Sicily

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean around which there are a number of archipelagos: the Lipari or Aeolian Islands, Ustica, the Egadi Islands, Pantelleria, and the Pelagie Islands.

Sailing in Sicily is like a trip through time discovering all the amazing history and influences this region has been exposed to. A varied culture that is rich in the arts, cuisine, and local architecture. Sicily is said to be Europe's most historically cosmopolitan region with the great civilizations that have occupied the lands and people who have lived here: Greeks, Roman, Arabs, Africans, and Spanish. Strong influences exist in the cuisine of Sicily, which is as rich and varied as its history.

Sicily is well renowned for a landscape rich in natural beauty and also as the location of Mount Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. Sicily and Calabria are volcanic regions with amazing mountainous backdrops leading to some stunning views while sailing in these incredible waters.

A Sicily sailing holiday offers so much variety from secluded anchorages and picturesque harbours to historical ports and bustling resorts. The coastal cruising grounds are enchanting blending the chic of Palermo with the quiet ambience of small fishing villages on remote and scenic islands. Swimming and snorkelling from beautiful beaches, Roman ruins, Renaissance art and truly excellent eating, all with a back-drop of stunning volcanic scenery.

There are several embarkation options and main bases dotted across the coastline of Sicily - Palermo, Trapani, Marsala, Sant'Agata di Militello and Portorosa to name a few. Starting from Palermo you can reach the Aeolian Islands in the North East, the Egadi Islands in the West, or the Pelagie Islands in the South.

Starting from Milazzo or Portarosa you can again reach the Aeolian Islands, or East and South East coast Catania, Taormina and Siracusa.

Palermo

Palermo, the capital of Sicily, offers many options for your charter and depending on the itinerary preferred, duration of your charter and type of trip desired is an ideal base to reach some amazing sailing areas. The bases are located on the north-western coast of the island, by Monte Pellegrino - described as the most beautiful promontory in the world.


From Palermo it is possible to explore the lush volcanic landscape of the Egadi Islands, the Aeolian Islands described as “the heaven of sailing”, or for those wanting a longer trip, perhaps for 2 weeks, the Pelagie Islands. You can also explore the Aegadean Islands of Favignana, Marettimo and Levanzo - famous for their caves of calcarenite rock (locally known as "tufo") and a popular site for scuba diving and snorkelling. Ustica is also a very beautiful natural reserve popular due to its coastline formations with divers.

Alternatively, sailing south it is possible to visit Pantelleria, Lampedusa and Linosa islands – even the coasts of Malta and Tunisia are easily reachable.

Embarking in Palermo, the capital of Sicily gives the perfect opportunity to explore and experience the diverse charms the city has to offer. Byzantine, Norman, Renaissance, Arabic and Baroque influenced architecture mean a vast number of fascinating palazzos, churches and castles just waiting to be explored. Excellent restaurants and cuisine provide food lovers with so many different options. Why not spend a few days exploring this culturally complex and historically enchanting city.

It is possible to sail to Cefalu on the way to the Aeolian Islands, near to Palermo (approx. 25 nm). Nestled between the Madonie mountains and the coast, Cefalù is one of the famous ancient locations most visited by tourists to the area. A busy resort with a very picturesque fishing harbour and many sandy beaches.

A number of other embarkation options exist stretching from the West Coast to the East coast of Sicily.

Portorosa (Milazzo)

Portorosa is the ideal base to reach the Aeolian Islands (only 12 NM from Vulcano). The Marina of Portorosa is the most fashionable tourist harbour in Sicily and also the most equipped. 600 berths and excellent facilities such as coffee bars, restaurants, supermarkets, swimming pools etc.

Trapani

Trapani port is formed of an outer harbour, a merchant and fishing port and a tourist resort. From the lively fishing harbour you can reach the unpolluted Egadi Islands, or Lampedusa and Pantelleria some of the newer and fascinating destinations available for charter in Italy. Trapani is only 40 minutes from the airport of Palermo.

Marsala

Marsala is a small picturesque town with a great sea faring tradition. It is only 20 minutes from the airport of Marsala and only 1 hour from Palermo. This fantastic natural landscape is only a few miles from the Egadi Islands, and 80 miles from Africa. World famous for its wine making, it is one of the main ports to start your charter from. Sailing to the South, the unique Island of Pantelleria.

Pantelleria

Pantelleria is located in the Strait of Sicily, just 70 km east of the Tunisian Coast. A volcanic island, it has both a strong Sicilian and Arab influence. With a great emphasis on the art of hospitality, it has become quite a fashionable destination. Striking and hilly, there are no beaches so people swim off the black rocks. Pantelleria is also known for producing highly regarded, sweet wines of a golden-apricot color, from the island's three wineries.

