Pontine Islands, Italy
Ponza is a 10 km² island located off the Gulf of Gaeta, in the Italian region of Lazio. It is known for its gorgeous nature, beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters.
On Ferryhopper you will find useful information on must-see places, beaches, local delicacies, and ferries to Ponza. Read our travel tips and book online your ferry tickets to the Pontine Islands, with no hidden fees!
Colorful little houses in the village of Ponza
Vacation in Ponza
Ponza is one of the most stunning Italian islands and it’s definitely worth visiting at least once in your life. Even Eugenio Montale, the famous Italian poet and writer, celebrates it in his verses, calling it "a microcosm on its own".
Ponza's rugged coastline, colors and unique atmosphere make it a popular summer destination, especially for couples and groups of friends. The island doesn’t have many sandy beaches, and you’ll have to move around by boat to reach its beautiful coves. For this reason, Ponza is not a great choice for families traveling with kids.
You can visit Ponza for a weekend of even just for a day trip. However, if you want to enjoy the island to its fullest, you should spend at least 4 days here.
If you’re planning a special trip with your better half, Ponza is the perfect place for a romantic getaway to Italy.
How to get to Ponza
The only way to get to Ponza is traveling by sea from various Italian ports.
Ferries to Ponza depart from some towns in Lazio (such as Formia, Terracina, Anzio, and San Felice Circeo) and from Naples. In summer, you can reach the island also from the ports of Ventotene and Ischia.
Check below for more information on routes and ferries to Ponza.
Panoramic view of the Pontine archipelago from Ponza
What to do in Ponza
If you love nature, rocky coastlines and boat trips, Ponza is the place for you.
The island's main attractions are mostly sea-related, so make sure to bring your mask and snorkel! You will also find archaeological wonders and hiking trails across the island.
Start your day with a walk among the colorful houses of the Borbonic port, explore Ponza's coast by boat and enjoy the most beautiful sunsets from the island's coves! You can end the day with a fresh seafood dinner and a drink in one of Ponza's historic venues.
Beaches in Ponza
Ponza boasts 40 km of coastline full of inlets and cliffs overlooking the sea. There are mostly rocky coves on the island, reachable only by boat, although some beaches are also accessible on foot.
Here is a selection of the 10 best beaches of Ponza:
- Chiaia di Luna Beach: located in the southern part of the island, it is the most iconic beach of Ponza. It has a sickle-like shape and is surrounded by white rocks that plunge into crystal-clear waters. Until a few years ago the beach was accessible by land (through a Roman tunnel), but today it can only be reached by boat.
- Frontone Beach: located 4 km from the port, it is one the most popular, as it is one of the few sandy and equipped beaches on the island. It is famous for its party vibes and DJ-sets happening after sunset. You can get here either by boat or by shuttle service. Nearby you will find an old Borbonic fortress, definitely worth visiting!
- Cala Feola: this sandy beach is located in the western village of Le Forna. Surrounded by the hills of Capo Bosco and Montagna della Corte, it is a quiet place with crystal-clear waters. The beach has visitor amenities and is equipped with sunbeds and parasols. From the parking lot you will have to climb down about 200 steps to reach the cove.
- Cala Cecata: small and wild, this is one of the least visited coves of Ponza, although it can be reached by foot. It is not an actual beach, but rather a sort of platform on the sea where you can relax under the sun and enjoy the peaceful landscape. It has no services and you can get there by walking down some steps.
- Gaetano Cove: uncrowded even in summer, it is located at the north end of the island. It is known for its emerald waters and rich seabed, making it an ideal option for snorkelers. You can reach it by boat or by bus from the terminus in Le Forna, by going down about 300 steps after the Punta Incenso restaurant.
- Bagno Vecchio Beach: this small white pebble beach is located on the east side of Ponza, right under an ancient Roman necropolis. We recommend you get there by boat and to first visit the archaeological site, with its 3 caves carved into the tuff.
