Car rental Olbia
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Why rent a car in Olbia?
Olbia is a great place for renting a car. The city is small and cozy, but there are many surrounding towns, villages, and nature areas, and your best bet to see them all is to have your own ride.
Top ways to enter Olbia
- Olbia Airport: The airport, also known as Olbia Costa Smeralda, is served by more than 30 different airlines, many of them low-cost carriers.
- Cagliari Airport: Busiest in Sardinia, Cagliari Airport serves the island’s largest city.
- Alghero Airport: Although located on the western coast of the island (as opposed to Olbia which is on the eastern coast), Alghero Airport is less than two hours drive away.
- By sea: If you’re arriving in Olbia by a ferry, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at Olbia Port.
Useful city facts
- First settled by Phoenicians in 7th century B.C., the city has also been known as Cività and Terranova Pausania during different periods of history.
- Like the rest of Sardinia, Olbia enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate with very hot summers and mild winters. The precipitation is much lower during the summer months and almost non-existent in July.
Top destinations and activities
- Basilica di San Simplicio. This beautiful basilica was built almost 1000 years ago, and remains one of the most important religious buildings in the whole of Sardinia. Conveniently, it is located in the city center, on the street of the same name, Via San Simplicio.
- Tomb of Giants “Su Monte de s'ape”. This impressive megalithic monument was constructed by the Nuragic people that populated the island from Bronze Age until 3rd century B.C., and its meaning for that ancient civilization has puzzled researchers and travelers for age. If you find the Tomb of Giants interesting, it is also worth visiting some of the sacred wells that can also be found in the Olbia area.
- The Museum of Archeology. Located on the tiny Peddona islet in the Olbia Old Port area, this museums tells the story of the region and the many peoples that have populated it during centuries. Many travelers find the remains of sunken ancient ships that you can see here particularly interesting.
Traffic and parking tips
- The speed limit in cities is 50 km/h, although in certain areas the speed limit may be reduced to 30 km/h.
- Main highways are limited to 130 km/h, non-major highways to 110 km/h, and local roads to 90 km/h. During the rain the limits are respectively lowered to 110 km/h, 100 km/h, and 80 km/h. The general speed limit is lowered to 50 km/h during heavy fog or other cases of bad visibility.
- The best way to see much of the island from the local’s point of view is to leave the main highways and to explore the smaller strade provinciali or regional roads. Many hidden, but awesome beaches and farm-stays are only accessible by them.
- Do watch out for blue notes - they indicate pay-and-display parking spots. The areas with white lines are for free parking and the yellow lines indicate areas only accessible to drivers with special passes.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.00% for novice drivers. Being over the allowed limit can result in hefty fines and even imprisonment.
- The emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
There are no toll roads in Sardinia - all highways and regional roads can be accessed free of charge. However, there are restricted traffic areas (Le zone a traffico limitato or ZTL), like some city centers, where you are not allowed to drive. These areas can sometimes be poorly marked and you might enter them by accident, so it’s better to look them up in advance on the official European Urban Access Regulations website.
There are numerous toll roads on Mainland Italy. The exact fee depends on the route of your choice and the type of a vehicle. See the official Italian toll road website for more information. Use the website’s toll road calculator to find out exactly how much you’ll have to pay for using the toll roads on your planned route.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Costa Smeralda. The 20 km (12 mi) long stretch of beautiful beaches near the city is perhaps the number one reason why many travelers choose to visit Olbia. The center and poshest place of Costa Smeralda is the Deer’s Port (Porto Cervo), but it is also worth visiting small nearby villages like Baja Sardinia and Cannigione.
- Tempio Pausania. This small and historic town located about 50 minutes drive east of Olbia attracts visitors thanks to its cathedrals, old narrow streets, and large green areas.
- The Maddalena Archipelago. Just a short boat ride from the small town of Palau, which itself is only 40 minute drive north of Olbia, the Maddalena Archipelago is at once a more relaxed and more wild beach destination than Costa Smeralda thanks to its pristine beaches and unmarked hiking trails. Local delicacies like su zimminu, also known as zuppa alla maddalenina, a spicy soup of seafood caught near the island, are not to be missed.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Italy is the Fiat Panda, although travelers also like the Ford Fiesta and the Fiat 500. The most often picked rental car types are economy, mini, and compact.
- The rest of Sardinia. If you’re visiting at the right time, Olbia might feel like a paradise on earth and the last place you’d want to leave. Still, you won’t regret turning on the motor of your rental car and going to explore the rest of the island, from the capital city, Cagliari, to untamed inland areas.
- Corsica: Sardinia’s neighboring northern island is a part of France and not Italy, but the two islands have a lot in common while at the same time maintaining their unique character and atmosphere. Just like Sardinians, Corsicans are proud and hospitable hosts. You can take a ferry from Santa Teresa Gallura, but note that you’ll be a crossing a national border, so first make sure if your rental car provider permits it (if not, you can pick up a rental car when in Corsica).
- Mainland Italy: Home to unique traditions, culture, and cities like Rome, Florence, and Turin, Italy is one of the most visited countries in the whole world. There are many daily flights to mainland from Olbia Airport. You can also take a ferry, but first make sure if your rental car provider permits bringing a car on it (if not, you can pick up a rental car when arriving at the mainland).
How can I save money on my rental car?
Follow these tips to get a good rental car deal in in Olbia:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Olbia is the cheapest in December when renting a car is a whopping 80% cheaper than the yearly average.
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Olbia?
What’s the usual rental length in Olbia?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Olbia?
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