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How to Get to Sardinia

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How to Get to Sardinia

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Sardinia is a Mediterranean gem promising breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and a vibrant culture. Sitting off the coast of Italy, Sardinia is known for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and rugged mountains, making it a dream destination for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and those seeking an idyllic getaway.

With its ancient ruins, charming coastal towns, and mouth-watering cuisine, Sardinia offers a diverse range of experiences to excite every traveler. Whether you’re wandering through the historic streets of Cagliari, exploring the mysterious Nuragic ruins, or indulging in the island’s mouthwatering seafood, Sardinia is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.

But, the excitement doesn’t just start once you’re on the island. Getting to Sardinia is an adventure on its own!

Keep reading for an in-depth guide on how to get to Sardinia: either by sea or air.

Here is an overview:

Ferry departure from Livorno to Olbia in Sardinia, Italy.

How to get to Sardinia

As an island destination, Sardinia’s accessibility is crucial in ensuring that travelers can easily reach its shores and embark on their Mediterranean adventure. Fortunately, Sardinia offers a variety of transportation options, with each providing its own unique experience and benefits.

One of the most popular ways to reach Sardinia is by air, with several airports located across the island. Flying to Sardinia offers speed and convenience, allowing visitors to quickly arrive and start exploring the island’s wonders. However, for those seeking a more immersive journey, taking a ferry to Sardinia provides an opportunity to savor the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea and the charm of the Italian coastline.

Taking a Ferry to Sardinia

If you’re looking for a more leisurely and picturesque journey to Sardinia, taking a ferry is an excellent option. The island’s strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea makes it easily accessible by sea, and ferry travel offers a unique and immersive experience. 

Whether you’re traveling with a vehicle or as a foot passenger, hopping on a ferry allows you to embrace the beauty of the surrounding waters and coastline as you approach Sardinia’s shores.

Benefits of taking a ferry to Sardinia

Here are a few reasons why taking a ferry to Sardinia is a great idea:

  • Scenic Beauty: One of the most significant advantages of ferry travel to Sardinia is the opportunity to take in the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. As you sail towards the island, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of azure waters, rugged cliffs, and charming coastal towns. It’s a chance to unwind, relax, and soak up the natural beauty of the journey itself.
  • Flexibility: Traveling by ferry offers flexibility, especially if you’re planning to explore multiple destinations within Sardinia. With the option to bring your vehicle on board, you can easily embark on road trips around the island, discovering hidden gems and lesser-known corners at your own pace.
  • Onboard Amenities: Ferries to Sardinia are equipped with a range of onboard amenities to ensure your comfort and enjoyment during the voyage. From comfortable seating areas and spacious lounges to restaurants, cafes, and even entertainment facilities, you’ll find plenty of options to make your journey pleasant and entertaining.

Different ferry ports in Sardinia

There are four different ferry ports choose from, including:

  • Olbia: Situated in the northeast of Sardinia, Olbia is a popular ferry port offering connections to various destinations. It serves as a gateway to the stunning Costa Smeralda region, known for its crystal-clear waters and upscale resorts.
  • Porto Torres: Located in the northwest, Porto Torres is another important ferry port in Sardinia. It provides convenient access to the picturesque town of Alghero and its charming Catalan heritage, as well as being a gateway to exploring the northwest coast of the island.
  • Cagliari: The capital city of Sardinia, Cagliari, boasts a bustling ferry port. It offers easy access to the southern part of the island, where you can explore historical sites, beautiful beaches, and immerse yourself in the island’s rich culture and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Arbatax: Situated on the eastern coast of Sardinia, Arbatax serves as a gateway to the stunning Ogliastra region. Known for its rugged cliffs, hidden coves, and untouched nature, Arbatax provides a fantastic starting point for exploring the eastern part of the island.

Taking a ferry to Sardinia not only offers a scenic and enjoyable journey but also allows you to discover different corners of the island with the freedom to explore at your own pace. 

Now that we’ve explored the various ferry ports in Sardinia, let’s delve into the different ferry routes available.

Ferry arrives at sunrise in Oblia, Italy.
Ferry arrives at sunrise in Oblia, Italy.

Ferry routes to Sardinia

Here are the most popular ferry routes to Sardinia, from both Italy mainland and other Mediterranean countries: 

  1. Routes from Italy mainland
  • Genoa – Olbia: This ferry route connects the port of Genoa on the Italian mainland with Olbia in northeastern Sardinia. It offers a convenient option for travelers coming from northern Italy.
  • Livorno – Olbia: The Livorno-Olbia route is another popular option, connecting the port of Livorno in Tuscany with Olbia. It provides a convenient link for those traveling from central Italy.
  • Civitavecchia – Olbia: Civitavecchia, located close to Rome, offers ferry connections to Olbia. This route is ideal for travelers arriving in Rome and wishing to continue their journey to Sardinia.
  • Genoa – Porto Torres: If you prefer to reach the northwest part of Sardinia, the Genoa-Porto Torres route is a great choice. It connects the port of Genoa with Porto Torres, providing access to the beautiful coastal areas of northwest Sardinia.
  • Civitavecchia – Porto Torres: Civitavecchia also offers ferry connections to Porto Torres. This route is convenient for travelers coming from Rome and seeking to explore the northwestern region of Sardinia.
  • Naples – Cagliari: The Naples-Cagliari route connects the city of Naples in southern Italy with the capital city of Sardinia, Cagliari. It is a popular choice for travelers coming from southern Italy and offers a gateway to the southern part of Sardinia.
  1. Routes from other Mediterranean countries
  • Marseille – Porto Torres: For travelers coming from France, the Marseille-Porto Torres route is a convenient option. It connects the French port of Marseille with Porto Torres, providing a direct link between the two countries.
  • Barcelona – Porto Torres: Barcelona, a vibrant city in Spain, offers ferry connections to Porto Torres. This route is perfect for travelers starting their journey from Spain and seeking to explore the northwestern region of Sardinia.
  • Bonifacio (Corsica) – Santa Teresa Gallura: If you are already on the neighboring island of Corsica, you can take the ferry from Bonifacio to Santa Teresa Gallura in northern Sardinia. This route provides a short and scenic journey between the two islands.

