travel to Sardinia

Hi, My husband and I are thinking about going to Sardinia for a few days directly after we go to Positanos. What is the quickest and best way to get there? Is there a train or do we need to travel back to Naples and fly out? Please let me know the options and suggestions. Thanks, Jacqueline

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3297 posts

Volotea, a Spanish low cost airline, has a direct seasonal flight from Naples to Santorini during the summer months. that would be the easiest from Positano.
Otherwise, the next best thing would be to go back to Rome and from there you can fly anywhere. Regarding your question about a train from Positano to Santorini, is that a joke or a real question? Have you looked at an atlas, or a globe or Google Maps?

Posted by Jacqueline
Seattle, wa, USA
18 posts

Thanks yes we are traeling in July and I have heard the beaches are amazing! I appreciate the tips and will look into flying into the Northern region as you suggessted.

Posted by Jacqueline
Seattle, wa, USA
18 posts

thanks for the suggestion the train thing was meant to take it somewhere on the minland and then a ferry but it looks like that will take too much time....flying it is. Anyone have sugesstions on the best places to visit in Santorini? We plan to stay about 3 nights.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17716 posts

Jacqueline, As the previous reply indicated, trains won't be a possibility, especially as some of the long distance rail trips have been discontinued due for "budgetary reasons". As I recall, there's a Ferry from Brindisi, but that's a long overnight trip. The easiest and quickest solution would be to use a budget flight. I may have missed when this trip will be taking place, but if you're not able to get a seasonal flight out of Naples, your best bet is to fly out of Rome. You could look at EasyJet or Aegean Air (both are good). I don't believe there are any direct flights to Santorini, so you'll probably have to connect through Athens. For ideas on where to stay and what to do, you may find it helpful to have a look at Matt Barret's excellent website on Greece travel. My preference is to stay in Fira as it's more central to both ends of the island. If you're planning to rent a car there, note that each driver will require the compulsory I.D.P. (I was asked to produce one). I used one of the Travel Agencies listed on Matt's site to arrange transfers, hotels, etc. and that worked really well. I was very pleased with the service they provided. Happy travels!

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3297 posts

The fastest way is to fly from Naples (NAP) to either Cagliari (CAG) in Southern Sardinia or to Olbia (OLB) in Northern Sardinia. Meridiana Fly (a Sardinia based regional airline), through its affiliate Air Italy, flies to both from Naples. Of course from Rome, you'd have even more options from both Fiumicino airport (FCO) or Ciampino Airport with RyanAir (which flies to both Alghero in the Northwest and Cagliari). However flying from Naples with Meridiana Fly will save time and maybe money, once you factor in the cost of traveling by train to Rome. The best surface option would probably be to take a boat from Naples to Sardinia. However that takes longer than flying obviously. Also one could go to Civitavecchia, north of Rome, and take a ferry from there (shorter sea crossing). If you have limited time, I wouldn't even entertain the boat option. From Civitavecchia to Olbia (the shortest sea crossing), it's at least 8 hours, from Naples would be much longer. You should fly, preferably from Naples. I prefer the Costa Smeralda and the Archipelago of the Maddalena in the north (although beaches are beautiful everywhere in Sardinia). If you go take a day trip excursion on a boat. for that area, you should fly to Olbia, it's closer. Once there you need to rent a car to fully enjoy the island. I presume you are traveling in late spring or summer, because any other time of the year I don't know if Sardinia would be worth the trouble. The best thing about Sardinia are the sea and the beaches (and the food). In winter you wouldn't be able to enjoy it that much. Boat excursions to the Maddalena archipelago are organized from several towns. The closest to the islands would be Palau. I've taken boat tours to the islands only from Santa Teresa di Gallura, on the northernmost tip, since I spent a few summer vacations there.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3297 posts

July is perfect, albeit more crowded and pricey. Using Google Images enter "Sardinian beaches" and you'll see how beautiful they are. You won't regret going there. It's better than the Caribbean.
Don't forget to taste pane frattau, porceddu and of course seafood. At the end of the meal, taste the "Mirto", a digestive drink served with ice and a rosemary sprig (it's a little bittersweet).

