Alghero is a beautiful town on the north-western shore of Sardinia, Italy. It is best known for its beautiful beaches, unique food, and also for its Catalan heritage; in fact, it was known in the past as la Barceloneta sarda, little Sardinian Barcelona. This historic town is one of the most popular destinations for Sardinia's visitors.
In Alghero's (IPA: alˈɡɛːro), Catalan: L'Alguer (IPA: ɫəɫˈɣe) atmospheric narrow lanes you'll find numerous bars and cafés. Its restaurants are renowned for excellent seafood. The surrounding area brings many delights for those who venture out of the city. These include the famous beaches at La Pelosa - Stintino, the eerily abandoned mining town of Argentiera and the ancient palace complex at Nuraghe di Palmavera.
- 1 InfoAlghero (Ufficio Informazioni Turistiche), Largo San Francesco (Lo Quarter), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 09:00–13:00 15:30–18:30; Sa 09:00–13:00 16:00–19:00; Su 10:00–13:00 (only Mar-Oct).
- 1 Aeroporto di Alghero (AHO IATA Alghero-Fertilia Airport) (10 km northwest of Alghero). The airport (aka Alghero Riviera del Corallo) is the third busiest in Sardinia. It is serviced by several airlines including EasyJet and Ryanair. Almost all routes are seasonal.
Connections by regional buses to Alghero (every hour, 20-minute trip), Sassari (9 per day, 30-minute trip), Bosa, Nuoro, Macomer, Oristano, Cagliari. In Jun-Sep there are also buses to Stintino & Santa Teresa Gallura. Tickets can be bought at the ARST ticket vending machine.
Alghero is easily accessible by road from Sassari, passing the airport near Fertilia. Another way to get to Alghero is from Bosa, by the sea-side road, which is quite narrow and winding but has incredible views.
If staying in the old town, free parking can be found in and around the Piazzale della Pace.
The railway station is about fifteen minutes walking distance from the centre of town and marina.
- 2 Stazione di Alghero Sant'Agostino (Railway station) (to get to the town from the station, turn left out of the station on Don Minzoni, go straight for five blocks or so until you hit the beach and go left along Via Garibaldi). Alghero station runs trains operated by ARST (former Ferrovie della Sardenia), not to be confused with Ferrovie dello Stato (Trenitalia). These are two separate companies, and you will have to take one of the many daily 35-minute trains from Alghero to Sassari in order to catch a connecting train operated by Trenitalia to another destination such as Cagliari. Tickets must be purchased separately at their respective stations.
- 3 Regional bus hub (near the SW corner of Giardini Pubblici). Buses to Cagliari (3½ hours, fare €20), Sassari, Alghero airport and other destinations. There is a ticket booth with bus schedules, etc.
- Alghero Radio Taxi, ☏ . €70 to Sassari.
The city centre has a limited traffic zone (ZTL) (map and hours). Most vehicles are prohibited from accessing it most of the time. Cameras are in operation and fines apply, even if you're in a rented car.
- 1 Cattedrale di Santa Maria, Piazza Duomo, 2. Dating back to the 16th century, it is one of the landmarks of the town. Its neo-classical façade was added in the 19th century. campanile €3.
- 2 Chiesa di San Francesco. 15th-century church in Gothic-Catalan style.
- 3 Chiesa San Michele. The church dates to the 16th century. Its polychrome tiled dome is one of the symbols of the town. It's quite remarkable though that the dome has received this colourful decoration only in 1950s (designed by Antonio Simon Mossa and Filippo Figari)
- 4 Parrocchia di Nostra Signora della Mercede.
- 5 Forte della Maddalena. 16th-century fort.
- 6 Teatro civico, Piazza Teatro, 1. The town theatre opened in 1862. This building is unique as its supporting structure is made of wood.
- 7 Palazzo d’Albis (Casa De Ferrera). A notable 16th-century Gothic building. In 1541 the Emperor Carlos V stayed there.
- 8 Palazzo Machin (Casa Dòria).
