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8 reasons to take a holiday or a weekend sailing trip to the Pontine Islands
- Little inhabited during the year (but not in summer), they have maintained their typically Mediterranean charm with multicoloured volcanic rocks, jagged coastline and deep, transparent waters.
- The short distance from each other and the coastline, as well as their small size, make these islands an ideal meta for a mini-cruise or a weekend sailing trip.
- The seabed is of an unprecedented variety and beauty. A spectacle for diving amidst walls covered in gorgonians and red algae, the wrecks of sunken warships and the strip of submerged land that links Ponza to the island of Zannone.
- Have fun in the Djset clubs of Ponza and do morning dancing on the Beach of Frontone.
- Try all the little restaurants in the port where you can enjoy typical Ponza dishes such as spaghetti with crab fello and cianfotta.
- Visit the characteristic houses dug into the rock of Palmarola, inhabited only during the summer period.
- Discover beaches, caves and cliffs of spectacular colours that can only be reached from the sea.
- Be enchanted by the pastel-coloured fishermen's and sailor's villages, which preserve the genuine soul of the archipelago.
The best places to visit during a weekend or a sailing holiday in the Pontine Islands
A long weekend would be enough to savour the taste of these islands, and yet you will immediately want to return for an entire sailing holiday: the largest is Ponza, connected by a submerged isthmus to Zannone, then there are the islands of Ventotene, Palmarola, Santo Stefano and finally the tiny, jagged island of Gavi. In every corner you can admire the thousand colours of the sea, the rocks and the vegetation. Setting sail to discover this Tyrrhenian paradise is a unique experience of history, nature and vitality.
With its 8 square kilometres, Ponza is the largest island in the Pontine Islands and is, without doubt, the best starting point for a sailing holiday in the Pontine Islands. From the boat you can reach Chia di Luna, one of the most beautiful spots, with the possibility of visiting Circe's caves. In addition to the beautiful beaches, picturesque coves and small port, there is a small village with romantic alleyways and quaint craft shops just waiting to amaze you with their fresh and unusual simplicity.
For dive enthusiasts, the seabed of this island offers an unparalleled spectacle, such as the religious remains of ships sunk in the war, or the strip of submerged land that links Ponza to the island of Zannone, which has been part of the Circeo National Park since 1979. The restaurants in the characteristic fishing village of Ponza are famous for serving traditional dishes based on freshly caught fish.
At Palmarola you must not miss a visit to Cala Brigantina, so called because in the eighteenth century it offered shelter to pirate boats. Here you can visit the grottos of Punta Mezzogiorno and cool off in its emerald waters.
This island is one of those places that can enchant you with its enchanting landscapes above and below sea level. Grab a mask and snorkel and dive into the coves of Cala del Francese and Punta Tramontana, where you can admire the spectacle of the 'Cathedrals'.
Ventotene and Santo Stefano by sailboat
You won't need much time to discover Ventotene and Santo Stefano. In fact, they are two small islands built around the ancient and wonderful Roman port. Ventotene will amaze you with the beauty of its bays, such as Cala dell'Acqua, Cala di Feola and the Faraglioni di Lucia Rosa, where a swim in the pools carved out of the tuff is a must. Santo Stefano, on the other hand, is completely wild and uninhabited, where you can visit the Bourbonic prison, the old jail built by Ferdinand IV of Bourbon and in use until 1965.
4 Things to know for a sailing or catamaran holiday in the Pontine Islands
- The best time to sail in the Pontine archipelago is from April to October when the temperatures are warmer, the mistral winds freshen the air and the islands come alive with popular festivals such as the feast of the patron saint San Silverio on 20 June, the Ponziana sailing week in early July or the fish festival in mid-August.
- The Pontine archipelago is the ideal place for those who want a vacation in close contact with nature. Far from stress, these islands promise an escape from reality and a genuine life made up of fishermen's villages, culinary traditions with Neapolitan influences and "all night long" entertainment.
- The islands are reachable from the Latium coast and most embarkations take place from the port of Formia, Terracina or Nettuno. The ports are easily reached by motorway and direct rail links from Rome and Naples, where there are international airports.
- At the Pontine Islands you can rent a whole boat with skipper or board individually. Prices range from €200 per person for 2 days to €600-800 for a week. In short, a holiday to suit everyone's availability and expectations.