The west coast of Italy and the French island of Corsica are both renowned for boasting incredibly beautiful coastlines but, below the water, are a plethora of incredible dive sites. Embark on this two-week itinerary and discover the fascinating underwater world of the Mediterranean. This is a must for those wanting to combine scuba diving with the allure of Italy’s most picturesque coastline and the unforgettable rugged beauty of Corsica.
The tiny old fishing village, which has been transformed into a playground for the rich and famous, has not lost its charm. The busy harbour overlooking an azure sea is dotted with palm trees and backed by the tranquil Italian countryside.
DAY 2Portofino - Cinque Terre
Wake up anchored close to the Cinque Terre; five incredibly beautiful secluded villages surrounded by spectacular scenery and tranquil beaches. They are inaccessible by road, so take a tender ashore and explore Riomaggiore and its topsy-turvy pastel houses, and Manarola perched majestically on a rock and backed by terraced vineyards. Climb the winding stairs at Corniglia, and sit back to enjoy lunch and a bottle of local white wine whilst taking in the spectacular views.
Vernazza is the prettiest of all; a typical Italian Riviera fishing village sitting in a rocky cove of dark rocks, with brightly coloured houses. Monterosso Al Mare’s cobbled streets are the busiest, with many restaurants.
There are many different diving spots in the area for both beginners and experienced divers. You will find a great variety of marine life and various species of fish of all sizes such as blennies, gobies, striped breams, wrasses and giltheads. Deep-sea divers will encounter some bigger fish near the Marine Reserve. In those areas you will find sole fish, greater weever fish, stingrays and octopuses hiding near the rocks.
If you're lucky you may even spot some dolphins.
DAY 3Cinque Terre - Elba
Spend a day relaxing around the idyllic island of Elba. There are plenty of sandy beaches and secluded anchorages around Elba’s winding and varied coastline. Spend the evening in Portoferrario.
The submarine park of the Tuscan Archipelago hides beautiful treasures and, in between multi-colored shoals of fish, you can explore the wrecks of ancient vessels which sank centuries ago.
DAY 4Elba - Rome
Sprawling across seven legendary hills, Rome was one of the great centres of the ancient world. Its beginning is shrouded in legend and its development is full of intrigue and struggle – Rome is the eternal city. After tying up in Porto Touristico di Roma Marina, it is just a short trip to the centre, where you can explore the city for the best in Italian shopping on its tree-lined boulevards, dotted with outdoor cafes and fountains.
Trips to the Colosseum, the Trevi fountain and the Sistine Chapel are essential for your day visit. For a treat, book a table at restaurant Quinzi e Gabrieli for some of Rome’s best seafood or La Posta Vecchia at Palo for authentic charm.
DAY 5Rome - Ischia
To explore the island of Ischia, visit Serrara Fontana and then climb up to the summit of Monte Epomeo. Barano d’Ischia offers some ancient settlements and geological formations for exploration.
Lacco Ameno is a famous cosmopolitan spa town where you can visit the steamy cave of San Lorenzo. Forio has the most beautiful sandy beaches and vineyards, and the old town is well preserved.
DAY 6Ischia - Capri
Cruise to Capri, a rustic island of epic beauty. Visit the Grotta Azzura (Blue Grotto) in the northeast, a cave on the water’s edge whose strange light has made it the area’s most popular attraction after Pompeii. The Palace Hotel is situated close by and makes a great spot for lunch.
In the afternoon, visit the town heading for La Piazzetta, the most famous square surrounded by white-washed houses. Explore the narrow, winding streets filled with flowering terraces and elegant shops. Have dinner in a typical trattoria where you’ll sample some of the local specialties. Spend the night at anchor near to the Bay of Sorgeto near Ponza, with its hot water wells making it perfect for a late-night dip.
Diving in the waters around Capri is suitable both for beginners and experts. You will have access to a full list of excursions which go from 15 to 40 meters in depth. The underwater world of Capri is populated by cernia fish, lobsters, anemones and marine flora of every kind. The seabed is rich in red and yellow gorgonia and, in certain seasons of the year, it is even possible to witness the flowering of the rare black coral.
DAY 7Capri - Amalfi
Visit the picturesque town of Amalfi, located at the heart of the Amalfi Coast. In the evening, stroll and see the beautiful marble-faced church in the heart of town.
The cathedral, founded in the 9th century, retains its original bell tower. The church went through a number of alterations and eventually the facade was re-built in the 19th century based on the original monument. There are two important doors at the entrance and two 12th century ambos in the interior. From the atrium, visitors can access the Cloister of Paradise, which is one of the most charming pieces of Norman/Arab architecture.
