Beaches that stretch for miles
The whole coastline of Alghero stretches for an incredible 90 kilometres and offers a variety of shorelines, from vast stretches of golden sands to coves that rival the Caribbean.
They include Le Bombarde, which is one of the most renowned and fashionable beaches of the Riviera. Backed by pine forest, you'll also discover secret coves and reefs here, while there's even a diving centre to keep you busy.
Maria Pia is another favourite, located just a few hundred metres from Alghero in the direction of Fertilla. Here you'll find hotels hidden among the rocks, alongside ancient Juniper trees and other shrubs that frame the coastline. If you're more of a pebble beach type of person, La Speranza is approximately eight kilometres from the city and also offers some amber sands.
As much Catalan as it is Italian
The focus of Alghero is its historic centre, and here you'll discover a heritage that isn't just Italian. Meander around the charming cobbled streets of the centre, past medieval houses, gothic palaces and churches. Otherwise take a stroll along the fort walls to get fantastic views of the rock promontory Cappo Caccia.
Approaching the city from the north, you'll spot the dominant Bastione La Maddalena. This landmark is empty, however some open-air cinema nights are held here during the summer months. Entering the old town from the Bastione you will come across the Piazza Civica, one of the larger squares with restaurants, bars and some nice boutiques.
Head down Via Carlo Alberto, and you'll come to the church of San Francesco, which is considered to be the most important Catalan example in Sardinia. Summer concerts are hosted here, while exhibitions take place in the old refectory all year round.
Plenty of choice with the local cuisine
By the end of the middle ages Alghero had become a Catalan colony. As such, the food reflects both Italian and Spanish cultures with locally caught fish being the main focus of the cuisine, whether grilled or included in a spaghetti sauce. The area is probably most famous for its rock lobster and suckling pig, while otherwise there's the Sardinian fregola, a bead-shaped pasta.
Head to the medieval old town where among the cobbled streets and piazzas you will come across some fantastic, traditional trattorias, as well as a few more upmarket offerings. Located in a 15th-century building sits the refined and eye-catching Al Tuguri. Popular with locals, it's a haven for those in search of some gastronomic vegetarian food with cross-cultural flavourings.
For haute cuisine and views out to sea on your holidays in Sardinia, grab an alfresco table at Angedras Restaurant. Located on the wall of the old town, it's in a fine location and the food is pretty great too. The clam and courgette fregola is a particular favourite.
Dance the night away
After dinner the culture is focused around the bars, many of which are located along the ramparts and Lido San Giovanni beachfront - a wide, sandy stretch of coast that's backed by palm trees.
Drinking is a sophisticated affair in Sardinia, where it's more about people-watching and socialising than anything else. Most of the bars here stay open until around 1am to 2am, but if you're after something a bit more lively, head to the outskirts of the city for some dancing.
At the marina there are a variety of boats, luxury yachts, fishing boats and those that cater for excursions. One of the most sought after trips is a visit to the incredibly beautiful Neptune's Grotto. Once there you'll be in awe of the caves, underground lakes and remarkable stalactites and stalagmites.