Sardinia Travel Guide
Our goal is to travel to every region of Italy, and after almost 20 years of traveling together to the country, we are getting pretty close. For us, this means exploring some of the lesser known regions as well as the islands off of Italy. Sardinia is just one such island which has so much to offer for travelers who love food and wine. It’s why we created this Sardinia Travel Blog.
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How To Visit Sardinia Italy For Food
Sardinia is probably best known as a beach destination for European travelers. It’s also a fabulous destination for people who travel for food and wine. There is so much more to planning a Sardinia itinerary than visiting beaches.
That’s why in this Sardinia blog, and in our Sardinia Food Guide, we share some tips on how to explore the island, but we focus on food and drink.
This Sardinia guide, we share travel tips about the island with a focus on where to go, when to go, and where to stay. We also share Sardinia tips to help you make the most of visiting Sardinia, with a focus on its capital, Cagliari.
Cagliari is often overlooked in favor of the beaches, but it’s a lovely city that is easy to visit.
Where Is Sardinia Italy
Sardinia is an Italian island located over 200 miles (350 km) off the west coast of Italy and 8 miles (10 km) south of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea. Sardinia island is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with only Sicily being larger.
The topography of Sardinia is diverse with mountains running north to south in the center part of the island. Valleys and flatlands make up the majority of the topography in the southern parts of Sardinia.
The highest peak on Sardinia is Punta la Marmora at over 6,000 ft (1,800m). Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia Italy, which is located towards the south end of the island.
Best Time To Visit Sardinia – Sardinia Weather
The Sardinia climate is similar to most other Mediterranean destinations, with mild winters and hot summers. June and September are the best times to visit Sardinia. Temperatures in June and September are mild (mid 70s Fahrenheit mid 20s Celsius) with little rainfall.
During the summer, temperatures rise to the upper 80s Fahrenheit (low 30s Celsius) with no rain. In the past few years, summer temperatures have reached into the low 90s Fahrenheit.
Sardinia in winter presents cooler temperatures, in the mid 50sF. There is more frequent precipitation. As much as Cagliari is a year-round destination and the perfect location for a city break in Sardinia, the beach areas are desolate.
Many beach resorts and towns close down over the winter months, opening again around Easter.
What To Do In Sardinia Italy
With its rich history and stunning natural beauty, Sardinia offers a wide range of attractions and activities to explore. Because Sardinia is in fact an island surrounded by water, one of the top attractions are its beaches.
Scattered all around Sardinia are secluded white sand beach with turquoise water. Most beaches in Sardinia are free to enter. Some of the best beaches to visit in Sardinia include Poetto near Cagliari, Porto Giuno near Villasimius, and Costa Rei in the southeastern corner of Sardinia.
For a taste of Sardinia’s ancient past, the city of Nora is a must visit. Dating back to the Romans, Nora is a 45 minute drive from the capital Cagliari. Nora is an open air museum where visitors able to see ancient ruins, including a former Roman theater, baths, and villas.
Named after the Roman God of the Sea, Neptune’s Grotto is a natural wonder on Sardinia not to be missed. Discovered in 18th century, this natural cave formation near the town of Alghero, is a popular tourist attraction.
Accessible during calm seas, the caves are reached by climbing down 654 stairs from the cliff above or from a short boat ride. Guides are available to explore the gr0tto. While the cave system is over two miles long, only the first few hundred feet are open to the public.Tripadvisor Sardinia - Top Sardinia Tourist Attractions
Sardinia Travel Tips
Here we share our tips on how to get to Sardinia Italy, with a focus on its airports as well as how to get around the island.
Sardinia Italy Airport Guide
There are three airports with flights to Sardinia, depending on where within Sardinia you are staying. Some of the airports offer more connections to European destinations than others.
Cagliari Italy Airport
Cagliari Elmas Airport is the largest of the three airports with flights to Sardinia. It is located 6 miles (10km) from the city centre. Travelers can fly to Sardinia year round through the Cagliari airport.
There are more flights available though during the summer months. Low cost airline RyanAir provides the most numbers of flights and destinations served from Cagliari.
Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport
Located in the northeast corner of Sardinia, Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is the second largest Sardinia airport. Primarily a seasonal airport, Olbia Costa Smeralda offers flights throughout Europe.
Year round flights are limited to handful of destinations in Italy and Europe. Air Italy and EasyJet are the airlines that offer flights to the largest number of destinations.
How To Travel From Cagliari Airport to City Centre
By Bus: Buses depart Cagliari Airport from outside the Arrivals Halls. Service runs from 5:20 AM until 10:30 PM with buses leaving every half hour. The journey to Cagliari city centre costs around €4 and takes around 15-20 minutes. Tickets can be purchased from vending machine in the terminal or from the driver.
By Taxis: Taxis queues are located immediately outside the Arrivals Hall. A one-way taxi journey from Cagliari Airport to the city centre will take approximately 10-15 minutes depending on traffic conditions. The one way ride will cost around €15-25.
By Train: Elmas Aeroporto railway station connects Cagliari Airport with the city centre. The train runs from 5:00 AM until 9:00 PM with departures approximately every 20 minutes. The journey takes between 5-7 minutes. A one way ticket will cost €1.30. Tickets are sold at the vending machines in the Arrivals Hall. The station is approximately a 5 minute walk from the terminal.
How To Get To Cagliari – Train And Bus
Despite its relatively small size, getting around Sardinia takes time due to its mountainous geography. Operated by Trenitalia, the national trainline of Italy, many destinations across Sardinia can be accessed by train. From Cagliari to the Northernmost destination of Palau takes approximately six hours.
A one way journey will cost between €20-40. By bus, the journey from Cagliari to Palau takes over five and a half hours. This journey cost between €18-26 one way. The best way to travel around Cagliari is by car.
Getting Around Cagliari
Cagliari is a great city for walking. However, many of its best views are located on top steep hills. The public transport in Cagliari consists of buses and trams that run throughout the city and into its suburbs.
Travelers can purchase 90 minute bus tickets at locations across the city including newspaper stands and tobacco shops. One CTM ticket will cost €1.70 when purchased on the bus. One day tickets are available for purchase for €3.
Metrocagliari operates the above ground tram. The tram connects outlining areas of the city. Similar to bus service, 90 minute tickets are sold for €1.20 and must be validated on board. Metrocagilari tickets can not be used on city buses.
Sardinia Travel Card
The Sardinia Tourist Passport offers discounts to attractions in Cagliari and around the entire island of Sardinia. Discounts are also available at participating shops and restaurants. The Sardinia Tourist Passport can be used for over 400 excursions and activities, as well as for car, bike and boat rentals.
In addition to the Sardinia Tourist Passport, there are a few free downloads from the tourism board including audio guides, maps, and the official Cagliari App. This app provides updates on events taking place in the city. It is available from Google Play and the Apple App Store.
FAQs – Sardinia Travel
Absolutely. Sardinia as like the rest of Italy is an incredibly safe place to travel to and around. Minor crime like theft is a possibility as with any destination visited by tourists. Travelers to Sardinia should be mindful of the personal possessions, especially in crowded areas.
The Spring (April to June)is the best time to visit the island. Summer can be very warm with temperatures in the upper 80s to 90s Fahrenheit. In the winter Sardinia is quiet with many tourist attractions and restaurants closed.
Generally speaking, Italy is a cheaper destination compared to other countries in Europe. Sardinia is not without exception and for the most part is relatively inexpensive to visit. There are some parts of the island that are “expensive” but overall its good value for money.