France & Italy (September 2017)

July 22, 2017


Welcome to my first ever pre-travel journal, for my upcoming planned trip from Nice, France to Cagliari, Sardinia in September 2017 (Friday 1st to Monday 11th September). Every time I plan something, book something or simply change my plan, I will post it here. By doing this I hope it gives someone the courage and enthusiasm to plan a trip themselves, knowing when and how to book certain things, and helping you make that special journey unique and independent to your personal travel tastes.


This travel idea was born from the absolute desire to have one European beach holiday this summer (basically I was dreaming of swimming in the sea), preferably on the Mediterranean and including a part of France. My wife was adamant on Nice; I would’ve settled for any French town but preferably a place new to me, so I wasn’t particularly keen on Nice as we went there in August 2016 but she won in the end! With all my travels, train journeys are preferred, with bus journeys avoided as much as possible and car rentals just out of the picture. So with all this in mind, here’s the plan I came up with …


Update: Saturday 22nd July 2017


The idea:


A long weekend or a week long trip to the Mediterranean at the start of September. How hard could it possibly be to organise such a journey? …


Update: Tuesday 25th July 2017


Annual leave:


All agreed from work – step 1 complete!!!




The whole Tuesday evening was dedicated to this – it was painful, difficult and highly time consuming but in the end, after a large glass of wine I finally found the perfect flights. Before this I had tried every combination imaginable on Google Flights (my new flight friendly search tool when there isn’t just one pair of airports in mind) included various options for flying in or out of Nice, Corsica and / or Sardinia. Being almost at the end of the summer holiday season, the flights to and from both islands were marginally above my budget until I found this combination.


EASYJET: Friday September 1st 2017. London Gatwick 18:20 to Nice 21:25. £83.39 (two tickets).


BRITISH AIRWAYS: Monday September 11th 2017. Cagliari (Sardinia) 13:20 to London Gatwick 15:05. €190.18 (two tickets). Used 8500 Avios points for a €70 discount.




NICE: Check in Friday September 1st (4 nights) at AirBnB. Check out September 5th. £306 / Average nightly rate £76.50 including service & cleaning fees. Booked through


Rough plan:


Day 1 (FR): Arrive Nice at 21:25

Day 2 (SA): Nice

Day 3 (SU): Nice and Train des Pignes

Day 4 (MO): Nice

Day 5 (TU): Nice, then train Nice to Genoa

Day 6 (WE): Genoa, then overnight ferry to Sardinia

Day 7 (TH): Sardinia

Day 8 (FR): Sardinia

Day 9 (SA): Sardinia

Day 10 (SU): Sardinia

Day 11 (MO): Sardinia, depart Cagliari at 13:20


Update: Wednesday 9th August 2017




Moby Lines ferry ticket booked from Genova (21:30) to Olbia (08:00) departing on Wednesday 6th September and arriving the following morning. Ferry name: DREA. Total cost €165.44 for 2 people (including a €90 inside 2-berth cabin surcharge). 




Italian railways FIP coupons ordered from ATOC / Rail Delivery Group. 




GENOVA: Check in Tuesday 5th September (1 night) at OStellin Genova Hostel €60. Booked through hostel website


OLBIA: Check in Thursday 7th September (1 night) at Colonna Palace Mediterraneo £79.02 - £60.40. Booked through


ALGHERO: Check in Friday 8th September (1 night) at Double B - Maison De Charme £73.31 - £63.94. Booked through


Update: Thursday 10th August 2017




CAGLIARI: Check in Saturday 9th September (2 nights) at AirBnB. £x / Average nightly rate £x including service & cleaning fees.. Booked through


Update: Saturday 19th August 2017


Train tickets:


FIP coupons arrived in the post this morning. 


Update: Thursday 31st August 2017


Packed and ready to go!


The Journey


Day 1 (FR): Arrival

Day 2 (SA): Nice & Menton

Day 3 (SU): "Train des Pignes à vapeur" to Annot

Day 4 (MO): Cap Ferrat

Day 5 (TU): Saint-Paul-de-Vence & train to Genoa

Day 6 (WE): Genova, Boccadasse & overnight ferry to Sardinia

Day 7 (TH): Golfo Aranci peninsula

Day 8 (FR): Alghero

Day 9 (SA): Bosa & Trenino Verde to Macomer

Day 10 (SU): Cagliari

Day 11 (MO): Cagliari & departure back home




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