Planning on visiting Sardinia any time soon? The island of Sardinia has stunning beaches and hiking trails and is definitely worth the visit. Planning your itinerary includes choosing your mode of transportation to and from your destination. If you are coming from outside of Italy, you will need to fly to Italy (or other parts of Europe) first to get to Sardinia. But, if you want to visit Sardinia from Italy, you have two options to get to the island.
Traveling to Sardinia from Italy is possible via air or sea. There are several airlines and ferries connecting mainland Italy to Sardinia. There are several airports and ports you can choose to land on depending on your travel preference.
In this article, we will talk about how to get to Sardinia from Italy. We will be talking about which airports you can fly into and some of the cities from Italy that you can depart from. We will also talk about the cities in Italy where you can take the ferry if you choose to travel by sea.
Getting To Sardinia From Italy
Sardinia is the 2nd biggest island in the Mediterranean (only Sicily is larger). It is located 120 miles (200 km) from mainland Italy’s western side and about 220 miles (354 km) away from Sicily. To get to Sardinia from Italy, you can either travel by air or by sea.
How To Travel To Sardinia By Air
Traveling by air is the fastest way you can get to Sardinia. The island of Sardinia has 3 airports and several airports in mainland Italy fly directly to the island. If you are coming from Sicily, you can also travel by air. Some cities in mainland Italy that you can depart from are Rome, Naples, and Milan. You can also find non-stop flights from Palermo and Catania if you are coming from Sicily. Depending on which city you are coming from, the travel time could be anywhere between 1 to 1.5 hours. If you are going to Sardinia during the high season, expect your plane tickets to be more expensive. You can find cheaper tickets if you book your trip in advance.
Let’s look at some of the airports you can fly to in Sardinia.
Cagliari Airport (CAG)
Cagliari Airport, also known as Cagliari Elmas, is located in southern Sardinia. It is about 4.3 miles (7 km) away from the city of Cagliari. This is the main airport on the island and most of the airlines coming from Italy fly directly to Cagliari Airport.
ITA Airways serves as the main carrier from Milan and Rome going to Cagliari. But, there are also budget airlines that you can choose from if you are on a budget. Catania and Palermo Airport in Sicily also fly directly to Cagliari via Ryanair.
How To Get To Cagliari City Center From The Airport
There are several ways to get to the city center from Cagliari airport. You can either travel by bus, train, car, or private transfer.
If you are going to rely on public transportation, the cheapest way to get to the city center is by train. The train runs from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM and the train leaves the airport every 20 minutes. The train station is easily accessible from the airport and is just about a 5-minute walk. There are also bus services from the airport going to the city that leave every half an hour. Traveling by bus or by train only takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
If you want a more convenient way to reach the city, you can ride a taxi or hire a private transfer. Both are great options if you are in a large group but, they will cost more than using public transportation. Alternatively, renting a car is also an option, especially if you plan on going to other parts of Sardinia as well.
Olbia Airport (OLB)
Olbia Airport, or the Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport, is located in the northeastern part of the island. Tourists who want to go to Santa Teresa di Gallura, Costa Smeralda, and La Maddalena fly to this airport.
Like Cagliari Airport, most of the airports in Italy have direct flights to Olbia. The airport is about 2.5 mi (4 km) from the city center. If you want to explore the northeastern part of the island, flying to Olbia is a great option.
How To Get To Olbia City Center From The Airport
If you are flying into Olbia, you can easily reach the city center by bus, taxi, car, or private transfer. If you plan on exploring different parts of Sardinia, renting a car would be a great option. There are car rentals at the airport but it is best that you book a car in advance to ensure that you have a vehicle once you arrive on the island.
Private transfers and taxis are also an option, especially if your accommodation does not offer pick-up services for their guests. If you have a lot of luggage, riding a taxi or hiring private transfers might be the best idea.
Taking the bus (bus numbers 2 and 10) is a cheaper alternative if you don’t want to spend too much on transportation. The travel time from the airport to Olbia city only takes about 10 minutes via the bus.
Alghero Airport (AHO)
On the northwestern part of the island is Alghero Airport. It is located 6.2 mi (10 km) away from the center of Alghero and is an entry point for some of the tourist spots such as Santa Teresa di Gallura and Porto Torres. Alghero is the smallest airport in Sardinia but, it still serves as a connection to most of the cities in Italy and other countries in Europe.
How To Get To Alghero City Center From The Airport
There are four ways to get to the city center from Alghero Airport – by bus, taxi, car, or private transfer. If you are going to take the bus, you can buy bus tickets inside the airport, at the bus stop, or in tobacco and lotto shops. You can even buy tickets online on the ARST website. The travel time from the airport to the city center takes about 20 to 30 minutes and the bus service leaves every hour.
Italy To Sardinia Ferry Service
If you are not in a rush, taking the ferry from mainland Italy to Sardinia is a good option. Taking the ferry will also allow you to bring your car to Sardinia.
There are several ferry ports in Sardinia and the ferry trip can take anywhere between 6 to 15 hours depending on the ferry company, weather conditions, and your destination. If you plan on taking the ferry to Sardinia, here are the areas where ferries dock:
- Porto Torres
- Santa Teresa di Gallura
- Golfo Aranci
Some of the companies in Italy that have a ferry route to Sardinia are Moby, Grimaldi, and Tirrenia. Do take note that not all ferry companies coming from Italy have routes to all of the ports in Sardinia. So, make sure that you check the company and what destinations they serve before you buy your ferry tickets.
There are ferry crossings from Italy to Sardinia and vice versa daily and there are several areas in Italy where you can take direct ferries to Sardinia – Civitavecchia, Livorno, Naples, and Genoa. Ferries from Civitavecchia have routes going to Cagliari, Arbataz, Porto Torres, and Olbia. On the other hand, Livorno has ferry routes going to either Olbia or Golfo Aranci. Ferries from Genoa go to Porto Torres while ferries from Naples go to Cagliari.
Going to Sardinia from Italy can be done via air or by sea. The option you will pick will depend on your travel preferences and how fast you want to get to your destination. If you prefer the faster way, definitely book a plane ticket. But, if you want to take your time and take in the view of the Mediterranean Sea, going by ferry is a nice option.
Do you prefer to travel by air or by sea? Let us know via the contact form on our website!