Planning a trip to Italy? The breathtaking scenery, olive farms, active volcanoes, long stretches of white sand beaches and mouthwatering cuisines will leave you yearning for more. Let’s go through what Sicily has to offer while exploring on a yacht.
Apart from Sicily being the largest Island in the Mediterranean, it’s also the most extensive autonomous part of Italy. It’s centrally placed which makes it ideal as a transit point for the west and east side of the Mediterranean. Sicily’s coastline is indented making it a suitable, secure anchoring point and the dominant winds from the North West make it excellent for sailing. This is further complimented by the adequate and well facilitated harbors, yachting and mooring utilities.
You can access Sicily through its three airports, namely Catania, Trapani and Palermo. It also has four ports, Catania, Trapani Messina and Palermo which also serve as the main cities of the provinces. As the major stop for cruises on the Mediterranean, Messina has the most traffic and it takes only 5 minutes to reach the mainland. If you are at the closest port to Rome, Civitavecchia, and want to go to Messina, use a ferry if you are on a budget. The town on the most southern part of Italy known as Calabria, can be an embarking point for a charter in the Aeolian. It’s also served by three airports, Crotone, Reggio and Lameziz Terme.
Whether you want to spend your time on the shores, sunbathing on the immaculate beaches, exploring the ancient buildings and walking on the black dust from the active volcano. Sicily has something for every visitor.
One of the most renowned beaches is the San Vito Lo Capo which is surrounded by magnificent mountains and has a winding bay. Rent a yacht in Sicily and head to Favignana which hosts the Egadi Islands. If you enjoy taking dips in excluded places, the historical but deserted shallow quarry is an ideal place. As you cruise on the eastern side of Palermo, you will enjoy the lovely beach at Cefalu. The most outstanding and eye catching beach is the Scala dei Turchi. It has an appealing coastline which is made of white cliffs that form into a stairway. Visit arthaudyachting.com to know more
Major destinations while on a charter in Sicily
- Your yacht will either be based in Trapani, Palermo, Portorosa, Marsala, Terrasini and Sant’Agata di Militello. For convenience, Terrasini is a suitable choice because it’s only 10km away from the airport in Palermo. However these ports are either two hours’ drive or less from the nearest airport. These charters are mainly on the northern end as many charters prefer starting their cruise to Aeolian Islands from these ports. However, if you are in Reggio Calabria, you can cross through Straights of Messina and be in the Aeolian Islands by hiring a yacht. Since the traffic across Straights of Messina is controlled by a coast guard, it’s mandatory for them to be alerted before the yacht crosses.
- On the western side of Sicily, admire the beautiful view of the cliffs on the coastline, explore the coves, anchorages and have fun on the beach.
- Enjoy the natural reserves at Egadi Islands. The park rangers will collect fees from you and advice on the places to visit.
- On the north there are beautiful towns on the harbor such as Terrasini, San Vito Lo Capo, Balestarte which are between Palermo and Trapani. There is also Palermo on the same end which has over 100 berths for yachts below 30m at the Marina Arenalla. If your boat is above 65m then the moorings at Marina Villa Igiea would be ideal. As you cruise along the coast disembark in Cefalu and explore its ancient sites and head on to Portarosa. Enjoy some delicious mouthwatering cuisines in their finest restaurants and resorts. However, if you want their traditional cuisines, visit the Ristorante Santandrea and Ristorante Al Duomo in Palermo and Taormina respectively.
- Head to the Aeolian Islands which feature a rugged but charming coastline. Here you have a chance to experience the volcanoes at a closer view. The volcanoes spew sulfur fumes which can take you awhile to adjust as you marvel at the jets of lava which are breathtaking at night. Standing at more than 3000m, Mount Etna is the tallest and most renowned. After its eruption years ago, its ashes and lava caused landscapes which can be viewed and admired through hiking or riding a jeep. The mud pools from the volcano are known to be therapeutic and you can treat yourself to a bath.
- The summers in Sicily are hot and dry while the winters are wet and mild. Catania located in the east has the longest hours of sunshine compared to all of Europe. In a year the hours are over 2000 which means on average you get 61/2 hours daily. This hours add up to 14 in July.
- The hot wind from Africa cools the heat during summer. These winds have a force of between 3-4 and are constant
- Though in Straights of Messina you can experience tidal currents, they are not strong as the ones in other oceans.
Boats and Yachts available
The prices are dependent on the equipment, size and model of the boat. Motor boats are available on hire for day charters. You have access to choosing either a motor yacht, catamaran or sailboat. There is also the bareboat which you can request for a crew inclusive of a chef, deckhand and stewards. These amenities are available for a big luxurious yacht as well. For families the flotilla is readily available.
Steps in hiring a yacht in Sicily
If you can prove you have adequate experience in sailing or a license then you are eligible to hire a yacht. However some of the yacht providers have professionals who you can hire at reasonable rates. Get a review from the provider’s websites and choose the best according to your preferences.
It’s not enough to experience the beautiful, scenic views of Sicily by reading, go on a yacht charter and come close and smell nature in its original habitat.