Do you want to get around Sardinia by Car?

Thanks for stopping by! I’m working (very hard) on the Sardinia section, and this page will be completed soon. For now, I’m working on the Sardinia Maps to show you how to get to the main attractions, beaches, and cities, and I will fill out all the details you need to discover Sardinia by renting a car or getting your own by ferry.

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In this article, I will talk about:

TYPE INFO HERE

I will explain how to get from the airports to the main attractions in Sardinia by dividing the island into areas:

NORTH SARDINIA
SOUTH SARDINIA
EAST COAST
WEST COAST

For each area, I will describe what to see by car and how to get there (creating dedicated maps), starting from the northern locations on the map to the southeast. I will also group the attractions that are close to one another.

This way, you can create your itinerary (or road trip in Sardinia) realistically, considering the time to get by car from one place to the other and what you can do as a day trip (or not) from the main cities or areas around them where you’ll decide to book your accommodation.


NORTHERN SARDINIA BY CAR


Intro about Northern Sardinia:

which airport is more convenient depending if you will start visiting the north east or north West), which roads are the more used for the area, if there are any particular challenges regarding the roads, parking spaces, scenic routes, etc.

Interesting places to visit by car and how to get there

– Alghero
– Porto Conte Natural Park for incredible views
– Nettuno Grotto
– Asinara Island
– Stintino and La Pelosa Beach

– Isola Rossa
– Costa Paradiso
– Monti Russu Beach

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-Costa Smeralda

-Santa Teresa di Gallura
– Capo Testa (Valle della luna )

-Arcipelago della Maddalena
– Valle dell’Erica (la Liccia Beach + Famous Resort)


SOUTHERN SARDINIA BY CAR

SARDINIA-MAP-HOW-TO-GET-FROM-CAGLIARI-TO-ALGHERO-AND-OLBIA-AIRPORT

Intro about Southern Sardinia:

which airport is more convenient (Cagliari), which roads are the more used for the area, if there are any particular challenges regarding the roads, parking spaces, scenic routes, etc.

Interesting places to visit by car and how to get there

– Cagliari
– Monte Arcosu

– Villasimius
– Costa Rei

– Nora
– Chia
– Tuerredda

– Piscinas
– Nebida /Masua
– Porto Flavia
– Cala Domestica

– Gesturi
– Carloforte

-Nuraghe di Barumini

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EASTERN SARDINIA COAST BY CAR


Intro about Eastern Sardinia:

which airport is more convenient (Olbia), which roads are the more used for the area, if there are any particular challenges regarding the roads, parking spaces, scenic routes, etc.

Interesting places to visit by car and how to get there

– San Teodoro
– Budoni

– Golfo di Orosei
– Cala Goloritzè
– Baunei

– Su Gorropu
– Orgosolo
– Mamoiada


WESTERN SARDINIA COAST BY CAR


Intro about Western Sardinia:

which airport is more convenient (Cagliari or Alghero), which roads are the more used for the area, if there are any particular challenges regarding the roads, parking spaces, scenic routes, etc.

Interesting places to visit by car and how to get there

– Bosa Marina
– Oristano

– Is Arutas
– Tharros
– Cabras
– Santa Caterina
– San Giovanni di Sinis


DISCOVER MORE ABOUT SARDINIA!

Comments

  1. Hi Clelia,
    My husband and I are planning a week trip to Sardinia in early September. We land in Cagliari and rent a car. We thought of spending half a week in the north and half a week in the south (staying in two hotels). We love nature and beautiful beaches.
    In the north I planned a route from Bossa to Porto Cervo (via: Alghero, Stintino, Castelsardo, Palau..) and in the south from Orosei to the island of Sant’Antioco.
    Do you think it is right to do so? Do you have another recommendation? And do you have a recommendation for 2 good hotels in these areas?
    Thank you,
    Orit, Israel

    1. Author

      Hi! I’m so glad to hear you want to spend time in my beautiful Sardinia this summer, and early september is also a great time to do so. Right now, we are enjoying full days of sun, beautiful to enjoy the beaches and nature!

      Ok for your Itinerary, one week is truly not much at all to do 2 areas and on top of it change the side of the island (Your itinerary, including even S. Antioco is a tour the force :(, sorry to give you bad news but you can still see a lot!).

