About Alghero beaches
Alghero is one of the most popular resorts in Sardinia, yet retains the charm and atmosphere of a working fishing village. It manages to cater for all tastes, with cultural sites and plenty of amenities. It is less glitzy than the busy Costa Smeralda on the north coast of the island, but has plenty to offer those wanting sun, sand and sea – with clean beaches, and a lively clutch of bars and restaurants. The medieval old town is the most picturesque in Sardinia, and has a fascinating Catalan heritage: a legacy of centuries of Aragon rule. Street signs are in both Italian and Catalan, and much of the architecture is distinctly Spanish. There are plenty of things to see and do within a short distance of Alghero, and it offers a stylish base for exploring the rest of Sardinia.
Alghero offers lovely, unspoilt beaches: long, sandy and etched with cool fragrant pine trees. The longest stretch of sand is just north of the old town, one of the largest beaches being San Giovanni. The coast also offers plenty of possibilities for sailing and diving.
Beyond the beach:
Stroll around the old town, which the medieval Catalans named Barcelonetta, or Little Barcelona. The most striking building is the cathedral (Piazza Duomo), which was built in the 16th century in Catalan-Gothic style. A boat trip along the coast offers the chance to see the spectacular caves at Capo Caccia, known as Grotta di Nettuno – or Neptune’s Caves. This limestone cave system, hidden beneath a sheer cliff face, has jagged stalactites and stalagmites and a deep, clear lake. The round trip lasts around three hours. Diving enthusiasts can make for Porto Conte, which has equipment hire and runs diving excursions.
Alghero is a resort that offers a relaxing, traditional family holiday. The beaches are unspoilt, there are plenty of family friendly restaurants, and children should enjoy the boat trip to the Grotta di Nettuno. There are also plenty of opportunities for family walks and cycle rides in the unspoilt countryside that lies inland.
There’s a lovely coastal drive going south from Alghero to the town of Bosa, which has a medieval centre and a striking castle that dates back to the 12th century. Another option is to take a tourist train from Alghero to the town of Sassari – the scenery is stunning, and in Sassari there’s a museum (via Roma) that contains archaeological finds from prehistoric Sardinia.
In summer, when it’s in season, splash out on a lobster meal (it’s priced by weight in Sardinia) at one of Alghero’s finest restaurants. Good options are La Lepanto (Via Carlo Alberto) or Il Pavone (Piazza Sullis) – which also does a great squid ink pasta.