Sardinia’s Standard Gauge with Steam

25 April to 2 May

On this tour we cover all the Sardinian standard gauges lines, with a steam train we cover the local line Cagliari – Carbonia – Iglesias – Cagliari and the South North main line from Cagliari to Porto Torres, we also have the opportunity to do the branch-line to Golfo Aranci by a service train.

If we have enough time we can travel on some narrow-gauge branch lines.

Our steam train will be hauled by 2-8-0 loco Gr 740 423 FS, two “centoporte” coach and a two-axle baggage coach. A bus will follow us carrying our bags.


  • Five days of steam haulage on our private charter
  • At least 2 seats per passenger on the charter train
  • Stunning scenery
  • Mediterranean climate
  • Good hotels
  • Direct flights from London

Tour Manager: Angelina

Rail map of Sardinia (by David Bowker) – Click to enlarge

Itinerary – updated 24 Oct 2018

Day 1 Thursday 25 April (D) Several flight options from the UK with direct flights to Cagliari Airport from London Gatwick with British Airways. Bus transfer to Cagliari and overnight accomodation in the 4 star Hotel Regina Margherita. Welcome dinner at our hotel.

Day 2 Friday 26 April (B) Steam. This morning we leave Cagliari behind and travel North to Macomer. From Cagliari to Oristano the line is an ups and downs with 1,0 and 1,5% grade. From Oristano to Macomer the line reaches the 2,5% grade. As, in Macomer, there are no suitable hotels, our bus will take us to Oristano for the night. From Macomer starts the 68 kms. long narrow-gauge line to Nuoro, if we have time we can take a service train to Nuoro from where our bus will take us to Oristano. Night in Oristano at the 4 star Hotel Mariano IV in the city center.

Day 3 Saturday 27 April (B) Steam. After breakfast our bus transfers us to Macomer where we board our steam train in towards Sassari. Just after Macomer the line reaches the highest point at 653 mts with a 2,5% grade, from where begins the long descent to Ozieri-Chlivani, branch line station for Olbia. On the way we pass through the Bonorva tunnel (7.019 mts), the longest one in Sardinia.

Crossing this part of Sardinia, we can see in the countryside many stone constructions like a truncated cone, these are the “Nuraghe”, a prehistoric fortress-house (from the Bronze Age, 2nd millennium BC until the Roman invasion) characteristic of Sardinia, where there are more than 7.000.

From Sassari we continue along the branch to Porto Torres Marittima, the station is in the port from where leaves the passenger-ferries to Genova. Sassari has a tram line, if we have time, in the evening we can take it to explore the city. Night in Sassari at the Hotel Vittorio Emanuele located in the heart of the city.

Day 4 Sunday 28 April (B) Diesel Railcar. Today is the only standard gauge line we cannot do with steam. We take a service train to Olbia where we have time for a lunch break before to board a train on the branch line to Golfo Aranci, on the North East side of Sardinia. Golfo Aranci is a port from where leaves the ferries to the mainland.

In Golfo Aranci Marittima there are the sliding ways to load the trains on the ferries, but at the present they are very rarely used. From Golfo Aranci we take a service train back to Cagliari, changing train in Olbia.

Day 5 Monday 29 April  (B) Steam. Today we begin our return journey leaving Sassari and traveling South to Oristano. From Sassari the line reaches Ozieri-Chilivani with gradients from 2,2 to 2,7% grade. Night in Oristano.

Day 6 Tuesday 30 April (B) Steam. This morning we leave behind Oristano for Cagliari, for the last part of our journey south. If we have time, in Cagliari we can take a narrow-gauge service train to Mandas and Isili from where our bus will take us back to Cagliari.

Day 7 Wednesday 1 May (B,D) Steam. This morning we go to the FS Cagliari station to board our steam train. First, we go to Carbonia where our loco will be turned then we return to Villamassargia to cover the short branch to Iglesias. From Carbonia to Villamassargia the line has a 1,2% grade.  Carbonia takes its name from the coal that was mined here until 1965, the new town was built in the 30s from Mussolini to exploit the coal deposits. From Iglesias we return back to Cagliari. Cagliari has two tram lines, if we have time, in the evening we can take it to explore the city. Farewell group dinner at our hotel.

Day 8 Thursday 2 May (B) Transfer to Cagliari airport.

Unfortunately, we cannot have steam on any of the narrow-gauge lines as the only steam loco is undergoing a boiler exam and overhaul.


25 April night in Cagliari
26 April night in Oristano
27 April night in Sassari
28 April night in Sassari
29 April night in Oristano
30 April night in Cagliari
1 May night in Cagliari


BA2616 08.25 London Gatwick to Cagliari
BA2617 13.00 Cagliari to London Gatwick

EZ3203 13.25 London Stansted to Cagliari
EZ3204 17.35 Cagliari to London Stansted

Place(s) available

Holiday Prices (per person)

  • 8-day Sardinia holiday from London Gatwick or Stansted: £2,150
  • Own travel to and from Sardinia: £1,950


  • Single room Supplement: £250


  • Travelling by air: £500
  • Own travel: £300

Price includes

  • All travel and excursions as outlined in the itinerary
  • Good quality en-suite accommodation
  • Meals as shown in the itinerary; B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
  • Services of our tour manager. Holiday is fully escorted
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