      We have terrible connections from one coast to the other, now a bit better but you will be looking to spend at least 2 full days travelling… So you would have 1/ max 2 and a half day in each place if you are lucky, not ideal.

      If you want to reduce the time in your car and truly see Sardinia, I HIGHLY suggest to chose one, max two areas in the same side of the coast or not more than 2 hours away (MAX) from each other, in smooth roads. Yes you will have to cut on what you will see but we are always here to welcome you for your second visit! 🙂

      Example 1): I would either rent a place directly in Cagliari (which also has a lovely town beach at hand) and do like the locals: go to one beach per day and enjoy the city at night.

      One day you can visit Chia or Tuerredda beach and one day Villasimius, for example.Totally doable as we depart at around 7:30/8am and stay until… whenever! Sometimes if we can find a good parking space we can stay until the sun goes down. This way you won’t have to change hotels and all and are more free to change your mind (so many beautiful beaches and places to visit in South Sardinia! I even got married on the beach at Cala Domestica and it was amazing for my husband’s side of the family as they are German and used the wedding to stay more 🙂

      A great and convenient Hotel in Cagliari, car park available, city center to stroll around or even take the bus to the stunning city beach Poetto is Palazzo Tirso, and the lovely B&B Caral!

      Example 2: First stop in either west coast or east coast (I have a slight preference for the east Coast for the diversity of the landscape but is so difficult to decide, really!) I would go straight from Cagliari to Porto Cervo. Not sure if you have to depart from Olbia? Otherwise you can start doing the opposite route. Stay in one of the most amazing hotels there… Depending on your budget, as it is VERY expensive, you can splurge or be a bit frugal booking in Arzachena or Cannigione, but the experience of course is not the same. The beaches there are incredible to say the least. Last year we went to Costa Smeralda and checked out many beaches, just go as early as possible, even in September as the lines for the parking space are insane otherwise (not to mention a place on the beach). Unless you choose a hotel with private beach, well in that case I envy you! 🙂
      The best Hotels there are also listed in one of my articles about the Best Costa Smeralda best beaches and hotels (I still need to add more beaches because for each one I have added a lot of details included a “home made map”, and hotel recommendations.

      From there you can reach many beaches in the North and then (if you are leaving from Cagliari again) go south and see San Teodoro and don’t miss The Golfo di Orosei boat trip! That way you will see all the most amazing beaches in one day!

      If you are leaving from Olbia then I would simply turn the Itinerary around starting from a quick stop in Villasimius, arriving at Golfo di Orosei (maybe Santa Maria Navarrese so you can take the boat super easily in the morning) and then finish in Porto Cervo and reach Olbia Airport!).

      Hope that helped! Have a fantastic time in Sardinia!

    1. Author

      That’s actually great because depending on where you go it’s not super easy! Where did you go? Did you find it easy to move around? I’d love to have your input on this.
      Thanks!

  2. Hello Clelia,
    Im travelling with all my family (6 of us) in June , we are going from Peru, so there is not many information around here about travelling around Sardinia. We are flying to Olbia´s airport on June 30th arriving around 3 pm and we stay there until July 1st. We just want to have a week full of beach, relax and drinks around the isle. Can you recommend wich itinerary will be best for us considering this? Also good hotels front beach.

    Thanks a lot!!

    1. Author

      Hey Marisela, did you check out my other article with the itineraries? that might hep you out deciding where to go and what to see in Sardinia, if not.. read it and let me know what you think!

    2. Author

      Hey Marisela!Did you check my other article “Sardinia in one week”? there are 9 itineraries for different areas and since you are flying to Olbia, I’d recommend to check out the north east itinerary or the east itinerary, they are the best options for you! In there I also recommend the best hotels near the beaches 🙂

      I hope it helps
      Cheers

      Clelia

  3. Hi,
    We are spending 4 days in Cala ganone, we are staying in hotel villa gustui Maris.

    Please me know how to move around without a car.

    Thanks,

    1. Author

      Hi, unfortunately, Cala Gonone is not exactly the best place to go without a car! There are a few public buses that go to the nearby villages and you can also ask your hotel receptionist to see where to wait for the bus in the nearby streets. I never recommend Cala Gonone or the whole Golfo di orosei area if people are not able to rent a car or at least a scooter.

