Hiring a boat in Italy is the ideal way to explore the unique coastline and beautiful islands that rest between the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Sea. At any moment while sailing you will be desperate to drop anchor to enjoy the Italian seafood, shop within the narrow streets or visit famous sites. A yachting experience in Italy is the perfect opportunity for both sea lovers and explorers to combine sailing and on-land experiences. Italy has various marinas that extend along the immense coastline, so you will never have trouble finding the ideal catamaran, sailboat or motor yacht of your choice. You can directly contact the owners for the boat you desire or simply allow a travel expert to guide you with some recommendations.
You have plenty of options:
You can hire a sailboat or speedboat with a skipper or without if you have a license, and enjoy a one-day-cruise along the italian riviera or the Amalfi coast. If you have a limited amount of time and want to visit many places, we recommend you to hire a speedboat and visit the isle of Capri and Positano, both are known for their unique sea caves and coves. Alternatively, you can hire a motorboat for a romantic couple trip, an engagement proposal is also possible on board underneath the buzzing canal bridge of Venice. You also have the choice to rent a catamaran to celebrate a birthday party or enjoy swimming in top snorkeling spots in Sardinia or Tuscany. Lastly, for week-long charters we recommend you to explore Sicily and the Aeolian islands with a luxury sailboat.
Italy is bounded by the Ligurian and Tyrhennian seas to the west and the Adriatic Sea to the east. The Ligurian sea is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea that extends towards Tuscany and the island of Elba which offers an introduction to the history dating back from Napoleon Bonaparte. The islands in Tuscany boast luxurious quarters and resorts starting from the center of the Riviera, Genoa which today hosts the most important port for cruising and tourism. Millions of visitors descend to Italy to enjoy the pastel-colored seaside villages, the rugged coastlines and be part of the modern luxury that extends from the Italian Riviera, to Naples and the Amalfi Coast, all the way to the major islands of Sardinia and Sicily that have rich diversity of landscapes. On the south-west of Italy, The Gulf of Naples is 5km long and is separated by the Sorrento Peninsula, which includes the coast of Amalfi. It is said that the Roman emperor Caligula in fact built a bridge of boats across the bay of Naples and rode across it in a chariot wearing the armor of Alexander the Great. In 1960 the summer Olympics of Rome’s sailing events were also hosted in the bay of Naples and today the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida are hot sailing destinations for nautical lovers all over the world. Apart from visiting Rome , St.Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel in Vatican city, you cannot miss the chance to visit Pompeii, the best-preserved roman city in existence which was submerged from seismic and volcanic activity from Vesuvius. Sitting in the Amalfi coast, PompeII served as a hub for Mediterranean trade and holiday resort for wealthy Romans and today is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finally, crossing from the famous Costa Smeralda in Sardinia which has many golf clubs, restaurants, rich people and holidaymakers having fun in glamorous nightclubs, we arrive at Sicily and the Aeolian islands that are renowned for the volcanic landscapes waiting to be explored with the yacht of your choice.
A yacht charter in Italy guarantees a life-changing experience, whether you are visiting the Italian Riviera in the north or Sicily in the south. If you have decided to cruise along the Italian Riviera, you have the option to spend multiple days in Portovenere around the area of La Spezia or enjoy your time in the fishing village of Portofino in Genoa, home to one of the prettiest superyacht marinas in the world. For the perfect one-day cruise your yacht can follow the dramatic coastline and head to Cinque Terre known for its authentic shining villages which have been inaccessible by land for centuries. Cinque Terre is also known for its spectacular restaurants, so you will not miss out on the Ligurian specialties of Pesto, anchovies and a fantastic bowl of condiglione on a sun-kissed afternoon. For a two or 3-day charter experience you can head to Tuscany which can easily be reached after Cinque Terre, where you can immerse yourself in complete isolation in the small beaches of Viareggio and Livorno. You also have the option to extend your cruise, Isola D’elba is within your reach and marks a fantastic cruise in the Tuscany Archipelago. Do not miss the chance to visit Portoferraio and Capa Bianco beaches which are perfect for families and children. 50km south of Elba and 15km from the mainland you have the option to go swimming and snorkeling in Giglio island where you explore underwater shipwrecks. Paying a visit to Pianosa island, you will be able to jump off your catamaran and swim in some great diving spots. The whole archipelago of Tuscany can be yours where you can create your own routes and visit the 7 different islands that it’s composed of. You also have the option to sail between Maddalena national park and the Costa Smeralda which is another gem of Italy, you can even make a crossing to Corsica and create your own week-long itineraries.
Boat rentals in Amalfi offer a different island experience, you will admire the landscape which is interrupted with secluded beaches and tucked-away coves. The Amalfi coast is in close proximity to the bay of Naples giving you options to make multiple stops in various ports, beaches and take in the scenic villages built on steep rock. If you charter a boat in Positano you can cruise into the isle of Capri, the blue grotto is famous worldwide for its incredible blue cobalt waters which can be accessed by a speedboat or RIB of your choice. The towering rock formations of the Faraglioni are one of the most romantic spots in Italy where you can propose to your significant other on board a luxury yacht. If you are hiring a boat in Naples, then you have the option to enjoy a gentle cruise to Ischia and Procida or once again sail the Sorrento peninsula and Amalfi. In Ischia you can pass by the Aragonese castle which is an iconic medieval fortress and you can spend time at the port of Procida known for its private beaches that are perfect for a family on holidays. The island of Capri also makes a great stop for both Naples and Amalfi boat tours. The main town Piazzetta provides excellent shopping opportunities, some of the finest section of eateries and during the summer, multiple music and food celebrations take place. For a multi-day experience, you can combine your itineraries with Naples and Amalfi and even go island hopping to Sicily and the Aeolian islands.
