Procida island, situated off the coast of Naples, is one of Italy’s best kept secrets. This 2023 travel guide to Procida island will give you all the resources for a day trip to this magical island, or help with planning a longer stay. So without further ado, let’s explore Procida island near Naples and find out what there is to do and see in Procida! Meanwhile, if you’re looking for beaches near Rome, head here!
How to get to Procida island from Naples
Most travellers to Procida island will arrive from the city of Naples (Napoli). Ferries and hydrofoils to Procida leave from two main places in Naples: Napoli Beverello, close to the cruise terminal and the city centre, and Napoli Pozzuoli, a port which lies 15 kilometres further north and is only really convenient if you are staying in that area for a specific reason.
So, if you’re coming from Napoli Centrale (Naples train station) or the city centre, plan to book your hydrofoil or ferry to Procida from Napoli Beverello (or its sister stop, Calata Porta di Massa, 1 km away). Here, Snav runs three or four daily hydrofoils (aliscafi) or catamarans to Procida (prices from €19.90 one way) which take about 45 minutes, on account of being smaller and faster modes of transport. Caremar runs ferries from Calata Porta di Massa (prices from €10.60) which take just over an hour, or hydrofoils from Beverello (prices from €14.40). Look out too for Alilauro crossings, while Medmar runs Pozzuoli to Procida crossings that start at around €9 per adult.
You can book tickets for all of the above online, which is handy, as you then just have to show the QR code of your booking on your phone (no print-out required). Otherwise there are ticket booths on site open during the hours of crossing.
How to get to Procida island from Ischia, Capri or Sorrento
You can travel direct between Procida and Ischia, in fact most of the hydrofoils and ferries that travel between Naples and Procida go straight on to Ischia afterwards. But in case you are trying to join the dots on more island travel, Alilauro provides connections between Procida and Sorrento and between Procida and Capri so you can see more places without returning to Naples in between.
Where to stay in Procida – hotels, b&bs and apartments
Procida is one of the smallest Italian islands so accommodation quickly books up in high season. Expect to pay the highest rates in August – up to 30% more than prices in July. For this and other reasons, I would highly recommend you visiting the island in July and September, when there is less traffic and bathing in the sea is still guaranteed. My recommended hotels:
Hotel Celeste – Perfectly located on the edge of bustling Marina Chiaiolella, Hotel Celeste is just four minutes walk from Chiaiolella beach and even has an arrangement with Lido La Rotonda if you want to hire a sunbed. Each room has a private outdoor terrace and the complex is simple but bright. Booking link here.
Azzurromare Residence – Fashioned improbably from a failed restaurant above the beach of Ciraccio, these simple lodgings each comprise a room, bathroom and kitchenette, with private terrace, and an umbrella and sunbeds you can take down to the free beach. Remote but peaceful, get ready to fall asleep to the sound of the waves. Free coffee and stovetop coffee maker in every room. Booking link here.
Why Procida island? The destination that tourism forgot
Although the designation of Procida as the Italian Capital of Culture for 2022 arguably raised its profile, Procida island is a charmingly unspoilt destination. While Capri and even Ischia are overrun by tourists throughout the summer season, Procida has remained under the radar, despite being the closest island to Naples. This small island, no more than 4 km long, has four distinct coastlines which all offer something different to the traveller. However, the size of the island means that travellers to Procida can see multiple sites in a day, and even divide an evening between more than one locations.
North coast Procida island: Procida Port
The port of Procida lies in the north of the island, closest to Naples. The port is the most built-up part of Procida island, busy with ferry traffic and distinguished by a long strip of restaurants and bars. Despite it’s more touristy nature, it is nevertheless worth your time.
