The magnificent Neptune’s Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

Discovered by local fishermen in the 18th century, Neptune’s Grotto (Grotta di Nettuno) is a stalactite cave near the town of Alghero on the beautiful island of Sardinia, Italy.

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

Now a popular tourist attraction, the grotto gets its name from the Roman god of the sea, Neptune.

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The entrance to the grotto lies only around a metre above the sea level at the foot of the 110-metre-high Capo Caccia cliffs, so they can only be safely accessed when the waters below are calm.

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

For more energetic visitors (that’s us!), the caves can be accessed by a steep, 654-step stairway cut into the cliff in 1954, known locally as the escala del cabirol  (goat’s steps).

These lead from a car park at the top of the cliff down to cave entrance via many twists and turns.

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The majority of visitors arrive via a short boat trip from the port of Alghero, which runs hourly during the summer, but less frequently during spring and autumn.

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

Two other grottoes lie nearby, the “Green grotto”, which is not open to tourists, and the Grotta di Ricami, which is only accessible from the sea.

The area is a big hit with scuba divers as there’s plenty of under water caves nearby, including the famous Nereo Cave, which is considered the biggest marine cave in the Mediterranean Sea.

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The boat party arrives, pays their money and heads into the caves. My advice is to time your arrival so you get to be in the front of the boat visitors.

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The combined length of the cave system is estimated to be around 4 kilometers, but only a few hundred metres are accessible to the public via well marked out paths.

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

There’s plenty of mighty stalactite and stalagmite formations to be seen, although the sodium lighting made it hard to capture the beauty of the structures.

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

Here’s a collection of photos from our trip through the caves:

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

Leaving the cave.

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

Up the stairs. Be sure to take water with you in hot weather!

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

Near the top.

The magnificent Neptune's Grotto cave system in Alghero on the island of Sardinia, Italy

Taking a rest at the top.

The caves can be found at Capo Caccia, Alghero, Sardinia, Italy.