I am a huge fan of spur of the moment travel. While it’s great to tick destinations off the ‘Life List’ of travel, visiting somewhere you never considered travelling to can offer some wonderful surprises. My trip to Sardinia last weekend was one such surprise.
The trip was instigated by a friend and fellow photographer. “Want to go somewhere warm for Easter where we can photograph and escape Belgium?” Yes please! Our criteria were simple – affordable, sunny, and picturesque.
So, long before the sun came up, on Thursday morning, we found ourselves waiting for our Ryanair flight to Alghero.
We landed in Sardinia with a full day ahead of us. We picked up our tiny little car, a Mitsubishi Colt, and set off to find our B&B. Our directions led us a bit astray, but eventually we found B&B Castiglias and dropped off our bags. We decided to check out the city that would be our base for five days and headed in to the old centre of Alghero.
Alghero is a fortified city on the north-western coast of Sardinia. It has been settled since pre-historic times and conquered by countless civilizations. There is a strong Catalan influence here and a minority of the citizens of Alghero speaks a Catalan dialect.
The old center is small and juts into the sea. The narrow roads are lined with restaurants and shops selling local pottery, baskets and coral jewelry. (Not to mention the ever present t-shirts and souvenirs.) Beside the fortification is a marina and beyond that lies the beach.
We decided a good way to get our bearings would be from the sea, so we set off on a boat trip of the surrounding area. Our boat took us as far as the staggeringly tall (110m) cliffs of Capo Caccia and the Grotta di Nettuno (or Neptune’s Cave). Normally you can visit the grotto but unfortunately the winter weather had damaged some of the 656 steps down to the cave and it wasn’t open during our visit. Instead, our boat cruised around the beaches and towns of Porto Conte and Fertilia before depositing us back at Alghero.
We were tired after all of the sea air (and mainly because of our 3am start) so we bought some provisions and headed back to the B&B.
The accommodation at B&B Castiglias was basic but very affordable. The location is excellent – very near the airport and city centre but still in a rural setting with a lovely view of the marsh. Breakfasts consisted of bread, ham and cheese, yoghurt, juice and coffee. The water in the shower never actually achieved the level of ‘hot’ which in the summer I’m sure isn’t an issue but was a bit chilly for us. The pool was also still closed for the season but I can picture having an afternoon swim there to escape the summer heat.
That evening, we enjoyed a picnic of fresh bread, wild boar salami and delicious local cheeses on the terrace and took in the lovely view. We were early to bed so we could rise with the sun for another full day of photos and exploration.
To be continued…