Looking for inspiration and advice for your next sailing holiday in Italy? Feel free to read our comprehensive guide.
In this sailing guide, learn all about:
Are you already familiar with the Italian sailing regions and want to look at boat options for your next yacht charter? Then skip to:
Let’s dive right in.
Italy is one of those destinations you cannot sail just once in your lifetime.
Limitless sailing itinerary options outspread from the mid coastline of western Italy with the breath-taking Amalfi Coast to the island of Sardinia further in the west.
In the south, sailors will find the island of Ancient times - Sicily and the famous Aeolian islands.
The food is absolutely superb. A Yacht Charter in Italy is both social and romantic, so whether you’re planning to sail with family or a group of friends, or with your partner, sailing holidays in Italy guarantees a yacht charter that will meet and exceed all of your expectations.
Rich with cultural, culinary and architectural highlights, Tuscany is a relatively new and upcoming Italian sailing destination - definitely not to be missed.
And don't forget...
A romantic sailing adventure is waiting for you. Start from Cala de 'Medici in Castiglioncello or La Spezia a bit further North and enjoy the most romantic and picturesque Italian region.
Try the delicious Tuscan food, visit the unmissable Saturnia hot springs, book a wine tour and explore the legendary Elba island.
Elba is undoubtedly the most famous of the 7 Tuscan islands and the 3rd largest island in Italy (after Sardinia and Sicily). It is best known for its historical side, as it was the island where emperor Napoleon was exiled. In fact, you can still visit his villas. Elba is a relatively small island, yet has so many different locations for visitors to explore; we recommend Campo nell’Elba or Porto Azzurro.
For a true Tuscan feel head to Giglio island. The island’s 3 picturesque towns of Giglio Porto, Giglio Campese and Giglio Castello will satisfy even the most demanding of travellers. Giglio island is also ideal for snorkelling (you can even explore underwater shipwrecks) and you really shouldn’t miss the beautiful sandy beach in Campese as well as a taste of the famous Giglio white wines.
Explore the almost uninhabited, so flat that it can barely be seen from a distance, Pianosa island. Pianosa has become a hotspot for diving enthusiasts and other than wildlife, you will only find a handful of humans ashore.
A privately owned island, near Giglio, Giannutri is rich in archaeological sites. It is only reachable by boat as the island’s owners do not allow hotels, and of course no camping. However, you can book a guided tour for ashore exploration. Don’t miss out on Cala Spalmatoio and Cala Maestra.
Montecristo is such a unique island that you actually need to apply for a visit and it only opens for specific months each year ..for a few lucky visitors who will get to experience the island’s perfectly preserved flora and fauna. Montecristo has of course become famous in the novel “The Count of Montecristo” by Alexandre Dumas and has a very rich history. You can only visit Montecristo island with a rented yacht, as no ferry lines are connecting it to the mainland or other islands.
Capraia is the only volcanic island of the Tuscan archipelago and the island’s only sandy beach Cala della Mortola is only reachable by boat. The marina in Porto di Capraia can accommodate up to 99 boats, and as it gets hectic in the summer months, we recommend pre-booking your berth. Don’t miss out on the Cala Rossa anchorage to view the unique, red volcanic cliffs.
Gorgona is the smallest island in the Tuscan archipelago and it is completely uninhabited. You can only visit Gorgona with permission from the local authorities or book a guided tour. Sailing around the island is forbidden.
The best time for a Tuscany yacht charter is during the summer months, however, Tuscany is known for mild and warm falls so you may also want to consider a low season yacht charter for lower prices and fewer crowds.
The Tuscan archipelago is ideal for those looking for exhilarating sailing with rather strong and steady North-West winds.
There is currently only one yacht charter base from where you can explore the Tuscan archipelago, in Cala de 'Medici in Castiglioncello.
There are a couple of nearby airports that serve Castiglioncello, such as Pisa international airport, Florence Airport, La Spezia Airport and Genoa Airport.
Of course, you can easily reach Castiglioncello by car and train (to Castiglioncello Centrale in Rosignano Solvay).
Time from Pisa Airport to Marina Cala De' Medici - 40 mins by car
If you would like Yacht4Less to arrange airport transfers for you, just ask your charter consultant for more information!
A visit to Tuscany is not complete without a taste of true Tuscan food. Don’t miss out on the local delicacies: ribolitta, pappa al pomodoro and of course the famous steak “bistecca alla Fiorentina”.
In this region, you will also find many open-air food markets with local fresh produce, and for the wine lovers, we recommend a wine tour in Chianti (near Florence) which is the largest and most famous wine region in Italy.
For mooring during a Tuscany sailing holiday, you will find an abundance of options, from organised marinas to secluded bays.
⚓ Day 1. Capraia
⚓ Day 2. Marciana Marina (Elba island)
⚓ Day 3. Marina di Campo (Elba island)
⚓ Day 4. Giglio island
⚓ Day 5. Giannutri Island
⚓ Day 6. Porto Azzurro (Gulf of Mola)
⚓ Day 7. Gulf of Baratti and return to Castiglioncello
Explore Italy’s glamorous Amalfi Coast, from Sorrento down to Punta Campanella and of course don't miss out on the most famous itinerary highlights (and most photographed in the Amalfi) Positano, Capri and Ischia.
