Sardinia Guide for independent tourists | Elena Kazantzeva's blog 2btraveler.ru

In this guide I have collected information that will be useful for planning your holiday in Sardinia. I’ll tell you about how to go to Sardinia: about organizational issues (tickets, visa, mobile communications), about the best hotels, sights of the island and the organization of a cultural program.

 

Content:

Why go to Sardinia
Visa and insurance in Sardinia
Currency of Sardinia
Mobile Internet in Sardinia
Tickets to Olbia and Cagliari
Airports in Sardinia
Car hire in Sardinia
Attractions and excursions
Where to stay: beaches, hotels, villas
Prices in Sardinia
What to try in Sardinia

General information

Sardinia is an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea, territorially located between Sicily and French Corsica. It is part of Italy as an autonomous region of Sardinia.

The currency of Sardinia, as throughout Italy, is the euro.

The official language is Italian. In hotels in Sardinia, of course, there is an English-speaking staff, almost no one speaks Russian.

Why go to Sardinia

✓ Beyond the warm azure sea

✓ For high quality service

✓ For boat trips on a yacht

✓ For “non-Italian” Italian cuisine (Sardinian cuisine is fundamentally different from traditional Italian)

sardinia island

Go to Sardinia for the “real Italy”, in my opinion is not worth it. Yes, in Sardinia there are many towns with a history where measured Italian life flows. But, if you want traditional Italy, it is better to go to Tuscany either to the south of the mainland ( to Puglia , for example), or to Sicily , where Palermo and Catania are steeped in history.

Sardinia visa and insurance

For a trip to Sardinia Schengen visa is needed. Any open multivisa will do. 

For 2019, the consular fee is 35 € + when applying through the visa center, you must pay a service fee of 29.50 €.

Insurance is required. Firstly, this is a requirement of the consulate when obtaining a visa. If you have a multivisa, then you must arrange insurance for each departure. Many do not notice this, but in the visa application we put the signature under this clause “I am informed that for my first stay and subsequent visits to the territory of the participating countries, appropriate travel insurance is required.”

Secondly, it is always easier to pay 10 euros for insurance than to pay thousands (and in serious cases, tens of thousands) of euros in case of any health problems.

Currency in Sardinia

As throughout Italy, the currency of Sardinia is the euro. In restaurants, large gift shops accept cards without any problems. You can pay in rubles, but there will be a not very profitable conversion.  You can also withdraw money from a black card – from 100 euros withdrawal from any ATM in the world is free (but make sure that there is no commission from a foreign bank).

Mobile connection (Internet) in Sardinia

Like throughout Italy, 4 large mobile operators operate in Sardinia: TIM, Vodafone, Wind, Tre. You can buy a SIM card in a communication salon. But there are communication shops only in large cities – in Olbia, Cagliari … We rested on Baia Sardinia, went to Porto Cervo, I didn’t see any communication offices there.

In the hotel, by the way, we had Wi-Fi only at the reception and in public places.

Flights to Sardinia 

In Sardinia, the two main airports , those are Olbia Airport (north of Sardinia) and Cagliari Airport (south of Sardinia).

Check flights for Olbia from your city

How much are tickets to Cagliari from your city, see below:

You can also get to Sardinia with a connection in Rome, Athens and other European cities.

From Rome to Sardinia you can get:

– Air Italy from 70 euros one way (Olbia or Cagliari)

– Airline Ryanair from 20 euros one way (Rome-Cagliari tickets).

Ryanair is a European low-cost company, so the prices are so low. However, do not forget that you need to register for the flight yourself, print boarding passes, and luggage and meals are not included. Nevertheless, a good company, I flied with them a couple of times.

Sardinia airports: how to get

From Olbia Airport to Olbia and the resorts of the Costa Smeralda.

Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is located 3.5 km from the center of Olbia and about 30-40 km from the resorts of Costa Smeralda.

You can get to Olbia from the airport by buses No. 02 and No. 10 (they run at intervals of 20-40 minutes, the ticket price is 1 euro, 15, euro when purchased from the driver), by taxi or transfer ( book from 41 euro ).