Posted by Jacqueline
Seattle, wa, USA
18 posts

love these tips -- any beaches you suggest we see or certain excursions for snorkeling, etc.? Hotel suggestions would be appreciated too:)

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3297 posts

Best beaches? There are hundreds, one more beautiful than the next. I This is a sample of 250 beaches chosen by a leading Sardinian daily newspaper. Click on any area, then for each area click on the beaches that pop up to see a close up photo. http://www.unionesarda.it/collane/spiagge/home_spiagge.aspx If you choose to fly to Olbia, concentrate in the northern area. Sardinia is bigger than it looks on a map. To drive from Olbia airport (area no. 8 on the map) to Santa Teresa on the northernmost tip (area no. 5), which look so close on the map, it would take me well over an hour, and I don't drive slow. Wherever you stay, I recommend you take a boat excursion to the Maddalena Archipelago (now a National Park), you won't regret it. Some of the best beaches are on those small islands. I've stayed only in the Gallura area, (Capo Testa, Porto Pozzo, Santa Teresa), but it has been a few years, therefore I don't even remember the name of the hotels. I would look at tripadvisor and see what people recommend in whichever area you want to stay. There are also agriturismos (farmhouses) where you can stay, although they tend to be in the interior a little away from the beaches.

Posted by Katherine
Atlanta, GA, USA
49 posts

I would focus on one area, either north or south, and their respective larger airports, Olbia or Caglari.....when I visited, I took the ferry from Civitavecchia (about 5 hours?) to Olbia and started our driving/tour from there. We found the beaches to be amazing looking in the north, but Caglari to be utterly charming in the old sections.... The Costa Smerelda is amazing with the huge yachts and mansions, but also the nortwest is great with the resorts in and around Stintino for us regular folk and visits to Alghero. If you see an island off of Stintino and read a book that says you could swim to it if you're a good swimmer, be prepared to swim around 3/4 of a mile there and back! And watch out for jellyfish!

Posted by Jacqueline
Seattle, wa, USA
18 posts

We enjoy boating towns that have great restaurants, nightlife more cool bars rather than clubs, fun shops to check out during the day and beautiful beaches would you then suggest we stay in Costa Smeralda or somewhere else? My husnabd is in the boating industry, so he loves checing out boats and that type of atmosphere. We are a young married couple, age 30, so we still want to have some fun and enjoy ourselves. I plan for 3 nights there... let me know what town you think would be ideal for us. Also - I want to take up the suggestion of the boat cruise through their national park any companies i should look at. I would prefer the boat hold 20 people or less. Thanks, J

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3297 posts

For the best yachts you need to go where the super-rich go with their boats. That would be Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo and anything in between. I don't even know whether we can call them boats, some of the yachts I've seen at Porto Cervo are as big as the Titanic. Porto Rotondo is where Berlusconi has his villa with park (incl. a volcano that he had built to entertain his close friend Vladimir Putin). That area is pricey. For the boat trips to the Maddalena Archipelago Nat'l Park, there are dozens of companies, all with small size boats (20 people is about right), departing from any town in the area. The town that will probably have the most is Palau, since it's the closest big town to the islands. Just go to the harbor and shop around, see what each one has to offer, then go with the one you like the next morning. It's a whole day thing, they feed you, take you to nice beaches, it's fun. As I mentioned I took trips only from Santa Teresa, because that's where I used to stay, but any town will have some boat company doing it. I like Santa Teresa (more suitable for mortal people like me without the wealth of those who stay in Porto Cervo or Porto Rotondo). From Santa Teresa you can also take a ferry across the Strait of Bonifacio and visit a little bit of Corsica as well. Bonifacio is a nice fortress city. If you go, you can say to have visited a little bit of France as well during your trip to Italy. The boat trips depart from the harbor. But the ferries to Corsica depart from the big dock on the other side of the tunnel. You can take your car across if you want. The crossing of the 12 km stretch is about 40 min.

Posted by Jacqueline
Seattle, wa, USA
18 posts

I think Porto Rotondo looks nice, but we are thinking of trying to find a B&B there... or a few miles away -- any suggestions?

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3297 posts

I've never stayed in the Costa Smeralda proper. The entire coast from Golfo Aranci to Porto Cervo, and even beyond to Laconia, Cannigione, etc. are part of the greater Costa Smeralda area. That area is mostly new developments that were built starting from the 1960's. It's considered one of the top areas for vacation for the European VIP's. It's beautiful however you are not going to find old villages and cheap B&B accommodations. Although some of those resort villages were designed to look like typical Mediterranean villages, however they are faux villages built in the last 40 years. That area was totally undeveloped before then. Sardinia is amazingly beautiful anywhere you go (except for Olbia, IMO, which is just a mid size industrial port town). To me Santa Teresa is the quaintest 'real' town around there. Palau is also nice, but bigger town. If you look for reasonable B&B accommodations in the Costa Smeralda proper, I don't think you'll find too many (especially Porto Rotondo). Take a look on any websites, like tripadvisor, but keep an eye on the real location. The ones that are most affordable may be in the interior, like Arzachena or in Olbia. Good search.