- Cala del Core: characterized by blue waters and white pebbles, it is one of the most romantic spots on the island. It owes its name to a dark, heart-shaped spot on the rock, a scientifically explainable phenomenon, but still shrouded in legends. It would in fact be the heart of the Queen of the Giants, who was in love with Jupiter and was killed because of it by her husband. You can reach the cove only by boat from the port of Ponza.
- Cala Fonte: easy to reach, it is located about 10 km from the port and is equipped with sunbeds and parasols. The cove features natural pools carved into the rock and shallow waters. This is one of the best spots to enjoy the sunset, facing the neighboring island of Palmarola.
- Piscine Naturali (“Natural Pools”): located in Le Forna, these are 3 natural pools dug into the tuff are very popular in summer, thanks to their easy accessibility. You could also rent canoes or pedal boats at the “Il Falco” bathing establishment, and discover the less crowded coves in the area.
- Cala dell’Acqua: located north of Cala Feola, it owes its name to a small spring near the small beach. This is an excellent dive spot, thanks to a fascinating shipwreck lying under the sea, in front of Punta Papa. Boat tours also depart from here. The bay is home to the famous Scoglio della Tartaruga (Turtle Rock).
Chiaia di Luna, Ponza's most famous beach
Sightseeing in Ponza
In addition to Ponza's beaches and its historic Borbonic port (which will immediately welcome you with its colors), here are some more attractions worth visiting on the island:
- The small village of Santa Maria, 15-minute walk from the port
- The parish of Saints Silverio and Domitilla, dating back to the 1700s
- The Ponza Botanical Garden, located on top of the Bourbon Belvedere hill and with more than 70 plant species typical of the archipelago
- The Roman Cistern of Dragonara, carved out of the tufa
- The Monumental Cemetery, located on the remains of a Roman villa
- The area of Le Forna, the wildest and least crowded part of the island
- The Case Grotta, typical Pontine houses carved out of the rock
- The lighthouse of Ponza, at Ponte della Guardia
- The church of Madonna della Civita, located on top of the beautiful Fusco hill
- The Caves of Pilate, an extraordinary archaeological complex dating back to Roman times
Good to know: from April to September, local groups promoting the area (called Pro Loco) usually organizes guided tours of the island's Roman cisterns. Don’t miss them!
The Caves of Pilate, a unique attraction of Ponza
Nightlife in Ponza
Despite its size, Ponza offers a fair amount of nigh entertainment.
The majority of bars are concentrated in the area near the port, which is very popular for a drink by the sea. Among the most popular spots we can find Bar Tripoli and the historic Au Bord de l'Eau.
After a day at the beach, you could also opt for a quiet dinner by the sea, or a cocktail in one of the island glamorous lounge bars. As for nightclubs in Ponza, the most famous are Le Terrazze di Chiaia di Luna, Mamafè, and O'Sarracino.
Food in Ponza
The Pontine cuisine is made of simple and tasty ingredients, both from land and sea. And of course, don't forget to accompany your meal with a good glass of Fieno di Ponza, the local wine.
Here are some of our favorite dishes to try during your stay in Ponza:
- fresh catch of the day
- cianfotta ponzese (a mixture of vegetables and greens)
- linguine with lobster
- spaghetti with fellone crab
- gobetti shrimp (best raw!)
- grass peas soup (similar to chickpeas)
- ponzese-style rabbit
- fried zeppole
Island hopping from Ponza
Both Ponza - Ventotene and Ponza - Ischia ferry routes are seasonal and are operated by the Italian company SNAV:
- Ferries from Ponza to Ventotene usually travel 3 times per week and the trip takes about 50 min.
- Ferries from Ponza to Ischia should be available 2-3 times per week and the crossing takes about 2 hours (stop in Ventotene included).
Tips for Ponza
Here are 5 travel tips to plan the perfect visit to Ponza:
- If you’re a hiking lover, you should know that Ponza offers some particularly impressive trails, such as the path to Monte Guardia and the one to Punta Incenso.
