Getting around Sardinia


Sardinia has an extensive network of bus routes, which are complemented by several rail lines.

However, smaller resorts are only served by buses a few times a day and some tourist destinations are not accessible by public transport at all. Therefore, when planning a holiday in S

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By car

If you're planning to explore the island, a car is the right choice for you. Cars are available for rent at all airports, but of course also in the main tourist centres.

The island has expressways that connect the biggest cities like Cagliari, Sassari, Oristano, Nuoro and Olbia. There are no tolls in Sardinia and no need for a vignette. Off the main routes, narrow and often very winding roads are to be expected. Only an experienced driver should drive.

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For detailed information on car hire and travelling by car in Sardinia, read our Sardinia car hire article.

Trains in Sardinia

Regular rail services in Sardinia are operated by two companies, they do not recognise each other's tickets and so it is always necessary to buy a new ticket even when changing trains.


The island's main line runs from the capital Cagliari to Ozieri-Chilivani, where it further splits into two lines.

One of them takes you to Olbia/Golfo Aranci and the other to Sassari and Porto Torres.

From Cagliari to Olbia you can buy a ticket at 18 eur and spend approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes on the way. The journey to Sassari will cost you a bit less, the ticket costs 16,50 eur and the journey takes 3 hours. Then from Olbia to Sassari you pay 8,10 eur.

The other two Trenitalia lines run from Cagliari to the inland towns of Carbonia and Iglesias, but they are not very usable for tourists.

You can check timetables and prices online at Trenitalia's website, there is no need to buy tickets online, and for regional services the price is the same at the station.


The other three lines are operated by ARST, where you can only buy tickets at the station or from the conductor. An alternative purchasing option is the Tabnet mobile app (Google Play / App Store).

The most important ARST line is the one from Alghero to Sassari, which continues to Sorso, or from Macomer (connecting to the backbone line and Trenitalia services) to Nuora.

Timetables for these lines can be found on the website.

Trenino Verde

During the summer holidays, consider taking a ride on the Trenino Verde tourist train, which runs on the beautiful lines between the coast and the interior, which are no longer used by regular trains. The mid-20th century motorised carriages will take you on a slow, loving ride through beautiful places, giving you a great experience.

The Trenino Verde runs every summer on 5 different routes, 1-2 times every 14 days. Prices for one-way tickets range from 12 eur to 17 eur.

For more info visit the official website

Buses in Sardinia

Buses are the main form of transport if you want to get around the coast and to the major tourist attractions.

The network is quite dense, however, you have to take into account the limited frequency of connections.

Most of the larger towns are served at least 5-8 times a day, however smaller resorts may only have 3 services a day. It should also be borne in mind that in rural areas there may not be a bus stop signposted at all and when there is, there is no information on the post.

They know the location of all bus stops for urban and intercity buses very well, which will greatly help in orientation.

There are several bus companies operating in Sardinia.

Regional services throughout Sardinia

The main public network is catered for by ARST buses, which run regional routes from the major cities up to a distance of about 100-120 km. You will encounter them all over the island.

Transport is very cheap, with a ticket for intercity connections coming out at around 1 eur for every 15 km.

ARST also operates public transport in Cagliari and Alghero, where one 90-minute ticket costs 1,30 eur and one 120-minute ticket combined with a tram then 2 eur.

Where to buy tickets

Buying paper tickets is more complicated with ARST. It is highly recommended to buy them before boarding the bus at an ARST kiosk (only in big cities always at the bus station) or at newsagents or smaller shops.

It is also always possible to purchase a 24-hour ticket for a specific route, which is double the price of a one-way ticket. This will be useful when travelling to more remote locations (typically beaches) where it is not possible to purchase a ticket.

While the driver does sell tickets, it is very common for him to run out of tickets and refuse to allow you to board without a pre-purchased ticket.

The best way to do this is to use mobile apps. To travel on ARST and Trenitalia buses and trains, use two apps, both of which offer the same tickets at the same prices:

Frequencies and timetables

The best way to find connections and timetables is to visit the carriers' official websites.

Regional and long-distance services from Olbia

In addition to ARST, which operates many routes from Olbia, you can also use other bus companies to take you mainly along the Costa Smeralda or on long-distance routes across Sardinia:

  • SunLines - public services with lower prices (around 1-2 eur per 10 km) from Olbia to the Costa Smeralda, Palau, Porto Torres, commercial services from Olbia to Sassari, Alghero and Alghero airport (prices around 20 to 25 eur)
  • Caramelli Tours - connections from Olbia along the Costa Smeralda
  • Deplano - long-distance connection from Olbia via San Teodoro, Budoni and Cala Gonone to Nuoro
  • Turmo Travel - long-distance connections from Olbia to Cagliari and the port of Santa Teresa Gallura, regional connections from Olbia to Bono, Budduso and Telti

Regional and long-distance services from Alghero

In addition to ARST, which operates many lines from Alghero, you can also use other bus companies to take you to cities around Alghero and on long-distance connections:

  • SunLines - commercial services from Alghero airport and centre to Sassari and Olbia (approx. 25 eur)
  • Turmo Travel - connections to the inland town of Bonorva
  • Reden Tours - connection from Alghero airport via Macomer to Nuoro
  • Digitur - connection from Alghero via Castelsardo, Badesi to Santa Teresa Gallura
  • Sardabus - line from Alghero to the resort of Stintino
  • Logudoro Tours - long-distance connection from Alghero airport via Macomer and Oristano to Cagliari

Regional and long-distance services from Cagliari

In addition to ARST, which operates many lines from Cagliari, you can also use other bus companies to take you to cities around Cagliari and on long-distance connections:

  • Turmo Travel - long-distance services to Olbia, Arzachena and Santa Teresa Gallura
  • Logudoro Tours - long-distance service from Cagliari via Oristano and Macomer to Alghero airport
  • Murgiabus - regional connections to the nearby towns of Quartu, Nora and Sarroch

Regional and long-distance connections from the north coast

One of the most visited parts of Sardinia is the north coast (Palau, Porto Torres, La Maddalena), which attracts (besides the traditional public bus service ARST) other private carriers:

  • Sardabus - numerous regional services in the resort of Badesi and around Santa Teresa Gallura (La Marmorata) and from Castelsardo to Tempio Pausania
  • Caramelli Tours - regional services from Palau to Isola Gabbiani and Capo d'Orso
  • SunLines - regional services from Costa Smeralda to Olbia and Palau
  • Turmo Travel - a long-distance service from Santa Teresa Gallura to Cagliari and local services to the La Maddalena archipelago
  • Digitur - connections from Santa Teresa Gallura, Badesi, Castelsardo and Porto Torres to Sassari and the towns of Bosa, Cuglieri and Is Arenas beach

By boat

The public ferries from Sardinia to the archipelago of La Maddalena, the island of Asinara and the island of San Pietro (port of Carloforte) are all operated by one company, Delcomar.

One-way ticket prices range from 3,70 eur for La Maddalena to 10 eur for San Pietro.

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