Trains In Sardinia

Trains In Sardinia featured photo

Traveling around Sardinia can be convenient if you have a car but sometimes you may not want to drive or you don’t have a driver’s license yet. If you don’t have a car, taking the train in Sardinia is also a great way to explore the island. 

The train network in Sardinia can be very reliable but the network is limited. Not all towns and cities are served by train stations and you either need to take a taxi or ride the bus if you plan to go to smaller towns. But, there are train routes that serve major cities in Sardinia, and taking the train is really affordable.

In this article, we will be talking about traveling by train in Sardinia, some of the routes that the train serves, and where you can buy train tickets on the island. We will also talk about the tourist railway in Sardinia, so make sure to read until the end!

Can You Travel By Train In Sardinia?

Can You Travel By Train In Sardinia

Getting around Sardinia is best done via car but if you don’t plan on renting one, most trains in Sardinia will get you to where you want to go. Trains in Sardinia are not quite as extensive as the train network in mainland Italy but they do cover major cities like Cagliari, Porto Torres, and Olbia. Direct trains from Cagliari to Olbia are also available if you want to travel from the south coast to the north coast. The travel time can last between 2.5 to 4 hours. 

Most railway tracks in Sardinia also only have a single track so there is always a possibility for trains to be delayed. While the train system in Sardinia may seem lacking, it is still a reliable way to get to your destination. You will just have to pair it up with buses, especially if you plan on going to smaller towns.

Railway Lines In Sardinia

Railway Lines In Sardinia

The two railway routes in Sardinia are operated by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (Trenitalia) and Azienda Regionale Sarda Transporti (ARST). Trenitalia operates the main railway while ARST handles the secondary train network on the island. Trenitalia serves Cagliari, Oristano, Oblia, Sassari, Golfo Aranci, and other cities. Trenitalia also has connections at Cagliari Elmas Airport and Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport which can be convenient if you fly to either of these airports.

The ARST railway, on the other hand, serves Sassari – Alghero – Sorso, Macomer – Nuoro, and Monserrato to Isili. ARST also operates Trenino Verde, also known as the Green Train in Sardinia which takes you on a scenic journey on a slow, vintage train.

The Green Trains ride travels on 5 different routes:

  • Palau – Tempio
  • Macomer – Bosa
  • Mandas – Laconi
  • Mandas – Seui
  • Arbataz – Gairo

These trips can last anywhere between 2 to 4 hours on the outward journey and 2 to 3.5 hours on the return journey. If you have time to spare and want to take a slow, relaxing ride through the green mountains to see quiet mountain villages and hidden gems on the east coast of Sardinia, Sardinia’s Green Trains are worth it.

Where To Buy Train Tickets In Sardinia

Where To Buy Train Tickets In Sardinia

Buying train tickets in Sardinia is easy and you can either buy them online at Trenitalia’s website or at the train station itself. There are also several apps where you can check train schedules and buy train tickets such as Omio and Moovit. You can buy train tickets in advance via these apps or the Trenitalia website. However, it is not necessary for regional trains as these trains don’t have assigned seats and the prices are already fixed.

Is Train Travel Expensive In Sardinia

Is Train Travel Expensive In Sardinia

Traveling by train in Sardinia can be relatively affordable depending on where you are going. The train fares are calculated based on the distance traveled so you can spend anywhere between 1.30 to 18€. You also need to think about the cost of other public transportation such as buses or taxis, especially for places that have no train connections.

Other Ways To Get Around Sardinia

Other Ways To Get Around Sardinia

Aside from cars and trains, you can also get around the island by bus. Sardinia’s bus network is more extensive than the trains and covers more towns on the island. Bus tickets in Sardinia are available at bus stations, local tobacconists, or a bar.  Tourist bus passes are also available in any ARST ticket office from June to September and you can buy different passes based on your stay in Sardinia. The available tourist bus passes in Sardinia are 7-day, 14-day, 21-day, and 28-day passes. You can use these bus passes to all ARST services excluding the Trenino Verde. Do note that bus services tend to run less on Sundays so make sure to plan ahead to avoid getting stranded on some parts of the island.

Conclusion

Heading north Sardinia if you are coming from the south is possible by train. Taking the train in Sardinia can be very reliable if you don’t plan on driving to get around the island. While the railway network is not that extensive, you will still be able to reach your destination. Public transportation in Sardinia is affordable and prices are based on the distance traveled.

The narrow gauge rails in Sardinia will allow you to see amazing views overlooking granite mountains, visit a mountain village, or just have relaxing train rides in different parts of the island. Are you planning on taking the train when you visit Sardinia or have you decided to rent a car instead? Let us know your thoughts via the contact form on our website. Happy travels!

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