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Places We Love in Alghero

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    Sardinia’s Catalan Gem

    The walled town of Alghero on Sardinia’s west coast has an altogether more down-to-earth vibe than the more exclusive Emerald Coast on the opposite side of the island. In fact, it feels more Catalan than Italian.

    The seafront walls and defensive towers surrounding the historic center were actually built by the Catalans in the 16th century, and many residents still speak a dialect from that era. However, Sardinia has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and the Nuraghe di Palmavera stone dwellings outside the town are evidence of this. Another nuraghic site is Anghelu Ruju, near Alghero Fertilia Airport.

    South of the airport is sandy Maria Pia Beach which continues all the way to Alghero harbor and is lined with beachfront hotels, bars and restaurants offering tasty seafood, including local lobster. Boat trips leave the harbor to Neptune’s Grotto along the coast. Next door is Nereo Cave, supposedly the largest Mediterranean sea cave and a popular diving spot.

    Also worth visiting are the pedestrian streets of the old town, packed with shops and sidewalk cafés. Also here are the 16th-century Palazzo d’Albis and the cathedral with its mixed architectural styles.

    The Alghero accommodations on Booking.com include 5-star hotels with pools, cheap B&Bs and apartments with parking.