      Hope it helps!
      Clelia

  4. Hi Clelia,

    My wife and I are traveling to Sardinia in August (yes, I know: worst time, but that’s when we could do it.) We only have Sunday-Friday, and we land in Cagliari Friday night. I was thinking of driving up to Oristano, then across to the Orosei area, and then down again to Cagliari and fly home Friday around noon. Does that sound too ambitious to you? Would you focus on a smaller area?

    What we’re hoping to get out of the trip is: a) great beaches and vistas, b) quaint, beautiful villages, and c) nice food and relaxation.

    Thank you so much for your help and your great blog!

    /Jakob

    1. Author

      Hi Jakob

      In one week, the itinerary you propose is way too much unfortunately. I totally get that you’d love to see different areas as they are all beautiful, but Sardinia is bigger than many people think and driving to Oristano might be OK but going to Orosei and back to Cagliari is quite stressful if you want to have an enjoyable vacation. Not to mention that the beaches around Cagliari are also very beautiful and I’d take my time to explore at least 2 of them (day trips by car).

      What I would do is have a base in Cagliari and drive to 1) Chia Su Giudeu beach 2) Tuerredda (ok, not ideal in August and the parking fees are crazy, if you can find some space left to park your car at 9:30/10:00 you are very lucky!) but to me that beach is one of the best in Sardinia. Then you can explore the Nora ruins, which are closer to Cagliari on your way to the other 2 beaches, visit Cagliari, which has a lovely historical center with very nice views as it’s on top of a hill and then drive towards Oristano, where you can visit Cabras, a small village with nice Sardinian murales, and enjoy the beaches of San Giovanni di Sinis and is Aruttas beach.

      The drive from Cagliari to Oristano is much smoother and faster than the one to go to Orosei, and having just 1 week it’s the safest bet. Obviously, Orosei still remain my favorite spot but you either go there from Cagliari and stay there for the whole week, exploring the area, or you stay near Cagliari and Oristano.

      Tough choice but I honestly wouldn’t recommend your itinerary unless you have 2 weeks available. I hope it helps!
      Have a great time in Sardinia

      Cheers
      Clelia

  5. Hi Clelia. Your blog has inspired us to come to Sardinia on holiday, unfortunately due to work restrictions we have to travel during the peak season (August). We are looking to spend our first 4 nights in Cala Gonone and the last 3 up near Palau, we will hire a car to travel between the 2 areas, and also to explore during our week on the island.
    Please can you advise any must-see beaches which are less likely up be absolutely rammed in peak season, we would particularly like to try snorkelling.
    Thank you

    1. Author

      Hi Elisa, sorry I completely missed this! And… this is a very tricky question as in August is basically impossible to find a great beach that is not packed (especially in the areas you are choosing). But you have the opportunity to take the boat trips in Cala Gonone and Palau, and that in itself is already a great thing!
      As for the beaches… I can’t really think of one that is not super crowded. I once went to Cala Sisine not by boat but by car and since you have to walk for a bit, the beach (being bigger than most of the others in the area) seemed to be less crowded, but this is really all I can think of.

      I always say that August is the “worst” time for Sardinia, but if you can put up with people and wake up early to find your spot on the beach is not that bad. I usually spend most of my time snorkeling or swimming anyway so I don’t mind if the beach is crowded!

  6. I’m travelling to cagliari at the end of September and looking to rent a car for a couple of days, I’m wondering where is cheapest and best, I don’t want it straight away and wondered if travelling from the city centre back to the airport is to much hassle? Any feedback would be great thanks

    1. Author

      Hey Mark, unfortunately as I already stated in a few other comments I can’t say I have a car rental I can recommend 100%. Being Sardinian I always had a car available and I didn’t need to rent one. I am now in the process of trying out a few so that I will have a first hand experience on renting a car in Sardinia and will be hopefully able to recommend a particular company! My suggestion is to go with the well-known ones. As per your transfer to and from the airports, for Cagliari it’s quite easy as there are cheap trains and buses. Alghero and Olbia also have a bus service and they are usually rather convenient. Unless you have more than 1-2 suitcases you should be fine!

