Yacht Charter and Boat Rentals in Portorosa
Yacht Charter Portorosa
On the northern coast of Sicily between Milazzo and Tindari, Portorosa is a deliberately built Mediterranean Sea holiday village with a marina at its centre. With its views of Mt Etna and the Aeolian Islands, the village is an exceptional place to begin a relaxed sailing holiday.
Portorosa Village has its own indoor and outdoor pools and a range of hotels and holiday apartments. This is not a village that had a purpose before the tourism economy - it was built to harness it.
You will find bars, restaurants and boutiques expressly aimed at you the visitor. The beach is well managed and clean and as a whole, Portorosa is designed to maximise your break away from life at home.
For those who seek a bit of history and culture, a short drive down the road to the east is Milazzo, a strategic town on the Tyrrhenian Sea that has been inhabited for more than 2,500 years by a range of empires and nations. Tindari to the west is a bit younger at just over 2,000 years old! Originally built by the Greeks this remains one of those towns of outstanding beauty that will forever stick in your mind as being quintessentially Sicilian.
Central to a group on a Portorosa yacht charter will be Marina di Portorosa, the largest marina in Sicily. This is home to a large number of charter yachts including Oceanis, Beneteau, Bavaria, Lagoon and other well known, solid sailing yacht brands that are available on a bareboat charter or crewed yacht charter basis. The marina is well equipped and focused on the needs of those on sailing vacation, though local boat owners use it as well for its great facilities.
Explore Portorosa By Renting A Yacht
A Portorosa yacht charter isn't complete without a visit to the Aeolian Islands! These are a group of active and extinct volcanic island just off the coast of mainland Sicily. Though most islands, such as Panarea and Vulcano are inhabited, you may not wish to go ashore on the currently active Stromboli! Many spend a relaxed evening watching the natural light show from its eruptions from aboard their yachts at a safe distance. Whether a black sand beach or the crater of a dormant volcano you can explore the natural wonders to your heart's content.
Southeast of the Aeolian island chain is the ancient port of Milazzo - another important destination for sailing holiday goers. Home to relics from a range of empires through the Millennia, you will soon appreciate what the town has to offer both today and through history.
Sailing west along the northern coast of the main island you will eventually reach Palermo, the Sicilian capital. If this was your first stop after Portorosa you'd be forgiven for thinking Sicily a bit edgier than it really is! A large, cosmopolitan city with a lot of ancient and modern charms, you could find yourself enjoying yourself from early morning then right around the clock!
You'll soon find that Sicily isn't Portorosa or Palermo! It is an island nation in its own right - not really Italian, but not Arab, North African, Greek or even Norman... The culture runs deep in its veins and is uniquely its own. An independent country for many hundreds of years, you will soon see that nature as you explore the towns and villages you sail down the coastline and among its islands. Sailing in Sicily is about a relaxed sailing holiday - not bars, clubs and booze!
How To Get To Portorosa
There are two airports that serve Portorosa. It is somewhat easier to fly to mainland Reggio Calabria on mainland Italy than it is to fly into Catania-Fontanorossa on Sicily itself. If you are on a longer holiday (perhaps staying on after the boat rental) then it could pay to rent a car from the airport - it is only 1.5 hours door to door from Catania.
Reggio Calabria Airport
Reggio Calabria is served by a number of European airlines flying in through the week.
Taking a bus to the ferry port in Reggio Calabria and then a train from Messina to Novara-Montalbano-Funari station costs about £14. You then take a taxi the last 1.8 miles to Portorosa. This should take just over 3.5 hours. It is cheaper too - it costs around €18 per adult.
This has airlines from Europe and the USA serving it.
It does however take a bit longer on public transport to get to Portorosa than the other airport. By bus and train it can take around 5.5 hours, jumping on the train in central Catania bound for Messina and changing there for the train on to Novara-Montalbano-Funari station. This will cost about €30 per person.
Marinas In Portorosa
Marina di Portorosa is the biggest marina in Sicily and may well be the reason you travel there. Central to the holiday village, it has a number of yacht charter companies offering motorboat charter, sailboat charter, catamaran charter, gulet charter, luxury yacht charter and superyacht charter on a bareboat or a crewed yacht charter basis.
Marina di Portorosa:
Max Length 35m (114 Feet)
Max Draught 3.5m (11.4 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, electricity, fuel, WiFi, refuse collection and recycling, showers, toilets, laundry, bar, restaurant, pharmacy, supermarket and yacht repair, beach
Suggested Sailing Routes From Portorosa
A seven day yacht charter on your motor boat or sailing boat will allow you to explore the mainland coast of Sicily and Aeolian Islands while a 14 day trip will allow you to go for Palermo and perhaps as far as Marsala on the west coast of the island.
