What is the best way to get to Sardinia? Up until the beginning of the new millennium, the answer to that
question was pretty difficult. There were
hardly any direct flights, the ferries were old and dirty and the rental car
industry was in its infancy.
But a lot has happened since then and now the island is easily accessible by air and by surface travel. In the following, we explain what you should pay attention to and the best way for you to get your “admission ticket” to Sardinia.
Flights to Cagliari
On the way to Cagliari, it is often worth your while to stop over in Rome or Milan. Al Italia frequently offers very good deals and the added time is pretty manageable.
However, arriving at one of the airports in northern Sardinia – Alghero or Olbia – is also not a problem. From there, it takes roughly three hours to get to southern Sardinia by car.
If you are able to choose your arrival and departure date freely, low- cost airlines sometimes offer very inexpensive flights to Sardinia. Here is a small selection of flight connections:
AUSTRIAN AIRWAYS : CAGLIARI
WIEN – CAGLIARI: Sa, So
CONDOR : CAGLIARI
FRANKFURT – CAGLIARI: Mi, Sa
DÜSSELDORF – CAGLIARI: Mi, Sa
EASYJET : CAGLIARI
BERLIN- CAGLIARI: Mo-Do, Sa-So
BASEL/FREIBURG – CAGLIARI: Mo-So
GENF – CAGLIARI: Mo-So
MAILAND- CAGLIARI: Mo-So
Edelweiss Air : CAGLIARI
ZÜRICH – CAGLIARI: Mo, Mi, Fr-So
EUROWINGS : CAGLIARI
DÜSSELDORF – CAGLIARI: Di, Sa, So
STUTTGART – CAGLIARI: Sa, So
HAMBURG – CAGLIARI: Sa, So
KÖLN – CAGLIARI: Mi, Fr, Sa
MÜNCHEN – CAGLIARI: Fr
BERLIN – CAGLIARI: Di, Sa
HANNOVER – CAGLIARI: Fr, So
LUFTHANSA : CAGLIARI
FRANKFURT – CAGLIARI: Sa, So
MÜNCHEN – CAGLIARI: Mo, Mi, Sa, So
RYANAIR : CAGLIARI
FRANKFURT HAHN – CAGLIARI: Mo, Fr
DÜSSELDORF WEEZE – CAGLIARI: Di, Do Sa
KARLSRUHE/BADEN BADEN – CAGLIARI: Mi, So
Tips all about a rental car
Sardinia offers a wide variety of beautiful locations. However, the distances to the island’s natural and cultural landmarks are often underestimated. As a result, many a vacationer could have kicked himself for not having organized a set of wheels in advance. Using public transportation on the island is time-consuming and above all, the routes from Cagliari to the resorts are fairly infrequent.
Arriving at the airport of Cagliari, for example, you must first take a bus to Cagliari station (Stazione Centrale) in order to then continue your journey towards Villasimius and Costa Rei (Timetable information here).
What to consider when renting a car in Sardinia? Here are our top 3 tips:
- The price is right – but not always!
Always check what services are included in the “Best Price” offer, and where the car rental company is located at the airport. Some of the cheaper services are located outside of the airport, which usually results in an inconvenient transfer and long waiting times.
- What are the rules regarding fuel?
In the last few years the “full/empty” arrangement has become increasingly more common. This means that you rent the car with a full tank (and of course, pay the rental car company for the fuel), and later, you return the car with an empty tank. This arrangement is rather disadvantageous for the customer, because no one likes the risk of driving on an empty tank. Hence, you end up giving the leftover fuel to the rental company.
- Insurance benefits and “co-driver”
It’s quite mind-blowing what competing car rental companies will do in order to make more money. The most popular trick is selling additional insurance benefits on-site. If you want to have “no deductible / cost sharing amount” and maybe even a “co-driver”, you can easily end up paying half of the car rental on top.
Our tip: Always rent a car with “no deductible / cost sharing amount” and – where possible and desired – including one co-driver free of charge. If local employees still try to sell you additional offers (likely to happen with Gold Cars, for example) don’t be fooled! You are insured by the booking portal where you made your reservation.
Also, many credit card companies cover the insurance’s deductible / cost sharing amount, so you might want to check if yours does. If it does, you can pay for the car with your credit card and choose an offer with a high deductible /cost sharing amount – which is usually much cheaper.
Our partner autoeurope offers a broad range of good and inexpensive offers for car rentals.
Travelling by ferry
Undoubtedly, there are advantages to traveling to Sardinia in your own car. Firstly, the car ride to the ferry port will allow for a smooth transition from everyday life into the country of la dolce vita. Furthermore, you don’t have to pay attention to the luggage restrictions and regulations of the airlines, so you can fill up the trunk with all the things you do not want to do without during your vacation.
The car drive to the ferry ports of Genua or Livorno is usually quite doable with a short stop or maybe even an overnight stay in between. From there, ferries cross over to northern Sardinia every day. You can choose between ferries by SardegnaFerries, Moby Lines and Tirrenia. Which company offers the transit option suitable for you depends on several criteria.
Our tips for you:
1.) If possible, make the trip on a weekday
Ferries cost way less during weekdays than on the weekend. That is primarily due to the fact that most hotels and rental agencies force their customers to arrive and depart on a Saturday or Sunday. The result is clear: prices go up!
By the way, Tisenti lets you choose your arrival and departure day freely!
2.) When traveling with a dog, cat or mouse, different regulations apply
Not every ferry company allows pets on deck, let alone in the cabins. Just the thought of having a beloved cat spend its ferry ride in a kennel is enough to bring tears to many animal lovers’ eyes. That alone is why it is definitely a good idea to compare the various regulations of the ferry companies concerning “animal transport”.
3.) Day- or night passage?
We strongly recommend taking the night ferry. Although it might usually be a bit more expensive, your arrival on the island will definitely be considerably more relaxed. Imagine boarding the ferry after several hours of car driving: you will be thankful to just have a small bite to eat in the restaurant on board and then get a good night’s sleep in your cabin.
4.) Which port of destination in Sardinia makes the most sense?
Most ferry companies head for the ports in northern Sardinia. Whether the passage terminates in Olbia, GolfoAranci or Porto Terres does not really matter. Off the record: the best offer should determine the route. In the mean time, the road system in Sardinia is well developed, so it should take you about three hours from north to south. Of course, we will provide you with directions that will hopefully lead you to your resort quickly and safely.