What’s your next destination? During these weeks we have a lot of time to think about how to fill our bucket list. If you have never visited the Aegadian Islands, this is the best moment to learn more about this archipelago and hopefully soon, to book your tour with Dimensione Sicilia and visit it in person. Pack your imagination and let’s travel together!
The Aegadian Islands are a group of five small islands in the Mediterranean Sea part of the province of Trapani. The origin of this name is Greek, and it means the islands of goats.
Who knows how many battles happened there, who knows how many chapters of our history were written on these islands. For sure, we know that it was the scene of the Battle of the Aegates in 241 BC, in which the Carthaginian fleet was defeated by the Roman fleet. Moreover, the Aegadian Islands were part of the territories of Goths, Vandals, Saracens, and then the Normans fortified Favignana in 1081. History, myths, legends and a gorgeous landscape…what else? Let’s visit together the three main islands of this archipelago.
Favignana, the butterfly
First of all, do you know why this island is called ‘the butterfly’? Take a look from above…you’ll be amazed by its shape! The one who picked this curious nickname was the painter Salvatore Fiume. Anyway, Favignana is the largest of the three principal Aegadian Islands and is one of the most important Sicilian tourist destinations.
It’s famous for its caves of tuff and the ancient fishing technique of tonnara used to catch bluefin tuna fish. Don’t expect to find a lot of wide beaches but be sure that you’ll never forget about your snorkelling experience in the blue water of the sea. The tour of Sicily and Aegadian Islands by Dimensione Sicilia includes a couple of days in Favignana and a nice boat excursion to explore the coast. Moreover, if you want, you can book an additional excursion to visit Levanzo.
Levanzo is the smallest of the three main islands of the archipelago. If you hope to hike up in the mountains, sorry but the highest point of the island is Pizzo Monaco that is only 278 metres high! But who cares, this is the ideal destination if you seek calm and relax. Less than 500 people live there, so quiet! Moreover, if you love history and archeology, don’t miss the cave called in Italian ‘Grotta del Genovese’ where you can find some Palaeolithic graffiti and Neolithic paintings: WOW!
If all of this is not enough, take note of this place called Cala Minnola. You can reach this small bay on the eastern side of the island by boat, dive into the sea and enjoy one of the most important Sicilian underwater archaeological sites. Here you’ll see a Roman cargo ship loaded with a bunch of amphoras that lies in the blue of the ocean. If you join our tour, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the fishermen village and have a stop to taste the typical – and delicious! – gelato they produce on the island. What are you waiting for?
Marettimo is a very peculiar island…do you know that its ancient name was Hiera? It means Sacred, Holy. If you love trekking, don’t leave your shoes at home and climb Monte Falcone up to the peak that is the highest point on the island (686 metres). In the past, thanks to its position in the Mediterranean, Marettimo was used by the Romans as an observation point to monitor the maritime traffic between Italy and North Africa and Italy and Spain.
This island is perfect either for those people who love nature and want to discover the indigenous and rare plant species of Marettimo or are interested in seeing the wildlife such as goats, rabbits, donkeys, eagles, etc. Rent a boat and take a look around the coast where there are several impressive grottos and beautiful spots to swim.
And if you want more, remember that there are two minor islands, Formica and Maraone. They are located between Levanzo and Sicily and you can reach them by boat.