Alghero Mini Guide
Where is Alghero?
Alghero is a large town in Sassari province on the North West coast of Sardinia
. It’s a historic town with people having lived there for thousands of years because of the protected harbour and access to the trading centres of the Western Mediterranean.
What is the Town Like?
It’s very attractive and has an atmospheric old town with narrow pedestrianised cobbled streets that wind between ancient honey coloured buildings. The beaches nearby are beautiful and unspoilt and the further afield you travel, the more isolated they become. The old town comes alive at night with numerous bars and restaurants and the Algherans are friendly and helpful. To get orientated in the city it's a good idea to book a walking tour on your first day. They can be arranged through the office of tourism and booked online at www.Alghero-turismo.it. Tours start from eight euros.
How do I get to Alghero?
Five miles north of the city you’ll find the busy Fertilia Airport. Ryanair are the largest operator there although several other UK
airlines offer seasonal chartered flights. It’s easy to access the town by bus, taxi or hire car with the latter being a good option as it gives you the flexibility to tour the island during your stay.
What is There to see and do Around the Town?
There’s plenty to fill a holiday there both in terms of places of interest and opportunities to enjoy the region. Visit the 16th century Palazzo d’Albio which once entertained royalty. Inside, the palace is beautifully ornate and with lots of period furnishings and art. There are two other important historical sites nearby – and the complex of what my 1st one, where you’ll see a great example of the Nuraghe, a building unique to Sardinia. The use of the buildings, some 20m high is unclear and in fact they may have a multitude of uses including lookouts, temples or burial chambers. For more natural spectacles take a boat trip to Neptune’s Grotto, a huge sea cave with stunning cave formations and the bluest water. Another more demanding way of reaching the grotto is by bike or scooter from the town. After all your exertions, unwind on the relaxing beach of La Pelosa-Stintino.
What can I Shop for There?
The island and in particular, Alghero, is famous for the jewellery and trinkets made from the unusual red coral that lives in the sea off the island. Collection of the coral is carefully managed with a ban on the collection of live coral. As most of the material must be picked up from the beaches, the jewellery is expensive but makes a wonderful memento from the island. Alghero is also noted for its fine silverware.
What Should I eat There?
Being by the sea, seafood and fish are very popular, the most popular dishes being Catalan style lobster or a braised sea urchin dish, called Ricci. So prized are the delicious urchins that a festival is held every February in their honour!
How Should I Spend my Evenings?
Alghero doesn’t do ‘wild’ so the best evenings are spent in the restaurants enjoying delicious food or at pavement bars sipping limoncello or mirto and watching the people pass by.
Alghero is a very interesting city and a great base for exploring Sardinia, the second biggest island in the Mediterranean. Even though the island looks small, you’ll need a hire car to be able to see the parts most tourists miss.
Drive down to the sea caves and experience the magic of Neptune’s Grotto. Inland you’ll find the Sardinian Highlands where mountains rise to nearly 6,000 feet. Beautiful sandy beaches dot the nearly 2,000km long coastline and often, even in the height of summer, you’ll find yourself alone there with just the seabirds for company.