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Summer ideas: long weekend in Ponza, Palmarola and Zannone

Looking for quick tips to plan your next long weekend to Ponza Island? Check out our Itinerary and some practical info that can be useful to inspire you in organize your travel in this lovely Italian island!


Ponza is an island with an amazing landscape and coast…. inlets, bays, coves, rocks, stacks and sea caves all surrounded by one of the most beautiful crystalline seas in Italy!

But also panoramic mini-treks, memorable sunsets, characteristic small villages, boat trips to the surrounding islands of Palmarola and Zannone... all immersed in the bright yellow and in the scent of the flowering bloom that makes the island truly wonderful!


Ponza - view of Chiaia di Luna bay with its turquoise sea and boats
Ponza - Chiaia di Luna bay

 

Our long weekend in Ponza


Day 1 - NLG ferry Terracina 8.40 - Ponza 9.55 – Boat tour with swimming stops and trekking on the island of Zannone with Cooperativa dei Barcaioli (https://www.barcaioliponza.it/en/ :35 euro per person/from 11am to 5pm)


Day 2 - exploring the Ponza Island by scooter: Mini-Trekking to Punta Incenso in the northernmost point of Ponza - swimming in Cala Fonte – swimming in Piscine Naturali -sunset in Chiaia di Luna viewpoint (near Chiaia di Luna Hotel) – visit of Ponza Porto by night


Day 3Boat tour with swimming stops in Ponza and in the island of Palmarola with Cooperativa dei Barcaioli (https://www.barcaioliponza.it/en/: 35 euro per person/from 11am to 5pm)


Day 4: exploring the Ponza island by scooter: mini-trekking to the panoramic point of Punta del Fieno in the southernmost point of Ponza – swimming in Cala dell’Acqua- Sunset at Faraglioni di Lucia Rosa - dinner in Restaurant “Punta Incenso da Zia Anna”


Day 5: NGL ferry Ponza 10.15am - Terracina 11,30 pm (if you have more time, you can take the boat at 18.40 and spent the day at Frontone beach, reachable from Ponza Porto in 10 min by the taxi boat)


Our base : Ponza Holiday Homes - Santa Maria www.ponzaholidayhomes.it a very nice apartment and well positioned (approx 1km from Ponza Porto) to visit various attractions on foot. The manager, Carlo offers the shuttle service from/to the port upon arrival and departure, he is also very kind and very helpful.

 

PLACE BY PLACE


The panoramic points and the most beautiful bays accessible only by sea


The coast of Ponza is awesome and a boat tour allows you to see an amazing landscape in which inlets, bays, coves, rocks, stacks and sea caves alternate, all surrounded by one of the most beautiful seas in Italy.


Here a list of the unmissable spots:


- Chiaia di Luna, the most famous and scenic beach of Ponza. A natural amphitheatre of yellow- white rock bathed by a turquoise sea. Unfortunately, due to several landslides, it cannot be reached on foot since many years and it is not allowed to stop on the beach. Swimming is allowed only from the boat at a safe distance from the shore.


- Capo Bianco, a wonderful rocky stretch of white coast


- Arco Naturale, one of the icon of the island. Dive here from the boat and swim under the arch


-the scenic Faraglioni di Lucia Rosa


- Cala Core, which takes its name from the heart that the darker contrasting rock draws on the cliff


-Cala Felce (sunny until 4 pm), a little corner of paradise where you can take a memorable swim


- Grotte di Ponzio Pilato, an underwater archaeological sea cave

The easiest way to visit all these places? taking part in a boat tour around Ponza which will allow you to see the most beautiful panoramic points of the coast as well as swim in the various bays with crystal clear sea.


Our choice the Cooperativa dei Barcaioli https://www.barcaioliponza.it/en/ : 35 euros per person/from 11:00 to 17:00/lunch included

Their stand is immediately at the ferry arrival and this boat tour is available all days in summer


Bays and beaches that can be reached on foot


1- Frontone: one of the most famous beach on the island. It can be reached by sea in 10min by taxi-boat from the por (7euro with return) t, but also on foot in 20min from the "Tre Venti" bus stop


2- In the Le Forna area, the wildest part of the island:

- Piscine Naturali

- Cala Fonte

- La Caletta

-Cala dell’Acqua (ex miniera), the less crowded one

- Cala Feola, the only sandy beach of Ponza.


We recommend rock shoes because most of these coves are on pebbles or rocks


The most beautiful panoramic mini-trekking of Ponza


1) Trekking to Punta Incenso in the north of the island to admire the panorama of Zannone and the islet of Gavi


Practical info below :


- Easy trekking, for everyone (1h) but to be avoided the slippers

- The walk starts from the Punta Incenso bus stop, in front of “Punta Incenso da Zia Anna Restaurant” in Le Forna (approx. 8km from Ponza Porto). Or you can reach the beginning of the path by renting a scooter as we did, and then move freely all day among the various coves that can be reached by foot

- From Punta Incenso you can walk to the near Cala Fonte, perfect for a refreshing swim after the walk



2) Walk to Punta Fieno in the south of the island. From here there is a beautiful view on Ponza Porto, Chiaia di Luna, Capo Bianco and the island of Palmarola.


Punta del Fieno can be reached on foot in 40 minutes from the port of Ponza!


To get there from Ponza Porto, follow the signs for the Monte Guardia restaurant and from there take the road on the right until you reach a dirt road. Continue on the dirt road and follow the signs for the cellars, always keeping to the right.


