Sail along the Amalfi Coast and discover its hidden gems

Friday, 20 April 2014 1:33 PM

A sailing holiday along the Amalfi Coast will take you to well-known destinations including chic Sardinia and glamorous Capri, a playground of the rich and famous. However, you will also get to explore Italy's hidden gems, including the Pontines.

This corner of Italy has excellent conditions for learn to sail holidays, along with a climate that makes a boating break here a delight. Sit back onboard your luxury yacht with a cool drink in hand as your vessel glides towards its next stunning destination. If you like to mingle in top-class restaurants and bars, Capri and Sardinia will be at the top of your agenda. However, the Amalfi's hidden gems are just as amazing to visit and really feel exclusive, as they are off the traditional tourist trail.

Procida

Your yacht charter break will begin in something of an unknown destination of the Tyrrhenian Sea - Procida. The island is the oldest and smallest of the Bay of Naples and is just 4 sq km. While Capri is its flashy neighbour and a favourite for a yacht charter holiday, Procida is a charming and traditional fishing hub dotted with lemon groves and pastel-coloured houses. While strolling around the island, make sure you stop off at sights including Castello d'Avalos, a 16th-century Bourbon hunting lodge.

The Pontine Islands

There are several landmasses in this archipelago, although three of the most popular are Ponza, Palmarola and Ventotene. The largest is Ponza, and like most of the group of islands, is the perfect place to chill out for free. You will probably be grateful for giving your purse or wallet a rest, as places such as Capri and Positano are quite expensive.

When sailing in the Mediterranean here, you will get the chance to sunbathe on almost deserted stretches of sand. This is because a lot of beaches on Ponza can only be accessed by boat, which is perfect if you and your party want to enjoy some time alone. Large areas of the island are uninhabited, adding to the exclusive feel of the destination. If you have the energy to get off the warm beach, there are plenty of Roman ruins to stroll around, along with small bars in which you can enjoy a glass of chilled wine. Whatever you decide to do, you won't have to exert yourself too much, before reclining to the comfort of your yacht.

Palmarola is another Pontine isle and is completely uninhabited, meaning it is even quieter than Ponza! The only activity you can really do here is lie back on the beach and top up your tan - there are also no facilities on the island. It truly is an idyllic destination and you won't want to leave. If you or your party are not very experienced in sailing, it is advisable to hire a skippered crew, as Palmarola is surrounded by lots of rocks which can be tricky to navigate. It is also a great excuse to lie back on your private yacht and not worry about a single thing - except perhaps which book to take on land with you!

Ventotene will come as something of a shock after Palmarola, as Italians live here. However, it is still a peaceful and simple destination that heavily relies on mainland supplies. You can see the remains of Roman life, including buildings and water systems, while the volcanic landscape makes the island an interesting place to walk around in the Italian sun.

Positano

Positano is a beautiful island and you will get a taste for the Amalfi Coast's wealth here, if you have yet to dock at Capri. The colourful houses ascend up the steep cliffside as if by magic, while some of the streets appear to be impossibly steep. Positano is certainly fascinating and offers a mix of crumbling stucco, designer stores and restaurants and cafes with incredible sea views. As tempting as it is to while away the hours with a hearty bowl of pasta and a glass of wine in one of these latter establishments, make sure you visit the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta. This attraction houses a 13th-century Byzantine Black Madonna, so is worth a look.
 

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