How to plan a trip to Sardinia

Travelling Sardinia

Planning a new trip is always a cause for great excitement, but how can you not feel overwhelmed by all the practical staff?

With so many things to organise to make your trip run smoothly and easily, we are here to help!

How to plan your trip to Sardinia, with answers to the most important questions you might have.

Just a small preliminary remark: time passes slowly in Sardinia. There’s no stress of city life and the people are particularly relaxed and accommodating.

So please take your time! You don’t have to stick to a specific itinerary, but can fully engage with the mood of the moment.

But whether you are a lover of improvisation or a good organiser, there are a few tips for a more pleasant journey.

How to plan a trip to Sardinia: practical advices

Plan a trip to Sardinia

First thing: How to get to Sardinia?

Easy question. Sardinia is an island so you basically have only two options: getting by boat or by plane.

There are 3 airports: Alghero (north-west coast) Olbia (north-east coast) and Cagliari airport (south coast).

Arriving By Plane

All three airports are well connected to many European cities by the main low-cost airlines: Ryanair, Vueling, Wizzair, Volotea, to name a few.

Go to the airline’s website and search for your direct flight to any Sardinia airport. Alternatively, you can make a stopover at one of the Italian airports: most flights are from Rome and Milan.

Main routes from Europe

Main routes from Italy

Ferries and Boats

The ferry is the best choice if you prefer to travel with your own car. It allows you to move around the island with ease.

There are easy drives and no busy areas (apart from some city centres). The main ports are:

Porto Torres (north-west)

Olbia and Golfo Aranci (north-east)

Cagliari (south).

The international ferry connections are to Spain, France and Corsica.

Main ferry-routes to Sardinia. See the prices

Local transport: how to get around Sardinia

This is the most challenging part while planning a trip to Sardinia. How do I get around? What is the best way to move around? Is there a public transportation?

Let’s clarify a fact immediately: Sardinian local transport is not the best. So if you decide to rely on it you must have to consider some critical aspects.

Travelling by Bus

Travelling by bus is only recommended if you want to cover short distances and reach nearby places.

It’s not recommended if you want to make a round trip around the island and if you want to go to several stops and places.

ARST is the main bus line in Sardinia. Unfortunately their website is not in English and the timetables are in pdf (not always understandable).

Better to use Google for timetable information. Tickets can be bought on the app Drop ticket or at the tobacco kiosks.

Travelling by Trains

The Sardinian railway network is very dated and not well organized. Trains often take longer than buses. However you can reach Cagliari from Olbia by train or vice versa. In this case it will take about 4h.

If for example, you want to reach Alghero from Cagliari by train, it will be a bit more complicated and this how it will look like:

From Cagliari take the line to Olbia (there is a change at Ozieri-Chilivani). Than a train to Sassari. From Sassari take a regional train to Alghero. Up to Sassari, the trains are operated by Trenitalia, while for the Sassari-Alghero route you have to buy a regional train ticket.

Duration of the trip: no less than 8h, if you are still lucky to get all the connections!

Conclusion: If you decide to stay close to your destination, it is perfectly fine to use public transport. On the other hand, if you want more freedom to explore the island, it is better to have your own car or get a rental car.

Car rental

Renting a car online and well in advance is very much recommended (the local companies usually have higher prices).
This is one of the best car rental sites in Sardinia.

Accommodations: how to book a Villa or a Hotel

plan trip to sardinia

In Sardinia there are thousands of accommodation facilities so you will not have particular problems in booking one. You can find accommodation for every type and budget.

From luxury hotels to classic holiday apartments or b&bs. You can book it through the largest platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo and Booking.

On you can choose the type of accommodation (hotel, flats, B&B), determine the location and read reviews. It is certainly one of the best sites to book accommodation in Sardinia, because here you can find the best deals and free cancellation options.


OK but, what’s best: North or South?

plan a trip to sardinia

This is a too difficult question to answer. Who do you love most mum or dad?

North Sardinia: Olbia and the amazing Costa Smeralda on the east coast with dream beaches, unique landscapes such as the wonderful Maddalena archipelago. All around charming villages and incredible resorts.

On the opposite side Alghero, a very popular destination for families and couples. It has the uniqueness of its Catalan history and the convenience of alternating a beach holiday with cultural experiences and interesting activities.

Central Sardinia: this is the less touristic area and in some ways still very authentic. Beautiful inland locations are worth visiting: the small villages of Oliena, Orgosolo, Mamoiada, Fonni. You can breathe the ancient atmosphere of Sardinian culture. The wild Supramonte is an ideal destination for hikers as well as the Ogliastra region, where you can find some of the most spectacular trails on the entire island.

South Sardinia: there is a high concentration of dream beaches. It’s common knowledge that the beaches in the south (some say!) are among the most beautiful on the island. Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, offers places rich in history such as the ancient Phoenician city of Nora and the Nuragic village of Barumini.

So who do you love mom or dad most?

What budget for a holiday in Sardinia?

The correct answer is: it depends. Sardinia is neither an expensive nor an economic destination and it fits any budget. There’s an old belif about Sardinia being expensive, but this is because most people will visit exclusively in August which is the peak season.

With low-cost airlines you can actually find quite cheap airline tickets and book you accommodation based on your budget.

What matters, however, is the period in which you intend to travel.

In general, July and August are the most expensive months of the year where prices go up a lot compared to the norm.

Mid-August (15 August, called Ferragosto) is the height of summer and Sardinia is literally stormed during these days.

On the contrary: May, June, the first two weeks of July, September have more affordable prices and in general all places are much liveable.

Tip: if you are looking for more calm, avoid the central weeks of August!

How to book the best activities in Sardinia?

The island is a popular destination for trekking, cycling and water sports enthusiasts. There are many things you can practice especially if you are a nature lover, Sardinia has a world to explore.

Our advice is to book your activity a few days in advance – especially in the high season – in order to find the best option. If you change your mind, many activities include free cancellation up to 24 hours before the tour.

Among the most popular activities:

These are just some suggestions to better plan a trip to Sardinia. But if you have any doubts or special requests, we can offer you the right thing thanks to our network of young partners scattered all over the island.

Contact us and we will be happy to provide you with useful information and advice!

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