Continuing at the crossroads instead of returning immediately to Ponza Porto, in about twenty minutes you can also reach Monte Guardia to see the Guardia lighthouse in the distance in the southernmost part of the island (unfortunately, this part of the path is not well maintained and it's overgrown with brambles)


The walk takes place partly on a dirt road / among the vegetation: sneakers are recommended (flip flops to be avoided)


The best spots for sunset in Ponza


- The Belvedere terrace near the Chiaia di Luna hotel to watch the sunset over Chiaia di Luna and Palmarola

- The Faraglioni of Lucia Rosa…from here the sun falling behind Palmarola is breathless


Do you know the sad legend that gives the name to these Faraglioni? Lucia Rosa (Lucy Rose) was a rich young woman who fell in love with a farmer: her father forbade her to marry him and she desperately decided to kill herself jumping down from the cliff overlooking the stacks which in memory of her took her name. Even today at sunset, the rosy light color the stacks to not forget her sacrifice.


Palmarola


You will be enchanted by this small uninhabited island 40 minutes by boat from Ponza

The easiest way to visit it? taking part in a boat tour from Ponza which will allow you to see the most beautiful panoramic points of the coast as well as swim in the various bays with crystal clear sea.


Our choice the Cooperativa dei Barcaioli https://www.barcaioliponza.it/en/ : 35 euros per person/from 11:00 to 17:00/lunch included

Their stand is immediately at the ferry arrival and this boat tour is available all days in summer


Zannone


A paradise for lovers of the sea and walks, 50 minutes by boat from Ponza

In fact, a day tour in Zannone Island alternates not only swimming in its crystal clear sea and a visit of the island from the boat which offers beautiful views, but also the possibility of walking in the park inside the island characterized by Mediterranean vegetation and where it is possible to see the ruins of a Cistercian convent and a lighthouse


The simplest/cheapest way to reach Zannone? Take part in one of the boat excursions departing from the Port of Ponza. Our choice the Cooperativa dei Barcaioli https://www.barcaioliponza.it/en/ : 35 euros per person/from 11:00 to 17:00/lunch included

Their stand is immediately at the ferry arrival and we booked the boat tour as soon as we got off the ferry! In fact, the tours for Zannone are not available every day: so as soon as you have the chance, do it right away!


 

Practical info


How to reach Ponza


Ponza can be reached by ferry (from Terracina, but also from Naples, Anzio and Formia). Our choice: the NLG fast ferry, Terracina/Ponza (1h15min at a cost of about 25/30 euros one way per person depending on whether it is high or low season)


It is not allowed to bring the car to non-residents in the summer months. In any case, even if not in pic-season, we recommend reaching Ponza without the car since the island is small and there are few parking spaces.


When to go


The best period to visit Ponza is June and September: when it is not too hot, the island is less crowded and prices lower.

We have been there at the beginning of June and it was a perfect moment!


Where to sleep


Most of the hotels and apartments are located in Ponza Porto, in the nearby village of Santa Maria or in the north of the island in Le Forna.


Obviously if you move away from Ponza Porto, you will find solutions at cheaper prices, however you must take into account that you cannot move on foot and therefore need a scooter or have to rely on the bus or taxi


Our base : Ponza Holiday Homes - Santa Maria www.ponzaholidayhomes.it a very nice apartment, equipped with everything you need about 1km from the port of Ponza and well positioned to visit various attractions on foot. The manager, Carlo offers the shuttle service from/to the port upon arrival and departure, he is also very kind and very helpful in helping to organize excursions, scooter rental, etc. In short, a good quality-price choice that we recommend (no one sponsors us!)


How to move


1) If you stay in Ponza Porto or in Santa Maria you can move mainly on foot since most of the restaurants are located there, the various boat excursions around Ponza and to the islands of Zannone and Palmarola as well as the taxi boats for the Frontone beach (the most famous but also the most crowded beach of the island) start from there. Even the trekking to Punta Fieno starts from Ponza Porto.

Basically, from here you need a scooter or the bus or a taxi just to reach the coves and restaurants in the center and in the north of the island, as well as the starting point of the mini-trekking to Punta Incenso.



2)Instead, If you stay in the north of the island in Le Forna or if you want to reach the coves in the center and in the north of the island or do the mini-trekking to Punta Incenso in the north of the island, the best way to move freely is to rent a scooter. The alternative is to call a taxi or take the public bus that connects the various main attractions with fairly frequent rides: but obviously a bit of waiting and some queues must be taken into account!


Most of the coves in Ponza can only be reached by sea (there are few that can be reached on foot and are mainly located in the center and north of the island: see list above). Furthermore, nearby Ponza there are the island of Palmarola and the island of Zannone which are unmissable stops on a trip to Ponza.


The simplest/cheapest way to reach the various coves of Ponza as well as Zannone and Palmarola is to take part to a boat excursion departing from the Port of Ponza. We relied on the Cooperativa dei Barcaioli https://www.barcaioliponza.it/en/ and we had a great time. In particular, we recommend their: 1) full day tour in Zannone with mini trekking and swimming 2) full day tour with tour of the island of Ponza and Palmarola and swimming in the most characteristic coves of both islands.

Each tour costs 35 euros per person and include lunch.


The alternative is to rent a boat with a skipper which obviously gives you more freedom, but involves much higher costs.


Restaurants


We recommend two traditional restaurants with typical Ponzese cuisine:


- Punta Incenso restaurant at Zia Anna's in Le Forna in the north of the island


- Trattoria Monte Guardia reachable in 10 minutes on foot from Ponza Porto. Put on flat shoes because the road is uphill


Costs


Ponza is not a cheap destination but among the various Italian islands, it is certainly not among the expensive ones, especially if you avoid the very high season and book your hotel or apartment well in advance


For more info on these places have a look on the posts in June/July 2023 on our IG page @2intour


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