An enjoyable way to discover the island
Although the suggested way to visit the island is by car (trains and buses are not the top if you wish to move from one area to another: trains drive not very fast and the connections are a bit hard), the possibility to visit Sardinia by train and local buses is not impossible: you just need to plan your travel in advance.
There is one main railway line that crosses the island from south to north, going from Cagliari to Golfo Aranci, and a dozen of secondary shorter lines. The railway covers the 8 provinces, but many territories are still without rail connections.
If you are arriving to Cagliari Airport, in the south of the island, you can chose among different options.
First of all, you have to catch a taxi or take a bus in order to reach Piazza Matteotti, in Cagliari (just 15 minutes from the airport). Here are both the train station and the bus station: so easy!
From Cagliari, you can take the main line heading to Oristano and stop there. From Oristano you can reach by bus the nice beaches of the area. There are really a lot, like San Giovanni di Sinis and Is Arutas, known as "the beach of the grains of rice". Oristano area is very quiet and not very frequented by mass tourism like other regions of the island.
Once visited the area of Oristano, you can go further and arrive to Sassari: once in Sassari, you can reach Alghero by bus. Alghero, called the little Barceloneta, has a very nice old town with nice modern and artisanal shops. The beaches around Alghero are very frequented and appreciated both from local and tourists.
There is another Airport nearby, which is about 10 Km from the city, so you could plan your departure from there.
Instead of Oristano, you can also decide to take one of the secondary train lines, departing from Cagliari heading to Iglesias area (the south-western area of Sardinia, called Sulcis Iglesiente). This area is renowned for its mining tradition: you can plan visiting, for example, the popular mines of Masua, Monteponi, Serbariu. The coasts of Sulcis Iglesiente are a true paradise for water sport lovers, because of the strong wind: you can practice diving, windsurf, kite, canottaggio, and many other sports. From Iglesias you can take the bus to reach the coast.
If you rather arrive in Olbia airport (north-eastern Sardinia) you can reach the city train station with the urban buses N.2 and N.10. From here, you can take the line heading to Golfo Aranci. It stops in the stations of Marinella, Cala Sabina (only during the summer) and Golfo Aranci Marittima. You can get off and easily reach the coast and the beaches in about 10 minutes walk. Golfo Aranci is a small village, considered one of the most important touristic centres of the coast.
Renting a car is still the best way, but trains are an option to consider for a more “adventurous” travel in Sardinia! Do you agree?