- 9 Palazzo Serra. 18th-century Baroque building.
- 10 Palazzo Lavagna. 19th-century Neoclassical building.
- 11 Palazzo Civico (Town Hall).
- 12 Palazzo Peretti (Palazzo Guillot). 15th-century Gothic-Catalan palazzo.
- 13 Palazzo Carcassona.
- 14 Palazzo Simon. Built in 1865.
- 15 Torre di San Giovanni (Torre di Mezzo). A 16th-century massive defensive tower.
Liberty villas along the Lungomare Dante and the Lungomare Valencia:
- 16 Villa Mosca, Lungomare Dante. Now a hotel.
- 17 Villa las Tronas (Villa Arborio Mella di Sant'Elia), Lungomare Valencia. Yet another villa, now a hotel.
- 1 Museo Archeologico della Città, Via Carlo Alberto, 72, ☏ . 11:00-13:30, 17:30-21:30. €6.
- 2 Museo del Corallo (Casa Ascione), Via XX Settembre n. 8, ☏ , email@example.com. 10:30-13:00, 17:00-21:00. The Museum of Coral in the Libery villa. €6.
- 3 Museo Diocesano, Piazza Duomo, ☏ . W-M 10:30-13:00 18:00-20:30. €4, + Cathedral's campanile €6.
The coastal road south of Alghero is beautiful, an unspoilt and protected panorama of sparkling sea, lush vegetation, and rocky mountains. It leads to Bosa, a small medieval town, which has a distinctive and living historic center and many points of interest.
Near Alghero, accessible by car, is the spectacular Capo Caccia/Porte Conte Bay, well worth a visit.
- Scuba diving - The area with the Marine Reserve Capo Caccia/Isola Piana is one of the best dive destinations in Europe.
- Mountain Biking
- Bird watching
Alghero is famous for its red coral jewelry and silverware. All coral jewelry is unsustainably harvested from living wild coral reefs that form important ocean habitats. Ethical travellers should avoid buying any sort of coral jewelry.
As in most parts of Italy food in Alghero is an important thing. The town's fishing port provides seafood fresh from the sea. Make sure that you try Catalan lobster, lobster salad with raw tomatoes and onion. Ricci (sea urchins) are also very popular in Alghero with a festival being held in their honor around February during the "Sagra del Bogamarì".
Basically, anywhere in town is good, as long as you avoid the tourist restaurants with "il menu turistico".
All these are in the city centre:
- 1 La Piccola Cucina Alghero, Via Giuseppe Mazzini, 23.
- 2 Pub L'Anfora, Via Gioberti, 31.
- 3 El Davalito, Via Majorca, 33.
- 4 Lu Furat Ristorante Pizzeria, Via Minerva, 19.
- 5 Da Rosy&Tony, Via Simon, 14.
- 6 La vecchia Grotta Del Diavolo, Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 23.
- 7 Indian Kebab & Food, Via XX Settembre, 20.
- 8 Al Vecchio Mulino, Via Don De Roma, 3. A good restaurant where you can try typical dishes. The same management for 30 years.
- 9 Ristorante Mabrouk, Via Santa Barbara, 4. Seafood restaurant
- 10 Trattoria Lo Romanì, Via Lazzaretto, 9. Sardinian restaurant
- 11 Prosciutteria Sant Miquel, Via Misericordia, 20.
- 12 Alamo - Ristorante Paelleria, Via Ambrogio Machin, 20.
- 13 Món Bar Bistrot, Via Minerva, 7.
- 14 Al Tuguri, Via Majorca, 113.
Take in the beautiful views at cafe Latino located on the battlements overlooking the harbour. There are also lots of late night bars on the Lungomare Valencia that get going at around about midnight. Local drinks are limoncello, mirto and some local wines that they serve in all restaurants.
Also you should not miss the Bar La Perla in Viale Sardegna. It serves great cappuccino.
There are a whole number of possibilities for accommodation in Alghero from bed and breakfasts to Agroturismos (farm stays) and hotels. You can pick up a list of B&Bs at the friendly Tourist Information office.
