We stayed at Hotel Florida for three nights in May 2013 (reviewed separately) and had a really fantastic time – the hotel is just 15 minutes walk from the Old Town and within walking distance of some fantastic sights and eats!
However there is plenty to see outside of Alghero Old Town and if you have a couple of spare days on your Alghero holiday, I’d thoroughly recommend hiring a moped from the nice guys at CicloExpress - the bike/scooter hire hut which is on the beach road before you reach the Old Town (if walking from the Lido). Scooters were 30euro per day and are definitely the best way to see the sights that the area has to offer.
If you do decide to venture out on 2 wheels (whether bike or scooter – or in a car I suppose) – take the main beach road heading North/West for the best beaches in the area. You can follow the coast past the Lido to Fertilia (which was oddly deserted when we went – a real ghost town) and onwards to the secluded beaches – starting with Punta Negra just past Fertilia and onwards to Bombarde and Lazzaretto just a couple of kilometres up the coastline, all of which feature white sand and crystal clear water and, in May, barely a single person in sight. Between Bombarde and Lazzaretto there are a few little secluded coves that are only accessible by foot so it is worth getting off the road and walking to find the quieter spots.
Keeping the sea on your left, you can cut across the nature reserves and vineyards that take up this part of the island and head towards the Torre di Porto Conte which is set on a spit of land that juts into the Conte Harbour, easily one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I’ve ever seen. In the off season the harbour was silent and there was barely a single person to be seen, and the crystal clear waters combined with the secluded nature make it a must-visit in my eyes. Although it was a bit cold for swimming when we were there, this would be a fantastic place to snorkel as even in the shallow waters there were lots of fish to be seen – we even saw a couple of scuba divers braving the chilly waters (though they were wearing wetsuits!)
Continuing around the harbour, you can stay on the coast road until you reach the spit of land that ends with Capo Caccia and the Gruta de Neptuno. You can reach the grotto from land but there are 658 steps to get down to it, and then back up again at the end! We decided to give this a miss and save our trip to the grotto for our next visit, and I think we’ll be going by boat from Alghero port as trips are only about 15euro and you avoid the marathon of steps! However from this road you can also head out to the beauty spot that looks over Foradada Island, an uninhabited rocky piece of land that sits just off the west coast. Apparently this is ‘the place’ to watch the sun set over the water but unfortunately we didn’t manage to catch it – another one for our next trip. If you’re heading away from Capo Caccia, just past the beauty spot, there is a little track down to the right which leads to another tiny secluded beach with a little cafe selling fantastic coffee which you’ll need to refuel you for your trip home to Alghero.
Another spot to visit, away from the coastline, is the wine resort Leda D’Ittiri. They offer vineyard tours and tastings of wine, cheese and olives every day from 3pm, but you have to book. If you have transport, it is worth popping along after 3pm just to buy a bottle of wine and enjoy the tranquil surroundings before heading home to drink the wine on your balcony watching the sunset.
Please see my other reviews of Mabrouk and Angedras restaurants – two gems you won’t want to miss – and my review of Hotel Florida!