Villa San Giovanni is the main port for ferries and hydrofoils to Messina in Sicily. The main ferry carrier is Caronte.
THIS IS A NEW UPDATE ON FOOT PASSENGERS. IF YOU ARE NOT TAKING YOUR CAR ON THE FERRY, YOU MUST USE THE HYDROFOILS.
Foot passengers and car ferries
You can take your car on the ferry for 38 euro as long as you come back on the same day. If you stay longer, the price is slightly higher. This depends on how many days you decide to stay.
You can also leave your car in the large car park in the port of Villa San Giovanni. This way you can go on the hydrofoil as a foot passenger. You will find information about leaving your car in the car park and booking online to avoid queues in the link MyParking
These ferries run about every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day and the crossing is only 20 minutes. You can find prices and times in this link:
If you need to get a train from Messina, I recommend going on the hydrofoil as the station is right there. It is comfortable and fast.
The train station behind the port
There is also an important train station for all connections to other stations in Calabria. It is located in the main square of Villa San Giovanni in Viale Italia. The main bus stop is opposite the station. You usually see lots of people waiting except when it is a public holiday.
You will find a few hotels, shops, bars and restaurants in that area. In fact, there is a hotel directly opposite the train station. Not far from the station, there is also a huge shopping centre.
Blujet hydrofoils from Villa San Giovanni in Calabria to Messina
When you go inside the station, you will see arrows leading you to the port area traghetti/navi This is where the hydrofoils for foot passengers depart from. Bluferries which is now Blu jet lines is the name of the Company. The timetables for the hydrofoils are in this link http://www.blujetlines.it/oraripasseggeri-villa.html
Tickets must be stamped at the port
If you decide to take your car, first you have to get your ticket at the ticket office and wait in the queue until the ferry arrives. The staff waving impatiently for you to embark validate your ticket before boarding.
Sometimes, you can find a very long queue, other times you might be lucky and be among the first to board. Nevertheless, you always have to wait for the trucks to disembark first. Make sure you have plenty of water in the car.
These ferries are ideal for passengers with cars otherwise it is much more comfortable as a foot passenger to go on the hydrofoil. Aboard the Caronte ferries you will find comfortable seating, toilet facilities, shops and snack bars.
Hydrofoil from Messina in Sicily to Calabria
If you are coming with the hydrofoil from Messina to Villa San Giovanni in Calabria, you can watch the video to see how and where you get tickets and the boat. I hope you find it useful.
Make sure you do not go to Villa San Giovanni when it is a public holiday. That was my mistake. I was waiting for my usual bus to turn up, but after waiting for more than an hour, I started to wonder why nothing was coming. I then asked one of the locals who had a look of surprise in his eyes wondering what on earth I was doing at the bus stop.
He chuckled saying that there were no buses that day and taxis would double their prices.
The B&B Villa El Tango to the rescue
Luckily, I had internet on my phone and could look for the nearest B&B. It was risky as being a public holiday, most of the rooms were already booked.
To my surprise one B&B, the villa el tango had just had a cancellation and the room was vacant. I was so happy. Not only was the price incredibly affordable for that time of the year, but it was also clean and welcoming.
The owner even came to the station to pick me up and bring me back to the bus stop the next day. Read more about travelling on the hydrofoil here.