If you can get to Olbia by public transport very quickly and easily, then it is easiest to book a transfer to the resorts of the Costa Smeralda, as Transport links in Sardinia are completely undeveloped. Even, for example, from Baia Sardinia to Porto Cervo there are only 2 or 3 flights a day, and you can only guess which schedule is relevant.

Transfer from Olbia airport to Bahia Sardinia will cost from 95 euros.

Transfer from Olbia Airport to Porto Cervo will cost from 105 euros.

Transfer from Olbia airport to Porto Rotondo will cost from 68 euros.

If you still consider public transport, this is where the buses from Olbia Airport go

olbia sardinia airport

See the schedule on the airport website  https://www.geasar.it/en/how-to-get-here/by-bus

I also found this schedule, but it is relevant for the season -2019. From Olbia Airport you can reach the port of Palau or Arzakena, from where you can get a direct connection to Bahia Sardinia or Porto Cervo.

Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport

How to get to Bahia Sardinia, I wrote in details in an article about our hotel , if relevant, read there.

There is also a schedule for the season of -2019 buses running between Olbia itself (not their airport), Porto Cervo and Baia Sardinia.

Cagliari Airport: how to get

Between the city of Cagliari and the airport of Cagliari (Sardinia) about 10 km. The airport and the city are connected by a railway line. Railway station – 500 meters from the exit from the airport. On the way – from 9 to 15 minutes, the ticket cost is 2 euros.

From the airport you can immediately leave for other cities of the island. Here is a diagram of the train stations in Sardinia. The station at Cagliari Airport is called Elmas Aeroporto and is marked with an airplane icon.

train cagliari airport

You can buy tickets at the box office training, in the machines at the station or in advance via the Internet. It’s convenient to buy through omio.ru : you don’t even need to print a ticket, just show the QR code on the screen of your mobile phone if necessary.

Buses to Cagliari Airport rarely come in, and the city bus stop is 1.5 km from the airport, so I won’t even consider this option.

Taxi Cagliari – airport (or airport – Cagliari) will cost from 27 euro [ book a transfer ]

For the price of transfer from Cagliari Airport to other cities and resorts in the south of Sardinia, see below:

Car rental in Sardinia (car rental in Cagliari and Olbia)

Car rental in Sardinia is no different from car rental in another part of Italy or Europe. Unless the fact that in small towns there are few rental offices, which means fewer cars, less choice and higher prices. For example, in the resort of Bahia Sardinia there is only one rental – Europcar, and it does not work on Sundays. Therefore, if you plan to ride around the island, then it is better to deal with rental issues in advance.

car hire sardinia reviews
There is only one car rental office in Bahia Sardinia

At the airports of Olbia and Cagliari, things are much better. For example, at the Cagliari airport cars from 17 distributors are presented. Among them are large distributors (Eurocar, Avis, Goertz, Sixt) and budget companies (centauro, locauto, sicily by car, etc.).

For example, VW Passat on the machine will cost from 170 euros for 3 days.

car hire cagliari airport

A BMW 3 series from Noleggiare (also on the machine) – from 140 euros for 3 days

car hire cagliari

Very clearly the prices from all the distributors are visible on autoeurope.com , I have rented a car through them several times already.

car rental olbia

To rent a car in Sardinia, you need a standard package of documents: a driver’s license, an identification document, a credit card in the name of the main driver (ideally, that the spelling of the name on the card matches the spelling in the passport), a voucher (when booking via the Internet).

In details about car rental in Italy I wrote in the article

 

Car rental in Italy >>>

 

I wrote about all the nuances of the lease, documents, about the franchise and deposit and toll roads.

 

Book a car in Sardinia >>>

 

Sights and excursions in Sardinia: what to see on the island

Perhaps the main attraction of Sardinia is the La Maddalena archipelago. Uninhabited islands with wildlife surrounded by incredible beauty of the sea. Therefore, the first thing that tourists do in Sardinia is to take a sea ​​tour of the archipelago .

sardinia attractions

Other popular attractions of the island are: the historic center of Olbia, nuragi (stone structures, the purpose of which is still a mystery) scattered throughout the island, the Porto Cervo yacht club (one of the most expensive in the world), bastions, towers and fortresses Cagliari, the towns of Bosa, Alghero and Orgosolo – an open-air museum with more than 300 wall paintings of Murales.

