Alghero Guide: Best Things To See and Do (+3 Accomodation Options)

Alghero, located on the northwest coast of Sardinia, Italy, is a charming town known for its rich history, unique culture, and stunning natural landscapes. Often referred to as “Barceloneta” (Little Barcelona), Alghero’s distinct Catalan heritage is reflected in its architecture, language, and traditions. The town is encircled by ancient walls, boasting picturesque views of the Mediterranean Sea, making it a captivating destination for travelers.

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Alghero seamlessly combines historical allure, cultural richness, and natural splendor. The old town is a labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets lined with historic buildings, churches, and quaint shops. Visitors can explore centuries-old fortifications and bastions that tell tales of the town’s past.

Alghero stands out with its Catalan influences, evident in the local dialect and culinary delights. The vibrant food scene offers a taste of both Sardinian and Catalan flavors, with seafood playing a central role.

Nature lovers will find paradise in Alghero’s surrounding areas. From the crystal-clear waters and sandy beaches to the rugged landscapes of Porto Conte Natural Park, the region offers a variety of outdoor activities. Highlights include the Neptune’s Caves with their stunning stalactites and stalagmites, and the serene beauty of the nearby beaches such as Maria Pia and Le Bombarde.

Historical and Cultural Sites

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Historic Center

Alghero Centro Storico Panorama
S141739, CC BY 3.0,

Stroll Through the Cobbled Streets
Walking through Alghero’s historic center feels like stepping back in time. The narrow, winding cobbled streets are lined with centuries-old buildings, vibrant shops, and cozy cafes. This area is the heart of the town, pulsating with a mix of locals and tourists.

Key Landmarks

  • Cathedral of Santa Maria: This stunning cathedral, built in the 16th century, is a fine example of Gothic-Catalan architecture. Its intricate facade and impressive bell tower are must-see features.
  • Piazza Civica: The main square in the old town, Piazza Civica is surrounded by historic buildings and is a hub of activity. It’s a great place to relax, people-watch, and soak in the ambiance.

Alghero’s Ancient Walls and Bastions

Bastioni Alghero 2019
Photo2023,, CC BY 4.0,

History and Significance
Alghero’s ancient walls and bastions are remnants of its rich history, dating back to the medieval period. These fortifications were built to protect the town from invasions and offer a glimpse into Alghero’s strategic importance over the centuries.

Best Spots for Views and Photography

  • Bastione Marco Polo: Offers panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and the coastline. It’s a favorite spot for both tourists and locals to enjoy sunsets.
  • Bastione della Maddalena: Another excellent vantage point, providing scenic views of the port and the surrounding landscape. This bastion is also home to various events and festivals throughout the year.

Archaeological Museum

Overview of Exhibits
The Archaeological Museum of Alghero houses a rich collection of artifacts that tell the story of the region’s ancient past. Key exhibits include:

  • Nuragic Artifacts: Objects from the Nuragic civilization, which thrived on the island during the Bronze Age.
  • Roman Relics: Items from the Roman period, including fragments of mosaics and sculptures.

Practical Information

  • Location: Via Carlo Alberto 72, in the historic center.
  • Hours: Typically open from Monday to Friday with specific hours in the morning and afternoon, and free entry on weekends.
  • Tours: Guided tours are available and highly recommended to gain deeper insights into the exhibits.

Necropolis of Anghelu Ruju

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Gianni Careddu, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Description and Historical Context
The Necropolis of Anghelu Ruju is the largest pre-Nuragic burial site in Sardinia, discovered in 1903. It features numerous tombs, known as “domus de janas” (houses of the fairies), carved into the rock. These tombs provide valuable insights into the burial practices and beliefs of the prehistoric communities in the region.

Visitor Tips and Nearby Attractions

  • Visitor Tips: Wear comfortable shoes for walking around the site. Consider visiting early in the day to avoid crowds and the midday heat.
  • Nearby Attractions: Combine your visit with a trip to the nearby Nuraghe Palmavera, another significant archaeological site, to get a fuller picture of the ancient civilizations that inhabited Sardinia.

Natural Attractions

Neptune’s Grotto

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Description of the Caves
Neptune’s Grotto, located in the Capo Caccia cliffs near Alghero, are a stunning network of marine caves filled with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The main cavern extends deep into the cliffs, showcasing a series of chambers adorned with spectacular rock formations and a large underground lake. The caves are a natural wonder, offering a breathtaking glimpse into the subterranean beauty of the region.

