The territory of the Porto Conte Park in the north-west of Sardinia includes 5,000 hectares of animals and plants biodiversity. A vast area, few minutes drive from Alghero, that includes spectacular views of the bay and Capo Caccia cape.
The protected marine area Capo Caccia-Isola Piana is also part of the Porto Conte Park. This is a site of Mediterranean importance which includes – among others – the Capo Caccia cliffs and the small islets: Isola Piana and Isola Foradada. For diving enthusiasts it is possible to visit in this area, some of the submerged caves like the most famous Grotta di Nereo, one of the largest in Europe (about 300 meters wide).
A wild area interspersed with splendid inlets and beaches with clear and transparent waters. Among the beaches of the Park you can visit here: the Mugoni, Porto Conte and La Dragunara beach, located right next to the imposing promontory.
Both the Porto Conte Park and the protected marine area of Capo Caccia are part of the first Eco-Museum recognized by the Sardinia Region. It is a real “natural museum” where it is possible to experience the beauties of the area through itineraries, excursions and experiences.
What to see in the Porto Conte Park?
What are the most beautiful attractions of the Park? Visiting the park is an experience not to be missed during your stay in Alghero. What are the most interesting attractions to visit? If you have a few days available, we point out 4 best things that you cannot miss in the Porto Conte Park.
1. Le Prigionette
It is a protected natural oasis that offers various routes that you can explore by yourself by walk or by bicycle or renting an electric car directly inside the Reserve.
One of the most interesting routes is the one that gets to Cala Barca. You will reach the top of the Capo Caccia cliff to admire the splendid panorama of the Piana island. The view from here is truly impressive!
One of the longest routes is the one that goes up to the small hamlet of Tramariglio. From here you can visit Casa Gioiosa, the former penal colony and now converted into the official headquarter of the Porto Conte Park. Inside the old prison it is possible to visit the cells and undertake a visit among the interactive itineraries.
2. Neptune’s Grotto
One of the most visited attractions in Sardinia and Italy (over 100 thousand visitors a year).
The Neptune Grotto is much larger than the one that can actually be visited today. The path winds for about 1km inside the limestone cave. A real natural jewel with the impressive stalactites and stalagmites, formed over millions of years (the stalactites grow a few millimeters every 10 years).
Inside the cave there is even a salt lake and various areas of great interest including the Smith Room, at the center of which stands the Great Organ which – definetely – recalls the pipes of an organ.
Cabirol staircase: the Neptune caves can be reached both by sea and by land. You can drive up to the car park located on the top of the promontory. From here you enter the staircase. The famous Cabirol staircase (Scala del Cabirol), on the ridge of the cliff, built in the 1960s it has 654 steps!
3. Palmavera Nuragic Village
The Sardinian historical and archaeological heritage boasts multi-millennial sites. The Nuragic village of Palmavera is part of this 3000-year-old history.
Its grandeur contains all the strength of the Nuragic people dating back to the Bronze Age. Entirely built in stone (sandstone and limestone) it has about 50 huts and two main towers inside.
It can also be visited inside the main tower and climb up to the top of the tower via the original internal stairs. The nocturnal visit – which is organized on some summer evenings – is also very suggestive.
It is one of the most important nuragic villages in Sardinia, and is only a few minutes drive from the center of Alghero.
4. Mase Museum
Who hasn’t read the novel The Little Prince? One of the most beautiful (and best-loved) books in the world. Alghero wanted to dedicate a museum to its author whose history is linked precisely to the territories of the Porto Conte Park. Antoine de Saint-Exupery spent the last few months of his life in Alghero before disappearing during his last flight in the sky over France.
The museum is located inside the Aragonese tower of 1500 and is arranged on three levels. A small museum full of curiosities about the author who stayed in Alghero in 1944. Rich in texts, photos, documents and objects of that time. On the top floor from the terrace, you can enjoy the beautiful view over the Porto Conte bay.