Porto Azzurro port
A history-infused stopover
Porto Azzurro is situated within a deep bay in the gulf of Mola, and has always been used as a natural harbour for vessels sailing around the Tyrrhenian. The town was founded by the Spanish, with the Forte di San Giacomo on one side, and the Forte Focardo on the other. The small town centre is full of character, with a bustling main square overlooking the sea; its quaint, narrow streets are packed with shops, pretty stone cottages, cafés and restaurants serving up mouthwatering local recipes. Spend an evening in Porto Azzurro to really soak up the local atmosphere, with its bars and restaurants. History buffs can get lost in magical places such as the Fortezza di San Giacomo, a Spanish fortress built in the 17th century; the church of the Madonna di Monserrato, built in the 17th century by the Spanish governor Leon; and the Spanish church, with a marble statue of General Diego D’Alarcson.
The harbour of Porto Azzurro
Porto Azzurro’s harbour is well-sheltered from the wind. In high season it is best to book a berth in advance, by phone or online; those arriving at the last minute likely to be turned away. There’s electric power and running water on the quay; toilets and showers are available for visiting yachtsmen. If no berths are available you can anchor in the bay in front of the marina, and get to the shore by tender. The best anchorage in the Porto Azzurro bay, offering the most shelter in the case of strong north winds, is the western part of Cala di Mola where the bottom is shallow (from 5 to 10 meters) and offers a firm hold.
Marina Cala di Mola
Those unable to find a berth at Porto Azzurro but prefer to remain in harbour rather than anchor offshore, will find a boatyard opposite Porto Azzurro (at Cala di Mola) which also offers mooring options; the town is around 3 km away.
Beaches in the area
If the weather is fine and the sea calm, there are plenty more little coves for anchorage around the bay of Porto Azzurro; one of these is Barbarossa, near Porto Azzurro town. This beach has got it all: an enchanting spot for those wanting to relax on board and soak up the surroundings, and for those wanting to take the tender and pop into town, it is around 15 minutes from Barbarossa beach. There are two paths leading to the town: a panoramic coastal route, and a shorter, slightly uphill path of around 1km which goes over the hill. In the southern part of the bay of Porto Azzurro are yet more lovely beaches for anchoring during calm conditions: Naregno, Capo Perla, Straccoligno, Ferrato, Calanova and Istia. On the northern side of the bay of Porto Azzurro are two fine beaches: Reale, a very rocky beach (we recommend checking the navigation map to approach this beach without risking problems) and Terranera beach, with its unusual colour due to the iron in the nearby mines; not far from this beach is a small sulphurous lake; its green colour makes for a striking contrast with the dark blue sea. The lake is closed to visitors and swimming here is strictly prohibited.