One hour from: Alghero

Visit Sardinia's grottoes, ancient ruins and palm-fringed piazzas.


Neptune's Grotto

Neptune's Grotto

Hidden at the base of the towering Capo Caccia cliffs on the peninsula of the same name, the cathedral-like Neptune's Caves are crammed with stunning stalagmites and stalactites. The long, snaking marine tunnel, Neptune's Grotto, is the most impressive, but the neighbouring Green and Ricami grottoes are also pretty spectacular.

By car: take the 127bis towards Fertilia and follow signs; journey time approx 35 mins. By boat: take one of the many boats at the port; journey time approx 15 mins.

Palmavera

The outskirts of Alghero are littered with remains from Sardinia's nuraghic period, from 1500 to 500BC. Palmavera consists of a ruined palace surrounded by some 50-odd circular huts that were once used for religious meetings and social gatherings.

By car: take the 127bis towards Fertilia and follow signs ; journey time approx 20 mins.

Bosa

This ancient, unspoilt town, watched over by the ruins of the mighty Malaspina Castle, is a much overlooked gem with cobbled, medieval lanes. For an overview, head up to the castle ramparts and pick out the key sights, including the cathedral and the pretty gothic church of San Pietro. Then make your way downstream to nearby Bosa Marina, with its tiny port, beach and trattorias.

By car: take the coastal road south towards Cagliari and follow signs; journey time approx one hour plus.

Sassari

Get through the rambling modern outskirts of Sardinia's second city and you will find an ancient centre crammed with bustling narrow lanes and palm-fringed piazzas. There are many fine monuments to visit, including the baroque cathedral and the impressive Ducale palace.

By car: take the 127bis and follow signs; journey time approx one hour.

Porto Conte

The Bay of Porto Conte is a natural paradise of small beaches, secret coves, hidden creeks, rugged cliffs and partially submerged marine caves. There are plenty of watersports on offer from diving and snorkelling to windsurfing and sea kayaking. Visit the nuraghic, Phoenician and Roman remains at Saint Imbenia, which includes a necropolis and a villa complete with baths. Head north to the pristine beach at Porto Ferro for another prime picnic spot.

By car: take the 127bis to Fertilia and follow signs; journey time approx 45 mins.

Argentiera

For years, Argentiera, a former silver mining community set in wild and rocky surroundings, lay abandoned, but it is now an up-and-coming tourist centre. Many of the miners' cottages have been converted into smart flats and the mineshaft at the heart of the village has been preserved. The nearby beach at Frana has fine sand mixed with centuries of dust deposits from the silver mine.

By car: take the road north towards Porto Torres and follow signs; journey time approx one hour.

The Magic of Italy (0870 888 0222; www.magictravelgroup.co.uk) has seven nights' b&b at the Hotel Villa Las Tronas from £810, with flights and car hire. Italian Tourist Board (020-7408 1254; www.enit.it).

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Day In a Page

    Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

    Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

    In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
    Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

    How has your club fared in summer sales?

    Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
    Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

    'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

    Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
    The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

    The best swim shorts for men

    Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup