Sicily, land of mythology and the heart of the Mediterranean. An island to explore by sea, sailing on the routes that for centuries have marked the history and culture of entire civilisations. Circumnavigating the “Trinacria” is a fascinating adventure that will lead you to discover not only the coast, but also the archipelagos and minor islands, destination for travellers since time began. With favourable winds you can complete the journey in fifteen days, with a good starting and ending point being Palermo.
In the capital city, an ancient meeting point of civilisations, you can start the day with a good cannoli with ricotta cheese before heading to the nearby Egadi Islands, about 34 miles from the coast. The first island on which to land is Ustica, where you can enjoy the first marine protected area created in Italy, with its corals and many varieties of fish. After about four hours of sailing there is also Favignana, passing by the tuna traps of Bonagia and the rock of the Asinelli. Favignana, which the Greeks called Aegusa and in the Middle Ages took its current name from the wind Favonius, resembles a large butterfly that has come to rest peacefully on the Mediterranean waters. Waters that still evoke the history and stories of mythology, they hide in their depths the secrets of ancient battles, like the terrible Battle of the Egadi in 241 BC at Cala Rossa fought between the Romans and Carthaginians. The waters are still full of voices, with the songs and shouts of seafarers, engaged in the “Mattanza” the ancient and traditional way of fishing tuna that was learned from the Arabs. In this area you should also see, Palazzo Florio and Cala Rossa, two symbols of the island.
Continuing your journey, you will reach nearby Marettimo and Levanzo characterised by numerous small bays, inside the Marine Park, where navigation is allowed only with the permission of the Marine Park. From the port you can get a guide to visit the island, the castle and the many beautiful caves, a paradise for divers. Do not miss the hikes, since the island of Marettimo is morphologically similar to the Dolomite peaks but with the particularity that it overlooks the sea. Levanzo, the smallest and the wildest of Egadi is a little known and unspoilt treasure, with a small archaeological jewel: the Neolithic paintings of the Genovese Cave, a small “Altamira of Sicily”.
Say goodbye to the Egadi, and continue discovering Sicily by heading to Pantelleria. The island is characterised by beautiful coastlines, beaches, cliffs, coves, caves, and among these the “Pertusa di Notaro”, also known as the “Cold Cavity” for the cool air escaping from its crevices. Also worth visiting are the Punta dell’Arco also called the Elephant Arch (because the rock that juts out into the sea resembles the head of an elephant submersed in the water with his trunk extended) and the Balata dei Turchi, where pirates and smugglers used to disembark. You should visit the cove of Nica, Scauri with its port, Punta Fram and Punta Tre Pietre. The island lets you ahve a fully immersive sailboat experience all year round.
Going eastward another point to navigate to is undoubtedly Syracuse, the seaside town, which juts out into the sea with the island of Ortigia. The port is located near the historic center and a short distance from shopping venues. The island of Ortigia, the oldest settlement in the city, is linked to the mainland by the Ponte Nuovo, an extension of Corso Umberto I, one of the main arteries of the city.
But Sicily has many more treasures that can be discovered by sea. Just think of Giardini Naxos-Taormina, with its extraordinary Bay and Isola Bella. It’s a place where you can also anchor your boat and take in the breathtaking view of Mount Etna, the largest volcano in Europe. It’s a lovely area to visit and a tourist destination that is known throughout the world. This is also the last stop before you plow through the Strait of Messina, the place of the legendary voyage of Ulysses, between Scylla and Charybdis. It is a sea characterised by strong currents, that challenges the most experienced helmsmen and where in summer you can watch swordfish fishing that takes place a few metres from the banks on impressive feluccas, wooden boats with antennas and a walkway.
From Messina you can reach Milazzo, with its well-equipped marina. A great place to use as a base, before reaching the nearby Aeolian Islands. The first that you’ll reach is Vulcano where you can moor near the “Scoglio della Quaglia”, and where via tender is is possible to visit the amazing “Grotta del Cavallo” and the “pool of Venus.” Or reach the “Black Sands” where you can bathe in thermal pools, with warm water and sulfur mud.
The “Seven Sisters” are a journey within a journey. Vulcano, Lipari, Stromboli, Salina, Panarea, Alicudi, Filicudi: each island is unique and worthy of being discovered both from the sea as well as discovering the precious remains of ancient civilisations that have inhabited them. And before you leave do not forget to enjoy an excellent “granita”, perhaps whilst enjoying the sunset of warm summer sun.
Choose your itinerary and book a berth now using this link. Sicily ‘s summer has already arrived!