Circumnavigation Sicily 14 days

CIRCUMNAVIGAZING SICILIY

Palermo – Egadi – Pantelleria – Siracusa – Taormina (Giardini Naxos) – Messina – Capo Milazzo – Isole Eolie – Palermo

The program is designed for a two week trip circumnavigating the island of Sicily.

Day 1 Palermo:

Boarding time is 6pm followed by assigning of accommodations on board and an information briefing. It will be your choice to either depart immediately or spend the night at the Palermo Marina taking in some of the city and tasting the traditional cannoli with ricotta.

Day 2 Ustica: (34 miles, approx. 5h)

Departure in the morning toward Ustica. To discover the beauty of this island we shall sail around it. This island has been a Natural Marine Preserve since 1987 and it is divided in 3 areas. The red area is called the ZONE A and is marked by yellow buoys; this area is 350 meters wide and goes to the depth of 30 meters. You cannot enter this area with a boat. The other areas allow sailing!

In the last 30 years the fauna of this area has grown exponentially making this place the world capital for scuba diving. All you need is an underwater mask to begin to discover the numerous life forms that inhabit these waters. It is very easy to see big sea-bass or schools of Mediterranean barracudas.

The town of Ustica lies in front of the only inlet of the island and it is also the only landing place: Cala Santa Maria. The remains of the ancient fortress of Capo Falconara, built in the 17th Century to defend the island from Saracens, tower above Cala Santa Maria.

Day 3 Favignana:(miles, approx. h

Departure for Favignana is in the morning. We will then pass near the Tonnara of Bonagia and the Cliff of the Asinelli. Favignana got its name during medieval times from the Favonio wind (the west-wind). The Greeks called it Aegusa. This island looks almost like a butterfly that has come to rest on the Mediterranean waters. It still holds the ancient secrets of terrible battles fought in Cala Rossa in 241B.C. by the Romans and the Carthaginians. The Mattanza is the traditional tuna fishing technique inherited from the Arabs. Legend has it that if you listen to the sounds on the sea it is possible to hear the songs and shouts of the fishermen during the Mattanza.

After watching the sun go down from Punta Sottile, we will dock in the harbor (average docking expense 60euro per sailboat). During the summer it is nice to take a walk in the center of town, eat out at one of the small restaurants along the main street and have a chance to listen to live music coming from the festivals that are held each year.

Places to see are the Florio Palace and Cala Rossa which is the symbol of the island. Things to taste – BUSIATI, traditional pasta that gets its shape from the knitting irons that are used to make them, seasoned with local herbs.

Day 4 – 5 – Marettimo -Levanzo: (11 miles approx. 2h)

In the morning we will head for Marettimo, an unusual island with irresistible appeal. The island is green and rocky, full of marine grottoes and mineral spring. It would be best to sail around the island completely to see all its natural beauty. Please be aware there are several restricted areas only accessible with authorized boats. The National Marine Preserve occupies 60% of the coastal area, almost the entire west side of the island which is a restricted area.

It is possible to stop in the many coves in the areas where sailing is permitted by park regulations. Docking is scheduled for the early afternoon in one of the 2 harbors that are located on opposite sides of the same town. One is Scalo Nuovo and the other is Scalo Vecchio. The wind will determine which harbor we dock at. You will be greeted by white square houses and baby-blue fishing boats berthed at the wharf.

The most common tour of the island begins at the harbor and goes north toward the castle and the many grottoes. The best places to go scuba diving are in the park area and accessible only accompanied by authorized personnel. The western side of the island is incredible in its resemblance to the Dolomites. Here we suggest you don’t miss out on the opportunity to see it all.

In the late afternoon, you may sail to Levanzo, the smallest of the Egadi Islands. This island is considered uncontaminated and semi-unexplored yet it holds a great treasure – a set of Neolithic paintings in the Genovese Cave. You will spend the night anchored in a sheltered cove.

Wake-up in Levanzo with a possibility to visit the small, romantic village and take a guided tour to the Genovese Cave with the option to go by boat or by foot.

In the afternoon departure in direction of Monte Cofano (north of Trapani) were you can stop to admire the fishing village along the way.

During this entire trip the star is still the pure, crystal blue sea. She will rock you with her waves.

In the late afternoon, we will departure toward San Vito Lo Capo.

