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Italian Anchorages and Marinas 2013 - Part 2: Corsica & Italian Coast

By Mario Borg — last modified Feb 26, 2014 11:12 AM

Published: 2014-02-19 00:00:00
Countries: France , Italy

Italian Anchorages and Marinas 2013 - Part 2: Corsica & Italian Coast

Palmarola island on the way to Ponza: © Mario Borg

For Part 1 of this record of a summer cruising by Mario Borg of SY Maltese Falcon go here.

MADDALENA ARCHIPELAGO - Sardinia - Budelli Island

We started out early in the morning out of Budelli island, with a slight land breeze from the SSW. We picked up a mooring at Lavezzi, at Cala di U Crecu, but then we found out that the tour boats go in there with 500 tourists on board and it gets crazy. So we scouted the area by dinghy and could not find a nice place to anchor as it is all very deep here with big boulders and a few sand patches in this part of the island. There is a couple of very nice anchorages to the south of the island, but you will need to anchor outside the bay as it is reported to be shallow in close.  So we decided to head to the island of Corsica.


Corsica, as most of you know, is part of France, but since it was on our route we decided to include it in this report. Corsica’s east coast does not offer many anchorages or marinas especially north of Porto Vecchio, the west coast does offer more anchorages but weather watching becomes a major priority because of the strong and frequent mistrals putting your boat on a lee shore. We decided on travelling up the east coast and it worked very well. Lavezzi and Cavallo Islands are also part of Corsica, at Cavallo’s south tip there is a marina with very good protection from the Northwesterly. Keep a good lookout at the weather forecasts before crossing the Strait of Bonifacio, as this area can get very nasty during a strong mistral.

Punta de Sperone: N 41 22.198 E 009 13.384

This is a large bay on the SE coast of Corsica with a sand bottom, it is like most places we have visited since arriving close to the Costa Smeralda, a very busy anchorage with a lot of motion during the day from passing inflatables that are the majority of the boats in these areas. It is a lovely place to spend a couple of days and watch all the boats go by. There is a very nice beach, the holding is excellent and you have protection from the mistral. There are also anchorages to the north of the sand bar that stretches from the Corsican mainland to Isola Piana.

Golfo Amanza: N 41 24.481 E 009 13.189

This is a large bay with the opening facing NE. It is not all good holding - we tried close to the fish farms and could not grab, then we went in the middle about 200m from shore in 25ft of sand and short weed and grabbed very well. The Bay is huge with other anchoring options. The beach is fine red gravel but the water bottom is white sand. There is a hotel with a bar to the east which has an excellent view of this beautiful bay. Leave your dinghy at the small harbour just below the hotel. There is also a bar/restaurant on the northwest side of the beach where you can tie up the dinghy and then watch the crowds go by while sipping something cool from the bar. We met a very nice French couple, Batiste and Agnes, who one day drove us to Bonifacio to tour the city. It is magnificent city with a very nice waterfront and the amazing medieval town is another world to explore. It is a true gem of the Med, there is no public transportation from here to Bonafacio other than by taxi.  There is no provisioning in the bay, for that you need to go to Bonafacio or further north at Porto Vecchio.

Capu d'Acciaju Bay: N 41 32.688 E 009 18.221

We anchored in crystal clear water over white sand in 22ft. This is a very nice anchorage without the mass tourists that you get in the other crystal clear bays, and a bar/restaurant on the beach. From here it's a short walk to Plamboggio Beach which happens to be very crowded with teenagers and also has many bars right at the waters edge. The holding at this spot is excellent with no boulders around the swinging room. The beach is nice white sand, busy with bathers, but not crowded.

Baie Stagnoli, Porto Vecchio: N 41 37.204 E 009 18.912

We anchored in 12 ft. over sand and short weeds, but the anchor still grabbed at the first pull and held at 1500 rpm's. This place was okay till about 1:00pm. We had a sailing school all morning and it was nice watching the kids sail around the boats and the cove. The bays around the coast mostly have camp grounds where you can still land the dinghy on one of the beaches and go for a walk around the place. After the sailing schools pack up, the water skiers appear and from then until dusk it was mayhem.

