Ponza is a little island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, midway between Rome and Naples and it’s one of the hidden gems of Italy.
Ponza island is perfect if you are looking to really chill and experience the Italian “Dolce vita“. Bring a book and your bathing suit and be prepared to lay on the beach, enjoy fresh food and get to know the locals.
Ponza is made of unknown and wild places, beautiful beaches consisting of fine sand immersed in the captivating Mediterranean scrub, scuba diving in crystal clear waters and nature excursions.
This island just waiting to be explored!
In order to help you plan your stay, let’s discover together the best things to see and do in Ponza island in 48 hours.
Take a stroll along the harbour
The semicircle of houses in white and pink colours is one of the first things you will see upon your arrival in Ponza. Once landed, the scent of sea salt and fresh seafood will immediately make you want to take a seat in one of the local restaurants.
The harbour is the heart of Ponza island: here you will find a few shops selling clothes, shoes and jewellery in the typical Pontine style, a few bars and family-run hotels, but you’ll find no 5-star hotels, nor high-end luxury shops here. And that’s a good thing.
For a delicious dinner with one of the most beautiful backdrops of Italy, go to ” Acqua Pazza restaurant”, one of Ponza’s iconic restaurants.
Discover the best Ponza beaches
Ponza has over 40 km of rugged coastline with coves and limestone cliffs overlooking the sea. We suggest you to explore Ponza by boat, you will give you the irresistible urge to take a swim in the beautiful coves or go snorkelling on the coast with a mask and snorkel.
Don’t miss: Caletta delle Piscine Naturali (natural pools) The particularity of this place is the real pools created by the erosion of the sea and wind. The pools are the side Naturali remains of Cala Inferno volcano, it is surrounded by tuff cliff.
Two pools were formed: a closed between the rocks, barely visible and the other overlooking the sea!
The famous Frontone Beach: The beach takes the name from the shape of the white rock like the ˈ front ˈ of a Greek temple. The beach is accessible by land through a difficult path, but easy reachable by sea, since being near the port, there are taxi boats. The beach is wide, clear, sandy and full of services.
Enjoy the most beautiful dives on the island
Diving in Ponza is a very popular activity that attracts numerous scuba divers every year. There many diving spots in Ponza and its crystal clear waters will take your breath away.
The whole island is a perfect seaside destination and its seabed is lined with ancient Roman ships, sunken World War II steamship remnants and a diverse wildlife to discover.
Le Formiche is perhaps the most renowned of the diving spots on Ponza Island, they are a series of outcropping rocks that descend towards a sandy bottom up to 54 meters. This dive is accessible to all levels of divers, allowing multiple series of diving all characterized by their different environments.
Dive into Pilato Caves
Situated just beyond the port and under Ponza cemetery, Pontius Pilates’ grottos are a subterranean and underwater archaeological complex dating to the first century B.C where the Romans dug fishpools to raise fish for consumption the marine plant includes four indoor pools, linked together by underwater tunnels, and one outdoor disconnected from the others.
The place is incredible… have a swim there, will be a unique moment that you will tell your friends when you’ll be back home! You can reach the caves via one of the local small boats leaving from the port.
Take a Hike
The island has a number of hiking trails to explore. One of the most panoramic paths is Punta Incenso, this is the easiest walk on the island and takes about an hour. Begin this trek at the Cala Caparra and enjoy the extraordinary views over the island of Gavi, Zannone and Palmarola.
Admire the Sunset
You cannot miss the most romantic sunset of the island. Head to “ Le Terrazze” for an unforgettable happy hour paired.
Le Terrazze is an open-air bar where you’ll probably be spending most of your happy hour on the island and when the sun starts setting, the music gets deeper, and that’s when the party starts.
Tip: If you want a table with a sea view, make a reservation the day before. The happy hour costs 20 EUR and includes a cocktail plus a food platter with pasta, rice, mozzarella, pizzas and other nibbles.
Enjoy Ponza by night
The nightlife in Ponza comes alive, especially during spring and summer, when the centre and the port of Ponza become places full of life, with various events, festivals and parties. Take a post-dinner stroll around the port in your nicest outfit, while you enjoy an ice cream and browse the souvenir shops that are open until late.
If you’re up for a drink, go to Mamafè and enjoy a corner of paradise. With its tropical garden and beautiful views, this bar is the perfect place to go for a relaxing after dinner drink.
To take part in the real life of the island we suggest you take part in one of the many organized festivals.
Here are the main festivals in Ponza during the summer:
- 20 June: S. Silverio,
- 21st July: Watermelon Festival
- 16th August: Fish Festival.
How to get there
Ponza can be reached:
By hydrofoils: The ports of Formia and Terracina and Naples Mergellina operate year-round. During the summer season, hydrofoils also depart from the ports of Anzio and San Felice Circeo (just a 1 hour and 1 hour and 30-minute drive from Rome respectively).
The hydrofoils companies that reach Ponza are:
Pontina Navigazione – from the port of San Felice Circeo (1 hour) SNAV – from Naples (2.50hour) Lazio Mar – from Formia (1.20hour), Terracina (2.40hour) and Anzio (2 hour)
The nearest airports are in Rome or Naples and from there you can reach the ports of embarkation to Ponza by train, taxi, rental car or helicopter. On the island, the circulation of non-residents cars during the summer months is prohibited.