Cagliari Elmas Airport (CAG) is in the territory of Elmas near the city of Cagliari on the island of Sardinia. Opened in 1937, it is the main international gateway to the Italian island and has a capacity of 4 million passengers per year after a terminal expansion in 2003. The beautiful island attracts many visitors, and the airport now operates at nearly full capacity with many airlines making use of its two runways.
The airport’s terminal building consists of three storeys with arrivals on the ground floor, departures on the second level and a restaurant and various offices on the third. Hungry passengers are well catered to with plenty of eateries throughout the levels, including cafes, bars, restaurants and gelato. There are also many shops- gift shops with traditional Sardinian products, a pharmacy, clothing stores and a bookshop. ATMs can be found in both the arrivals and departures areas, and the arrivals area has a great Tourist Information desk and a First Aid Station. There is a chapel in the departures area and a VIP lounge after security controls which is for the use of frequent flyers who are members of the Meridiana Fly-Pass Club.
As the primary international airport for Sardinia, Cagliari Airport has a wide variety of airlines and destinations, the vast majority of which are in Europe. Italy’s flag carrier Alitalia flies to Milan and Rome, and the other major European airlines such as British Airways, Scandinavian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines fly to their various countries and regions. There are several smaller domestic airlines including Air One, and plenty of low-cost carriers with cheaper flights to and from Cagliari- Ryanair, EasyJet, Volotea and Germanwings.
Be prepared for the checks at the airport! Passengers from the EU require only a National Identity Card when travelling between EU countries, of which Italy is one. Non-European passengers will require a passport and Schengen visa. All departing passengers will undergo security checks on their person and their carry-on baggage, and anything potentially a weapon will not be allowed onboard.
The airport is only ten kilometres from the centre of Cagliari, and there is a new train station 5 minutes’ walk from the terminal which makes it easy to get into the city or to several other cities. Buses and taxis can also get you into town, as can a rental car from one of the many companies operating there. Cagliari itself has a wonderful beach, plenty of places to eat and shop, and two thousand years of history to peruse in the form of archaeological remains, churches, museums and charming cobbled piazzas.