East of the Porto Vecchio Marina: N 41 35.512 E 009 18.072

This is a better anchorage than the previous one and also a shorter dinghy ride to the town of Port Vecchio. The holding is very good, but make sure you are dug in by putting the engine in reverse for a while and check your bearings. While here we had a bad blow with winds in the high 40’s from the east, a lot of the boats dragged and we had to stay up all night to make sure we stayed put and that no one was dragging towards us. It is a short dinghy ride to the marina where you are allowed to tie up to the pontoon closest to the marina office, laundry is available in the same building. Very good provisioning in the lower town and many restaurants on the waterfront to choose from, it is quite a climb going to the old town on top, but it is worth it.

North of the Porto Vecchio Marina: N 41°35.568 E 009°17.300

This is also a very good anchorage, very close to the marina so it makes an excellent spot to visit the town or for provisioning. Fuel dock at the marina entrance to starboard as you come in, but be there early in the morning before opening at 07:00 as later it gets very crazy and there is not much room to maneuver. This is the cheapest place we filled up from, at €1.50/L. You can contact the marine, 20137 Porto-Vecchio, France ‎+33 4 95 70 95 30 to check if they have a spot available.

Anse Cola: N 40 39.778 E 009 23.020

Anchored in crystal clear water over sand in 17 ft depth, very good holding, it looks like you are in a swimming pool. It got a bit of motion in the afternoon with the boat traffic outside, it is a very pretty place with ample beach space and some very good snorkeling near the island. From here you can take the dinghy through the gap at the north of the bay, this will put you in the larger bay of Baei Palombaggia, with its white sand beach and more crystal clear water.

North of Marina Solenzara: N 41 51.737 E 009 24.128

Very good anchorage over soft sand where the anchor buries itself without much of a problem. Free Wi-Fi courtesy of the Marina who gave us the password with no questions asked. Keep an eye out for some large logs on the bottom that must have floated out from the river. It is a very small town with not much to see or do. There are a couple of small grocers in town, a bakery and a few restaurants. Fuel available at the marina.

Bastia: N 42 41.350 E 009 26.962

Bastia, Corsica's second largest city, is a must-see town with lovely walks around the harbour. Plenty of provisioning and a multitude of restaurants. In calm weather you can anchor just south of the walled city over a sand bottom close to a small beach below the main road. From the anchorage it is a short dinghy ride into the harbour - tie up where convenient. There is also a marina within the harbour.

From Bastia it is a short hop eastward over to the island of Elba, Italy, one of the Tuscan Islands. This was our next landfall.


Golfo di Campo, Isola d'Elba: N 42 44.822 E 010 14.562

This is one of 3 large bays on the south coast of Elba. We anchored in the large bay at the NE in 30 ft over sand and clear clean water, excellent holding, and open to the south. Spectacular surroundings with high cliffs and lots of greenery. There is a very nice beach with bars and restaurants to serve you plus the surroundings are very nice with lush green hills covered with a thick pine forest. The anchorage is huge with excellent holding. The night was a big disappointment with load music and singing from one of the bars or hotels ashore till 07:00 the next morning. There is a small marina on the northwest corner of the bay located at the town of Marina di Campo.

Golfo Laconia, Isola D'Elba: N 42 45.351 E 010 18.57

We anchored in the NE corner of Golfo Laconia in 30 ft over sand with excellent holding, here it is also spectacular surroundings with a nice beach at the head of the bay. We hoped it would be quiet here during the night. Well it was not quiet at all, but not as loud as the previous day. We also had a bad swell from the south and when the wind died we were at its mercy yawing from side to side. The other option is to anchor in the small bay at the west within this large bay. It may be quieter there.

Felciaio bay, Isola d`Elba: N 42 45.697 E 010 20.869

We anchored in 12 ft over sand and clear water. This is located within another large bay of Golfo Stella, there are a few other anchoring options in this gulf, all with nice clean beaches. This is a very nice place, not much traffic and we had a great night here. There are some small restaurants ashore to the east of this spot but not much else. The scenery is similar to the last two gulfs. Lots of small indents to explore by dinghy.

Porto Azurro, Isola,'Elba: N 42 45.692 E 010 23.727

Anchored in 30 ft over unknown bottom but the holding was excellent. This is just outside the main harbour to the SE of the Western point where the hotel is situated just above on the cliffs with the road snaking around it. It is an easy dinghy ride to the harbour where you can tie up to where all the other tenders are. This is a very good anchorage, it is a busy anchorage but all goes quiet at dusk. In town you will find very good provisioning, an open market once a week, many restaurants and cafes, a nice square where you can sit and watch the crowds go by. There are 2 marinas available; one near the town dock where you can also get fuel at the fuel dock and the other is to the south where they have pontoons and also a full service marina with travel lift and other services.


