Circumnavigation of Ponza
The adventures of Chili III
Peter & Belinda Vernon
Wed 11 May 2022 10:40
Ponza is the largest island of the small Pontine Archipelago 20 miles off the Italian mainland. Like many islands they are the remnants of a now extinct volcano, but what makes Ponza so special are it’s spectacular rock formations all around the coast. The pinnacles and cliffs have been compressed and twisted, and then eroded by wind and sea into unbelievable shapes of different coloured rock.
The town of Ponza is also lovely arranged in a semi-circle around the well-protected harbour. Many small fishing boats line the harbour wall, backed by pastel coloured buildings at two levels - the lower level being small mostly fishing related shops and the upper level cafes and restaurants giving great views over the harbour.
Not surprisingly it apparently gets very crowded in summer but it was still quiet when we visited. The summer pontoons hadn’t yet been put in place for yachts and there were only 3 other yachts at anchor in the harbour. But the cafes and restaurants had a buzz so it was perfect.
After obligatory trips ashore in the dingy for cocktails and then breakfast, we had a hot windless day ahead so we decided to spend the day doing a slow circumnavigation of the island to see the rock formations up close. It was wonderful and surpassed all expectations. We dropped anchor several times in different coves and had a thoroughly enjoyable lazy day. The only disappointment was that we did not swim on account of the jellyfish as some can give v nasty stings. Apparently they disappear (somewhere…?) when the sea gets warmer. That evening we dropped anchor off the beach just north of the harbour and discovered a bar hidden away in the rocks. Although there were no customers it was open so it would have been rude not to have a drink. It is built into the rocks, had a yellow floor, wooden hand-made furniture and was decorated with things that looked as if they had been collected from the beach.
Truely memorable and yet another place we could have spent a lot more time.
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