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Sardinia car hire tips
Where to pick up your car
The most popular car hire location in Sardinia is at Olbia Airport (OLB). If you've arrived by ferry, don't worry, there are plenty of major car rental brands along the north coast.
Top car rental brands
The most popular car rental brands in Sardinia are Sicily By Car, Locauto, Interrent, Alamo and Noleggiare.
Warmest month: August (25°C)
Coldest month: January (10°C)
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Hire a car in Sardinia
Sardinia can feel amazingly exotic and rather un-Italian.
Closer to North Africa than the Italian mainland, it is the second largest island in the Mediterranean sea – roughly the size of Wales.
While most people come for the white sand and emerald waters, which line the island’s edges, its mountainous interior is well worth a visit. Exploring the inland likely means escaping some of the resort crowds too and discovering the island’s unique heritage.
With so many beautiful beaches, it can be difficult to decide which ones to visit. Beaches in the north are often made up of smaller coves with particularly turquoise water. The northeast amazes with rock formations and the south beaches share the horizon with mountains and seaside cliffs.
Hiring a car is the easiest way to discover your favourite escape, as public transport doesn’t cover routes to many of the best beaches. Here are a couple exceptional sandy stretches to add to your route:
La Pelosa – one of, if not the most popular destination, it can can get very crowded in the summer but for good reason.
Costa Smeralda – with 80 bays and coves, and waters that are more of a glistening green than blue, the “Emerald Coast” is captivating place to explore.
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Explore the island by car
Cagliari Airport – CAG
The largest airport on the island.
Car hire pick up point
All car rental counters can be found at the arrivals area of the airport.
Famous for its picturesque little limestone bridge, it’s also a popular diving site.
This illuminated cave features giant stalactites, stalagmites and a 120 metre long saltwater lake.
A former mining town in the throws of redefining itself as a coastal resort.
A quaint city perfectly positioned to explore the West Coast.
Snapshots of Sardinia
The island’s strong sense of tradition, religion and vibrant personality shines through in its vast number of annual festivals.
Sa Sartiglia Carnival
Held in Oristano at the end of each February, this carnival is the biggest and most striking in Sardinia. Here, equestrian tournaments and masked horsemen take centre stage.
This religious procession from Cagliari to Pula claims to be one of the largest in the world. Over 5,000 participants dressed in colourful traditional costumes take part each May.
Festa di San Salvatore
Each September, young men run barefoot between Cabras and San Salvatore over two days. The dash is in remembrance of the townspeople who saved a statue of the Holy Saviour in 1506.
The island’s islands
Sardinia is surrounded by clusters of smaller islands and archipelagos, some inhabited, others unspoilt lands.
Off the Southwest Coast, this charming island is joined to the main island by a bridge, so it is possible to drive over for a visit.
La Maddalena Archipelago
The most popular set of islands, located in the northeast, is a well-known tourist location and national park. Don’t miss the phenomenal pink beach on Budelli Island.
This uninhabited slice of paradise was once a quarantine station, prison camp and maximum-security prison before being declared a national park.
Although Sardinia is not renowned for its cultural treasures when compared to mainland Italy, its patchworld past has left the island scattered with interesting structures.
The 1500BC crumbling circular defence tower is the main attraction of this site. It is the most impressive and important remains left by the Nuragic civilization.
Ancient city of Nora
The first city on the island, it was a significant commercial port. The Phoenician ruins overlook the wide bay and nearby town of Pula.
Lu Coddu Vecchiu
This site has stirred mythical legends over the years. These megalithic stones have been thought to be the graves of giants because of their size.