Alghero is a seaside town in northwestern Sardinia that has a multicultural past. The Lungomare, the seaside walk that Italians do so well has been restored and is a fine way to walk along the sea. The cocktail scene is blossoming. Alghero is a great place to spend a week. Fly in, rent a car, and you can take in not only the fine urban pleasures, but you can take some short drives to spectacular archaeological sites, wineries, and eateries that will astound your senses.
On our attractions map you'll find a variety of things to do in northwestern Sardinia. When you click a marker, you'll find a link to "get directions." This takes you to a page where you can generally find out how to get there from where you are, and also find out opening times and other information.
You'll find a great many things to do between Alghero and Porto Torres. The sea isn't ever far away.
To the west of Alghero on Capo Caccia is Neptune's Grotto, a stalactite cave discovered by fishermen in the 1700s. It's one of Italy's largest marine caves, formed a couple of million years ago. To get there from the road you need to take the footpath from the top down the 'Escala del Cabirol' (Goat’s Staircase) with its 656 steps. You can also take a boat trip from the port of Alghero--just look for the kiosks like the Navisarda outpost below. Prices are reasonable.
Just North of Alghero near the airport is Anghelu Ruju, a Neolithic tomb complex discovered in 1903 during construction of a farmhouse for the Sella & Mosca winery, which you can visit. It is the largest Neolithic tomb in Sardinia. The site is located 6 miles (10 km) from Alghero. You can take a taxi for about 20 Euro from Alghero.
This is great wine country, so take the road north and you'll find a far less commercial winery called Tenute Delogu. It's a wine resort with a fine restaurant, and you can reserve a table for a set menu costing a mere €35. The wines are spectacular and full of character, so don't miss it if you're a wine lover who wants to go beyond the "international" styles of commercial wineries.
To the south of Alghero you'll find Nuraghe Appiu. It has a very interesting village around it, but the nuraghe had been the victim of a massive collapse. Restoration work has brought light to the entrance portion of the nuraghe. There are very fine views of the Sardinian countryside near Villanova Monteleone. This site has a list of things to do near the nuraghe. We toured the area and Nuraghe with Naturalghero, and saw the elusive Sardinian Griffon Vultures as well as a tour of the cork oaks, a Sardinian specialty not only for corking bottles. The guides are naturalists and will amaze you with their knowledge of the critters and geography of this island. A day trip with Naturalghero is highly recommended.
Three of our attractions are in or near Porto Torres, a pleasant port and resort city on the north coast of Sardinia. Here the focus is on very interesting archaeology and good eats.
Right in town adjacent to the train station is the Roman colony of Turris Libisonis. It was a town for only Roman citizens. There's a well-reserved Roman road (and a little off-site a Roman Bridge). You'll also find three Roman baths, an aqueduct to get water to them, and a port linking to Roman Ostia for trade.
Nearby is a Ziggurat. "Ah," I hear you say, "what's a ziggurat doing in Sardinia?" Well, speculate all you want because the question hasn't been answered yet, just go and see Monte d'Accoddi. The construction in question is around 6000 years old. There's a cracked egg rock beside it--not to mention a standing stone archaeologist's call a menhir. The site is a 40 minute drive from Alghero.
Spend a morning at Monte d'Accoddi, then plan for lunch just down the road at Tenuto Li Lioni. Totally traditional food of Sardinia by folks passionate about it; I recommend Tenuto Li Lioni highly.
And finally, if you're looking for beaches, Stintino Beach, shown on the far north of the map, is one of the best in Sardinia.
These aren't the only things to see in northwestern Sardinia. If you zoom in the map and fly around in it, you'll find many other places to visit. This itinerary gives you a fine introduction to the different periods of culture in Sardinia, from the Neolithic through the Bronze age, introduces you to commercial and artisan wine of the Island, and takes to to the best grotto along the coast. Have fun, discover more. Wander and wonder, two find friends on your vacation.
Viator offers a variety of tours as well as advance tickets for the big attractions like Anghelu Ruju and Nuraghe Palmavera, one of the few coastal nuraghe in Sardinia.
First, let's establish that this itinerary is best done in the off season due to the crowds that hog the resources mentioned. We went in late September, and the experience was a great one; things weren't crowded or closed for the season. Slow travel was possible.
If you wish for a longer trip to Sardinia, you can also head to the Barbagia where little mountain towns unite in a festival called Autunno in Barbagia, in which each weekend several towns host festivals celebrating the local crafts and culture. It's one of my favorite festivals. Read of our experience in 2017 at Autumn in Barbagia.
For historic climate data and charts for planning your Alghero trip, see: Alghero Weather and Climate.