Itinerary: A3, O3, C3
Not at all an unpleasant place to make an overnight stop, particularly out of season when it is not overrun with tourists.
The town is really made up of two parts being the old section very near the port, and the newer section called Porto Frailis which is a little distance from the port and is principally composed of holiday homes and tourist accommodation, much of which is closed out of season.
The town is not very big, but if you need to head off into Porto Frailis things can get a little confusing so it is better to arrive with a map in hand.
The bus from Tortoli and Dorgali (A3, O3, C3) will probably drop you off at the gates to the Port beside which is the FdS train station (of interest to anyone wishing to board in Arbatax the Trenino Verde for Cagliari which only runs during the summer). From here a short walk back along Via Lungomare will bring you into the centre of the original town where you will find a couple of restaurants open all year, and a few bars, shops etc.
Tickets for the Tirrenia Ferry must be bought the evening before departure and were on sale from the Travel Agency called Taratur which is located on Via Venezia near the corner with Via Calamoresca (take the first street on the left after leaving the port area and Taratur is directly in front of you).
Given the early morning departure time of the ferry, and the relative abundance of facilities, it is better to try to stay in the area of the original town. If this is not possible then there are a few reasonable priced hotels (and a couple of expensive numbers) plus a B and B in the area of Porto Frailis which remain open for most of the slow season. The easiest way to get here is to walk away from the port along Via Lungomare, take a left into Via Porto Frailis and then follow either along Via Ginevra or Via Foscolo depending upon where your hotel is. To get from this area back to the port however is a good 20 min walk which makes the early start for the ferry even earlier. In addition the eating options are a little limited in this area out of season. Some of the hotels operate their restaurants all year but it would be wise to check, otherwise there is a small supermarket and a take-away food and pizza outfit located near the junction of Via Ginevra and Viale Europa.
Whether you are coming in or out of season it would be a good idea to book ahead, even if for no other reason than to save a lot of time and shoe leather wasted when the place you had in mind is either closed or full. Some possibilities for accommodation are listed in our accommodation section.
If you need some exercise after the long bus trip to arrive, you can consider a visit to Calamoresca (South off Via Lungomare onto Via Calamoresca in the original part of town, then left (East) onto Via Batteria which finishes in a parking area overlooking this small and rocky but picturesque Bay) or a walk out to the Bay of Porto Frailis (follow Viale Europa to its South Eastern end). You could also pay a quick visit to the Rocce Rosse (Red Rocks) located at the back of a large parking area immediately to the left out of the Port gates however this area can be a little shabby and unkempt at times.
Finally there are regular orange local buses connecting Arbatax to nearby Tortoli where there is decidedly more life in the early evening if this is what you are looking for. The buses depart form just inside the Port gate.