The Three Airports Of Sardinia

airports of sardinia, three airports of sardinia

Sardinia has three main airports, Cagliari Elmas Airport, Olbia Airport, and Alghero Fertilia Airport.

This article explains everything you need to know about flying into Sardinia, so you can decide the best way to arrive on the island

All the airports of Sardinia are very functional and don’t have a wide range of facilities, restaurants and shops that you find in other countries or larger airports. I have put together a detailed summary of each airport in Sardinia, to give you an idea of what to expect and make your onward journey easier.

The island is big, it can take more than 3 hours to drive from the North to the South, so it can be convenient to fly to the airport located closest to your accommodation when possible. All the airports in Sardinia, operate more flights during the summer, to accommodate the influx of tourists and holidaymakers. If you choose to fly off-season you can flight some very low priced tickets.

How much does it cost to go to Sardinia? Naturally, it depends on the dates.

Which Airport Should You Fly To?


There are three airports in Sardinia, where you could potentially fly into depending on the different routes. Cagliari Elmas Airport is located outside the city of Cagliari in the south of Sardinia, Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport is in the north-east and Alghero Fertilia Airport in the north-west.

If you have booked accommodation in the North of Sardinia, then fly to Alghero Airport or Olbia Airport which serves the famous Costa Smeralda. If you are going to spend your holiday in the South of Sardinia, then fly to Cagliari Airport.

If there are no flights to your prefered airport in Sardinia, keep in mind that the length of Sardinia can be crossed in three hours, and the journey through Sardinia is always spectacular. You can cross the island by train, bus, and car.

Sardinia also has five 5 ferry ports, so you can take a ferry to Sardinia from the Italian mainland, as well as France & Barcelona. You can read more about taking a ferry to Sardinia here.

Cagliari Elmas Airport (CAG)

Cagliari Elmas Airport is the leading international gateway to Sardinia; it connects to most major European destinations. The airport handles 3 million passengers a year. It serves the south of Sardinia and tourist destinations such as Carloforte, Iglèsias, The Costa Verde, Carbonia and Pula.

As the largest airport of Sardinia there are many airlines that have flights to and from Cagliari including British Airways, Delta Airlines, Air France, Alitalia, Vueling, Air Malta, Lufthansa, Ryan Air, and Eurowings.

There are many flights from all across Europe, look at the map below.

flying to cagliari in sardinia from europe
Cagliari Elmas Airport
Via dei Trasvolatori snc
09030 Sardinia
Phone: +39 070 211 211

Getting To Cagliari City Centre From The Airport

The quickest way to reach the city centre is to take the train. It takes 5-7 minutes to reach the city centre. A one-way ticket is €1.30, that can be purchased in the arrival hall and at the station, as well as from online ticket merchants. The trains operate from 5 am to 9 pm and one train departs for the city every 20 minutes.

Alternatively, there are taxis. It takes 10-15 minutes to drive into the city centre of Cagliari and the taxi fare is between €15-20.

There is also a bus service to the city centreThe first bus leaves from the airport at 8:40 am and the last bus leaves at 23:30 pm. A single one-way ticket costs €0.67, which you must have before boarding the bus, it can be purchased from the airport terminal or from newsstands. The bus stop is outside the terminal building and can be located by a black and white ARST sign. The bus station in Cagliari is at Piazza Matteotti.

How To Drive To Cagliari Airport

From Cagliari: 7 km from the centre, the airport can be reached by the S.S.130 rom Sassari/Nuoro/Oristano: you can reach the airport by taking the S.S.131 towards Cagliari. When you reach the junction for the S.S.130, follow the signs ‘Aeroporto Elmas’.

From Olbia: the airport can be reached by taking the S.S.131bis in the direction of Cagliari until the junction for the S.S.131. Continue in the direction of Cagliari until you reach the S.S.130, following the signs for ‘Aeroporto Elmas’. Alternatively, take the Orientale Sarda (S.S.125) in the direction of Cagliari and, near Quartucciu, turn onto the S.S.554 which connects to the S.S.130 from which, following the signs for ‘Aeroporto Elmas’, until you reach the Airport

Services At Cagliari Airport

  • Car Rental Services
  • Currency Exchange
  • Tourist Information Desk
  • Free Wifi
  • ATM
  • Pharmacy
  • Taxi rank (outside arrivals)
  • Baggage claim
  • Cafes, Bars & Restaurants
  • Disabled toilet
  • Sardinia handicraft shops
  • Luggage storage

Cagliari Arrivals & Departures

Alghero-Fertilia Airport (AHO)

Alghero Airport is located 8km north-west of Alghero and is named after the village of Fertilia nearby. It is a small airport that is a gateway to the north-west regions of Sardinia. From Alghero airport, you can easily reach beautiful destinations such as Castelsardo, Sassari, Stintino, Bosa, S’Archittu, and Porto Torres.

