Map of Sardinia
ARST has a vast and regular bus service in Sardinia, connecting almost every town and village on the island. Services are more frequent during school time. www.arst.sardegna.it
The Italian State Railway (FS Ferrovie dello Stato) links Cagliari with Olbia, Sassari, Oristano, Porto Torres. www.trenitalia.com
Subsidiary lines run from Cagliari to Carbonia and from Nuoro to Bosa. Narrow gauge railways (trenino verde) link Cagliari (Mandas) to Aritzo and to Arbatax. www.treninoverde.com
Sardinia’s road network is extensive and in generally good condition. The main artery road on the island is the “Carlo Felice” or SS131, that links Cagliari with Olbia (about 4 hours) and Cagliari to Sassari (about 3.5 hours) by dual carriageway.
Approx driving times:
Hiring a car is the best way to get out and about, giving you freedom to explore the island at your leisure. See our Car Hire page.
Domestic ferries ply out of several ports to nearby islands. There are services from Palau to the islands of La Maddalena, from Santa Teresa di Gallura to Bonifacio in Corsica, between Porto Vesme and Carloforte and from Calasetta to Carloforte. www.traghetti.com and www.saremar.it
Culture & Festivals
Sards are generally very devout people who follow the Roman Catholic religion. Their sense of tradition is strong and passionate, which is reflected in the number of festivals and events the island hosts throughout the year. These festivals are often of religious nature with colourful processions dating back centuries, ranging from celebrating harvest to displaying bravery during horseback races, or barefoot race competitions. Sardinia hosts around 1000 festivals and events across the island. For further information www.sardegnaturismo.it/en
Sards’ speak Italian, although the Sardinian language “il sardo” is widely spoken throughout the island, with great variation from area to area and town to town. Latin in origin “il sardo” has Spanish, Arabic and Catalan influences, reflecting the past domination.
A paradise found, Sardinia’s beautiful coastline, with its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, offers some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean. The diversity of the coastline is varied, with large expanses of sand dunes in the west like Costa Verde, the marvellous sand dunes and beaches of Chia and Simius in the south, the dramatic limestone cliffs and secluded coves of the east at Cala Gonone and the white sandy beaches and emerald- coloured seas of the small bays that make up the north east. Not to be missed is “la Spiaggia Rosa” (the rose-tinted beach at Budelli in the La Madallena archipelago), Cala Luna and Cala Sisine in the Gulf of Orosei, Cala Pira and Cala Giunco in Villasimius, Tuaredda and Cala Cipolla in the Chia area, the unique white quartz beach of Mari Ermi and the untouched beaches of the isle of Mal di Ventre off the Sinis peninsula.
Food & Wine
Sardinian cuisine is traditional, local and delicious: the food varying from area to area with Spanish and Arab influences in some areas. Roast suckling pig, and grilled or spit roasted meat are firm favourites in mountain areas, whilst on the coast, a variety of excellent seafood dishes such as octopus, lobster and clam soup are always on the menu. The local produce is rich and tasty in itself, so flavours are simple, intense and natural, with few rich sauces and spices.
The local Sardinian wines are of good quality and reasonably priced too. Popular white wines include Vermentino and Nuragus, whilst lovers of red wine will appreciate Cannonau and Monica. No meal would be complete without Mirto, Sardinia’s after dinner liqueur, which is made from the leaves of the myrtle plant. For local beer try “Ichnusa” light and lager-like.
Shopping & currency
Shops in Sardinia generally open from 0830 to 1300 and from 1600 till 2000. Shops and supermarkets are normally closed on Sundays, although they now often open on Sunday mornings according to demand. Local arts and craft are on sale in towns and hotels and include gold and coral jewellery, basketry, ceramics and textiles. Other specialities are pecorino cheese, local honey, wines, salted mullet roe and torrone.
The Euro is the currency in Sardinia. Credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted.
Entertainment & nightlife
Main towns such as Cagliari, Olbia, Oristano and Sassari have a number of lively places for late night drinking and dancing, as well as trattorias, restaurants and cafes. During summer time, large beach resorts and hotels organise entertainments for guests and some have their own discos. Some areas in the island are more popular than others for nightlife, especially during the peak summer months, when the jet-set converge on the fashionable resorts such as Porto Cervo or Porto Rotondo, with their famous discotheques such as The Billionaire, Sopravento, Pepero or Il Ritual at Baja Sardinia.