Rome to Sardinia

Rome to Sardinia: The Best Way to Get There

Wondering how to get from Rome to Sardinia island? You’ve come to the right place. Getting from Rome to Sardinia is pretty simple, as there are two different ways to do it.

There are two ways to get to Sardinia island from Rome: By air and ferry. I have done both, when I travelled to Sardinia with kids and can give you the pros and cons of each, as well as what you need to know about both of these options.

We’re going to go through those two options and the best way to do them. By the end of this article, you will hopefully have a pretty good idea of how you’re getting to Sardinia island from Rome.

Sardinia Island

Not heading to Sardinia from Rome, and want to head there from a different location? Click here to read about flying or sailing to Sardinia from multiple locations.

So, let’s jump in – how to get from Rome to Sardinia!

Rome to Sardinia by Air

Here’s everything you need to know about flying from Rome to Sardinia.

As you may know, there is only one airport in Rome: Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, also known as Fiumicino Airport (FCO). There are three different airports on Sardinia island: Cagliari, Olbia and Alghero. The closest one to Rome, since Rome is east of Sardinia, is Caligari. However, they’re all pretty similar in distance since Sardinia isn’t huge.

Sardinia airports

You’ll need to choose which airport in Sardinia to fly into from Rome. Luckily, you can fly into all of them direct and for pretty cheap too. Here are the distances each them are from Rome:

  • Rome to Cagliari: less than 50 minutes
  • Rome to Olbia: 1h 5 mins
  • Rome to Alghero: 1h 5 mins

Unsure which Sardinia airport to fly into? Here’s some information about each of the general areas, to help with your decision. Keep in mind, that if you’re renting a car on Sardinia, then it doesn’t matter where you land or stay – you can always take a drive to explore other areas.

For example, if you choose to fly into Cagliari, then you can still drive to Olbia in 3h 5 mins. (This is what we did.) In hindsight, I would have flown into Olbia instead- but we’ll get into that more below.

Cagliari Airport

Cagliari is the capital and largest city in Sardinia and is located in the south of the island. Cagliari is the main airport and city on Sardinia. Flying here is especially convenient if you’re looking to visit the southern part of Sardinia, but you can also rent a car and drive wherever on the island you wish. (This is what we chose to do.)

Cagliari Sardinia
Nearby attractions and things to do in Cagliari:

Cagliari Airport brings you close to the city of Cagliari, which you can see in a day or two. There are:

  • Archaeological sights, such as the Bastion St. Remy which you can climb and get picturesque city views from the top
  • Cagliari’s amazing underground tunnel that you can explore
  • Poetto beach (Spiaggia del Poetto) just 15 minutes from Cagliari -an 8 km long strip with stunning views along turquoise water

Average cost to fly to Cagliari airport from Rome: € 43 to € 92

Airlines that fly direct from Rome to Cagliari: ITA Airways, Delta and KLM

Sardinia iIaly

Olbia Airport

Olbia is in the northeast part of Sardinia, close to Costa Smerlda. This is probably the most popular destination for honeymooners and couples, and the most expensive area in Sardinia. People come here for a luxurious vacation. If you’re looking for high-end resorts, and the Carribean-feel, then Olbia is the place to go.

Based on the number of attractions and things there are to do in north Sardinia, I would choose to fly into Olbia if possible.

Olbia Sardinia
Nearby attractions and things to do in Olbia:
  • Explore the Old Town (Centro Storico) of Olbia; it has a rich history dating back to ancient times, with narrow cobbled alleys, and medieval buildings. For a unique way to see the old town, there are tuk tuk tours you can book that take you around the city.
  • Take a boat tour to Maddalena Archipelago, which are islands that have been inhabited since the prehistoric times. On these islands, you can swim and snorkel in the most crystal-clear water, eat delicious, locally-sourced Mediterranean food, and shop in family-owned boutiques
  • Explore marine life and even WW2 plane wrecks underwater with Nautilis Dive Centre
  • Explore the quaint town of Palau
  • Beaches – the east coast of Sardinia has some of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Some of the most popular ones are Spaggia del Principe (Prince’s Beach) and Brandinchini Beach, but there are countless others

Average cost to fly to Olbia airport from Rome: €57 to 124

Airlines that fly from Rome to Olbia: Aeroitalia, Volotea and Flexflight 

Alghero Airport

Alghero is in the northwest part of the Sardinia. A medieval coastal city with ancient walls and cobblestone old town, Alghero almost feels like a fairy tale. It’s very busy in the summer months with tourists, but there’s a reason for that. Whether you choose to fly into Alghero, or simply stop here to explore, you’ll be glad you saw it!

