Hi everyone! I'm planning a trip in 2018 (july or august) to Cala Mariolu. I've been doing a little research and not sure if anyone can give suggestions on how to get there from Rome. I see united flys direct from Chicago to Rome and wasn't sure if there are alternatives to taking a ferry. if not-any idea how much the ferry runs price wise and how long of a trip it is by sea? Also- is it worth staying a few nights on the island or is it really just a one day trip? Thanks in advance!
To get there from Rome, you can take a flight to Cagliari or Olbia. I think it is easier (and not necessarily more expensive) than the ferries. I know Alitalia has daily trips to both places, so you can check it for budget planning.
In google, you can also find many sites to get a quote for a ferry trip to Sardinia, but only for reference and planning, you can check Mobylines. I think the route Livorno-Olbia is the closest one from Rome, so you would also need to plan some Italy mainland trip to get to the port. The ferry can take from 6 to 9 hours and the price will pretty much depend on your options (number of passengers, fix seat, with a car, etc), but it is not cheap (for ref. 150 EUR per traveler, no options, no fixed seats).
If you go to Cagliari, then I would recommend staying in Arbatax or Santa Maria Navarrese. They are around 2-hour drive from Cagliari. In both cities, you can check trips to Cala Mariolu (usually there are different kiosks on the port area).
If you go to Olbia, then I think Cala Ganone is a good base. It is less than 2 hour drive from Olbia, and you can also buy trips to Cala Mariolu directly from there.
It is not easy to get to Cala Mariolu and at the best of my knowledge you can only access it by boat. You can decide the best option depending on your budget/desire, being the easiest one to rent a spot in a cruise company (around 45 EUR/per person). Usually it is a day trip (0900 – 1800), where you visit several beaches in the area. It is a good option, but be aware you will be travelling with 40+ people and likely you can only stay around 2 hour in Cala Mariolu. If you want flexibility, you can rent you own boat (with or without driver), but it will cost you much more (and may require more planning/booking).
Understand also that July and August are the “busiest” periods, so likely there will be many people in the beaches, including Cala Mariolu. The good news is the weather will likely be dry with good sun (so no big worries about rain). If you have no option to go in June, I would say early July is still better than August.
Independently of your option, I don’t think you will regret seeing one of the most beautiful beaches in the world .
Sardinia beaches are so beautiful that I would recommend staying at least a couple of days. My preference would be going to Cala Ganone and from there explore around.
P.S I don’t think it is possible to make this a 1 day trip from Rome, but maybe there are companies specialized in that
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