Siracusa

Siracusa is in the south of Sicily, only 40 minutes far from the airport of Catania, in a setting of unequalled beauty and grace. Start a voyage of discovery of the most authentic Sicily, or sail to Malta and Tunisia.

 

» Easily accessible (Direct flights from Europe)
» Varied and interesting culture and history
» Breathtaking Scenery
» Varied sailing areas available
» Several itinerary options
» Combine with a city stay
» Welcoming firendly people
» Picturesque harbours to historical ports

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Example Itinerary

Please note that more itineraries are available - please let us know your requirements.

Palermo & Aeolian Islands – One week itinerary
Palermo – Cefalù - Vulcano - Lipari – Salina - Panarea – Stromboli (100nm)


Palermo

Palermo is Sicily's cultural, economic and touristic capital. It is a city rich in history, culture, art, music and food. Numerous tourists are attracted to the city for its good Mediterranean weather, its renowned gastronomy and restaurants, its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque churches, palaces and buildings, and its nightlife and music.

Cefalu

The town is one of the major tourist attractions in the region. Despite its size, each year attracts millions of tourists from all parts of Sicily and also, generally, from all over Italy and Europe. A young atmosphere and lively nightlife. The city, part of Madonie Park, is included in the club of The most beautiful villages in Italy.

Vulcano

The island of thermal springs and mud-bathing, a destination of sport enthusiasts who can appreciate and enjoy the beauty of its waters together with that of the volcano, from which there are breathtaking sights, for example, the view of the surrounding islands and the isthmus connecting Vulcano to Vulcanello. The island offers a variety of sceneries but access to the most beautiful spots are to be reached by sea: La Grotta del Cavallo, the pool of Venere, the beaches to the South and the numerous caves to the West.

Lipari

The main island, certainly the richest in history, inhabited since the Palaeolithic Age. The most striking feature of the ancient remains is certainly the castle, dating back to the VI century and situated on the ancient acropolis. Today, the castle houses the "Aeolian Archeological Museum" which relates the History of the Islands from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. Characteristic of the Island are: the pumice-stone quarries of Porticello, which render the beach and surrounding waters a peculiar white colour; the Faraglioni to the south off Vulcano; the lively square of Marina Corta; Sottomonastero, or Marina Lunga, a landing place with a quay reserved for boats in transit. The tourist port of "Pignataro" is situated to the extreme north of the inlet. It is protected by an outer quay with bollards and rings.

Salina

This Island with its steep rugged coastline is the most unspoilt of the Islands. It is formed by two extinct volcanoes: "Monte Fossa delle Felci and "Monte dei Porri" which give it an aspect for which the ancient name of Island was derived: "Dydime" or rather twins. Salina is named after the salt-works to the South-east, beyond cape "Lingua". The island is formed of numerous small natural bays, among which, Pollara, with its beaches and deserted fishermen's cottages, very picturesque at sunset; Rinella with its black-coloured grottos , which has been transformed into a small port. The very first tourist port of the Aeolian Islands was realized at Santa Marina Salina.

Panarea

Limpid waters, craggy cliffs and fascinating seabeds make Panarea a much sought after place for sub aquatic sports. Young and lively tourists are attracted not only by the beauty of Panarea but by the vivacious nightlife. By day one can visit the Bronze Age village located on the promontory of cape Milazzese where the cliffs form a splendid calanque: Cala Junco, which is one of the most beautiful places of all the Islands.

Stromboli

Stromboli is one of the two active volcanoes in Italy. The marine scenery of the island is full of grottos, among which "Eolo Grotto". Two characteristic features of the island are: "Strombolicchio" where the cliffs to the north rise steeply to 56 meters above the Tyrrhenian Sea and "Sciara del Fuoco" where the vertical precipice descends down to the sea bringing with it its incandescent material. The latter is better seen by night and can be reached only by sea. Situated around the sandy point "Lena", there is a small village which can be reached by landing at Ficogrande or San Vincenzo which form a single dwelling place. On the opposite side of the island: Ginostra, which has electricity for very short time.

Highlights

The Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands are well known as “the heaven of sailing”. This is an archipelago of seven different volcanic islands that are only a few miles away from each other. The Aeolian Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily. The islands' shoreline formations are made of volcanically created beaches and caves, making the transition from land to sea simply spectacular. While these natural phenomenon make amazing viewing both from land and sea, the full splendour of the islands is best experienced from the comfort of your yacht. Sailing the Aeolian Islands offers a variety of experiences and sights to see. The main island Lipari, The green landscapes of Salina, the wild nature of Alicudi and Filicudi, the sophisticated Panarea, Stromboli and the ‘active’ Vulcano.

