Alghero – the door to the westcoast
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Alghero is located on the northwest coast of the island and is one of the most famous and popular Sardinian cities. This city has everything: history, tradition, beautiful beaches, headlands overlooking the sea, caves, archaeology and an Airport. The Fertilia Airport connects the city with the main Italian and European cities; The airport is only 15 minutes from the city centre, where you can travel by regional or public transport from the regional airline ARST. (www.arst.sardegna.it, linea 714).For those who want to reach Alghero by car from the east coast, it is advisable to use the SS597/729 expressway (travel time 1h50). Rail services from Olbia and Sassari stations are also available (www.trenitalia.com).
THE HISTORICAL CENTRE AND THE “LIDO OF SAN GIOVANNI”
Not only the street signs of the old town have bilingual, strictly Italian and Spanish traces, but also the population: Within the city, many locals still understand and speak Catalan and Spanish. In the 14th century, many refugees came from Barcelona and settled there. In the 17th century, Spanish was even the official language. Today, various institutions are committed to preserving language and culture. Above all, the Maria Montessori Center and the Alghero Cultural Center.
The striking, but also the most exotic and fascinating feature of the old town of Alghero is the interplay of all those architectural elements that recall Catalonia: the cobbled streets, the facades of the palaces, the churches, the bifurcaties and the walled portals. The language of the inhabitants and the names of the streets are also in Catalan, elements that still show the Catalan has a very strong sense of belonging. The story of Alghero is written mainly around its defensive walls. It was a fortress city and in the past there were two gates, Portal Reial (the current country door) and Porta a Mare (the current Porta Salve). The old town can also be visited on board with the tourist train departing from the marina. The walk through the streets of Alghero is absolutely wonderful. You will find a unique context between old buildings, characteristic houses, alleys, views of the sea, underpasses and small squares, the excellent ice cream parlours, trattorias, small shops of handicrafts and exclusive boutiques for shopping. At night, Alghero is even more magical. The ramparts embrace the marina, which can be used all year round. They look out over the horizon from which the headland of Cape Hunt stands majestically.
The long sea, lively and dynamic, opens on the beach of San Giovanni. The city beach, wide with fine sand and transparent water, perfect for families, children and teenagers. The lido offers all the comforts to spend a day in full relaxation: rent umbrellas and sun loungers, camping equipment and a water playground just a few meters from the shore. It is also practicable for people with disabilities. The seabed is perfect for snorkelers. The promenade and the old town are populated by many accommodations suitable for all destinations. In addition, there are some famous trattorias and restaurants with stunning views of the harbour. Alghero is a city full of life and colour.
Alghero is known for its historic, medieval old town. It lies on a ledge surrounded by a fortress wall in the center of Alghero. The fortifications and bastions on the sea side are still very well preserved. During the sunset you have a fabulous view, for example on a long walk. In addition to some restaurants, there are also old cannons and catapults on the city wall. The narrow, shady alleys within the old town often lead along typical cafés and ice cream parlors, where homemade Italian gelato is offered. Many small shops are located primarily in Via Carlo Alberto and Via Roma in the center of Alghero. They offer the visitor everything from regional delicacies and clothing to souvenirs. They are often open until late in the evening, but many shops have a siesta at noon and close the doors for a few hours.
The coast of Alghero, called the Coral Riviera (here lives the largest colony of corals of the highest quality) is about 90 kilometers long and much of it is under the protection of the marine region of Cape Hunt – Piana Island. The beaches and natural beauty of this stretch of coast leave the visitor breathless.
Just outside the city (about 2 km) in the direction of Fertilia, you will find the Maria Pia beach, famous for the sand dunes covered with centuries-old juniper. To reach the beach, you have to cross a dense pine forest; the pine forest and the dunes provide large shade areas at any hour. The arena, which stretches for about 2 kilometers, is covered with white and very fine sand, the seabed deteriorates gently and the water is clear and not excessively cold. The beach is protected from the winds and the sea is almost always calm. Facilities: parasols and sun loungers, bars and restaurants.
The most famous beach is Le Bombarde about ten kilometers from the center: transparent water, sandy seabed, which deteriorates quite quickly. Frequently targeted by families with children, teenagers and surfers. It is located between Fertilia and Punta del Giglio just before the beach of Lazzaretto. It is a bay less than 1 km long and is a few dozen meters wide. The bay is surrounded by rocks from one side and with a pine forest and Mediterranean scrub from the other side. The beach has facilities with a bar, a restaurant and a hotel.
Just one kilometre away is the Lazzaretto , coming from Alghero, the beach immediately follows that of the Bombards. It is characterized by clear and fine sand, the seabed is low and sandy and therefore ideal for children. On the top directly behind the beach you can still see the remains of Lazarus from the 17th century, from which it has its name. The beach is equipped with facilities, parasols and sun loungers, a bar and a restaurant.