DAY 8Amalfi - Pompeii
From Amalfi, a private trip can be arranged to visit the fascinating ancient city of Pompeii buried under volcanic ash by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Many in-tact treasures were discovered in the 18th century. Mont Vesuvius is the only active volcano in Europe’s continent.
DAY 9Amalfi - Positano
Take a morning cruise along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, stopping at Positano at the foot of Mt Lattari. The town is full of character and charm with bright architecture, many boutiques and a cosmopolitan clientele.
The origins of Positano, as with many other towns, are difficult to distinguish between history and legend. The nearby “Li Galli” archipelago, according to legend, is home to the bewitching sirens. Myth tells us that Positano was founded by Poseidon - the god of the sea - for the sake of the nymph Pasitea, whom he loved. Positano has Roman, Angevin and Aragonese influences.
DAY 10Positano - Naples
Goethe sympathised with all those who fell in love with Naples and lost their senses. He felt that once one began to write about the city, paint it or come close to it in anyway, one forfeited heart and soul to its beauty. This sensation is no different today.
The city is divided into 21 zones and it has so many monuments that it is rightfully known as an open air museum. Time will always be your enemy in Naples, with so much to do and see.
DAY 11Naples - Maddalena
Lying adjacent to Sardinia's famous tourist resort of the Costa Smeralda, the Maddalena archipelago shares the same crystal clear waters and wind-blown granite coastlines, but also remains a haven for wildlife.
It is a designated National Park, the Parco Nazionale Arcipelago di La Maddalena.
DAY 12Maddalena - Bonifacio
Bonifacio’s long, narrow harbour carved from a cleft in the rock face will strike you at once with its immense beauty
The old citadel is perched on impressive limestone cliffs and the harbour buzzes with life. Spend the day exploring, stroll along the pretty café and restaurant-lined harbour. This is certainly one of Corsica’s prettiest and most cosmopolitan spots.
DAY 13Bonifacio - Propriano
Campomoro in Propriano’s Gulf of Valinco is a long beach and one of Corsica’s finest, lined with restaurants and boasting fine sand and crystal blue water.
You will be able to find lots of dive sites around Propriano.
DAY 14Propriano - Ajaccio
Ajaccio is the capital of Corsica and the birthplace of Napoleon.
It is a working town of bustling streets, markets, palm trees, traffic, people, fountains, monuments and rustic buildings.
Italian Riviera Itinerary Details
Cruising The Italian Riviera
13 DAYS, FROM GENOA TO NAPLES
Sweeping down from the glittering French Riviera to the alluring towns of Tuscany, the Italian Riviera combines antiquated charm with exquisite natural beauty for enchanting charter vacations. Cruising the coast, yacht-goers will experience the alluring magic of its pastel-coloured villages perched atop rugged hilltops, as well as glorious stretches of golden sand lapped by crystal clear waters and exclusive Italian resorts.
Genoa is the heart of Italian Riviera. To the west runs the Riviera di Ponente to the French border; and the Riviera di Levante that runs south and east from Genoa to the Gulf of La Spezia.
DAY 2Portofino and the bay of Santa Margarita
Head east towards Portofino and the bay of Santa Margarita.
Before leaving, it is well worth taking a short trip round the headland to visit the small monastery at San Fruttuoso. The whole Tuscany coast is interesting from there all the way down, stopping perhaps at Porto Venere, which is in the Golf of La Spezia next to the Isola Palmaria, for the night.
Porto Ferrario is the largest port on the island although one can always find good shelter in one of the many bays and inlets all round the island. I suggest a bay to the north called Biodola Bay. It is also possible to visit Napoleon’s house where he was exiled year 1814. Or anchor in Porto Azzuro (on the East Coast).
DAY 4St Florent and Calvi
An overnight six hour passage, brings the yacht round Cap Corse and into the bay of St Florent for breakfast.
From St Florent round to Calvi there are a number of small coves well worth stopping in to use the "toys", have lunch etc. Calvi is quite a small harbour and is always full, however it is very pretty to anchor off for the night.
DAY 5Calvi - Girolata
From Calvi down to Girolata, there are a number of large bays, surrounded by hills with good beaches.
Two really good ones are Nichiareto and Galeria. Swimming and diving are excellent and in both and there are caves that you can get small tenders into. Girolata Bay is very pleasant so perhaps spend the night on anchor here.
From here down to the southern part of Corsica, are a series of headlands and gulfs and with the exception of Ajaccio, there are no harbours of any consequence to lie in.
Ajaccio itself is only worth a short visit to reprovision if necessary, but I would suggest that you head over to the south side of the gulf to Cacao, a superb little bay and frequented by local fishermen who are always pleased to barter their catches.