Alghero is the smallest airport, most of the flights to and from Alghero are served by RyanAir and Alitalia.

Cities such as London, Birmingham, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Geneva are connected to Alghero. As well as cities through mainland Italy.

flying to alghero airport from europe
Alghero-Fertilia Airport
Regione Nuraghe Biancu
07041 Sardinia
Phone: +39 079 935 011

Getting To The Town of Alghero From The Airport

Taking the bus is the best way to reach the city of Alghero. The journey takes 30 minutes. The bus departs once every hour from 5 am to 10:30 pm. You can purchase tickets from one of the machines located in the terminal for €1 or when boarding the bus for €1.50. Taxis into the town center of Alghero cost €20-25

How To Drive To Alghero Airport

Starting point Alghero: Alghero airport is 10 km from the Alghero city centre and, it takes about 15 minutes to get there, driving on the main road.

Starting from Alghero take SP42 and keep going for about 1 km. Then turn left on SS291 DIR to the Airport.

Drive along SS291 DIR for 2,8 km and then turn on your right again SP44 (Airport). 

Keep on driving for 2,5 km and you will reach the Airport.

Read more here

Services At Alghero Airport

  • ARST Bus ticket vending machines
  • Currency Exchange
  • Tourist Information
  • WIFI
  • ATM
  • Vending machines
  • Airlines ticket office
  • Baggage claim
  • Toilet
  • Disabled toilet
  • Food, drink and retail concessions

Alghero Arrivals & Departures

Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport (OLB)

The Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport links 14 countries to the island. It’s a prominent entry point to explore the north of Sardinia, the Costa Smeralda and tourist destinations such as Budoni, Golfo Aranci, La Maddalena, Palau, and Santa Teresa di Gallura.

The main airlines that fly to Olbia are AirItaly, EasyJet, Vueling, Air Baltic, Iberia, AirBerlin, and Alitalia.

Olbia connects Sardinia to many cities across Europe, most notably cities across Germany and France. View the map below to see all of the flight routes to and from Olbia.

olbia aiport flights to sardinia map
Aeroporto Olbia Costa Smeralda
07026 Sardinia
Phone: +39 789 563 444

Getting To The Town Of Olbia From The Airport

A bus is the best way to reach the city of Olbia. The journey takes 10 minutes; you can buy your tickets on the bus for €1.50 or €1 at the information desk inside the terminal. Bus services numbers 2 & 10 depart to the town every 10-30 minutes. Taxis into the town charge about €15.

Services At Olbia Airport

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Tourist information desk
  • Bike Rental
  • Taxi’s outside arrivals
  • ATMs
  • Baby care facilities
  • Currency exchange
  • Duty-free stores
  • Shops and Restaurants
  • Information desk
  • Luggage storage

Olbia Arrivals & Departures

Which Airport Is Best For Sardinia?

This answer depends on where you want to stay on the island. All of the airports in Sardinia have short connections to their city. From Cagliari Airport, you can take a 5-7 minute train journey to the city center. Or you have the option of taking the bus or a taxi if you prefer. 

Olbia Costa Smeralda and Alghero Fertilia have bus routes making it easy to reach the town centre. During the summer a coach connects Oblia Airport to many towns along the Costa Smeralda. Alghero Airport is accessible by car via the SS291 and SP44 main roads, and Olbia Airport is reachable via the SS127 and SS125.

Cagliari Airport is the main gateway to Sardinia. It serves the most travelers, and handles the most international flights, from across Europe. 

Alghero and Olbia are much smaller airports but are located well for linking the north of Sardinia with Europe.

All of the airports of Sardinia serve their purpose well, connecting the island well with the mainland of Italy, and other countries across Europe. 

