Indulgent Yachting Holidays in Italy
Steeped in history, Italy is surrounded by some of the most dramatic and beautiful coastline in the Mediterranean and a sailing holiday is indisputably the best way to savour all its sublime delights.
With moderate winds, turquoise blue seas and eye-wateringly beautiful anchorages, Italy’s mix of calm coastal cruising and open-water passages make for the perfect sailing experience on either a bareboat charter for the more more experienced sailor, or on a crewed yacht charter, for those who just want to sit back and relax.
Whether you choose to explore its fascinating Roman past, rub shoulders with the locals, or simply relax on board sipping Limoncello and soaking up the sun, Italy will tug at your heart strings and leave you wanting more.
For a destination that combines glitz and glamour, alongside stunning natural beauty and tranquillity, the Costa Smeralda on the north east coast of Sardinia is hard to beat.
With its chic restaurants and cafes, the charming harbour of Portisco is the ideal place to begin your chartered sailing holiday. Then set off and sail leisurely to the stunning Maddalena Archipelago, a group of islands between Sardinia and Corsica, one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. All easily reached, here you will find secluded bays and creeks, white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, ideal for snorkelling and swimming.
Famous for its candy coloured houses, Procida makes an idyllic starting point to explore the stunning Amalfi coast and nearby islands of Ischia and Capri. Alternatively save yourself the ferry ride and start from the historic Castellammare di Stabia in the Bay of Naples just a 20 minute taxi ride from Naples airport.
Cruise along the stunning coastline dotted with picturesque villages and towns clinging giddily to the cliffs. Gentle winds make for perfect line-of-sight sailing in these sheltered waters, so it’s easy to relax and appreciate the views as you enjoy sailing the Amalfi coast.
Follow in the footsteps of the Roman Emperor Tiberius and head to Capri, home of Limoncello, and explore its best-known natural sites on a luxury yacht charter. Stop off in Sorrento perched high on a cliff facing the Bay of Naples and make time to visit the famous Roman remains at Pompeii destroyed by the eruption of nearby Mt Vesuvius.
With its stunning combination of natural beauty and stylish restaurants, hotels and shops, the Amalfi coast surely is the ultimate destination for a sophisticated sailing holiday.
Sicily is one of Italy’s most beautiful sailing destinations, full of mountainous coastline and incredible volcanic islands. Begin your trip in Portorosa and head towards the extraordinary Aeolian Islands. This archipelago of volcanic islands is named after the Aeolus, the Greek god of wind, who has taken kindly to the region, with moderate NW breezes the summer norm.
Known as the ‘seven pearls of the Mediterranean’, you will discover a world of active volcanoes, Roman ruins, beautiful beaches and inviting crystal clear waters - perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Sicilian food is rightly famous around the world.
Each island has its own identity and attractions – from the pumice beach on Lipari and the Grotta del Bue Marino on Filicudi to the spectacular bay of Cala Junco in Panarea and the beautiful bays and caves of the island of Ustica, known as the ‘Black Pearl’.
The most famous volcano in Sicily is on the island of Stromboli with its symmetrical, smoking silhouette rising dramatically from the sea. For the best close-up volcano-viewing, head for the island of Vulcano – where a leisurely two-hour walk from the port will take you to the top of the volcanic cove. Follow this with a dip in the famous mud baths and lunch at a nearby trattoria for the ultimate sailing holiday experience.
For a holiday that offers spectacular scenery, a more challenging sailing experience and the taste of untouched Sicily, this is the ideal choice. Choose from a bareboat, skippered or crewed yacht charterdepending on your sailing experience.
Begin your chartered yachting holiday in Palermo, the capital of Sicily. This vibrant, cosmopolitan city, which dates back over 2,700 years behind its faded grandeur façade, makes a memorable starting point to embark upon a sailing trip along the rugged west coast of the island.
Passing by dramatic rock stacks, cliffs, caves and beaches, head for the Aegedian Islands. Known as the Isole Egadi in Italian, this archipelago is part of the largest Marine Nature Reserve in Europe. These lesser-known islands boast a stunning array of rich marine life, white beaches, beautiful bays, secret caves, shipwrecks and calm, clear waters – ideal for diving and snorkelling.
Inland, the islands are dotted with hilltop villages and vineyards and make for superb hill-walking, following in the footsteps of Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Normans, all of whom have left their mark on the region’s landscape and culture.
Moor up and enjoy a traditional Sicilian lunch and locally made Marsala in the picturesque piazza on the island of Favignana and check out the ancient cave paintings on Levanzo.
It is all about colour, light and fragrance in Elba. The infinite shades of blue from the sea and the sky, combined with the deep green wilderness of the mountains and valleys nearby, create a visual feast matched only by the quality of the local cuisine and the famous Aleatico wine.
The largest of the Tuscan archipelago of islands, Elba is ideal for a sailing holiday. Dotted with small bays and beaches – many of which can only be reached by boat – the crystal clear water is perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving. Set off on your chartered yachting holiday from Portoferraio, but not before you make time to visit the historic ramparts where Napoleon lived as a prisoner here for a year.
After appreciating Tuscany’s local history, meander down the coastline to discover its world-class collection of beaches – which vary from sandy crescents such to cliff-rimmed creeks.
Ideal sailing trips from Elba include a visit to the smaller islands of Giglio – the Castello here is well worth a visit before sailing over to Giannutri.
Inland, there are hundreds of different hiking trails, scenic viewpoints and charming medieval villages such as Marciana and Poggio, while quaint fishing ports along the coast make for perfect stopping points for a delicious lunch and lazy afternoons watching the world go by.
Don’t forget to take home a bottle of the famous Acqua dell’Elba perfume which perfectly captures the essence of Elba. An island to immerse your every sense!