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The Aegadian Islands are an archipelago located off the western coast of Sicily. These islands have a different slice of Italian life, where the locals live a relaxed bohemian-style lifestyle. This archipelago has all the excitement and culture of the continent. If you are looking for a new destination for your next vacation in Italy, you are ready to go. Read on to learn more about the Aegadian Islands, Italy’s best-kept secret.
Everything about the Aegadian Islands
The archipelago of the Egadi Islands is the largest marine protected area in Europe. The islands have an abundance of natural resources and wildlife. The great Poseidon meadows are a wonderful habitat that promotes the reproduction of many species including shells, migratory birds, Caretta Caretta sea turtles and even monk seals.
The three islands also still have the feel of the real Italy – where some people still live as they have for hundreds of years, seemingly untouched by modern life. Here you will see donkeys and dogs roaming free as the locals go about their daily business in the village. Most likely than not, you can spot some pleasant looking elderly women crocheting something for a loved one while they watch over the village. If you want to experience Italy the local way, take a trip to these beautiful islands.
Explore the sea caves of Favginana
Favginana is the largest island in the archipelago. It is only half an hour by hydrofoil from Trapani in Sicily. Santa Caterina and San Giacomo are charming towns with Gothic churches and spectacular Norman castles. For recreation, the island has many options, including great snorkeling spots such as the rocky coast of Scalo Cavallo and the astonishing Cala Azzurra.
Tuna fishing is an institution here thanks to the Florio family. Make sure to visit Stabilimento Florio, where you can see artefacts like amphorae from various historical periods. Museum guides will teach you about the island’s fascinating fishing history.
Live a spectacular diving experience in Levanzo
Levanzo is the smallest island of the group. A named restaurant Arcobaleno is the main gathering place for the 200 inhabitants of the island. For a special experience, visit Grotta del Genovese and see the work of the Neolithic people sketched on the walls dating back 12,000 years.
This small, peaceful and exquisite island has a lot to offer diving enthusiasts. Levanzo has a fascinating underwater archaeological route between Cala minnola and Altarella headland where the remains of a Roman wreck are found. Other notable places on the island include the smooth pebble beach of Cala fredda, and the prehistoric caves of Grotta del Genovese.
Visit Mystique Marettimo
Marettimo is the rockiest and island of the archipelago. The beautiful Tramontane Cafe greets visitors to the port with a lobster trap suspended from the ceiling. The 300 inhabitants of the island are divided between sea and mountains. The unique fishing village here is a highlight of the island, with its cluster of tiny houses. Daily life here revolves around the catch of the day.
Adventurers will have fun on Marettimo. The island has many scenic hiking trails that twist and turn in and out of the village and the hills. Novelist Samuel Butler claimed that the island of Marettimo was what inspired Ithaca in Homer Odyssey. When you see the beautiful rugged landscape of this island with hundreds of sea caves surrounded by crystal clear sea, you will be inclined to agree with it.
How to get to the Aegadian Islands
You can get to the Aegadian Islands by ferry or seaplane from various points in Sicily. Visitors depart by hydrofoil from Trapani to reach the shores of Favignana. The other minor islands are accessible by ferries with the option of carrying your vehicle on board. You can also rent a boat from the locals and navigate between the islands.
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