Alghero is a good base to stay in Sardinia, an attractive lively resort with some lovely beaches nearby and easy access by car to areas farther a-field (as unlike many other parts of Sardinia, the NW is fairly flat). We visited in mid September, so the beaches in general were not too crowded, and there were so many to choose from nearby. An exception to this is the renowned “La Pelosa” beach at Stintino (just over one hours drive from Alghero). The beautiful turquoise sea and white sand are undoubtedly exceptional, however only go if you don’t mind lying a few centimetres away from your neighbours as the beach is fairly small (and very popular). There are good facilities next to this beach (toilets, showers) for a few euros.
Unfortunately there was an influx of jelly-fish in all the beaches we visited, so we couldn’t do much swimming or snorkelling (shame as the sea was so clear). We’ve since read that this was a common problem in many countries this year (due to global warming, over-fishing etc.) so not specific to NW Sardinia. Highly recommended is the spectacular Neptune’s Grotto, caves just north of Alghero. The vast stalactites and stalagmites are simply amazing. In calm weather there’s a boat that takes visitors directly to the entrance (where you get out and walk around the caves on a tour), however this is quite expensive. The alternative is to park at the top of the cliff and walk down 600 steps. The walk itself is a fantastic experience, not as bad as it sounds!
In my opinion there is a good choice of bars and restaurants in Alghero, mostly in the scenic “Old Town”. The sunsets over the sea are very atmospheric. Not sure what it’s like to stay directly in the centre, as we stayed in a villa just outside Alghero. The stars and Milky Way seen from the villa were beautiful!