How to Get to Sardinia From Rome – An Easy Guide

Angela Corrias in Tharros Sardinia

Angela Corrias

There are only two ways to get to Sardinia from Rome: by plane or ferry. Both ways are very easy whether you are using public transport or driving your own car. You can reach Sardinia from many cities in Italy and Europe, but Rome is probably the place that’s better connected to the island.

In this guide, you will find out how to get to Sardinia from Rome, all the options, the landing ports, and also the various departure ports.

A cool and offbeat destination, I certainly suggest including Sardinia in your Italy vacation. If you are staying in Italy for less than 2 weeks and quite short in time, you might want to reach Sardinia by plane because much faster.

On the other hand, if you already have a car from Rome, you can decide to spend the night on the ferry, saving even on the hotel, and arrive the day after. Since to move around Sardinia your best bet is by car, this way, you are already set and can start exploring straight away.

Image: How to get to Sardinia from Rome you can land in Golfo Aranci port.

How to travel to Sardinia from Rome by plane

You can book a flight from Sardinia from both Rome airports, Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport in Fiumicino (FCO) and Giovan Battista Pastine International Airport in Ciampino (CIA).

In Sardinia, there are three airports: Cagliari Elmas (CAG), Olbia-Costa Smeralda (OLB), and Alghero (AHO) for the northern and western coast.

Cagliari is the ideal landing port to visit the south and the center of the island and reach destinations such as the Nora archaeological site, San Pietro and Sant’Antioco islands, the museum of sounding stones of sculptor Pinuccio Sciola, the mining villages and ghost towns around Carbonia, and beautiful beaches like Villasimius, Chia, and Costa Rei. From Cagliari, you can also reach Oristano city and province to see places like Cabras, the Sinis Peninsula, and Seneghe.

Olbia is where you should land to explore La Maddalena archipelago, the Emerald Coast, the stunning beaches of the Gulf of Orosei, and lovely Sardinian towns like Dorgali, Nuoro, and Orgosolo.

You should plan your arrival to Alghero if you are aiming at Sardinia’s northern and western coast to visit destinations like the beautiful cities of Sassari and Castelsardo, to reach the island of L’Asinara, the town of Bosa, the little beach of S’Archittu, the tiny village of Tinnura for its fantastic street art, and obviously the sunny city of Alghero itself.

By plane, it will take you between an hour and an hour and a half to reach Sardinia from Rome.

Depending on the airline, flights will take off from either airport and land in one of the three airports in Sardinia. Check out Omio’s website to see flight schedules and routes.

Image: Cagliari port where you arrive in Sardinia from Civitavecchia by ferry.

Flights from Rome to Cagliari

If you want to land in Cagliari, you will find five flights daily from Fiumicino served by the Italian flag carrier Ita Airways. From Ciampino airport to Cagliari, there are only flights operated by Ryanair low-cost airline, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The flight from both Rome airports and Cagliari takes about an hour.

Flights from Rome to Olbia

You can fly to Olbia from both of Rome’s airports. From Ciampino, you will mainly find the planes of low-cost airline Wizz Air, while from Fiumicino, the airlines that take off for the Olbia-Costa Smeralda airports are Aeroitalia and Volotea.

From both Ciampino and Fiumicino, it takes about an hour to fly to Olbia.

Flights from Rome to Alghero

The flights to Alghero’s Fertilia airports take off from Fiumicino and are served by Aeroitalia and Danish aircraft operator Flexflight. The journey takes an hour and 15 minutes and there are seven daily flights from Rome to Alghero.

Angela Corrias on a ship traveling from Rome to Sardinia
Enjoying a scenic voyage from Rome to Sardinia by Ferry

How to get to Sardinia from Rome by ferry

If you are still wondering how to get to Sardinia from Rome, by ferry is one of the most common ways, especially if you are traveling by car or by RV.

The only port near Rome where you can take a ferry to Sardinia is Civitavecchia. The other closest ports that connect to the island are Livorno (to Olbia and Golfo Aranci) and Naples (to Cagliari).

If you have a car rental from Rome, it’s a good idea to keep it also for your Sardinia trip because public transport on the island is not extra efficient. Getting to Sardinia by ferry is easy and there are a few ports you can opt for: Olbia, Cagliari, Porto Torres, and Arbatax.

Porto Torres is in north Sardinia near Alghero so it’s a perfect port if you want to visit that area and also important sights of the Sassari province such as the archaeological site of Monte d’Accoddi and towns like Sedilo and Ghilarza in the Guilcer area of the Oristano province.

You would land in Arbatax mainly in the good season to enjoy the beaches of Sardinia’s eastern coast and the Gulf of Orosei.

Companies, routes, and schedules vary often depending on the month and the season. You can use the form below to check out what ferries depart from Rome to Sardinia and when.

Ferry from Rome to Olbia

The ferry route from Civitavecchia to Olbia is very popular because it’s the shortest, quickest, and lands near some of Sardinia’s most famous destinations. It is mainly run by Tirrenia and it takes around 8 hours, with the ferry departing at 10 pm and docking at 6 am in Olbia’s port.

Due to the high demand, during the peak season, also Grimaldi and GNV operate this route a few times a week. All year round, however, only Tirrenia does it once a day at night.

In summer, you will find also fast daytime ferries from Civitavecchia to Olbia that take between 5 to 6 hours. For these trips, hydrofoil-type of vessels are used and since they don’t have a large part underwater while they run, they are less stable than those used at night. This is why they are only used if the sea is not rough.

Image: Golfo Aranci port near Olbia.

Ferry from Rome to Cagliari

Another frequently-booked route used to be the ferry from Civitavecchia’s port to Cagliari. In recent times, though, I noticed that there are always fewer ferries operating this route to get from Rome to Sardinia.

Taking 15 hours, it’s the longest ferry route. It’s currently run only by Grimaldi. The normal route takes 13 hours, but it’s now 15 hours because it always makes the stop in Arbatax at 5 am before carrying on to Cagliari.

Ferry from Rome to Porto Torres

The ferry from Civitavecchia to Porto Torres takes around 7 hours to arrive and is run mainly by Grimaldi all year round.

How to get to Civitavecchia port from Rome

By train

There are several trains from Roma Termini to Civitavecchia train station every day. The ride is one hour and 15 to 20 minutes and the ticket costs €4,60. Once you get to Civitavecchia train station, you can either walk to the port or take the local shuttle bus.

By taxi

By taxi is the easiest solution. From Rome or Fiumicino airport, a cab ride to Civitavecchia port costs around 120€.

By car

If you are driving in Rome, you will reach Civitavecchia in about an hour. You need to take the A90 GRA ring road highway, merge into the A12/E80 toll highway, and follow the signs to the port.

How to get around Sardinia once you land

From Cagliari’s airport

From the airport of Cagliari-Elmas, you can take a bus to different parts of Sardinia, a shuttle bus to Cagliari’s city center and main train station, and a train to other provinces and cities.

From Olbia’s airport

From Olbia’s airport, there are buses such as 02 and 10 that take passengers to the city center from where you can take the train to the rest of the island.

From Alghero’s airport

Once you land at Alghero’s airport, you can reach the city center and other cities in Sardinia including Sassari and Bosa, via local public transport. The airport is 10 km from Alghero’s city center and by taxi, it takes around 15 minutes.

From Cagliari’s port

The port of Cagliari is in the city center right in front of the city’s main train station that you can reach with an easy walk.

From Olbia’s port

From the port of Olbia, you can reach the city’s train station by bus n.9. From the main train station there are several trains daily to the other provinces in Sardinia.

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