In detail about all these attractions, I have a great article:

 

TOP 30 sights of Sardinia

 

Since public transport on the island is poorly developed, it is better to inspect the sights by car, or with a guided tour. Well, the La Maddlena archipelago can be reached only on a sightseeing boat or on a rented yacht.

Pay attention to those guided tours: 

Where to stay in Sardinia: beaches, hotels, villas

Sardinia is one continuous beach. Really. I have a map of beaches that I took on vacation, so I don’t even get it in my hands when I deploy it. And, of course, I won’t be able to write in detail about each beach. I will tell you only about the main best places of rest in Sardinia.

The most popular beaches are in the north of Sardinia. This is not only the La Maddalena archipelago, but the island of Sardinia itself. Sandy beaches begin already in Olbia (Lido del Sole, Le Saline, Capo Ceraso, Marina Maria – beaches in the city).

A measured vacation in Sardinia – on the Costa Smeralda coast, in the resorts of Porto Cervo, Porto Rotondo, Bahia Sardinia.

The nearest beach to Porto Cervo is Spiaggia Cala Granu, 3 km from the center. Near the beach there is a four-star hotel Porto Cervo Grand Hotel In Porto Cervo (from 171 euros with breakfast, from 226 euros with two meals a day).

The largest sandy beach of Porto Rotondo is Marinella. It is ideal for water activities and diving. White sand and clear sea. Near the beach is a good five-star hotel Hotel Abi d’Oru . Price – from 308 euros with breakfast, from 373 euros with breakfast and dinner.

Between Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo are two well-known Sardinian beaches: Liscia Ruia (or Long Beach) and Romazzino (Romazzino Beach). Both beaches are sandy, with white (even pink and white) sand. Near the beach of Romazzino (Romadzino) is a five-star hotel Romazzino, a Luxury Collection Hotel , which has its own beach area with free sunbeds and umbrellas. The price is not low: from 500 euros per day with breakfast for an ordinary double room. In the high season (August), the price starts from 1500 euros per day.

The main beach of Bahia Sardinia is Cala Battistoni. White sand, comfortable entry into the water, weak currents. Sun beds and umbrellas are paid.

In September 2019, the price was 10 euros per item. Near the beach there are hotels: Club Hotel Baja Sardinia 4 * (the hotel has its own beach, but a transfer takes to it; from 264 euros with breakfast, from 284 euros with two meals a day); Club Hotel Cormorano 4 * (from 250 euros All inclusive), my review of the hotel ; Hotel La Bisaccia 4 * (located on a hill; from 250 euros per night, from 274 euros with two meals a day).

sardinia hotels with a sandy beach
Cala Battistoni Beach

Tre Monti Beach is 1.6 km from the resort center. The beach is small, but there are sunbeds, umbrellas. Unfortunately, I don’t know the price. This beach is considered very romantic because it faces west and there must be very beautiful sunsets.

Cala Bitta Beach – 2.5 km from the center. The golden sand beach is considered suitable for windsurfing and sailing.

The beaches of the Piccolo Pevero, Grande Pevero, Capriccioli, Calo di Volpe are also considered “untouched” picturesque beaches of the Costa Smeralda.

Alghero’s beaches are also white sand, but most of them are hidden in small bays. Popular beaches of Alghero: Spiaja delle Bombardo, Spiaja di Maria Pia, Spiaja di Giovanni. The beach of San Giovanni is surrounded by a palm grove. Among the hotels near the Alghero beach: Alma di Alghero Hotel 4 * (from 126 euros per night), Hotel San Marco 4 * (from 99 euros), high-rated guest house Starry Sky Charming House (from 200 euros per night).

The beaches of Cagliari and the south of Sardinia are also mostly sandy, but there are separate bays with a rocky entrance to the sea. In Cagliari itself, the most popular beaches are Poetto, Emerson, Punta Molentis.

The main resort of southern Sardinia is Villasimius, whose beaches are part of the conservation area.

The beaches of Timi Ama, Spiaggio del Riso, Porto Guinko are popular here.

