The island of Sardinia has three main airports. Cagliari Elmas Airport outside the city of Cagliari in the south of Sardinia, Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport in the north-east and Alghero Fertilia Airport in the north-west.
Which Airport do you fly into for Sardinia?
There are three airports, you should choose the airport that is most convenient, and nearest to where you are planning to stay.
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 which is in the south.
If there is no route to your ideal airport, bear in mind that the length of Sardinia can be crossed in three hours. The journey through Sardinia is always spectacular.
The Number of Passengers Flying into Sardinia
|The Airports of Sardinia||Number of Passagers (2018)||Percentage (%)|
|Cagliari Elmas Airport||4,370,014||50.24%|
|Alghero Fertilia Airport||1,354,371||15.57%|
|Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport||2,974,280||34.19%|
|Total Number of Passengers||8,698,665||–|
Cagliari is the busiest airport in Sardinia. It sees more passengers than Alghero & Olbia Airports Combined. There is an almost even split of passengers flying into the North of Sardinia & into Cagliari in the South.
The Airports of Sardinia
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.
Cagliari Elmas Airport
Via dei Trasvolatori snc
Phone: +39 070 211 211
Getting to the city from the Airport
The quickest way to reach the city center is to take the train. It takes 5-7 minutes to reach the city center. 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 center of Cagliari and the taxi fare is between €15-20.
There is also a bus service to the city center. The 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.
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.
Regione Nuraghe Biancu
Phone: +39 079 935 011
Getting to the town 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
Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport
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.
Aeroporto Olbia Costa Smeralda
Phone: +39 789 563 444
Getting to the town 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.
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.
Both Olbia Costa Smeralda & Alghero Fertilia have bus routes, taking you on the short journey from the airport to their respective town center. 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 & Olbia are much smaller airports but are located well if you are spending your holiday in the north of Sardinia. Alghero is found in the north-west & Olbia is in the north-east, which is the closed airport for the Costa Smeralda.
All of the airports of Sardinia serve their purpose well, connecting the island well with the mainland of Italy, and with countries across Europe.
Flights from the United Kingdom
EasyJet flies from London Gatwick to Olbia all year round. During the summer they also fly from Luton, Manchester, and Bristol. British Airways and Meridiana fly from London Gatwick between April and October.
Ryanair flies from London Gatwick to Cagliari, all year round. EasyJet flies from London Stansted to Cagliari, all year round. British Airways flies from London Gatwick to Cagliari between April and October.
Ryanair flies from London Stansted to Alghero between April and October. Thomson Airways flies from London Gatwick and Manchester between May and October.
Flights from North America
There are no direct flights from North America to Sardinia; the best option is to fly to Rome, Milan, or a major European hub like London or Paris. Alitalia, Delta, and American Airlines connect Rome and Milan to several American cities, New York, Boston, Maimi, LA, and Chicago.
From the East Coast, you can anticipate a journey time of 10 hours to the mainland, then another couple hours to reach Sardinia, depending on the transfer time.
From Canda, there is a daily connection from Toronto to Rome by Alitalia. Also, AirCanada flies from Toronto and Montreal to Rome and Milan.
Flights from Australia and New Zealand
There a no direct flights from Australia or New Zealand into Italy. The quickest and cheapest option may be transferring at Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing or a middle eastern airport hub, to fly to Rome or Milan, for changing again for a regional flight to Sardinia.
Many budget airlines connect European cities to Sardinia, airlines such as EasyJet, RyanAir, and WizzAir. The most economical flights are from Berlin, London, and Barcelona.
I recommend that you search for flights using aggregator websites such as skyscanner.co.uk, for discounted scheduled flights. Summer is the most expensive time to travel to Sardinia, due to high demand, it also essential to book in advance during these months to ensure a ticket. The Easter holidays & the Christmas period also sees an influx in demand and therefore cost. In the low season, you can find some extraordinarily cheap flights from Europe. Flights are much more infrequent during the off-season.