Italy is home to some beautiful destinations and a spectacular coastline. Have you ever considered exploring more of the country by boat? A sailing holiday in Italy might sound like hard work, but in fact it can be as luxurious as it is adventurous. Italy is not the first destination you may think of when booking a sailing holiday but there is so much to enjoy on the Italian coast.

Which type of sailing holiday?

Before you decide where to go and what route to take, you need to consider what type of sailing holiday you want to take. You can choose from a yacht charter where you hire your own yacht or a flotilla where you sail with a group of yachts.

A Yacht Charter holiday

A yacht charter gives you absolute freedom on your sailing holiday in Italy. You may be ready to sail yourself if you have the experience. Or if you are a beginner or have less confidence you can hire a skipper and perhaps a whole crew. If you want to create your own itinerary or be a little more flexible when it comes to the entirety of your sailing holiday, a yacht charter is a great idea. You can spend more time in one destination and miss others if you wish. You can also stop in the middle of the sea and enjoy the tranquillity of being the only yacht around.

Flotilla sailing holidays

If you would like a more organised sailing holiday, then a flotilla might be better for you. A flotilla is a group of between ten and twelve yachts which are guided by a lead yacht. This head yacht hosts an experienced skipper and a full crew. The whole group will often have up to fifty people within the flotilla depending on the trip. There is less flexibility in this kind of sailing as the itinerary is set before hand and you will follow a daily structure. On the first morning you will be given full instructions, introduced to all the working parts of the boat to give you confidence to sail on your own. Then each day you will be given a briefing on the route and every day weather conditions. You will enjoy the comfort of support being close at hand as well as the chance to sail your own yacht too.

Where to sail in Italy?

Once you know which kind of sailing holiday you want to take, then you need to decide where you want to visit. There are so many different and amazing places to visit along the Italian coastline. We are not just talking about sandy beaches and tourist resorts, there are some historic, rugged and secret places to find along the Italian coast. Here are just a few examples of the places you can set sail from and explore when you sail in Italy.   

The Amalfi Coast

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This postcard perfect coastline cannot be missed with its beautiful colorful houses and relaxed atmosphere it is one of the most popular destinations for sailing in the world. Sail from either Salerno or the island of Procida for some great routes around this amazing coastline. This sailing ground is renowned as a destination for the rich and famous so if you are into star spotting it might be the place for you.

Start by sailing around the Sorrentine Peninsula to the town of Sorrento then across the Bay of Naples to Procida. A favourite in this area is of course Capri, the most famous island on the Amalfi coastline. Another place to spot the rich and famous and enjoy a slice of this fabulous lifestyle. Then Ishcia is also a lovely island to explore. A week is the perfect amount of time to explore this area fully and enjoy what the Amalfi Coast.


Begin by flying into Olbia then on to the port of Portisco to set sail. Then follow the coast north to the beautiful Sardinian coast and islands. This area is known for its chic and upmarket destinations, beautiful scenery and delicious food. One of the most popular routes is to sail along Sardinia’s coastline to the magnificent La Maddalena Islands. These islands have been designated a National Marine Park and are certainly not to be missed when sailing in Sardinia.

You can see a good amount without too much sailing when you spend between five and seven days on your trip. Highlights of this part of Italy include the super yachts at Portisco Marina, the iconic pink beach of Spiagga Rosa and the ancient ruins on Santa Maria, Baunei Island. If you have time you can also sail over to Corsica. It is less than fifteen miles to the southern tip of Corsica from Santa Maria.


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This is not a destination you may immediately think of when it comes to the coastline. However, there is more to this part of the word than the vineyards and greenery that make Tuscany famous. Tuscan archipelago is a group of islands located off the west coast of Tuscany and the perfect place for a sailing holiday in Italy. There are some short and longer sailing itineraries but to make the most of this destination and pop over to Corsica too, you should consider a two-week route.

Begin at Follonica then move over to Piombino along the coastline and to the famous Gate of St Antonino. From here a popular route is to island hop around Elba Island, Capraia to Portoferrario and Marciana. One of the top things to do is take a cable car up to the top of Mount Capanne for spectacular views. To explore further it is best to go with a flotilla or guide as you may need permits to drop anchor in places such as Pianosa.

Sicily and the Aeolian Islands

This UNESCO site is made up of a beautiful and rugged coastline and stark volcanic landscapes. The routes are long and varied and best left for the most adventurous sailors. There are three different places you can begin your journey, Palermo, Portorosa and Sant Agata. All three ports have great facilities where you can pick up your initial supplies and set off on your journey.

Top destinations in the area include Stromboli, Catania, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea. You will enjoy gorgeous coastlines, volcanic landscapes and expansive blue waters during your sailing adventure in this region. You can spend as little as five days or up to two weeks exploring this amazing place, depending on how much you want to see or how many days you would like to relax.   

Where will you visit sailing in Italy and exploring the coastline?

As you can see there are different ways to enjoy a sailing holiday, whether that is with your own yacht charter or a flotilla. Whatever your confidence in sailing, you can find the right sailing holiday for you. Then there is the question of where to go on your sailing adventure. From rubbing shoulders with celebrities on the Amalfi coast to exploring the volcanic islands of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. Where will you visit on your Italian sailing adventure?   

This is a guest post.