Taking to the water is an ideal way to explore the beautiful Bay of Naples and surrounding area. There is a fascinating city to visit on the mainland, along with some wonderful islands that are perfect destinations for luxury holidays.
A sailing holiday in Italy will give you the freedom to plan your own itinerary, as you can moor up your vessel at any of the isles and enjoy an overnight stop, or perhaps stay for a couple of days if there is somewhere you particularly enjoy. Conditions for yachtsmen and women are excellent in the Bay of Naples, with gentle winds and a small tidal range, so you can look forward to relaxing voyages in between spells sitting in the sun on beautiful beaches.
Before you set sail on the Bay and further afield in the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is well worth spending a day exploring Naples. Like most Italian cities, it has some stunning architecture and lots of restaurants that serve traditional local dishes.
The centre of Naples has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its historic buildings. Make sure you take in the medieval Castel Nuovo and the 14th century Church of Santa Chiara, as well as visit the Piazza Plebiscito to see the lavish Royal Palace and domed Church of San Francesco di Paola.
If you are interested in history, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and its collection of finds from Greek and Roman times is a must-visit. Some of the pieces come from Pompeii and, if you wish to learn more about the city buried under the ash from an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, you can take the short trip out to the site.
The smallest island in the Bay of Naples, Procida has remained unaffected by the influence of tourism. Moor up at the main marina, which is close to the ferry terminal, and you can explore the narrow streets and traditional houses of the main town, before stopping at one of the bars or cafes for a drink. You could also visit the long sandy Chiaiolella beach for an afternoon in the sun.
Capri could hardly be more different from Procida. It is a favourite holiday destination for southern Europe's most affluent people and has the facilities to match. In addition to marinas packed with super yachts, it boasts upscale boutiques and jewellers, together with some world-class restaurants and lively nightlife in Capri Town.
The shoreline is stunning, with lots of quiet coves that can be accessed from the sea and beaches where you can relax and soak up the sun. If you would prefer somewhere with more atmosphere, there are beach clubs at Faro, close to the Faraglioni stacks and within walking distance of the Blue Grotto, a sea cave famous for its clear blue water.
The volcanic island of Ischia is famed for its hot springs and beaches, and in some places the two are combined and warm water flows into the sea - perfect for swimming. There are also some famous sights to visit on Ischia, including the beautiful Gardens of La Mortella and the Aragonese Castle, which has been used as a defensive fort since the 5th century BC.
Sail further out into the Tyrrhenian Sea and you will reach the Pontine archipelago, which includes the stunning island of Ponza. It has plenty of deserted beaches to call at and sea caves to explore, as well as some fine restaurants and bars in the main town, which is also called Ponza.