See 50 more beaches in Sardinia on the beautiful pattern drawn by charmingsardinia.com.

beaches of sardinia

The easiest way to find hotels on the beach is through booking.com , by setting the necessary filters. Here I showed how to use booking and other reservation systems.

As a result, we get such a card and then we look through each hotel.

sardinia 4 star hotels

The best hotels of Sardinia:

Cala Di Volpe, a Luxury Collection Hotel 5 * , Porto Cervo (from 11,400 euros for 7 nights, breakfast included)

Forte Village Resort – Pineta 5 * , Santa Margherita di Pula (from 10,000 euros for 7 nights, includes breakfast and dinner)

L’Ea Bianca Luxury Resort 5 * , Bahia Sardinia (from 4800 euros for 7 nights, breakfast included)

La Villa del Re – Adults Only 5 * , Castiadas (from 4000 euros for 7 nights, breakfast included)

Hotel Sporting 5 * , Porto Rotondo (from 3,700 euros for 7 nights, breakfast included)

Falkensteiner Resort Capo Boi 5 * , Villasimius (from 3000 euros for 7 nights, breakfast and dinner are included)

View Baya Sardinia and Costa Smeralda hotels on a map



Booking.com

Beaches of Villasimius



Booking.com

Villas in Sardinia

If you want to rent a villa in Sardinia, you can do this through the same booking. Just check the “Villa” in the type of accommodation. Keep in mind that the villa is different. For 100 euros a day you can rent a “villa”, but it will be more like our Ural garden house.

A full-fledged villa in Sardinia will cost from 15,000-20,000 euros per week. For example,     Villa Porto Cervo centro (21,600 euros per week) or Luxurious Dream Villa with breathtaking views (from 9,000 euros per week).

The villas can accommodate 8-16 people, so if you are relaxing in a large company, then renting a villa will be even more profitable than hotel rooms.

Of the more budget options, I liked the booking:

Casa di Mauro for 8 people is a very bright, modern villa with a gorgeous view. Located in Porto Rotondo. From 5000 euros per week.

Villa Romantica for 6 people with pool and sea view. Located in the north of the island, 15 km from the harbor of Isola Bianca. From 4000 euros per week.

Villa Dama luxury for 8 people with private pool. Located in the city of Alghero. From 4500 euros per week.

Villa Monte Moro ” Azzi Russi ” for 6 people – a traditional-style villa in Arzaken (north of the island). A cozy little house with a private pool. From 3800 euros per week.

Prices in Sardinia

Since we rested at the all-inclusive hotel , I was not particularly interested in food prices in Sardinia, and there was only one grocery store in Bahia Sardinia and it took about 15 minutes to get you there. I took https from the site : //sardiniagate.com/ prices for main products:

  • Peaches – 3 – 4.5 Euro / 1 kg
  • Watermelon – 1 euro / 1 kg
  • Melon – 2 – 3 Euro / 1 kg
  • Berries – 3 euros per package
  • Potatoes – 1.70 – 2.80 euros / 1 kg
  • Tomatoes – 2 euro / 1 kg
  • Zucchini – 3.5 Euro / 1 kg
  • Avocado – 3 euros apiece
  • Mango – 5 euros apiece
  • Mozzarella – 3 – 4 euros per pack
  • Pecorino cheese – 18 – 24 euro / 1 kg
  • Butter – 3.5 Euro per pack
  • Milk – 1.6 – 2 Euro / 1 liter
  • Local Salsiccia sausage (they brought such a home, it’s very tasty, you can buy it in dutik, but a little more expensive, about 20 euros per 1 kg) – 16 – 18 euros / 1 kg
  • Water – 0.6 euros per 1.5 liters
  • Juice – 1,5 – 2 euro / 1 liter
  • Pane Carasau (this is traditional Sardinian bread – thin cakes, all the locals took it for lunchJ) – 5 – 6 euros per package.
  • Bread – 3 – 5 euro / 1 kg
  • Olive oil – 7 Euro / 1 liter.

As for the prices in restaurants, I photographed several menus in Bayeux – Sardinia. See the photo below.

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rest in sardinia

What to try in Sardinia

What to try in Sardinia, besides the local Salsiccia sausage and thin cakes? I tell you.

