Why go to Sardinia?
Sardinia is home to Su Giudeu beach, revered as one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean
If you're not a beach lover, your activity options are slim
The island offers a peaceful respite from larger Western Mediterranean ports
Sardinia Cruise Port Facilities?
Porto Cervo, gateway to the famed Costa Smeralda, is packed with tourists between June and September, the regatta season. The main area is the cafe and restaurant-lined Piazza Azzurra, a hub for cultural events. There are ATMs, Internet cafes, shops and restaurants.
Alghero, nicknamed little Barcelona, is an atmospheric Catalan town with a walled port and lush harbor. You'll find Internet cafes, ATMs, a tourist office, shops and restaurants, all within walking distance, about five minutes from the port. The tourist office is located at Piazza Porto Terra.
Cagliari's main port is near Piazza Matteotti, which houses the Sardinian tourist office. Cruise ships dock close to the center of Cagliari. There are shuttle buses and taxis.
In front of the bus station, Stazione Marittima, is an information kiosk. Maps and other helpful information can be obtained there. Visitors will find ATMs, Internet cafes, shops and restaurants nearby. A maze of streets off the square leads to the waterfront, known as the marina, with numerous restaurants and churches including Chiesa di Sant'Eulalia.
Good to Know?
Alghero and Cagliari have cobblestone streets. Wear comfortable walking shoes before venturing on a tour of the old cities. Beware of the heat in the summer months of June, July and August. Wear a hat, use plenty of sunscreen and bring water along so you don't get dehydrated. Streets are narrow and the drivers drive faster than in the U.S. If renting a car, drive cautiously.
On Foot: Porto Cervo is pleasant for walking, and the port area has beautiful yachts, designer shops and restaurants. Rental cars or taxis are the best option to venture farther afield.
By Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Sardinia's larger towns. In Cagliari, taxi stands are located at Piazza Matteotti, Piazza della Repubblica and Largo Carlo Felice. You can also call a cab (070-40-01-01).
By Bus: Buses operate around and between Sardinia's towns. In Cagliari, the main ARST intercity station is at Piazza Matteotti. PANI buses to various towns leave from Cagliari's Stazione Marittima (the ticket office is inside the port building). A biglietto giornaliero (day ticket) on CTM, which services Cagliari and Poetto beach, is 2.10 euros. Bus service is infrequent on Sundays and holidays. In Alghero, buses only operate outside of the Old Town. Taxis are available and you can rent cars.
By Car: There are no highways in Sardinia. Roads are twisty, with frequent switchbacks and sheep crossings. The cost of a rental car ranges between 40 and 55 euros per day, including insurance. In Cagliari, rentals are available from Autonoleggio at via S. Giacomo, 134 or Augonoleggio Mereu at Piazza Giovani XXIII, 37. Rent for scooters is 25 to 30 euros.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
Sardinia's currency is the euro. For updated currency-conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. Money and travelers checks can be exchanged at a post office, cambio booth or bank. Banks are generally open 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. In Cagliari, Banco di San Paolo is conveniently located next to the main train station at Piazza Matteotti with ATMs inside the station. ATMs are also located throughout the city.
Many Sardinians are bilingual, speaking Italian and Sardinian (which is closer to Latin than Italian). Sardinian is more likely to be spoken in smaller towns and villages. Some residents of Alghero speak a version of Catalan. English is spoken in the shops and restaurants.
Where You're Docked?
Most cruise ships dock either in Porto Cervo in the northeast, Alghero in the northwest or Cagliari, the southern capital. The larger lines such as Costa, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Carnival dock at Cagliari. Smaller lines such as Silversea and SeaDream dock at Alghero. Porto Cervo is for smaller luxury yachts.
Porto Cervo, also known as the Old Port, is part of the village of Porto Cervo, with shops, stores, restaurants, ATMs and Internet access.
You arrive at Porto di Alghero, adjacent to the historic walled city. After you tender ashore, you walk directly into the city, which features shops, restaurants, Internet cafes and ATMs.
Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, has the largest port in the country. The center of the city is located just across the wide avenue from the Port of Cagliari.