By car, it only takes a few minutes to escape from the tourist routes into the untouched countryside, either along the spectacular coastline or in the mountains. Often you will have the road to yourself, and the island is rich in prehistoric archaeological sites which are well worth a visit.
Most of our self-catering properties are located in the countryside, a few kilometres away from beaches and main towns, it is therefore essential to have a car. Car hire is in great demand in July and August and not all car hire grades are available and so it is advisable to pre-book early.
Find out more about car hire in Sardinia.
Driving in Sardinia
As mentioned previously car hire probably affords the most convenient way of travelling around the island. There are no motorways on Sardinia, but on the upside there are no toll roads either. Dual carriageways or superstradas run between most of the main cities, the main roads are generally good, the minor roads tend to be narrow and bendy, but as a consequence offer some spectacular scenery.
Please drive very carefully, especially at first, as it may take you some time before you feel comfortable driving in Sardinia. Extra care will need to be taken for guests staying in properties accessed by an unmade road. It is not unknown to encounter cows, pigs or other animals in the middle of the road so stay alert, especially at night when they are not readily visible. Drive well on the right hand side, remembering that minor, narrow roads may be unmarked but are still two-way. Bridges are often single lanes.
Remember that when rain occurs after a long dry period, the roads can become extremely slippery so always exercise caution. Unless otherwise indicated, a speed limit of 50km/h applies in built up areas. Outside built up areas and on single carriageway main roads, speed limits are 90km/h (80km/h in wet conditions) and on the few dual carriageways on the island, 110km/h (80km/h in wet conditions).
The island's rail network connects into all the major towns on the island, however much of the east and centre of the island is not well served by trains. Alternatively, the 'Trenino Verde', an old-fashioned steam train running various routes throughout the island during the summer months, offers a delightful way to discover Sardinia.
Tickets can be purchased at stations, through travel agents and online at www.trenitalia.it.
Most towns and villages are served by a network of buses, some beaches can also be reached by bus. Timetables however are not always adhered to and service on a Sunday tends to be somewhat restricted. Tickets should usually be purchased before boarding and are sold from ticket offices and local bars, but if that fails you can pay when you board. Buses around cities are an affordable way of sightseeing.
Recommended driving routes
Santa Teresa di Gallura to Castelsardo
If you are staying in the north of the island, then heading along the coast road from Santa Teresa Gallura to Castelsardo makes for a wonderful day out by car. This driving route boasts coastal views with stunning scenic points to look down at the turquoise waters below. Stop off at the quaint villages along the way and see Isola Rossa, a small islet, along the way. Castelsardo is a lovely seaside citadel, well worth a stroll through it cobbled streets and ancient walls.
Alghero to Bosa
Heading south from Alghero down the SP-105 you will reach Bosa. This is a beautiful scenic road with a breathtaking palette of colours and scenery. There are plenty of places to stop off for a quick swim and if you're lucky you may spot the odd dolphin. Bosa itself is a jewel on the coast, with colourful buildings and an old-fashioned feel.
Chia to Teulada
If you have chosen the south as your holiday destination then this driving route is well worth adding to your itinerary. Chia is one of the main historic hubs of the south, with plenty of stunning beaches and fun attractions. Along the route discover hidden spots, the watch towers dating back to the Middle Ages and a stop at the unique village of Domus de Maria. Once you arrive at Teulada, visit the lovely beaches of Tuerredda and Perdalonga, or for a glimpse into history, a tour of the mines in the area is possible.
Many cruise ships visit Sardinia every year, bringing guests ashore to visit the wonderful port cities and further. Lots of popular cruise lines offer itineraries including Sardinia. Cruises in Sardinia often dock in the Port of Cagliari which is on the southern coast of the island. The cruise ship terminal is located a short distance from the city centre.
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