Porto Conte Bay (Portu Conte, in sardinian and Port del Comte, in catalan) is a natural cove located on the northwest coast of Sardinia and currently protected behind the creation of the Regional Natural Park of Porto Conte, created in order to protect the valuable ecosystem of the area.
The bay is enclosed by the cliffs of Capo Caccia and Punta Giglio and offers spectacular views over the bay of Alghero; which is 20 kilometers. Porto Conte is formed by small coves, cliffs and long sandy beach called Pineta Mugoni.
The bay is known since Roman times as Nympharum Portus, or port of the Nymphs, and is one of the largest natural harbors in the Mediterranean, protected from the winds from the northwest.
For this reason always had great strategic importance in past centuries. It is a natural jewel near the city of Alghero, which makes this area an ideal destination for any traveler, since few places can offer us a beautiful medieval city, beautiful beaches and a natural park offering various excursions.
This regional park can be visited in different ways such as visiting the Casa Gioiosa (Gioiosa House), headquarters of the organization that manages the park and former penal colony, where you can see illustrative murals of the environmental characteristics of the protected area and where several didactic workshops are organized . From there we can make a visit to Le Prigionette public forest, is a good choice for those who like walking along a track through the forest area which allows several animal species sighted in the area. We can also find a hiking loop that juts into the Mediterranean vegetation and leads to Punta Giglio, where you can visit the remains of military enclaves of the Second World War. Another option would be to make a boat trip from Alghero to visit the protected coastal zone.
The Tourist Comment: To access the cave there are two options: the first, of the brave, its 654 steps down the cliff walking or second, with a boat that can carry us from Alghero and give us an entry from the sea. This cave is home of the second largest inland lake in Europe and is a true natural wonder. You can visit it from 9 am to 19h, and the price is 13 euros for adults and 7 euros for children.
For those who are ready to do the walking option, we will recommend it to you, because of the experience of walking the cliff, the sound of the sea against the rock, and the wind stirred our hair .. you can not have this experience from the boat. And it is a question of take it easy and making stops for a few pictures! Remember to bring water to hydrate our effort. The access to the cave is easy and can be accessed with any shoe, but inside the cave take care in some areas where there floor may be wet.
Porto Conte is an ideal place to stay if you visit Alghero, since from there in 20 min maximum with car you can go into town for dinner, walking etc .. and be housed in the natural park area. There are various accommodation options but we will highlight the Hotel Il Faro, which has 65 years of history and where many celebrities have stayed. Those who are lucky enough to stay at this hotel, will enjoy its magnificent pool area on the rocks overlooking the Capo Caccia and plunge into its transparent waters in the natural park.
The hotel is expensive in its value/price rate (rooms and gastronomy do not justify it) but their outside beach area is a major complaint. Of course, in high season, especially when the hotel is in high occupancy, sometimes is not possible to find hammocks available for all guests. Nevertheless, it is one of the best hotels in the area of Alghero, taking into account the fact that on the area the accommodation offer is skimpy and expensive.
5 minutes walking from the hotel, we can enjoy the calm of the evening, where the scents of wild plants of our environment are mixed with the sea, and find the Embarcadero restaurant, strongly recommend, especially for a nice dinner in a nice environment that is a gift for the senses.
And of course! we cannot forget our dear photographers … I will never be tired of repeat that the sunsets in the West Sardinia give away an idyllic postcards of a poignant beauty .. so prepare, ready .. and CLICK.