A yacht charter in Sardinia is a top choice for travelers who want to enjoy a luxury experience in the Mediterranean. The island of Sardinia has three airports making it easy for many travelers to hire a yacht of their choice to explore Costa Smeralda’s arresting views and the rich diversity of landscapes in Olbia. Some of the most beautiful islets you cannot miss include La Maddalena, Tavolara, Budelli, Spargi and Caprera all offering various amenities, opportunities for swimming and snorkeling and powdery white beaches which are always dotted with sailboats, catamarans and luxury motor yachts in the summer months. Costa Smeralda is a glittery playground for yachts and celebrities and one can enjoy the music in some glamorous nightclubs. Areas in northern Sardinia including Alghero and Dorgali can get very windy since the mistral wind is dominant most of the year, in this case hire a boat with a skipper who knows how to get around the jagged coastline.
A yacht charter in Sicily will ensure you have a relaxing getaway in Italy. Siciliy is the biggest island in the Meditterranean and often includes the Aeolian islands in week-long itineraries as there is so much to explore. The 7 islands in the archipelago are Lipari, Panarea, Vulcano, Stromboli, Salina, Alicudi and Filicudi. With the islands active volcanoes in the background, you can enjoy the magnificent coastlines that radiate with serenity. The mouthwatering Sicilian cuisine only makes your culinary journey even more exciting, head back to your yacht any moment and relax at the spa-like beaches in the sulphuric islands you desire. This side of Italy has locals which will invite you to their community with open arms and will definitely mark the end of an unforgettable experience during your sailing holidays in Italy.
For those who are willing to combine sightseeing yet still enjoy a mini-sailing cruise, then we recommend you to rent a boat in Venice where you can explore the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. Florence and Venice have their own distinct personalities and traditions since they are one of the most romanticized destinations in Europe, you may want to consider planning a separate trip here. The impressive gondolas of Venice and the delicate bridges between grand piazzas and famous museums like the Doge’s Palace, will certainly capture your heart. Saint Mark’s Basilica is another landmark with amazing architecture and views and is only 11km to the blue lagoon of Venice. In Florence , the Baptistery gates of paradise by Ghiberti offers an incredible view of the entire city, although the city is best explored by foot there are several boat tours in the river Arno where you can admire the city from a different perspective.
We have categorized the top harbours, ports and Marinas for your sailing holiday in Italy.
Portovenere: the perfect place to access the Cinque Terre, has steep cobbled streets within its picturesque harbour. A great stopover spot when explore the Italian Riviera and from the castle you can admire the views of the Bay of Poets.
Marina di Porto Cervo, Sardinia: known for its beaches, fashion and luxury with a berthing capacity of up to 700 yachts, even reservations for megayachts is possible.
Marina di Porto Rotondo, Sardinia: on the east coast of Sardinia and in the province of Olbia. Very good mooring for yachts and an impressive surrounding landscape with 652 berths available for all types of yachts.
Marina cala dei Sardi, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia: has a berthing capacity of 140 yachts and also offers easy access to Corsica in France. All provisions for yachts are available and top services are included.
Porto Azzurro, Elba islands, Tuscany: a picturesque harbor at the east coast of Elba with 220 berths for boats up to 90 meters. Great shelter from winds, in high season it is best to book berths in advance.
Marina genova, Genoa: 5 minutes from the airport and is active 24 hours a day with surveillance. Mooring is completely under control the entire day and there is a berthing capacity for 500 yachts, extra space for superyachts. Over 1000 car parking spaces are available and WI-FI as well as other excellent services. Boats depart to Portofino, Portovenere and Porto cervo to other areas in the Mediterranean from here.
Porto Mirabello, La Spezia: a modern italian marina that can accommodate all types of yachts including superyachts. A luxury, efficient and superb setting with a great promenade in front of the historical district of the city.
The nearest airport to La-Spezia is Pisa Airport which is 64.3 km away. Other nearby airports include Florence.
Marina Coppola, Amalfi: easy access to Positano and Sorrento and you can enjoy the beautiful houses and cliffs in a multi-colored scenery. There are also lovely restaurants, pizzerias and great service and staff so you can dock your boat.
Capodichino airport is the closest international airport to the Amalfi coast is in Naples, some people prefer to fly into Rome, as it's cheaper.
Marina Grande, Capri: 300 berths for yachts up to 60m in length. It is a luxury marina, and may be ranked as the top 10 world’s expensive marinas. Can get very busy during the summer months since Capri is a great destination to many charterers offering trips from Amalfi, Positano or Naples.
Marina Maddalena: a strategic marina for the islands in the Tuscany archipelago with 130 berths available for all types of yachts.
Port of Messina, Sicily: 160 berths for yachts of upto 35 meters in length, the port is designed for cruise liners, ferries and other fast boats and spans the largest area in the Mediterranean (820,000 m^2)
All have airports and are great access points to the Aeolian islands.
Marina Santelena, Venice: 110 berths with excellent staff offering professional mooring assistance. Free Wi-FI, beautiful views, plenty of restaurants nearby.
Coming from the U.S you can fly directly to Naples or Rome and from there take a train to either Salerno(your gateway to the Italian riviera) or Sorrento(your gateway to the Amalfi coast).
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