7 days - Aeolian Islands and Tindari Bay: Tindari Bay has been inhabited for more than 2,000 years. For those seeking culture and history you will be spoiled for choice. Tindari and Milazzo to the east are still alive, and are an excellent way of getting to grips with what Sicily is today too. The volcanic Aeolian Island chain, including the very active Stromboli are places worthy of a pause for a day's wandering or a night's watching! The bars and restaurants of Vulcano and Panarea aren't wild but you will find more than just natural wonders there.
14 days - west to Palermo and beyond: On this coastal sailing holiday you can head up the northern coast for Palermo as an espresso jolt from the laid back quiet of the fishing villages and quiet holiday towns you encounter as you head there. A day or so beyond the capital of Sicily are a choice - the Egadi Islands or the wine town of Marsala that has been made popular as home of one of the Royal Navy's favourite tipples. Perhaps after loading up with a couple of cases of the good stuff, do some island hopping too! The Egadi islands are a byword for sleepiness and timelessness - there are even cave paintings left by our prehistoric ancestors there.
Best Times To Hire A Yacht In Portorosa
As a subtropical archipelago of islands, Sicily is good for sailing between March and October. Choosing the time to charter a yacht is very much down to your tastes. Some like the hurly burly of fighting for mooring space in a marinaand the buzz of a holiday town at full blast. If that's to your taste then do do the trip in the fierce heat of July and August. Remember though that as with all other Italian marinas you will find that the prices go up at this time of year.
September and October can be a little cooler but the seas remain warm. You may get a bit of rain and even the odd gale but it's still warmer than in Northern Europe or New England. The towns are quieter too and the locals perhaps less busy enough to spend more time with you, helping you deepen your appreciation of the nation.
If you can get to Sicily during school term time - in May perhaps - you will get the warmth without the crowds.
Sailing Weather In Portorosa
It does rain in Sicily but largely at higher altitudes on the mountainous interior. At lower levels - sea level - the islandsoften see drought come summer. Autumn and winter see the most rainfall.
What about the winds? Two of them dominate the Sicily climate:
Scirocco: This is a hot southerly wind that brings fierce heat from Africa. Recently temperatures have topped 40 degrees C fairly regularly, even in seaside towns like Trapani. Having crossed the Med it often bears humidity too.
Mistral: This is the northerly mountain wind from the Rhone Valley in France that often catches sailors unawares throughout the year. It can get quite strong at any time of the year but there is one advantage - it is a cool wind that will be a blessed relief from the Scirocco!
What should I consider when hiring a Yacht or Boat?
The main points to consider are what is your budget, have you got the necessary sailing experience and qualifications to manage the boat if it's not going to have a skipper, whom you are taking sailing, where exactly you wish to go and what will the weather be like on the proposed dates of your trip.
What are the Marinas in Portorosa?
Marina di Portorosoa was built as part of the planned holiday village in 1993. It is a major yacht charter base and well equipped with all you need for a relaxed sailing holiday.
When are the best times to hire a boat in Portorosa?
The high season of July and August are when the marinas are most expensive, the crowds at their busiest and the heat is like a furnace. If you can get to Portorosa in May or June before the school holidays begin you will find it cheaper, quieter and cooler.
Do you have to pay a deposit when hiring a Yacht in Portorosa?
You will typically pay 50% up front on booking the yacht hire and the balance on arrival. You will either pay a security deposit with your credit card on departure or can get insurance covering damage in advance. In some cases (such as the recent Covid situation) charter companies may be more flexible but this depends on the individual charter companies themselves.
What happens if my Yacht breaks down?
If you are at sea and in danger, call MAYDAY on VHF Ch16 or ring the coast guard on your phone if you have reception. If you have a mechanical fault and can make it to or are on a mooring you will be able to phone a help line number given by the boat charter company.
What should I think of before I hire a Yacht or Boat in Portorosa?
You should consider do you have the experience to handle the yacht charter or boat hire before you book and where do you want to go along with what the weather will be like. Bring warm weather and cool weather clothing if it looks like the weather can be cool as well as warm and remember at sea it can be cool on most evenings.
What Qualifications Do I need to hire a boat or yacht?
If you want to sail without a skipper then you will need relevant qualifications like RYA Day Skipper/International Certificate of Competence (ICC)/ASA 104 Bareboat certificate or the US Sailing Certificate. For small 'day boats' or if you choose to have a skippered on board your yacht charter you typically don't require licences.