Sardinia is the second largest island on the Mediterranean Sea. We luckily got the chance (we feel it is an appropriate expression in covid times) to spend a week there between August and September. This italian gem totally blew us away – probably because we are huge island fans! Planning your trip and travelling around Sardinia should be no different to any other vacation but we decided to prepare this post either way. We hope some Sardinia practical information will make preparing for your trip easier.
Table of Contents - Sardinia practical information
Practical information for Sardinia
How to get to Sardinia?
You can also get to Sardinia taking the ferry from continental Italy. Most popular connections are: Civitavecchia – Olbia, Livorno – Olbia, Livorno – Golfo Aranci, Genua – Porto Torres, Palermo – Cagliari, Neapol – Cagliari. For more information visit Directferries.
As an interesting fact we would love to tell you that there are also direct ferries between Sardinia and this incredible French island. These ferries connect four ports on Corisca (Ajaccio, Propriano, Bonifacio i Porto-Vecchi) with three ports on Sardinia (Porto Torres, Santa Teresa Gallure i Golfo Aranci). It can be a tempting option for the travellers that would like to visit both islands on one trip.
Weather on Sardinia - when is the best time to go?
Sardinia is a Mediterranean island and the temperature you can expect there is very pleasant fot the better part of the year. The best time to visit would be between May and October. The number of rainy days is lower then and you can expect the most sunny hours during the day. Between June and September it can get very hot so the weather is perfect for beach lovers (see our blogpost with the most beautiful beaches on Sardinia). We visited between August and September and the temperatures we had were 30 degrees Celcius during the day and 20 degrees Celcius during the night. If you don’t need beach weather and prefer to avoid the crowds you might want to visit Sardinia off-season (read about other great off-season destinations).
And we have a fun fact for you – Diana’s mum once visited Sardinia in February and was lucky to have a beautiful, sunny weather all week.
How to travel around the island?
Sardinia is big so getting around it can’t be too easy. People that prefer their vacation more stationary could possibly survive without renting a car. Sardinia has lots to offer though (check out this blogpost) so for those who want to see and experience as much as they can we really recommend renting a car. There is a public transportation system, however we prefer to have more freedom when it comes to moving around. If you decide to try it though here is some practical information for you. There is one main bus operator on the island – ARST – and it provides transport between the cities and also within the main ones. To get more information check out the company’s website (it is in italian, however you can use the translator). You can calculate the ticket prices there for your desired route. You also have this option in Google maps. You can buy the tickets through the dropticket app that you can download to your phone.
As far as the public transport goes, there is more to it than buses. On Sardinia you also have few train connections. It will take longer and the journey might be more expensive but we know there are fans of this way of moving around.
Renting a car on Sardinia
A crown jewel in practical information for Sardinia post. This may sound like an easy topic but believe us – this season it hasn’t been! Those who made reservations way ahead probably got good deals but in covid times we didn’t want to book anything before we were 100% sure we were going. And when we checked the prices few days before we almost ended up changing our plans! The price to rent Fiat 500 with no insurance was 500 euro per week! Luckily Diana found a small local rental company – Ruvioli. We now can say that we had a great experience with them and it is a trustworthy company that we can recommend.
Ruvioli doesn’t have an online reservation system. To get an offer and pricing you first need to make a quote through their website. They will get back to you in a day and then you make all the arrangements through emails. Here you can find how to contact this rental company. They don’t take any payment in advance, they just ask you to be fair and inform them earlier should your plans change. We paid 275 euro for a week of rental of Fiat Panda with medium insurance (plus the deposit of 300 euro). If you don’t like leaving too much money behind you can go for maximum insurance – it is an additional 15 euro per day. In this scenario you only need to leave 100 euro that would be used only in case you return the car empty or with less fuel than agreed. The deposit is either blocked on your credit card or you can leave it in cash.
How to get to La Maddalena island?
La Maddalena island is located few kilometers north off shore from its mother island. You can get there by taking a car ferry leaving from the city of Palau. We paid 39 euro for two people and a car (this was high season).
The ferry leaves every half an hour during the day and every hour in the evening and throughout the night. What’s important – there are two places where you can buy your ticket and choosing the wrong one may cost you additional 10 euro. The ticket office for public ferry is located inside the building right next to the Palau Port – Biglietteria Marittima. The other one, for a private ferry, is located a little bit earlier and has people asking you to park and buy them there so beware if you’re into saving money!
Covid - 19 situation. Necessary documents.
We travelled to Sardinia between the months of August and September when the situation in Italy was stable. After what happened earlier this year the Italians are very cautious and strict with their regulations though. From 6pm onwards everyone wears masks in any public space. In closed spaces such as shops, markets or ferries wearing a mask is obligatory 24/7. On campings and in hotels temperatures are being measured and there are documents you need to fill out during check-in. On the Alghero airport your temperature is also checked.
There is also a special app for those coming to Sardinia – Sardegna Sicura. You need to fill out the information about your upcoming stay there in order to get your mandatory QR code. You also fill out the health form within the app. The QR was supposed to be checked at the airport but nobody bothered in our case.
Limited beaches and a Heart of Sardinia app
Right now there are few limited beaches on Sardinia. There are two that you definitely need to know about since they are among the most popular ones and we bet you already have them in your itinerary. First of them is Cala Goloritze – in order to make a reservation you need to download the Heart of Sardinia app. The app also comes in handy when it shows you suggestions of places to visit based on your current location.
Another popular beach that is restricted now is Cala Coticcio on La Maddalena. Because of the virus situation there are only two groups of 12 people allowed daily. The visit to the beach can only be with a tour guide after prior reseravtions. You can try and make them by calling this number: 376 0129408. Good luck!
We try to have our post with practical information for Sardinia as up-to-date as possible. However with the rules changing fast don’t forget to double check with appropriate websites.
Flying a drone in Sardinia
We had no problem flying ours in any of the places. Even on Cala Goloritze, which is a part of a National Park. The guard told us it was allowed, only asked us to not fly it above people.
What to pack for Sardinia?
In this case everything depends on what kind of trip you want to have and what activities you have in your itinerary. During our week on Sardinia we noticed few crucial things missing from our luggage that would have made the trip easier. Below some of the things we would have packed if we were to do that again.
These are not mandatory because not all beaches on Sardinia are rocky. Beaches like Cala Luna or Cala Goloritze are all rocks though which makes the water wonderfully clear, but at the same time walking not wonderfully painful. Having water shoes would have made our visits to them slightly more comfortable. You can read about other Sardinian beaches here.
And we mean actual trekking shoes and not sneakers. We had trainers and the hikes we did were definitely doable in them but walking in inappropriate footwear through rocks is just uncomfortable. If you have some space left in your luggage and you plan on some hiking (like the trail to Cala Luna for example) definitely pack some decent walking shoes.
Water on Sardinia is the clearest we have ever seen (well, both Sardinia and Cyprus). It is also warm enough to make staying in it very pleasant. There is also plenty of marine life to admire so if you love watching fish and other sea creatures definitely don’t forget your swimming googles and a swimming tube.
Other things that might be useful
Dry bag – if you plan to go on kayaks or SUPs with your gear.
Waterfproof action camera – we use DJI Osmo Action for our underwater shenanigans and like it!
Camping gear – if you want to save on accommodation just like we did because the last minute prices were pretty steep.
We hope that this Sardinia practical information post will help you not only to plan your trip but also to pack your bags wise. We also recommend you to check out our other Sardinia posts. Wishing you an amazing trip!