The Aegadi Islands

The Aegadian Islands or Egadi Islands are a group of three islands about 10km west of Sicily. Favignana - the main island is well known for its beaches. Levanzo is a small, quiet and pretty island. Marettimo - the furthest away from Sicily, with fewer boats is attractive and good for walking. The islands are blessed with lovely coastlines immersed in glorious crystal-clear water. These Islands have been a Marine Nature Reserve since 1991. The historical and archaeological importance of the Archipelago of the Egadi Islands dates back to the famous battle of the Egadi Islands in 241 B.C. Finally, there are also two islets: Formica, where one can find the traces of an abandoned tuna fishery, transformed in to a rehabilitation center; and Maraone, to the West of Formica, which is inhabited exclusively by sea gulls.

The Pelagie Islands

The name "Pelagie" islands derives from the Greek, meaning islands in high seas. The islands are situated closer to Africa than to Italy, between Tunisia and Malta. The Pelagie islands are Lampedusa, Linosa and the uninhabited Lampione, (where the only building is its lighthouse). Lampedusa is the principal island, a fishing centre with an impressive fleet of fishing boats. Linosa, the economy of which is based entirely on the tourist industry, has a tiny village made up of pastel colored dwellings. The islands share the same marvellous clean sea, perfect for diving enthusiasts. In these waters there are great expanses of spectacular sea bed and poseidon fish, parrot fish and lobsters can be found. The Caretta caretta turtles come to deposit their eggs here, in particular on the sandy beaches of Baia dei Conigli of Lampedusa. A visit to the Bay of Tabaccara and the Bay of the Madonnina, which can only be reached by boat, should not be missed.

Agrigento

The Valley of the Temples is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Agrigento and the valley of the temples is one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture, and is one of the main attractions of Sicily as well as a national monument of Italy. The area was included in the UNESCO Heritage Site list in 1997.

Piazza Armerina

Famous chiefly for its Roman mosaics in the Villa Romana del Casale, about 3 km to the southwest of the city. It has a range of significant architecture dating from medieval through the 18th century. The discovery and excavation of the well-preserved, highly refined mosaics has helped attract tourists.

Mount Etna

Etna is an active volcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. It is the largest active volcano in Europe, currently standing 3,329 metres (10,922 ft) high, though this varies with summit eruptions; the mountain is 21 m (69 ft) lower now than it was in 1981. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south. A number of options exist for visiting Mount Etna or combining a visit with other tours.

The Alcantara Gorges

The Alcantara Gorges are deep incisions in volcanic rocks and cliffs, caused by the eruptions of Mount Etna. They lie a short distance from Taormina, where the mountain has been literally split and is now part of the course of a river. The water choruses over grey stone, now covered by dense vegetation climbing through the numerous crags and crevices in the rock. The less intrepid traveller can reach the gorges with a lift, but the more adventurous can descend into the gorge on foot, where the river can be followed for about 150 meters through mysterious shadowy rocky bends along the walls of the rock-face.

Weather Conditions

Climate

The Sicilian climate is a warm, perfect for holidays. The summer months of July and August can be very hot and dry the late spring and early autumn months normally provide superb weather with fewer tourists ideal for an Italian sailing holiday. The southeast regions are generally drier and warmer than the northwest and the southeast coast is usually calmer. Higher areas receive cooler temperatures and higher rainfall year round.



  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

High Temperature ( C )

13

13

15

18

22

25

29

29

26

22

18

14

Low Temperature ( C )

8

8

9

11

14

18

21

22

19

16

13

10

Precipitation ( mm )

33

67

57

47

22

11

5

17

37

84

82

88

Average Sunshine Hours

4

5

6

7

9

10

11

10

8

7

5

4


Sailing Conditions:

Winds are generally NW averaging 10-15 knots. April to October you can expect sunny days with blue skies and warm weather. Average daily temperatures are 23ºC.

The tidal difference is less than a foot and navigation is generally line of sight. You can expect sheltered waters but you do need to be prepared for some longer passages out to the islands.

Summer is rather cool, with a July 24-hour average of 12 °C (53.6 °F); daytime temperatures are usually slightly warmer, but vary from 9 °C (48.2 °F) to 25 °C (77.0 °F).