La Rochette: N 42 46.443 E 010 47.636

We anchored in 17ft over sand north east of the old fortress on top of the hill. It is a good stop over when reaching the mainland from offshore. There is a nice beach to the north of the anchorage with a hotel and many umbrellas and deckchairs. Land the dingHy at the corner of the beach or better swim to shore, we all need a bit of exercise. Not much else here, the castle is a good hike up and very nice views from there. It was a quiet anchorage with excellent holding, but again, the swell got to us during the night.

Talamone: N 42 33.374 E 011 08.405

We anchored in 12 ft close to the small marina, the holding is not that good so look for a good spot with some sand and check it out later when you go snorkeling. There is a nice village on the top with restaurants and a very good lookout point, but not much else. Dinghy into the harbour and tie up near the ferry terminal.

Cala Galera: N 42 24.371 E 011 12.701

Very nice anchorage. Although very busy during the day, it is secure and very quiet at night, very good holding over sand. Marina Cala Galera is very close. Marina Porto Ercole is just south. There are a few bars on the beach. At the village of Porto Ercole you will find limited provisioning but many restaurants and coffee shops. Porto Ercole fortress is a must-see on top of the hill to the south.

Santa Marinella: N 42 02.124 E 011 52.560

We anchored just outside the marina in 13 ft over sand, we did have a roll but it settled down. Sleep was very good with calm seas and no swell. There is a very lovely town with all provisions and a few coffee shops and restaurants around the square in the village - not many tourists around this time of year. We hired a diver to clean the bottom - he charged us €50:00 (Ettore tel # 338-284-2665). There is a nice pizza place on Via Aureli, you buy pizza by weight and it’s delicious. Fuel available at the marina in the south west corner.

Anzio: N 41 26.803 E 012 38.310

We anchored just outside the harbour in 8 ft over sand bottom. The Guardia di Finanze came for an inspection, they did not board but were very polite asking a lot of questions. They asked to see passports; boat papers; boat insurance and the Costituto. They spent a whole hour with us while also giving us some background history of Anzio and the US led invasion of 1943. We spent some time touring the town which is very nice with a lots of outside coffee shops where one can sit for hours; good provisioning at the supermarket. The waterfront on the east coast is also very nice. Tie up the dinghy where convenient - we asked the dinghy/yacht club located at the north corner of the harbour past the inner break wall, they were very happy to accommodate us, no need to lock the dingy as they may need to move it. Make sure you do not anchor in the channel as the authorities will ask you to move. This is a very nice harbour with a big fleet of fishing boats and you will find fish vendors in the morning around the small fishing harbour at the south west corner.

Isola di Ponza: N 40 53.839 E 012 57.706

This is a very picturesque harbour anchorage, the anchorage is small but adequate, holding is suspect in some areas. There are a few marinas around and some of them will come and see if you need a slip. The rate in September was €40.00 for us, which is reasonable considering you will be right in town, they will help you berth. You can tie up the dinghy at one of the few landing metal frames near the ferry dock. The water front is where all the restaurants and provisioning is, but there is a sea level and then there is a ramp that takes you to the upper level with better views of the harbour and its many fishing boats.  There is also a marina to the north west of the anchorage. You can also explore the many coves along the east shore north of the harbour.

Isola Ventotene: N 40 47.843 E 013 26.188

We anchored in 30ft over sand in front of the old harbour entrance. This is an amazing little island with a village and museum on top, a quaint little harbour dug out of solid rock during the Roman times. Room for sailboats inside the harbour, assistance available. Find a spot where convenient to tie up your dinghy. There is a ramp leading from the port to the top of Ventotene.

Walk to the top and there you will find a very nice village with restaurants and cafes, limited provisioning is available. There are organized walks to many parts of the island, check with the museum curator. The anchorage is wide open but was very calm when we were there in early September. There is a small marina located at the north west of the island for when the weather is not good to anchor.

In our last part part 3) we will cover more Italian islands and the west coast of Italy.

Mario Borg

Janet Torode
Janet Torode says:
Jun 26, 2018 02:22 PM

Thanks so much. We have followed so many of you suggestions for Sardinia and the Maddalena. We do have the pilot but always good to get opinion from a yachie who's been there recently.

amante says:
Mar 28, 2014 11:14 PM

Thank you for sharing such detailed information. Very kind of you!

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