Sardinia By Bus & Train: Moving Around The Island Without A Car!








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Comments 32

  1. Wow! This very helpful.

    Thank you so much. Now I am more excited to visit Sardinia. My boyfriend and I will be in Italy for more than 3 weeks but we will stay in Sardina for 1 week:

    Thank you.
    Kristine

  2. Hello,

    Can you help me how to use the public transport from Cagliari to alghero then we fly out from Olbia. We want to stay in the beach and try the local food.

    You will be a great help. We will be there in september.

    Thank you,
    Kristine

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Kristine, thanks for your comment! To Reach Alghero from Cagliari by public transport is a bit tricky but not impossible, there are no direct trains but you can use GoEuro website which will show you the best routes and prices. I check it out and there is a solution for around 17 euros with 2 stops: 1 in Chilivani (where usually most of the trains on that route let the passengers out the train/buses to catch the 2 train to Sassari and from there finally the last leg from Sassari to Alghero).
      From Alghero there are local buses mainly managed by Sardabus to reach the main places nearby like the beautiful spiaggia la Pelosa in Stintino. Unfortunately the website is really basic (and not translated in English) but you can ask your hotel and they surely will help you in finding the bus stop. You won’t need to book in advance and you’ll pay the driver when getting on the bus.

      To get from Alghero to Olbia airport, you should use the bus company “Sunlines”.

      As you can see, it is possible to move around but you need to know how and in Sardinia we are not exactly super organized when it comes to public transports that’s why I almost always suggest to rent a car whenever possible to avoid any additional stress.

      I hope this will help you!
      Cheers

      Clelia

  3. Hi Clelia!
    I will be visiting Sardinia at the beginning of July, and my friend and I will be flying into Cagliari airport. We would like to visit San Tedoro and the beaches around there but we’ve realised as we don’t have a car it might be difficult to get to the other side of the island. Do you know if there is public transport/a train to and from Cagliari airport to San Tedoro/Olbia? Also – would you recommend any places to stay that are close to beaches, and also close to nightlife?
    Thank you so much – I love your blog, it’s so helpful!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Michaela!
      Well, when I was younger (sigh!! ahahah) I had the same “issue”: No car and I so wanted to go to San Teodoro! So the good news is that there are direct connections from Cagliari to San Teodoro by Bus (It takes around 3 hrs if I remember correctly but it wasn’t that bad, very relaxing trip and I remember looking outside the window was super nice).
      From San Teodoro to Olbia is super easy as well, they are very close and well served by public transport so you shouldn’t have any issue.
      As for the accommodation, it depends on your budget really! If you are young and adventurous your best shot is Camping at la Cinta, exactly what me and my friends did, and this way you will also find it super easy to make friends who perhaps have a car or want to rent one and they will bring you to the other beaches.

      For the night life, I remember it wasn’t difficult to get to the center by foot and in there you will find anything you need. Now every year they open a new fancy club so I can’t give you the names, but I’m 100% sure you will find plenty of places to choose from!
      If you have a higher budget you could rent a small house in there but given that we are already at the end of May, it might be difficult to find good deals near to the beach or in the center. Usually people start booking for Sardinia in january! But you can always try. I put some links on my Sardinian articles for san Teodoro, have a look in there and maybe you will still find something but hurry up!

      Have fun!!
      Cheers
      Clelia

  4. Hi there, thanks for such a helpful blog!

    I plan on visiting Sardinia in September with my boyfriend. Unfortunately neither of us have a drivers licence (only learners licence) and we are interested in your ITINERARY #1 – north east Sardinia. What is the best way to get around? is it do-able? Can we rent scooters in sardinia with a learners licence?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hey, Radhika, the scooter doesn’t need a license (not the basic models) and if I had to choose a way to move around, I’d go for the scooter rather than public transport, as you are not tied to timetables and places you just can’t reach.