Day 6 – 7 Pantelleria: ( miles, approx. h

Departure in the morning in direction of Pantelleria where you will dock in the island harbor at night time. Here you will wake up in total tranquility experiencing nature in all of its essence. This island is blessed with a wonderful coast line, beautiful beaches, coves, grottoes and stacks. The grotto called “Pertusa di Notaro” is also known as “Cavità del Freddo” (cold cavity) because of the cold air that comes through the cracks. In these grottoes you can also find minerals such as basalt, cossyrite, obsidian and trachytes. Other places to see are: the Arch of the Elephant, it is a rock that look like the head of an elephant that is drinking from the sea; and Balata dei Turchi, a small cove where pirates used to land. Other places we advise you to see are the Cove of Nicà, the town of Scauri and the harbor, the bay of Punta Fram, and Punta Tre Pietre. The island is a great place for sailing at any time of year. Gadir has natural pools of thermal water that maintain the temperature of 50° Celsius all year around, making it pleasant to bathe even in the winter. Thermal waters are also found in the Grotto of Sataria, near the harbor in Scauri, the Lake of Venus and in Nicà.

DAY 8 Siracusa: ( miles, approx. h)

In the morning, we will set course toward Siracusa. This is a sea town grown around the bay that crawls into the sea with the island of Ortigia. This island is tied to the main land by a bridge, Ponte Nuovo. Ortigia is the most ancient part of the city of Siracusa, in fact it was already inhabited in the 14th century B.C. Ortigia’s history began in 734 B.C. when the Corinthians set foot on it bringing the ancient Greek culture to the island. Ortigia is a magical place to walk through, especially at night.

DAY 9 Giardini Naxos – Taormina: ( miles, approx. h)

In the morning, we depart going towards Giardini Naxos and Taormina. The cruise in the Naxos Bay will offer you one of the most beloved and breathtaking scenes in the world thanks to Mount Etna in the background and Capo Taormina overlooking the bay. After lunch you may reach Taormina and dock in the touristic harbor. The town is located on Mount Tauro towering the Ionian Coast. Places to see during your day in Taormina are: the Greek theater, Palazzo Corvaja (where the first Sicilian Parliament was held in 1409), and the breathtaking Belvedere Plaza. Taormina is also full of small churches, like San Giuseppe on the Belvedere Plaza and Sant’Agostino near the old Clock Tower (that used to be one of the main entrances to the town), San Nicolas Cathedral that dates back to the 13th century, and the baroque fountain in front of it. Taormina is also a great place to shop.

DAY 10 Messina –Milazzo: (………………………………

In the morning departure toward Messina and the Channel of Sicily. Be aware of the strong undercurrents and look out for the big ships. You will spend the night in the Milazzo Marina.

DAY 11 Vulcano – Lipari : (…………

Morning departure toward Vulcano. It is possible to moor close to the Scoglio della Quaglia from which the Grotto del Cavallo and the Piscina di Venere are easy to reach with the dinghy. After that, we suggest sailing to the Sabbie Nere Beach from which you can easily reach the natural thermal water pools. One of the most fascinating sunsets of the planet can be seen from the crater that can be reached by foot in about 1h following the paths.

In the afternoon we sail to Lipari, the largest of the Eolie islands. You may stop at the Faraglioni and leave the boat going by dinghy to explore the grottoes and the coves nearby. After you may continue the tour around the island and stop to swim in front of the Pomici (pomice stone mines) where the water is turquoise. At the end of the day we suggest that you dock at the old port of Lipari called Marina Corta and spend the evening in town.

DAY 12 – 13 Stromboli-Salina-Filicudi: (……………………………

Departing in the morning for Stromboli and Strombolicchio, the most northern islands of Sicily. There it will be possible to dive into the abyss and go for a walk to the light house or visit the volcano. The perpetual explosive activity of the volcano makes it easy to get a glimpse of the spectacle from nearby and the loud explosions send lapillus soaring in the air. It is so amazing that you will forget the hike. There will also be the chance to visit the town of Stromboli if you would like. In the afternoon you may head toward Salina where it will be possible to spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the sea. You may move from cove to cove along the northern cost of Salina and stop in front of Lingua Santa Maria di Salina, drop your anchor and go for a visit of the old town of Salina where you can taste the famous Granita or the Pane Cunzatu prepared by Alfredo. In the evening you may sail to Filicudi berthing at the Bue Marino, the grotto where seals used to live and supposedly the home of a roaring monster that everybody hears. But the myth dissolves if you visit the cave ……it is the water breaking on the rocks that makes the noise.

Day 14 Alicudi-Mondello: (………………………………

Sail to Alicudi in the morning. Sailing around this island will be an experience of unforgettable pleasure since it has a very tall indented coastline and deep crags. On Alicudi the rhythm of life is taken from the movement of the sun and of the sea. Enjoy the island without any disturbing sound …. not even cars. Deep sea fishing enthusiasts suggest diving close to the Jalera Cliff. There are plenty of lobsters, amberjacks and sea-bass.

We will head to Palermo in the afternoon where arrival time is scheduled for 6pm at the Marina.

DAY 15 disembark in Palermo:

9a.m. time to leave the boat.