Southern Sardinia archeological sites

Mar 9th, 2019, 05:42 PM
  #1  
plr
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Southern Sardinia archeological sites

Hope folks can help me here. In just a couple of months I'll have 11 days solo to hopefully explore as many of the southern ancient sites as possible out of Cagliari. (Will be joining a group tour after that to do the northern half of the island). I'm having a devil of a time finding any small group tours to join for this exploration. There simply are None! You instead have to pay huge amounts of money for private day-tours. Since I'm traveling solo & have never been to Sardinia, I'm a little intimidated about renting a car and trying to find all these remote places on questionable roads. Can anyone help me figure out how best to do this?
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Mar 10th, 2019, 05:27 AM
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We only had 8 days last fall, and, although we travel hard and fast, we were able to see most of the island in that time frame. We fretted over driving, but soon realized that was the only way to get around, at least to really see the island. And, we found that our anxiety was absolutely unwarranted. We were there in October, and except during rush hour in Cagliari (and even that wasn't bad except for a back-up caused by a damaged bridge one day), we experienced virtually no traffic, anywhere. We drove over mountain after mountain, visiting small hamlets (one in particular that has more centenarians than anywhere else in the world). Many breathtaking winding cliffside roads, and even those were easy to navigate because so much of the time, we felt we were about the only people on the road.

We downloaded google offline maps for Sardinia (so we didn't have to use costly data), and, with a little bit of homework, we were able to get around quite nicely. Although I was not traveling solo, the google maps still provide verbal commands that are helpful if you are solo without a navigator. And, without much traffic nearly everywhere, it's easy to pull off or turn around; in fact, the island was so beautiful we often (I mean very often) found ourselves pulling off to take photos. Some of the roads are a little slow going because of the road conditions, but not as bad as we have read in other reviews.

We rented our car in Alghero and returned it in Cagliari. We booked it via broker AutoEurope, which I highly recommend. Their insurance is a fraction of what the rental company will charge at the desk. It was very inexpensive (half of what it would have been on Corsica).

Food was great and inexpensive. People were friendly.

If interested, here is our trip report: Sardinia! You Gotta Go!! 8 nights. October

Happy to answer any other questions.
whitehall is offline  
Mar 10th, 2019, 06:17 AM
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You can do all by bus:
Pula/Nora, Barumini, Isili, Tharros. There are also local taxis.
Bus timetables:
ARST - Orari
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Mar 10th, 2019, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd View Post
You can do all by bus:
Pula/Nora, Barumini, Isili, Tharros. There are also local taxis.
Bus timetables:
ARST - Orari
We had considered public transportation via rail, but rail routes are quite limited and trains are very slow because they stop in every little town along the way. Buses go to more places, but the island is too large and too rural to have convenient service.

We drove hundreds of miles and donít recall passing any buses in the mostly rural areas we navigated. This and a quick look at some of the bus schedules suggested to us that the bus service is minimal, not terribly convenient or designed for tourists, and may require multiple changes in some cases. Trying to get to Tharros from Cagliari, less than two hours by car, sounds like an all-day experience on the bus. Also, it looks like you might have to overnight in Barumini if you want to go there. Seemed to us like that was out in nowhere. Have you had a different experience?
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Mar 10th, 2019, 08:25 AM
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Cagliari - Tharros:
Connections about every 2 hrs. For example:
Cagliari dp 10.40 - Oristano ar 11.33, walk to the bus station, dp 12.00 - Tharros ar 12.36
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Mar 10th, 2019, 08:27 AM
  #6  
plr
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Thank you Whitehall for taking the time to reply. I appreciate your feedback & recommendations.....and yes, I had already enjoyed reading your trip report!
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Mar 11th, 2019, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
We drove hundreds of miles and donít recall passing any buses in the mostly rural areas we navigated.
Agreed.
If you want to get into the mountains, forget about buses. There will be some, but they certainly don't take the scenic roads.
We, too, toured the island in three weeks (and haven't seen all of it) and I don't recall passing many buses.

MyriamC is offline  
Mar 11th, 2019, 04:26 AM
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If you really want to know how many buses run on which itineraries, then open the link in post 3.
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Mar 11th, 2019, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd View Post
If you really want to know how many buses run on which itineraries, then open the link in post 3.
Example of where we drove: Lanusei to Arzachena through the national parks = 2 hrs 20 min. drive.
As per your link, this is possible by bus ... if you are willing to leave at 5:25 and sit on the bus for almost 6 hours. No national parks, no chance to stop along the road.
Driving is the way to go in Sardinia if you want to enjoy the 'outback'.
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Mar 11th, 2019, 01:41 PM
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If someone really wants to go to Sardinia, rail is not a great option either except between some major points, but it seems to us to be the only reasonable alternative to buses. The Trevino Verde rail during tourist season operates four short lines that are designed for tourists to some remote areas. See rail map here: https://www.wanderingsardinia.com/ma...della-sardegna We passed over many railroad tracks for this smaller line; no crossing or lights, just the sign below.

One of the reasons rail, and even buses, donít work real well, Sardinia has a lot, and I mean a lot, of roads like the one below. Also, see a typical google map screen shot of a very short stretch of road. But have no fear, these roads were mostly empty, no other tourists that we noticed, making us wonder if any of the residents of the smaller towns ever drive their cars.