Highlights of north Procida: what to see and where to eat
Sea Bar Procida – The perfect spot for a cocktail at sunset, Sea Bar is the best cocktail bar in Procida and also serves a light menu so you don’t need to head somewhere else for dinner afterwards. This friendly, professional set-up is in a cavernous space that includes pop-up fashion boutiques, with beauty services on the first floor. Come for the aperitivo – a plate of fresh fruit is complementary – and stay for a fish-focused dinner, where you can graze on tartares and fish carpaccio, as well as delicious bruschette topped with local vegetables and the catch of the day. Opens at 17.30. Sea Bar Procida, Via Roma, 1, Procida
Pasticceria Bar Roma – for Procida’s favourite dessert – Bar Roma is the best place to try Procida’s famous dessert, the Lingua di Suocera or Lingua di Bue – ‘mother in law’s tongue’ or ‘ox tongue’. This tongue shaped puff-pastry cake is filled with lemon cream and dusted with sugar. Pasticceria Bar Roma, Via Roma, 164, Procida
Ristorante La Medusa – It would be easy to overlook La Medusa restaurant as it’s one of the first places you see when getting off the ferry. However, this restaurant, loved by locals, is a great spot for trying local cuisine. The dishes are hearty with rich portions, so order at a gentle pace. I tried the buffalo mozzarella, pesto and raw prawn starter and followed up with a very filling dish of cuttlefish stuffed with almonds and aubergine. Try homemade Procida limoncello to finish – delicate and green in colour due to being made with lemon leaves. Ristorante La Medusa, Via Roma, 116, Procida
Island tour with Giulio Salvezza – Local lifeguard and boat owner Giulio Salvezza organises informal boat tours for a maximum of 8 people round the island of Procida. Feel free to join as a single or couple and Giulio will add you to a partially full boat. Oftentimes, expect to go out with a maximum of four people. Tours take place Mondays to Fridays predominantly as the sea traffic is much more intense on weekends. Departing from outside the Chiesa Parrocchiale di Maria SS. della Pietà e di S. Giovanni Battista, call Giulio a day or two before if you can or try your luck same day. Tours depart at 2 or 3 pm and last around 3 hours. The tour completely circumnavigates the island and Giulio is a charming and informed captain. Expect to stop for two or three dips in the sea at the most photogenic points, as well as a visit to the grotto of Procida. Tours from a bargain €30 per head. Giulio Salvezza +39 3341770277
Beach La Lingua – When you have checked out of your lodgings on the last day, or are simply on a day trip to Procida island, La Lingua Beach is the perfect spot to soak up some sun, have a swim and a bite to eat before you catch the ferry back to Naples. This charming free beach is open to all, but the local cafe bar Lido La Lingua will also rent you a sunbed for the day for a very reasonable €7. The beach itself is stony so underwater shoes are useful. When you’ve had enough of the sun, head up to Lido La Lingua cafe and bar for a very decent lunch, ranging from a simple salad to a tasty bowl of pasta. Lido La Lingua, Via Marina di Sancio Cattolico, Procida
East coast Procida island: Corricella and the Abbey of S. Michele
The east coast of Procida is dominated by the picturesque fishing village of Corricella, once the beating heart of Procida’s fishing trade, and today its most touristy hub. The pastel homes and the dome of the church of San Rocco represent a charming tableaux which has rightly ended up on many Instagram shots. The restaurants and bars here tend to be slightly more pricey, but a couple of places are worth your time. Otherwise, just enjoy the picturesque stroll or photograph it from a boat if you can.