How to Get There: Boat Trips vs. Walking the Escala del Cabirol

  • Boat Trips: Departing from the port of Alghero, these trips provide a scenic route along the coast to the caves. This option is ideal for those who prefer a leisurely journey and offers a unique perspective of the coastal landscape.
  • Escala del Cabirol: For the adventurous, the staircase known as Escala del Cabirol (Roe Deer’s Staircase) involves a descent of 654 steps down the cliffs to the cave entrance. This route provides spectacular views but requires a good level of fitness.

Porto Conte Natural Park

Porto Conte e Capo Caccia da Monte Doglia
Gianni Careddu, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Key Features: Biodiversity, Hiking Trails, and Activities
Porto Conte Natural Park is a protected area rich in biodiversity, encompassing various ecosystems from coastal dunes to forests and wetlands. The park is a haven for wildlife, including many rare and endemic species.

  • Biodiversity: The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including wild boars, Sardinian deer, and a plethora of bird species.
  • Hiking Trails: Numerous trails of varying difficulty allow visitors to explore the park’s different habitats. Popular routes include the trail to Monte Timidone and the coastal path to Cala Barca.
  • Activities: Visitors can enjoy activities such as bird watching, cycling, and guided tours. The park also offers educational programs and workshops related to its natural heritage.

Prigionette Oasis and Other Notable Areas

  • Prigionette Oasis: Known as “Noah’s Ark”, this area within the park is renowned for its rich biodiversity. It features a network of trails suitable for hiking and cycling, with facilities like picnic areas and rental bikes.
  • Other Areas: Key spots include the Porto Ferro beach, known for its wild beauty, and the Torre del Porticciolo, a picturesque tower offering panoramic views.

Beaches Around Alghero

  • Maria Pia: Maria Pia Beach is a popular choice for families, featuring a long stretch of soft, white sand backed by a fragrant pine forest. The beach is well-equipped with amenities such as sunbeds, umbrellas, bars, and restaurants. It’s easily accessible from the town center by car or public transport.
  • Le Bombarde: This beach is favored for its crystal-clear waters and fine sand. It’s a small but vibrant beach, often crowded during peak season. Facilities include sunbed and umbrella rentals, making it a convenient spot for a day at the beach.
  • Lazzaretto: Located near Le Bombarde, Lazzaretto offers similar clear waters and scenic beauty but tends to be less crowded. It’s a great spot for snorkeling and has several small coves nearby.
  • Mugoni. Mugoni Beach is noted for its serene environment and scenic backdrop of pine forests. The calm, shallow waters make it ideal for swimming and family outings. The beach is also popular for picnics and provides a more relaxed atmosphere compared to the busier beaches closer to Alghero.

Where to Stay

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Top Hotels

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  1. Hotel Alguer
    • Description: Hotel Alguer is known for its friendly service, cleanliness, and excellent location close to Maria Pia Beach and the old town. It offers a cozy, welcoming atmosphere and is rated highly for its superb breakfast.
      • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and breakfast included.
  2. Villa Las Tronas Hotel & SPA
    • Description: This luxury hotel offers stunning views of the Gulf of Alghero and features a private beach, outdoor pool, and a full-service spa. The historic villa provides a blend of elegance and comfort.
      • Amenities: Spa services, indoor salt-water pool, gym, free parking, and sea-view rooms.
  3. Carlos V Hotel
    • Description: Located near the charming Bay of Alghero, Carlos V Hotel offers modern amenities and luxurious accommodations. The hotel features a rooftop restaurant with panoramic sea views and an outdoor pool.
      • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, private balconies, and on-site dining.

Getting Around

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Transportation Options

  • Renting a Car
    • Advantages: Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore Alghero and its surroundings at your own pace. It’s especially convenient for visiting out-of-town attractions like the Neptune’s Caves and Porto Conte Natural Park.
    • Rental Tips: Book your rental car in advance, check for any hidden fees, and make sure to understand the local driving rules.
  • Public Transport
    • Buses: Alghero has a reliable bus system connecting major points of interest within the town and nearby areas. The ARST (Azienda Regionale Sarda Trasporti) operates buses to destinations like Sassari and Bosa.
    • Trains: The train station in Alghero offers services to Sassari and other parts of Sardinia, although the bus system is generally more comprehensive for local travel.