DAY 7Cacao - gulf of Valinco and Propriano
From Cacao to the gulf of Valinco and Propriano, again another small harbour, but as a town, quite interesting.
The bay of Compo Moro on the South Western side is good for watersports, although popular with the small flotilla yachts.
DAY 8Propriano - Bonifacio
After Propriano, head on towards Bonifacio.
Between Propriano and Bonifacio, with the exception of Figari, there are few places of interest. The entrance into the town itself is between two high cliffs with the old fort overlooking the town.
DAY 9Bonaficio - Isles of La Maddalena
From Bonaficio, head across the straights to the islands of La Maddalena located off the northern tip of Sardinia.
A group of some of the most beautiful islands in the whole of the Western Mediterranean, there are always sheltered spots whichever way the wind is coming from.
DAY 10Maddalenas - Porto Cervo
From the Maddalenas head over to Porto Cervo, the Agha Khan's 'play ground'.
The town is very expensive but certainly a place to visit after the peace and quiet of Corsica. In the height of the season it is not always possible to berth here as the harbour operates on a first come first serve basis. Other anchorages for the evening, if you don’t want to berth in the port of Porto Cervo, are in Cala di Volpe or to Golfo Pero (just south of Porto Cervo).
DAY 11Isola Tavolara
Run south to Isola Tavolara “Spalnatori di Terra” anchorage.
For the evening, head back up to Porto Rotondo, Cala di Volpe or berth in Porto Cervo. If the wind is blowing from the East, there is a very good anchorage just west of Capo Ferro called Liscia di Vacca (15 minutes from Porto Cervo – you can get taxis to go to shore from there).
Night crossing to Capri.
Berth late morning to south side of Capri and choose anchorage according to appropriate depth.
Anchor near Isola Faraglioni - 15 to 25 metres depth. After lunch, cruise towards Ligalli islands: 9nmiles from Capri – beautiful for swimming.
Celebrated as Italy’s most beautiful coastline, the Amalfi Coast encompasses spectacular scenery, charming coastal villages and pretty beaches for a relaxing and indulgent luxury charter vacation. The combination of history, culture, art and wonderful food has long made this region popular with discerning travelers.
Spend the day in Ischia, relaxing and unwinding in the thermal spas with hot springs and volcanic mud at Sant’Angelo d’Ischia and Casamicciola Terme.
DAY 3Ventotene - Ponza
Enjoy a morning cruise to the Pontine Island of Ventotene for some breath-taking diving opportunities amongst colourful fish, caves and shipwrecks before stopping for lunch.
Take an afternoon cruise over to Ponza.
DAY 4Ponza - Capri
Relax on one of Ponza’s famous beaches, Chiaia di Luna or Half Moon Beach.
Spend the afternoon exploring the Botanical Gardens before boarding your charter yacht for an overnight cruise to the island ofCapri.
Situated in the beautiful Bay of Naples, Capri is the perfect place to spend a day enjoying beautiful scenery and discovering attractions, such as the Blue Grotto caves, Villa San Michele, Church San Michele, Villa Jovi and the Church of Santa Sofia.
End the day with some delicious traditional Italian food at Da Paolino’s Lemon Trees Restaurant.
DAY 6Salerno - Amalfi
Head to the charming village of Salerno to experience the Old Town and the magnificent Duomo of Salerno.
There is also the opportunity to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, with the archeological sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula. Visit the traditional fishing village of Amalfi with its Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and Cloister of Paradise, and end the day in Ravello to explore the beautiful Villa Cimbrone Gardens.
DAY 7Positano - Sorrento
Cruise to the hillside village of Positano for some breath-taking views and watersports before heading to the popular town of Sorrento for the evening.
DAY 8Pompei - Naples
Spend the morning exploring the ancient Roman ruins of Pompei, then head back to Naples to disembark
Amalfi Coast Itinerary Details
Amalfi Coast Classics
7 DAYS, FROM NAPLES TO NAPLES
Experience the wonders of Italy's Amalfi Coast on a seven-day luxury yacht charter. One week is all it takes to be utterly seduced by this stunning stretch of coastline, considered by many to be the most picturesque in Italy thanks to its steep cliffs, lemon groves and multi-coloured villages.
Among the highlights of Capri are the Blue Grotto sea cave and the incredibly scenic town of Anacapri located on the slopes of Mount Solaro.
Located just around the corner from the Grande Marina is a charming walking and shopping area but, the historic main town of Capri, reached via by the funicular, which drops visitors in the Piazzetta. Take this opportunity to visit the tiny boutiques, stop off for a refreshment at one of the many outdo