Sardinia is a beautiful, small island off the coast of Italy. It has plenty to offer to tourists, from beautiful, open countryside and vibrant cities to wild beaches.
Travelling by car in Sardinia is one of the easiest ways to explore but how can you get around the island without a car?
Just hop on a bus or train in Sardinia and travel between the main cities or small villages. Alternatively, you can also cycle or walk around.
Here are some of the reasons why you may not want to hire a car and the best options to travel around Sardinia.
Travel Around Sardinia By Bus
The best car alternative for travelling in Sardinia is public transport. There are coaches and buses available across the entire island. The different bus routes connect villages and towns.
You will find that ARST (Azienda Regionale Sarda Trasporti) is the most popular bus provider in Sardinia.
They also offer non-stop journeys across the length of Sardinia as well as local journeys. You can travel to Sassari, Nuoro, Olbia, Alhero, Cagliari and neighboring villages.
You will recognize the blue ARST buses immediately. They have a red stripe down the middle.
During the summer months, there are additional routes connecting the main towns to and from beaches.
Where Can I Get A Bus Ticket In Sardinia?
You can buy bus tickets at bus stations, tobacconists and newspaper kiosks. The best place to find a bus timetable is near a bus station or a bus stop.
While you can buy bus tickets on the bus in Sardinia, they are usually more expensive.
Travel Around Sardinia By Train
Another great way for tourists and explorers to travel in Sardinia is by train. The rail network connects all the main towns and cities.
The train lines are run by Trenitalia but the local routes are operated by ARST who also own the bus network.
While it can be difficult to get to a train station as they are often outside of towns, travelling by train is cheaper than by car.
Plus, there are also flexible routes and departure times that allow you to explore the North and South of Sardinia.
Where Can I Get A Train Ticket In Sardinia?
The best place to buy a train ticket in Sardinia is at the train station where you want to depart from.
Before you step on the train, make sure that you validate your ticket with a hole-punching machine. They are usually near the doors of the line platform.
If you forget to validate your ticket, you may end up with a fine.
Travel Around Sardinia By Boat
Sardinia is an island, so you can easily explore the coast by boat. Sardinia has a variety of marinas where you can moor your boat and even rent sailing boats.
The advantage of traveling by boat is that you can see Sardinia from a different side to many tourists.
Plus, you can also get to know the waters around Sardinia with its many reefs and different wildlife (if you need to know whether it’s safe to drink Sardinian tap water, read here).
If you want to explore Sardinia by boat, then it’s a good idea to hire a boat at the local marina. They will be able to advise on the best boating spots around the island.
Cycling In Sardinia
Another great way to see Sardinia is on a bicycle. Sardinia is a popular cycling spot with plenty of cycling tours.
The winding roads through the countryside and routes along the coastal paths are the ideal setting for a cycle adventure.
Cycling around Sardinia is a lot more relaxing than traveling by car, bus or train. Plus, it’s also more environmentally friendly.
You can either bring your own bicycle or choose a hire bike from one of the many bike hire companies across the island.
Walking In Sardinia
If you want to follow the slow, Italian pace of life, then Sardinia is perfect for hikers and walkers.
With the mild weather, you can walk around the island almost any time of the year. However, July and August are the two hottest months, so try any longer walks in spring or fall.
One of the biggest advantages of walking in Sardinia is that you can choose your route. Pick a trail that is lined with historical sites and momentous views.
There is also a great choice of different countryside that you can explore, from mountains and sea to hilly countryside.
You can even choose to discover the many historic towns and cities that Sardinia has to offer. Everything is easily accessible by foot.
Why You Don’t Want To Travel By Car In Sardinia
With so many different options to explore Sardinia, you don’t need a car to travel around the island.
Here are some convincing reasons why you don’t need a hire car in Sardinia, and instead use public transport or other ways to get around (if you do want to rent a car though, find more information here).
You Can Enjoy The Slow Pace Of Life
As you are in charge of your route, you can choose how fast or slow you move. With a car, we are often tempted to see as much as possible.
However, that often means that you cannot take all the beautiful views and sights in at your own pace.
You Can Experience More
Not every place on Sardinia is easily accessible with a car. The many windy roads are usually narrow and difficult to get up.
If you choose to walk or cycle in Sardinia, then you can see a lot more of the things you would otherwise miss with a car.
Traveling Without A Car Is More Energizing
Driving a car can be extremely tiring, and you don’t want to feel exhausted, especially if you are on vacation.
While you can stop frequently, driving still zaps your energy. On the other hand, getting around Sardinia on the bus or train means you don’t need to lift a finger.
You can just enjoy the views without the hassle of focusing on the road.
Traveling Without Car Is Cheaper
Car travel is surprisingly expensive. You need to spend money on a hire car, the petrol and car insurance.
This can be costly, especially if you are on the island for just a short weekend trip. You can get around Sardinia much cheaper on the train or bus.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Can I Stay In Sardinia Without A Car?
Olbia and Cagliari are the two best locations to stay if you don’t want to go around Sardinia in a car (see more about staying in Sardinia here).
Both are big cities that have easy access to a train station and port. Olbia and Cagliari even have their own airport.
Is Sardinia Easy To Get Around?
The fastest and hassle-free way of getting around Sardinia is driving. However, you can also use public transport, such as trains and buses to explore the island.
Is It Worth Hiring A Car In Sardinia?
Yes, it can be worth hiring a car in Sardinia, if you want to see everything that the island has to offer, from beaches to mountains.
The easiest way to get around Sardinia without a car is by public transport. Just hop on a bus or train and explore the big cities, small villages, beaches and Sardinia’s countryside.