Travelling information for Sardinia

Here follows some information on how to reach Sardinia by air, by sea, by train and bus (public transportation) and by car. Many resources to plan your trip to Sardinia have been gathered on this and the following page. There are many sites and forums on the internet where experiences on a stay in Sardinia are shared by travellers or where information can be found on Bed & Breakfast, Agritourism and campings for the island.

Travelling by Air

By air there are several possibilities for flights from European cities and Italian cities like Milan, Bergamo, Rome, Napels to the airports of Cagliari, Olbia and Alghero. During the summer season flights are more frequent. Disadvantage of going by air is that you may have to rent a car. Best choices are the reknowned companies like Hertz, Maggiore and Avis. Prices may be higher than in other European countries due to insurance costs. Some operators like Meridiana (former Alisarda) and Airone have cheaper tickets and for those that were born in Sardinia special tariffs are applicated. Ryanair, a low budget company, flies from several European cities like Weeze and Bruxelles to Alghero.

Travelling by ferry

By boat there are more possibilities. Daily from Nice in France, Genua, Livorno (or Piombino) and Civitavecchia near Rome ferries depart to the islands. The car can then be taken with you. For the high season it is advisable to make reservations in time because august is the traditional holiday season of the Italians. Prices are not so high per person or per car, but that depends also on the type of service, fast ferries or normal ferries. The traditional ferries take about 10 hours to go from Genua to Porto Torres, the most northerly large port on Sardinia, or 6 to 8 hours from Livorno to Olbia on the eastcoast. The fast ferries go twice as fast but are also much more expensive. Best choices here in my experience are Sardinia-Corsica ferries and Moby Lines with Tirrenia on a third place. The Tirrenia is the largest company with most ships and the cheapest. The state railway company (Ferrovie dello Stato, FS) exploit a ferry from Civitavecchia to Golfo Aranci, with coincidence of the trains but also accessible for cars. The service is well spoken of.

There are ferries between Sardinia and Corsica (very frequent) and from Cagliari to Sicily and Tunisia. It can be worthwhile to combine a visit to Corsica and Sardinia, but then do not stick in the north of Sardinia. Ferries like the airway companies are bound to maximum prices by the government because they serve part of the territory of the Italian state.

Travelling by public transportation

Arrival of the train from Cagliari to Porto Torres
Arrival of the train from
Cagliari to Porto Torres

Travelling by train can be done. International trains go to Genua where you can take the ferry to Porto Torres. There the train is always ready to take you south to Cagliari. Vice versa this train will bring you to the harbour and the ferry will wait until it has arrived before departing. From Olbia trains reach Cagliari and Sassari, the two most important cities of Sardinia and from Golfo Aranci the FS maintain the connection to Cagliari, and they make sure you will not loose the connection with the ferry. But always inform yourself of the timetable because trains are not very frequent.

The regional bus company is the ARST. Before taking the bus (called pullman in Italian) it is advisable to look up the timetables. In the high season busses and trains are more frequent and are not expensive in relation to the milage.

Travelling by car in Sardinia

When travelling by car keep in mind the opening times and frequency of gasstations especially off the main roads. The most important road is the ss131 Carlo Felice connecting Sassari with Cagliari. It is a Strada Statale, not a highway or motorway, so the maximum speed is 90km p hour and often less. The police checks regularly on speed and roadblocks are common, where military police (carabinieri) are armed with guns and will fire if you do not stop. Do not be surprised about the way Sardinians drive; not always the trafiic rules are obeyed, meant in a positive way as well as a negative way. The golden rule is to expect everything and take nothing for granted. It may happen somebody in front of you stops in the middle of the street and starts a chat with a passerby.

For information on accommodations see the next page.

Last updated 21/07/2020

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