Mount Etna is on the eastern coast of Sicily, bordering the 2nd largest city of Catania and regularly erupting. In fact, between 2005 and 2015 it never really stopped erupting. This isn’t just the most active volcano in Europe, it’s also deadly, in the past it has wiped out entire villages.
You may be interested to note that it is two and a half times taller than Mount Vesuvius and is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. An active volcano may seem like a good reason to stay away from Sicily. However, rent a catamaran in Sicily without a skipper and you’ll enjoy all the views, the culture, and the history of this amazing island, without the risk.
While Mount Etna is an impressive backdrop to the city of Catania, there are many more sights to be experienced as you sail around this beautiful Mediterranean island. It’s worth taking a few days before you rent a catamaran to appreciate the inner parts of the island.
Most people leave from either Catania or Palermo, the capital. Palermo is on the northern coast and has a vibrant feel, as well as a host of interesting architectural delights, such as the Royal Palace, the Teatro Massimo, the catacombs of Cappuccini, and even the Palazzo dei Normanni.
It’s also the perfect spot to sail west from and admire the small town of Trapani on the northwestern corner of the island. This town borders the salt mines and offers a great view of the original windmills. It’s also the perfect spot to launch from when heading around the Aeolian Islands. This group of seven islands share the same 200km underwater ridge. You’ll want to visit Vulcano to walk around the smoking crater and Stromboli to see the volcano that rises out of the sea and often has minor eruptions.
The other islands all boast paradises for nature lovers and the opportunity to discover worlds seemingly unknown to humans. That’s a magical feeling.
That’s the great thing about renting a catamaran without a skipper, you may not be directed to specific spots but, when you find a great spot, you’ll feel like a real explorer.
The southern coast of Sicily offers the opportunity to explore countless coves, look for shipwrecks, and admire the beaches. You will also find Agrigento and the UNESCO listed Valle dei Templi, one of the best examples of Ancient Greek buildings in the world. The coastline is rocky but enticing as you move down to Licata, it’s stunning coastline, and an impressive lighthouse reputed to be one of the tallest in Southern Europe.
In the southeastern tip of the island, you’ll find the towns of Noto, Modica, and Ragusa, all UNESCO listed and all worth visiting. The architecture and history in these places are simply awe-inspiring.
Around the tip of the island and on the eastern coast you’ll find Syracuse, this is where Archimedes lived over 2,000 years ago. It’s also where you’ll find the beautiful but tiny island of Ortigia and Castello Maniace, where Archimedes is reputed to have set Roman boats on fire with the help of a giant mirror.
It’s this side of the island where you’ll find Catania and the impressive Mount Etna, you’ll also enjoy sailing through the Messina Strait, a small strip of sea separating Italy from Sicily. At its widest this strait is 16km, but at its smallest it’s just 3km!
You’ll pass Taormina in this part of the island and this is known as the Pearl of the Mediterranean for good reason. It may be small but it’s picturesque and extremely popular with tourists from all over the world.
The port of Messina is one of the largest and most important in the Mediterranean and has been for centuries. It’s a port full of cultural and historic delights but you will need to pay attention when navigating this narrow channel, it’s exceptionally busy!
That’s just a taster of what you can expect from the delightful Mediterranean island of Sicily. Check out Sailogy.com to see which boat appeals to you and your budget. Then, speak to our first-class customer service crew and organize your charter, whether you need a skipper or not, and get the vacation of your life booked. Our team will help you to navigate every step of the journey!