The Sicilian islands are a wonderful world of crystal clear water, unspoiled nature and fishing villages to explore. There are a few different islands around Sicily for you to discover: the Aeolian, Egadi and Pelagie island archipelagos, and the island of Ustica and Pantelleria. Once you decide which one to visit there are many things you can do such as Boat trips, relaxing on the beach, trekking on the volcanoes, deep-sea diving and much more to choose for your wonderful beach holiday.
The sea in Sicily is one of the most beautiful, but the sea of its islands is even more so: a stone’s throw from the coast, the Sicilian islands can be easily reached by sea and in some cases by flight, offering corners of paradise perfect for all travelers. On these islands you can have wonderful experiences like climbing an active volcano or exploring ancient sea caves.
I would like to start the list from the great Aeolian islands, also called the “Seven Sisters” because are made of seven islands:
The phenomenon of volcanism and the heavenly waters make this places some of the most popular in Sicily and in the world.
A seaside place to dive, explore sea caves, climb active volcanoes and explore ancient villages.
Perfect for both families and young people looking for a fun holiday, Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands, an island that should be explored at the right time not during high season and very hot weather. The crystal clear waters and the postcard like views make it a true paradise, especially from the top of the Quattrocchi Belvedere which is a must see.
Related: Sicily Best Beaches
Your holiday in Salina will start from Santa Marina, the main port of the island, with the marina and souvenir shops. Further south is Lingua a small fishing village famous for its very thin pebble beach. Then there is the pretty village of Malfa and the beautiful Pollara Beach.
The volcano … of Vulcano Island is not active, but it offers a beautiful walk of about an hour that goes directly to the mouth of the crater, from where you can enjoy the view of the other islands. Vulcano is famous for its thermal properties, the smell of sulfur, the breathtaking views, Vulcanello and the beautiful beach dell’Asino.
The active volcano of Stromboli, known as “Iddu”erupts regularly. Admire it from the sea or climb to the top with a guided excursion, one of the most beautiful experiences to do on the Sicilian islands. If you prefer to relax, choose the black beach of Ficogrande .
The beaches of Filicudi will remain in your heart: explore them all with a tour of the island by boat. That of Capo Graziano, then, will captivate you with its wide pebble beach and the village of the Bronze Age for you to visit.
Small shops, low houses and luxuriant nature makes Alicudi a natural paradise, relaxed, reserved and far from technology. Lovers of sunsets will appreciate the spectacle that can be enjoyed with the rise of the Filo dell’Arpa.
The small island of Panarea is the perfect Sicilian vacation for sunbathing and nightlife lovers. Before returning home, remember to explore the Prehistoric Village of Capo Milazzese .
How to get to the Aeolian Islands
The nearest airports to the Aeolian Islands are those of Catania and Palermo. The most convenient and strategic port to reach the Aeolian Islands is Milazzo (in the province of Messina), which takes about an hour to reach its destination. Hydrofoils and ferries to the Aeolian Islands also depart from Naples, Reggio Calabria, Messina, Palermo and Catania. During the summer period daily connections by sea are guaranteed between all of the islands.
The Egadi comprises of the beautiful Sicilian islands of Favignana, Marettimo, Levanzo, the Stagnone Islands and other smaller islands such as the small Maraone, Preveto, Galeotta, Galera, Formica and Fariglione. The Egadi Islands are located off the west coast of Sicily, precisely at the height of the cities of Marsala and Trapani, and offer unspoiled landscapes and coves of incredible beauty, ideal for diving into the crystal blue sea. The Stagnone Islands (Isola Grande, San Pantaleo, Schola and Santa Maria ) are named after the Stagnone Lagoon, the largest in Sicily, a perfect place for a relaxing holiday that follows the rhythm of nature, including bird watching, tranquil nature reserve and salt marshes. In this article I will cover the 3 main island of Favignana, Marettimo and Levanzo.
Favignana called the “butterfly”, due to its particular shape is the largest of all the Egadi. Start with a visit to the Tonnara at the Ex Stabilimento Florio, a stone’s throw from the pretty marina and then explore its wonderful caves and coves. The unmissable coves? Cala Rossa and Cala Azzurra.
