Northwest Sardinia: Alghero & Grotta di Nettuno

In this part of Sardinia I will give you inspirations to wander through the streets of the old town of Alghero, climb down and up to the fairy-tale Grotta di Nettuno, relax at Mugoni Beach close to Alghero and drive the stunning scenery coastal route called SP105 all the way to Bosa.

Alghero Centro

When I arrived in Alghero in the afternoon I unpacked my suitcase and walked straight via the sea wall to the historical center; centro storico. Alghero is one of Sardinia’s most beautiful medieval cities, and the atmosphere is Spanish and reminded me a bit of Cartagena, Colombia (of course less Caribbean….).

The town was a Catalan colony for 350 years from around 1353; no wonder you feel and see the Spanish influences here like historical cathedrals, towers and the sea wall. The centro storico is full with nice bars, shops and restaurants, which gives a great place to wander around during every hour of the day and night. Watch the sun set behind the hills from the sea wall.

If you follow the sea wall you end up in Alghero’s marina. After the marina the city beach of Alghero starts, Spiaggia de San Gionvanni. It is crowded and you have a lot of beach houses that offer food, drinks and sport activities.

Alghero Restaurants & Accommodation

To maintain the Spanish vibe, I went to SardOa Aperitivo de Vino. They serve the traditional Basque tapas/pintxos, which were very tasteful. While you sit on a wooden crate you have view on the Cattedrale di Santa Maria.

The Sardinian restaurant La Botteghina is also located in centro storico. Here you eat at the “rooftop” of the house and you can eat the pizza on a long wooden plate for two persons. I was alone so went for the “farro risottato e ricotta”. Good food, nice atmosphere but bit pricy in my opinion.

I slept two nights in a B&B Khorakhanè, within walking distance of the historical center. The place was difficult to find, also because I could hardly find a parking spot for my car. The building from the outside looks shabby, but inside is was very cozy, clean, colorful and felt homely. I paid 75 EUR per night, including breakfast. Although breakfast…. in the refrigerator they left me milk, some meat, yogurt and a juice. Nothing was fresh and I had to prepare it myself; so this was a bid of a turndown for me.

Beaches

Alghero has amazing beaches as well, just like the rest of Sardinia!! I explored a couple of beaches that I will recommend to you. La Bombarde, Mugoni and surf beach Porto Ferro. By car it will take you half to one hour to get to these beaches. I visited them in one day together with the Grotta di Nettuno (see below).

La Bombarde local beach is easy to access with a car park close to the beach. At the beach you have a couple of places where you can eat or have a coffee. It is possible to rent windsurf gear and SUP boards.

In the Porto Conto bay the popular Spiaggia Mugoni is located. This beach is a bit further away from Alghero and accessible via a small dirt road. You park your car on farmland for ±1 EUR per hour. I noticed that at every beach people try to sell beach supplies to you. At this spot there was vendor selling fruit just outside the carpark. Get my vitamins and chill on the white sandy beach with azure waters.

Porto Ferro, is known for its surf….not while I was there. This beach is more remote and unspoiled like the other two. The place is difficult to find and it is hard to find a parking spot around here. So be early to get your spot. Buses run from Alghero in 45 min and 3 EUR (April – September). You can rent surfboard here as well.

Grotta di Nettuno

I must when you are in Alghero is visit the Grotta di Nettuno; which was discovered by fishermen in the 18th century and named after the Roman god of the sea Neptune. You can visit this fairyland cave with stalactites and stalagmites in two ways. The first and easy one is take a boat from Alghero that will stop at the entrance of the cave, so you can do the tour and return with the boat. I did the more difficult version. Get the car, try to park it beside the road, buy a ticket and walk first the 654-steps staircase “Escala del Cabirol” 110meters down, visit the cave and walk the same route back up…….indeed that was the hardest part!


Tip: My B&B provided me with a Hospitality Card from the Alghero Turismo. This card reduced the entrance of the Grotto from 13 EUR to 9 EUR!

The tour runs every hour and last about 45 minutes. I found the tour interesting and they will guide you through narrow walkways with stalagmites and stalactites to a open space called the Church Dome. The cave has many off-limits for the tourist which will be too dangerous. If it is bad weather the grotto is closed.

Route SP105 to Bosa

I left Alghero and took the SP105 to get to the South of Sardinia. Of course I knew by now that the coastline is beautiful here, but this road surprised me again. The cliffs, green mountains on the left and the stunning blue ocean on the right hand side. Luckily they made some parking spots along the way so you can stop to get a closer look and inhale the fresh breeze that is coming from the ocean. And of course to take some pictures to post on my website…. The sailing boats are sailing and drop anchor in one off the by car difficult accessible bays.

I had a delicious Italian cappuccino in Bosa Marina. I heard that Bosa is a nice town, but I haven’t visited the real town. My goal is to drive to Oristano in the Southwest today.

Where are you heading next, more south to Oristano and Sinis Peninsula or perhaps to Golfo di Orosei?

Buona Sera Northwest Sardinia!!! 

 

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