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Arriving

By Plane -- Flight is the fast way to go. The main arrival point is outside the capital of Cagliari at Aeroporto-Cagliari-Elmas (tel. 070-211211; www.sogaer.it). The airport lies 6km (4 miles) west of the center of Cagliari. Buses run from the airport to Piazza Matteotti in front of the train station in Cagliari.

The city of Alghero is serviced by Aeroporto Alghero-Fertilia (tel. 079-935282; www.aeroportodialghero.it). The airport is 13km (8 miles) from Alghero and linked by a bus to the main station in the center of town. Aeroporto Costa Smeralda (tel. 0789-563444; www.geasar.com) serves both the Emerald Coast and the town of Olbia, to which it is linked by bus. Taxis run the 4km (2 1/2 miles) distance to the heart of the Costa Smeralda.

Meridiana (tel. 892928) for bookings in Italy, or 0789-52682 outside Italy) offers the most flights. It has direct flights from most major Italian cities, including Milan, Rome, and Bologna, to the Olbia Costa Smeralda airport. Other flights connect Milan, Rome, Florence, Naples, Palermo, Turin, and Vergona to Cagliari. Flights are also available from Frankfurt, London, and Paris to Oblia. Alitalia (tel. 800/223-5730 in the U.S., 020/7602-7111 in London, or 65641 in Rome) flies from Rome's Fiumicino Airport to Cagliari several times daily in 40 minutes.

By Boat -- The major car-ferry route to Sardinia is from Civitavecchia on the Italian mainland, which is 80km (50 miles) north of Rome. Vessels arrive at Olbia on the eastern coast of Sardinia, providing access to the chic resorts of Costa Esmeralda and Porto Rotondo. The crossing takes 7 hours. Service is also available from Civitavecchia to Cagliari (trip time is 14 hr.). Many lines operate these car ferries, the most reliable of which is Tirrenia at Stazione Marittima in Civitavecchia. In July and August, book space well in advance. A one-way trip from Civitavecchia to Oblia costs 50€ ($73) per person. The lines also run ferries from Naples to Cagliari that take about 17 hours and cost 75€ ($109) per person. To call Tirrenia, dial tel. 892123 in Italy, or 081-0171998 outside Italy.

Getting Around Sardinia

You can take your car from the Italian mainland , and we recommend that you do so if you want to leave your resort and explore Sardinia. The main roads are in fairly good condition, but facilities such as gas stations are inadequate in the east.

By Bus -- ARST (tel. 070-40981; www.arst.sardegna.it) links the major towns of Sardinia, including Cagliari and Alghero. The main station is Stazione Autolinee, Piazza Matteotti in Cagliari (tel. 070-4098324), which has schedules of all ARST buses serving the island. Standard fares can be purchased in advance and punch it into the machine once on the bus.

By Train -- Service is inadequate, the main station being in Cagliari next to the bus station on Piazza Matteotti. There are good connections between Oblia (if you're at the Costa Smeralda) and Cagliari, and good service is available between Cagliari and Alghero. Trains between Olbia and Cagliari take 4 hours. For rail information, call Ferrovie dello Stato (tel. 892021; www.trenitalia.com).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.