Best Ways to Explore the Town and Its Surroundings

  • Walking and Biking: Alghero’s historic center is best explored on foot, allowing you to fully appreciate its narrow streets and charming atmosphere. Many areas are pedestrian-friendly, and bike rentals are available for exploring the coastline.
  • Boat Tours: For a different perspective, consider taking a boat tour along the coast to see attractions like Neptune’s Caves and the rugged cliffs of Capo Caccia.
  • Guided Tours: Joining a guided tour can provide valuable insights into the history and culture of Alghero, especially when visiting historical sites and natural attractions.

Where is Alghero?

Alghero is a city located in the northwestern coast of Sardinia, Italy, in the province of SassariIt is situated along the bay named after the city. To the north of the urban area lies the Nurra plain, while the karstic systems of Capo Caccia, Punta Giglio and Monte Doglia are to the northwest. The southern part is mainly built up by mountains and plateaus.

Weather in Alghero

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The Climate in Alghero

The climate in Alghero, like much of Sardinia, is typically Mediterranean.

  • Spring (March – May). During spring, Alghero begins to bloom, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. It is the ideal time to enjoy walks along the beach and nature hikes, with everything blossoming in a myriad of vibrant colors. Rainfall is moderate, and the weather is quite mild.
  • Summer (June – August). Summer is the hottest and most popular season to visit Alghero. Temperatures can reach and exceed 30 degrees Celsius, especially in July and August. The days are long and sunny, with clear skies providing perfect conditions to enjoy the area’s beautiful beaches.
  • Autumn (September – November). Autumn is a transitional season with temperatures gradually decreasing, ranging between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius. It is an ideal period for those who want to avoid the summer crowds and enjoy the autumn landscape, with leaves changing color and vineyards preparing for the harvest.
  • Winter (December – February). Winter in Alghero is generally mild, with temperatures rarely dropping below 10 degrees Celsius. However, it is also the wettest season, with more frequent rainfall compared to other seasons. Despite this, sunny days are not uncommon and offer the opportunity to explore the city and its surroundings without the summer heat.
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Day Trips


Highlights of Sassari: Historical Center, St. Nicholas Cathedral
Sassari, the second-largest city in Sardinia, offers a rich blend of history and culture. The historical center is a maze of narrow streets and charming squares, featuring notable landmarks such as:

  • St. Nicholas Cathedral: This impressive cathedral, dating back to the 13th century, showcases a blend of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architectural styles. The intricate facade and ornate interior are must-see highlights.
  • Piazza d’Italia: Known as the heart of Sassari, this large square is surrounded by important buildings, including the Palazzo della Provincia and the Teatro Civico.
  • St. Anthony Abbot Church: Another historical gem, this church features beautiful frescoes and a serene atmosphere.

Travel Tips: How to Get There and What to See

  • Getting There: Sassari is approximately 35 minutes by car from Alghero. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Alghero, which takes about an hour and costs around 4€.
  • What to See: Besides the highlights mentioned, explore the Museo Sanna for an extensive collection of archaeological artifacts, and stroll through the Rosello Fountain, a 17th-century monument depicting the city’s emblem.


Description of the Town and Its Attractions
Bosa is a picturesque town located about an hour south of Alghero. Nestled along the Temo River, it is renowned for its colorful houses, historic architecture, and charming atmosphere. Key attractions include:

  • Bosa Castle (Castello Malaspina): Perched on a hilltop, this medieval castle offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding landscape. The castle’s chapel houses beautiful frescoes.
  • Old Town (Sa Costa): The historic quarter is a delight to explore, with narrow, winding streets and pastel-colored houses. The town is also known for its traditional lace-making and goldsmithing.

Suggested Activities and Places to Eat

  • Activities:
    • River Cruise: Take a boat trip along the Temo River to enjoy the scenic views and learn about the town’s history.
    • Beach Visit: Spend some time at Bosa Marina, a nearby beach with golden sand and clear waters, ideal for swimming and relaxation.
  • Places to Eat:
    • Ristorante Sa Pischedda: A well-regarded restaurant offering traditional Sardinian cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood.
    • Trattoria Da Riccardo: Known for its warm atmosphere and homemade dishes, this eatery is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

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