How to move around Sardinia

With the premise that the best way to travel through Sardinia is using a private mean of transport, there are two main possibilities to move around the island: you can arrive by ferry boat bringing your own car/motorbike/camper with you; or by plane, in which case it is highly recommendable to rent a car, unless you are planning a short stay in a major city, or a sedentary holiday in only one place.

The lack of public transports, in fact, often makes it difficult, if not impossible, to reach the less renowned locations on the coast, or the inland. If the major seaside locations on the shore are well served and easily reachable, the inland part of the island, on the contrary, as well as the less famous places along the coast, can be hardly reached by public transports. With that in mind, it must be said however that the bus network is good and efficient, and many parts of Sardinia can be easily reached by buses, which cover the majority of the municipal territories.

The public company offering a bus service on the island is the ARST which also manages the road transport once run by the Sardinia Railway System and the Southern Railway of Sardinia(www.ferroviemeridionalisarde.it). In particular, the Southern Railways guarantees connections between the main locations of the Sulcis Iglesiente with Cagliari; a bus service from Iglesias and Siliqua to San Giovanni Suergiu and Calasetta (in replacement of the railway service); a connection network on the island of San Pietro, in Carbonia and Iglesias; and finally a summer service connecting the beaches with the island of Sant’Antioco.

Where public transports don’t get, service is ensured by private companies. As for trains, the railway network is partly managed by the Italian Railway Company Trenitalia (www.ferroviedellostato.it), connecting Cagliari with Sassari and Porto Torres, Olbia with Golfo Aranci, and Iglesias with Carbonia.

The remaining territory is served by the Sardinia Railways, covering the city of Cagliari with Monserrato and Isili, Macomer with Nuoro, Sassari with Nulvi, and Sorso with Alghero. Beyond the reduced extension of the railway system, the main problem lies in the fact that the entire railway network is carried out on cog railways (the only electrical trains circulating on the island are the tram of the underground in Sassari and Cagliari). Therefore, trains are not the appropriate mean for functional transfers.

A completely different thing is the possibility to experience the Railway Tourism, thanks to the Little Green Train, which allow the visitor to enjoy the wild and western-like landscapes of the inland, otherwise unreachable. You can travel on board of old trains, some of which are still propelled through steam locomotives, a dream for all slow travelling lovers. And those who aren’t will certainly become after trying this amazing experience. The Little Green Train operates 4 lines: Mandas – Arbatax; Isili – Sorgono; Sassari – Nulvi – Tempio PausaniaPalau e Macomer – Bosa.
For info: www.treninoverde.com

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