One such change has been a significant rationalization of the public transport sector in Sardinia with virtually all transport now coming under the one banner of ARST. The FdS and PANI now no longer exist with control of their routes coming under the ARST all of which, I am glad to say, makes things much easier for travelers trying to source details on public transport options to help plan a trip. Most transport options are now reported together on the one website (www.arst.sardegna.it)
Unfortunately this rationalization in the sector, probably all quite justifiable and correct, has come at the cost of some of the more interesting long distance bus routes across the island. There used to be some wonderful long distance bus runs passing some of the more unexpected and “off the beaten track” places and routes which formed the basis of many of the more “out of the way” itineraries on this site. Many of these bus runs have now been suppressed.
This does not mean that getting around Sardinia is now not possible – far from it. Most of the main routes proposed on www.getaroundsardinia.com still function very well. It is some of the more “out of the way” routes, however, that now only partly work, or do not work at all.
No longer can you travel across the top of the mountains direct from Dorgali to Lanusei for example (Itineraries A4, C4, M3, O4 and O5). And the long run through the middle from Lanusei to Gairo and onto Macomer (Itineraries A4 and O4) is another of the scenic and fabulously unexpected routes that have fallen by the wayside.
We are aware that these changes (and others) have meant that some of the more adventurous itineraries on www.getaroundsardinia.com do not currently function and require adjustment. This process is currently underway. In the meantime, and until this is ready, we strongly recommend that you study carefully all timetable data to ensure that the route you might be thinking of embarking upon is still possible.
[02/01/2009] ARST assumes control of FdS and FMS services
The public transport system in Sardinia has for some time been undergoing change and restructuring, the latest result of which is that the operations of both the FdS (Ferrovie della Sardegna) and the FMS (Ferrovie Meridionali Sarde) have now come under the control and operation of ARST. For the moment the websites for both FdS and FMS appear to continue to operate and provide information on the transport routes originally provided by these two groups although the FMS website is now called "ARST Sede Iglesias Carbonia". A new combined website may appear in the future. There may also have been, or may be in the future, some changes to services as a result of these structural changes in the operating companies.
If planning an itinerary at this time we would check particularly carefully the timetables and associated notes to avoid being caught unawares by any possible changes.
[07/08/2006] Festa del Redentore - Nuoro
This important festival held in Nuoro every year at the end of August is a great opportunity to get acquainted with some of the inland Sardinia culture. One of the best and most complete processions of traditional dress of any of the islands important festivals plus folk music and dancing and opportunities to taste the local fare. Make the effort to get there if you can. See our Activities section for more info.
[06/08/2006] Summer Has Arrived
Summer has arrived and with it the heat and humidity, and whilst this might not really be NEWS it is a great excuse to get around to some of Sardinia's wonderful beaches, many of which can be accessed by public transport during the summer months (from mid June till early September). Even if you find yourself in the Islands capital of Cagliari there is no shortage of beach choices which start with the city's very own beach of Poetto. Or, you could try something further afield and far more scenic, like Chia on coast South-West of Cagliari. See our Activities section for more info.
[28/04/2006] Sant Efisio
Apparently a roman soldier imprisoned at Cagliari and subsequently executed at Nora west of Cagliari around the third century for refusing to renounce his newly acquired Christian faith, Sant Efisio has since been attributed with helping the city of Cagliari on several occasions throughout history. In particular his reputed assistance when the city was afflicted by the Plague in the 1650's led to the commencement of a yearly festival held in his honour, a tradition which is still alive today. The festival, covering 4 days, currently commences on the first of May when visitors to Cagliari can witness an impressive procession of traditional costumes, music and dancing from all over Sardinia leading up to the passing of the statue of the Saint himself as it commences its 4 day journey from the city out to Nora and back again. Being one of the most impressive festivals of the Islands calendar this event is very popular so it would be wise to book well ahead if you intend to stay over night in Cagliari during this period. Otherwise, being the island's capital, Cagliari is well connected by public transport to many other towns and cities making a day trip possible. The Itinerary Ideas included in this site provide ideas on how to access Cagliari by public transport, with links to the websites of some of the major public transport providers on the island provided also. As the first of May is a nationwide public holiday, however, be very careful to check the fine print and conditions in public transport timetables to help minimise the risk of being stranded somewhere you hadn't planned. As a colourful procession and small taste of Sardinian culture, we think that the Festival of Sant Efisio is worth the effort to see if you find yourself on the island at the right time.
