Sicily Sailing Holidays
Sicily is the home of Mount Etna, Europe's tallest and most active volcano. Yacht charter in Sicily is the perfect place for a quiet, but an adventurous sailing holiday, with a dozen of historic and picturesque towns to explore.
Yacht Charter in Sicily
Charter a catamaran or a sailing yacht and sail along the eastern coast, from the historic city Syracuse to more urban Catania and touristic Taormina. If you're not experienced, you better charter a skippered yacht to sail north of Messina or to Lampedusa and Pantelleria islands. On the other hand, the northern and western coasts are excellent sailing destinations for beginners, fishermen and tourists who want to enjoy the traditional Sicilian cuisine, swim on sandy beaches and take pictures of ancient monuments.
The sailing season starts in April and ends in October. Regattas are held from March to August.
Sailing routes - Sicily
Start your journey from the port of Palermo, sailing west along the coast to Castellammare del Golfo. Discover beautiful beaches such as Cala Petrolo, Cala Marina and Plaja and explore hidden caves, such as Santa Margherita which can be reached by sea. Inside the cave you will find various sacred images dating from the early Christian period.
Dock at the Cala Marina of the town famous for its medieval fortress located in the harbour, a fine example of a mixture of Norman and Arabic architecture. Discover Castellammare’s churches and holy sites dating from various historical periods, such as the Church of the Rosario, dating from 1100 AD or Palazzo Crociferi, a 17th century former convent.
After a breakfast on the yacht, head toward the Aegadi Islands. The largest of the three, Favignana is a mountainous island, shaped like a butterfly spreading its wings, renowned for its rugged terrain, caves and grottos just waiting to be explored. Sail around the astoundingly diverse bays, such as Cala Azzurra, Lido Burrone and the Calamoni with its gold, sandy beaches, or Punta Lunga, Preveto, Faraglioni and Punta Sottile, with its pebble sandy beaches and breathtaking sunsets. Explore the Cala Rossa bay, famous for its crystal clear water and beautiful caves and grottos, and go for diving at the Grotta Perciata, Punta Fanfalo or the Cavallo.
Dock your yacht in the port of Favignana, discover Favignana’s vast cultural heritage, numerous museums, castles, churches dating back to Roman and medieval times. Also, feel free to participate in the Mattanza, a tuna cull festival taking place between May and June.
Continue your journey west for a 13 NM and you will reach Marettimo, the second largest and the most remote island of the Aegadian archipelago, which makes it a perfect hideaway location for a secret vacation. Sail along Marettimo’s gorgeous coastline, enriched by crystal clear waters and dolomitic cliffs you can admire from your yacht. Come across a plethora of caves and grottas, start with the most famous one, Grotta del Camello, known for its beautiful pebble beach and the remains of a Roman settlement.
Being part of the Aegadi Island Marine Reserve, Marettimo has a rich flora and fauna and a beautiful landscape. Drop your anchor at Porto Nuovo and begin your journey on land. Try out hiking and even climbing to the top of Monte Falcone (686 m) and enjoy the view of rocky shores and endless blue sea. When you pass through the island’s only settlement, be sure to visit Casa Romana, the remains of a Roman military outpost and the adjacent Norman church, originally built by Arabs as a fortified watchtower. Do not leave the island without trying its local fish and seafood specialties which even Jamie Oliver couldn’t resist finding out about in his TV show in 2005.
In the morning, set out for the port of Levanzo. It may be the smallest island of the Aegadian archipelago, but equally worth mentioning. The island possesses a special charm, being a small island with a single village with only a couple of hotels and restaurants, you should have no trouble finding some peace and quiet for a lunch break.
Discover Levanzo’s coastline, which is similar to Favignana and Marettimo, with rocky cliffs and beautiful beaches. The main attraction for you to spend the afternoon is without a doubt the Grotta del Genovese, containing cave paintings dating back to the Paleolithic.
Leave the wondrous Aegadian Islands and navigate to San Vito lo Capo. This picturesque town is known for its white, sandy beaches and clear, turquoise waters, with scenic mountains in the background. From the port of San Vito, start with a hike to Monte Monaco and enjoy the spectacular view of the landscape from higher ground. Visit the Riserva naturalle dello Zingaro, the first natural reserve in Sicily, famous for its rich flora and fauna, but also its clear, blue waters.
Explore the town of San Vito which boasts the Arabic-style chapel of Santa Crescenza, and the Cous Cous Fest, the international festival of culture and gastronomy, where cooks from all around the world come to compete. Also hop to the neighbouring port city of Trapani, famous for its medieval and Baroque-style architecture.
On the final day of your journey, sail back along the coast of northwestern Sicily, across the Gulf of Castellammare to Marina Villa Igiea, the port of Palermo. The capital of Sicily, famous for its rich and diverse culture, history and architecture, was founded by Phoenicians, at various points in time, it was ruled by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Normans, which is visible in the city’s cultural heritage.
For your first activity, head to the Palermo Cathedral and Palazzo dei Normanni, famous examples of a mixture of Arabic and Norman architecture. Be sure to visit the famous markets, the Mercato di Ballaro, famous for selling products from the countryside of Palermo, and Capo, where the famous gothic church Sant’ Agostino is located.
Use the opportunity to explore the entire Palermo on foot, navigating through its charming narrow streets. Visit the museums and galleries during the day and treat yourself to some fine Sicilian cuisine at one of Palermo’s exquisite restaurants in the evening.
Best time to sail
April - October
Number of boat bases
Catania-Fontanarossa (CTA), Comiso (CIY), Lampedusa (LMP), Falcone Borsellino Palermo (PMO), Trapani (TPS)
Mount Etna, Neapolis Archaeological Park, Aeolian Islands, Palermo, Taormina