The Italian peninsula has an incredible 4600 miles of sprawling coastline. Offering everything from secluded islands to glamorous port towns, the calm Mediterranean waters that surround Italy make the perfect destination for a sailing holiday. Turn your transport into part of the experience and soak up the scenery and culture while traveling between destinations by boat. The best time of year for a sailing trip in Italy is during the spring and autumn months, when the temperatures are more comfortable and not as hot. Keen swimmers may want to note that the water temperatures are at their best in the autumn after warming up all summer long, making September the perfect month for swimming.

Sailing the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast boasts some of the best sailing in Italy. Visiting the area by boat allows you to dock at the many ports and villages along the coast, as well as to admire the breath-taking landscape from the water—the looming, cultivated cliffs plunge down into the glistening clear blue waters, with towns such as Positano and Amalfi nestled in between and other gems like Ravello perched high above. You may even be able to spot the vertiginous road that snakes along the coast from below. As well as giving you the flexibility to visit the many beautiful spots along the coast without having to travel with the crowds, being out on the water provides plenty of opportunities for water sports, such as paddleboarding and snorkeling. Get away from mainstream tourism in what can be a very busy tourist region and be lulled to sleep every night by the gentle sound of the waves.

Sailing around Sardinia

Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean—its strong winds in summer, limited tides, and clear waters make it one of the best places in Italy for a sailing trip. Located in the middle of the exclusive Costa Smeralda, or Emerald Coast, the small resort town of Cannigione makes the perfect place from which to explore the stunning coastline, secluded inlets, and white-sand beaches. It also provides access to the famous islands of the La Maddalena archipelago and the Tavolara Protected Marine Area, almost 40,000 acres of protected seascape with designated swimming, diving, snorkeling, and sports fishing areas.

Sailing around Ischia and the Bay of Naples

Ischia is a volcanic island in the Bay of Naples in southern Italy. Larger than its more glamorous neighbor Capri, it boasts hot springs, Ancient Roman remains, a medieval castle, and its very own Sea Museum that provides an insight into the island’s centuries-old fishing tradition. Its relaxed towns are home to lush gardens and countless seafood restaurants, where you can sample some of the freshest seafood Italy has to offer.

A sailing tour that includes Ischia will take you around the Bay of Naples, giving you the chance to admire the wonderful natural setting of shimmering seas, forested coastlines, and the foreboding figure of the volcano of Vesuvius towering about the rooftops of the city of Naples itself. Distances between destinations are relatively short and there is plenty to see in a small area, giving you time to really explore everything the region has to offer without feeling rushed and in a way that lets you go off the beaten track.

Practical information

Sailing vacations are, by nature, weather dependent. While extreme weather is highly unlikely in the Mediterranean, particularly during the summer months, your captain may need to make alterations to the itinerary from time to time. There is so much to see, you won’t be missing out.

Being out on the water often means taking the brunt of the sun. Remember to bring sunscreen and a hat, and to keep your water intake up.

Your crew will be on hand to advise in the event of sea sickness, but if this is something you are prone to, make sure to bring any favorite medications from home.