Alghero, Castelsardo

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Alghero, Castelsardo and its surroundings: Sardinia as a movie set

Sardinia gathers a huge amount of environmental, historical and cultural values spread along a varied territory. Which ones? The Northern-Western side, in the province of Sassari that can be visited throughout the whole year together with the amazing island’s peculiar features: a very ancient history, amazing natural landscapes, beautiful architectural styles and folkloristic traditions. An ideal area with two icons, two historical stages before the sea: Alghero and Castelsardo, the ideal starting place for your journey.

The sea waves are blue and clear and the coastline stretches out for more than twenty kilometres and shows beautiful white long beaches, coves and cliffs while the hinterland offers plenty of routes surrounded by the Mediterranean vegetation that lead to ancient Nuragic villages and vineyards. The magic of nature mixed with the witnesses from the ancient past: the architectural shapes of palaces, of towers and bell towers belong to the Catalan style, they are the heritage of the Aragonese domination that lasted four hundred years. Behind the ancient walls around the tourist harbour there is the Stronghold of Maddalena that dates back to the XVIth century and it is one of the most important defensive buildings that the King Ferdinand the Catholic wanted. After walking around the narrow streets of Alguer Vella – full of ancient palaces belonging to the Catalan-Aragonese period, you can walk along the Busquet’s seafront promenade then you can plunge into the nature that first means the promontory of Capo Caccia that together with the Island Piana represents a protected sea area and it is one of the most interesting areas on the Island from the naturalistic, landscape and speleological point of view. It is also one of the wildest areas of the Island. The underwater caves are very famous, the Neptune Cave is the best and it deserves to be seen since it contains a number of small lakes, wide spaces and columns where nature created a magic world of stalactites and stalagmites. The monumental architecture can be found in the context of “nuraghi” as well, in particular Palmavera – the consequence of many remakes that started before the year 1000 of the VIIIth century B.C. – and the necropolis of Anghelu Ruju, a pre-historical complex made of 36 hypogeic graves. . 

On the top of a cliff that looks out on the sea you can enjoy a breathless view of the Gulf of Asinara from the village of Castelsardo, one of the few examples of medieval villages and one of the most famous coast places of the province of Sassari. The entrance to the town is amazing: after leaving the white sand of Lu Bagnu you can see the harbour and the Saracen tower of Frigiano under the promontory where the castle is located. The view is deeply evocative with the old village full of shops that show their hand-crafted items, mainly the baskets: the Museum of the Mediterranean art of binding is inside the castle. A few steps from the castle, down the staircase that leads to the old village there are the Palazzo La Loggia and Palazzo Eleonora d’Arborea. From the East of Castelsardo you can reach Porto Torres, laid on a plane that slowly goes down towards the sea: a mix of art and archaeology to be tasted before reaching the extreme North-Western edge of Sardinia where Stintino is located. Its beaches, the one of salt mines and mainly the one of Pelosa are like Paradise: emerald water and Spanish Towers let you plunge into the history as well. The Island of Asinara is in front of Stintino, it has been a National Park since 1997 and covers a surface of more than 52 square kilometres.

Luciana Francesca Rebonato

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