If you’re staying in one of the villas in Sicily, make sure you get out and explore the smaller islands as well. Here is an overview.
As the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, situated off the tip of Italy’s boot, Sicily is an ideal place to rent holiday villas. In Sicily, there is no shortage of beautiful beaches, exceptional food and wine, and more history than you’ll be able to ingest in one visit.
Once you’ve explored the ancient streets of Palermo, walked the rocky beaches of the south, visited all six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and even climbed up the dominating spire of Mount Etna, what do you do next? How about you get off the island! No, this doesn’t mean we’re suggesting you pack up and leave your lovely villas in Sicily, but you should definitely make time to visit the array of smaller islands in the surrounding area on a day trip.
The Aeolian Islands
Named after the god of wind, the Aeolian Islands are a small group off Sicily’s north-eastern coast. Leave your villas in Sicily behind for the day and head to this beautiful volcanic cluster of islands to explore in depth. Comprising Vulcano, Lipari, Filicudi, Alicudy, Salina, Panarea and Stromboli, in the summer months these islands are buzzing with activity around the thermal spas, resorts and beaches. The numerous beaches range from black sand at the Spiaggia di Sabbia Nera, to the white stretches of Spiaggia Bianca. To get your fill of history, visit Lipari, the largest of these islands and head to the archaeological park where you can still see some remnants of a Greek Era castle and the later fortress. Then, pop over to Vulcano for a hot thermal spa treatment before taking a trip to the lesser-inhabited islands to get a taste of a more isolated life.
The largest of the Pelagie Islands and the southernmost part of Italy, Lampedusa is well worth leaving the comfort of even the best villas in Sicily to visit. The history of the island dates back to the times of the Phoenicians, when it was used as a landing base, and over the years it has remained an important place in the Mediterranean. While there, visit Rabbit Beach, which was voted as the best beach in the world on Trip Adviser in 2013. Here, the unspoiled outlook of the nature reserve, with its white sandy beach and azure waters, is also famous for being one of the few places that Loggerhead Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.
Though these small islands may not be home to any of the rental holiday villas in Sicily, for a day trip, they have enough history and mythological interest to entertain for a day trip. Head to the Cyclops Islets, which are off the coast of Catania and, according to legend, are made of chunks of boulders hurled at Ulysses by the Cyclops. Near the town of Palermo, the Women’s Island is no longer the place for unfaithful wives, but instead has become home to scores of migratory birds.
When you visit the larger Aeolian island of Panarea, you should also take time to explore the islets that surround it, which are part of the larger nature reserve. The only way to visit is by sea and it is a pleasure to spend some time island-hopping and experiencing the calm and solitude of this lovely area.
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Where to stay in Lampedusa
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