Fregola or fregola (fregola) is a local pasta that looks more like couscous rather than pasta. It is prepared from grated wheat with the addition of shellfish and tomato sauce. This is a classic recipe. There are many variations of frigola: with meat, chicken, mushrooms, corn, cheese. In the province of Cagliari, a typical dish is Fregolla con Cocciula (“Fregula with gerbils”)

what to try in sardinia
Fregola – Sardinian pasta. Photo blog.giallozafferano.it

Culurjones – unleavened dough products reminiscent of dumplings in shape. The filling is most often pecorino cheese, mixed with grated boiled potatoes, finely chopped mint and garlic.

Boar is very popular in Sardinia. The classic recipe is fried meat in a sweet and sour sauce of grated onions, thyme, tomato puree, vinegar and parsley.

The wild boar in Cannonau (Cinghiale al Сannonau) is one of the main courses in Sardinian cuisine. This is the flesh of wild boar stewed in Cannonau red wine with the addition of onions, carrots, garlic, celery, sun-dried tomatoes and spices.

Sanguineccio boar sausage (sanguinaccio) – a spicy blood sausage made from wild boar meat. According to the Sardinian tradition, all parts of the boar should be used for cooking – this is one of the reasons for the appearance of black pudding. I tried something like a “blood drop” in Tallinn at the Christmas market , frankly, an amateur sausage.

Botarga – salted and dried caviar of tuna or mullet. Served as a wine appetizer along with artichokes and celery. Very popular in Sardinia.

Sardinian cuisine
Bottarga. Photo www.costasmeraldaportal.com

Tuna alla Carlofortina (tonno alla carlofortina) – tuna baked in spices and white dry wine with the addition of fresh tomatoes. The dish comes from the town of Carloforte, hence the name.

Seafood – of course, in Sardinia they are very popular. Grilled prawns, snails and sea urchins are especially popular with dishes. Before cooking, they are pickled in wine and served with herbs, spices and vegetables.

Trippa is the entrails or walls of the animal’s stomach. Often this lamb served with sweet and sour sauce and green peas. Often also served as a soup. Italians generally have entrails dishes, for example, take the popular Florentine dish lampredotto (entrails sandwich)

Pecorino Sardo – hard cheese made from sheep’s milk, the culinary symbol of the island. Due to the addition of seasonings, it has a deep pronounced taste. As a complement to it, young nutmeg wine is recommended.

what to eat in sardinia
Pecorino Sardo. Image of PDPhotos from Pixabay

Cheese with worms or rotten cheese. Casu marzu is a sharp, viscous cheese that contains larvae of a cheese fly. Aged to a state of decay. The season of vision is spring and autumn. It doesn’t sound very pleasant, and in stores they say you can’t buy such cheese: you can try it either on farms or in restaurants. It is consumed with bread and sweet red wine. Of course, if you risk it try.

Empanadas – fried pies made from wheat flour stuffed with chicken, mushrooms or pork. This dish came to Sardinia from Spain and was so fond of the locals that it was considered a national Sardinian dish. Often a vegetable mix is ​​placed inside – a mixture of finely chopped artichokes, green peas, parsley and celery.

gastronomic excursions in sardinia
Empanade pie. Image of Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Seadas is a classic Sardinian pastry. Prepared from bran flour stuffed with soft cheese. After baking, sprinkle with sugar or pour over liquid floral honey. I tried this dessert – it tastes like our dumplings with cottage cheese, sprinkled with honey. It tastes good.

sardinia desserts

Corbezollo Liquor is a sweet alcoholic drink made from strawberry. Distributed in Sardinia.

Mirto is a famous Sardinian liquor. It is prepared from the dark blue berries of the evergreen shrub of myrtle. 3-5 months they are insisted in alcohol infusion with the addition of sugar. A glass of tart drink is surely served after dinner to save you from overeating. It tastes, I would say, it is “vigorous,” but many Italians after dinner at our hotel really sat with a glass of myrtle. I like limoncello more. Although this lemon liquor is not traditionally considered Sardinian, it is also very popular on the island.

sardinia liquors

liquermirto sardinia

That’s all! If you have additions or questions, leave comments! Have a sunny vacation on Sardinia!

 

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