Discovering Alghero and Stintino, pearls of north-west coast of Sardinia
Alghero is a true historic beauty and the real pearl of the Coral Riviera. Beautiful seashores are perfectly mixed with well-preserved traces of Catalan dominance, awarding the city quite rightly with the nickname of Barceloneta. Not too far from Alghero is Stintino with its stunning Pelosa beach, just a masterpiece of rare beauty.
Alghero is a renowned resort town embedded in a 75-km long shoreline known as the Coral Riviera, home to a major colony of the finest coral. Guests will be treated with the magnificent coral jewels made by the skilled master craftsmen of this place. If you would like to discover more about the history of coral and how it is used you can visit the peculiar Coral Museum right in the city centre.
The Coral Riviera shows off sandy beaches, dunes, and rocks. Some of its wonderful beaches are the Bombarde, the Lazzaretto, Maristella, Mugoni, San Giovanni and Maria Pia. In most of them, you can enjoy not just the blue sea but also the shade of pine woods and centuries-old juniper trees.
Majestic rocks characterize the stretches from the bay of Porto Conte to the promontory of Capo Caccia where you will enjoy beautiful cliffs overlooking the sea.
Capo Caccia – Isola Piana is the protected marine zone where hundreds of natural treasures are safeguarded, including the Grotte del Nettuno (Neptune caves). You can reach this famous attraction of Alghero going overland via the Escala del Cabriol which means The Steps of the Roe Deer in the Catalan language: these 656 steps cling to the western side of the steep promontory of Capo Caccia getting as far as the mouth of the cave. The caves can be reached also by the sea on the boats that depart from the Port of Alghero or Porto Conte, allowing you to enjoy the stunning views offered by the rock overlooking the sea. Neptune’s Grotto is worth a visit for even more reasons than just the view: you will discover a subterrestrial world made of underwater salt lakes and real rooms decorated by nature, seeing magic water’s reflections creating a play of lights on the walls of millennial stalactites and stalagmites.
If you are planning a boat tour you can’t miss the passage to Foradada, a small island not far from the cliffs of Capo Caccia. The island name, which is the Sardinian word for ‘pierced’, is due to a natural gallery, called Grotta dei Palombi, created by the waves crossing the island from side to side for 100 meters.
In the surrounding landscape, Punta Cristallo, an overhanging rock 326 meters high, is particularly enchanting and you will be able to admire it as well during a boat tour.
Stintino is one of the true wonders of this Sardinian coastline. Stintino is nestled in the last stretch of the island, around 50 km far north from Alghero. The characteristic hamlet has been built by the local fishermen around the end of the 19th century, and it is now a real natural oasis with a stunning view. La Pelosa beach is a necklace of white and impalpable sand from which you can overlook a 16th-Century Aragonese tower embedded in the dazzling blue sea appreciating at the same time the view of Asinara Island. Asinara is now a National Marine Park notable for the presence of small albino donkeys, and in the past, it used to host a maximum security prison. To relish the natural wonders of this island you can embark from Punta Negra, just another beach nearby where the sea has a beautiful turquoise colour.