Tips before you go to Sardinia

Sardinia is an island in the South of Italy, because Italy is a European Country it is easy to travel. No vaccinations needed and it is safe. Here some tips to check before you leave and some inspirations for your travels.

General Information

Sardinia is part of the EU so all European citizens can travel without a visa. Please check if your country beforehand if you need a Visa. The Euro is the currency in Sardinia. Cash machines can be found in every city or bigger town. Credit cards are widely accepted around the island. I had to pay the smaller B&B with cash, so make sure you always carry some with you.

The costs are manageable, the best Italian coffee you can get for only 1,20 EUR is a treat of course. And an real Italian ice-cream with to bowls for 2,50 EUR. Pizza from 6-12 EUR and pasta for 13 EUR. The food is delicious so enjoy it!!

My mobile worked via my home network due to the roaming agreement. That was great! Having no time difference compared to the main part of Europe is a big advantage; no jet lag recovery needed!! In Sardinia they speak Italian but also their own dialect Sardo. With my Spanish and English I could manage myself and google translate helped me out too…

I traveled in September, between the end of the high season and the beginning of the low season. Still the temperature was 28°C and no sweater needed at night. I suggest to escape the high season (July and August) and go in the so called shoulder season (April, May, June, mid-September and October) if you can, the beaches, roads and accommodations are less full and prices are cheaper, while the temperature is still very good. Low season (November to March) could get chilly and rainy, even some hotels and sights will be closed.

I could not get use to the siesta; during 1:00PM and 4:00PM the shops are closed. Be aware that if you are late for lunch the restaurants are closed after 3:00PM and will open only after 8:00PM. It happed to me a couple of times while I was driving that I was too late or too early for dinner or lunch. You could get some fresh fruits next to some of the roads. See in the separate blogs for the food inspirations.

Tip: Make sure you take some spare cookies, water and fruits with you so you don’t have to be hungry. Or eat at the right times!!

Transport

You can reach Sardinia by car and ferry from ports in Italy, France and Spain to Olbia, Golf Aranci, Santa Teresa di Gallura, Porto Torres, Arbatax and Cagliari. By air like I did from Amsterdam (2-2,5 hours), but also from the main capital cities in Europe and  bigger Italian cities. Sardinia has three airports; Olbia, Alghero and Cagliari which is the capital city of Sardinia.

Tip: Book two separate plane tickets to and from different airports. This way you don’t have to drive back and in my situation it saved me money too. The two separate tickets where cheaper than a round trip ticket Cagliari. Be aware that the car company charges you with the so called One-Way Fee, so take this in consideration when booking the flights. In my instance it was ±60 EUR. Click here for the route.   

I suggest to book a car, the public transport is not optimal and with the car you are free to drive through the whole country. I had two weeks holiday and I drove 1521 km….. that is a lot but it didn’t feel like it. Maybe because I was super lucky that Sixt Rent a Car, upgraded my Mini One into a brand new Mini Cabrio!!!!! That made my holiday, I have to admit. Please check several rental car websites, the price difference is huge. I booked for the first time via my airline Transavia at Cartrawler and was very positive about it, cheapest price and service is ok (and the upgrade of course…). I noticed that the Fiat Seicento (typical Italian car) was way more expensive than the Mini. So keep searching for your most favorable car.

The roads in Sardinia are mixed, from perfect busy highways to empty dirty roads. You can take the fast route but I preferred to take the detour off the beaten track roads through the most beautiful mountains, hills and remote beaches and towns.

Because of being an island, most of the transport in Sardinia is via water; Boats, ferries, zodiacs, sailing boats, kiteboarding, surfing boards and kayaks. You can book trips alone the magnificent coasts on very fast, professional and comfortable inflatable boats.

Tip: You can even rent a boat by yourself. Be warned, a lot of accidents happen with unskilled people renting the boats. The big disadvantage is that the guides on the boat now the route and the good spots, if you rent one yourself you probably miss out some of the nice spots! 

Accommodation

I stayed only one or two nights at one place. I understand this is not the way of traveling everybody likes and can do. But Sardinia is perfect for that. The types of accommodations are endless. From the traditional Authentic Agriturismi (farm houses), B&B, resorts, apartments, boutique and normal hotels name it. I stayed in all except the resort… In my separate blogs I will discuss the accommodation in detail.

Most of the time I booked the accommodation directly or via booking.com. I even booked some of the hotels upon arrival or the same morning; I think you can’t do this in the high season but not sure. With the B&B type of accommodation they want to know the arrival time, which was not easy to estimate sometimes. They contact you via Whatapp, some even asked me how my journey was after I returned back home in the Netherlands, all very friendly and helpful. In all the separate blogs for each part of Sardinia I will tell you where I stayed and what I will recommend you.

Food in Sardinia

The kitchen in Sardinia is very divers; meat, fish, cheese, olives, fruits, wines, pasta all fresh from the farm land. Breakfast is simple with the traditional Sardinians; a cappuccino and croissant standing at a bar. In the hotels they offer a more extended version of breakfast, but al lot of sweets to be found on the table.

The meals have four courses here, antipasti, primo (pasta or risotto), secondo (meat or fish) and dulce. I normally did not take all four but chose two and sometimes three if I was really hungry. What I really liked is the aperitivo; that is between 5 to 8PM a drink with some cheese and slices of meat (small antipasti). Pecorino, the sheep’s milk cheese, you see a lot here.

Before you order, you normally get a bread basket with bread and some crisp crackers; called pane carsasau. Sardinia is an island, so indeed had some nice fish dishes, had pulpo (squid), pasta vongole (clams) and mussels. And as you know me I love desserts, dulce. The island’s most famous dessert is seadas (or sebadas), a fried pasty (kind of pasta) stuffed with ricotta or sour cheese, topped with honey.

To be honest, I preferred the tiramisu. Sometimes I skipped dulce and bought a gelato (ice-cream) in the street. In the separate blogs more on food and restaurants.

Buon Viaggio!!!

 

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