- If you have some spare time during your trip, we recommend visiting the small island of Palmarola, which can be reached by boat or through private excursions.
- Ponza is famous for its unique seabed. Thanks to the island's diving centers, you can explore underwater caves and discover an old shipwreck!
- Ponza may be expensive, especially in the high season. If you’re traveling on a budget, you can save money by organizing a day trip from Formia.
- In the area near Fieno you can visit the vineyards of the Migliaccio Winery for an unforgettable wine tasting experience while admiring the sea.
Some of Ponza's gorgeous vineyards overlooking the sea
Useful information for Ponza
Ponza is an island of about 3200 inhabitants with a high flux of visitors, especially in the summer. The main areas of the island are the port, Campo Inglese and Le Forna. The area around the Borbonic port has many services like shops, supermarkets, bars, and restaurants.
If you wish to spend a few nights in Ponza for cheap, we recommend that you move away from the port and reach Le Forna, to the north. Here you will also find amazing beaches and a chill atmosphere.
Moreover, if you are planning to rent a vehicle or book any excursions, you should avoid the port area as it is more expensive than other parts of the island.
As for other services, there are 2 pharmacies in Ponza, one in Pisacane Square and one in Dante Street. The health clinic is located in the Tre Venti area.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Ponza
Here are some useful contacts to remember for your trip to Ponza:
- Port Authority: 077180571
- Municipality of Ponza: 077180108
- Pro Loco Ponza: 077180031
- Carabinieri: 077180130
- Health Clinic: 077180687
- Post Office: 077180672
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Ponza
Thanks to its small size, Ponza can easily be explored by foot. In alternative, you can rent a scooter or bicycle.
Getting around with a car, however, is highly discouraged, since during summer it is forbidden for non-residents to drive in some areas, and it is generally rather inconvenient.
Lastly, you can also use buses, taxi-boats, or rent a boat yourself, to freely sail around the coast.
Good to know: an other option to get around Ponza is by taxi, but it’s usually the most expensive way of transportation on the island.
A breath-taking sunset in Ponza
Ponza ferry port
The charming port of Ponza is the most important port of the Pontine Islands, and is characterized by beautiful colorful buildings of Borbonic architecture.
Along the waterfront and in the narrow alleys near the port, you will find bars, restaurants and shops. From the port you can also take buses, taxi and taxi-boats to reach various beaches and coves on the island.
Ferries to Ponza: schedules and tickets
In addition to connections between Ponza, Ventotene and Ischia, you can travel to the Pontine island from the ports of Naples, Formia, Terracina, Anzio and San Felice Circeo.
The companies operating the routes are SNAV, Laziomar, Vetor, Pontina Navigazione, and NLG (Navigazione Libera del Golfo), with year-long or seasonal hydrofoils and ferries:
- The ferries from Naples to Ponza serve the route with 3 ferries per week, available only from June to September. The trip lasts approximately 3 hours.
- The ferry route from Formia to Ponza is the most popular and operates year-round. The crossing can take about 1 hour or 2.5 hours, depending on the type of vessel.
- The route from Terracina to Ponza is seasonal (April to September) and is served with around 15 crossings per week. The trip takes between 1 and 2.5 hours, depending on the company you travel with.
- The ferry route from Anzio to Ponza is available during summer with 12 connections per week. The trip takes between 1 and 1.5 hour approximately.
- Ferries from San Felice Circeo to Ponza operate daily during summer. The crossing takes about 1 hour.
Good to know: although it is possible to board your vehicle on some ferries to Ponza, always keep in mind that cars are not admitted for non-residents during the summer.
The colorful Borbonic port of Ponza
Book your ferry tickets to Ponza online
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Ponza ferry timetable
View the complete ferry schedule from and to Ponza for the upcoming week. Find up-to-date trip information, including departure and arrival dates and times, ferry operators and ticket prices.