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Neptune’s Grotto Day Trip Guide For Tour From Alghero, Sardinia

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Tourists’ Favourite in Sardinia

The Cave of Neptune, or Grotto, or as it is locally known as Grotte di Nettuno, is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the whole Sardinia. What is often referred to as one of the most captivating gems of nature in the Mediterranean – honestly – felt to me like a tourist dumpster. Before you jump into conclusions, let me explain myself.

Neptune’s Grotto is a beautiful and an exceptional cave for the region. One that would definitely inspire the legends of traveling to Hades. The cave is located at Capa Caccia – a cape worth visiting itself. The descend to Neptune’s Grotto takes 654 steps from the top of the 110m height cliff. The walk stuns with its breath-taking views. Though, I have to note that climbing back the stairs will take your breath away as well.

The 654-step escala del cabirol (goat’s steps) connects Neptune’s Grotto to the parking lot on the top of Capo Caccia. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The key problem to me is that Sardinia has so much to offer that Neptune’s Grotto gets too much of the attention. Maybe, it is intentional, or maybe it is just poor advertising of the island.

The archeological history of Sardinia predates even the Bronze Age. I know that ancient towers (Nuraghes), or strange-shaped tombs (Giant’s graves) might not look that interesting, but what about the pyramid, which predates the Great Pyramid of Giza? Shouldn’t it be the place to visit in Sardinia? For some reason, our heads don’t go around to find out more Sardinia has to offer than just a beautiful cave by the Mediterranean.

Neptune’s Grotto is 7m years old. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The Mythos of Cave

The grotto has no mythological background, and in no sense, it is the Cave of Neptune but just a Cave of Neptune. As a matter of fact, you can find plenty of Neptune’s Grottos on the shores of the Mediterranean. It almost feels like it is not that much of the name of a place, but a name for the category of spectacular caves along the Mediterranean coast.

This is the biggest structure in the whole cave. Who knows, maybe it is Neptune himself turned to stone. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Name of Neptune’s Grotto

In case you haven’t done your Roman Mythology class yet, the cave is named after the Roman God of freshwater and sea – Neptune. I’m not sure if it requires an explanation but everyone seems to tell this, so why I shouldn’t.

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Neptune’s Grotto Details

The view from Capo Caccia. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Neptune’s Grotto Geology

Naturally, the access to a cave by the sea, like Neptune’s Grotto is fairly limited by the weather. Throughout the hidden channel, the sea extends to the cave, forming 120m/394ft long lake, which has a depth of about 9m/29.5ft with a maximum width of 25m/82ft. All of it could be seen within the show part of the cave, though the lake covers only a small portion of Neptune’s Grotto.

The most iconic formation in Neptune’s Grotto – the Organs (left), Christmas Tree (middle) & Organ Player above it. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The length of the cave is estimated to be around 4km/2.48mi but most of it is dangerous and could only be reached by professionals, thus it is closed to the open public. To be honest, the territory shown during the tour is fairly small but it is gorgeous. So appreciate the time of your visit because you’ll be out of the cave in less than 30 minutes.

This structure is called “The Dome”, due to its resemblance to a church. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Neptune’s Grotto is a karst formation, meaning it formed because the of the cave was filled with soluble rocks, which in time were eroded by water. The grotto is 7million-year-old and it is full of stalactites and stalagmites. They grow here because of limestone. This type of stone contains calcium, which solutes in water thus the droplets leave minuscule amounts of it on the top and the bottom of the cave, forming stalactites and stalagmites. It takes 100 years to form a centimeter of stalactite, therefore appreciate this miraculous beauty of nature. If you touch one – it will stop growing.

The cave was discovered in 18th century by a local fisherman. Before the electricity, the cave was illuminated with candles. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

How to get to Neptune’s Grotto

The main hub of visiting Neptune’s Grotto is Alghero but don’t worry. The tours are organized from other cities as well, including Cagliari and Chia.

Neptune’s Grotto Tours

The only way to get to Neptune’s Grotto is with a guided tour, which is included in the ticket price. Tours take approx. 20min and run every hour in both Italian and English. The tickets can be either purchased at the entrance by cash on the top of Capo Caccia by card. here are some of the tours with a place guaranteed up in front:

From Chia: Full-Day Tour of Neptune’s Grotto (Full day | € 334/person)

From Cagliari: Full-Day Alghero Tour Experience (Full day | € 415/person) – This guided tour includes a visit to Neptune’s Grotto.

There are plenty of ways of reaching Neptune’s Grotto. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

By boat

If the weather is nice, a boat might look like the best option. Cruising through the sea is much more pleasant than being on a bus, or a car. The reason why I didn’t pick this option because I wanted to see the views from Capo Caccia and walk the Goat’s Steps.


By bus

Unpopular but a convenient way to get on the top of Capo Caccia, from where hundreds of steps lead down to the Grotto di Neptuno. Just for a brief moment, you get to feel like you are a mountain goat.

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Climbing the Goat’s Steps should not be underestimated. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The bus leaves Via Catalagna in Alghero only twice a day but is recommended to check the schedule here because it changes depending on the season. Upon your arrival, there will be enough time to buy the ticket, wander around, descend to the cave, take the tour and get back to the bus before it leaves.


By car

Obviously, getting to Neptune’s Cave with a car is the fastest and the most practical way but there is a caveat. The problem with the car is parking. It is particularly small, thus most of the cars are parked on the road. Having in mind the buses, the trespassing and parking might be nerve-breaking. Without a doubt, getting to Grotto di Neptuno by a car during the off-season is the most convenient way.

During the peak season parking at Capo Caccia could be nerve breaking. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Recommended Way of Visiting Capo Caccia

For younger people or anybody not afraid of the steps it is definitely either a car, or bus – if the times are fitting you. For everybody else, I would suggest getting to Neptune’s Grotto by boat. Just have in mind that the tour inside the cave takes less than half an hour, so you’ll have to enjoy Capo Caccia from the sea, which is not bad either.

The boat brings people straight to the entrance of the cave. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Visiting Neptune’s Grotto Tips


Best Hotels around Neptune’s Grotto


Eating in Italy

Have in mind that in Italy people eat a first and second meal (primi e secondi piatti). The first one being pasta with either stuff from the sea or land, and the second being meat, fish, or seafood meal. Unless you like to eat a lot, one of those dishes should suffice. In some places even a starter (it antipasti) is enough to fill your stomach.


Best restaurants in Alghero

This is the list of restaurants, which was given to us by our localhost from Alghero:


Best Bars in Alghero

Inside Neptune’s Cave lies a 120-metre-long saltwater lake. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

My Impressions of Neptune’s Grotto

For somebody, like me, who has seen some of the biggest caves of Europe, considering all the hype, Neptune’s Grotto might look a bit disappointing. 

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The cave is much bigger than the show area, but the passages are narrow and dangerous. At least, 2km deep this way. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The duration of the tour is truly underwhelming, the price might not compensate the experience. Especially, when you can descend to the cave from Capo Caccia for free. 

The tour group size is not limited so it is literally possible to fill almost the whole cave with tourists. If you are not in front of the crowds, you’ll never get to understand what the guide is talking about. 

Neptune’s Grotto advertise itself as one of the most beautiful Caves in the Mediterranean. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

All things considered, if you manage to avoid the tourist crowds, Neptune’s Grotto is a nice place to visit. In the end – it is a gorgeous cave, just don’t pretend as if it is the place to visit it in Sardinia because it is definitely not. Neptune’s Grotto is one of the many amazing places this majestic and ancient island has to offer. Discover them.

Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

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