Traveling to Sardinia: ferry or plane?

Find all the answers to your questions

Everyone dreams of going to Sardinia, but the question bothering travelers is always the same: is it better to travel by ship or plane? ⛴️ vs ✈️

On Ferryhopper, we have all the answers you need. We will share with you the pros and cons of each of the two ways to travel to the most popular island in Italy and leave the final decision up to you!

The colorful buildings in the historic center of Cagliari, Italy

The historic center and colorful buildings of Cagliari

How to travel to Sardinia

To get to Sardinia and experience a magical vacation on an island with amazing beaches, rich history and important tradition, there are 2 transportation options: by ferry and by plane.

The ports of Italy connected with Sardinia are Civitavecchia, Naples, Palermo, Piombino, Livorno, Genoa, and Savona, with ferry routes available all year round.

You can also reach Sardinia from abroad. In fact, there are ferry connections to the island from the ports of Barcelona in Spain from Nice and Toulon in France, as well as from the ports of Bastia, Ajaccio and Bonifacio in Corsica.

For those who prefer to travel by plane, many companies offer flights to Sardinia from Italy and other countries. The main airports of the island are Olbia, Cagliari and Alghero.

Take a look at our complete guide to ferries to Sardinia in 2024 and and get the latest updates!

Why choose the ferry to travel to Sardinia

Even though traveling by plane to Sardinia may look like the more convenient option in terms of time and money, there are several parameters to consider before making your choice.

Here are some arguments in favor of a ferry trip:

  • Traveling by ferry is certainly more fun and will give you the opportunity to move freely on the ship during the trip and admire the beautiful sea from the deck.
  • Sardinia has more ports than airports. If you travel by ferry, you can get directly to Cagliari, Arbatax, Olbia, Golfo Aranci, Porto Torres, and Santa Teresa Gallura
  • On the ferry, you can transport your own vehicle and carry more luggage without a strict weight limit. This is very important, considering that the car is your best option to get around Sardinia. You can always travel by plane and rent a car on the island, but why worry about driving a vehicle that is not yours?
  • There are options for every budget: from traveling on the deck or choosing numbered airplane-type seats, to booking a cabin or a suite.
  • Ferry operators promote a series of attractive offers throughout the year. Many of them concern bookings in advance and trips to Sardinia in the off season.
  • Not all low-cost airlines allow pets on board. On ferries to Sardinia you can always travel with your pet, and even book a pet cabin!
  • If you are traveling with the kids, some ferry companies allow children up to 3-4 years old to travel free of charge (it’s up to 2 years old for airlines) and there are also discounts available for older children.

Ferry that sails near the rocky coast of Arbatax in Sardinia

Ferry sailing near the rocky coast of Arbatax in Sardinia

More reasons to pick the ferry over the plane for your trip to Sardinia

Haven’t the pros of a ferry trip to Sardinia fully convinced you yet? 

Here are 3 extra reasons why it would be better to avoid the plane:

  1. If you drive to the airport with your car, you must also consider the cost of parking there for several days.
  2. In the summer, renting a car in Sardinia to get around the island more comfortably, is not a very cheap option. In fact, it can cost you around €80-€100 per day.
  3. Given that you can’t really leave Sardinia without some gastronomic souvenirs, in case you want to carry liquids or heavier goods back home, you might face some transportation problems due to limitations at the airport.

Useful tip: if you want to travel in the high season but not spend too much, you might want to consider some alternative routes. If you combine the ferry route from Livorno to Bastia (Corsica) with the ferry route from Bonifacio to Santa Teresa Gallura, you can get to northern Sardinia for less.

Santa Teresa Gallura and its coast from above, in Sardinia, Italy

The village of Santa Teresa Gallura and its wonderful coast

If by now you agree that taking a ferry to Sardinia is by far the best option, you just have to plan your ferry trip!

On Ferryhopper, you can book your ferry tickets to Sardinia easily and quickly. Check all ferry routes, compare companies and prices, and organize your trip without hidden fees!