[21/12/2005] Sa Sartiglia
The annual festival which sees horses galloping down one of the main streets of Oristano whilst the decorated and masked rider attempts to lance with a sword a tiny hole in the middle of a metal star suspended across the roadway and in so doing hopefully assist in assuring the successful harvest for the coming season, has been held for centuries. Currently it is held on the Sunday and Tuesday in the lead up to Lent and in 2006 should be held on 26 and 28 of February. Whilst the contest to pierce the star is the main event, the festival includes also parades of traditional costume, displays of dancing and produce, and heart stopping exhibitions of horsemanship involving groups
of riders in all sorts of acrobatic poses created at full gallop. Accommodation options in Oristano during the festival usually fill up very fast so book early, otherwise Oristano can be reached fairly easily by public transport from several Sardinian towns and cities making day trips a possibility. See some of the itinerary ideas in this site for ideas on how to get to Oristano, with links to some of the main public transport operators on the island provided here. Sa Sartiglia is without a doubt one of the more impressive and exciting festivals on the Island. Try not to miss it.
(Photos courtesy Valeria Lallai)
[02/11/2005] Central Sardinian Reds
Why not take a morning out to get to know some of the wines of the area around Nuoro, important centre for the production of the dry ruby-red DOC Cannonau, the "Wine of the Sardinians". Two centres of production which are easily reached by public transport (and can be combined together in a half day or so from either Nuoro or Dorgali / Cala Gonone) are Dorgali itself and Oliena home of the somewhat renowned and characteristic "Nepente of Oliena". Some say that the reds of the center of Sardinia play an important part in the health and longevity of the people living in this area, and certainly they are the perfect accompaniment to the roast meats and strong seasoned cheeses characteristic of the zone. See our activities section for a couple of ideas.
[19/09/2005] Fuel Prices
Fuel Prices just seem to keep on climbing and this can make hiring a car to get around on your holidays all the more expensive. If you are lucky enough too not have to worry about such things then this site probably wont interest you very much. If, on the other hand, you are like most of us and are trying to make your holiday funds stretch just that little bit further, then you might stop thinking of a hire car as the only solution, and consider also the possibility of getting around in public transport. This site aims to present some travel and transport ideas which might help you get around Sardinia without the need for a hire car, and which might, at the same time, actually help you spend a little less during your short visit. Check out some of the ideas, design your own itinerary, and go Get Around Sardinia (Oh, and drop us a line to let us know how it went).
[02/09/2005] Time to start looking inland.
The start of September brings with it the passing of the hottest part of summer, and whilst there is still plenty of beach weather ahead, the slightly cooler weather means it is a good time to start to explore some of the cultural and scenic highlights of the Sardinian interior. September also sees the start of the annual series of cultural events known as Autunno in Barbagia (Autumn in the Barbagia) which is organised by the Nuoro Chamber of Commerce and sees a different central Sardinian town each weekend hosting tastings of local produce, displays of local handicrafts, artworks, singing and dancing, and many other interesting events. It is a great way to see a little of the Barbagia culture and traditions in some of the areas in which they are still quite strong. Often Sunday is the most interesting day to attend, but there are usually activities also on Saturday afternoons and sometimes also Friday evenings. For more details see the website for the Nuoro Chamber of Commerce www.nu.camcom.it (go to the section titled Agenda). The program for September sees the town of Bitti on the first weekend followed by Oliena on the second and Orotelli on the third weekends. Bitti and Oliena can be reached by ARST bus from Nuoro (but be careful of Sunday timetables) with ideas on how to get to Nuoro included in some of the Itinerary ideas in this site (for example A1, O1, C3). Orotelli is more difficult to get to. If you intend to stay in any of the towns during the actual weekend of the event in that town then it would be wise to book ahead.
[12/08/2005] Getting around in summer
During the summer period some public transport timetables and routes change as routes serving students and workers either shut down or are significantly reduced whilst new routes serving coastal beach areas start up. It is important therefore to check the notes carefully when reading transport timetables both to avoid being caught out and to make the best use of opportunities available only at this time of the year. See our itinerary ideas A5 (out of Alghero), C4 (out of Cagliari), and O5 (out of Olbia) which make use of some of this summertime only transport. They might give you some ideas for your own itinerary planning. This is not to say that the other Itinerary Ideas should not still be valid at this time of year however.
We have made a small modification to Day 1 of both Itinerary Idea O1 based out of Olbia, and Itinerary Idea M1 based out of the mainland. The modification involves transport between Olbia and Alghero.