In the offseason, rates range from €25-50 for one person. Expect prices to double in July and August.
- 1 Aigua Alghero B&B and Rent a Car (aigua alghero), old town alghero ambrogio machin 22 (& Rent a Car Front of Alghero Airport enter Parcheggio Economy (www.aiguarentacar.it)), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 11:00, check-out: 12:00. Typical Latin architecture. €60-100.
- B&B Ramblas (B&B Alghero), Lido San Giovanni Via Garibaldi, 79/M (Front of the sea), ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 11:00, check-out: 12:00. B&B Alghero €60-100.
- Hotel Angedras Alghero, via Frank, 2, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 11:00, check-out: 12:00. Three star hotel in a quiet residential street close to the old town, has stylish modern rooms. Hotel shuttle bus to the beach, internet point, high-speed Wi-Fi internet connection, restaurant (on the Bastions in Alghero's Old Town, with sea view). US$53-150.
- Villa Las Tronas Hotel & Spa (Hotel Villa Las Tronas - 5 star), Lungomare Valencia, 1, ☏ , email@example.com. Check-out: 12:00. Once the residence of Italian royalty during their holidays in Sardinia, Las Tronas conserves the historic atmosphere of the aristocratic buen retiro, renewing the tradition and charm of the ancient residence. A spectacular position, on the sea-shore. A peaceful, exclusive oasis on a private headland. €220-450.
- El Faro Hotel (El Faro Hotel), Porto Conte, 52, Alghero, ☏ . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Luxury seafront hotel in Porto Conte Bay. The 5-star hotel has the shape of an ocean liner, with its stern laid down on the rocks, enriched by Spanish-style arches and balconies. min €190-350.
- 2 Calabonia, Strada Provinciale 105, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Restaurant, bar, swimming pool. The hotel has a small private beach with some rocks. €120.
- Alghero Resort Country Hotel, Via Carrabuffas, ☏ , email@example.com. Hotel is in a converted 18th-century country mansion. Outside the hustle of the city center but only a 10-minute drive to the historic center and beaches. Offers a tranquil setting with pool, tennis courts, and full spa. Breakfast included with dinner service available. Kind staff will help book excursions including the horses next door that roam the outskirts of the property. €60 classic room, €200 suite.
- 3 Villa Grazia B&B Alghero - Sardinia (B&B Alghero), St.Anna area, Strada vicinale vecchia 10 C ((The main street is the Sant'anna Pollina local road (by Google maps))), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:00. Villa Grazia B&B Alghero is a villa with swimming pool surrounded by a magnificent park of olive trees, about 2 km from the sea and 3 km from the historic center of Alghero. €80-160.
See Neptune's Grotto, which includes the "Goat's Staircase" and under water the limestone cliffs continue creating the most vaste underwater marine cave system, Nereo Cave is the bigger and famous with its huge halls and tunnels.
- 4 Grotte di Nettuno (Neptune's Grotto) (check with Tourist Information Office of Alghero), ☏ . Guided tours every hour: Apr-Oct daily 08:00-19:00; Nov-Mar daily 10:00-15:00. Guided tours (1/2 hour) are in Italian, English and German. €13 (guided tours only).
- Tourist agencies organise boat excursions to the other caves: Grotte Navisarda and Attilio Regolo.
- 5 Complesso nuragico di Palmavera (Nuraghe Palmavera), ☏ . May-Sep 09:00-19:00; Apr Oct 09:00-18:00; Nov-Mar 10:00-14:00. a complex nuraghe, that consists of several towers joined together. The nuraghe and the surrounding village were built in various phase during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. €6.
- 6 Fertilia. Fertilia is small town in a few kilometres north-east of Alghero. It was built by the Fascist government of Italy in the 1930s, after the draining of the marshes which covered the area. It was planned by the architect Arturo Miraglia and the town still bears some elements of the rationalist style.
- Sassari is a good destination for a pleasant half day trip
- Bosa is a quaint old town further to the south