Sardinia, Italy

Alghero: Beach & Waterfront Promenade

The northwest coastal city of Alghero is known for its beaches, colorful architecture, and sea walls surrounding markets of amazing fresh food. The running scene isn’t half bad either, thanks to the wide beaches, cycling paths, and coastal trail runs. The highlights of running in Alghero are on the beach and adjacent waterfront path:  Spiaggia=Beach

Spiaggia del Lido di Alghero: Alghero is primarily a beach destination, so it’s no surprise that the beach here is one of the top running spots. This sandy swath is wide and relatively hard-packed, especially at low tide. The runnable section of beach starts from the Via Garibaldi 83 Chiesa S.Giovanni bus stop, and continues north for about 1.5 km to the Mariposa camping area. BEACH ROUTE MAP.

For those who prefer not to run on the sand, there is a fantastic promenade along the waterfront. At the south end, the concrete walkway starts at the Mirador Giuni Russo. It then runs north along the Lungomare Valencia and Lungomare Dante. At Piazza Sulis, continue along the waterfront of Bastioni Cristoforo Colombo and Bastioni Marco Polo. The walkway meets the historic Piazza della Juharia and the Torre di Sant’Elmo at 2 km. The promenade continues around the harbor and north on Lungomare Barcelona and Via Lido to Spiaggia di Maria Pia. In full, the route is about 6 km one way. WATERFRONT ROUTE MAP

Stagno di Calich: A nice extension of the Alghero waterfront, or a pleasant run on its own, is the cycling path along SS127bis/the Stagno di Calich (laguna). This paved route runs alongside a fairly busy street, but the flat surface and views of the laguna make it worthwhile. ROUTE MAP

Porto Conte: For trail runners, one of the favorite areas to explore in Sardinia is the Parco Naturale Regionale di Porto Conte. There are several paths to choose from here, but the grey-marked main trail from the park entrance to Punta del Giglio is the best for running. The path is a smooth, wide gravel surface through forest, culminating in some great views of the coast. As an out an back, it’s about 7 km. There are other paths throughout the park, but the terrain is more rocky and uneven. ROUTE MAP. PARK INFO.

Escala del Cabirol: It’s easy to get tripped up on the 600+ steps of the Escala del Cabirol, so travelers will need to decide for themselves whether to take on the trail to “Neptune’s Grotto” as a run or an intense stair hike. The beauty of this cliffside cave, and the views from the staircase, are too striking not to mention. Rather than visiting the Grotto via boat or guided tour, try some sprints up the .5 km staircase. Just be sure to aim for a less-busy time when you won’t have to dodge tourists. MAP.

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