This Italian island displays its natural and human history with the typical Italian style while maintaining a distinctly different identity from mainland Italy. An explosive addition to your Western Mediterranean yacht charter is the exceptionally famous island of Sicily. It is home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Etna, which — towering above the shimmering Med Sea at 3,350 meters — also is the tallest volcano in Europe. It is a must-add to your itinerary if you’re a nature lover or adventure seeker.
Sicily has two main ports; Palermo, the capital, on the island’s northern coast, and Catania to the east, which sits at the foot of Mount Etna. Both locations have airports with good connections to Europe. If you opt for a typical seven-day Sicilian superyacht charter, your yacht will take you from Palermo around to Catania, stopping at various bays and small towns along the way, where you must disembark to take in the sights, sounds, smells and more.
Sicily is perhaps most famous for its food, which is heavily influenced by the island’s past. It has been conquered by the Phoenicians of North Africa, the Islamic Moors, Greeks, Romans, Normans and Spanish over the years. The influences of Greek, Arabic, French and Catalan cuisine make Sicily’s culinary offering decidedly different from the cuisine of mainland Italy. Expect fresh fish, simple pasta, Mediterranean vegetables and local markets fit to burst with olive stalls, cheeses, oils, raisins, saffron and pistachios. The yacht’s chef will provision locally to ensure these local flavors are incorporated into your meals aboard. Still, we recommend you disembark to eat at least one meal ashore for an authentic taste of Sicily.
We also recommend visiting the city of Taormina on Sicily’s coast. Clinging to the cliff edge, have your phones and cameras ready to snap images of the picturesque terraces that cascade down the hillside to the water. With views of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea, Taormina’s ancient Greco-Roman theater, the Teatro Antico di Taormina, is an impressive sight and is still in use today. While there, be sure to visit Isola Bella. This little nature reserve is connected to Taormina’s beach by just a narrow stretch of sand. Lastly, stop at Bam Bar while in town to beat the heat by sampling granita, a Sicilian frozen delight.
All around Sicily, you will discover quiet anchorages, beautifully scenic bays and little fishing villages painted in pretty pastel colors. Your Sicilian charter is not complete without passing through the Aeolian Islands. Lying off Sicily’s northeastern coast, this varied cluster of islands has a fascinating topography. Here you can take a dip in volcanic hot springs and mud baths, sip sweet Malvasia wine on the island of Salina and explore the beautiful scenery of Lipari.
A great migration of Greeks came to the islands in 750 B.C., establishing the stunning city of Syracuse. Home of the renowned mathematician, philosopher and brilliant mind of Archimedes, Syracuse is brimming with history. If you’re interested, your charter broker can arrange a tour of the archeological sites ashore with many well-preserved Greek and ancient Roman ruins. And your visit to Syracuse during a Sicily yacht charter wouldn’t be complete without exploring the Necropolis of Pantalica, extensive rock-cut tombs of antiquity.
During your Sicilian yacht charter, be sure to have the yacht anchor off San Vito Lo Capo and have the crew tender you in with all of the yacht’s beach kit. The golden sands of San Vito Lo Capo adjacent to the magnificent mountains looming further inland create a stunning scene out of a postcard.
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