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Alghero

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Alghero is a beautiful town at the North-Western shore of Sardinia, Italy.

Understand

Alghero (IPA: alˈɡɛːro), Catalan: L'Alguer (IPA: ɫəɫˈɣe), It is best known for its beautiful beaches, very good food at reasonable prices, and also for its Catalan origin; 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.

At its 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.

Tourist information

  • 1 InfoAlghero (Ufficio Informazioni Turistiche), Largo San Francesco (Lo Quarter), ☏ +39 079 97 90 54, ✉ infoalghero@comune.alghero.ss.it. 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). (updated Jan 2016)

Get in

By plane

  • 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, Ryanair. (updated Feb 2016)

Connections by regional buses to Alghero (every hour, 20-minute trip), Sassari (9/day, 30-minute trip), BosaNuoroMacomerOristanoCagliari. In Jun-Sep there are also buses to Stintino, Santa Teresa Gallura. Tickets could be bought at the ARST ticket vending machine.

By car

Alghero is easily accessible by road from Sassari, passing by the airport near Fertilia. Another way to get to Alghero is from Bosa, by the sea-side road, which is quite small and steep but has beautiful views.

By train

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 simply 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. (updated Feb 2016)

By bus

  • 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. (updated Mar 2015)

By taxi

  • Alghero Radio Taxi, ☏ +39 079 9892928. €70 to Sassari

Get around

See

Religious architecture:

  • 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. (updated Aug 2017)
  • Chiesa di San Francesco. 15th-century church in Gothic-Catalan style. (updated Aug 2017)
  • Chiesa San Michele. The church itself is dating back to the XVI 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) (updated Aug 2017)
  • 4 Parrocchia di Nostra Signora della Mercede. (updated Aug 2017)

Secular architecture:

  • 5 Forte della Maddalena. 16th-century fort. (updated Aug 2017)
  • 6 Teatro civico, Piazza Teatro, 1. The town theatre opened in 1862. This building is unique as its supporting structure is made of wood. (updated Aug 2017)
  • 7 Palazzo d’Albis (Casa De Ferrera). A notable 16th century Gothic building. In 1541 the Emperor Carlos V stayed there. (updated Feb 2016)
  • 8 Palazzo Machin (Casa Dòria). (updated Feb 2016)
  • 9 Palazzo Serra. 18th-century Baroque building. (updated Feb 2016)
  • 10 Palazzo Lavagna. 19th-century Neoclassical building. (updated Feb 2016)
  • 11 Palazzo Civico (Town Hall). (updated Feb 2016)
  • 12 Palazzo Peretti (Palazzo Guillot). 15th-century Gothic-Catalan palazzo. (updated Feb 2016)
  • 13 Palazzo Carcassona. (updated Feb 2016)
  • 14 Palazzo Simon. Built in 1865. (updated Feb 2016)
  • 15 Torre di San Giovanni (Torre di Mezzo). A 16th-century massive defensive tower. (updated Sep 2017)

Liberty villas along the Lungomare Dante and the Lungomare Valencia:

  • 16 Villa Mosca, Lungomare Dante. Now a hotel. (updated Feb 2016)
  • 17 Villa las Tronas (Villa Arborio Mella di Sant'Elia), Lungomare Valencia. Yet another villa, now a hotel. (updated Feb 2016)

Do

Museums

  • Museo Archeologico della Città, Via Carlo Alberto, 72, ☏ +390799734045. 11:00-13:30, 17:30-21:30. €6. (updated Aug 2017)
  • 2 Museo del Corallo (Casa Ascione), Via XX Settembre n. 8, ☏ +390799897502, ✉ info@museodelcorallo.it. 10:30-13:00, 17:00-21:00. The Museum of Coral in the Libery villa. €6. (updated Aug 2017)
  • 3 Museo Diocesano, Piazza Duomo, ☏ +39 079 973 3041. W-M 10:30-13:00 18:00-20:30. €4, + Cathedral's campanile €6. (updated Aug 2017)

Beaches

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. Bosa is an ideal spot for a relaxing holiday, as it is friendly and has a character and economy which is not based solely on tourism.

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.
  • Caving
  • Climbing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Bird watching
  • Hunting
  • Archeology
  • Botany

Buy

Alghero is famous for its red coral jewellery and silverware. Tourists should be aware of potential environmental damage to coral reefs before buying red coral jewellery.

Eat

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".

  • Al Vecchio Mulino, Via Don De Roma, 3. A good restaurant where you can try typical dishes. The same management for 30 years. 
  • Embarcadero, Localita Portoconte. A very good restaurant in Portoconte, which serves fish dishes, meat dishes, and pizzas. It has a very nice view of the bay. 

Drink

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.

Sleep

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 Airport), ☏ +39 340 0777688, +39 3395912476 (English contact), ✉ info@aigua.it. 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), ☏ +39 347 1813100, ✉ info@algheroramblas.com. Check-in: 11:00, check-out: 12:00. B&B Alghero €60-100. 
  • Hotel Angedras Alghero, via Frank, 2, ☏ +39 079 9735034, ✉ info@hotelangedras.it. 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, ☏ +39 079 981818, ✉ info@hotelvillalastronas.it. 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, ☏ +39 079 942 010. 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, ☏ +39 079977343, ✉ info@hotelcalabona.it. Restaurant, bar, swimming pool. The hotel has a small private beach with some rocks. €120. 
  • Alghero Resort Country Hotel, Via Carrabuffas, ☏ +39 079 986 555, ✉ info@algheroresort.it. 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. (updated Dec 2016)

Go next

Capo Caccia

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), ☏ +39 079 979054. 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), ☏ +39 329 4385947. 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. (updated Sep 2017)
  • 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. (updated Sep 2017)

Other destinations

  • Sassari -- is a capital of a province -- a good destination for a pleasant half day trip
  • Bosa -- a quaint old town further on the South


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