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Sicily Sardinia Italy Spain : Efficient transportation

Does anyone have advice on how best to hit those destinations (Spain - Sardinia- Sicily - Genoa) in any order and by any means of transportation? I think you can fly from Barcelona to Palermo. It looks like there is a ferry to Cagliari (Sardinia) but fairly show, not sure if thats overnight in a chair, etc.. It seems a bit much to fly Barcelona to Sardinia, then fly to Sicily. And then you can train from Sicily to Naples, but thats a long train ride with not many nice places to stop (apparently).

Perhaps there is no easy answer, but I would appreciate any tips.

Posted by
18919 posts

I've never tried to link any of those places. I bet someone will come along who has some useful information for you. In the meantime, you can begin exploring options on Do NOT trust the fares, travel times or frequencies Rome2Rio displays. They are all too often wildly off base. Keep clicking through the suggested routings and you'll eventually find the name of the ferry/bus/rail company providing the service. There will also usually be a clickable URL. Go direct to the transportation company's website for reliable schedule information.

I believe there's a ferry from Naples or that area to Sicily. I made the mistake of taking the night train. Don't do that.

I use for intra-European flight schedules.

I think most transportation in Europe is slowly working its way back to pre-pandemic levels, so be sure to use dates that are an accurate representation of when you plan to travel.

Posted by
11263 posts

Even pre-Covid, the links between the various Mediterranean islands were skimpier than one would assume. Flights often required connections. There were very frequent flights from Rome to Sicily and Rome to Sardinia, but flights to other places were sparser and in some cases non-existent. And connections between the islands that did not involve returning to the mainland were minimal. I have no idea what's available now, and as said above, flights and boats are likely to increase as time goes on. Furthermore, not all flights are daily, so you have to check your exact dates.

One thing to know when searching for flights to or from Sicily is that while Palermo is the bigger city, Catania is the bigger airport with more flights. So, there may be a flight from Catania to Sardinia on a day when there isn't one from Palermo. And, Sardinia has 3 airports - Cagliari, Olbia, and Alghero. I forget which one is busiest, but do check all three.

Genoa airport is small and even pre-Covid had relatively few options. To fly there, you're likely to have to transfer at a hub such as Rome, Munich, etc. Or, you can fly to Milan and take a train or bus from the airport to Genoa.

For Sicily to Naples, you can fly, take a long train ride (overnight or by day), or take an overnight boat (from Palermo). The boat gets relatively good reviews. The overnight train does not, although some don't mind it. I'd fly, but if you want to take the overnight boat, see if it's restarted running for your travel dates.

If you will have to change planes, do make sure you don't have to change airports. Any potential cost saving will be negated by the money, time, hassle and stress involved in getting from one airport to another. This is a particular issue with Milan, but can come up with other cities including Rome.

Posted by
2291 posts

There is a ferry from Barcelona to Sardinia, too. Overnight, so time-effective. Then you can take another ferry to Sicily, but Genoa will be the outlier - there are flights from Palermo to Genoa.

Posted by
104 posts

Here is what I know at this point - from my searching. Most of this is not verified - just what I found online.

Ferries :
Grimaldi lines is one of more well known ferries in the Mediterranean. On Trip Advisor there are a lot of bad reviews (disorganized process, rude employees, things dirty, etc.) - but they do offer private rooms of some sort as an upgrade from bus style seating overnight. These are not usually daily. But they seem to have a Eurail pass discount.

Other ferries seem to exist and there are general ferry brokers ...

There are various cruise ships which hit some of these locations - although just for a single day - at a cost of $600 - $12,000 for a week or so.

I saw that there are high speed boats from Sicility to Malta and other places.

One can take a train from Mainland Italy to Siciliy via the barge connection - and that works with rail passes.

I have flown Catania, Sicily to Barcelona on Vueling (one of the smallest jets I have been in with the least overhead space). There are also some flights to Palermo but these flights are not daily. With Covid, the safest bet might be to fly from Milan or Rome and stay in Italy.