The Gulf of Naples, located west to Naples (Napoli), in the Tyrannian Sea, offers an amazing mix of dramatic scenery and cultural richness. The coast offers plenty of towns to stop by and enjoy the Italian culture, history and the many flavours this region can offer. On the other hand, each of the Campanian Archipelago Islands, are definitely on the bucket list and well known for the amazing sunsets, hot springs and breath-taking landscapes.
There are plenty of sailing itineraries to plan around the Gulf of Naples, even if you want a weekend escape or if you want to fulfil your one-week dream sailing vacation, which will definitely build a memorable Italian experience.
Arriving in Naples
You can arrive in Italy by plane at Aeroporto Internazionale di Napoli, being the closest airport to your point of departure, Naples (Napoli). In case you want to charter a boat in Napoli, there are several marinas which offer good deals to rent a boat, with or without a captain, like: Porticciolo Molosiglio, Porto di Sannazaro or Torre del Greco Marina.
Weather in the Gulf of Naples
The sailing season in Gulf of Naples and the Campanian Archipelago is between May and September, offering better weather, less rain and warmer temperature than the winter, off season months.
The climate is Mediterranean, with daily average temperatures of 9 °C in January and February and 24 °C in July and August. Summertime is hot and sunny and rain is very rare, but thunderstorms are not excluded, so you should check the weather forecast regularly. The air is hot and humid during summer, but the breeze usually relieves the heat. Influenced by sirocco, some days might be very hot, with temperatures reaching 35 °C.
The Gulf of Naples is usually very calm during summer, and there are not many strong winds in the area. Typically, winds are from East or Northeast with an average of 15 knots. Occasionally, there are winds of 20 knots, but most of the days are of absolute calm and light winds.
Planning the itinerary
Prepare for a one-week unforgettable sailing adventure along the Gulf of Naples and the Campanian Archipelago, one of the best escapes in Southern Italy, to spend the summer vacation with your family and friends. Even though in this itinerary there are only 5 legs, take your time, enjoy the landscapes at your own sailing pace, to discover this amazing area. For this sailing itinerary, the starting point is Porticciolo Molosiglio, and you will sail more than 70 nautical miles around one-of-a-kind landscapes, amazing Italian cuisine, remote caves and amazing aquamarine waters. Depending on your yacht type, course and pace, the below information may vary.
- Leg 1 – Naples to Torre del Greco – 7 NM – 1.5 hours
- Leg 2 – Torre del Greco to Sorrento – 10 NM – 2 hours
- Leg 3 – Sorrento to Capri Island – 10 NM – 2 hours
- Leg 4 – Capri Island to Ischia Island – 25 NM – 4.5 hours
- Leg 5 – Ischia Island to Naples – 20 NM – 4 hours
The Gulf of Naples itinerary, NavionicsPicture copyright: navionics.com
1. Naples to Torre del Greco – Leg 1
Sailing to Torre del Greco
Renting the boat for one week in Porticciolo Molosiglio, usually starts on Saturdays, and you can be accommodated starting with 14:00.
Close to marina, there are lots of local stores and supermarkets on, or close to Via Santa Lucia, so you will find plenty of possibilities to provision your boat and make all required adjustments before departure.
Once returned to your boat, you can set sail for Torre del Greco Marina, at 40°47'08.0"N 14°21'46.5"E. There are only 7 nautical miles to sail to Torre del Greco, so you should reach the Marina in about 1.5 hours.
After leaving the marina, on your port side you will have the Port of Naples.
Attention: Keep a close eye on the cargo ships and ferries arriving and departing the port!
Sightseeing in Torre del Greco
Torre del Greco is a commune within Naples Metropolitan Area, and was originally colonised by Greeks in ancient times. In Roman era, the city has served as an important resort for the imperial families, and around this area you can still find the roman remains of villa complexes and baths.
Nowadays, Torre del Greco is famous for its coral harvesting and production, this area being always rich of this natural invertebrate. This being said, in the town centre you will find lots of stores selling fabulous coral jewellery. Being the most prized commodity, people here, dedicated a museum to corals, Store Liverino, which offers a great collection of coral jewellery, along with items from 19th century like the medallion depicting Cupid’s Forge and a Mongolian Helmet adorned with coral decorations.
Another must see landmark of Torre del Greco is the Piazza Santa Croce, located in the centre of the city, and here you can find Basilica Santa Croce, the main religious building of the city, built in the 16th century, and has neoclassical architecture.
If you wish to spend one more day in Torre del Greco, we advise you to visit the ancient ruins of Pompeii City and Mount Vesuvius.
Pompeii Museum is a fascinating historical site, where you can find the ruins of Pompei City, devastated by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The city was well preserved by the thick layer of volcanic ash, and you can visit the ruins of the amphitheatre, the temple of Jupiter, the house of faun and some ancient villas in which you can still see the colourful frescos painted more than 2000 years ago.
- Address: Piazza Immacolata, 80045 Pompei
- Visiting hours: November to March, Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 – 17:00
- Tickets: 16.00 € (+ € 1.50 of presale)
Mount Vesuvius is a landmark of Torre del Greco, and is one of the two active volcanos in Europe. With a height of 1281 meters, it offers incredible views over the Bay of Naples, the Tirone Reserve, Cognoli di Ottaviano and Valle dell’Inferno.
