A motor yacht charter in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands is a breath-taking journey through a land of smoking volcanoes, crystal clear seas, and ancient Greek temples crumbling among sunny citrus groves. With historic cities, glamorous port towns, and sleepy medieval villages of whitewash and bougainvillea, Sicily has an extraordinary amount to offer during a motor yacht charter. With so much to see and do, the only difficulty you’ll face on your Sicily motor yacht charter is deciding where to go! Here are some of the highlights of a Sicily yacht charter to help you plan your trip.
Stromboli, Aeolian Islands
The sight of Stromboli volcano looming up out of the turquoise sea is one you’ll remember for a lifetime. The only permanently active volcano in Europe, Stromboli’s mini-eruptions make for splendid viewing – particularly at night as you dine on your yacht’s deck at anchor, watching the red-hot river of lava make its slow way down to the sea. Brave souls can go on a guided hike to the top of the volcano in the afternoon, or you can spend your time on Stromboli enjoying the incredible volcanic diving or strolling along the island’s stunning black sand beaches.
Lipari, Aeolian Islands
As the busiest of the Aeolian chain, Lipari is definitely worth a visit for its incredible Spiaggia Bianca, a beach of dazzling whiteness created by the fine pumice stone dust that was once mined here. The pumice stone also filters the water so that it glows bright turquoise, making this anchorage one of almost surreal beauty.
Salina, Aeolian Islands
The island of Salina is film-set spectacular, with cinematic landscapes made famous in the cult hit Il Postino. The most famous anchorage is at Pollara, an underwater crater surrounded by rolling green hills, while there are also plenty of delights onshore, including wine tastings at the Malvasia vineyards and a hike through a deliciously cool fern forest to an extinct volcanic crater.
The village of Panarea in the summertime is a haven for the jet-set, with high end boutiques and fine restaurants lining the whitewashed laneways. Yet the ultra-glamorous village is not all there is to see in Panarea, with a dreamily beautiful coastline of private coves, rocky islets, and sapphire seas. Spend the day exploring and snorkelling, before heading back to Panarea to dance until dawn on the fashionable terrace at La Raya.
Taormina, Sicily East Coast
Taormina is a gloriously pretty town which has been a favourite holiday destination of the elite for centuries. Perched on the steep coast with a jaw-dropping view across the sea to Mt Etna, the town is particularly famous for its Greek theatre, which was built over 2000 years ago and now hosts summer opera and theatre performances to a glamorous crowd, and is also home to the red-carpet Taormina International Film Festival. While in Taormina, have a drink on the terrace of the opulent Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, watch the evening passegiata through the town, and dine in the Michelin star restaurants.
The ancient walled city of Syracuse is one of the dazzling highlights of a Sicily yacht charter. Founded by the Phoenicians and standing for over 2000 years, the gorgeous city is a remarkable architectural treasure trove, with a district of ancient Greek temples outside the town in the Archaeological Park, and the ancient Temple of Athena in the city centre. The old quarter of Ortigia set on a narrow isthmus away from the city proper is a particularly wonderful place for a stroll, with fashionable boutiques and cafes, splendidly preserved buildings, and a richly atmospheric sense of ‘old meets new’.
These are just some of the highlights of a best of Sicily motor yacht charter. When planning your trip, bear in mind that Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, and the outlying Aeolian Islands are a superb destination in their own right. Your yacht broker will be able to plan a bespoke Sicily itinerary that is carefully tailored to your personal preferences and interests – whether that be climbing volcanoes, gourmet experiences, or just lying back on a deckchair and watching some of the most superb scenery in Europe drift by…