What makes this area so unique is that it is actually not just one place, but rather many small and beautiful towns, each with its one character that makes up what we call the Amalfi coast.
Visit the famous Faraglioni Rocks in Capri, enjoy the magnificent amphitheatric views in Positano and make sure you try the famous Limoncello and fresh seafood in local restaurants and open air-markets.
Although it may seem so, the Amalfi coast is definitely not only "for the rich and famous". With a sailing holiday, you can actually enjoy all that this area has to offer, without breaking the bank.
The Amalfi coast has earned this area a UNESCO heritage recognition for its historical beauty.
On the Amalfi coast, you can expect warm weather, sunny days and blue skies. During summer temperatures average 25-30 degrees Celcius and the prevailing winds blowing mainly from the South at 5 - 20 knots.
The best time for an Amalfi Coast yacht charter is during the summer months, however, as weather is mild during the shoulder months too, you could also consider visiting in May, September or October, although you may encounter rainy weather in autumn.
Most yacht charters in the Amalfi coast start from Naples, or the neighbouring Salerno and Castellammare di Stabia. These start-point towns are well-served by the international airport of Naples.
One thing that should be high on your must-see places list is the village of Positano. It is colourful, pretty and unique and mainly known for its big lemons used for the region's famous "Limoncello" liquor.
There are various mooring options at the Amalfi Coast, from secluded bays and small-town ports to large (and quite expensive) marinas. If you are visiting during the high season (July-August), make sure to reserve places in advance, as this area can get quite crowded with yachts in the summer.
This sailing destination is ideal for beginner and advanced sailors alike.
⚓ Day 1. Salerno (check-in)
⚓ Day 2. Salerno - Sorrento 27NM
⚓ Day 3. Sorrento - Procida 17NM
⚓ Day 4. Procida - Ischia 14NM
⚓ Day 5. Ischia - Capri 20 NM
⚓ Day 6. Capri - Amalfi 16NM
⚓ Day 7. Amalfi - Salerno 6NM
⚓ Day 1. Naples
⚓ Day 2. Procida
⚓ Day 3. Ventotene
⚓ Day 4. Ponza
⚓ Day 5. Palmarola
⚓ Day 6. Zannone
⚓ Day 7. Ischia
⚓ Day 8. Capri
⚓ Day 9. Amalfi
⚓ Day 10. Salerno
⚓ Day 11.Positano
⚓ Day 12. Sorrento
⚓ Day 13. Pompeii
⚓ Day 14. Naples
Sardinia is one of the biggest islands in the Mediterranean, and one of our top sailing grounds. It is possibly one of the very few Mediterranean destinations with white sandy beaches and pristine turquoise waters.
A boat rental in Sardinia is the best way to discover and explore the beautiful Costa Smeralda starting from Portisco or one of the smaller bases.
During the summer, medium and sometimes strong winds typically blow from the northwest with local patterns around the islands.
There are plenty of sheltered harbours, anchorages, and bays, although care must be taken due to tides and underwater rocks.
You can expect warm temperatures between 25 and 35 - degree Celsius in the summer months.
We recommend visiting Sardinia between May and August, as this is when you will be able to enjoy warm and pleasant weather.
More experienced sailors (or those sailing with a professional skipper on board) can also visit Sardinia in September or October, although winds are typically stronger then.
The most famous start-point marina in Sardinia is Portisco, which is well-served by the airport of Olbia. Yachts are also available from Olbia, Cagliari and Cannigione.
Transfer Time from Olbia Airport to Portisco: 15 mins
You can also reach Sardinia (Olbia) by ferry from the mainland:
Moby lines (from Genova, Livorno, Piombino, Civitavecchia)
Tirrenia (from Genova and Civitavecchia)
Starting your holiday from Portisco or Olbia, you can either head South and explore the breathtaking East Coast of Sardinia, or North towards the Maddalena Archipelago and Corsica. You can visit Corsica as many times as you like, and no special permit is needed!
The Maddalena Archipelago is a must-see for everyone visiting Sardinia. Now a preserved National Park with 7 granite islands and more than 40 islets.
There is a fee (local charge) to enter Maddalena and our charter brokers will be happy to provide you with more details regarding the cost and entrance procedure.
As winds can be quite strong in this destination, we usually recommend it to our more experienced sailors.