Palermo
Day Min Max Wind Weather
Thu
21st
21°C 25°C
N

7 kts

Fri
22nd
22°C 26°C
NE

7 kts

Sat
23rd
22°C 28°C
NNE

7 kts

Sun
24th
22°C 26°C
NNE

8 kts

Mon
25th
21°C 26°C
NNE

6 kts

General Information

Time Difference: Italy is GMT + 1 hrs

Airport: Palermo Airport (PMO)- Falcone-Borsellino Airport. The airport is 32 kilometres west of Palermo along highway A29. Driving from the airport, on the Highway A29 Trapani-Palermo, turn off at 'Via Belgio' gate and follow the directions to the Port. Catania Airport (CTA) - Fontanarossa Airport is only 5km from Catania. A bus service (Alibus) connects the airport with the town's Via Etnea and Stazione Centrale every twenty minutes.

Car Rental: Avis, Hertz, Eurocar and Maggiore are located at the airport. The prices range from: approx. € 50 to € 120 per day.

Luggage: We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt and shorts) in your hand luggage as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do. Please pack using soft-sided bags, as these are easier to store on your yacht.
Passport and Visas: Please ensure your passport is valid for the period of travel and for six months after you return. Your passport name must match the name on the flight ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid. If your child is not already included on a valid British Passport they are required to hold their own passport. EU Passport holders do not require a visa.

Non-British passport holders should check with their local Consulate direct. Customs and Immigration: Before leaving the airport, you will have to clear Customs and Immigration

Sailing Information: You should have at least 10 days or 200 miles as skipper on an equivalent yacht. The Italian Port Authorities require all skippers to be ICC qualified or hold the equivalent RYA qualification such as Day Skipper.

Navigation: Understand tidal flow, ability to navigate in open waters.

Anchor/Mooring: Primarily anchoring, protected anchorages, Mediterranean style anchoring and/or marina slips

Mooring Fees and Taxes: Most overnight stops in the area will be at mooring buoys/anchor as opposed to alongside quays. The buoys will cost approximately € 50.00 per night – to be paid locally at each anchorage. Marina fees start at approximately €40.00 per night and can be as much as €1600.00 per night, depending on the time of the year and the size of boat. These are approximate prices only.

Charts & Pilot Book: Charts and pilot books can be purchased from the UK chandler Kelvin Hughes by contacting them direct on 02380 634911 or www.kelvinhughes.com.

Fuel: Cost Guide 1.20 euro

Currency: The Euro is the currency used throughout Italy.

Banks: Banks and ATM’s are available in San Vito Lo Capo, Favignana and Marettimo Bank Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30am-1:30pm and Saturdays: 08:30am-1:00pm (during the summer months only) ATM’s operational 24 hours a day
Credit Card Information: MasterCard, Visa and Eurocheque cards are widely accepted throughout Italy.Traveller’s cheques are accepted in major Italian cities and tourist areas, however not in some very small establishments and outdoor markets.

Please Note: Bases are unable to accept personal cheques and cannot give cash back on credit or debit (Switch/Delta) cards.

Language: The Language in Italy is Italian

Cost of living in Sicily:

Approximate restaurant prices:
Bottle of beer 66cl - €2.50
Glass of wine - € 1.50
1.5 litre of water - € 1.00
Starter / Entrée - € 8.00
Evening meal main course € 7.00 - € 15.00
Dessert € 3.00- € 5.00

Tipping: Tipping is standard and expected in all restaurants / bars and for other services undertaken during your holiday. The rule of thumb is generally 10-15% of the amount charged. Some establishments automatically add this onto the bill. Tip according to quality of service.

Shopping: The Supermarkets are open Monday - Saturday from 8:00am till 8.00pm all day. During the summer months, supermarkets are also open on Sunday mornings.

Electricity: The standard voltage on all yachts is 12 volts. Electricity in Italy is 220 Volts and uses the standard European 2 pin plug. In order to use electronic equipment that is 220v you will need an inverter suitable for use in a cigarette lighter.

Mobile Phones: Your mobile phone may work when in Italy, but please check with your service provider for coverage details and call costs. You will need to activate international roaming on your contract.

Watersports: There is excellent diving all around Sicily. Due to over fishing around the Sicilian coast there is a lack of large fish. The most notable wrecks are the Wreck of Columns and The Junkers wreck. The main diving centres are located at Trapani, San Vito Lo Capo, Marrettimo Islands, and the Aeolian Islands.

There are great diving opportunities on the Egadi Islands, especially on Marettimo.

Marettimo’s coast is jagged, irregular and dramatic with coves and beaches. Visibility around Marettimo is 30-90 metres (100-300 feet) deep.

Dive centres offer single dives off rubber boats or full day excursions.

Marettimo Diving Center: www.marettimodivingcenter.it

Walking: Beautiful and rugged coastlines, the colourful markets and the Islands of Egadi are just some of the sights to see on foot.

Provisioning: Provisioning services are available in this location please ask for details.

 

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