- Build year:2023
- Length:50 ft
- Boat type:Catamaran
- Mainsail:Full battened
- Genoa type:Furling
Capo d'Orlando is a quiet, laid back Mediterranean beach resort on the north coast of Italy. For those seeking the simple things - a beach, nice restaurants and bars and a minor ancient ruin, this uncomplicated Italian beach resort has just that.
The town itself looked on at a big sea battle in around 1296 where 96 galleys fought each other, determining who would be King of Sicily. The ruins of the castle that was around at the time still stand, and this was upgraded with a watchtower in 1500. Earthquakes over the Centuries destoryed the castle bit by bit but it was restored in part in the1990s.
Another minor attraction is the Sanctuary with its own myths and miracles associated with an icon of Mary holding Baby Jesus that was delivered to the town by a pilgrim in 1598. This was stolen in 1921 and a replica replaced in 1926. The ornate Sanctuary was built in 1600, and is still a nice attraction while you are relaxing at the beach resort or preparing for your Cape d'Orlando yacht charter.
For the most part people visit Capo d'Orlando for two reasons - the two beaches by the promenade in the town center and at Spiaggia San Gregorio, and Capo d'Orlando Marina for their sailing vacations. Sailor types after something a lot less frenetic than Palermo will enjoy this immensely and find a place in this town to dial back from your own busy lives.
On a Capo d'Orlando boat rental, whether bareboat charter or crewed yacht charter you will want to explore the destinations of the north coast of Sicily and the islands offshore. You will soon find that such a sailing vacation will compete in quality with Croatia or Greece in terms of yacht charter destination in terms of quality and experiences.
A short day sail to the north of Cape d'Orlando are the Aeolian Island chain - a major yacht charter destination as Sicily goes. The famous live volcano island of Stromboli lights up the sky with its explosions of magma and will be a highlight of your sailing vacation. While it might not be wise to go ashore on this island the four inhabited islands of Lipari, Vulcano, Panarea and Salina have their charms. Black sandy beaches meet the shore, but inland you can explore the dormant and extinct volcanoes so do bring your walking boots!
To the west of Capo d'Orlando you can sail to the capital of Sicily, Palermo. With Millennia of history and a unique culture that stems from it, you will find a buzzing cosmopolitan city at least as good as any European capital.
To the west beyond, you can head off to the Egadi islands that have had their fair share of history but now trade on being so laid back you'll have to look hard to find a pulse.
Heading east from your boat rental base you can fix on history to your heart's content at the city of Milazzo that has been occupied in some form for 2,500 years. Its strategic location on the coast and proximity to mainland Italy has ensured it has been fought over and used by a range of empires including the Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and Italy itself.
There are two different airports you can use to get to Capo d'Orlando - Fontanorossa (Catania) on Sicily and Regio Calabria on the Italian mainland.
Fontanorossa airport (CTA)
This is an international airport with flights from New York as well as much of Europe arriving every week.
Unless you are renting a car, the quickest way to get to Capo d'Orlando is by bus - this is faster than the train. You take a bus from the airport to Messina and then change onto a bus to Cabo d'Orlando. It costs around $20 each way and takes around 3.5 hours. The train takes around 5.5 hours and costs you over $30.
Regio Calabria Airport
This is an international airport on the mainland of Italy and is served by a range of European airlines.
If you're not renting a car or a taxi the best way to Capo d'Orlando is by foot, ferry and train. This costs about $25 per head and takes 3.5 hours. You walk to the airport train station, take a train to Regio Calabria Lido and then a ferry to Messina. You walk to the train station and then take a train to Cabo d'Orlando. Be aware during the walking legs you will be walking 500 meters in the baking sun, so do take care to have reliable wheeled luggage or to carry it on your backs.
Capo d'Orlando Marina is a mid-sized marina with comfortable but not extensive facilities. It has yacht charter companies offering bareboat charter and captained yacht charter of super yacht, catamaran (both the Lagoon and Balimakes), motor yachts and monohull sailboats.
Capo d'Orlando Marina:
Max Length 40m (131 Feet)
Max Draught 4.5m (14.7 Feet)
List additional services: Shore power, water, electricity, fuel, WiFi, refuse collection and recycling, showers, toilets, laundry, bar, restaurant, supermarket and yacht repair
Situated in the middle of the north Sicilan Coast and with access to the buzzing metropolitan centers of Messina, Milazzo and Palermo but also the quiet retreats of the Aeolian and Egadi Islands, whether on a sailing yacht or motor boat, you can tailor your sailing vacation according to what you want!
7 days - Milazzo and the Aeolian Islands: The Aeolian Islands are a chain of volcanic outcrops from the sea that are actually worth a day ashore at each to see the different things on offer. You won't want to go ashore at Stromboli with its current activity but you will wish to watch it belch its fire at night, anchored safely offshore! On mainland Sicily itself you can head east to the important strategic port town of Milazzo with its history baked into the tiles and roads you wander.
14 days - North Coast of Sicily and the Egadi Islands: This trip takes you to see the very best of Sicily from a tourist's perspective. Head east at first to explore Milazzo and Messina before popping offshore to see the Aeolian Islands in all their natural wonder. Back to mainland Sicily you can drop off in the capital Palermo and then explore the vintners of Marsala before heading offshore to the Egadi Islands for all their laid back, tranquil beauty.
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 marina and the buzz of a vacation town at full blast. If that's to your taste then do do the trip in the 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. The towns are quieter too and the locals perhaps less busy so able 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.
It does rain in Sicily but largely at higher altitudes on the mountainous interior. At lower levels - sea level - the islands often 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. 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 so keep an eye on the weather forecast.
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 captain, 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.
Cabo d'Orlando Marina is a mid-sized marina with decent facilities, just outside the main town center.
Cabo d'Orlando is hotter, more expensive and terrifically crowded during the peak season of July and August. Marinas charge more and are very busy too. If you can get there outside of school vacations you will appreicate the town - and wider Sicily - more.
You will typically pay 50% up front on reservation the yacht rent and the balance on arrival. You will either make a payment of 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.
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.
You should consider do you have the experience to handle the yacht charter or boat rental 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.
If you want to sail without a captain 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 captained on board your yacht charter you typically don't require licences.
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