Things to do in alghero, a lively town between tradition and the modern.
In Northern Sardinia this lively Catalan small town combines tradition and modernity, entertainment and culture.
On the Riviera del Corallo (Coral Riviera), the city of Alghero overlooks a wide bay sheltered between the headlands of Capo Caccia and Punta Giglio.
Behind the sandy beaches of the gulf a plain, with its ponds and little rivers, stretches into the bigger plain of Nurra on the north side.
The name of the city is thought to come from the alga (seaweed) abundantly depositing on its beaches. The most ancient human settlement dates back to 4000 – 5000 B. C.
After a period of decline at the time of the Phoenician and Carthaginian invasions, the area was permanently inhabited from the Roman conquest on.
The village of “La Lighera” was established in the XII century by the Genoese Doria family, which controlled it up to 1353, when it became part of the Aragonese kingdom, taking the name of “Alguer” (“Alguer” in Catalan, “Alghè” in Catalan-Algherese) absorbing the Catalan influence at all levels (beginning from the language).
The most ancient trace of a human settlement (5000 – 4000 B.C.) was found in the natural cave called Grotta Verde (Green Cave) in the Capo Caccia headland.
Prehistoric monuments are also the large necropolis in Anghelu Ruju, and the nuraghe Palmavera; remains of the Roman civilization are the ruins of a villa (150 – 200 A.D.) in Porto Conte and the remains of a 24-arches bridge on the Calich.
Up to this day the historical centre of Alghero, with its houses made of sandstone, its towers and ramparts, its sea-front and harbour, shows manifest traces of the Catalan rule first, Spanish later.
Grotta di Nettuno (Neptune’s Cave): located in the limestone body of panoramic Capo Caccia ,this extraordinary cave can be reached through the Escala del Cabirol, with a difference in height of 110 metres, or by sea sailing from the harbour.
Punta Cristallo: an overhanging rock of about 326 metres where one of the last griffin settlements in Italy dwells, this is one of the most charming spots along the whole coast.
Porto Conte: this wide cove, receding inland for over 3 miles, is a true paradise for water sports.
Beaches: the Alghero shore stretches from the south (Speranza beach) to the north (Torre Bantine and Sale) for about 80 Km alternating rock coast and sand beaches: Lido di San Giovanni, Fertilia, Le Bombarde, il Lazzaretto, i Mugoni. As it goes south the coast is more and more high and rocky.