Car Hire Sardinia - Alghero Airport, Italy
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First-time visiting Sardinia? We want you to get the most from your car hire Sardinia experience. For this reason, we have enlisted the help of a local travel expert to help get you on the road. Follow these helpful travel tips and appreciate the very best that Sardinia is offering...
See: Sardinia’s most enchanting town, nicknamed Barcelonetta (little Barcelona) because of its strong Spanish influences. Discover Alghero’s historic center--a blend of Catalan Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neo Classical architecture, most clearly displayed in the Cattedrale di Santa Maria. Check out the Chiesa di San Francesco with its awesome cloister, and the colorfully tiled cupola of the Chiesa di San Michele. Wander the pedestrian only cobble stone vias to lively Piazza Civica, where the Palazzo d’Albis impressively stands. Slip inside Sardinia’s only aquarium, for a look at a variety of underwater wonders, including seahorses and piranhas.
Shop: The historic center is full of handicraft shops, many selling coral jewelry, as Alghero’s bay is rich with corallium rubrum. Quality varies, so for high end exquisite designs, head to Laboratorio Orafo Costa, Giannottu Salvatore, and Marogna. Also, stop in at L’Altro Isola, which carries locally made ceramics, jewelry, woven baskets, and embroidered treasures or Altro Mercato for handmade clothing and gift items. For fabulous knitwear (capes, jumpers, caps) check out Nina Crea in Maglia and for leather goods, Maria Teresa Tangianu has everything from coats to beautiful handbags.
Enjoy strolling through the daily morning food markets—fish is sold on Via Cagliari and fruits and vegetables on Via Sassari. You may be inspired to snatch up tasty souvenirs…perhaps pecorino, honey, or olive oil at L’Antica Formaggeria.
If you’re there on Wednesday, check out the big open air market on Viale Europa, where clothing and house wares can be bought for bargain prices.
Eat: Fresh seafood is abundant and delicious here, (including lobster and sea urchins), often prepared with a Catalanese twist, at times in paella. And don’t miss the specialties such as malloredus (Sardinian gnocchi) and seadas (fried cheese drizzled with honey). First choice for fancy dining is the award-winning Andreini, offering a chef’s tasting menu. A wonderful newcomer on Alghero’s restaurant scene is La Botteghina, which offers a seasonally changing menu in its small dining room, where you must reserve. Favorites for great quality, low prices, and welcoming atmosphere are Mabrouk, for seafood, Al Tuguri, which brings innovations to Sardinian classics, and Casablanca, a bustling pizzeria.
Ciro and Tarragona are top pasticerrias for morning cappuccino and freshly baked almond pastries. And Gelataria Arcobaleno, in the Piazza Civica, is the best in town, offering a wide variety of scrumptious flavors.
Drink: Bar hopping amidst the relaxed seaside atmosphere of Alghero is sublime. Perfect for sunset cocktails overlooking the harbor are Caffé Latino and Buena Vista Sunset Club, that’s famous for serving the best mojitos in town. In the historic center, the Caffe Costantino (an elegant tourist favorite), Al Refettorio, and Baraonda are well located for people watching. Also fun is Jamaica Inn, a welcoming, lively pub with a good beer selection.
Stay: Tops for luxury is Villa Las Tronas Hotel and Spa, a former royal residence located on a coastal promontory, about a ten minute walk from the Alghero historic center. A less expensive option is the 60s styled 4-star Hotel El Faro, a 15 minute drive from the center, perfect for sunbathing and watching sunsets. Also, close to Alghero’s seaside promenade and 800 meters from the center, is the 3-star Hotel Angedras, a modern, pretty oasis.
There are wonderful low priced choices in the center, including the 3-star Hotel San Francesco, a converted 14th century convent, the Aigua B&B, which offers charming mini-apartments, or La Terrazza sul Porto, featuring chic décor and terraces with sea views.
Walk: The historic center is delightful to wander through, and you may wish to do it with a GPS guide, to focus on architecture, shopping, or nightlife. At sunset, stroll the seaside promenade, from Lungomare Dante to Forte de la Magdalena, amidst the ramparts and towers, and stop at Gelateria Igloo for divine refreshment. For a challenging hike, drive 45 minutes north to Capo Caccia, and from there take the 656 steps down to Neptune’s grotto, a path called Escala delCabirol (Goat’s steps). It’s a fantastically dramatic approach to one of the most beautiful spots on this magical island.
Get Out:. If you’re traveling during warm weather, relax on the Riviera del Corallo’s best beaches—Le Bombarde and Il Lazzaretto, where you can sunbathe on fine white sand and swim in sparkling turquoise waters. Or take off from Alghero’s Bastione della Madalenna for a boat ride to Neptune’s Grotto (available April-October) to explore the island’s most amazing cave. For a delicious adventure, drive inland to the agriturismo San Giuliano Country Estate, and enjoy an extraordinary meal at their restaurant, Le Pinnette, surrounded by farmlands and olive groves. Or for a fascinating experience of Sardinia’s prehistoric times, head to the Nuraghe di Palmavera, to wander amidst stone structures from the 14th century BC.
Listen: There’s a variety of music in Alghero’s bars, spilling out to terraces and piazzas. L’Arca and The Mill Inn Pub (Via Maiorca 37) are lively spots that host rock bands on weekends, and Poco Loco has a varied schedule of rock and jazz jam nights. If you’re looking for dance music, El Tro’ is Alghero’s most popular disco, and further out of town is Ruscello Disco, where there’s outdoor fun till the wee hours.
The music scene is best in summer with Estate Musicale Internazionale di Alghero, a wonderful series of open air classical and jazz concerts, presented in the cloisters of San Francesco. Alghero is also home to many festivals featuring traditional music, so if you happen to be there New Year’s Eve, for the March Sagra di Bogamari (Festival of the Sea Urchin), Holy Week, August 14th (the Assumption) or the Festa Sant Miguel in September, you’ll be treated to wonderful Algherese sounds, plus parades and fireworks.
Avoid:. Ordering dinner in bars, as the food is much better in the recommended restaurants. Also, be prepared, if you are geared up to eat fish, Alghero’s closed season for fishing is mid October through November, so some restaurants shut down, while others serve frozen imports.