How to book ferry tickets to Sardinia

Ferryhopper is an online platform and mobile application that simplifies the process of booking ferry tickets. It allows you to search, compare, and book ferry tickets to Sardinia and other destinations, providing a user-friendly interface for hassle-free booking.

The platform offers a range of features, including real-time availability, flexible ticket options, and secure online payments. It also provides a comprehensive overview of ferry routes, schedules, and prices, allowing you to make informed decisions about your travel plans.

Plus, Ferryhopper offers a wide selection of ferry routes to Sardinia, including the popular routes mentioned above. You can easily browse through the available options, compare prices, and select the most suitable route for your journey.

Using a booking platform like Ferryhopper streamlines the process of planning and booking your ferry travel to Sardinia, ensuring a smooth and efficient experience. 

Family cabin from Grimaldi Lines.
Family cabin from Grimaldi Lines.

Factors to consider when selecting a ferry route

When picking your ferry route, consider the below:

  • Location of departure and arrival ports: Consider the proximity of the departure and arrival ports to your starting point and desired destination in Sardinia. Choose a route that offers convenient access to your preferred location on the island.
  • Frequency and duration of ferry services: Check the frequency of ferry departures and the duration of the journey. Opt for routes that align with your travel schedule and provide a suitable balance between travel time and convenience.
  • Availability of onboard facilities: Take into account the onboard facilities offered by different ferry operators. Some ferries provide amenities like comfortable seating, cabins, Wi-Fi, and entertainment options, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable journey.
  • Cost and ticket prices: Compare the ticket prices of different ferry routes. Consider any additional charges, such as fees for vehicles or pets, and balance them against the overall value and convenience of the route.

Tips for booking ferry tickets

To get the best deal, follow the below tips:

  • Booking in advance for better availability and prices: To secure your preferred ferry route and obtain the best prices, it’s recommended to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Early bookings also allow you to take advantage of any promotional offers or discounts.
  • Considering flexible ticket options: Check if the ferry operator offers flexible ticket options, such as open tickets or the ability to modify travel dates. Flexibility can be useful if your travel plans are subject to change.
  • Checking for any restrictions or special requirements: Take note of any specific restrictions or special requirements related to the ferry travel, such as size limits for vehicles or the need for pet carriers. Ensuring compliance with these guidelines will help you have a smooth and hassle-free journey.
Ferry to Sardinia, Italy.
Ferry to Sardinia, Italy.

Flying to Sardinia

When it comes to reaching Sardinia, flying is a popular and convenient option for many travelers. The island is well-served by several airports, each offering its own unique gateway to this captivating destination.

The primary airports in Sardinia include Cagliari-Elmas Airport (CAG) in the south, Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB) in the northeast, and Alghero-Fertilia Airport (AHO) in the northwest. These airports provide connections to major cities in Italy and various European destinations, ensuring easy access to Sardinia from around the globe.

The most popular flight routes to Sardinia are from major Italian cities such as Rome, Milan, and Venice. These routes offer frequent flights operated by various airlines, making it convenient for travelers to find suitable connections. On average, a direct flight from Rome to Cagliari takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes, while flights from Rome to Olbia or Alghero take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Pros and cons of reaching Sardinia by air

Flying to Sardinia offers several advantages, including speed and convenience. With relatively short flight durations, travelers can quickly reach the island and maximize their time exploring its wonders. Additionally, the availability of multiple airports allows visitors to choose the most convenient entry point based on their intended destination in Sardinia.

However, there are a few cons to consider when flying to Sardinia. Firstly, flight prices can vary depending on the season and demand, so it’s advisable to book in advance for better deals. Secondly, flying restricts the opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscapes and the mesmerizing coastline of Sardinia during the journey.

Let your journey to Sardinia begin!

Both flying and taking a ferry offer unique advantages when traveling to Sardinia. Flying provides speed and convenience, while taking a ferry promises a scenic and immersive experience.

Ferry travel allows you to embrace the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea, enjoy onboard amenities, and explore multiple destinations within Sardinia with the freedom of bringing your vehicle.

Whether you choose to travel via air or sea, Sardinia promises an unforgettable experience with its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Start planning your trip to this mesmerizing island and create memories that will last a lifetime.Once you’ve booked your transport, next up is planning where to stay in Sardinia.

  • Travel Dudes

    I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You’re in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.



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