You can hike the Mount Vesuvius by your own, on a guided tour or by taking a bus. There are buses available every 50 minutes from Pompei.
- Visiting hours:
January, February, November, December, daily 9:00 – 15:00
March, October, daily 9:00 – 16:00
April, May, June, September, daily 9:00 – 17:00
July, August, daily 9:00 – 18:00
Adults: 10 €
Students: 8 €
Accomodation when sailing to Torre del Greco
Good accommodation can be found in Torre del Greco, and if you don’t want to spend the night on your boat, our recommendations are: Hotel Poseidon**** with starting price from 79 € / night or B&B Casina de Goyzueta**** from 80 € / night.
If you decide to spend some time close to the port, we recommend having dinner at La Voce del Mare.
Pompei Ruins and Mount Vesuvius, Italycapetanos.com
2. Torre del Greco to Sorrento – Leg 2
Sailing to Sorrento
In Sorrento, you can find safe harbour at Marina Piccola, close to Port of Sorrento, or in City of Sant’Agnello at Porto Sant’Angelo or Marina di Cassano. There are only 10 nautical miles between Torre el Greco and Sorrento and you should reach your destination in about 2 hours. Check the weather forecast, raise the anchor, and head South for the amazing city of Sorrento.
Sightseeing in Sorrento
Sorrento is worth to sail to for its laid-back holiday air, beaches, the old streets lined by noble houses, and of course for its craggy cliffs rising 55 meters above sea level.
In its history, the city was ruled by Greeks, Romans, Turks, French and then Spanish, and you can see all these historical influences in the town’s architecture, dialect and the amazing mixed cuisine.
If you decide to stay in Marina Piccola, you should also visit Marina Grande which is more interesting and has lots of restaurants and taverns where you can try some of the local sea food dishes.
At Capo di Sorrento, you can find the ruins of Bagni della Regina Giovanna, dating from the 1st century B.C. where you can drop the anchor and swim in the beautiful natural pool below it; separated from the sea by a rock arch, the natural pool is surrounded by steep rock cliffs.
On shore, most of the historic sites to visit are close to Tasso Square. Passing behind the statue of Torquato Tasso, you will find, the Correale Palace, the Veniero Palace, and at the end of the lane the Bishop’s Palace and the Cathedral Belltower.
Museum Correale is a museum in Sorrento, surrounded by a citrus grove and with a terrace of Belvedere that overlooks the Gulf of Naples. The villa where the museum is located, is owned by Pompeo and Alfredo Correale, the last descendants of the family. The museum exhibits collections of Neapolitan painters dating from the 17th and 18th century, with valuable Capodimonte and Sèvres ceramics, Murano glassware, Bohemia crystals and a collection of watches.
- Address: Via Correale, 50, 80067 Sorrento
- Visiting hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9:30 – 13:30
- Tickets: Standard - 8 €
Accomodation when sailing to Sorrento
Marina Piccola – Sorrento, Italycapetanos.com
3. Sorrento to Capri Island – Leg 3
Sailing to Capri Island
Capri Island is quite close to Sorrento, only 20 nautical miles to sail, and you should reach Marina Grande in about 2 hours. If you decide to book a berth in Marina Grande, before entering you can contact the harbor master at + 39 081 8377602 or on the VHF radio - Channel 71. While arriving in Marina di Capri, you can request dinghy assistance if needed, as it is available 24/7 and can come in hand in strong winds or if this is your first time visiting the marina. The marina is located on the northern shore of the island, at 40°33'28.4"N 14°14'34.9"E, on the left side of Porto Commerciale di Capri.
Sightseeing in Capri Island
In Ancient times, Capri Island was the playground and the vacation spot for the emperors Augustus and Tiberius, and nowadays it became the favorite playground for the rich and famous.
If you want to move along the island, from Marina Grande there are three modes of transport:
- Funicular – offers the fastest mode of transport to the city of Capri. An extra charge will be applied for large luggage, that doesn’t include backpack or small luggage. Funicular is closed from January to March, so you need to take other transport options.
- Buses – on the island are actually minibuses with a capacity of 10 passengers, because large busses cannot drive the narrow island streets. High season brings long lines at the bus station.
- Taxis – have a capacity of maximum 7 passengers, so all crew can ride the same taxi to town. Taxi drivers are usually courteous and can help you have a great experience on the island because they are also excellent tour guides.
From the peak of Mount Solaro, you can enjoy the dramatic views. The vistas stretch all over the bay of Naples and you can have a clear view of Faraglioni and Sorrento at the horizon.
Capri’s most renowned sight is Blue Grotto, world-famous for its crystal-clear aquamarine waters. The cave gets its distinctive blue colour due to a large opening in the rock beneath the water combined with the red light filtered out through this opening. Some great deals to visit the Blue Grotto can be found here.
Another top attraction you can enjoy, if you prefer to spend some time at anchor, the Faraglioni rocks will just make you understand the Italian “la dolce far niente”. Just drop the anchor, have a cold one and enjoy the amazing landscape rising in front of you.