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Don’t Take Sand From Sardinia

This article originally appeared on, here is a link to the original article. Please go and check out their website.

dont take sand

Agnese from Travelnotesonline kindly gave me permission to share their article on my website, to help spread the message. Her fantastic article explains why taking sand is so damaging, but it also shares solutions to the problem. Only recently in the Summer of 2019, a french couple was jailed for six years for stealing a large quantity of sand from a beach in Sardinia. They took a whooping 40kg of sand away in the boot of their car.

Sardinia has long battled to stop tourists from removing the sand from its famously pristine beaches. You must respect the natural environment of this beautiful island. Taking even a small amount of sand may seem harmless, but its a trend that has become so commonplace that it threatens the coastal environment.

Enjoy the article and please share the original.

Send Sand Back Sardinia – Take pictures, not sand!

“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints” is a phrase that you probably have heard before.

I know, sometimes nature can be so beautiful and breath-taking that you really want to keep the memories of a particular place with you forever. So, when you walk on the beach and take a few rocks or a few seashells, you might think it isn’t a big deal. After all, it’s only one shell or a couple and there are plenty of them in the sea, right?

But if each person visiting the beach took a couple of things away, it would have a huge impact on the ecosystem, the environment and all the wildlife that relies on them.

Travelling sustainably and making sure the natural environment is preserved, is very important to allow future generation to discover and enjoy the beauty of our planet. And one of the good things about social media is that more and more awareness can be raised about these issues.

For example, a few weeks ago, I came across a very interesting project called Send Sand Back Sardinia. The idea behind this project came after reading a newspaper article that said that if you put together all the sand from bottles found during luggage checks in just one summer, in just one airport, in Sardinia, you would get several tons of sand stolen from local beaches. Not just sand! Shells, pebbles, rocks, minerals and fossils are also taken away from the Sardinian beaches.  And these figures don’t take into account sand bottles that could be found in other airports or ports, where there are limited security checks in place for cars and ships, and no scanners are used. This means that cars are probably the place where the most items are taken away.

After anti-terrorism aviation laws came into effect, security checks in airports increased and got more accurate thanks to the use of electronic scanners, and this is how people started realising sand and other items where being removed from the beach. However, a law that made this illegal was only passed in 2017. This means that, before then, large quantities of sand were removed, so much that some of the beaches around the island had to be closed to the public to protect them.

During our chat they told us: “Of course, it’s not just tourists taking away sand, stones and shells as a souvenir of their trip. It’s also local people, who  wanted to decorate their house and, instead of buying the sand, they would take it from their local beach, without taking into account the damage they were making, as well as the fact that the high level of salt in this sand would damage their houses too.”

As you can imagine, the environmental impact of this behaviour is huge, and it is now become unsustainable. Take a look at these articles to get an idea.

What is this project about then? Send Sand Back Sardinia wants to raise awareness of the scope of the issue. Through this project, the amazing people behind this initiative invite people who stole sand from any Sardinian beach to send it back.

The organisation will also give a ‘thank you; certificate to people who, having realised the impact their actions might have had, are willing, even after a few years, to give their sand back.

The organization motto is: “When you forgive, you don’t change the past, you change the future.”. As a matter of fact, this is what they told me, when I asked how the project was born: “Ours is a recovery project, but also a project to raise awareness for the future.  When you asked me how the project was born, for us the answer is simple – It’s because we are Sardinians! Sardinia is our mother, not just a piece of land where we happen to live. It’ s a place we love. And when you love something, you protect it.”

If knowing that you would do your part in protecting one of the most amazing places in Italy, as well as the environment in general, isn’t enough for you, they have something else to persuade you.

Volunteers would be willing to exchange the sand with something else, something unique and authentic, such as local food, camping experience or eco-stays.

And it gets better! On top of supporting this amazing project by spreading the word, you can also be an “undercover agent”: do you know someone who has sand, shells or stones from Sardinia? You can help by filling in this form.

This article originally appeared on, here is a link to the original article. Please go and check out their website and other great articles.

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Where To Stay In Sardinia For Couples?

Sardinia should not be thought of only as a holiday island. The beauty of its sea, the scenery of its coasts that is sometimes sandy and sometimes made up of cliffs and the wild panorama of its hinterland are undeniable. Yet Sardinia has many places to spend a romantic holiday.