      Obviously, from the airport to your accommodation point, you will have to rely on public transport but that’s usually not an issue as there are buses that connect the main touristic cities, but to move around and discover the scooter looks perfect for someone who doesn’t have the license but still know how to drive 😉

  5. Hi Clelia!
    I am currently studying abroad in Florence and a few friends and I will be taking a trip to San Teodoro the last weekend of April. We, unfortunately, won’t have a car, so I know that limits our options a bit. But I wanted to reach out to you to see what your favorite things to do in San Teodoro are/ask about any recommendations you may have. We are trying to do a canyoning trip one day, but that’s all we’ve really planned. We will be there for 3 nights and (as college students) are trying not to spend too much money. I’d really appreciate any advice or recommendations you might have.

    Thanks so much!!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hey Molly

      I really do hope you’ll be lucky with the weather as right now it was still quite cold (so my family told me) and it was pretty unusual, but by the end of the month you should have better chances to have more sunny and warm days! As for what to do, I’d say, given the short time you have in San Teodoro, firstly enjoy the beach all for yourself! It is an experience not many people who visit Sardinia have, trust me 🙂 If you can make it, rent a car or a scooter and visit Cala Brandinchi, another stunning beach nearby. Other than that, the night life in April won’t probably be super animated but San Teodoro has some very nice cocktail bars and restaurants where you can relax and eat typical Sardinian dishes!

      Hope it helps!
      Have a fabulous time 🙂
      Cheers
      Clelia

  6. Hi Clelia,

    We are a couple, looking to explore Sardinia as much as possible without a car for around 10 days. We cannot drive, but I have driven a scooter a couple of times whilst travelling! I wanted to ask how is scooter hire in the larger towns of sardinia, we wouldn’t be able to travel from city to city with one because of our luggage, but one would be good for a few days to explore costa smerelda or golfo di orsei. So we were thinking of hiring as we went along. I understand public transport from city to city is fairly doable, it’s just exploring the smaller parts where the trouble lies. Also would you recommend anywhere where there is a small town for a good base, that has some beautiful beaches and coves that are can be covered on push bikes? We are open to all suggestions!

    Where would you recommend for 10 days, flights are all very flexible and cheap from London, so we can fly in and out of any airport really. Should we stay north and east for best beaches, or is the south east and west of cagliari just as beautiful?

    This blog is fantastic by the way, thank you so much!!

    Cheers,
    Amy

    1. Post
      Author

      Hey Amy, Thanks for stopping by! Regarding your question, if you can’t drive I’d say that renting a scooter is your best option indeed. Biking is also great but not as much as the scooter as you can only use it within the villages unless you are trained or willing to bike for kilometers! For the suggestion on the location, ah well, it’s always the most difficult one as each part of Sardinia is unique and beautiful. The east-northern part probably has a bit more to offer in terms of wild nature and culture other than fabulous beaches.

      The south is more about long sand beaches and beautiful sea (with the exception of Tuerredda near Chia and Punta Molentis near Villasimius where there is a bit of a scenic route). The north east coast is a mix of mountains, rocks, cliffs and beautiful coves, but the best ones can only be reached by boat or hiking a bit, so as you can see it really depends on what you are expecting to do on vacation (more relaxing on the beach or more active?).

      My family is from South Sardinia so I know the area super well and I love it, but somehow my personal preference goes to the east coast, maybe because I am super used to the beaches near my town and I like the change of scenery.

      If you decide to go to the north east, I recommend as a base either Cala Gonone, which is a bit touristy but at least you don’t have to use the scooter all the time to go out for drinks and meals. If you like to stay in a more traditional village, Dorgali or Orosei are also good options but they are not directly on the sea so, without a car it might not be ideal.

      For the South I’d recommend Villasimius as a base, nice village and great beaches and coves nearby easy to reach by scooter!
      Hope this helps! have a fantastic time in Sardinia 🙂

      1. Thanks much for you long reply, all super useful to us! 🙂

        One last question – how easy is it rent a scooter in Sardinia? Or a quad/ATV, do most towns have places that you can hire from, is it difficult or expensive process? Lots of questions really, not just one – Sorry!

        Thanks again,
        Amy

        1. Post
          Author

          Hey Amy, as for when renting a car, the process is pretty easy. And since you will be landing at the airport (near big cities like Cagliari, Olbia or Alghero), you can either check out what they have available at the airport or in the city. Plenty of options. Expensive? not that much, but they usually request a deposit up front of course, the renting itself is not expensive especially if you share the costs.

