It would be natural for the first time visitor to Sardinia to assume that this isn’t really the place where there would be much to offer in terms of train services, but this really isn’t the case. Although rail networks always flow a lot more smoothly when they are continuous, some of the larger Mediterranean islands such as Sardinia, and also Corsica and Majorca do still have rail networks of their own.
There are various different ferry services linking Cagliari to mainland Italy. There are also other ferry services from the north and the west of the island with links to Corsica.
Sardinia by train
However, the most popular way to arrive into Cagliari is to fly into the city’s airport, which sits just to the north. It’s always easy to get around somewhere by public transport when the trip starts with a direct rail service from the airport. The train link from Cagliari airport isn’t perfect. It’s a short walk from the terminal, and services aren’t especially frequent. You may well find the bus into town is more useful. However, on the plus side, the main north-south line across Sardinia is the same line that serves the airport. This really is a very easy location to start a rail tour.
The railway lines on Sardinia are some of the finest in Italy. Following recent upgrades and integration into the Italian national system, the trains themselves are of a high standard. Travelling around Sardinia by train also means gaining access to a number of different routes where there is no road running alongside, so it’s a great way to see the island in more depth. Regular buses also run between the major cities and between various different points on the rail network so that all major points are served.
Driving in Sardinia
Sardinia also has some amazing driving roads, especially on the eastern side of the island. Because train services tend to be relatively infrequent, a car is going to offer a lot more flexibility, especially for visiting different restaurants in the evenings.
On balance, our Cagliari car hire advice is that this is really a destination where it’s worth taking a look at the train services first, and then considering how that compares with driving. A car might still be useful, but since both car and train can give access to many spectacular locations.
Should you hire a car in Cagliari? Verdict – no (but look into both).