If you’re planning a vacation to the island of Sardinia, then it’s very probable that you will be flying to the island.
It’s located off the west coast of Italy and south of France and is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily.
As Sardinia is more easily accessible by plane than by boat, especially if you’re traveling internationally, many people fly to the island every year.
Flying anywhere for the first time can be daunting and stressful so it’s best to do your research first.
The last thing you need when you’re trying to book your vacation is to travel to the wrong airport or have complicated transfers between the airport and your hotel.
That’s why we’ve written this guide to tell you everything you need to know about flying to Sardinia (if you’re looking to drive once you land, read our guide on renting cars in Sardinia).
We will look at the different airports on the island, their location to other cities, and which airport is best to travel to.
How Many Airports Does Sardinia Have?
Sardinia has three main airports that take international flights. We will take a look at each of these airports in turn.
Cagliari Elmas Airport (CAG)
Cagliari Elmas Airport is the main international airport on the island and is the one that handles the most international flights.
It’s also the largest airport in Sardinia and receives around five million travelers every year.
It has direct connections to many major cities around Europe and is served by many major airlines such as Air France, British Airways, KLM, and Lufthansa.
The airport is located on the southern coast of Sardinia near Cagliari city center. If you’re visiting Cagliari or other places in the south such as Carbonia, Pula, and Costa Rei, this is the best airport to aim for.
There are plenty of options when it comes to transportation to and from the airport.
The cheapest option is to take the bus and some buses run from the airport to the city center every half an hour.
The buses also connect to the train station and you can then catch a train to other parts of the island.
There are two bus stations at Cagliari Airport and these are located at the arrivals and departures lounges. Buses depart from the arrivals station from 8:40 am and continue until 11:30 pm.
At the departure lounge, they start at 5:20 am and finish at 10:30. Tickets are cheap and it will only cost you €0.67 to get to the city center. You need to buy your bus tickets before boarding.
If you have too much baggage for a bus or just fancy something more private, then there are other options available.
There is a taxi rank outside the terminal and these operate 24 hours a day. Each taxi has a meter although the prices can vary throughout the day. There are also several rental car agencies at the airport.
There is also a train station located at the airport. This can be a struggle if you have a lot of baggage as the platform for the Departure Terminal doesn’t have an elevator.
Cagliari Airport is a medium-sized airport so don’t expect the same number of facilities as you will find at the larger airports in Europe.
It’s still well-served, however, and you will find most of the facilities you would expect to see at an airport.
There are a variety of bars, restaurants, and snack bars scattered throughout the arrivals and departures terminals so you can get something to eat if you’re hungry.
The departures lounge on the first floor also has several stores selling items such as jewelry and souvenirs.
The airport has several ATMs and currency exchange kiosks for all of your money needs.
If you need assistance, there are first aid stations, help desks, and facilities for disabled travelers as well.
Although Cagliari Airport doesn’t have storage lockers for baggage, there is a storage office where you can leave your baggage while you wait for your flight.
Alghero-Fertilia Airport (AHO)
Alghero Airport is located around five miles north of Alghero and is on the west side of the island. It is the best airport for areas such as Porto Torres, Castelsardo, and Sassari.
It’s the smallest of the three airports that we’re introducing but it still serves several large European cities as well as other cities across mainland Italy.
You can easily reach Alghero city center by public transportation. The bus stops that serve the airport are found just outside the arrivals lounge.
Buses from the airport also go to Sassari, Olbia Airport, and Bosa, with seasonal buses also serving Stintino and Santa Teresa Gallura.
Some of the tickets can be purchased on board the bus but others need to be purchased from the ticket desk or a ticket machine so check before you travel.
Although there is no taxi rank at the airport, there is a 24-hour telephone switchboard that will put you in direct contact with the local taxi services.
There are also several rental car services available near the arrivals lounge.
There are a few restaurants and bars located in the airport so you can get some food or drink. There are also a handful of shops, including a pharmacy, if you require any last-minute items.
Alghero Airport has several ATMs and if you need assistance, there are help desks, first aid stations, and support available for disabled passengers.
The airport has WiFi and there are charging stations available for your electricals too.
Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB)
Olbia Airport is located on the northeast of the island and is your best choice for the more northern cities and sights such as Costa Smeralda, Budoni, Palau, and La Maddalena.
It is connected to several European cities and is the second largest of the three airports as around two million passengers use the airport every year.
Olbia Airport is well connected to Olbia town and the train station located there thanks to a frequent bus service.
Two bus services serve the airport and you will find buses running at least every 30 minutes from 7:30 am to 8 pm.
On weekends, the buses run a little later. There are also some long-distance buses that will take you to cities further afield in Sardinia.
There is also a taxi rank located just outside the arrivals lounge and several rental car services are available.
You will find a variety of restaurants, bars, and stores within the airport. The majority of them are located after you have passed through security, however, so keep this in mind.
Olbia Airport also has the expected services such as ATMs, currency exchange, information desks, first aid stations, baggage storage, and WiFi.
In this article, we looked at the three international airports and told you all you need to know about each one.
The best airport for you will depend on where in Sardinia you are heading to and which flights are available.
Cagliari Airport has the most routes and serves the most cities so it is likely you will travel to this airport.
We hope you found the information in this article helpful!