Romantic places in Sardinia for couples

Among panoramic viewpoints and intimate places for romantic dinners, Cagliari is the ideal destination for a couple’s holiday. The Sardinian capital offers in fact the right dose of romance thanks to the evocative atmospheres and enchanting places such as the Castello District. Here it is a real discovery to walk hand in hand through the narrow streets that lead to the ancient castle, lingering until sunset. Among these stands out the Bastion of Saint Remy, one of the main monuments of Cagliari, also famous for offering one of the most beautiful panoramic points with the whole city at its feet. Completely surrounded by nature is the Monte Claro park which, despite being in the center, is a real oasis of tranquility where peace and relaxation are assured. Remaining on the subject of naturalistic attractions, the Sella del Diavolo (saddle of the devil), despite its name, is actually a place with a particular romanticism: it is a promontory that directly overlooks the Gulf of Angels with a particular saddle shape, whose path to climb it is a bit challenging but the view certainly repays the effort, especially when the sun is about to set. There are many couples who are looking for a romantic corner to spend some time together and the Sella Del Diavolo is certainly a special place.

In the province of Oristano, the town of Bosa rises on the edge of the island’s only navigable river and for this reason it is even richer in romantic suggestions. Couples who like to go beyond the beautiful beaches and the worldliness of VIPs in Sardinia know how many picturesque realities there are to discover on the island: one of these is Bosa, located between Alghero and the Cabras pond. Here, too, there is no shortage of beaches and beautiful sea, but the setting is quite different since it is a river town with an ancient center of Phoenician origins that is reflected in the waters of the Temo river, the only one that can be navigated in Sardinia. This gives Bosa even more suggestions, also given by the fishermen’s houses on the riverside and by the castle built between the 11th and 12th centuries: it stands on the Serravalle hill and can be reached by walking along two long stairways located to the east and west of the town or through the narrow streets of the center. The Sa Costa neighborhood has cobbled streets and brightly colored house. Particularly interesting is the Church of Our Lady of Regnos Altos, with Spanish-influenced 14th-century frescoes. The main street is Corso Vittorio Emanuele II which develops along the river, among facades decorated with family crests and wrought iron balconies of the most important buildings such as the Sargenti-Randaccio, Demuro-Spada, Delitala and Uras-Chelo. From the small port of Bosa Marina you can go on excursions to Capa Marrargiu to admire isolated coves that cannot be reached by land, such as Cala Rapina, Cala’e Moros and Tentizzos.

Costa Verde (Green Coast) offers unspoiled landscapes and silence interrupted by the sound of the waves and the wind: it is one of the most fascinating corners of Sardinia and you can visit it to appreciate its wild beauty, the privacy and the silence it offers. This area of Sardinia, also known as Marina di Arbus, extends for 47 kilometers along the south-western coast of the island. The Mediterranean scrub creeps among the dunes, interrupted only by the majestic cliffs overlooking the sea. Here and there the abandoned buildings of the old mines emerge. In Costa Verde you can enjoy a holiday of tranquility and privacy with your sweetheart. Only dark and imposing cliffs on which small rocky coves open up at times among the dunes. No exclusive resorts, no crowded beaches. Nature and silence, to be contemplated hand in hand in an atmosphere of profound intimacy.

Straddling the provinces of Nuoro and Oristano, the town of Atzara is an enchanting jewel set in the heart of Sardinia, far from the sea, in an area made up of countryside with magical lights and colors. You will be enchanted by this town with a thousand-year history. Just stroll through its narrow streets, admire its buildings, discover its culture and the long winemaking and artisan tradition of this “remote” town of Barbagia, surrounded by woods, vineyards and orchards that create a perfect setting for a couple’s stay at ‘sign of tranquility and relaxation. Walking around the historic center is pleasant and interesting. The town has, in fact, kept the urban fabric of the Catalan era unchanged with the picturesque low buildings made of granite with attics covered with oak beams. The 15th century parish church of Sant’Antioco is also magnificent, a jewel of Gothic-Catalan architecture, as well as that of Santa Maria de Susu and that of Santa Maria Bambina, in Romanesque style, dating back to the 11th century.

