It’s a tough choice between Cagliari but if I have to choose, I’m going with Alghero. (Sorry to some of Sardinian friends.) There is something about this town that I just love: the centro storico, the strolls, the water, and the fact that it seems a bit removed from the rest of the island and tourist destinations. And I must admit, the cross-cultural aspect with Spain is really quite cool in this lovely town!
If you ask me, there is only one place to stay in Alghero: the Villa Las Tronas (http://www.hotelvillalastronas.com/). I first stayed here years ago, before they received their 5 star rating and since then, they have only improved. The rooms are quiet – you feel like you have the place to yourself – and you don’t hear that traffic outside because the hotel is set on a promonitory. If you can, splurge and experience the tranquility that this hotel offers!
This is probably my least favourite part of Alghero in that there aren’t a lot of truly outstanding restaurants to choose from. The restaurants aren’t bad, don’t get me wrong, but few really give you the “wow!” factor.
The restaurant that did give me the WOW! Factor is albisbe4 (no website). The restaurant is situated in Piazza Teatro (no 4) which affords it a lovely, quiet, yet outdoor enjoyment. The food was fantastic, the service impeccable, and the wines really quite lovely. This is a must.
Another restaurant that I quite enjoyed was Il Coralle (via f.lle Kennedy) which is simply half way between the Villa las Tronas and the centro storico. What I loved about this restaurant was 2 things: first, it was packed with locals and had no walk-ups available so be sure to book a table. The other thing that I loved is that, because I’m vegetarian and I don’t eat fish, they went out of their way to make an antipasto and a primo for me and both were stellar. The wine isn’t as good as those at albisbe4 (above), but that wouldn’t stop me from returning.
The centro storico is a lovely place to stroll in the morning and at night. During the day, most everything is closed and, remember, it’s hotter than hades in the summer so who wants to be shopping any way. Unlike other places in Sardegna, Alghero offers the requisit tourist shops but also “regular” shops should you forget something.
The churches in Alghero are some of my favourite on the island. Please remember to be respectful when you’re in the church: some of them are still run by nuns who you will see in prayer when you enter. They don’t mind you enjoying the beauty of the church, just be quiet and dress appropriately.
The towers of Alghero, along with the fortified wall, are all pretty cool to see but you won’t need to go out of your way to see them: you can’t enter, so you’ll just see them during one of your inevitable passeggiata.
I hope that the above gives you a bit of insite in to the wonderful city of Alghero. It’s such an amazing and lovely place, just like all of Sardegna, so go, wonder, and take in the various smells, sights, and even sounds of Alghero!