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Mar 11th, 2019, 03:07 PM
  #11  
plr
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I So appreciate all the discussion here in response to my question! I think that because all of the prehistoric sites I want to visit are pretty remote, there is no choice for me than to rent a car. I needed a strong pep-talk and experienced descriptions of what to expect--so thanks, Whitehall, for doing just that! I'm still concerned about it, but have taken on much bigger challenges when traveling in the past. Are there gas stations in most towns? I do still wish there were some day tours open to signing people up, even if single. Every one of the ones I researched require minimum of 2, and then you pay for all the empty seats.....in other words, they don't organize groups---you have to Have a group. Ugh!
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Mar 11th, 2019, 07:04 PM
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Many of the gas stations, at least in more developed areas, have 24/7 fully automated pumps, but we had a little difficulty figuring out the process. People are friendly, and we got plenty of help. In the mountains, be careful on Sunday, we had a few nervous miles there as we found most small town stations were closed. But I should have topped the tank earlier. If you can drive in the US, you will find Sardinia not to be a problem. The roads are narrow in places, sometimes filled with sheep or even cows, so we were happy to have a little easy to maneuver Fiat 500.
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Mar 11th, 2019, 07:31 PM
  #13  
plr
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Originally Posted by whitehall View Post
Many of the gas stations, at least in more developed areas, have 24/7 fully automated pumps, but we had a little difficulty figuring out the process.
Can you describe what the "process" is so that I will not waste time re-inventing the wheel? TIA!
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Mar 12th, 2019, 04:19 AM
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I didn’t mean to suggest that all of the stations with automated pumps are also never manned. Sundays and nights are a problem. The time on Sunday when we were driving on fumes, we tried to swipe a credit card and seemed to have a problem. Maybe it was our not being able to properly input our pin number, maybe it was simply a US credit card "after hours", I don't know. As we recollect, it was easy to insert cash (once someone else did it for us), and then type in a pump number, and it allowed us to get that euro amount in fuel.

We probably only fueled up a couple of times, since we had good range with the Fiat. I think one time we just paid the extra for full service, (“servito” lane), which was often available at stations close to population centers. We had an early morning flight from Cagliari and were advised by our landlord that we would probably only find automated pumps that early in the morning, and we didn’t notice any that looked open. We were quite low on fuel at that point and remembered the super nice Hertz (via Auto Europe) guy in Alghero, where we picked up the car, telling us that their re-fueling charge was reasonable on Sardinia and that we might find it better economically to return an almost empty fuel tank that way. So, that’s what we did.
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Mar 14th, 2019, 08:04 AM
  #15  
plr
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Thanks again, Whitehall! All of this information is So helpful! Couple more questions re your last note:
With US chip-credit card, can the 4-digit code be used successfully? And does a Fiat have any weird operating characteristics? (Sorry, I know that's a strange question, but for instance Peugeot cars are quirky...). Did you have any trouble finding parking in Cagliari? (which is where I will base myself for full-day trips for 5-6 days, but also want to roam the old city & national museum there).
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Mar 14th, 2019, 08:32 AM
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All would be so easy if you would eventually tell us WHICH archeological places you plan to visit.
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Mar 14th, 2019, 09:28 AM
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We got the chip and pin, after having difficulty, for example, buying rail tickets in a machine in Nice one time. We never had a problem after getting the pin (although it's not required everywhere. We had less luck using our AMEX card, but no problem with VISA. We used our debit card with pin at ATM machines (including Cagliari) and probably paid cash for most stuff. Rental cars prepaid. Maybe cash for most other purchases in Sardinia. We liked the Fiat a lot; can't think of anything strange. Not automatic which is normal in Europe for standards rentals, but we prefer that. Seems like we have rented Peugeots before though without any issues. We rented a beautiful airbnb apartment in Cagliari (nice young man was the owner), heart of the old town, very reasonable price. There was a parking garage directly underneath the old city (the only problem is that there used to be access from the garage to the old town but it appeared like it would be out of service, including other nearby accesses for a while due to some renovations). So, it meant a long walk (didn't bother us because we are walkers and travel light) to the furthest access to the old city. There was some street parking as well, but that seemed too competitive and there are men who try to get paid for finding those spots for you. Parking garage wasn't inexpensive (my credit card showed approx. $9.25 as a daily payment) but it worked for us, and we didn't have to worry about where to park. The best restaurants were outside the old city down by the waterfront.
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Mar 14th, 2019, 09:08 PM
  #18  
plr
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Southern Sardinia archeological sites

Originally Posted by neckervd View Post
All would be so easy if you would eventually tell us WHICH archeological places you plan to visit.
Sorry, neckervd, but I'm still working that out. Probably need to narrow it down to 20-30 sites at this point, but all mostly in the southern half of the island.
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Mar 14th, 2019, 09:21 PM
  #19  
plr
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Thanks, Whitehall! I am booked at Regina Margherita down by the train station/waterfront so I can walk from the train to the hotel, and then several days later go to the airport to pick up a car and have free parking there for the rest of the week to do day trips out of town to some major archeological sites (yet to be nailed down). Glad to hear Fiat is easy, so will do that. My credit card does have a chip but is not the European chip & pin type, I think. Will check on that for gas pumps. Otherwise, never had a problem with my ATM card for cash. Thx again!!
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Mar 15th, 2019, 01:27 AM
  #20  
 
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Do you really want to see every heap of stones which may have been a nuragus in the past?
Otherwise you will never arrive at 30 sites!
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