Fascinating is also the sunset that can always be admired in the western part of the island, on the beach of Ampurias, adjacent to the medieval town of Castelsardo. The picturesque town perched vertically on a rocky ridge, offers the vision of stupendous views and the true taste of a genuine Sardinian location.

Close to Santa Teresa di Gallura, in the Gulf of Asinara, Isola Rossa is another place that arouses strong feelings full of romanticism. The delightful port characterized by red granite, the Aragonese Tower, the beautiful promenade and the beautiful beaches, create more than just a stimulus to visit this Sardinian town.

Arco dei baci (Arch of kisses) is a rocky beach located on the island of Sant’Antioco, exactly in the locality of Is Preneddas. What characterizes this small beach is its rocky arch, known as Arco dei baci. Surrounding it there is a crystal clear natural swimming pool in which it will be difficult to resist the temptation of a dip. Swimming in this transparent pool with your soul mate will allow you to live a special experience and admire the suggestive seabed together, rich in marine life. This location is also difficult to reach but its beauty attracts many tourists every year.

Sardinia also offers many alternatives to mountain and trekking enthusiasts in the countryside. Southern Sardinia reserves special places, such as the many waterfalls that can be visited. Each waterfall has its own charm, but declaring your love in front of the San Valentino Waterfall, near the town of Sadali, is certainly a unique emotion.

Palau is our last destination. It is one of the most elite places in Sardinia, with which Costa Smeralda theoretically ends and offers beaches and landscapes of rare beauty that blend with the narrow streets of the center dotted with shops and clubs that animate the summer nightlife together with the picturesque markets.

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Where To Stay In Sardinia For Beaches?

So you have heard about the incredible beaches of Sardinia, but it’s a big island, and you may be wondering where’s best to stay in Sardinia for the best beaches? Come with me through this blog post and I will tell you about the six areas that I believe are home to the best selections of beaches.

The biggest factor that entices holidaymakers to make the trip to Sardinia are the beaches. It’s no surprise that Sardinia has some of the best beaches in Europe, yet somehow Sardinia remains under the radar (my site doesn’t reach that many people yet and Sardinian’s don’t feel the need to get marketing savvy, they prefer authenticity) The simplest way to express the beach situation is that Sardinia has a large supply of incredible beaches, and yet with a relativity low demand. Aside from July and August when the Italians take their summer break.

This means that you can find beautiful beaches, with yours being the only footprints across the sand. The more popular beaches will draw crowds, especially in the summer, but Sardinia is a large island with hundreds of great beaches so you can find you perfect places to stay, whether you want to stay in a town, resort, or countryside on the coast.

In the map above you can see that accommodation can be found all the way along the coast. I have identified six areas in Sardinia where you are sure to find clusters of beautiful beaches, I will give a brief overview of each area, as shown in the graphic on the left.

The First Area: Alghero, Spiaggia di Mugoni, and Stintino

Alghero is the closest Airport, and if you chose to arrive by boat Porto Torres is further to the north this cluster of beautiful beaches. This area has good value accommodation in locations a stone throw away from mesmerising beaches. The Catalonian inspired city of Alghero sits in the centre of this beach zone and offers tourists everything they would want, including hostels for backpackers, fine dining, and transport links. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the city walls, and chic city streets. If you are willing to drive up the coast, you will reach famous beaches such as Spiaggia La Pelosa, Spiaggia Delle Saline, and Capo Lupo.

The Second Area: Costa Smeralda

This area of Sardinia is by far the most famous. Celebrities, Royalty, and Millionaires have been coming here for years, it was even home to the most expensive hotel in the world (I’m not sure if that’s still the case) This area is packed with beautiful beaches like Spiaggia Cala Granu, Spiaggia Poltu Di Li Cogghj, and Spiaggia de La Sciumara. In fact, wherever you go in this area you will find spectacular beaches. It has to be said that this region is heavily commercialized, packed with luxury stores, and overpriced restaurants, it can feel inauthentic and un-Sardinian. Although it is clear to see why many choose this area for their vacations. Finding accommodation can be more difficult, especially on a budget. The Costa Smeralda is very expensive compared to all other areas of Sardinia, but I can assure you that it is not the exclusive home of Sardinians beaches, in fact, the most beautiful beaches to be found in Sardinia are outside of this territory.

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