The wild Marettimo is dotted with caves (don’t miss the Grotta del Cammello) and coves, sometimes difficult to reach. The best way to explore is by sea, stopping from time to time, for refreshing dives or snorkeling. Here you will find the important archaeological site of the Roman Houses.
Despite its small size, the small and reserved Levanzo offers everything: from the Paleolithic graffiti of the Grotta del Genovese to the paradisiacal waters of Cala del Faraglione, Cala Tramontana or Cala Fredda. Enjoy its silence and try the Levanzara Cabbùcio, a typical super tasty panini.
How to get to the Egadi Islands
The nearest airports to the Egadi Islands are those of Trapani and Palermo. Once landed you take the ferry or hydrofoil departing from the port of Trapani (approximately 25 minutes crossing to Favignana ). During the summer there are sea connections also from Marsala and Naples.
Lampedusa, Isola dei Conigli, Linosa, Lampione and the scoglio del Sacramento they all form the southernmost Sicilian archipelago of Italy.
A stone’s throw from Africa, these beautiful Sicilian islands are all different from one another. The main island is Lampedusa with its famous neighbor, Isola dei Conigli; then there is Linosa, the tip of an extinct volcano that can be visited today through a single road that reaches the most beautiful places, such as its small town with its farmhouses or the fascinating Cala Pozzolana.
Lampione, an islet 200 meters long and 180 meters wide, which is an uninhabited natural paradise, reachable only by sea, with boats that organize daily excursions from Lampedusa.
The scoglio del Sacramento is a big rock rising up from the water only reachable by sea.
With its beautiful Rabbit Beach, awarded as the most beautiful beaches in the world , Lampedusa awaits you for a perfect beach holiday. Natural paradise and home to the Caretta Caretta sea turtles, this island is the perfect place to relax and admire the most southern sunsets in Italy.
How to get to the Pelagie Islands
The nearest airport to the Pelagie Islands is the one located directly on the island of Lampedusa. As an alternative to the plane you can take the ferry or hydrofoil departing from Porto Empedocle (AG).
Small and isolated, Ustica is a Sicilian island that is not part of any archipelago. Its uncontaminated nature and its crystal clear waters make it a real paradise on earth, the right place for a sea holiday in Sicily face to face with its colorful abysses.
Snorkeling, diving and yet birdwatching and trekking are the most popular activities for tourists on the island, who arrive here to enjoy the beauty of the “underwater museum” and the tranquility of the beaches.
The prehistoric villages, the paths in the woods, the archaeological route and the breathtaking view from the Rocca della Falconiera are just some of the attractions of Ustica, along with the magical caves, Azzurra or Rosata , and coves with tropical charm, like Sidoti and Acquario.
How to get to Ustica
The nearest airport to the island of Ustica is Palermo. From the port of Palermo ferries, hydrofoils and catamarans leave daily. Alternatively, you can reach Ustica from Naples by hydrofoil.
The dammusi with white domes (the Pantelleria houses in lava stone), the Malvasia (dessert liquor) vineyards and an African atmosphere make Pantelleria one of the most fascinating Sicilian islands in the world.
Pantelleria boasts coasts as black as lava, blue sea like cobalt, picturesque villages with Arabic names (including Khamma and Mueggen), also famous for its large capers. Among the natural attractions not to be missed is the Specchio di Venere, a natural lake located inside the crater of a volcano, the Arco dell’Elefante, a rock that resembles the trunk of the large mammal and that dives into the sea creating an arch of extraordinary beauty, symbol of the island, the crystalline Balata dei Turchi and the sweet Passito.
How to get to Pantelleria
The island of Pantelleria can be easily reached by plane thanks to its convenient airport, connected in the summer to the most important Italian cities even with low-cost flights. Alternatively, the island can be reached by ferry departing from the port of Trapani.
I hope this article will help you decide if a visit to the sicilian islands is worth a visit.
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