          Have a great Holiday 🙂
          Clelia

  7. Hello

    Im.going next september to sardinia-olbia but without a car. If possible visite good beaches without a car at la maddalena? Thanks

    Kamila

    1. Post
      Author

      Hey Kamila, La Maddalena is a small island so it is not super difficult to get around, but the best beaches are not at La Maddalena (at least not the jaw-dropping beaches). But if you are based in there, depending how many days you stay, you will be able to still enjoy them by taking a boat trip to the Arcipelago. That boat trip is my second favorite of the Island and is a must if you are at La Maddalena.Alternatively, without a car it is also easier to explore the San Teodoro Area because of its proximity to the airport and good public/bus transport. There are not many options to see amazing beaches without the car but you can still enjoy the ones reachable by bus.

      Also, When I was still a student and no car, I remember camping in the Cannigione Area near the Costa Smeralda and I was able to get around by bus and see Porto Cervo, San Teodoro, take the boat trip to the Arcipelago Della Maddalena and some small beaches nearby Cannigione and Arzachena. That area is well covered by bus (much better than other areas in Sardinia) so it is a good choice!

  8. Hi Clelia, My husband and I will be camping in Alghero in September. We are a mature couple with a car but don’t wish to be driving too much and would prefer using public trasport. What are your suggestions?

    Kind Regards

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Gladys,

      It really depends on what you want to do..I guess the camping is on the beach, right? it depends on where it is located. Alghero has a few public buses that will take you to the nearby villages and to La Pelosa beach in Stintino but I would still recommend renting a car for at least one or 2 days. It would be such a pity to miss out on great places that are not covered by public transport!

  9. Hi Clelia!
    Thanks for the many tips you’re giving in your blog, it’s amazing! I’m traveling alone to Sardinia the second week of September for 5 days and I’m thinking about staying in the east part, exactly in Cala Gonone, cause I’m really interested in hiking (maybe going to Gola di Gorropu), climbing and visiting the beaches like Cala Mariolu or Cala Goloritze. I figure i’d have to fly to the Olbia airport. The thing is I don’t think I’m gonna rent a car but I read that transportation is hard, how difficult would it be to go from the airport to the cala gonone area, get around the area to the places I want to go without a car?? And are there cheap nice places I could stay there?? I’d really appreciate it if you could help me. Thank you so much!
    Kind regards,

    Carolina

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Carolina, I just replied to a very similar message (same area, same issue of not wanting to rent the car) 🙂
      What I say is that it’s difficult to move around without the car. Yes, there is the boat trip you can join and the day excursions to Su Gorropu, but to really enjoy the beauty of the area in full, you’d need the car. It’s such a shame that in Sardinia the public transport is pretty bad. Yes we have some buses but they usually go from one village to the other and they don’t stop near the best touristic places or beaches. From Obia airport to Cala Gonone you shouldn’t have a problem, the real issue starts when you are in Cala Gonone, as your options are a bit limited, but having only 5 days, one or 2 days are spent on the boat (that is a must!) and other 2 days paying for a day trip to hike and discover the wilderness around.

      It can be done, but surely renting your own car definitely gives you a lot more of flexibility.

      I hope you’ll have a great time in Sardinia!
      Cheers
      Clelia

      1. Thanks a lot for your help Clelia! It definetely will help me planning my trip!! 🙂

        If it’s not too much trouble, do you have recommendations of which places those 2 days on the boat should include? or the information of some agency o group you could recommend? Again thank you so much for your help!

        cheers,

        Carolina

  10. Hi celia,
    would you please advise how to get from Villasimius to San Teodoro by public transport?
    and where to stay next to San Teodoro, to be able to get to Cagliari by public transport as well.
    I wanted to rent a car, but i heard the roads are narrow and the rental companies are scam, charging you extra fee.
    So i decided to go with the public transport.
    I am going next week 3rd, having the hotel booked at Villasimius, San Teodoro, and Palau (but now i am hesitating about Palau, since it is further away without the car). So i need to get to the destinations by public transport, and get to Cagliari. I checked ARST everything is in Italian, I dont speak…:(
    i need to know schedule and where I can get relatively easy…

  11. Clelia, hi. We’re visiting Sardegna for our honeymoon from 26 of July to 6th of August. I see that its tricky to visit island without rental car, but we don’t plan to move much. Does Blabla car or similar services active on island? Is it hard for example to catch a ride from Olbia to Alghero?

