Top 5 Yachting Destinations in Italy
With a stunning coastline that stretches for almost 7,500 kilometres, Italy is a magnet for yacht owners. From historic islands to unspoilt romantic coves perfect for seclusion, it has so much to offer for a boating holiday.
Italy is surrounded by four seas – the Adriatic, Ligurian, Tyrrhenian, Ionian and most importantly, the Mediterranean, which influences its climate. The geography on each of these coastlines differs wildly, but each offer their own unique beauty.
The good news is that you don’t need to own a yacht to sail these waters. Yacht Charter Italy makes it possible to rent a yacht (and skipper) to explore the different regions.
After careful consideration of the wealth of beautiful places to drop anchor, we’ve chosen five destinations that yacht owners love. Read on to discover the cities, towns and surprises that await in these alluring destinations.
Positano, Amalfi Coast
- Famous for: Pretty pastel houses that run from the mountains down to the sea
- Best time to visit: May – when the flowers are all in full bloom.
- Where to dock: The main marina area of the town – Marina Grande.
Positano has been a favourite for visitors for over 70 years. Novelist John Steinbeck wrote about the picturesque fishing village for Harper’s Bazaar, and tourists began to flock to its shores.
Luckily, the best views of this stunning town are from the deck of a yacht. Watch the lights as they twinkle on all up the hillside as the sun dips below the horizon.
Things to do:
- Walk the Sentiero degli Dei – the Path of the Gods – 6.5 kilometres of magnificent views of the Tyrrhenian Sea and easily one of the most beautiful hikes in the world.
- Visit the Church of Santa Maria Assunta with its glorious Byzantine dome
- Sail to the protected marine reserve of Li Galli islands for amazing snorkelling
Porto Cervo, Sardinia
- Famous for: Breath-taking beaches
- Best time to visit: June – for balmy temperatures of 25 – 27 C and super yachting events.
- Where to dock: Porto Cervo Marina Nuovo, which can hold up to 700 boats.
In the 1950s Prince Karim Aga Khan commissioned architects to create an idyllic bolthole for luxury travellers. The result is Porto Cervo, a gorgeous town that is built for relaxation.
The marina is exceptionally well equipped with services, making it ideal for yacht breaks. Apart from taking advantage of some of the best beaches you’re ever likely to see, other fun diversions on offer.
Things to do:
- Play a round of golf at the Robert Trent Jones-designed Pevero golf club.
- Attend a concert of classical music at the Chiesa di Stella Maris, which overlooks the town
- Enjoy one of the many festivals that run throughout the year – from boating to jazz to the Porto Cervo Food and Wine Festival
Porto Santo Stefano, Tuscan Coast
- Famous for: Excellent seafood restaurants
- Best time to visit: August, for the Palio Marinaro dell’Argentario
- Where to dock: Old Port Santa Stefano, which dates back to the 16th century
Luxury yacht owners frequent this friendly fishing port, although it’s better known among Italians, rather than an international crowd. The thriving harbourfront is framed by colourful houses that clamber up the lush hillside.
The slightly crumbling corners and cracked facades hint at the town’s ravaged history, but simply add to its charm. Spend an idle afternoon on the Piazza dei Rioni, enjoying a gelato and watching the world bustle by.
Things to do:
- Discover the fascinating aquatic ecosystem that exists in this area and the unique challenges it faces at the local aquarium.
- Visit the Fortezza Spagnola, where you can view archaeological treasures unearthed in the past 40 years.
- Famous for: Attracting stars such as Humphrey Bogart, Liz Taylor, Madonna and George Clooney
- Best time to visit: Late September, for a light breeze and less tourists
- Where to dock: Marina de Portofino, which is well-equipped but only has 14 berths
The jewel of the Italian Riviera, Portofino is one of the best-known ports in the Mediterranean. It certainly is exclusive, with a limited number of berths, but you must spend a day there.
Mingle with the rich and famous, or shop the high-end boutiques that line the pretty streets. Go further inland to appreciate more of the Portofino Natural Park, a protected area with an abundance of nature.
Things to do:
- Dive around the Christ of the Abyss, a bronze statue of Jesus Christ submerged 50ft below the sea.
- Enjoy a visit to the house museum Castello Brown that presides over the town. The colourful gardens are also a must-see.
Trieste, Adriatic Coast
- Famous for: Its history as a former prominent city state in the Hapsburg Empire
- Best time to visit: October for the Barcolana, the largest sailing regatta in the world
- Where to dock: Marina San Giusto, with berths for 214 vessels and 24-hour security.
This historic city was once the largest port for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and a trading hub of great economic power. It has beautiful architecture, cuisine that melds a variety of influences and fantastic natural rock formations.
Explore the place on foot and discover the famous writers and poets who made Trieste their home. Soak up the many influences of the city, which only re-joined Italy in 1954.
Things to do:
- Walk to the Trieste Roman Theatre, from approx. 32 – 33 B.C., which has been remarkably preserved.
- Take a tour to Grotta Gigante, one of the largest tourist caves in the world, situated 20 minutes from Trieste.