A little further away, in the bay of Porto Conte, is the beach of Mugoni . A fully protected oasis of golden sand immersed in the always calm and crystal clear waters of the sea.
MUSEUMS AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES
Alghero has the presence of important museums, including the Coral Museum (open about XX September from Monday to Sunday 10.30am – 1pm – 5pm – 7.30pm, admission €5.00), which is truly unique and special;
The Manno Museum House (in via Santa Barbara), (on Santa Barbara Street), is located in the oldest core of the old town, near the Pou Salit Palace and St. Mary’s Cathedral, and has a rich heritage of paintings, furniture, books and manuscripts.
Not far from the centre there are references to Alghero’s prehistoric roots, starting with the Neolithic: Santu Pedrus Le domus de Janas, the necropolis anghelu Ruju (on the SP42 of the two seas) and the complexes of Palmavera and Saint Imbenia, about ten kilometers towards Porto Conte/Capo Caccia. More information about the times of visits to individual museums and ticket costs, www.algheroturismo.eu
Walking through the old town, you will come across religious buildings of great beauty. Some of the beauties are: Cathedral st. Mary from the sixteenth century with the majestic bell tower, the churches of Carmel (second half of the seventeenth), with the great golden retablo, The dome of St. Michael with its distinctive colored tiled dome and the St. Anne’s (1735) in the style of the Renaissance.
VISITS AND EXCURSIONS:
LE GROTTE DI NETTUNO: The interior is located on the spectacular headland of Cape Hunt and is almost 600 meters open and houses impressive environments with stalactites and stalagmites and a lake. The submerged cave of Nereo is the largest in Europe. The caves of Neptune can be reached by sea with the service of the Grotte Line from the marina or by land along the “Escala del Cabirol” (head of the deer). On the ridge of the headland, a ramp or staircase of about 660 steps was “excavated”. The caves can be used daily from April to mid-September from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (last admission); Ticket costs: adults: 13 €, children (3-12 years) – 7 € (expected discounts and groups).
DIVING: The seabed of Alghero is a true paradise for diving lovers; the underwater world is characterized by an infinity of submerged and subaerial caves, including the above-mentioned Nereo cave with its 7 entrances, placed at different altitudes, tunnels and arches. Some areas are subject to full protection, for more information or request from singes, www.ampcapocaccia.it
SEE ON THE PORT COUNT PARK: For those who love outdoor activities, trekking or bird watching, it is advisable to follow one of the suggested routes and activities to discover the Porto Conte Natural Park. The park begins just north of Alghero with the lagoon of Calich; The mountain D’Olla with its 437 m is the highest hill point, an extraordinary view over the entire area and the sea of Alghero. The park also includes the Demanial Forest “Le Prigionette” an animal oasis of great importance, here you will meet sweet and sweet white donkeys. Some of the nature trails are also perfect for families with children who will enjoy a relaxing walk in nature. Cycling routes have also been identified, along walkable and specially signposted paths and more challenging routes for the adventurous. Tours can be booked by the park’s accredited hiking guides for more information www.parcodiportoconte.it.
BOOT TRIPS:Excursions and boat trips to discover the beauties of the Coral Riviera start at the marina. The daily mini-cruises accompany visitors to discover the islands and the most beautiful bays of this stretch of coast, including stops and dives from the boat. They cost around 45/50 euros for adults with discounts for children. From the docks of the port also excursions on board the motorboats, which go “in search of the dolphins”.
VISIT TO THE VILLA & MOSCOW: The wineries Sella&Moscow are very prestigious, which can be visited, accompanied by the guide, all year round by reservation by phone e-mail: email@example.com. Sella & Moscow was founded in 1899 and covers an area of 650 hectares, of which 550 are vineyards.
The company produces fine wines, including the famous “Marquess of Villamarina”. This visit is really not to be missed for fans who enjoy a nice walk through the vineyards, and along the boulevard lined with oleanders from which you can access the heart of the estate.
MUOVERSI AD ALGHERO
Moving in the city, but also acity, to the airport and other centers, is simply served thanks to the connections and routes of the regional airline ARST.
You can also take the bus to the main attractions and beaches: Alghero – Porto Conte – Cape Hunt (Neptune Cave); Alghero – Sella & Moscow (Anghelu Ruju Necropolis) – St. Mark (Industrial Area); Alghero_Fertilia: Zirra (S.M. La Palma) – Porto Ferro – Villa Assunta.
The terminus and ticket office are located in the public gardens giuseppe Manno in Via Catalonia or at the www.arst.sardegna.it.
THE GREEN TRENINO connects, immersed in a unique path in nature, the Coral Riviera in Palau. A way to get to know the area by crossing the hills until you reach the sea. Every Thursday and Friday until 14 September. Information on prices and times can be found on the website www.treninoverde.com