Sardinia is an island in the Mediterranean sea, located 354 kilometers or 220 miles from the eternal city of Rome. The two ways to get from Rome to Sardinia are either to fly or to take a ferry.
Flying is by far the quickest way to reach the island. From Rome to Olbia it takes 55 minutes, to Alghero 1 hour 5 minutes and to fly to Cagliari takes an hour and 10 minutes.
The other option is to take a ferry from Porto Civitavecchia which is 88 kilometers (55 miles) outside of Rome. Driving from the center of Rome will take an hour and 20 minutes to the port. You can take a train from Romes most significant station Termini to Civitavecchia, which also lasts an hour and 20 minutes. The train station in Civitavecchia is located one mile from the port, there is a free shuttle bus that takes you to your terminal.
Traveling from Rome to Sardinia by Plane
There are two airports in Rome, Fiumicino, and Ciampino. Fiumicino is the largest airport of Rome, and Ciampino serves smaller budget airlines such as EasyJet, RyanAir and Wizz Air.
During the summer months there are many more flights, as Italians make there way over to Sardinia for their holidays, but keep in mind that the cost of a plane also rises. I recommend that you buy your tickets in advance. I have seen flights to Sardinia begin at 20 euros, but usually, when traveling on a budget airline, it will be around 40 euros.
From Fiumicino, you can fly direct to all three main airports in Sardinia, Alghero, Olbia, and Cagliari. From Ciampino Airport currently, you can only fly direct to Cagliari in the south of the island.
The Airports of Sardinia
Cagliari Elmas Airport is the leading international gateway to Sardinia, it is connected 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.
The Olbia Costa Smeralda Aiport links 14 countries to the island. It’s a high 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.
This is a small airport 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, it is near to Castelsardo, Sassari, Stintino, Bosa, S’Archittu and Porto Torres.
Traveling from Rome to Sardinia by Ferry
The port of Civitavecchia is connected to several ports of Sardinia. Olbia in the north-east is the shortest route and is located just below the Costa Smeralda. Porto Torres is in the north-west of Sardinia, a short distance from Sassari. Arbatax is situated on the east coast of Sardinia and gives you reasonable access to the mountainous central regions of Sardinia. Most of the journies will depart in the evening to arrive in the morning in Sardinia.
These are the current routes from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Sardinia, as covered by Grimaldi and Tirrenia.
Civitavecchia to Olbia – 6 hours and 30 minutes, 7 weekly sailings
Civitavecchia to Porto Torres – 7 hours and 15 minutes, 4 weekly sailings
Civitavecchia to Arbatax – 10 hours, 2 sailings weekly
Civitavecchia to Cagliari – 13 hours, 7 sailings weekly
Civitavecchia to Olbia – 5 hours 30 minutes, 3 sailings daily
Getting to Civitavecchia port from Rome
To arrive at the port from the center of Rome takes around 90 minutes by car. To reach the Civitavecchia from Rome Fiumicino Airport takes 50 minutes and its a 1 hour and a half drive from Rome Ciampino Airport.
Civitavecchia is 72 km drive from the center of Rome, be aware that there is a toll. Take A12/E80 to SS1 Via Aurelia in Santa Marinella. Take exit Civitavecchia Sud from A12/E80.
From Rome to Civitavecchia by Train
There are 38 trains a day from Rome Termini (Romes largest train station) to Civitavecchia, and the journey takes approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes, although this may vary. Train tickets can cost as little as 4.60 Euros depending on the time of day you travel and if your tickets have been booked in advance.
You can buy tickets from the station or by in advance from thetrainline.com, omio.com or directly from trenitalia.com.
From Civitavecchia train station to the ports
Once you arrive at the train station, you can take a local ‘Argo’ bus towards the port or alternatively walk. The bus costs 2 euros and can be purchased at the new stand or from the bar inside the station. This journey runs every 20 minutes, they depart from the area directly in front of the station. The bus will drop you off at the Rome Cruise Terminal and its from here that there is a free shuttle bus to the terminal your ferry will depart from. It is possible to work from the station to the terminals if you start walking right when you leave the train station, walking along the seafront, within 700 meters you will find the pedestrian entrance, here on the right you will find a bus stop to take a free shuttle to your terminal.
To take the Ferry from Civitavecchia to Sardinia starts at €25-40 without a car. It takes 14 hours to reach Sardinia. The basic rate doesn’t include a cabin. When I have taken the ferry, I can usually find a quiet place to sleep in a cafe on the ship or in a lounge room. But this doesn’t guarantee a good night’s sleep, sometimes the crew will close Lounge rooms in the early hours of the morning to prepare for the next day. This can leave you wondering the ferry with other zombie looking passengers in a similar position looking for somewhere to catch a few hours sleep before the ferry docks. Sleep is essential, and if you’re arriving in Sardinia for a holiday, it’s good to begin day one after a good night’s sleep.