From CruisersWiki

Jump to: navigation, search
WorldMediterraneanAdriatic SeaItalyAdriatic Coast of ItalyOrtona
42°21.0′N, 14°25.54′E Chart icon.png
Ortona harbour from NW

The town of Ortona lies on the Adriatic coast of Italy 20 miles NW of the harbour of Porto di Vasto and 10 miles SW of the port of Pescara. An ancient settlement (Bronze Age remains have recently been discovered in the town), Ortona was an important harbour for the Byzantines and later the Franks. The town walls and castle were constructed in the 15th century when the town was part of the Kingdom of Sicily. Later, Ortona was a key component of the Gustav Line, the defensive line constructed by the Nazi forces against the invading Allied troops during World War II. The town was the scene of savage fighting between the Nazis and attacking Canadian forces. Today Ortona is primarily a commercial and fishing harbour, although there is a section of the harbour which has been turned into a small porto turistico providing berths for yachts of up to 18 metres.


British Admiralty


During the summer months the prevailing winds in the Adriatic are light to moderate coastal seabreezes. In spring and autumn, northerly winds are more frequent and can quickly rise to near gale force, especially in the northern Adriatic, where the much-feared “bora” is caused by high pressure over the mountains to the NE coupled with low pressure over southern Italy. Fortunately, the fiercest “bora” is normally to be expected in the winter months. Thunderstorms are occasionally experienced in spring and especially autumn and can be accompanied by violent winds of gale force and above. Luckily they are rarely long-lasting. In the southern Adriatic, the “scirocco”, a S/SE wind blowing up from North Africa which can last for several days, is more common. Unlike the “bora”, which can arrive without warning, a “scirocco” tends to build in strength over 24-48 hours, sometimes reaching gale force (especially in winter).

Sources for weather information:

  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts covering the Adriatic are broadcast from stations at Roma, Trieste, Kerkyra (Greece) and Split (Croatia)


See Adriatic.



Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


Ortona is easily identified from distance, with its castle and cathedral conspicuous on the hill behind the long harbour breakwaters. A tall lighthouse on the NW side of the harbour is conspicuous from N. In the approach from N, stay at least 300 metres offshore to avoid the artificial reef protecting the beach. In the SW corner of the harbour, W of the yacht pontoons, beware of rocky outcrops just off the quay. The harbour is entered from due E. Berths for visiting yachts lie to port behind the mole extending NNW from the southern breakwater

Berthing Visiting yachts normally berth on the seasonal pontoons (1 May - 30 September) or associated quays operated by the so-called Marina di Ortona at the SW corner of the harbour behind the protective mole. There are around 200 berths (fewer out of season) here for yachts up to 18 metres. Depths at the pontoons and quays range from 3.0 - 4.0 metres. Laid moorings at all berths. Facilities include: water and electricity.

To contact Marina di Ortona: call on VHF channel 12 or telephone: +39 085 9064432 or e-mail; Website.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

  • Italian Lega Navale


Anchoring is possible at the SW corner of the harbour clear of the yacht berths and moorings in depths of 4.0 - 5.0 metres. The holding is good in mud.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


Yard on SW side of harbour. Slipway (90 T). Mobile crane (120 T). Engine, electrical and electronic repairs. Wood, fiberglass and steel hull repairs. Sail repairs. Divers.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel station on the quay. Water and electricity on the marina pontoons and quays.

Things to do Ashore

The 15th century castle of Ortona
Typical landscape of the Parco Nazionale della Majella


The town of Ortona is not especially exciting. The castle is worth a brief visit. However, Ortona is only some 35 kilometres from the Parco Nazionale della Majella with its wild, mountainous landscape and rare wildlife, including wolf, bear, chamois, otter and golden eagle and other than Pescara is probably the best place to base yourself for a visit.

Grocery & Supply Stores

Numerous provisions shops in the town.


Numerous restaurants and pizzerias in the town.





Motorbike & Car Rentals

Rental outlets in the town.

Garbage Disposal

Bins near the pontoons.


  • Buses to most local destinations from the town.
  • Railway station with connections to most destinations.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

See Italy.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Ortona and this page's details validated:

  • Data compiled from web research (please update if possible)--Athene of Lymington 16:30, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

This page has an outline in place but needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Athene of Lymington

Personal tools
Friends of Cruisers Wiki