    Thanks and yes, this article is VERY desirable, keep working! 🙂

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Fedor, I am not aware of a wild use of bla bla car in Sardinia unfortunately, you could only rent a cheap car for a few days (with less than 100$ you could have it for a couple of days if you wish to explore a little bit). Alternatively you could choose an area that is served by public transport but there are not many places where it is truly reliable…

  12. Clelia,

    My wife has long held a romantic interest in Sardinia. we will be in the area in mid September this year. I would prefer to not rent a car, to fly or ferry in and then be a short distance to one of the remote or less populated beaches which would hopefully be attached to a small but friendly village / community including one or two nice places to eat and a bar with music. 🙂

    maybe just a two or three day drop in, chill out and kick back time.

    what would be your choice? there are so many choices …. too many choices. i’d like to get it right on the one time visit.

    Grazzi

    Jim

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Jim

      I need to write this guide asap as there are quite a few people that would like to visit Sardinia without renting a car 🙂
      As for your question, I can already tell you that not having a car limits the choices to the place you can discover as, unfortunately,the public transport in Sardinia is not that great (especially if you want to visit the most remote village in Sardinia, in that case you definitely would need a car).

      For those who don’t have a car, I always recommend the places that are easily reachable by bus and they are Villasimius/Costa Rei (from Cagliari airport or ferry boat), San Teodoro, Santa Teresa di Gallura (from Olbia Airport) and Alghero/Stintino (from Alghero Airport or Porto Torres if you are arriving by ferry).

      Being the easiest one to reach they are not remote and the beach tend to be more crowded than the rest (but if you go in mid september as you mentioned, you might be able to enjoy these places when they are less crowded).

      If you are looking for places to eat, nice beaches and a bar with music then San Teodoro might be the right choice for you, also because is the easiest to reach from Olbia airport, very near and well connected and the buses going to other locations around are more frequent that in other areas. This is what I would do (and what I did more than once actually!) when I still didn’t have a car.

      Hope it helps!
      Cheers
      Clelia

      Sardinia is a bad beast when it comes to visit without a car!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Tena, sorry I’m just catching up with all the comments right now (I have way too many) and the guide will be ready soon!

  13. Hi! I have a question for you. Are there any guiding persons who are willing to use their personal cars to take us to the places we want to visit? We want to visit so many things and by bus it’s tough and takes a lot of time. And I was thinking that maybe there are some persons who have a car and are willing to take us for a smaller price than we would pay for renting a car or by going everywhere by bus.

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Alina

      I guess I’m too late for you, sorry! I’ll still reply to the comment in case other people have a similar question. In Sardinia is not very easy to have someone that will take you around by car, the best way is either go with a tour or rent your own car for now. All I can say is that people can try and ask the locals while they are there, maybe they are willing to take you to the places you want to visit for a small fee if they are going too… but personally I’ve never seen this happening.

  14. W are a family who are visiting Sardinia for the first time in June/July and want to bike around and find the best beaches, restaurants and Bed & breakfast that we can find. Can you help us?
    Kind Regards
    Charlotte

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Charlotte! Regarding the biking part, actually my brother is quite an expert but I can’t reach him at the moment so you can check out this website which is specialized in visiting Sardinia by bike, the best itineraries etc
      For the accommodation you can either have a look at my top 10 Sardinia Beaches post, where I suggest some good B&B’s around Sardinia, or my new guide, which was initially addressed to couples but it is now a massive post with so many info on beaches, things to see etc. You can combine the bike tours and my guides to create your perfect itinerary! 🙂

      Cheers
      Clelia

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