The closest Italian mainland (20km/13 miles away) is Puglia's Gargano promontory, where the towns of Vieste, Peschici, Manfredonia, and Rodi Garganico have ferry service in summer to the Tremiti. The ports of Pescara, Ortona, and Vasto, in Abruzzo, also offer sea connections to the Tremiti; but by far the most comprehensive (and only year-round) service to the islands is from Termoli, on the coast of Molise. Termoli is a 3-hour drive (or 5-hr. train ride, with connections) from Rome. Cars cannot be taken to the Tremiti; leave your car at Autoparcheggio del Porto (tel. 0875/703345), at the port in Termoli.
From Termoli, several different companies, with fast ferries or hydrofoils in summer in addition to traditional ferries, offer boat service to San Domino or San Nicola. In high season, they make up to nine departures per day. The only year-round company between Termoli and the Tremiti, Tirrenia (tel. 0875/705343; www.tirrenia.it) has a fast ferry (45 min.) and slow ferry (1 hr., 40 min.) to San Domino. In summer only, Navigazione Libera del Golfo (tel. 0875/704859; www.nlg.it) has fast jets and slower ferries (same travel times as Tirrenia) to San Domino and San Nicola; Adriatic Shipping Lines (tel. 0875/705198) has a hydrofoil (45 min.) and ferry (1 1/2 hr.) to San Nicola. Prices vary according to the season and speed of the boat, but generally range from 13€ to 18€ per person, each way. Be aware that if you take a ferry that lands at San Nicola, you will most likely have to take a water taxi (from 5€, and sometimes a luggage fee is added) for the short distance across the water to San Domino, since that's where 99% of the accommodations are located.
You can also reach the Tremiti by helicopter -- keep reading, it's affordable! -- from Foggia (3 hr. by car or Eurostar train from Rome). The flights are operated by Alidaunia (tel. 0881/617961; www.alidaunia.it) out of Foggia's Gino Lisa airport and land at the helipad on San Domino. Fares are 50€ each way in July and August (they knock 12% off this rate if you fly round-trip in these months), 25€ the rest of the year. Year-round, kids pay 50% and infants pay 10% of the normal fare. The Foggia airport tax of 10€, paid only on flights departing from Foggia, is extra. Arriving by helicopter is a very attractive option but must be booked well in advance for travel in summer; Alidaunia's AgustaWestland 139 is only a 15-seater. Tip: Be sure to pack light, as heavy bags will incur extra fees.
No automobiles are allowed on the Tremiti, but the islands are small enough to be explored on foot. Small buses connect the port of San Domino with the town in the central part of the island. However, most hotels and even campgrounds will send a minibus to pick up baggage-laden new arrivals at the port. To get between islands and putter around their coasts, your options are water taxis, organized boat tours that hit all the major coves and water-accessible attractions of the Tremiti, or small motorboat (gommone) rentals. About a dozen different outfits on San Domino and San Nicola offer these services. Water taxis cost between 5€ and 15€ per person, depending on the season and the distance traveled; small motorboat rentals cost between 70€ and 150€ for a full day, depending on the season. For water taxi service on San Domino, call Sergio (tel. 347/9387051), Da Tullio (tel. 0882/463269 or 330/367320), or Fabio (tel. 349/3956021). On San Nicola, water taxis are run by Cooperativa A.Mar.Blu (tel. 0882/834487). Da Tullio also rents gommoni, as does Il Pirata (tel. 0882/463409). Boat excursions -- from the 1-hour giro dell'isola around San Domino to the 2-hour tour of San Domino, San Nicola, and Caprara -- are easily arranged on the spot at the ports of either San Domino or San Nicola. Prices start at 7€ per person for the San Domino tour in a large boat.
Strategies for Seeing the Islands -- The Tremiti are bite-size islands and very close together; whether you rent your own small motorboat, use a water taxi, or take one of the organized boat tours offered, you're bound to get a comprehensive look at each of the islands, even if you're only here for a couple of days. The Tremiti islands' tourist season runs from May to October, though a handful of hotels and restaurants are open year-round. In the height of summer, the Tremiti aren't exactly a bargain; but if you come in the shoulder season (June and Sept, when it's still plenty warm), hotel prices drop (a 200€ room goes for 100€ or lower), and the islands exude even more relaxation and romance.
There are no local tourist board offices, but you can contact the Azienda di Promozione Turistica (APT), Via E. Perrone 17; 71000 Foggia (tel. 0881/723141; www.pugliaturismo.com/aptfoggia) for brochures and maps. Several unofficial websites provide comprehensive information about the islands, but in Italian only. The best of these are www.leisoletremiti.it and www.tremiti.eu.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.