A guide to Italy's top coastal destinations for a sailing break

Monday, 18 March 2015 8:33 AM

Italy is a fantastic destination to choose for a luxury sailing break - aside from its extensive coastline, it's also home to some of Europe's most cultural and exciting cities. With so much to see and do here, it can be tricky to know where to go.

To help you decide which part of Italy to explore on a sailing holiday, we've narrowed it down to three coastal locations - read on for a brief guide to each of them.

Bay of Naples

This is the ideal destination if you're after a leisurely sailing holiday in Italy. Typically, the distances you'll need to travel between the various islands and the mainland is relatively small, giving you plenty of time to enjoy soaking up the sun on deck or exploring ashore.

The Bay of Naples is also perfect if you're after a break somewhere exclusive, with islands like Capri, Ischia and Ponza all home to high-end restaurants, boutique shops and beautiful beaches. Should you wish to add a splash of history and culture to your holiday, don't miss the chance to visit Pompeii - the famous Roman settlement that was preserved by an eruption from Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

For a relaxing day, moor up at Ischia and head to the island's natural hot springs, where the water is warmed by volcanic activity. There are even some spots by the beaches where this hot water wells up and enters the sea, creating warm patches for you to swim in.

Sardinia

As one of Italy's largest islands, Sardinia is obviously a good choice for a yachting break. If you set sail from the northern province of Olbia Tempio, you'll have lots of beautiful and exciting destinations within easy reach.

Depart from Cannigione and you'll only have a short journey to reach the Maddalena archipelago - a stunning national park and marine reserve that's made up of a group of granite isles. It's an especially good spot for nature lovers to visit, as there are several seabird colonies on the islands, while dolphins can often be seen in the waters surrounding them.

To add a sprinkling of exclusivity to your break, make sure you sail along Sardinia's Emerald Coast, where you can stop at chic towns like Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo. High-end developments characterise both these places, with white sand beaches, vast marinas and top-quality restaurants also found here.

Tropea

Our final Italian sailing holiday destination is Tropea in Calabria. What makes this such a great choice for yachting breaks is its proximity to the Aeolian archipelago, which comprises islands such as Stromboli, Vulcano and Panarea.

Stromboli is a particularly impressive sight, as its volcano is still active and is constantly erupting on a small scale. Sail past it and you'll see smoke rising from its crater, while in the evening the steady flow of molten lava down its slopes looks amazing.

For a bit of pampering on your yacht charter holiday, moor up at Vulcano for a day, as this volcanic island has long been renowned for the healing powers of its waters. If you step ashore, you'll discover hot springs and thermal baths where you can truly unwind. One final highlight you shouldn't miss is Panarea, which is well known for its top-class restaurants and bars. This is the place to come if you're hoping to enjoy a chic night out while on your sailing trip. 
 

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