Accomodation when sailing to Capri Island
Capri Island top view, Italycapetanos.com
4. Capri Island to Ischia Island – Leg 4
Sailing to Ischia Island
After visiting this amazing gem in the Campanian Archipelago it’s time to discover another one: Ischia Island. Located W-NW to Capri, at 25 nautical miles away, Ischia will just amaze you with its natural beauty. For this leg you will sail for about 4.5 hours, and if you sail in the morning, you’ll just enjoy the cool summer breeze. Porto di Forio is located on the North-western part of the island at 40°44'18.3"N 13°51'33.0"E.
Sightseeing in Ischia Island
Ischia was some time ago a quiet island with just few sailing enthusiasts stopping by. However, the island nowadays is an international tourist destination buzzing with summer fun activities. You’ll find here innumerable hotels, beaches, shops and restaurants but also magnificent historical and natural scenery that have positioned it as one of the top destinations for tourists all over the world.
Sailing to Ischia, you will notice the Aragonese Castle staying proud on the top of the cliff, sending you the message: Ischia is close. The massive symbol of the island, a must see on the green island, is connected to the mainland by a bridge rebuilt several times over the centuries because sometimes the sea took him away. The Greeks took refuge on this island in 474 B.C. to defend against enemies but it was Alfonso of Aragon, in 1441, to turn it into the fortified citadel we still see today.
- Address: 80077 Ischia, Metropolitan City of Naples
- Visiting hours: daily 9:30 – 19:00
- Tickets: Standard - 10 €
The Romans, who appreciated the spa treatments, were enjoying the thermal waters of Ischia when the rest of the world was still living in low standards. Nowadays, everybody can benefit of them with a visit to one of the many parks scattered around the island, beautiful to watch but mainly to be used to relax after a day of sailing.
If you prefer to stay at anchor and enjoy the natural beauty of the island, we recommend spending some time close or on one of Ischia’s beaches:
- Spiaggia della Chiaia – the largest one, but crowded;
- Cava dell’Isola - quieter, several restaurants around;
- Spiaggia dei Maronti - only accessible from the sea.
Accomodation when sailing to Ischia Island
Castello Aragonese, Ischia Island - Italycapetanos.com
5. Ischia Island to Naples – Leg 5
Sailing to Naples
Your adventure is close to the end, but this doesn’t mean the Gulf on Naples scenery will stop to amaze you. Leaving Ischia, will give you the opportunity to admire the Island Procida, which also worth a stop if you still have the time to do so. Naples is 20 nautical miles away, and about 4 hours of sailing. On your port side, you will have the Gulf of Pozzuoli, another great spot to drop the anchor and just enjoy the sea breeze.
Sightseeing in Naples
Once you checked-out the boat, and if you still have some time available, we recommend spending some days to discover Naples (Napoli), the third largest city in Italy with a metropolitan population over 3 million. This region was inhabited since Neolithic times and throughout history, Naples has been the sight of fierce battles and many civilisations have tried to conquer it. Naples port is one of the most important in the Mediterranean Sea, and Naples has one of the largest economies in Italy. Due to the extensive history of this region, Naples is full of historical buildings, squares and churches plus a host of modern amenities and fantastic nightlife opportunities.
Among top things to do in Naples, are the San Gennaro Catacombs, near Basilica dell’Incoronata, in the northern part of Naples. The catacombs are spread over two levels, the lower floor contains a staggering 3000+ burials and is dimly lit to retain the spooky underground feeling and the above level is more spacious and contains many detailed frescos and artwork.
Approaching the marina, you will notice on your port side Castel dell’Ovo, constructed in the early 6th century B.C. and the defensive structure has stood ever since.
The castle is open to the public and it is a fantastic place to explore, with passageways and arches from where you can look out into the Mediterranean Sea.
- Address: Via Eldorado, 3, 80132 Napoli
- Visiting hours:
Monday – Friday: 9:00 – 19:30
Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 – 14:00
- Tickets: Free
The Castel Nuovo is a landmark in the skyline of Naples and is also one of the first sights you will see when entering the marina. Built in 1282, the castle features 5 circular crenulated towers and a fantastic triumphal arch, added at a later date.
Accomodation when sailing to Naples
Naples view over marina and Mount Vesuvius, Italycapetanos.com
Capetanos sailing and general recommendations
For an amazing sailing week around the Gulf of Naples, we strongly recommend to plan in advance, consult the charts, weather conditions and choose the most suitable time and boat, according to your sailing skills. These five legs can be achieved at your own pace, so why not spending more than one week in this incredible area.
We hope that information in this article will contribute to your decision for your next holiday in the Gulf of Naples, one of the top destinations in Europe.
Sailing bugdet calculator / rent boat calculator Gulf of Naples
These calculations are performed for one-week charter on a 43 feet catamaran in mid-august and crew of 10. The total may differ depending on many factors like boat amenities and construction year, mooring fees, dinner out, etc.
|1-week total||7.780 €|
|4 cabins catamaran||3.900 €|
|Skipper (optional)||1.500 €|
|Food out||1.250 €|