Without a doubt, the best way to visit Italy is with an Italy yacht charter, cruising the coasts with leisurely stops in the many well-equipped ports along the way. With Italy’s extensive maritime history and traditions, ports from the Italian Riviera to Rome and the Bay of Naples offer top-notch service in the yacht charter sector.
You’ll find a wide range of professional yacht rental agencies that can assist you with every detail relating to hiring a crewed charter.
The most popular destinations for a sailing holiday in Italy
Every Italian region has its own beauty and unique features. We’ve gathered here the ones that are most popular for those who love cruising at sea. Have a look at these destinations to find the perfect place to take your sailing yacht, from the Adriatic to the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west coast and beyond.
Sardinia: With its waters often compared to those of the Bahamas in the Caribbean, Sardinia is undoubtedly the region with the highest concentration of luxury yachts.
The tourist harbors located up and down the Costa Smeralda on the island’s north coast, including La Maddalena and Olbia, offer the best services for a luxury yacht charter.
From here you can set off to explore the coast of the Golfo degli Aranci and experience the nightlife in places loved by the jet set such as Porto Cervo. From northern Sardinia it’s also easy to cross into France and explore the island of Corsica. The southern part of the island, while offering less-glamorous locations, has unrivaled natural beauty.
Capri and the Amalfi Coast: These two iconic locations in the Mediterranean are must-see stops on any superyacht cruise in Italy.
Yachts can moor at the tourist harbor of the island of Capri or Amalfi, both of which are equipped with all the necessary boating services and amenities. The Marina di Arechi in the port of Salerno has the most moorings in the area.
Another option is Marina di Stabia in the port of Castellammare, just south of the active volcano Vesuvius and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pompeii.
The port of Sorrento also offers services for yachts and private boats as well as bareboat charters. Anchorages are also possible off the coast of Positano or the Faraglioni sea stacks.
Sailing along this stretch of coast offers breathtaking views and the chance for swimming and snorkeling in hidden coves with crystal-clear waters. Other small islands worth a stop along the Amalfi Coast are Ischia with its thermal spas and Procida with its famous multi-colored houses.
Sicily: With its pleasant climate, rugged coastline, transparent sea, and quaint towns, Sicily is the perfect destination for a yacht rental holiday. Explore the azure waters and small coves of Taormina as you sail past ancient forts and admire the view of Mount Etna looming before you.
One of the best-equipped tourist ports in Sicily is Portorosa, on the north coast in the province of Messina. This port is an excellent starting point for visiting the Aeolian Islands, home to another well-known volcano, that of Stromboli.
A group of lesser-known islands in Sicily that are abundant with natural beauty are the Aegadian Islands, where you can dock at the port of Favignana.
Tuscany: You may be surprised to learn that Tuscany isn’t only rolling hills of cypresses and vineyards—its coasts are among the most-loved destinations in Italy by boating enthusiasts. With its spectacular coastlines, pristine bays, tiny archipelagos and charming islets, the region offers many sailing opportunities. The island of Elba in particular, with its long limestone ridges and breathtaking caves, is a sailing paradise. The uninhabited islands of the Tuscan archipelago, such as Montecristo or Pianosa, are also fantastic for exploring. And if you’re looking for the local seaside social scene, stop off in Forte dei Marmi or Porto Ercole.
Portofino and Liguria: The small village of Portofino is adored by the world’s jet set. From here it’s easy to stop off at the Cinque Terre, a group of five picturesque villages suspended over the sea, and cruise up to the French Riviera.
What’s the best time of year to charter a yacht in Italy?
The best time of year for a yacht charter in Italy is during the summer season, which runs from June to early September. There’s full summer sun with very little chance of rain and the water is generally calm, with episodes of rough seas rare. April and May are also excellent months, although the water is still quite cold for swimming and snorkeling.
What are the best boats for boat tours in Italy?
You can find virtually any type of boat if you want to rent a yacht on vacation in Italy, whether you’re looking for a crewed charter, a bareboat charter, or a luxury superyacht with several berths for hosting a large group.
Motor yachts are the most commonly chosen type of boat because they offer the greatest stability and on-board comfort, as opposed to sailboats, which require more experience at sea and the ability to adapt to small spaces. Catamarans aren’t quite as widespread in Italy as they are in Greece and Croatia. In tourist locales such as the Amalfi Coast or Sardinia, you can charter a wooden gulet directly from Turkey.