Porto Ercole

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WorldMediterraneanItalyTuscan CoastPorto Ercole
Porto Ercole
Port of Entry
42°23.645'N, 011°12.583'E Chart icon.png
lat=42.39409 | lon=11.20972 | zoom=15 | y
Porto Ercole

The shallow harbour of Porto Ercole lies on the E side of the prominent Argentario peninsula on the Tuscan coast of Italy. The island of Giglio lies 12 miles WSW and the island of Elba just over 40 miles NW. The harbour here has over 800 berths on a series of privately managed pontoons. The harbour gets very busy during the summer season and it can be difficult to find space here. The Marina di Cala Galera half a mile N of Porto Ercole offers an alternative berthing possibility. The town’s main claim to fame is that it was almost certainly here that the celebrated artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio died on his way back to Rome from long exile in 1610. Remains discovered in the ossuary of the church of Sant’ Erasmo were demonstrated in 2010 using DNA and other scientific testing to be those of the revolutionary painter.


British Admiralty


The prevailing winds along the Tuscan coast are from NW or W and are mostly moderate, rarely rising above force 5. Close inshore, a yacht will often encounter SE or even S winds, especially around the offshore islands, or long periods of calm. A depression passing to the N along the line of the Alps will sometimes cause a libeccio, a strong SW wind that occasionally reaches gale force and causes a heavy swell. In winter, the tramontana is a very strong N or NE wind that blows down off the Alps and can affect most of the NW coast of Italy.

Sources for weather information:

  • There is a continuous (computerized 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 are broadcast from stations at La Garde (Toulon), Roma and Cagliari (Sardinia)


See Mediterranean.



Add here VHF channel for the coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The rocky outcrop of the Argentario Peninsula dominates the flat land to either side and is visible from some distance off. The entrance to Porto Ercole is difficult to spot until it is almost abeam. A small islet immediately S of the headland of Punta Santa Barbara is a useful landmark in the approach. Once past the island (passage inside is possible in calm weather), the fortress of La Rocca and its white lighthouse structure is clearly visible on the headland marking the southern end of the harbour. Entry to the harbour is from NE between a breakwater oriented NNW and the headland at the northern end of the bay.


Porto Ercole is a port of entry for Italy. For details see Entrance: Italy.


The five pontoons are each operated by private concessions and it is unlikely a yacht in transit will find a berth there during busy periods. Smaller yachts in transit (maximum 12 metres, maximum draft 1.5 metres) can moor towards the outer end of the breakwater, where transit berthing is allowed for up to three days. Larger yachts will have to inquire at one of the pontoons (the centre pontoon has the greatest depth - 3.5 metres) or at the quay at the S side of the harbour (2.0 metres) for a berth. If there is space, the best berths are on the short T at the end of each pontoon, where there is room for 2/3 yachts on laid moorings.

Each of the four pontoons is operated by a different club On the pontoon far to your port when you enter the harbor is Emporio del Sub +39 (0)564 833486

On the pontoon far to starboard is L'Approdo +39 (0)564 830176. We (Amusant 15.8 MY) stayed in mid-September. We were asked for €100 but with our moments hesitation, the price was reduced to €80.

The middle pontoons Albatros and C N V A did not show phone numbers.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs


N of Marina di Cala Galera

N of Marina di Cala Galera/wiki/Porto_Ercole#N_of_Marina_di_Cala_Galera
Anchorage icon N of Marina di Cala Galera [[Porto Ercole#N of Marina di Cala Galera|N of Marina di Cala Galera]] 42°24.467'N, 011°13.015'E
The most sheltered anchorage in all but strong E winds is just N of Marina di Cala Galera, where a yacht can anchor in 3.0 - 5.0 metres. Holding is good in sand and mud.


Water Water on some of the pontoons (not at every berth)
Electricity Electricity on some of the pontoons (not at every berth)}
Toilets ?
Showers ?
Laundry ?
Garbage Bins near the pontoons
Fuel Fuel station on the jetty just N of the pontoons (0730 - 0930 summer only)}
Bottled gas ?
Chandlers ?
Repairs Slipway (500 T). Mobile crane (25 T). Fixed crane (5 T). Engine, electrical and electronic repairs. Wood and fiberglass repairs. Sail repairs. Divers
Internet ?
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals ?


  • Supermarket and good provisions shopping in the town
  • Fish market on the quay

Eating out

Good restaurants in the town.


  • The Via Aurelia (E80) runs along the coast at the base of the Argentario Peninsula, 12 kilometres E of Santo Stefano
  • Train station at Orbetello, 11 kilometers E of Santo Stefano. Trains to Rome and Pisa


The Spanish, who controlled the Peninsula in the 16th century, recognized the strategic significance of the natural harbour of Porto Ercole. Thus the bay is ringed with a series of powerful fortresses, from the fort of La Rocca at the southern end of the bay to the mighty citadel of Forte Filippo at the northern end. Further afield, there are some lovely walks around the Argentario Peninsula with superb views over the sea over to the Isola del Giglio.

Porto Ercole, with the castle of La Rocca


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)



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 Porto Ercole and this page's details validated:

  • Data compiled from web research (please update if possible)--Athene of Lymington 14:13, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

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Names: Lighthouse, Athene of Lymington, Dapaz1

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