Crystal clear turquoise waters

September 7, 2017

There's hundreds of online articles about "the best beaches of Sardinia" but after days of research, getting to most of these stunning beaches without a car proved  to be very difficult.  But then I found the beaches along the Golfo Aranci Peninsula, in particular Spiaggia Di Marinella and Spiaggia di Cala Sabina which are very conveniently served by a local train from Olbia a few times each day. 


Olbia railway station and the views along the way towards Marinella and Cala Sabina


How did we do it? 


We arrived Olbia ferry port in the morning having caught the ferry from Genoa the previous evening.  Locating the bus to the town proved a bit difficult so we ended up walking the few kilometers from the ferry terminal to the hotel (Colonna Palace Hotel Mediterraneo) located right next to the train station.  It wasn't a bad walk in any way, but the awful sound of a pull along suitcase is highly irritating! 


After checking in, we quickly walked back to the train station to catch the 10:10 departure towards Golfo Aranci.  There was an earlier train at 08:55 (which we missed as the ferry only arrived at 08:30) and then the next one wasn't until 13:00 (which we felt was a bit late).  The journey time to Marinella was just 14 minutes and from Marinella train station, it was a 500 meter walk (7 minutes) to Spiaggia Di Marinella beach.  


How to check train times and fares? 


For train times and fares visit Trenitalia's journey planner, but to give you an indication of how much it might cost, the website states €1.90 for a one-way ticket to Marinella and €2.50 all the way to Golfo  Aranci.  Interrail and rail staff travel FIP coupons valid on mainland Italy are also valid on Trenitalia services on Sardinia. 


Spiaggia Di Marinella


Photos describe beaches far better than words, so I will not even attempt to explain how beautiful the beach was - instead I will just leave a couple of photos here so that you make your own mind up. 


Spiaggia Di Marinella


Spiaggia Di Marinella


The "Half-way" Beach 


We spent around an hour or two on Spiaggia Di Marinella, but made a beeline for Marinella's only supermarket (Dettori Market Srl) before it closed for lunch at 13:00 - it is located on the opposite side of the small Marina on Località Punta Marana.  From here we walked 1.9 kilometers to a nameless beach. Google maps claims this walk is 23 minutes but I am sure the walk was closer to 35 minutes as were wearing flip flops and carrying all that beach gear and food. 


But the big questions is, where did we end up? 


Well, the next beach was pretty much half way between Spiaggia Di Marinella and Spiaggia Di Cala Sabina, but I am yet to find a name for it.  Nonetheless, here is a Google maps link for the walk we took (mainly along roads) from Marinella's supermarket to our second beach. 


Do we really care about the beach name when the sea looks like this? No....


A train from Olbia to Golfo Aranci passes by this nameless yet stunning beach


And I decided that this beach reminded me of an untouched deserted island 


Spiaggia Di Cala Sabina


It was sad having to leave this beautiful beach behind but we didn't have much choice as the train station to get back to Olbia was about 2 kilometers away - either back towards Marinella or forwards to Cala Sabina.  We chose the latter option. 


The walk to Cala Sabina was 1.6 kilometers along a dirt track with beautiful vistas over the bay we had just been swimming in - Google maps.  It was more peaceful than the earlier walk along roads from Marinella and as we came round the last corner, we were greeted with this spectacular beach... 


Spiaggia Di Cala Sabina (with a Golfo Aranci bound train passing by)


Spiaggia Di Cala Sabina


Spiaggia Di Cala Sabina - deep in thoughts


Getting back to Olbia


The train station at Spaiggia Di Cala Sabina was basically on the beach, with the path leading up to the station going through a small woodland area and being nothing more than sand.  There were a few options for trains back towards Olbia: 15:30, 17:36, 18:49 or 19:56.  We went for the 18:49 option.  The journey time is just 20 minutes and the views between Cala Sabina and Marinella are spectacular.


Spectacular views from the train between Cala Sabina and Marinella


* Note: I have just checked train times for Monday 9th October 2017 and the timetable is very different to what I have written above.  It seems that there are no trains to Cala Sabina on 9th October 2017 which may indicate that the train only serves this beach in the summer months.  It's easy to check train times though, just visit Trenitalia's journey planner.


And nothing would  be complete without... 


Me leaning against an open train window and smiling - what a perfect day! 


Getting to Olbia 


So I have tried to explain "How to reach Marinella and Cala Sabina by train" from Olbia, but how do you reach Olbia itself without a car?  Here are the possible ways and a little bit of information to help get your planning underway.


By Air...

Olbia Costa Smeralda International Airport is served by airlines from various European countries.  A lot of these flights are seasonal but use Google Flights, or your preferred flight search tool to find your perfect flight. 


By Train...

Olbia is connected to the Sardinian Trenitalia rail network, with direct connections possible to Cagliari and Sassari (from where another train operator - ARST - can take you onto Alghero).  I have attempted to briefly explain "How to travel around Sardinia by train" using Trenitalia, ARST and Trenino Verde. 


By Ferry...

Olbia is connected to several mainland Italian and French towns - use 'A Ferry' to check timetables, operators, routes and fares or read about "My sea travel experience from Genoa to Olbia" on Wednesday 6th September 2017. 


More Photos


There are always more photos to be shared, but sharing them all on this journal page will just make it look cluttered - so if you want to see more photos for travel inspiration, check out my Flickr Italy (Sardinia) album. 


Next Stop?


Alghero - Friday 8th September 2017




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