Among those in the know, the Sardinian town of Alghero is often referred to as ‘Little Barcelona’. While this beautiful town is to be found in Italy, its cultural roots are very much of the Catalonian variety – it was ruled for around three centuries by invaders from Northern Spain.
The result is a magnificent place that mixes a fully Mediterranean climate with alluring architecture and more than the odd stupendously excellent beach. Backpackers will also be delighted to hear that with its range of cheap eating options and affordable hostels Alghero is easily experienced on a tight budget.
Finding a beach hostel in Alghero does not prove difficult, as the majority of the town’s budget accommodation options are clustered around its shoreline. Uniformly well-rated and sociable places, these hostels provide a great and cheap way of accessing the heart of Alghero.
Take the Lloc d’Or B&B as an example. A tiny place situated only five minutes from the center of town, it offers clean and well-furnished bedrooms, a traditional breakfast (served in the B&B’s beautiful garden come the sunshine of summer), and all-round welcoming Italian hospitality.
The B&B Castiglias is also well-rated. This is a gorgeous place that is perfect for couples wanting to enjoy a romantic weekend in beautiful scenery, as the hostel is situated 3km from Alghero itself, next to a sprawling natural park.
Another out-of-the-way place to stay is the Agriturismo Sa Suerera, which offers its guests a fully tranquil countryside break. Here you’ll find separate villa-type houses, each fitted with a kitchen, living area and bedrooms.
Back in the town, visitors often enjoy the B&B El Delfi, which is a clean and affordable accommodation option. While staying in this hostel holiday makers tend to make the most of its panoramic views, getting that all-important snapshot of the sun as it descends over the buildings of Alghero.
In many ways, Alghero is a sight in itself, with its many attractive edifices and dry stone walls a feast for even the most weary traveler’s eyes. As such, recently arrived visitors are recommended to simply walk around the town in order to get a feel for the place for targeting its headlining tourist sites.
Having truly soaked up the unique atmosphere of Alghero, a visit to the town’s Cathedral is a must. Built in various stages between the 16th and 20th Centuries, it’s a fascinating construct that mixes Gothic, Renaissance and Neo-Classical architectural styles.
Other worthwhile sights include the memorable Palazzo Carcasona, the impressive Church of St. Francis, and the Palazo D’Albis, which demonstrates the remnants of Aragonite influences in this Italian town.
Given its long stretches of sandy coastline (not to mention its plentiful and wonderful scuba diving opportunities), it’s perhaps unsurprising that most visitors to Alghero have one thing dominating their mind: trips to the beach!
While there are many awesome beaches in the area, the Maria Pia beach is a good option for travelers wanting good, uncomplicated beach-based fun. It’s a beautiful, sandy spot, and as it’s only 2km from the town itself, finding it from your hostel should be no problem whatsoever.
Before settling down and becoming a copywriter for HostelBookers.com Jonny Cooper did a backpacking tour of Italy and he checked out a variety of hostels including a hostels Alghero