Picture diving into bright blue waters to refresh yourself after a couple of hours working on the tan. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? It’s one of the many reasons why holidaymakers flock to the popular Sardinia destination of Alghero. Found in the north of the island, Alghero is a picture-postcard pretty beach holiday. There’s even a few bonus beaches a couple of minutes’ walk along the coast. The waters make ideal conditions for sailing and scuba diving. If the idea of exploring life under the ocean appeals to you, then you can dive into one of the Mediterranean’s most famous caves; the Nereo Cave. Those who prefer to keep their feet dry can also take a guided tour of Neptune’s Grotto. These caves are full of stalactites and stalagmites and only a short boat ride from Alghero.
While the beach is the focus of many holidays to Alghero, you can also stay active by heading off into the countryside. There are some great trails for cycling or hiking, where you can take in the beautiful scenery. An evening stroll around Alghero can be just as pleasant. Bars and cafes are dotted around the port area, where you can enjoy a glass of wine or indulge in a delicious seafood lunch. It’s also well worth exploring the Old Town area of Alghero, with its maze of side streets and historic churches. If you’re looking for a souvenir, then you’ll stumble upon some cute little shops here.
Just a 20-minute walk along the coastline from Alghero lies the tiny village of Maria Pia. Most holidaymakers head here for the beach. There’s almost a mile of white sands surrounded by pine trees. The shallow waters are perfect for children, or you can simply hire a sun lounger and relax. When you fancy cooling off, wander on one of the trails through the nearby pine forest or enjoy a spot of lunch in one of the village’s restaurants.
Just past Maria Pia, there’s another pretty village called Fertilia. It’ll only take you a couple of minutes’ drive to reach here from Alghero and you’ll be rewarded with another beautiful beach. You can also have a stroll around Fertilia’s large pond and see the fishing boats bringing in the catch at the village’s small marina. If you’re keen to try scuba diving, there’s a diving school close to the beach.
Sardinia’s second largest city is only a 30-minute drive from Alghero. When you’re looking to take a break from the beach and learn a little about Sardinia’s culture and history, then Sassari is the best place to visit. There are statues and monuments around almost every corner. The 13th-century Cathedral of St Nicholas is well worth seeing, as is the city’s palace. If they have whetted your appetite, head to the Archaeological Museum to see exhibits spanning thousands of years.
Explore the Old Town
Alghero’s old town area is known as Barceloneta and it’s the heart of the place. You can spend hours walking along the shaded alleyways and through the grand piazzas. Make sure you check out Alghero’s cathedral and the lush Palazzo d’Albis. Many choose to visit the old town just to chill out though. Find a good cafe, order an ice cream or an espresso and watch the world go by.
Make sure you’ve packed the credit card for your Alghero holiday as there are plenty of shops here to buy both souvenirs and designer goods. Most of the shops are found on Via Carlo Alberto and Via Roma in the old town area. Many shops specialise in coral jewellery, with some pieces costing a hefty sum. You’ll also find chic clothes boutiques nestled in the side streets.
Boat trips run from Alghero’s port to the wonderful Neptune’s Grotto - one of Sardinia’s most popular attractions. There are stalactites and stalagmites dating back millions of years here. Keen scuba divers and snorkelers can also head underwater to explore the caves around Sardinia. The Nereo Cave is only a 25-minute drive from Alghero and it’s a magical network of tunnels and archways.
Beaches in Alghero
The main beach in Alghero is found just north of the harbour. San Giovanni Beach stretches on for around a mile and it’s a brilliant spot for sun worshippers. Maria Pia is also within easy reach if you fancy a change of scenery. Those looking for something a little more lively can visit nearby Bombarde Beach, where DJs perform in beach bars.
Hopefully, you’ve brought your appetite to Sardinia because it’s a foodie’s dream here. One of the specialities in the area is aragosta alla catalana; lobster with a tomatoey Mediterranean style dressing. You must also try the tender roasted suckling pig, called porceddu. Waiters will often present you with a huge book containing the list of the restaurant’s wines. The best bet is to ask for a glass of the local vermentino.
When it’s dinner time, make a beeline for the old town area. It’s brimming with trattorias and you’re almost guaranteed some great grub. Most of the restaurants will have a rotating menu of pasta dishes, depending on which ingredients are in season. You’ll also find some top seafood restaurants next to the harbour.
For a picture perfect Italian beach getaway, Alghero ticks all the boxes. There are beautiful beaches to relax on in Alghero and a cute old town area to explore. There’s no chance of going hungry here either, with delicious food on offer. Booking your holiday to Alghero couldn’t be any simpler when you travel with easyJet holidays. You’ll even save money on your holiday by booking a hotel and flight together with easyJet holidays. Check out our other Sardinia destination guides if you’re still not convinced.