  7. Ciao! Ti scrivo dalla Slovenia. Prego cortesamente di aiutarmi. Io con i miei amici saremmo in Sardegna nella terza settimana di ottobre. Dal 14-16 ottobre dovremmo eserci per tre giorni fissi in Olbia per lavoro. Per il resto vorremo passare ancora tre/quatro giorni prima o dopo a visitare Sardegna. Pensavamo di prendere un rent a car. Possiamo combinare il volo per Cagliari o Alghero. Cosa consigli di visitarci? Ci piace buon cibo, vedere qualcosa di interessante, se e possibile (per via della stagione/ottobre) farci un bel bagno in mare sardo. Dove pernottare? Siamo 2 coppie. Grazie e scusami per l’italiano:) Mojca

    1. Author

      Ciao Mojca,

      Ho solo ora visto il tuo messaggio, e visto che devi visitare la Sardegna ad Ottobre sono ancora in tempo a darti qualche suggerimento!

      Per quanto riguarda farsi il bagno, diciamo che a meta’ ottobre devi proprio essere abbastanza fortunata per trovare ancora l’acqua ad una temperatura accettabile. ma magari arrivando dalla slovenia sei abituata a temperature piu rigide e per te non e’ nemmeno troppo fredda, quindi direi, porta il costume, non si sa mai! 🙂

      Per il resto io ti direi cisto che sei in bassa stagione, di visitare la zona del Golfo di orosei che non e’ super distante da olbia se affitti la macchina e offre tutto cio’ che di bello ha la Sardegna, buon cibo, panorami bellissimi lungo la costa rocciosa e un bel mare che anche se magari potrebbe essere troppo freddo per un bagno, se la giornata e’ soleggiata e’ comunque spettacolare da visitare!

      Ti consiglio i paesini di Dorgali, Orosei, Baunei e Cala Gonone. Per pernottare hai diverse opzioni, per stare piu vicini al mare, Orosei, Dorgali e Cala gonone, altrimenti se ti interessa anche l’entroterra e le tradizioni e atmosfere sarde, Baunei va anche bene, e ha il vantaggio di essere comunque non distante dal mare, dove potete provare a fare trekking per arrivare a Cala Goloritze che visto il periodo dell’anno sara’ completamente deserta e se la giornata e’ buona ti sembrera’ di essere in paradiso!

      Spero di esserti stata di aiuto!
      Clelia

  8. Ciao! Dal 21 al 27 Giugno io e il mio compagno verremo in Sardegna, arrivo a P.Torres e partenza da Olbia. Abbiamo l’auto e quindi possiamo spostarci, ma nonostante l’imbarazzo della scelta e la voglia di vedere quanti più posti possibili, vorremmo evitare di farci una vacanza “in macchina”.
    Premesso che vorremmo passare mesi in ogni singola caletta, abbiamo bisogno di relax, buon cibo e bel mare dove fare snoorkeling. Dove ci consigli di fare tappa? Due o tre notti a Stintino? E le altre? Grazie in anticipo e complimenti per il sito! Francesca

    1. Author

      Ciao Francesca!
      Grazie per i complimenti, dopo tutta la fatica che ci sto mettendo a mettere su le guide fanno sempre piacere 🙂
      Per quanto riguarda il tuo itinerario io direi di fermarti in Zona Alghero e Stintino per max 2 notti e poi farti o la parte della Costa Smeralda (Le spiagge sono bellissime e non devi necessariamente spendere una fortuna se stai a Cannigione o Arzachena).

      Oppure se vuoi il top del top della Sardegna, io consiglio sempre di visitare il golfo di Orosei! Sto finendo una guida enorme sui posti migliori per le coppie che si sta trasformando in una guida super dettagliata dei posti da vedere un po per tutti alla fine!

      La dovrei finire per domani, includendo anche gli alberghi consigliati e tutte le informazioni poassibili e immaginabili sulle spiagge, posti dove mangiare, prezzi delle gite in barca etc. La puoi trovare qui, ancora mi manca l’ultima parte per Cala Gonone e tutto Alghero ma ci siamo quasi! 🙂

      Ti consiglio di leggerti quella e se hai ancora bisogno di info, in un paio di giorni dovrebbe esserci tutto, quindi segnatela perche’ sto cercando di metterci davvero tutto!

      Riassumendo io direi 2 giorni Stintino/Alghero e il resto Golfo di Orosei (e’ il mio debole se non si fosse capito, le spiagge sono tutte da sogno!), non sono sempre super facili da raggiungere Ok, pero’ ne vale assolutamente la pena credimi! gia’ solo la gita in barca e’ da togliere il fiato!

      Clelia

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