the program of the 2 previous days and add:
- The visit of the city of Bosa, 1 hour south of Alghero
- The sun break on the beaches of Compultittu or S’Abba Drucche.
Where to sleep in Alghero
- B & B Summertime: Located 10 minutes walk from the old town. New and modern double room from 60 € per night, breakfast included. The most: warm hosts, excellent breakfast based on fresh produce, impeccable cleanliness.
- Hotel Sa Cheya Relais & Spa: Located 5 km from Alghero. Spacious and comfortable double room from 120 € per night, breakfast 15 €. Most: the pool, tennis courts, very pleasant and quiet, the quality of breakfast. This is our favorite for its benefit / price ratio.
- Villa Las Tronas Hotel & SPA: Located 10 minutes walk from the historic center of Alghero. This luxury hotel offers double rooms of old style from 250 € per night, breakfast included. The plus: the pool with views, the environment and the ideal location, the competent staff.
Where to eat in Alghero
- The Piadina del Pozzo: Located Via Minerva n25. Ideal for eating on the go, this snack offers a varied choice of piadinas. You can also compose yours by choosing the ingredients. The sandwiches are hearty and with quality products. 5 € one.
- Ok Pizza: Located Via Sebastiano Satta. This restaurant offers a large selection of pizzas, all delicious and plentiful for a price between 5.50 € and 9 €. For this price, you will have more dessert and digestive offered.
- Azienda Agrituristica Sa Mandra: Located on the Strada Aeroporto Civile. This restaurant offers a classic Sardinian menu at 40 € per person with antipasti, pasta dish, meats, dessert, coffee, digestive and drinks included (wine and water). Needless to say, it is very rich!
And you have planned to visit Alghero during your trip to Sardinia ?
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Itinerary: Visit North West Sardinia – From Alghero