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Flying to Sardinia is expensive, even with low-cost.
Though we had already decided to leave the car inland, and to rent another one in the island, we saved money travelling by ferry. It is quick, safe, and comfortable, with a single problem - the arriving time is not suitable to book a rent a car, so, when planning it is wise to reserve a night in Olbia, near the harbour, and deal the rent-a-car in the morning.
We didn't and suffered a lot.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
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Hire a car
The easiest way to explore Sardinia is by car, especially if you want to cross to the other island
Having a wheel is the quickest way to go around even in the remote area
Public transport is not reliable in the island
There are plenty of rental car company in Alghero airport, booking in advance is necessary if you want to have a cheaper tariff
The cheapest one we have found is "Dollar" holding by Sicily by car "All-in -insurance
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The low cost Ryan Air fly from Brussels Charleroi to Alghero, is about 2 hours fly
The best thing flying with Ryan Air, that they are sometimes better than those bigger Airlines, departing on time, even though is a bit chaotic to get on board because no seat number first come first serve
Ferry to Arbatax
More for my info/reminder:
Took this time the tirrenia ferry from Genova to Arbatax (stops in Olbia) to save some car travel time with the kids.
We paid for return fare car with bikes and 4bed cabin with windows 580 Euro.
Quality worse than Moby Lines.
Ship Janas better compared to Bithia.
Watch your schedulling
Sardegna is not an example of easy transport, so watch your transportation plan. I couldn't get a ticket for the car, so I decided to let it in Italy and rent another upon arrival at Olbia.
Everything went well, the only difficulty was that the rent-a-car is in the airport and closes at midnight. My boat should arrive at 11.30 , so I'd planned to run out the boat, leaving the family with the luggage, get a taxi to the 6 km to the airport, and return with the car.
The big problem was the delayed departure of the boat. I adverted the rent-a-car company about the delay, and got the promise that the lady would wait about half an hour. Too short. I tried to phone again from the boat, and couldn't do it.
No signal. I only had signal 20 minutes before landing and the lady was still there, but announcing that she couldn't wait much more. I was the first to jump to the quay, and... no taxi. I phoned the airport in despair asking the lady if she could pick me in the harbour, with the car, and I would drive her afterwards wherever she needed. No way, "very irregular", she gave me 10 minutes more.
Inside the harbour I found an advertising of a radio taxi and used it. He promised to come, but he was still outside Olbia, and would take more 15 minutes to come. New phone call to airport, the lady blaming me, but... staying. Everything ended well (even the deserved fat tip to the lady), but that kind of tension is exactly what I don't need in vacations, so, take care.Related to:
More for my information:
Ferry left at 22:00 in Genua. Be there two hours before departure which is enough. Not much there if you have to wait long. Just a little coffee bar for drinks, ice cream, pizza and paninis.
Arrived in Olbia at 08:00. Off the boat at this time. Boat Moby Wonder.
We paid for a car with bikes and cabin with window two beds: 298 Euros for the way back 276 Euros. Same departure time in Olbia. However took us a long time to disembark in Genua. Off the boat at 9:30. Was an older boat Moby Drea.
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Ferries to Sardinia
To reach Sardinia from the mainland of Italy by ferry there are quite a lot of options, especially in summer. Main ports in Sardinia are Golfo Aranci and Olbia. For details see following websites:
- Food and Dining
Public transportation in Sardinia
I don't really like to travel by car, but to travel in another way in Sardinia is a rather bad idea.
Anway, I found a very good website listing various kinds of public transportation options: www.getaroundsardinia.com
Used it quite a lot in fact. Ok, it can get a bit complicated (depending on route, date etc.), but somehow it's always possible to get anywhere without a car. Well, if you have any specific questions about how to get from A to B etc. just write me a message.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Water Sports
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Ferrovie dello Stato
There is a pretty good train service in Sardegna and even though train services here have a reputation of being slow, you can get to many places by train!
We only used the train once, when we did not have a direct bus connection returning from Barumini to Cagliari. We took the bus to Sanluri Stato and from there caught the train back to Cagliari. The train was on time, quite comfortable, too, so we did not have any complaints!
One thing I remember from previous trainrides in Italy: make sure to validate your ticket before you board the train! There are little yellow punching machines on the platform!
Taking the Ferry
I had reservations for all the ferries I needed--found out that was not necessary. A walk on was very easy and allows more flexibility. Just remember, however it was just me and my bike.
Being a woman and alone stood out. The ferry captian noticed me and invited me to tour the boat--oh was that fun (till I told him I was married). Got a great photo from the captian's deck. (this is not the photo but will have to do until I find my cd)Related to:
- Women's Travel
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Drive if you dare
Well, personally I do not like to drive, so this never really was an option for me. We found that public transportation was great for the places we wanted to see, but I do realize that there are some remote places that might require a car! Especially along the coast of southeast Sardinia there are some spectacular scenic roads that are worth exploring!
If you rent a car and plan to use it in Cagliari, think about renting a small car, since the streets in the old part of town are narrow and parking space is scarce!
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Walking definitely is possible in Sardegna, and although we were only there for a few days we did do quite a bit of walking!
Walking was the only reasonable option to explore the old part of Cagliari - the streets are so narrow that it would be hell having to drive here - besides, if you want to get a feel for a place you just have to walk! Hear the sounds, smell the air, look hither and thither - and have aching feet at the end of the day!!!
We walked along the beach near Poetto, hiked a little way to find the flamingos and strolled through the breathtaking archaeological sites of Nora and Barumini.
That's the way to do it!
The east coast of Sardegna is said to be a true paradise for hikers - we have not been there, but it sure is worth checking it out! See website below!
'Pulman' buses overland
There are various bus companies for overland travel throughout Sardegna, the most well known is ARST (Azienda Regionale Sarda Trasporti). The bus terminal in Cagliari is right next to the train station and there is quite a busy schedule.
Tickets for the ARST buses can be obtained at the ticket counters of the bigger ARST terminals, like in Cagliari, but also in tabaccherias, cafés and kiosks.
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Cagliari Elmas airport
There are three airports in Sardegna: Cagliari-Elmas the largest, Olbia-Costa Smeralda and the very small Alghero-Fertilia.
Cagliari airport Elmas is conveniently located just 10 minutes drive from the city center. Since it is so close to the city you have a spectacular and little frightening view of the city while getting ready to land! It looks sooooooooo close (and in fact, it is)!!!
We arrived there from Stuttgart on tuifly, formerly HLX and hapagfly. The airport was first opened in 1937, but recently renovated and has a very modern apparence.
There is a shuttle bus to Cagliari central bus station every 30 minutes, the fare is 2 €. You do have to obtain the tickets before getting on the bus. In Cagliari this is at the ticket counter of the central bus station, but since we were picked up at the airport in Cagliari, I do not know where to get the tickets there. I did read something about a vending machine or look for a kiosk/café/information counter - I am sure you will be helped!
There are a number of differeing netwoks on the Island, and it is possible to travel by train from Olbia all the way through to Caligari. Around the old town of Sassari there are a number of branch lines.
On the whole, however, Sardinian railways are a neglected backwater of the FS network with old running stock and timetables that are erratic at the best of times.Related to:
It was some years ago when we stayed here but it was divine. We paid extra for a room with a sea...more
Viale Diaz, 231, Cagliari, Sardinia, 9100, Italy
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
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