Highlights of east Procida: where to eat and what to do
Wine and book bar L’Isola di Arturo – This charming wine bar and bookstore hosts literary readings and is a real club for locals. The views across the port might not be the most stunning, but this is a reliable spot for a cappuccino, a spritz, a glass of local wine and a light bite. Vineria letteraria l’isola di Arturo, Via Marina di Corricella 40, Procida
Abbazia San Michele Arcangelo – The Abbey of Saint Archangel Michael enjoys a lofty position in the north-east corner of Procida island. It’s a steep climb to the structure rewarded by breathtaking sea views and THAT Instagram shot of Corricella marina. Guided tours are available at fixed times, and a peer in this Benedictine foundation, dating back to the 10th century, will make the journey worthwhile. Abbazia San Michele Arcangelo, Terra Murata, Procida
Chiaia Beach – This charming free beach is best for morning swims as it becomes quite shadowy in the afternoons. The water doesn’t get too deep and waves are minimal due to a protective rim of rocks. Rent sunbeds and umbrellas at the nearby beach bar or bring your own towel. Spiaggia Chiaia, Procida
South coast Procida island: Marina Chiaiolella and Vivara
The beating heart of the south side of Procida island is Chiaiolella, a charming settlement which was once Procida’s vegetable garden, and remains dominated by villas with gardens today. The bustling Marina Chiaiolella is lined with stores selling beach inflatables and groceries, on pretty, narrow streets which open out into the charming port, a forest of masts and elegant boats encircled by restaurants. This is my favourite area for staying on the island, and is also dominated by the dramatic Vivara island, a companion island, now a nature reserve, joined to Procida by a private bridge.
Highlights of south Procida: best beaches and excursions
Vivara Island – Although travellers can no longer visit Vivara Island – tantalising joined by a bridge to Procida, but now in private hands – it is worth strolling up and over Via Santa Margherita to peer across the bridge. Once the hunting grounds of several Neapolitan kings and aristocrats, who found wild boar and numerous game birds here, today Vivara is a protected nesting area and home to Roman-era relics. Although it would be lovely to wander its green hills, there’s something rather special in knowing that thousands of migratory birds and rare species today enjoy this island to themselves.
Procida Kayak Club – This lively sports club, well attended by locals, is also open to tourists interested in getting out on the water. In high season, plan to join a dawn outing to beat the traffic on the high seas and partially circumnavigate the island with this cheerful club. Once or twice a month, if you’re lucky, join Procida Kayak Club for the full moon outing, which I tried. We set off at 7pm from Marina Chiaiolella and rowed round to Corricella just after the sunset, before stopping for a bbq dinner on Corricella beach, and returning just after midnight. This brilliant tour lasts around 6 hours, includes dinner, and costs around €50 per person, all equipment included. Bring your waterproof shoes and a waterproof phone holder if you have it! ASD Kayak Procida, Marina Chiaiolella (click name to contact via Instagram)
Crescenzo Hotel & Restaurant – this charming three star hotel hosts one of the most popular restaurants on the island. Try local treats, from seafood to rabbit, and don’t miss out on a glass of local wine. The service might not be the fastest but the dishes are solid. Crescenzo Hotel Ristorante, Via Marina Chiaiolella 33, Procida
West coast Procida island: the postman’s bay and popular beaches
Visit beach clubs with amenities in the south west part of the island, ideal if you are staying in Chiaiolella. Further up the west coast, Il Postino beach was a location for the eponymous film starring Massimo Troisi as a love-struck postman, which was filmed on the island.
Highlights of west Procida: best beaches and restaurants
Chiaiolella beach – The closest beach to Marina Chiaiolella is actually tucked just across on the island’s west coast, and is a good resource if you’re looking for beaches with full amenities. From La Rotonda to Lido Vivara, these handsome beach clubs offer sunbeds in limited rows and sunset cocktails. There is also a stretch of free beach at the southernmost point, near Vivara.
Ristorante La Vivara – Located at Lido Vivara, Ristorante La Vivara is probably the island’s best beach restaurant. Drop in for a a plate of pasta and a glass of local fizz. Lungomare Cristoforo Colombo 4, Procida
Ciraccio beach – This rather wild, free beach benefits from local shade, but as the north-east wind, the maestrale, whips up in the afternoons, expect to be wind swept and swimming in choppy waves.
Spiaggia Il Postino – Fans of the Italian film, Il Postino, might like to visit this incredibly simple beach – the postman’s beach – located beneath the cemetery on the west side of Procida island. You can hire a sunbed or just lay down your towel in this gentle, sandy cove.
If you’ve enjoyed this Procida travel guide you might want to check out my other Italian beach guides, including a guide to the best beaches near Rome, a guide to beach town Sperlonga, and a guide to beaches in South Sicily.