5 reasons to visit Alghero, Italy
Alghero in Sardinia, Italy, is famous for its beaches, clear blue seas and red coral. This medieval port town also has an interesting cultural and historic background, with Catalan origins.
It is a great location for food and nature lovers, and a beautiful setting for studying Italian! Alghero truly comes to life during the summer months.
There are so many reasons why you should visit Alghero, here are my top five…
Alghero is a paradise for all you nature lovers! Take a boat excursion to go dolphin watching, or go snorkelling to see amazing multi-coloured fish. Alghero is also a scuba diving hotspot, known for its underwater caves.
If you prefer to stay on dry land, drive up to the headland of Capo Caccia and descend the dramatic cliff steps to Neptune’s Grotto. There’s also the opportunity to go on jeep safaris to spot the magnificent griffon vultures.
Travel further afield to some of Sardinia’s natural springs, or go to some of the lagoons and wetlands where you’ll find pink flamingos. Finally, take a boat trip to the uninhabited Asinara national park to see an array of diverse and rare wildlife, including the white donkey!
There are so many beaches in and near Alghero, all with white sands and clear emerald waters. You’ll be spoilt for choice! As well as relaxing, you can also try out some water sports. The most famous beach is La Pelosa in Stintino, a short journey north of Alghero.
During the summer evenings, Alghero really comes to life! After dining al fresco, go for an evening walk along the promenade and around the little alleyways of the old town. The streets are filled with artists and musicians, and there are also many concerts around town and on the beach.
If you’re there for Ferragosto, in mid-August, watch the magnificent firework display by the port and dance into the early hours on the beach. There are also many other celebrations throughout the year, from Gay Pride, to the Bogamari sea urchin festival and various religious processions.
If you’re a foodie, Alghero is the place to be! It has the typical Italian pizzas, pasta and gelato, but there are also many regional specialities. On every restaurant table, you’ll find carasau the local thin and crisp flatbread. It is ideal for an aperitivo with the local pecorino cheese and a glass of wine. You should also try fainè, a giant chickpea pancake. Great for a cheap snack.
The seafood here is amazing. Try bottarga, salted, pressed and dried fish roe. It sounds odd but tastes delicious with pasta! Riccio di mare, sea urchin, is also great with spaghetti! You should also go to the countryside to an agriturismo (a farm which has opened up its own restaurant and accommodation on site).
The best farm restaurants are family businesses, serving an elaborate array of traditional cuisine (sometimes 15 different dishes in one sitting!) made solely from produce from the land. Here you’ll also find the famous maialino da latte, suckling pig, which is roasted whole on an open fire.
For dessert, you have to try a seada. This fried pastry filled with pecorino cheese and covered in honey is divine! You’ll also have to try the local torrone, nougat to us.
If you go out with the locals, you’ll no doubt finish the meal with a shot of mirto. This local liquor is made from the myrtle plant and drank as a digestif.
After dinner you should then go to one of the many beach bars, where you can try Ichnusa, a Sardinian beer. The lemon version is definitely my favourite!
A Seada recipe (and credit to the image above) can be found on this blog.
The locals are friendly and generous, and really laid-back! It’s very easy to make friends as they’re very open and chatty people. It’s also a great place to learn Italian because few people speak English, even the majority of tourists are Italian! You may also pick up a few words of Sardinian, or even Algherese Catalan whilst you’re there!