A natural oasis located in northwestern Sardinia, the Porto Conte Park. It is one of the most charming areas in the region and covers an area of five thousand hectares. It includes marine protected areas, forests, beaches, and archaeological sites. Established in 1999, it is currently managed by the municipality of Alghero, located about 10 km to the south of the park. Here are some tips for your green journey to Porto Conte!
Beaches, Promontories, and Untouched Nature in the Porto Conte Natural Park
The area stands out for its untouched nature and scenic beauty. We can thank the presence of majestic cliffs overlooking the sea for that. Among these, we must mention the promontories of Capo Caccia and Punta Giglio. With their coves, they enclose the bay of Porto Conte.
In particular, Capo Caccia features many must-see karst caves. Not only the marvelous Neptune’s Caves, which is known for their underground lake, but the Nereo Caves and the Green Grotto as well. They are full of stalactites and stalagmites reaching heights of up to 12 meters.
As regarding the nature, the area is rich in forests. The most notable is “Le Prigionette“, an area rich in plant and animal species, earning it the nickname “Noah’s Ark.” In fact, in the forest, you can encounter fallow deer, horses, wild boars, white donkeys, and even the extremely rare griffon vultures.
Extended parallel to the Alghero coast, the Calich Lagoon is another must-visit attraction of the Porto Conte Park. It hosts a populous aquatic fauna, as well as numerous species of endemic plants. The lagoon takes its name from its goblet-shaped waters (calice in Italian).
If you want to focus on the coast, the beauty of the Sardinian sea is well-known. The bay of Porto Conte is no exception, with its crystalline beaches and fine sand. Here are the three best beaches in the area:
- Mugoni Beach: suitable for everyone and equipped with numerous services, this beach is a stretch of soft sand with emerald-colored waters.
- Cala Dragunara: a marvelous cove with changing waters, where sand and rocks come together to satisfy the preferences of all bathers.
- Cala Tramariglio: a vibrant blue sea from which you can admire the homonymous tower dating back to the 15th century.
The Marine Protected Area of Capo Caccia and Isola Piana
The M.P.A. of Capo Caccia and Isola Piana extends for about 36 km along coasts. The high limestone cliffs characterize the coast, shaped by time and weather. All things considered, the marine environment is extremely rich and diverse.
In terms of flora, there is a massive presence of Posidonia oceanica meadows, which are constantly monitored. Various types of red, brown, and green algae are also widespread.
As for the fauna, it is also extremely rich and includes animals such as moray eels, seahorses, needlefish, parrotfish. As well as sessile species such as sponges, sea anemones, red coral, and many more.
The Porto Conte Natural Park can be explored not only by car but also using more eco-friendly means. There are numerous routes to walk or cycle. For trekking enthusiasts, we recommend the 5 Punta Giglio trails. It allows you to discover the area and enjoy breathtaking views of the bay. For the more athletic, we recommend the route along the slopes of Mount Timidone. It stretches for about 8 km and includes some rather challenging sections, but still is quite popular. If you also love climbing, the Cabirol ferrata at Capo Caccia is sure to suit your taste!
Where to Stay in an Eco-Friendly Way
If you want to spend your stay in Porto Conte in an eco-sustainable accommodation, we recommend “Il Rifugio di Mare“, a refuge dating back to the Second World War. The building is immersed in greenery, surrounded by numerous ecotourism routes (you can also rent a bike at the facility!). In addition to its many comforts, “Il Rifugio di Mare” offers local and traditional food served at every breakfast and dinner.
Our green journey in the Porto Conte Park
Cover Photo by Ecobnb
Original article written by Amanda Passerini