One of Sardinia's most beautiful medieval cities, Alghero is the main resort in the northwest. Although largely given over to tourism – its population can almost quadruple in July and August – the town retains a proud and independent spirit. Its animated historic centre is a terrific place to hang out, and with so many excellent restaurants and bars, it makes an ideal base for exploring the beaches and beauty spots of the nearby Riviera del Corallo.
The main focus of attention is the picturesque centro storico (historic centre), one of the best preserved in Sardinia. Enclosed by robust, honey-coloured sea walls, it's a tightly knit enclave of cobbled lanes, Gothic palazzi and cafe-lined piazzas. Below, yachts crowd the marina and long, sandy beaches curve away to the north. Presiding over everything is a palpable Spanish atmosphere, a hangover from the city’s past as a Catalan colony.