Places to visit in Alghero
Alghero Airport is located in northern Sardinia, and is one of the three main airports on the island. Approximately a million and a half passengers travel through Alghero each year, and it consists of a modern, well organized, single air terminal. This airport is a popular arrival point for thousands of tourists visiting the Coral Riviera region, and the town of Alghero, which is only 8 km from the airport. The village of Fertilia is also nearby, as well as many other towns and areas of interest. Alghero Airport, due to its location, is also well known as Alghero-Fertilia Airport, or Riviera del Corallo Airport. Attractions in Alghero include a variety of notable religious buildings, tall towers, caves and ancient ruins.
Northern Sardinia is like an undiscovered enchanted wonderland, with rich and luscious vegetation on the mainland and the most beautiful seas and beaches along the coastline. While the towns display fascinating historical-archaeological heritage, with some very impressive buildings dating back a few centuries. Sardinia can be described as a rare jewel, with uncontaminated coastlines, and great cliffs that fall steeply to the sea. The Alghero region of Sardinia is considered to be one the most beautiful coastal zones, with widespread beaches and calm blue waters. Summer is naturally the busiest season in Sardinia, as its warm Mediterranean climate welcomes those who are fond of sunbathing and swimming. The Summer months in Sardinia are June, July, August and September, when temperatures average at least 26°C or 27°C. Winters in Sardinia are mild, with temperatures staying above 12°C.
Alghero is a charming seaside town, and is known as the tourist capital of the Coral Riviera region. The name ‘Alghero’ actually comes from the abundance of seaweed (algae) that is found in its surrounding waters, and long ago used to be known as Algarium. Sometimes Alghero is referred to as Italy’s ‘Barceloneta’, or Little Barcelona. The town is a good example of historic military architecture as much of the town’s fortifications are still easily visible, and have a striking presence, with seven tall defense towers looming over the buildings. The area is also surrounded by historic walls, which divides the city into the Old Town district and the newer, more modern districts. The Old Town area has wonderful cobbled streets and a labyrinth of small winding lanes and roads - which are best navigated on foot! Around the Old Town there are many places to shop and eat out.
Sardinia is famous for its magnificent beaches, and Alghero has a number within a short driving distance. The Maria Pia Beach is one of the most popular, and also lies very nearby Alghero, just off the Lido coast road. There are also many lovely beaches along the coast of Fertilia, a town just five kilometers from Alghero. These include the Bombarde Beach, the Punto Negra Beach and the Lazzaretto Beach. The blue sea waters are used for many sporting and leisure activities, such as scuba diving, windsurfing, sailing, swimming and other forms of boating activities. Tourists can take a trip on the boat of Andrea Jensen, and enjoy views of the island from the sea, and snorkeling with the fishes.
Neptune’s Grotto is one of the most popular attractions in Alghero, and is a stalactite cave nearby the town. It was discovered in the 18th century by fishermen. The whole cave system is about four kilometers long, but visitors are only able to explore about a few hundred meters of it. Its entrance is only about a meter above sea level, and is found in the Capo Caccia cliffs. The cave is therefore only available to view on calmer days when the waves are quieter. There are guided tours available for the cave, where tour guides present information about the cave in English and Italian, and there is a lighted pathway which is followed. There are also many other under water caves in the area, but not all are accessible for tourists, such as the ‘Green Grotto’, while others can only be entered from the sea, such as the Grotta di Ricami. The largest and most famous cave is the Nereo Cave, which is visited by thousands of scuba divers every year.
Many tourists like to visit the Nuraghe di Palmavera in Sardinia, which is one of the biggest and most important Nuraghic sites on the island. It is found about ten kilometers from Alghero, on the Fertilia to Porto Conte road, and can be visited all year round. The site features the remains of an ancient palace dating back to the fourteenth century BC, as well as the surrounding group of huts which were once dwellings of the inhabitants. There is a small charge for entry onto the site, and handheld guides are available.
Notable religious buildings in Alghero include the Alghero Cathedral, or the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Immacolata di Alghero, the church of St. Francis and the church of San Michele. The great towers in Alghero are of particular interest to many visitors as well, and include the Torre De L’Espero Reial, the Torre De Sant Juame an the Torre Del Portal. The first dates back to the 16th century, while the second was built during the first half of the 6th century. The Torre Del Portal is an octagonal tower which was recently restored with attention to its original Gothic inspiration. The Roman Bridge is another popular sight to see, and dates back to the Medieval times. Today, only half of the original 24 arches remain to be admired.
Tourists are recommended to spend some time exploring towns and areas nearby Alghero, as there is a vast quantity of wonderful places to see. The Porto Conte Bay is about 12 km from Alghero is the largest natural harbor in the Mediterranean, while Capo Caccia is about 24 km from Alghero, boasts spectacular high cliffs with superb views of the bay of Alghero.
Tourists arriving in Alghero can find out more information about the attractions in the northern Sardinian region from the tourist information desk within the arrivals area.