Alghero Sardinia
Nearby attractions and things to do in Alghero:
  • Alghero Historic Centre, which is the Old Town of Alghero
  • Neptune Caves (Cape Caccia), a beautiful grotto just 30 minutes outside of Alghero.
  • Porto Conte Regional National Park, a coastal nature reserve with hiking, and beaches – great place to ‘get outside’ in nature
  • Le Pelosa Beach, just an hour north of Alghero. This beach is on the northernmost tip of Sardinia

Average cost to fly to Alghero airport from Rome: €64 to 176

Airlines that fly from Rome to Alghero: Aeroitalia and Flexflight

Keep in Mind: The airport you choose to fly into may determine what area around Sardinia you want to spend the most time in. The most touristy area of Sardinia is the northeastern tip, where the Olbia airport is. However, there are some overlooked areas all over the island. If you’re looking for less expensive ways to travel Sardinia, click here.

Rome to Sardinia by Ferry

Although flying would be quicker and cheaper, taking the ferry has a number of benefits, as well. Lets go over the pros and cons here.

Boat to Sardinia

Rome doesn’t have a ferry port, so you can’t sail directly from Rome to Sardinia. The closest ferry port to Rome is in Civitavecchia, which is 82 km (50 miles) north of Rome. So in order to take the ferry from the Rome area to Sardinia, you’ll first need to get to the ferry port in Civitavecchia.

How to get to Civitavecchia cruise port from Rome

By Train

You can catch the train from Rome to Civitavecchia for 4.60, and you can book it online. The train takes about 1 hour. Once you’ve arrived in Civitavecchia, you’re either a 8 minute cab ride, or a roughly 35 minute walk from the ferry port. Another option is to take….

Private Transfer

You can be picked up by a driver and taken straight to the Civitavecchia cruise port. The trip takes 1 hour, and costs about $120 USD per car. (So depending how many people you are, it might work out to be an affordable, convenient investment.) The benefits to this is are the hassle-free, and being picked up right from your hotel and taken straight to the ferry.

Shuttle bus

For 15 euro, you can take a shuttle bus from Rome (Pizza Indipiandaza) to the Civitavecchia ferry port.

Civitavecchia to Sardinia

There are six ferry ports in Sardinia, and from Rome you can sail into almost all of them. The one you choose

Ferry ports in Sardinia

As you can see, there are quite a few ferry ports in Sardinia! You can take the ferry from Rome to Sardinia to all of the above locations except for Santa Teresa di Gallura.

Which ferry port in Sardinia you choose to sail to depends which location you’re interested in and if you have a preference for how long you spend on the ferry. Here are the approximate length of times to spend on the ferry from Rome (Civitavecchia) to the Sardinia locations.

Civitavecchia to Caligari: 13 hours
Civitavecchia to Albatax: 9 hours
Civitavecchia to Olbia: 5h 30 mins – 7h 30 mins (depending on the provider)
Civitavecchia to Porto Torres: 7h 15 mins

The ferry from Civitavecchia to Olbia is by far the most common, with cruises leaving 30 times per week, and you have three different cruise lines to choose from: Grimaldi Lines, GNV and Terrenia.

Use Direct Ferries to see all the timetables and options in one place.

PRO TIP: If you’re travelling around Italy, and want to try two different options from travelling to Sardinia, this is absolutely possible. This is what we did: we flew from Rome to Caligari one way, and then when we left Sardinia we took a ferry from Olbia to Livorno (to explore a different part of Italy.) So, mixing the two is always a possibility.

Final Thoughts: Rome to Sardina

I hope this has helped make your options of getting from Rome to Sardinia more clear. Whichever way you choose, you’re in for quite the treat in Sardinia – it is a gorgeous island with beautiful landscapes, rich history and lots to do. I was very glad that I made it part of my trip in Italy.

Originally, I only went to Sardinia for the scuba diving. But I discovered one of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever seen. (And I’m a seasoned traveller.) Buon Viaggo!