⚓ Day 1. Caprera (Cala Coticcio)
⚓ Day 2. Isola di Spargi
⚓ Day 3. Bonifacio
⚓ Day 4. Roccapina
⚓ Day 5. Isola Piana
⚓ Day 6. La Maddalena
⚓ Day 7. Pevero - Cala dei Sardi or Olbia
⚓ Day 1. Tavolara
⚓ Day 2. Porto Ottiolu
⚓ Day 3. Cala Luna
⚓ Day 4. Cala Sisine / Cala Goloritze
⚓ Day 5. La Caletta
⚓ Day 6. Capo Coda Cavallo
⚓ Day 7. Cala dei Sardi or Olbia
⚓ Day 1. Portisco
⚓ Day 2. Bonifacio (Corsica)
⚓ Day 3. Porto Vecchio (Corsica)
⚓ Day 4. Campoloro (Corsica)
⚓ Day 5. Capraia Island
⚓ Day 6. Macinaggio (Corsica)
⚓ Day 7. Saint Florent (Corsica)
⚓ Day 8. Calvi (Corsica)
⚓ Day 9. Girolata (Corsica)
⚓ Day 10. Santa Teresa Gallura (Sardinia)
⚓ Day 11.Maddalena Island
⚓ Day 12. Olbia Town (Sardinia)
⚓ Day 13. Portisco
⚓ Day 14. check out
A yacht charter in Sicily offers the perfect combination of island hopping and coastal exploration.
Starting from Portorosa, Palermo or one of the smaller bases like the picturesque Capo d'Orlando, you can either explore the Sicilian mainland or head north towards the UNESCO-protected Aeolian Islands of:
A yacht charter in Sicily is ideal for intermediate, even beginner sailors alike, as it offers relaxed yet exhilarating sailing in consistent winds and short sailing distances between anchorages.
Sicilian yacht charter bases are open from March and until November as weather conditions are very mild and pleasant throughout most months of the year.
You can expect mainly North winds of 5-20 Knots and sunny days with the temperature ranging between 20 and 30 degrees Celcius.
This warm climate and easy line-of-sight navigation make Sicily the ideal year-round sailing destination, except for only a few months during winter.
Although charter bases in Sicily are open from April until October, the best time to visit is definitely the summer months (June - August).
Most yachts in Sicily are based in Portorosa and Palermo however, many charterers prefer the picturesque Capo d'Orlando as the starting point marina for their sailing holiday.
Depending on the base that you will be starting from, you can choose one of the many Sicilian airports.
Catania Airport is 150 km far from Portorosa, Reggio Calabria Airport is 60 km far and Palermo Airport 210 km.
The closest airport to Palermo is naturally the airport of Palermo which is called "Falcone Borsellino Airport".
Should you choose to head towards the Aeolian Islands, Stromboli should be at the top of your list. You can actually see the volcano's eruptions and lava from your boat at night, which is a stunning spectacle.
Sicily really is a foodie paradise and you shouldn't miss the local specialities such as the local pistachio pesto, "cucunci" and Sicilian arancini.
Lastly, and although most visitors head towards the Aeolian Islands, Capri, Pompeii, as well as the famous Vesuvius and Etna are all within easy reach.
⚓ Day 1. Palermo (check-in)
⚓ Day 2. Palermo – Filicudi 60NM
⚓ Day 3. Filicudi – Stromboli 33NM
⚓ Day 4. Stromboli – Messina 40NM
⚓ Day 5. Messina – Vulcano 34NM
⚓ Day 6. Vulcano – Cefalu 50NM
⚓ Day 7. Cefalu – Palermo 30NM
⚓ Day 1. Portorosa (check-in)
⚓ Day 2. Portorosa - Vulcano 20NM
⚓ Day 3. Vulcano - Filicudi 23 NM
⚓ Day 4. Filicudi - Salina 14 NM
⚓ Day 5. Salina - Stromboli 22NM
⚓ Day 6. Stromboli - Lipari 25 NM
⚓ Day 7. Lipari - Portorosa 22 NM
⚓ Day 1. Capo D'Orlando (check-in)
⚓ Day 2. Porto Filicudi
⚓ Day 3. Porto Filicudi – Cavo di Pomice, Porticello (swim stop) - Lipari (overnight anchorage)
⚓ Day 4. Vulcano (swim stop) – Santa Marina, Salina (overnight anchorage)
⚓ Day 5. Panarea (swim stop) – Stromboli (night view of volcano eruptions and overnight anchorage)
⚓ Day 6. Punta Scritta, Panarea (swim stop) – Panarea town (overnight anchorage)
⚓ Day 7. Pollara, Salina (swim stop) – Capo D'Orlando (check out)
⚓ Day 1. Palermo
⚓ Day 2. Cefalu
⚓ Day 3. Vulcano
⚓ Day 4. Panarea
⚓ Day 5. Stromboli
⚓ Day 6. Salina
⚓ Day 7. Filicudi
⚓ Day 8. Alicudi
⚓ Day 9. Isola Delle Femmine
⚓ Day 10. Levanzo
⚓ Day 11.Marettimo
⚓ Day 12. Favignana
⚓ Day 13. San Vito Lo Capo
⚓ Day 14. Palermo
It depends. Many factors can shape a yacht charter cost. Find below the cheapest yacht charter prices in Italy today:
*Disclaimer: Be aware that the prices change instantly every minute and there may be slightly cheaper boat listings.